jess's Reviews > The Principles of Uncertainty

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
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's review
Feb 09, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009
Read in February, 2009

Maira Kalman keeps an image journal blog for 1 year for the NY Times. She travels. She makes lists. She makes pictures. She illustrates collections. She misses people who have died. She celebrates people who are alive, especially their wonderful hats. It is very charming, a very good picture of someone's year.

The journal blog is made into a book, the principles of uncertainty, and eventually finds its way into my hands, courtesy of the glorious Olympia Public Library. I spend a day reading it, off and on, sometimes silently in the car, sometimes out loud to my wife, sometimes out loud to my cats and myself. The paintings, drawings, and photos are precious, endearing, and charming. The words are a nice companion to the images, spelling out truths, ideas, questions, and uncertainties.

And I read it, caressing the pages in a way I never do. I clutch it to my chest, and tell my wife this book is really special. I sleep with my hand resting on the book. There are moments when it is a little too sincere, when the earnestness catches in my throat and seems cheap. But for the most part, I like it very much. I am sad when it's over, not like the loss of a pet but like the end of a very good trip you would rather not end.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ehrrin I got this book recently as a gift, from a faraway, nearly lost friend, in the mail. I tore through most of it in one sitting, and felt like it was so special, so warm. It was the next best thing to actually sitting and talking with the aforementioned friend. And, I haven't finished the rest because I don't want it to be over. I just keep picking it up and stroking the cover, and looking back on bits I already read. It's just so lovely. I feels like love.

jess That is so great, Erin! Your long-lost friend really hit a homerun with that gift. That is tremendous! Talk about high impact! Finish it, and then read it again. Tell me if it's as good the second time.

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