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And the Pursuit of Happiness

Maria Kalman, who writes (or should I say draws) illustrated blogs for the New York Times (see this book in blog form here), published a book in 2010 of her 2009 "yearlong investigation of democracy." Each chapter is a different month. It begins in January with Obama's inauguration to December, which is about George Washington. The title is from America's Declaration of Independence, which states "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Kalman, in her year-long picture diary, talks about what it means to be an American. It is a wonderful adult's picture book, filled with philosophical tidbits about America. For example, on Abraham Lincoln: "The eloquent Lincoln authority told me that when Lincoln was a lad, he was KICKED in the head by  MULE . Some years later, he became a lawyer in Springfield, Ill." Her style of writing is simplistic but perfectly to the point. This book is a great read to get you up to date on the happenings of America in pictures and minimal words. If you like Maria Kalman, read Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) or The Principles of Uncertainty. She also writes children books, most famously What Pete Ate from A to Z. I want to thank my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Chad for getting me this book for my birthday (and getting it signed by Ms. Kalman herself!!). I love it and I hope you will too! Rating: ★★★★★

Extremley Loud and Incredibly Close

Little Bee