My Favorite Things


Photographs of dancers. And of Dandies. And dogs.
Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch.
Naps. Breaths. Trees.
Ingo Maurer's lamp.
Buttons. Lists.
These are some of my favorite thigns.

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My Favorite Things

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Photographs of dancers. And of Dandies. And dogs.
Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch.
Naps. Breaths. Trees.
Ingo Maurer's lamp.
Buttons. Lists.
These are some of my favorite thigns.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Artist/writer Maira Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty; Looking at Lincoln) admits to being a collector: "Books. Old ephemera. Old notebooks, boxes, fezzes, café napkins, moss, doll clothes, interesting packaging." Her new My Favorite Things indulges our shared fascination with incidental objects. Browsing through Manhattan's Cooper-Hewitt and her own hoard, she has gathered an eclectic collection (to say the least!) of things seen and found. In paintings, words, and photographs, she shows us a pair of Arturo Toscanini's pants, first editions of children's book classics, and even the pocket watch Abraham Lincoln wasn't consulting when he was assassinated. If this all sounds perplexing, remember that Kalman is a treasure whose work must be sampled.

Publishers Weekly
Artist Kalman’s (Girls Standing on Lawns) latest monograph explores the relationship between objects and memory. The volume coincides with an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt curated by illustrator, for which she selected her favorite items from the design museum’s vast archive. Kalman reproduces some of the objects and reimagines others in impressionist-style paintings; they range from a medieval Egyptian tapestry to Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch and funeral pall. There are also everyday ephemera: a pair of stockings from the late 19th century, pictures of ladies’ footwear from a book published in 1885, and a simple lamp shade. Kalman’s incorporates quirky commentary into her illustrations, recreating the museum-going experience for readers from inside her own unusual mind. Often the commentary leads into personal memories: Kalman touches poetically on family lore from Belarus and reminisces on growing up in Tel Aviv with a mother so beautiful that “if Tolstoy had been alive, he would have loved her madly.” Along with pieces from the museum, Kalman includes objects from her personal archives, such as postcards from the Hotel Celeste in Tunisia and “pants of famous dead conductors” (more precisely, one pair of Toscanini’s pants that she won at an auction in 2013). Fans of Kalman’s charming signature style will find more of the same to appreciate, and while the book is meant to accompany the exhibit at Cooper Hewitt, it is plenty enjoyable outside of that context. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Los Angeles Times
“So friendly, so classic, so delightful . . . Kalman has taken ‘the little book’ [The Elements of Style] and made it even more elegant and uplifting.”
New York Times
“While The Elements of Style has never lacked fans or dutiful adherents, appreciation for this slim volume has taken a turn toward the whimsical and even surreal.”
USA Today
“The pictures are playful and subtle, which suits the spirit of the beloved bestseller [The Elements of Style].”
Elizabeth Gilbert
“My absolute favorite book of recent memory: an exquisite and delightful and peculiarly illustrated memoir about . . . well, the search for the meaning of life. I will be giving this book [The Principles of Uncertainty] to everyone I love.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062122971
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/21/2014
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 62,109
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman is an author and illustrator of numerous books for adults and children. She is a contributor to The New Yorker and the New York Times. Born in Tel Aviv, she lives in New York City.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 15, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tel Aviv, Israel
    1. Education:
      New York University, 1967-70
    2. Website:

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