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Tina May Hall’s Best of 2009

My Favorite Picture Books of 2009

The Principles of Uncertainty, by Maira Kalman
This book makes me very happy. Especially when paired with a cup of tea and a chocolate cookie.


Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities, by John M. Carrera
This book reminds me of being nine years old and hunting through dusty encyclopedias for the illustrations. Lovely pictures of everything you might imagine and truly wonderful prefatory and concluding materials which just explode the book.

When Sheep Cannot Sleep: The Counting Book, by Satoshi Kitamura
This children’s book has been around a while, but came back into print this year. It is a bizarre and gorgeous counting book with no numbers that goes up to 22 as the storyline becomes more and more surreal. There are UFOs, a Fall-of-the-House-of-Usher-like house, and a meta-artistic moment. This was a gift from a friend, and it became an instant hit with my nearly-three-year-old son.

Tina May Hall teaches English at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Her stories have appeared in 3rd bed, the minnesota review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, descant, and other journals. Her novella in prose poems, All the Day’s Sad Stories, was published by Caketrain Press in the spring of 2009. She lives with her husband and son in a house with a thousand spiders, twenty-two windows, and a ghost in the furnace.

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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