I am home with a sick little boy today. Poor guy. Fever, sore throat – strep? – Having been up early with my little patient, I've kept him company by leafing through a couple of new books that I thought I'd share. This little gem, Scrapbooks – An American History, is a look at journalers of yesteryear. What I call "visual journaling" is just a modern take on a cultural art form that people have been doing for a very long time. Our need to chronicle and write and draw what our experiences and lives are is somehow written on our collective DNA as human beings. I was here. Whatever I have done, in whatever small a measure, has meaning. It means something, even if only to me. I love to look through other people's journals and scrapbooks. This book allowed me a chance to look at a number of people's memory books and be a voyeur into the past. If you keep a journal or just like to hitchhike through history, I highly recommend taking a peek at this book. Authored by graphic designer and senior critic at Yale University School of Art, Jessica Helfand's, Scrapbooks has a very interesting historical narrative as well as lots of great (and big) photos. If you check in at Amazon, you can watch the author talk about and turn the pages on several journals in a little video here.
Danny Gregory's new book is a gem also. It's the book he said he's always been looking for. More drawing, less ephemera, we still get to peek inside the lives and hearts and minds of some very creative and generous souls. Eye candy with heart, this is one any journaler would love to have in their collection. You can find it at Amazon here.
I think I'll grab my journal, pens and glue stick and check in on my patient.