Monday, September 14, 2009

The Appeal of Calendar

“1,000 Places to See Before You Die”
By Patricia Schultz
ISBN No. 978-0-7611-4937-8

“365 Days in Ireland”
Text by Colum McCann; Photographs by Peter Matthews
ISBN No. 978-0-7611-4882-1

Both available at

And if you’re STILL dreaming about being somewhere – anywhere – else other than a classroom then check out these two new “Picture-a-Day” wall calendars for 2009.
“1,000 Places to See Before You Die” is adapted from the book of the same name and to say turning it into a calendar was a genius move is an understatement. Love lists? Travel? Photography? They’re all here, wrapped up with some lovely sentiments about making each day count and taking some roads less travelled for your next vacation. And while the pictures are impressive make sure you read the text. Schultz has a nice travel-companion friendly way with the factoids.
As for the Ireland Page-a-Day calendar, well, I’ve been to Ireland and considering you can drive around the whole island in one very long single day a calendar celebrating 365 WHOLE days IN Ireland is a challenge. (Indeed, the tiny you-are-here map in the upper corner of each new month’s location correctly crunches down the “foreign-ness” of Ireland into a very small, manageable island - but it also amps up the history: you’ll be shaking your head over how an isle this small can have so much history – or pubs.) But what I love about this calendar is that it’s a reference guide of signifiers; all those little totems that define a place. Some months have big signifiers (The Cliffs of Moher was really big in the 08 calendar) but most of them are small asides; touches that give you as much a lesson in the historical particulars of a community as a quick education in art direction in movies set in Ireland. It’s lovely, day-dreamy stuff.