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"Overflowing with whimsy, ALICE’S BIG BOOK OF MISTAKES offers a tender and hilarious exploration of the self, a necessary probing into who we are and how we move forward. Positively delightful, beautifully irreverent.” –– Robert James Russell, author of Hard Body (2025, Simon & Schuster)


“Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can turn a lifetime of making them into a funny, wise, honest, relatable and charmingly drawn graphic memoir. Alice Kaltman has done just that with ALICE’S BIG BOOK OF MISTAKES. From an hilarious account of little Alice being convinced to display her tushy to a boy, to the story of a very bad hair decision, to numerous episodes of bad behavior, self-destructive choices, paths not taken and others that should never have been taken, Alice explores what she’s learned (and hasn’t) from her missteps and might-have-beens. Along the way she reminds us of some of the worst mistakes in history—think the Titanic and the Exxon Valdez. The book has a wonderful, hand-made quality, and Alice encourages us to keep a pen or pencil handy for the final chapter where space is made available for us to join in the fun and draw and write our own answers to questions such as, “At my age I should have known better than to…?” ALICE’S BIG BOOK OF MISTAKES is a thoroughly original personal history that manages to concern itself with serious stuff without ever taking itself too seriously, and make no mistake, that’s not an easy thing to pull off.”

David Sipress, New Yorker Cartoonist and author of What’s So Funny?: A Cartoonist’s Memoir


What does it mean to “learn” from our mistakes? Why does one person cringe at the memory of a past stupidity, while another can shrug off multiple mess-ups and continue merrily down life’s treacherous path? Using examples from ages five through sixty-five Alice Kaltman shares her less-than-perfect b haviors to explore these questions. ALICE’S BIG BOOK OF MISTAKES also poses theoretical questions about the nature of mistakes, failures, and regrets by looking at some world-famous idiots and global disasters. Plus, ALICE’S BIG BOOK OF MISTAKES is interactive. There are pages for readers to draw and write about their own mistakes, because let’s be honest; aren’t we all on a journey to figure out the value of doing the right (or wrong) thing?


Alice Kaltman is the author of the story collections Staggerwing and Almost Deadly Almost Good, and the novels The Tantalizing Tale of Grace Minnaugh, Wavehouse, and Dawg Towne. Her fiction has been nominated for Best American Short Stories, Best Small Fictions, and the Pushcart Prize, and her articles on Mental Health and Parenting have appeared nationally. Alice splits her time between Brooklyn and Montauk, NY where she lives with her husband the sculptor Daniel Wiener and Ollie the Wonder Dog.

alice's big book of mistakes

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