This book was everything I had hoped Maphead to be. Where that book focused on the people who love maps, this book focused on the maps themselves, andThis book was everything I had hoped Maphead to be. Where that book focused on the people who love maps, this book focused on the maps themselves, and I enjoyed it all the more for that reason. It also had pictures of the maps actually printed in the book itself! What a thought!
The book goes chronologically from past to present, starting with Greeks and Romans, continuing through the Dark Ages, Renaissance, spends quite a bit of time in the New World before settling on modern life, finishing up with Skyrim and Google Maps. While I'm more of a historical map buff, and the last few chapters weren't as interesting, the book was engaging from start to finish, and it was an excellent choice.
Highly recommending to map loves of any age or inclination; lots of fun history included for free!...more
I wanted to like this book so much -- highly recommended, great subject matter, well-written, etc. The subject matter itself was great. It just skirteI wanted to like this book so much -- highly recommended, great subject matter, well-written, etc. The subject matter itself was great. It just skirted a little too far from its map roots for my taste.
What doomed it in the end was what it wasn't. There were few maps; none worth looking at. Instead, it was a series of vignettes about various geographic topics. I had expected this, I know, but I still found most of the book rather dull. I enjoyed doing my own research to expand upon the trivia and anecdotes more than reading the book itself. In fact, that's why it took so long to finish -- I'd leave and look something up, and never return. (Though I think this says more about me than it does about the book.)
I think I'm also losing my taste for a lot of "string of anecdotes around a particular topic" non-fiction... I think I need to head back toward the more research-based works I abandoned during college. This, instead, just felt like fluff....more