Jenny (Reading Envy)'s Reviews > Atlas of Remote Islands

Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky
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Dec 21, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: cold-weather-islands, read2011, favorites
Recommended for: All dreamers, travelers, and writers
Read from August 10 to 11, 2011

I would give this book 10 stars if I could. I wish it was twice as long. It has a beautiful introduction full of thoughts on travel and what it is that draws people to remote places. The majority of the book is two-page segments where the island's map is on one side and the other has basic information on it (when it was "discovered," how many people inhabit it, important moments in its history) as well as a narrative. That was my favorite part. It might have a legend, a historical moment, a discovery, or its destruction.

Who could forget St. Kilda and the babies that wouldn't live past eight days old? Christmas Island with its bright red migrating crabs? I sat and read the descriptions and looked up more photos online of these places and dreamed. Sign me up!

"Maps tell us much more when they do not divide nature into nations; when they allow it to form the basis of comparison across all the borders made by man."

"Any point on the infinite globe of the Earth can become a centre."

"Paradise may be an island. But it is hell too."

"An island offers a stage: everything that happens on it is practically forced to turn into a story, into a chamber piece in the middle of nowhere, into the stuff of literature."

"Give me an atlas over a guidebook any day. There is no more poetic book in the world."
Amen, sister.
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Reading Progress

08/10/2011 "Found this at the public library, swoooooooooon. I want to live in this book."
02/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen I loved your review, Jenny. Now I must read this!


message 2: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Gah those quotes sound amazing.


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