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Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways to See the World

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  48 reviews
A singular atlas of 100 infographic maps from thought-provoking to flat-out fun

Publisher's note: Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds was published in the UK under the title Brilliant Maps.

Which countries don’t have rivers? Which ones have North Korean embassies? Who drives on the “wrong” side of the road? How many national economies are bigger than California’s? And where
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by The Experiment
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  154 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, nonfiction
I enjoyed learning the answers to many of the minor and diverse questions I’ve had over the years. I may not especially need to know this information, but it’s stuff I’ve at least briefly wondered about -- things like who drives on the opposite side of the road or whether all roads really do lead to Rome. The visual presentation is great for absorbing the information at a glance but also allows for a more in-depth perusal if one is so inclined. If you’re the curious sort, then you’ll find this ...more
Joseph Spuckler
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference

Ian Wright presents many interesting looks at our world and culture in Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds. Maps are able to convey much more meaning in a smaller space than words. Our minds seem to grasp a map of the world and we recognize Canada, China, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, and so on. That line drawing of political borders of the world contains much more information than what readily appears. We see the lines forming the border of France and think Paris, wine, Notre
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to MissBecka by: Queen Cronut
I enjoyed a lot of what was in this book and found the various demographics fascinating.
Learning new things is always fun!
I do wish that the maps had been a bit more distinct in the presentation.
Many of the pages had 3-4 versions of one colour when several completely different colours would have been much easier to absorb.

Also I found it a bit annoying that the countries were not labelled on most of the pages.
Slight inconvenience to have a second map up on google and flip between the two.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maps have been a particular fascination of mine ever since I was a small child. It always amazed me to see all the places I could go. One of the highlights of my childhood was getting a librarian to help me look at the "big atlas", whose pages were literally almost as big as my 6-year-old self. So I was thrilled to receive an ARC of Ian Wright's Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds.

Ian Wright created and maintains the website Brilliant Maps. This book is a collection of 100 of the most interesting
Kitty Verduin
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brilliant maps for curious minds is a book that warms my big nerdy heart. Not only did I enjoy learning new facts about the world, the graphic side of this book is extremely appealing. Ian Wright succeeded in giving me a new perspective on items we tend to take for granted. On top of that, the author offered me food for thought and making me want to dive in some of the complex topics that he very nearly brought back to ‘just’ a map. I call that being talented and passionate. This book is highly ...more
Brittany Peterson
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is filled with so many fun and sometimes shocking stats. Although I wish there was more information given for some of the maps I couldn't quite understand, it was still a fun read! I learned things about the world that I hadn't ever considered before.
Alicia Bayer
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating and fun book that exceeded my expectations. While I expected some interesting little infographic types of maps like causes of death by country (none of those, surprisingly), there were so many really interesting maps that I never would have thought to look for. The world map of all the countries who have not been invaded by the United Kingdom was shockingly on point, while others were fascinating like seeing the map of what would be the Mongol empire with today's ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I lobe books with maps and Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds is a book that's completely filled with maps. It's all about the maps. I enjoyed every second of pouring over them. Now if only they were bigger....
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
As part of my ongoing new interest in geography, I am trying to start learning new things about maps, countries, and the world. The first snag I hit was reading this book: I am unfortunately colorblind, and I did not realize how big a stumbling block that was going to be.

The information in this book is quite interesting, from Maps about which countries have the largest number of homicides, to historical data on where lions used to exist, to some really cool information about which countries are
Katie Mac
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reality-bites
I put this on hold a while back and promptly forgot about it, so it was a nice surprise to see it on the hold shelf yesterday!

As someone who loves and appreciates data visualization, this was a real treat. It's one of the rare books I may purchase for myself. (It's a great little collection of factoids with which you can impress your guests.)
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and thought provoking
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and diverse; this book will appeal not just to people who enjoy geography, but also people who enjoy trivia. I am a visual learner and I was riveted by every page.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It's an interesting book, showing a number of interesting and surprising map-based statistics like who drives on which side of the road or what countries lost the most people in each world war or how much sunlight does each country get? A lot of good stuff. A pity it wasn't presented a bit better.
The maps mostly come from a website Brillliant Maps that Ian Wright hosts and on a computer screen the maps are generally pretty clear and you can zoom in on many of them, but printed books are a
Kimberly Tierney
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is a really interesting and valuable resource. Ian Wright has broken down maps of the world with different informational statistics on each one. These statistics range from women leaders to strongest growing religions. My favorite is the first few maps showing the population size comparisons with European countries and the United States. The perspective given on global issues that you find in these maps is astounding. I am appreciative of Ian Wright's work in compiling all of this ...more
Queen Cronut
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds captures the idea of "a picture is worth a million words" through cartography. This book certainly gives the reader new ways to see the world through maps which provide clever commentary and presenting interesting trivia tidbits. Wright incorporates religion, politics, environmental science, culture, and demographics into these maps and uses this knowledge to show a unique, thought-provoking perspective of the world. These maps were colorful and easily accessible ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some of these maps may bother you. Some may make you giggle. All of them will make you want "just one more." I hope there's a sequel in the works!
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking and fascinating. There are several maps here I am planning on using in my Spanish classroom.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bea Elwood
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a fun way to learn about the world and jump start some discussions and explorations!
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Would have been a whole lot better if the book would lay flat, allowing readers to see eastern Europe and the Middle East ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had to stop myself from reading little facts off of every single page to the people in the room with me.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is freaking awesome! I'm going to go visit the website to see more of these creative and informative maps. As a former history teacher, I adore a good map. This book aims to please with creative color distributions that illustrate unusual pieces of data beautifully. I know a book of maps sounds dull as hell. I promise you, it is anything but. I did take a star off bc some of the colors are really hard to differentiate and I hated that some info was left to the center gutter, but honestly, ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book filled with different maps featuring a wide range of subjects. Some of them are straight up-fun, but many truly made me reconsider how I'm seeing the world. It's perfect for any connoisseur of trivia and facts.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Did this book live up to its title? Are the maps brillant? They are fun and entertaining-a new way to see the world through the lens of an infographic map. The only complaint-when the map spans both pages some of the world (around the middle of the Atlantic Ocean) is lost in the binding.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting - lots of trivia on various subjects, presented graphically.

It did also get me to ponder questions people ask, and questions people don't. . .
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eclectic collection of maps

I enjoyed this book. Most of the maps were thought-provoking, but some were just fun trivia. I didn’t like the first three maps where European countries were overlaid on areas of the Americas with equal populations and vice versa, and how the North American population fit into Europe. After these maps, the book picked up, but I felt that there was no cohesion between the maps; that no story was being told. Nonetheless, the book was a fun read.
Disclosure: I received a
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cartography
I was fascinated with this book and the maps Ian Wright has collected for this book. Who will enjoy this book? Ian Wright says it best in his introduction: "If you love maps, trivia or just learning more about our world, then I think you'll love this book." The folks at have done a wonderful job of standardizing all the maps included in the book. As a retired cartographer & geographer, I never knew there were so many countries without rivers. There are seventeen. The one map ...more
Olivia L
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant indeed! Within a couple of pages I found myself muttering, "Wow!'—and then again, page after page. This is a very unique and interesting reference book. I fully intend to recommend it to my son's teacher as a possible addition to their curriculum.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and Ian Wright for an ARC of 'Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds' in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book! It has fascinating maps that any map nerd would adore.
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