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Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will

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A rare and beautifully illustrated journey to fifty faraway worlds.

There are still places on earth that are unknown. Visually stunning and uniquely designed, this wondrous book captures fifty islands that are far away in every sense-from the mainland, from people, from airports, and from holiday brochures. Author Judith Schalansky used historic events and scientific reports as a springboard for each island, providing information on its distance from the mainland, whether its inhabited, its features, and the stories that have shaped its lore. With stunning full-color maps and an air of mysterious adventure, Atlas of Remote Island is perfect for the traveler or romantic in all of us.

144 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2009

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About the author

Judith Schalansky

29 books171 followers
Judith Schalansky studied Art History at the FU Berlin and Communication Design at the Fachhochschule Potsdam. After finishing her studies in 2007 she taught Typographic Basics at the Fachhochschule Potsdam until 2009.
Her first publication was the typographic compendium Fraktur mon Amour. From then she switched more to writing books for which she also did the graphical design. In 2008 she debuted with the novel Blau steht dir nicht.

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5 stars
1,957 (46%)
4 stars
1,511 (35%)
3 stars
635 (14%)
2 stars
108 (2%)
1 star
34 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 596 reviews
Profile Image for B Schrodinger.
305 reviews659 followers
June 21, 2014
On a wonderfully warm and cloudless winter solstice day I took this volume on a picnic and was engrossed for a few hours with the beautiful maps and the equally beautiful stories that accompanied them. While Judith Schalansky proves to be another of my fellow map nerds along with Simon Garfield and Ken Jennings, Judith's history has a unique slant on the usual type of nerdery.

Judith grew up in East Germany during the late 80's and early 90's. So her primary school years were filled with communist propoganda and maps on walls that showed a world that was unavailable to most East German citizens. Judith still managed to get her small hands on a children's world atlas and went on imaginary trips like the rest of us. When she was in her teenage years the Berlin wall fell, Germany was reunited and Judith was faced with infinite possibilities to travel to these strange lands that had filled her imagination.

Judith has produced a blindingly brilliant and different atlas that combines what we carto-nerds love in maps with stories from history. After a lengthy but fascinating introduction full of insight we are treated to a multitude of island each arranged by ocean. Each island has two pages dedicated to it, the right hand page a map at the 1:125000 scale and the left hand page has a gloabal locator, the nearest other land and a timeline of discovery and events. But below this Judith gives a little story for each. We get to enjoy stories of penguin burning, whale hunting, Robinson Crusoes, idyllic atolls, atomic bombs, murder, infanticide and cannibalism.

A book that proves to be both physically and descriptively beautiful and yet captures what makes carto-nerds tick is a rare thing. It's a book to treasure and have a physical copy of, especially in hardback. Highly recommended for those of us who adore all maps.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,050 followers
August 12, 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.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,862 reviews5,006 followers
February 5, 2017
This is the anti-travel book. You've never been to these places, and if you know what's good for you, you never will. The author has never seen them, either. In fact, hardly any living person has been to these spots, and with good reason.

Profile Image for Tony.
906 reviews1,516 followers
March 27, 2011
It came in a box with another book and a CD, delivered to my front porch and awaiting me Friday night. At first look, it seemed scant. A large-type introduction, as if to exaggerate the number of pages. Some maps of islands with brief written observations on the facing page. I read a few. Cute, but I was already in the middle of a novel I was really enjoying and this could wait on a coffee table, where maybe it would belong.

Came Saturday morning, and the novel stood next to the Atlas. My hand flexed, like a divining rod, and picked up the Atlas. And I barely put it down again until I traveled around the world.

Fifty remote islands. Mostly uninhabited. One where people never walked. One where, until the 1990s, fewer people had trod than on the moon. Some where only bones remain. Yet, one has been inhabited for 3,000 years, the thousand residents following an extreme form of zero population growth. Some can not yield vegetation. One, thanks to massive bird droppings, is pure phosphate. On another, inbreeding has caused 10 per cent of the 250 inhabitants to be color blind; and they prefer it so. Children born on another island die within eight days. One will sink into the ocean forever, maybe next month, maybe next year; you can still go there if you are not a researcher or a missionary. One was the stage for a notorious murder. These islands gave an ephemeral glance of the Transit of Venus, watched Amelia Earhart fly to her death, and hosted the Bounty's mutiny. On one, six soldiers raised a flag. There are songs and sex. The New Zealand Department of Conservatism sends nine volunteers for six month stays on another island with no other inhabitants; climbing skills and practical experience in maintaining buildings an advantage (Address for applications included). In this book you will find the ends of the earth and its navel.

Every island has a story. Yes, Atlas of Remote Islands is a slim volume, but every sentence is perfect. Fraulein Schalansky has been flawlessly translated. This book will indeed have a home on my coffee table, not because it is voluptuous, but because I will re-read it often and will want it handy.

I will not read a cooler book this year.

One thing about the Atlas befuddles me though. It is subtitled: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will. What? How can you write a book like this and not want to go there? Never? Really?

Memo to self: I know what you're thinking. You want to go to all 50 islands before you die. You can't. Some are physically impossible. Some would be too expensive. And, anyhow, you don't have enough time left. But, you should go to at least one of them before you die. And recommend just such a trip to those on your friend list who like to travel and prefer an adventure. Pukapuka is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and has 600 inhabitants. Surely one of them would have a cold beer for an old pilgrim.

Memo to others: The CD that came in the box was Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons. It proved, coincidentally, to be the perfect soundtrack for reading this book!
Profile Image for gwayle.
661 reviews49 followers
July 30, 2011
This book drove me crazy. The author includes fifty islands, most unfamiliar to a general audience (Iwo Jima and Easter Island are the only ones I recognized). Each spread includes information like the island's name, area, number of residents, etymology of the name, parent country, distance from other locations, timeline of major events, a small map of where island is in relation to major continents, and a larger map of the island itself. The brief text that accompanies this is liable to go in any whimsical direction the author fancies: for Tromelin, for example, you learn about a shipwreck in 1760; survivors were rescued sixteen years later. Fascinating, but what about that tantalizing "4 residents" up in the left hand corner? Similarly, Christmas Island has 1,402 inhabitants but the text focuses on crabs and ants. Frustrating!

Several of the stories are so moving and interesting, though, that they somewhat mitigate this unforgivable teasing. The story of the boy (Marc Liblin) who learned a different language in his dreams only to discover thirty-odd years later that it's the dialect of some remote island... But most of these stories are very dark, come to think of it. She says in the intro, "Paradise is an island. So is hell." This book is much more focused on hell than paradise: islands are places of starvation, rape, genetic deformities due to inbreeding, extreme poverty, shipwrecks, brutal penal colonies, population control by suicide of unmarried women in bad crop years--the list goes on.

An interesting and romantic idea, but I doubt I'll remember more than one or two of the entries in a month. Don't take this book to the beach unless you can access Wikipedia on your phone: believe me, you'll be stopping every other entry to look up what's been left out in this unsatisfying treatment. 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Ubik 2.0.
920 reviews223 followers
May 28, 2018
La sindrome Robinson Crusoe

L’idea di partenza era affascinante, senza dubbio: individuare le isole più disperse, nascoste, sconosciute, spesso disabitate, sparse come sassolini nei punti più solitari degli oceani e metterne in luce le particolarità. Idea magnifica per i “figli dell’Atlante” come si autodefinisce l’autrice e come potrei considerarmi io stesso, benché ormai sia un figlio dell’Atlante adottato da Google Maps.

Il problema fondamentale del libro, che dopo una decina di isole comincia ad annoiare il lettore anzi l’esploratore, è che la Schalansky, con spirito teutonico, ha scelto di privilegiare la simmetria e la geometria dell’opera, in effetti molto ben levigata e confezionata, a scapito della sostanza delle informazioni riservate ad ognuno dei 50 pezzi di terra considerati; ad ognuno di essi viene dedicata una paginetta di lunghezza quasi identica, che si tratti di una specie di pezzo di ghiaccio quasi attaccato all’Antartide oppure di un meraviglioso atollo tropicale o una mitica Thule densa di storia, paesaggi, leggende, abitanti.

Ne consegue che la lettura de “L’Atlante” dà l’impressione, ad ogni capitolo/isola, che il contenuto sia troppo stringato o viceversa gonfiato per conseguire la dimensione della fatidica paginetta: in alcuni casi addirittura dell’isola non si parla affatto e tutto il testo o quasi è riservato a cenni biografici o peripezie del navigatore capitato da quelle parti, generalmente grazie al caso sotto forma di tempesta o errore delle carte.

Anche gli aspetti ambientali, il paesaggio, la flora, la fauna, le rade abitazioni che talora si intravedono (con Google Maps, naturalmente…) sono quasi del tutto trascurati, forse perché si fa appello alla nostra fantasia per colmare le lacune o forse perchè il rigido schema non lo permetteva.

Nonostante tutto resta insopprimibile il fascino dei luoghi remoti che si traduce nel pensiero di come reagirebbe la parte del nostro io più propensa all’eremitaggio nell’essere realmente catapultati là, una sindrome Robinson Crusoe cui nessuno è del tutto immune, credo. Alcuni di quei luoghi sembrano agghiaccianti nella loro inospitalità, ad altri ci si potrebbe fare un pensierino ma non dico quali, altrimenti rischierei ben presto di udire squillare il cellulare di Venerdì!
Profile Image for Thomas Stroemquist.
1,481 reviews122 followers
March 13, 2016
The mouse-over tooltip for five stars here on Goodreads reads "it was amazing" and seldom have I come across a book to fit the bill better. I was blown away by this wonderful atlas of islands already during the foreword. The imagery of the author at eight, traveling the world by tracing a route with her finger in her atlas and her mother advising her to "take the Panama canal, that's the shortest route" is powerful and very vivid. She brought her fascination with maps, atlases and islands in particular with her into adulthood. Her descriptions, insights and unique views of them moved and fascinated me and I don't think I will ever look at an atlas the same way again.

The foreword was, as it should, just an introduction to things to come. Each island is presented with a few base facts, a page of text - often a historical account and then another page with a map. The stories are carefully chosen and gives just enough to invoke imagination, fascination, thrill or possibly dread. But that's not all! Often the laconic facts are enough to get the mind spinning; sometimes we're given a story of a village and society a hundred years ago, or two hundred years ago but when eyes fall upon the short facts, it says "uninhabited" or we learn of an island being abandoned or evacuated a long time ago and the same row states "4 residents" and my mind reels. Why? Who are they? What happened?

Here are islands with abandoned research stations, islands where half of the newborns succumbed to the "8-day sickness" in the late 1800's, islands with legends of buried treasures, islands where ships cannot make port. Where 120 million crabs reside and migrate to the sea at a given time of the year, horrible penal colony sites. Islands where a large number of the inhabitants are truly colorblind, where shipwrecked has built colonies, islands where cultures have blossomed and then vanished. Easter Island, Bear Island, the island never found by Amelia Earhart. And Antipodes Island, where the discoverer in 1800 realized that he was almost exactly opposite Greenwich and therefore as far away from home as he could be while still on the planet. And every route home was equally long. Actually, none of the 50 islands will leave you indifferent.

Wonderful book and very highly recommended.

Deception Island
Profile Image for Andrea.
770 reviews30 followers
November 26, 2017
Written, designed and even typeset by the author, this is an exquisite little book to read. In terms of content, I think it is compelling in a car-crash kind of way; disturbing and at times horrific, but difficult to turn away from. Some of the stories I was familiar with, and I've even visited one of these fifty remote islands, but overall I agree with the author who says in her introduction what I found on my journey were not models of romantic, alternative ways of living, but islands one might wish had remained undiscovered: unsettlingly barren places whose riches lay in the multitude of terrible events that had befallen them.

Like any other atlas, the islands are grouped into regions - in this case by ocean - and each entry includes the name, alternate names, the ruling or owning territory, the co-ordinates, the size, the number of inhabitants, a few distance comparisons to establish remoteness, and a timeline with some historical facts. Then we get a detailed topographical map of the island followed by an anecdote (generally 2 pages long) where the horrors unfold! It's almost like an anti-travel guide!

A couple of stories that will stay with me are those of St Kilda, beyond the outermost of the Outer Hebrides in the Atlantic Ocean, with the mystery of its infant deaths, and Rapa Iti in French Polynesia (Pacific Ocean), where a Frenchman went to live with his bride, the only woman who understands him, after learning an unknown language in his dreams as a child.
Profile Image for Anima Miejska.
336 reviews71 followers
May 1, 2021
Przepiękna w warstwie graficznej, liryczna w warstwie tekstu, stworzona do wielokrotnych powrotów!
Profile Image for dontpanic.
39 reviews19 followers
December 18, 2020
Méltatlanul elhanyagolt könyv, Molyon szinte teljesen üres az adatlapja, pedig hazájában díjnyertes kötet.

Egy biblioterapeuta kollégám kapcsán ismertem meg, aki csoportot is szervezett a szövegei köré. Azóta ácsingózom a könyvre, és egy leárazáson sikerült is elcsípnem lélektani határ alatti áron. :D

Vonzanak a szigetek, valahogy összekapcsolódik ez a hajómániámmal, van valami a tengerekkel, óceánokkal, ami vonz, különféle aspektusokból (gyerekkoromban bálna- és delfinmániás - is - voltam).

A sziget egy kis univerzum, az egység, a teljesség képzetét kelti, de emellett elsziget(!)eltséget is jelképez, nehéz a közelébe férkőzni, megismerni a belső világát, mindig idegen maradsz, ha nem oda születtél.

Igen, talán ez a megismerésre csábító, meglepetéseket, titkokat rejtő különálló univerzum, ami vonz a szigetekben.

Ez a kötet egy atlasz, de annál sokkal több is. A szerző abszolút profi kartográfus, a szigetek rajzai tűpontosak, és teljeskörű geográfiai infókat is kapunk a szigetekről: elhelyezkedés, szélességi, hosszúsági körökkel, a világtérképen való helye, legközelebb található szárazföld, kis történelem, legfontosabb eseményekkel... szóval a tények szerelmesei elégedettek lehetnek.

De a művészetek, líra, történetek szerelmesei se maradnak hoppon, mert mindegyik szigethez tartozik egy rövidke fejezet is. Na, ezek voltak a legmeglepőbbek a számomra. Valamiért azt hittem, Wikipédia-szócikkszerű összefoglalót kapok majd a szigetekről, persze utólag belegondolva ennek nem sok értelme lett volna, arra ott a Wikipédia. :P Nem, ezek lírai, impresszionista szövegek, nem annyira tényekkel, mint hangulatokkal, képekkel. Eleinte ez frusztrált, én érdekességeket akartam megtudni a szigetekről, nem rejtélyes impressziókat, de aztán megbarátkoztam a stílussal. És változóak voltak a szövegek, volt ami konkrétabb volt, volt, ami kevésbé. Egészen hihetetlen történetek bomlottak ki a lapokon, rejtélyes nyelveken megszólaló emberekről, többezer mérföldnyire sodródó csónakokról, titokzatos halálesetekről, érdekes állatokról, fura szokásokról.
Azért nem tudtam megállni, hogy ne üljek le az internet elé, és ne keressek rá az említett szigetekre. Volt olyan sztori, amit konkrétan nem hittem el, de aztán neten megtaláltam az embert, akiről szólt... hihetetlen háttérmunka van ebben a kötetben, mert sokszor nem a legalapvetőbb dolgokat írta le a szerző az adott földdarabról, hanem igen is utánament a mélyebb rétegeknek.
De az biztos, hogy jó móka utánaolvasni ezeknek a szigeteknek. Végül is ez egy felfedezés, nem elégszik meg az ember az elétárt infókkal, ő megy utána, még ha csak a net hullámain is, és bejár mindenféle rejtekutat, az atlasz meg csak az irányt mutatja.

Azt is imádtam, hogy mindenféle területről kaptunk szigeteket. Valahogy, amikor kezembe vettem a könyvet, a trópusi szigetek jutottak eszembe, de hát ez nem teljes kép így, hiszen ott vannak a sarkvidéki szigetek is, vagy a köztes területeken lévők. Úgy éreztem, bejártam az egész földgolyót az olvasás alatt.

Nagyon nem tudtam hova tenni ezt a könyvet sokáig, és igazándiból csak akkor tudtam úgy ténylegesen értékelni, amikor elolvastam ezt az interjút a szerzővel:

Leírja, hogy még a kék színnek is jelentősége van, amit kiválasztott a könyv alapjául, illetve hogy ugyanúgy kolonizálta a szigetekről írt sztorikat, ahogy a felfedezők ezeket a területeket. (Így már megértettem azt is, miért olyanok a szövegek, amilyenek.)

Ez a könyv valami nagyon egyedi módon ötvözi a tudományosságot a művésziességgel, és egy utánozhatatlan, különleges elegyet kapunk belőle. Valahogy közel került hozzám a könyv szerzője, úgy éreztem, biztosan jóban lennénk. Rendkívül különleges módon tekinthet ez a nő a világra, és örültem neki, hogy egy kicsit beengedett a saját, egyedülálló univerzumába, hogy ellágogathattam az ő szigetére.

Ajánlom mindenkinek, aki szereti a különleges utazásokat. ;)
Profile Image for ^.
907 reviews58 followers
January 20, 2015
Physically, this is a very lovely book. In concept it is surely a contender for the ultimate expression of armchair journalism on Earth?

The proportions and weight of this book makes it deeply satisfying to hold. I love the very feel of the paper; the minimal palette of colour; the (frustratingly unspecified) fonts used to set the texts. In relief, each island is positioned on a background of water-cool pale greyish-blue; annotated with bays and settlements, points and capes, lesser islands, sand, ice, roadways, and more. Atolls convey a sense of hovering half-formed between dry land and wet reef.

Edward Tufte would, I believe, wholeheartedly approve of the design layout of information within this book. It’s beautiful, functional, and profoundly informative. With admirable elegance and economy, the thoughtful design behind this book ‘talks’ to its reader of data visual and numerical; the source and weight of which communicates understanding of the precise position inhabited on our planet by each of fifty chosen islands; some well known, most lesser known. All that was required of me was to use my eyes, native intelligence, and subconscious to select, recognise, assess and combine the subtle (and not so subtle) information-rich signals of communication.

Fifty islands ‘explored’ by the author and reader solely through the maps and writings of others. Ah! Therein lay my only problem with this book; and one that grew to be surprisingly irritatingly annoying (to me): the accompanying block text. This book has no bibliography. The (East German) author admits that she writes in tales; that over the course of centuries, facts have become fictionalised. She claims that her (un-evidenced) research is both extensive and factual; verily that from ancient and rare books she has ‘transformed’ and ‘appropriated’ texts . “… as sailors appropriate the lands they discover.”.

I skip-read every left hand page of such text. Soap bubbles popped and burst and wept their watery regrets. What I had expected would be a deeply satisfying elegant exposition on the page had been casually sabotaged through a lost opportunity. I craved facts, not factoids. Here was disappointment with a capital ‘D’. All I could temporarily retrieve was some satisfaction in the use of a yellow double “//” to indicate the end of a paragraph and the beginning of the next (on the same line). Some consolation! Meanwhile I wistfully speculated on the chances (if any) that the author and publisher just might be sufficiently kind and commercially minded enough to produce a second, different. version of this book, to market alongside this first one?

Meantime, licking my wounded hopes, I’ve retreated to the World Wide Web, and NASA’s wonderful webpages describing the exploration of Mars.
Profile Image for Kirstine.
453 reviews566 followers
March 21, 2016
This is genuinely a delightful book. And it’s such an original concept. I mean, how often do you think of islands? Really think of islands? Not very often? Me either.

Judith Schalansky however, has thought about islands a lot, and she shares it with the world in this beautiful book. Each island takes up two pages, one with a small description and one with a simple, but wonderful illustration of the island. The description is not a description per se, it’s more a selected story about the island itself, a piece of its history or a story that relates to the island in some way.

I know that islands exist, of course, but I had no idea that so many of them were so inaccessible, or that some of them have got such a rich, weird, grotesque or down right horrible history. I just love it, I love hearing about these weird, odd details about the world, that there exists places we'd be hard pressed to access, we've been to the moon for godssake, but some of these islands? Of course we probably won't put in the effort, considering we might not find anything interesting, but some of these stories certainly tell you otherwise.

Some of the stories Schalansky shares are incredible in their awfulness or ridiculousness. Some of these islands contain so much mystery, and events we’ll never learn the truth of. Some of them have inhabitants and societies with rules, laws and norms that directly defy what we think is right, or thought possible. There’s Tikopia, for instance, with a population of 1200 and not more, because this is the number of people the island can feed. Population control was of utmost importance and apparently involved people voluntarily killing themselves, killing babies if they knew they couldn’t feed them down the line, celibacy etc. I don’t think they do this anymore, but still. Holy shit. There’s the Floreana island, where a school teacher and a dentist moved to live alone and naked (it would seem), then another woman and two of her lovers arrived as well and this new woman terrorizes the island. Everyone ends up dead, but the schoolteacher who returns to the mainland, the skeleton of one of them is found on an entirely different island; no one knows what happened. Some of it is downright unbelievable. There’s a story about a boy who learns a language through dreams that’s only spoken on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean where he’s never been. Some guy gets eaten by penguins? It’s incredible.

The stories go from descriptive, to be about historical events, recent events, events that are curious, mysterious, events we recognize, or it’s things we, most likely, have no idea ever took place. Schalansky captures what it is that makes islands, to her, so captivating and interesting. They’re vastly different, there are islands from all over the world, with different nature, size, animals, accessibility, histories. One island had had, until recently, less people on it than there had been on the moon. It’s such a delightful way to show how odd and weird and incredible the earth is. And islands, in their isolation, in their disregard for what happens all over the rest of the world, feel removed, foreign and strange, it’s seeing earth in a new way, a reminder that there’s so much that’s wild, untamed, untouched and mysterious on this planet still.

I wish she’d been more precise in the descriptions sometimes. She could have added a few dates to let us know if the story is new or old, and sometimes the stories were a little sparse on information, making it difficult to figure out exactly what she was trying to tell. I always would have liked her to include, in a few instances, more about the actual island and not just some vaguely related story (they were still interesting stories though). All island illustrations also had these yellow markings, but nowhere is it described what they're for. Sometimes you can figure it out, sometimes not, so maybe that should have been added.

But my critique is minimal, and honestly, it’s a beautifully illustrated book of 50 islands with peculiar, fascinating stories. Definitely the sort of book you’d like for your coffee table. Or if you want islands to be cool again. Or if you like maps, islands or pretty books. It's honestly very versatile.
Profile Image for Karen Witzler.
477 reviews157 followers
June 24, 2021
Five Stars because I suspect it will grow on me with time and I will wish I had my own copy to pore over with my (as yet unborn) grandchildren. A library book - the price for used copies is rising as we speak, because this is a book to hold in your hands, a book made in defiance of the e-reader, or heaven forbid, the audiobook. Judith Schalansky has situated a finely detailed drawing of each island on its own page, colored a soft pale ocean blue. Endpapers and chapter delineations include, alongside the blue, a deep gold- orange; a setting sun that would serve the north, the south, the tropics.
Island on the right, printed words on the left, giving details the writer has discovered in her scholarly and artistic pursuits. A narrative is formed and a moment frozen in the writer's time. The book keeps its own scale, so that some islands occupy one-third of the pale blue oceanic page, while others only one-twentieth. Tetanus on St. Kilda, color-blindness on Pingelap, I know that I will think of these places after and long for my big unfolding half- table size atlas that I was convinced to give up while downsizing and emigrating into this older age.

Not only for adults, because though some unsavory habits and unhappy histories are detailed, a curious sort of child would like it, too.
Profile Image for Rafal.
315 reviews18 followers
May 19, 2021
Bardzo dobre i piękne wydanie, ale nie bez wad.
Wydruk map jest czasem nieczytelny, nie widać wszystkich nazw na poszczególnych mapach.

Ale poza tym sam pomysł jest świetny: szczegółowy geograficzny opis różnych niezwykłych, dzikich i egzotycznych miejsc, o których istnieniu nie miałem pojęcia (parę wyjątków było, takich jak Wyspa Św. Heleny czy Iwo Jima, gdzie także historie z tych miejsc były znajome), wsparte fajnie napisanymi historiami związanymi z tymi miejscami.
Czasem historie były przerażające a czasem po prostu ładne. A wszystkie niezłe literacko.
Naprawdę wartościowa i oryginalna książka. Nie tylko do przeczytania, ale też do zaglądania.
Profile Image for Isidora.
254 reviews105 followers
February 15, 2016
Fifty remote islands. The author didn't see them. I will probably never visit them. Every island has a story, beautiful like a fairy tale, and a beautiful map. This is a very good way to get through the winter.
Profile Image for Robert.
816 reviews44 followers
December 17, 2019
This is such a bizarre premise for a book - and yet likely to appeal to anybody who has ever been an Atlas Adventurer - someone who explored the world and their imagination using only an atlas. Well, I did that as a kid and even now, so the idea of vicariously exploring these oscure places appealed to me a lot. Vicariously at two removes, since the author hasn't been to any of them, either. (I have met people who've been to two of the places in this book, though.)

The design of the book is amazing, compressing a remarkable amount of geographical and historical information into two pages for each island whilst retaining clarity and aesthetic appeal, as all atlases should. I suspect researching such obscure places was also a challenge even with access to the power of the internet.

Elegent, interesting and unique; a fabulous book.
Profile Image for Pavle.
415 reviews142 followers
February 4, 2021
Ilustracije i koncept knjige ne uspevaju da je izdignu od toga da bude suštinski gimmick književne vrste, jer pasusi koji opisuju ostrva često nisu ništa drugo do lirski prepričani izvodi iz Vikipedije. Dobro u vreme korone, kada mozak mašta o dalekim mestima, ali izuzev toga ne vidim ovde ništa više do ukrasa.
Profile Image for Courtney Johnston.
388 reviews149 followers
March 9, 2011
Envy is not a pretty emotion. It makes you feel empty, and small. Thankfully my delight in Judith Schalansky's 'Atlas of Remote Islands' was great enough to overwhelm the occasional twinge of envy that she, and not I, has made something that I find so utterly covetable. (Made worse, let's be honest, when I just discovered that she's a year younger than me).

Of course, I couldn't have created this book: it grows entirely out of Schalansky's own self. Her discovery of the household atlas as an eight-year-old in East Germany - her incredulity that places out there exist:

I grew up with an atlas. And as a child of the atlas, I had never travelled. The fact that a girl in my class had actually been born in Helsinki felt unimaginable. ... To this day, I am baffled by Germans born, for example, in Nairobi or Los Angeles. Of course I know that Nairobi and Los Angeles exist - they are on the maps. But that someone has actually been there or even been born there still feels incredible to me.

her recognition early in life that maps depict only one of many stories:

Then I looked for my country: the German Democratic Republic. East Germans could not travel, only the Olympic team were allowed beyond our borders. It took a frighteningly long time to find. It was pink and tiny as my fingernail. This was hard to equate: at the Seoul Olympics we had been a force to reckon with, with had won more medals than the United States: how could we suddenly be so infinitesimal?

the sudden expanding of her horizons:

My love for atlases endured when a year later everything else changed: when it suddenly became possible to travel the world, and the country I was born in disappeared from the map. But by then I had already grown used to travelling through the atlas by finger, whispering foreign names to myself as I conquered distant worlds in my parents' sitting room.

Aesthetically, Schalansky's book is one of the most gorgeous things I've handled. This is another part of the uniqueness of her vision - it is all her work: writer, typographer, illustrator. She limits her palette to black, grey, plover-egg blue and brilliant orange, and then she makes magic within her own restrictions. Each double-page spread features on the right a scale drawing of the selected island, carefully etched with place names in fine cursive script; on the left, a catalogue of information, including alternate names, size, number of inhabitants or residents, distance from other land and a brief timeline (I am in love with the slanting lines of these of the distance measurements and timelines).

But the real magic is in the short pieces of text - almost prose poems - that accompany each of the 50 islands. The book is sub-titled 'Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will', and the entries lie somewhere between research and hallucination, like the author feel asleep over her papers and dreamed of these faraway places, awoke, and tried to capture that feeling of distance, strangeness, heat, cold, the incessant beat of the waves.

The tales range from Amelia Earhart's disappearance to a band of women stoving in a men's head with a shovel; killer crabs to infanticide; burning penguins to treasure maps. I limited myself to no more than five or six islands a day when reading the book, so I wouldn't become used to Schalansky's style and start skim reading. Instead, I tried to absorb each entry slowly, and to stay in her world. Every entry is in the present tense, whether the story is from the 1800s, the 2000s or an unnamed time - this lends them both an immediacy and a timelessness. My heart thrilled to some mentions - Thule has been part of my imagination since a childhood soaked in Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman Britain, Tristan da Cunha since sighting William Hodgkins' majestic oil paintings, the Scandinavian names feels strangely like home, a combination of poring over Norse myths and Roald Dahl's childhood biography.

I had to resist turning between each entry and a quick trip into Wikipedia to fact check and fill in the gaps. I'm glad now that I did, that rather than trying to turn the book into non-fiction I let it stay in the litterol space it was conceived in. I am happy to have that time inside Schalansky's imagination, and to let mine roam free too.
Profile Image for Brendan Monroe.
572 reviews151 followers
May 18, 2019
Everything about this book is beautiful. And I do mean everything. The illustrations, the font, the binding, and the text itself.

If these read dates are accurate, then I started reading this just over a year ago, on May 14th. I was about to embark on a trip to the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues and thought, "what could be better than reading a book about remote islands while on somewhat remote islands?"

Not much, really. But this is so much more than a beach read. It took me over a year to finish this not because I didn't enjoy it but because, at an all-too-brief 144 pages, I wanted to savor it, to read and think about each island in depth, one at a time.

And you will think. You'll find that you won't be able to just breeze through this, reading one entry after the next. And you shouldn't. This book demands your concentration. It urges contemplation.

"Atlas of Remote Islands" covers 50 different islands. There is a page of text on each, along with a map of each on the opposite page. The text varies wildly. Some of the "stories", if we can call them that, speak to the geography — often harsh — of the island, while others speak of documented historical events, and others still speculate about past or present life on the island.

This isn't a novel, nor is it really an atlas. It is an adventure — a way to travel to these islands without the detailed planning, and immense sums, that physically getting there would require. This gorgeous book is the best gift you could give any traveler or anyone who desires to travel in the slightest.

For me, too, paradise has always been an island. When I think about the places that have most resonated with me on my travels, they have all been — with few exceptions — islands. Iceland, La Digue, Crete, Rodrigues — each different but each special in its own way.

My love for islands extends back into childhood when even the tiniest strip of land in the midst of the smallest body of water represented something like solace and safety to me. My love for islands arose around the same time I discovered my love for reading so that some of the first books I ever read I gravitated towards because they were about islands. So it was that I read books like Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island. I even owe my discovery of certain authors, like Michel Houellebecq and Umberto Eco, to the fact that they had books with the word "island" in their titles — The Possibility of an Island and The Island of the Day Before.

Films too. I remember anticipating "Cast Away" for months before it came out, as well as Ted Danson's TV adaptation of "Gulliver's Travels". I spent what felt like several agonizing months awaiting the release of the two-bit (and, if memory serves, much delayed) remake of "Robinson Crusoe" with Pierce Brosnan in the title role.

Point is, I've read and watched a lot I otherwise wouldn't have as a result of my love of islands, a love echoed only by that for bridges, which are special, mainly, because they often lead to islands. So when I saw this book in a bookshop in Rome, I knew I had to have it.

East German-born author Judith Schalansky has truly done something remarkable here. She hasn't just written fantastical, poetic texts to accompany each island in the book, she's also designed, illustrated, and typeset it. If that weren't enough, she opens with an absolutely masterful piece called "Paradise is an island. So is hell." I was smitten with the cover, but I fell in love while reading that introduction.

We all have an island, or two, we'd like to escape to. For me, it's Pitcairn Island — an island that, when you look at a globe, appears to be the perfect distance from every landmass.

Which is to say, very distant.
Profile Image for Ints.
735 reviews72 followers
December 30, 2015
Nesen izlasīju vienu grāmatu par kartēm “Off the map”, kad biju viņu goodreads pareizi iegrāmatojis, man tika piedāvāts izlasīt arī šo grāmatu. Kartes ir mana vājība, nav tā, ka es būtu dikti uz viņām kritis, bet no atvērta atlanta mani ir grūti dabūt prom. Ja zina, ko ar viņām darīt, tad var iegūt daudz informācijas. Joka pēc papētīju arī šo grāmatu un sapratu, ka man viņu vajag un vajag tūlīt. Līdz tūlītam gan bija jāpaciešas trīs nedēļas, jo bookdepository pēdējā laikā izmanto gliemežu pastu, taču pēc saņemšanas izlasīju es viņu divos vakaros.

Uz pasaules joprojām ir daudzas vietas, kas lielākoties ir nezināmas, tādas, uz kurām tikai daži cilvēki ir spēruši savu kāju, ir tādas, kuras ir apdzīvotas, taču atrodas tik tālu no pārējās pasaules, ka nevienam nerūp līdz turienei aizdoties. Taču visnomaļākās ir salas, tās ir kā mazi atsevišķi kontinenti, kurus no pārējās pasaules šķir lieli attālumi. Viņas nav tūrisma ceļvežos, jo tajās nav ko redzēt un apmeklēt. Doties apskatīt klinti okeānā spēj atļauties tikai retais. Autore, izmantojot vēstures datus un zinātnisko ekspedīciju atskaites, mēģina lasītājam uzburt nelielu ainu par katru no šīm piecdesmit salām, sākot ar attālumiem līdz tuvākai sauszemei un beidzot ar smalki detalizētu karti.

Sākšu ar to, ka šo grāmatu nopirku vienkārši tādēļ, ka viņa ir skaista. Kartes pašas par sevi vienmēr ir skaistas, bet šai bija nostrādāts noformējums - gan krāsu salikums, gan fonts. Domāju, ka pat ja iekšā būs sarakstīts pilnīgs sviests, es tik un tā būšu ieguvējs, jo man būs veselas piecdesmit dīvainu un nomaļu vietu kartes. Kāda ir jēga no šīm kartēm tautsaimniecībā, tas gan ir pavisam cits jautājums. Vienu vārdu sakot, biju sajūsmā par grāmatas izpildījumu vien.

Taču jāpiezīmē, ka stāsti par pašām salām nudien nav peļami. Var uzzināt gan par tālu salu Pingelap, kurā praktiski visi iedzīvotāji neatšķir krāsas, reiz gandrīz visi izmiruši, un kādam palicējam ir bijis samaitāts gēns. Par Tikopia salu, kura var uzturēt tikai 1’200 iedzīvotājus, kur nevēlamos bērnus atstāj nomirt, un bada gados vecākie iedzīvotāji un jaunākie bērni kāpj laivās, lai dotos okeānā uz neatgriešanos. Par salām, kuras apciemo tikai putni un valzirgi, kurās reiz ir bijušas vaļu ķērāju bāzes, bet nu jau desmitiem gadu neviens vairs nedzīvo. Par salām, uz kurām nedzīvo pat metrologi. Par salām, kuras tagad kalpo kā militārās bāzes. Par Pitkērnu, kur praktiski visi iedzīvotāji tiek vainoti pedofilijā. Šajā ziņā salām ir dažādas un daudzveidīgas vēstures.

Ja par faktoloģiskām lietām piesieties ir grūti, tad daži salu stāsti man raisīja aizdomas, piemēram, par vīrieti, kurš no bērnības runāja nesaprotamā valodā līdz satika kādu sievieti, kura arī runāja šajā valodā, un izrādījās, ka ir sala, kurā runā šajā valodā. Tas izklausījās pēc pasakas atstāsta. Tomēr pret pārējiem 49 stāstiem man iebildumi neradās.

Grāmatai lieku 10 no 10 ballēm, skaista grāmata, kuru var gan palasīt, gan papētīt. Var nelasīt visu vienā vakarā, bet lēnā garā. Var nelasīt vispār, bet vienkārši pētīt kartes. Nav jau tā, ka uz visām pieminētajām salām nav vērts braukt, Lieldienu salu es labprāt apmeklētu, bet ceļojumam uz arktiskajām un antarktiskajām salām nudien mani būtu grūti piedabūt. Iesaku izlasīt visiem, kurus atlasi neatstāj vienaldzīgus. Uzzināsiet daudz jauna par nezināmām vietām.
Profile Image for GoldGato.
1,140 reviews40 followers
April 19, 2019
This is such a lovely book, I would have purchased it no matter what was inside. It turned out very well indeed as I learned so much about the various islands described, along with particular historical events. Of course, I also learned that maybe I never want to be shipwrecked on some of these islands.

Paradise is an island. So is hell.

Here are fifty lands where everything may not be quite as rosy as we think. Admittedly, some of us armchair dreamers may wish for a desert isle type of existence. Until, of course, we lose our daily comforts. As Judith Schalansky notes early on, islands are there to be conquered not to provide peaceful living. I won't list every island she details, but here are some of the ones that jumped out to me.

In the Arctic Ocean lies this cold and barren piece of land. Previously used by the Soviet Union as a polar observatory, now only ruins are left behind. A dinosaur skeleton was found here.
...abandoned buildings doze in the belly of the bay...

One big glacier seemingly, used as a staging area for polar expeditions.
Thus far and no further.

Beyond the outermost of the Outer Hebrides, this island of tetanus destroyed most of the babies born there, before the final evacuation.
The island's future is written in its graveyard.

Here in the Atlantic Ocean is a wasteland of cooled lava. No one lives here, they only come here to work at the tracking station.
They are eavesdropping on the continents, listening to the world, to the universe, to the infinity of outer space.

Most Cape Verdeans no longer live on the islands where they were born. Volcanic.
It is the longing for an unnameable moment in the past, for a distant land, for a long-lost home.

The island now famous for the UFO seen by many different people. It is a mysterious place.
Over and over again, someone out on a walk disappears without trace - washed away by waves several metres high, buried alive by a landslide or swallowed up by a crater.

The book is laid out well, with the description of the island on the left side and the map illustration on the right side. The islands are sectioned off by ocean and the front and back endpieces provide a clear view of where they are, globally. I definitely enjoyed this book and whether it's the translation or the original text, the writing is intriguing.

Book Season = Spring (faint cries in the sea)
Profile Image for Juan Naranjo.
Author 2 books2,350 followers
August 29, 2020
Como investigador de profesión y curioso de vocación, me hubiese gustado que las cincuenta anécdotas sobre sendas islas estuviesen mejor contextualizadas en la historia, mejor justificadas en su contexto y mejor documentadas (con más mapas, fotos, gráficas...). Pero ése no es el tipo de libro que tenemos entre manos, claro está. Como lector me ha gustado mucho la capacidad de crear misterio y el tipo de escritura (casi de epopeya épica, en algunos casos). Como viajero... ay, como viajero este pequeño atlas me ha abierto las carnes.
Profile Image for Laura Walin.
1,481 reviews47 followers
October 25, 2020
Lupauksensa mukaisesti tämä kirja on paitsi luettavaa, myös katsottavaa. Schalansky on valinnut kirjaan 50 pientä saarta ympäri maapalloa, ja jokainen saari esitellään samalla tavalla omalla aukeamallaan.

Otsikossa on saaren nimi (nimet) ja omistaja, koordinaatit, pinta-ala ja asukasmäärä. Tekstisivulla on joitakin etäisyyksiä ja joitakin poimintoja saaren tapahtumista, molemmat visuaalisesti janalla esitettynä. Varsinainen teksti on jokin tarina tai tunnelmakuva saaren historiasta.

Aukeaman oikeanpuoleinen sivu on varattu saaren kartalle, jossa Schalanskyn ohut viiva, yksityiskohtien pedanttisuus ja niukka värimaailma korostavat saarien eristäytyneisyyttä. Näiden pienten maapalojen kuviin voi uppoutua yllättävän pitkäksi aikaa, ja yhdessä tarinan kanssa ne synnyttävät vahvoja mielikuvia.

Kirja saisi muuten viisi tähteä, mutta mielestäni esipuhe - jossa on muun muassa paljon mielenkiintoista pohdintaa kartoista ja keskipisteen käsitteestä pallonmuotoisella objektilla - on taitettu epäesteettisesti. Kaukaisten saarten olemusta kunnioittaakseen se olisi kaivannut isommat marginaalit ja kevyemmän taiton.
Profile Image for Graychin.
761 reviews1,797 followers
July 7, 2018
Even today, I could spend hours looking at maps – but when I was twelve years old and had the hours to spare, I did. Any kind of map would do: world atlases and road atlases, globes and National Geographic maps, topographical maps, boating maps, flight maps, geological survey maps, weather maps, vegetation maps and species range maps, the maps you might find printed on the endpapers of history books or of art books, or scattered among the entries of an encyclopedia.

I soon began drawing my own maps. I practiced the shapes of states, countries (contemporary or historical), and continents until I was able to do a fair job with many of them by memory. I drew maps of imaginary places too. In the cartographic style immortalized by dog-eared Tolkien paperbacks, I carved out coastlines with my pencil, plotted rivers, raised up hills and mountains, and marked out villages and citadels. In pursuit of greater scale and detail, I taped together sheet after sheet of painstakingly drawn maps until they covered my bedroom floor in a sort of visual epic narrative.

Knowing my love of maps, my children got me a copy of Judith Schalansky’s Atlas of Remote Islands for Father’s Day this year and I couldn’t have been more pleased. It’s a beautiful, fascinating book. Schalansky’s avowed aim is to raise the genre of the atlas to the status of literature, and she rather succeeds. Each of the fifty islands included is tastefully illustrated; it’s situation, total area, and population (if applicable) are described; and notable points in its history are plotted on a timeline.

The real pleasure of the book, however, lies in the brief essay-vignettes Schalansky writes for each island, capturing a moment or event of local historical note, often from an oblique or unexpected point of view. Some poetic license is taken, for sure, but it works. Every page is a surprise. However, as Schalansky notes in her delightful introduction, islands may be little hells as well as little heavens, and the grim and diabolical element plays strongly here.

Open the book, hold its covers flat on the table, and within the 180-degree compass of its pages you will visit every conceivable island terrain, from the merest coral atoll at the equator to a scabbed shelf of ancient seabed thrown up above the waves of the circumpolar sea. You will meet adventurers, prisoners, madmen, hermits, pirates, mutineers, scientists, nudists, utopians, explorers, murderers, and self-proclaimed kings.

I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything quite like this book. It reminds me somehow of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities or of Melville’s Mardi, but it is very much its own thing: like an island.
Profile Image for Erica.
Author 11 books45 followers
June 15, 2013
The concept is fascinating: each island is drawn in exquisite detail in black, white, and orange (for cities and roads) and stranded on an expanse of pale blue. The layout evokes the isolation, the constant threat of the ocean. On the facing page is a small bit of factual information about the island: size, population, name, language, latitude & longitude, distances from three nearest land masses, and a timeline of its discovery. Below that is the text of the book, a single paragraph telling the story of a single aspect of the island. It is brief, clipped almost, and highly poetic prose that sometimes borders on cliché (“feathered tribe” for example) and I wonder about the translator striking that balance between accessibly poetic and trite. Though the language can get saccharine (an unusual problem in my experience of translations from German, so something I definitely wondered about) the facts are exquisitely chosen.

In some cases she focuses on the people, or a person: a horrifying historical event (hundreds of babies dying of tetanus), or something so surreal as to be unbelievable (Marc Liblin learning Rapa in his dreams as a six year old living in France). Sometimes its an environmental disaster, or surprising geographical feature. Very few are unremarkable – like most books intended for a mass market audience the pieces are dense with sensationalism disguised as fact. And some of these stories are easily verified by internet searching (the tetanus epidemic), and the sensationalism of the telling becomes quickly justified. But others, like the Marc Liblin story, is more or less unverifiable.

As a proponent of lying in creative non-fiction it doesn’t trouble me too much. The idea is the more important thing, and stories can have an emotional truth without having a journalistic truth. She asserts as much in the introduction:

“That’s why the question whether these stories are ‘true’ is misleading. All text in the book is based on extensive research and every detail stems from factual sources. I have not invented anything. However I was the discoverer of the sources, researching them through ancient and rare books and I have transformed the texts and appropriated them as sailors appropriate the lands they discover.” (20)

Of course the Marc Liblin story takes place in the 1960s, so sources would not have been in “ancient and rare books,” and yet the only hits from a google search are other reviews of this book. So what. The story has all the resonance of a Borges story, and for that reason I accept it as an imaginative truth if nothing else.

[Read the whole review: http://alluringlyshort.com/2013/06/15... ]
Profile Image for Trish.
1,352 reviews2,416 followers
December 11, 2014
Dip into this lovely small atlas anywhere and enjoy the fruits of Schalansky’s many years’ labor cataloging, mapping, labeling “Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will.” The drawings have a timeline and scale; they are labelled with longitude and latitude and are pinpointed on a globe. Each drawn island has contour with shading showing mountains, water, and plains. Each location sports a short introductory essay often including reports related by the earliest discoverers, or seafaring men who came upon these remote locations and told of what they found. The flyleaves show the islands pinpointed all together. A masterpiece of careful description, this wallet of dreams is something special for the sailor in all of us.

Consider this short essay about Pagan, a Pacific island 2,670 km from Manila and 840 km from Iwo Jima, discovered in 1669 by Diego Luis de Sanvitores:
The tallest mountain range in the world is underwater – where the Pacific plate converges with the Philippine plate in the Marianas Trench, several kilometres deep – and its smoking volcano cones rise out of the ocean.
Pagan is a double island of two of these volcanoes held together by a land mass, At its narrowest point, it is only a few hundred metres wide.

The village of Shomushon lies at the foot of Mount Pagan in the north. Its people want to be evacuated because smoke has been rising from the summit for some time, and there have been earthquakes. But no one takes any notice. They say the volcano is not dangerous.

On 15 May 1981, it erupts, spewing fire, hirling rocks and hooting fountains of lava into the air. The sky turns black; it rains ash and smells of sulphur and burning earth. The raised huts in Shomushon shake, and a flood of lava spread though the palm trees, Soon the first crackle of fire in the village is heard. The mayor sends a message by short-wave radio - This is it! Come get us! – before the sixty villagers flee, crossing the narrow neck of land to the south. They take refuge behind a mountain ridge and pray to be spared from the glowing river.

When they are evacuated by air shortly after, only the rooftops of Shomushon can be seen above the layer of brown ash. On Pagan, there are now 20 million tonnes of tuff stone, the material of the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Baths of Caracalla.
I am offering a giveaway of this title on my my blog until Dec 15, 2014. Visit and put your name in.
Profile Image for Meaghan.
1,096 reviews25 followers
November 13, 2010
This is beautifully written and well-nigh impossible to categorize. It's not a travel book. It's not a conventional atlas. There's a lot of history in here, but it's not a history book either. The book contains maps of fifty of the world's most isolated islands and one-page vignettes to accompany each one. Usually, but not always, these vignettes tell of some event in the island's history. The author is able to make each story absolutely fascinating and I am thirsty for more. Unfortunately she has no suggestions for further reading. I must needs seek that out myself.

I think people of all ages would really appreciate this book. But a word of warning: if you're writing, say, a school report on a particular island, probably this atlas will not be of much help to you. The entries are literary, not encyclopedic.
Profile Image for Marianthi.
111 reviews63 followers
May 19, 2016
Fifty islands, fifty (dubious) stories; some mythological, others based on true facts, others not so much. All unique, all interesting, all extremely atmospheric and poignant. All stories that accompany beautiful cartography of places you will never visit indeed.

I can continue to list adjectives but all I have to say is that I enjoyed this book immensely.
You get to learn about specks of dust that are part of a universe so vast that it makes them, those teeny tiny places unimportant. Places that live and exist, in a sense, simply because you just read about them.

Stories have that power and this is why I love them.

If you're struck with wanderlust, love maps and stupid little facts/stories about random things like yours truly, this is a book for you.

Allow yourself to enjoy the journey, no matter how doubtful. After all that's what matters most in the end.

Profile Image for DoctorM.
836 reviews2 followers
January 25, 2016
A lovely small book that offers up facts and tiny bits of history about lost places--- islands at the ends of the earth, islands that have fallen off the map. Schalansky herself was born in the old East Germany, in a DDR where travel was impossible and "escapism" had dangerous political overtones. Her little atlas is a kind of poem to the places overlooked on maps, a vision of invisible places that have stories worth recovering. An absolute delight to read.
Profile Image for Ochwey.
127 reviews19 followers
February 15, 2017
Prostě krásné!
Nádherné obrázky ostrovů (protože mé kartografické srdce nemůže říct, že mapy, na to jsou kritéria!), a ty texty! Miluju takové zajímavosti o místech, a v této lyrické formě to bylo dokonalé. A navíc mě to nutilo dohledávat si další informace o ostrovech, a tak to má podle mě být.
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