Richard's Reviews > Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

Maphead by Ken Jennings
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's review
Jun 18, 2012

liked it
Read from June 15 to 18, 2012

Occasionally, I like to read a book about everyday aspects of our lives that most pay little attention to. I've read books on traffic and human waste, and now I can add to that list a book about maps, or more generally the intersection of humanity with geography.

Like the author, I spent many hours as a child exploring the USA on the living room floor via the medium of service station road maps. In Maphead, Ken Jennings gives lots of information about maps themselves, their history and usage. But then he goes on to tell about the map-related interests of several groups of people. We learn about the club of people who have visited 100 or more countries, of those who have visited the highest elevation in every state, and of those who participate in geocaching. Wittily written and informative. After almost every chapter you find yourself saying, "Who knew?"

In the end, it's certainly not a great book - with the topic, I can't see how "greatness" would be possible - but it was certainly fun and educational. I liked it, therefore, 3 stars.
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