koralleen (koralleen) wrote,

SRP: Maphead by Ken Jennings

A couple of surprises here. I was surprised by how long this book was out before I read it—I saw it mentioned somewhere back before Christmas but didn't have it in my hands until a few weeks ago when it showed up on the "we recommend" shelf at my library (my wonderful, wonderful library). I snapped it up, eagerly started reading and then was surprised to find that I wasn't charmed by this awesome dude. It's a very first-person account of various aspects of maps, and particularly map fanatics (the subtitle is Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks) and he keeps tossing out real clunkers in attempts at humor during the first few chapters. I kept going because the guy truly loves maps and I did find his enthusiasm engaging.

It got better. By the time we got to the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress I was hooked. I loved the chapter titles (map words, all), I loved the variety of topics selected (roadgeeks, geocaching, and heaven-help-us road atlas rallying among them), and I forgave and even started liking some of his cornball family stories. The book ends on an especially sweet note because of that, too. And then it's not over: the notes section is the complete sort of notes section I want to see at the end of every book. Very nice!

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