6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Another Good Read from this Author,
This review is from: On The Map: Why the world looks the way it does (Hardcover)
Simon Garfield's "Just My Type" Just My Type: A Book About Fonts was one of my favourite reads of recent times. This one is also good but is possibly a little less consistent than "Just My Type". Maybe it's just a personal thing but some of the middle chapters dealing with British Empire builders (Stanley etc) became a little pedestrian at times.
But, that's the negatives out of the way. The general tenor of the book is entertaining, knowledgeable and often humorous. Of particular interest is the final chapter on mapping the brain. This subject, an interesting variation on the book's standard theme of terrestrial mapping is rich in potential and must surely be under consideration by the author and his publishers as the subject of a complete new work. In essence, this tailpiece is a study of how brain mapping is pushing the boundaries of our understanding how we think and feel. With humorous backward glances at the old pseudo-science of phrenology, Simon Garfield describes how we are exploring the hidden corners of our brains in much the same way as we once explored the unknown corners of planet Earth, by travelling there and by mapping what we find.
There are also excellent chapters on the ancient maps and mapmakers, the creators of the A-Zs and on the mapping of our neighbours in the Solar System although I would have liked to have read more on the stories of the national mappers such as the Ordnance Survey, Michelin and so on.
There is so much more to be said on the whole fascinating subject of mapping and this book can only be a taster, one for the "interested, knowledgeable reader" rather than the professional cartographer. But that is what it is meant to be of course. The bonus would be the inspiration it may give for the "interested reader" to go on to become a professional cartographer. It is certainly capable of doing that.
Buy if you enjoy general knowledge presented in a readable format, and especially if you simply like maps.