22 January 2013

Today's Read: On the Map by Simon Garfield

Did you know that Ptolemy created a map of the world based on stories, both oral and written? And what if you were to learn that his map was used for almost 1,350 years as "the principal map of the world"? In today's environment of the Internet, GPS, and smart phones, how many of us still own a physical atlas?

Maps hold a clue to what makes us human. Certainly they relate and realign our history. They reflect our best and worst attributes—discovery and curiosity, conflict and destruction—and they chart our transitions of power. Even as individuals, we seem to have a need to plot a path and track our progress, to imagine possibilities of exploration and escape. The language of maps is integral to our lives, too. We have achieved something if we have put ourselves (or our town) on the map. The organized among us have things neatly mapped out. We need compass points or we lose our bearings. We orient ourselves (for on old maps east was at the top). We give someone a degree of latitude to roam.

Maps fascinate us because they tell stories.
On the Map by Simon Garfield (Penguin USA / Gotham Books, 2012, p. 18; uncorrected proof)

It will be a while before you'll see a review of this true account of the mapping of world from the ancient Egyptians to GPS. I've been savoring it a little at a time.

Buy On the Map at an indie or at a bookstore near you. (Link leads to an affiliate program.)
ISBN-13: 9781592407798

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).

14 comments:

bermudaonion 1/22/13, 7:57 AM  

This sounds interesting. Too bad paper maps are becoming a thing of the past.

Alison Skap 1/22/13, 8:03 AM  

Oh, this sounds fascinating. My husband is a little obsessed with maps. I should get this for him!

Daryl 1/22/13, 8:44 AM  

oh this sounds fascinating ..

Jessica Howard 1/22/13, 10:13 AM  

Funny, I just read a review of this yesterday at History in the Margins and added it to my TBR list on Goodreads!

I love maps SO much - this book sounds awesome.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 1/22/13, 10:38 AM  

I actually miss maps and being able to see where we and others are on a map.

This one sounds fascinating....

Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Beth Hoffman 1/22/13, 11:30 AM  

My husband is a "map man" -- he doesn't use GPS and says he never will. LOL He has shelves of maps and atlases and I know he would love this!

Julie @ Anglers Rest 1/22/13, 11:35 AM  

Likewise, I love maps and this book has been on my wish list for a few weeks!

Sandy Nawrot 1/22/13, 12:21 PM  

You find the most fascinating stuff. This totally appeals to me. I've often mused about what makes a person pick the career of a cartographer, and whether it is even something a person does any more with satellites and things. I'll be looking forward to hearing more!

Heather 1/22/13, 1:01 PM  

It sounds interesting - and for the record, I own a couple of atlases. *G* My teaser: Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott

Zibilee 1/22/13, 3:09 PM  

I loved the beauty and truth of this quote. It sounds like a book that you are going to love.

Well-Read Reviews 1/22/13, 3:33 PM  

This sounds REALLY interesting. I am curious as to how it looked and what the stories were. I am going to add this to my GOODREADS "want" shelf. :)

Allison
Book Reviews

Nise' 1/22/13, 8:57 PM  

I would love this book!

Margot 1/22/13, 9:24 PM  

I love to "read" maps. They fascinate me. I like the quote you shared. I'd love to read this book too.

Julie P. 1/23/13, 3:49 PM  

Interesting topic but I'm not really very good with maps. Much better with GPS and voice commands! LOL!

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