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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks Hardcover – Sep 20 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439167176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439167175
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #205,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“I admit—I’m a geographic klutz, constantly turned around the wrong way. But I never felt lost for a moment inside Maphead. Forget new worlds: Jennings’s charming, witty account reveals a whole other universe.” —Sam Kean, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Disappearing Spoon

“Ken Jennings offers an engaging excursion through the worlds of map making, map collecting, and map use. If you enjoy maps, don't miss it.”—Mark Monmonier, author of How to Lie with Maps

"A literary gem . . . Whether you're a casual cartography ogler or a hardcore geography geek, Maphead will whisk you away into a wonderland that exists where two of the greatest horizons of the human condition, humor and curiosity, converge."--The Atlantic

About the Author

Ken Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where he became a daily devotee of the quiz show Jeopardy! In 2004, he successfully auditioned for a spot on the show and went on an unprecedented seventy-four game victory streak worth $2.52 million. Jennings’s book Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as were his follow-up books Maphead and Because I Said So! Jennings lives outside Seattle with his wife, Mindy, his son, Dylan, his daughter, Caitlin, and a small, excitable dog named Chance.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 20 2012
Format: Hardcover
Whether you call yourself a geonerd, geogeek or geowonk, you're probably a "maphead." Yet you really don't need to be a lover of maps to truly appreciate how well crafted and written this book is on people's love of maps. Ken Jennings (yes, THAT Ken Jennings of winning mega bucks on the TV quiz game show "Jeopardy") has put together a book that reveals a lot about who we are and why humankind is obsessed with mapping things.

The book veers off into wonderful tangents with quirky facts (dare I say "trivia") that pop up during the course of the discussions. For instance, we learn in the chapter where Jennings visits the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress why the map room is located underground (HINT: their maps fill two entire football fields and would break the floorboards with their weight if stored on an aboveground floor).

I'll admit I have a geography background so this book is right in my wheelhouse. Even so how learning of people who like to visit the highest elevation in every state of the U.S. (yes, Iowa's highest point is in some cornfield) or the love of geocaching (Google it...but don't Google Earth it as there's a whole other chapter just on Google Earth and the rise of GPS technology).

Plus, who knew Ken Jennings could give this Echo & the Bunnymen (if you have no idea of who they are--download the Heaven Up Here album and thank me later) fan new insight into why they toured the Outer Hebrides in the '80s or why the route chosen for their cycling tour of their hometown of Liverpool formed the shape it did on a map of the city.

Mindblowingly fun book that everyone on planet Google Earth really should read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, I am. A map geek. Perhaps not on the level of Jennings but geeky enough. And the book is kind of a fever dream of maphead geekiness. But it's also funny, full of great insight into the meaning not just of maps but of geography, and also, perhaps, ultimately, about our sense of place. Meaning I've just told you a deep part of Jennings's own thesis: maps are incredibly human. And makes us even more human. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for my travel-crazy husband and he loved it. He's always been fascinated by maps so this was the perfect book for him. All kinds of trivia and he could pick it up and put it down. The perfect travel companion.
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