Maphead by Ken Jennings
Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere.

Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the “unreal estate” charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.

 

From the “Here be dragons” parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade school to the postmodern revolution of digital maps and GPS, Maphead is filled with intriguing details, engaging anecdotes, and enlightening analysis. If you’re an inveterate map lover yourself—or even if you’re among the cartographically clueless who can get lost in a supermarket—let Ken Jennings be your guide to the strange world of mapheads.
 

About Ken Jennings

See more books from this Author
Ken Jennings broke game show records in 2004 with his unprecedented seventy-four game, $2.52 million victory streak on Jeopardy!. Jennings’s book Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as was his follow-up, Maphead. He is also the author of Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac. Jennings lives in Washington with his wife Mindy, his son Dylan and daughter Caitlin, and a deeply unstable Labrador retriever named Banjo.
 
Published September 20, 2011 by Scribner. 304 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Maphead

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Map geek and celebrated Jeopardy! winner Jennings (Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days, 2008, etc.) tells the engaging story of maps and the people who love them.

Sep 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Maps reveal not just the lay of the land but the imagination of the beholder, according to this charming investigation of the allure of geography.

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

(In silhouette, they appear separated at birth.) Mr. Jennings also notes that the world's largest triple island—the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island—lies in the frozen reaches of Canada, and it apparently doesn't have a name.

| Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

Ken Jennings devotes a whole chapter in "Maphead" to the "amateur highway scholars" who call themselves "roadgeeks."

Oct 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

“entertaining and eclectic, engaging and informative.”

Apr 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Whether meeting with young geography bee champions or attempting a perplexing map-based road rally called the “St Valentine’s Day Massacre,” Jennings takes what could have in less graceful hands been dull or mocking and imbues it with infectious, palpable excitement.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

Shelf Awareness

People who love books keep them around, like photos, to remind them of a great experience and so they can revisit and say, 'Wow, this is a really great book.' " --Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis., in an interview with OnMilwaukee.com.

Sep 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Maphead: Charting the Wide, W...

Reader Rating for Maphead
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 229 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×