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Maphead by Ken Jennings

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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame is definitely not only for geography nerds. Even non map lovers will find enjoyment in this book. There are plenty of factual and trivial tidbits about geography, but Jennings interweaves this with personal anecdotes to make this a fun and entirely interesting read.

Although he also gives us historical background information on maps, the majority of the book is comprised of essays on various cartographic topics. Jennings relates family tales such as his father's penchant for hypsometric maps and how young Ken saved his allowance to buy a prized world atlas. In later years, he writes about how his wife, Mindy, was trained successfully to navigate for their family vacation. While enjoying these stories, we also gain knowledge of many aspects of geography, for instance discovering that the outline of the state of Wisconsin is similar to Tanzania's.

Maphead flows from the chapter titles with their geographical definitions to profiles on geocachers and rare map collectors to a section with interviews of children from the National Geographic Bee. Throw in autobiographical pieces about Jennings and his family and this book is sure to be a fun and unpredictably educational delight.

Submitted by Lori @ Central


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 21, 2011 8:32 AM.

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