Know Your Place

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

Culture : Books By Photo by Maphead

The first thing you should know about Maphead ($15) is that it’s written by Ken Jennings. Yes, it’s the same Ken Jennings who won Jeopardy 74 times in a row, taking home $3,172,700 in winnings and claiming the title of all-time leading money winner on American game shows. The second point worth mentioning is the topic of “Cartophilia” — which this book covers in comprehensive and humorous detail. Through 288 pages, Jennings wryly navigates readers through everything from how ants create rudimentary maps of their own, to the obsessive talents of preteen National Geographic Bee contestants, to Tolkien fans bent on creating detailed maps of fictional worlds. Of course, there’s plenty on more factual topics like map making, map collecting, and map use. Together, the book should satisfy both geography nerds and the constantly curious, or at least provide some confidence the next time you walk out the door sans GPS.

Buy Now: $15