238 Following

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages

A History of the World in 12 Maps

A History of the World in 12 Maps - Jerry Brotton

A History of the World in 12 Maps is a fascinating study of how much we can learn about the mindsets of those who made (and are still making) maps, and what these maps tell us can be fascinating.


A look at Ptolemy's great map of c. AD 200, for example, leads to a meditation on what the Greeks and Romans knew about geography, and how they thought about what maps should mean and what purpose they should serve.  How the Greeks invented many features still found on maps (but also came up with geographical ideas that didn't quite work, such as the uninhabitable zone at the equator, though some of these beliefs had great lasting power).  A study of the medieval mappa mundi reveals the picture of a world oriented to the east (and the garden of Eden), and most of the marked sites are place-names found in the Bible.  The only concern that matters is religion.  A look at a Korean map of the world of about 1400 results in a meditation on Chinese traditions in geography (and points out that Japan is out of place, and rotated 90 degrees).


Informative, and I would recommend this for anyone interested in geography or history.


Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC (wish it had had the maps pictured in it; I can only assume the pictures are as good as the text).