13 May 2009

Map Addict by Mike Parker

'My name is Mike and I am a map addict. There, it's said …'

Maps not only show the world, they help it turn. On an average day, we will consult some form of map approximately a dozen times, often without even noticing.

Map Addict really catches the current mood regarding all things cartographic. Recently, there has been a huge growth in mapping on the web, creating massive interest in maps and their application. Mike's book has just been published by Collins, with some mapping information and assistance provided by ‘their cartographic crew in Glasgow’.

There are some fine, dry tomes out there about the history and development of cartography: this is not one of them. Map Addict mixes wry observation with hard fact and considerable research, unearthing the offbeat, the unusual and the downright pedantic in a celebration of all things maps. In Map Addict, we learn the location of what has officially been named by the OS as the most boring square kilometre in the land; we visit the town fractured into dozens of little parcels of land split between two different countries and trek around many other weird borders of Britain and Europe; we test the theories that the new city of Milton Keynes was built to a pagan alignment and that women can't read maps.

Mike Parker is 'a marvellous guide: enthusiastic, generous and lucid', Jan Morris.

'An historical aside from Mike Parker is worth a monograph from others', New Welsh Review.

Discuss Map Addict at bookarmy.com:
'I'm a big fan of maps and can easily lose an hour or two with a cup of tea and a good world atlas to gaze over. Here, Mike Parker taps into some of the most exceptional maps ever to be produced, along with sharing a number of highly amusing anecdotes from his own childhood map addiction. An absolute must for any fan of maps or anyone looking for humorous nostalgic non-fiction.' TimBroughton

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