Review: Ken Jennings, “Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks”

Title: Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks
Author: Ken Jennings
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Geography
Year: 2011
Pages: 276
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN13: 978-1-4391-6717-5
Price: $25

I think that the constant study of maps is apt to disturb men’s reasoning powers,” Lord Salisbury, p. 207.

You have to wonder if Ken Jennings’s parents realized their son was a different sort of fellow when he chose to sleep with a World Atlas next to his pillow, rather than your average child’s teddy bear. As far back as he can remember he’s loved maps. While researching for his new book, Maphead, Jennings discovered he wasn’t alone. “Cartophilia” is alive and well, and Jennings hopes to spread the love: “If you never open a map until you’re lost,” he insists, “you’re missing out on all the fun” (120). [Read more...]

Mapping the Acts of the Apostle Parley

I was recently commissioned by Terryl L. Givens, Matthew J. Grow, and Oxford University Press to produce a new series of maps for their upcoming biography, Parley P. Pratt: The St. Paul of Mormonism (scheduled for release in October of this year). There’s been no skimping on the maps — the volume will include ten full maps plus insets.

Parley P. Pratt's Early Life
Locations in the early life of Parley P. Pratt.

In keeping with the title, the bulk of the maps focus on the missionary journeys of the peripatetic Pratt. The vision of the authors, which I attempted to fulfill, was to produce a series of maps almost reminiscent of the maps at the back of LDS Bibles that show the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul.

[Read more...]

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