Synopses & Reviews
It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy!
legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead
recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere.
Jennings takes listeners on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the "unreal estate" charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.
From the "Here be dragons" parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade school to the postmodern revolution of digital maps and GPS, Maphead is filled with intriguing details, engaging anecdotes, and enlightening analysis. If you're an inveterate map lover yourself—or even if you're among the cartographically clueless who can get lost in a supermarket—let Ken Jennings be your guide to the strange world of mapheads.
"[Jennings is] alive to the larger meaning of maps as they overlay knowledge, desire, and aspiration onto the mute reality of terrain. The result is a delightful mix of lore and reportage that illuminates the longing to know where we are." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
New York Times bestselling author and Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings explores the world of maps and map obsessives.
About the Author
Ken Jennings, best known as the winner of seventy-four games on the television show Jeopardy!, is the bestselling author of Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a double major in English and computer science and worked as a software engineer prior to his Jeopardy! appearances. Following his Jeopardy! streak, he has appeared on 1 vs. 100 and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where he has served several times as an "Ask the Expert" lifeline, and has been a guest on The Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Sesame Street, and other shows. Ken lives outside Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children. Kirby Heyborne is an accomplished actor, musician, and comedian. He has received critical acclaim for his starring roles in the award-winning World War II drama Saints and Soldiers, the lighthearted family comedy The R.M., the award-winning boy-band mockumentary The Sons of Provo, and the award-winning quixotic comedy Pirates of the Great Salt Lake. He has had starring roles in thirteen features and many short films. Kirby has also appeared on the WB's Everwood and many national commercials. Recently, Kirby was seen as a recurring character on the hit FOX sitcom Free Ride. Kirby has received a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards for excellence in audiobook narration. He has narrated such titles as Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, Breathers by S. G. Browne, and The Genius by Jesse Kellerman. Kirby is a cofounder and director of the celebrated Los Angeles–based improv comedy group The Society. Also a successful musician, Kirby has released four solo albums and has had his music featured in many films. Kirby has delighted audiences across the country with his ability to blend heart-warming stories, beautiful music, and comedic wit.