A Reading List for Lovers of Maps and Books

September 5, 2022

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As a former English teacher, I think of books as a comforting, warm blanket. Getting lost in the pages of a story makes me happy, and for many years, I enjoyed taking teenage students on a few literary journeys. The other side of my life has always been wrapped up in technology and geography. I love how geography can be a common thread to weave the world together. We geospatial folks are connectors, always seeking and finding patterns to answer burning questions, solve problems, and explore possibilities. 

I’ve recently read The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, following a recommendation from another map-loving friend. I thought others might like to go on this adventure as well. If you’re a serious geographer, or just think maps are neat, pick up a copy. You’ll be introduced to Nell, old maps, and the mystery of her father’s death. She is a talented cartographer whose life unravels into something worthy of a box office hit. Just when you think you have it figured out, the road turns and you find yourself in a new place. Sign up for the ride…it’s a fun one!

If you like reading with your kids or want something unique, pick up The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. I discovered this book years ago and was as impressed with the art in the margins as with the story itself. You’ll meet a smart, young boy with talent to burn and a keen eye for all things spatial who embarks on a cross-country journey to fulfill his destiny and solve his own family mystery. Buy a ticket!

Sometimes, it’s fun to get beyond the map, think about a little magic and connect our love of mappy things to the real world. Maybe that’s a book … a story … a tale of intrigue … with a map.

Now, I'm curious to know what you've been reading. What books would you recommend for a fellow geo-fascinated booklover? Email us at editors@directionsmag.com with your recommendations and short description.

Reposted from The DirectionsMag Geospatial Community Blog, an extension of Directions Magazine. If you are interested in contributing, please email editors@directionsmag.com.


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