Plotted: A Literary Atlas - Andrew Degraff, Daniel Harmon

Plotted: A Literary Atlas (Pulp, $24.99) is two gifts in one: Andrew DeGraff’s colorful, elegant, and often ingenious illustrations—a visual and literary treat in themselves—and Daniel Harmon’s lively and informative essays, which spark the memory or the imagination—or both, depending on your reading history. The nineteen maps included here chart the timeless adventures recounted in Homer’s Odyssey, delineate the routes to love and/or social standing in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and retrace Frederick Douglass’s escape from slavery into his prominent role in shaping the national dialogue on race. Each of the volume’s nineteen chapters engages—or re-engages—readers with a canonical text—Hamlet, Moby-Dick, stories by O’Connor, L’Engle, and Le Guin—works that richly deserve and reward reading, whether for the first or the fifth time. Like the featured texts themselves, this unique Atlas will inspire different experiences in different readers, and it is a great gift for anyone who likes to get lost in printed pages.

Plotted: A Literary Atlas By Andrew DeGraff, Daniel Harmon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936976867
Availability: Backordered
Published: Pulp/Zest Books - October 20th, 2015

Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations - Olivier Le Carrer

Reading the Atlas of Cursed Places (Black Dog & Leventhal, $24.99), by inveterate sailor, cartographer,  and journalist Olivier Le Carrer, makes you feel like you’ve stumbled on a secret, ancient tome that chronicles the world’s haunted regions. Readers might expect entries based on places’ connections to supernatural phenomena or some enduring dark myth.  But Le Carrer has a broader view of “cursed places” and presents those whose habitability is threatened by both natural events and human activities.  Thanks to this expansiveness, Le Carrer takes readers to places both predicable and surprising; each entry serves as a window to a region whose difficulties are at once astonishing, riveting, and intriguing. Another great joy of this atlas is its sheer beauty as an object; the insightful profiles are complemented by intricate illustrations, including detailed reproductions of old maps. Get ready for your next misadventure!

Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations By Olivier Le Carrer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631910005
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - October 6th, 2015

The Curious Map Book - Ashley Baynton-Williams

When maps aren’t simply telling you how to get from here to there, they make political statements, lay out the terrain of history, show you the landscape of the imagination,  play games—and always look beautiful. The Curious Map Book (Chicago, $45) is a showcase of such “cartographic curiosities.” Assembled by Ashley Baynton-Williams, a British antiquarian map dealer, the survey starts with a 1493 world map that’s also a chart of Western humanism, depicting the Earth divided in four parts, one for each of Noah’s sons, with side trips into medieval legend and classical myth. A 1518 rendering of Utopia depicts the island with a death’s head: map as memento mori. In human shape, maps were allegories and caricatures; as animals, they united disparate regions into the body of a fierce lion or warned of grasping imperial ambitions, showing Russia in 1877 as an octopus. Other maps chart the course of love, and many play games. The first board games, circa 1588, were maps, with players throwing dice and racing each other around a hemisphere. Some required gambling, others doubled as Trivial Pursuit, requiring players to recite facts about the regions they landed on. Maps became jigsaw puzzles in the 18th century, and one impressive picture here shows a stunning 1866 globe jigsaw. A tribute to human wit and ingenuity, these selections have an illuminating and unobtrusive guide in Baynton-Williams, whose succinct commentary profiles the mapmakers and explains their methods and materials.

The Curious Map Book By Ashley Baynton-Williams Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226237152
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 20th, 2015