Things we have enjoyed in 2010.
A very original book.
from the introduction:
I GREW UP WITH AN ATLAS. And as a child of the atlas I had never travelled. The fact that a girl in my class had actually been born in Helsinki felt unimaginable. But there it was in her passport: H-e-l-s-i-n-k-i. Those eight letters became a key into another world. To this day, I am baffled by Germans born , for example, in Nairobi or Los Angeles. They might as well claim to come from Atlantis, Thule or El Dorado. Of course I know that Nairobi and Los Angeles exist – they are on the maps. But that someone has actually been there or even been born there still feels incredible to me.
about the book:
Born on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall, the only way Judith Schalansky could travel as a child was through the pages of an atlas. Now she has created her own, which takes us across the oceans of the world to fifty remote islands – from Iwo Jima to Tristan da Cunha and from Easter Island to Disappointment Island. On one page are her perfect maps, on the other unfold cryptic stories from the islands. Rare animals and strange people abound: marooned slaves and lonely scientists, lost explorers and confused lighthouse keepers, mutinous sailors and forgotten castaways. Armchair explorers who undertake these journeys will find themselves in places that exist in reality, but only come to life in the imagination.