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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities - Frank Jacobs

Yet another blog-to-book product. Like most of these, it was probably better as a blog (although I have not checked out the blog, I admit); the interest of the items wears thin after a few in a row.

Surprisingly, I found the text more interesting than than the maps themselves, most of which were neither that "strange" (strange may here be used in the new, meaningless click-baity way that words such as "amaze," "shock" etc seem to be on the internet) or that visually interesting.

Mm, okay, you could describe that shape as a "blue banana." If it makes you happy. Fine by me. Oops, I mean AMAZING!

Not really. But Jacobs provides pretty cogent explanations for the historical and political developments reflected in the maps, and I appreciate the research that went into that, even if sometimes there is needless verbal emphasis on how "weird" or "surprising" the information is.

Whether the text will be surprising or even interesting depends a lot on how much you already know. If you're an ignoramus forward-thinking modern person who doesn't realize, for instance, that the borders of nations were not always and eternally where they are today or that some countries are not monolingual, read this and get informed! Painlessly! If, on the other hand, you tend to give yourself headaches by trying to politely suppress your eye-rolling at the political and historical ignorance of the average person, skip this book. The funniest bits will end up on facebook and you can catch them then.