My rating: 4 of 5 stars
October 23, 2014 – Why am I still reading this book after more than two and a half months, and I am only two-thirds through it? I have asked myself this question. This is not an easy read. The author shows himself to be very erudite, maybe to a fault, and uses words I have to look up. (And I taught high school English for sixteen years). He is so scholarly about the minutiae of history that I am sure only graduate students could be interested. But yet it is fascinating. It puts me into other times and other great minds that were motivated by the same things I see on the evening news—politics, science, religion, money, power, technology. It shows the human struggle over the millennia to communicate new knowledge in new ways. Although I only read a few pages a night, how can I put down a book that illuminates the minds of others who have shaped our present knowledge? How modern they seem in a world that is still exploring ways to map our universe.
Update 2/14/2015 – Finally finished last night. I could only manage a few pages a night, but I could not stop reading this lengthy tome. Little by little it shed light on the process of creating maps; but more importantly, it revealed the challenges of mapping a globe on a plane and the human motivation to create maps. From Ptolemy to Google it expanded my universe. I will never look at a map in the same way again.