Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Yes, There Really Is a Lonely Island
This atlas is subtitled 'Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will.' The author, Judith Schalansky, is German; hence this 2009 book is now showing up in a 2010 translation. After a 23-page introduction, there appear 50 maps of remote islands, and on the facing page of each is a timeline and a poetically written commentary. Among the 50 islands is Howland Island, the intended destination of Amelia Earhart when her plane was lost. Colorful geographic names abound, such as Deception Island, Christmas Island, Possession Island, and Lonely Island, which is Russian. About Trinidade, which is in the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil, Ms. Schalansky writes, 'This place is a topographical disaster. Everything has been arbitrarily hurled into the ocean; the ground is rutted, downward sloping and hostile. Over and over again, someone out on a walk disappears without trace -- washed away by waves several metres high, buried alive by a landslide or swallowed up by a crater. In the cemetery, crosses without graves stand memorial to those who have disappeared.' This volume is an informative work that brings awareness of places that seldom, if ever, make the daily headlines.
Atlas of remote islands : fifty islands I have never set foot on and never will