I love maps, all maps. They tell a lot about us, our believes, and knowledge when we drew them. For French or German speakers, I would recommend the good TV show Le Dessous Des Cartes, in which, geographer Jean-Christophe Victor uses maps as a foundation for geopolitical or cultural topics. Cool show. But today, I will share about two amusing books with a bunch of maps for Americans. The first one, Judgmental Maps (Trent Gillapsie, Flatiron Books – 2016), is hilarious.


Pick your city or the closest one to your home, and I predict you will surprise yourself saying “yeah, so true!”. OK, as the title says, it is judgmental and is not politically correct. If you can pass over it, it is a great and funny read. The second book is Speaking American (Josh Katz, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – 2016). It is a good book to start a conversation – or prove that you are right – about how words should be pronounced in proper American. Well, you will quickly reach the conclusion that there is no single way to pronounce words in the USA. Do you say traffic circle, roundabout, circle or rotary? Well, it depends on where you live. More subtly, do you say you guys, y’all, you all, you or yins? Is it pih-kahn, pee- kahn, pee– kan, pee– kahn*, or pee-kan? These are still subtilities to me, but fun to read about.

Le dessous des cartes site (in French & German)

Judgmental Maps, the website.