This is a lovely, lovely, lovely book about tiny places in the middle of the oceans. Schalansky has researched the oddest stories about each place, and I would happily read a book about each of the events she describes. In fact, I hope someone will expand on some of these stories, the snippets here were not enough. The illustrations are so wonderful- old-fashioned and detailed and interesting. Topography done in modified pointillism. And the font & typesetting! Oh, how I love the type in this book. It's just glorious. Transcendent typography, even. I brought it home on the strength of the type on the cover and the introduction. I didn't even start to read it, just fell in love and clasped it to my bosom. It's an absolutely beautiful book, from cover to cover. If you like maps at all, and most especially if you were a child who pored over atlases and dreamed, I predict you will love it.