The Map Room’s Top 10 Books of 2009

Here are The Map Room’s top 10 bestselling map books in 2009, based on Amazon orders made through this website that were tracked by my Amazon Associates account. Of course this list is heavily influenced by the amount of attention paid to each book, but not as much as you might think: the third-place book was only mentioned in a single blog entry, and no book I reviewed made it into the top five. In large part, my readers determined the rankings on this list.

    Book cover: Strange Maps

  1. Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs
    The book based on the eponymous blog that is quite likely the most popular map blog out there. By far the best-selling book on this site, and no surprise either. (Previously: More on Two Map Books; The New York Times on Two Map Books; Strange Maps: Frank Jacobs Interviewed; Updates on Two New Books; Strange Maps, the Book, Coming Later This Month; Blogs into Books.)
  2. The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
    Lots of buzz and a huge advance for this first novel by Larsen, about the eccentric life and adventures of a 12-year-old genius cartographer. I’ve got a copy and will probably get around to a review at some point. (Previously: Even More Book Reviews; More Book Reviews; Another Book Roundup; More on “T. S. Spivet”; The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet.)
  3. Book cover: The 1858 Map of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

  4. The 1858 Map of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by Henry F. Walling
    A surprise entry on this list; it has sold quite well since I posted a single entry on it a month ago. (Previously: 1858 Map of Cape Cod Republished as Book.)
  5. The Genealogy of Cities by Charles P. Graves, Jr.
    An atlas of more than two millenia of city plans: more than 500 in the book, and a thousand on the accompanying CD. (Previously: Randy Plemel Interviews Charles Graves; The Genealogy of Cities.)
  6. Book covers: Where Am I? / You Are Here

  7. You Are Here / Where Am I? by Colin Ellard
    Published as You Are Here in the U.S. and Where Am I? in Canada, this book on how we navigate our surroundings by University of Waterloo psychology professor Colin Ellard sounds interesting. (Previously: Colin Ellard Interviews; Even More Book Reviews; Colin Ellard’s Book on the Psychology of Navigation.)
  8. Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden
    Still selling copies two years after its publication. I reviewed it in March 2008. (Previously: Transit Maps of the World (Again); Transit Maps of the World.)
  9. Book cover: Paris Underground

  10. Paris Underground by Mark Ovenden
    Ovenden’s love letter to the Paris Metro has far too much crammed into it, but that’s what makes it great. I reviewed it in November. (Previously: Paris Underground.)
  11. The Map as Art by Katharine Harmon
    Harmon’s sequel to You Are Here: Personal Cartographies of the Imagination, which I have and think highly of. (Previously: More on Two Map Books; Map Art on the Radio; The Map as Art; Even More Book Reviews.)
  12. Book cover: The Fourth Part of the World

  13. The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester
    Lester’s adroit and fascinating book puts the 1507 Waldseemüller map in its historical and cultural context. I reviewed it earlier this month. (Previously: The New York Times on Two Map Books; Updates on Two New Books; The Fourth Part of the World.)
  14. Map Addict by Mike Parker
    A joyous book by a fellow map enthusiast. I bet it would sell more if had more copies in stock; it certainly deserves to. I reviewed it in October. (Previously: A Book Roundup; Map Addict.)

If I expanded this list to include things other than books, two items sold well enough that they would have been included: Nikon’s GP-1 GPS unit for its digital SLRs, which I reviewed last March, and The Shape of the World, a DVD box set of a PBS documentary series (see previous entry).

Previously: Map Books of 2009.