It’s a stark and simple book, yet elegant and evocative in its sheer depiction of isolation. And it’s absolutely beautiful.
The Atlas of Remote Islands, subtitled Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will, is a slender volume, mostly one-page descriptions of faraway islands, each accompanied by a stark and charming topographical illustration by the author.
This isn’t much of a review, simply because there’s not much to say besides: There’s no other book like it. It’s wonderful and clean and artistic and completely beyond the simple aesthetics of other illustrated books. It is the achievement of a lifetime of cartographic love, embodied in the author’s concluding sentences in her introduction:
Give me an atlas over a guidebook any day. There is no more poetic book in the world.
This is a book to be explored over countless evenings, with a glass of cognac beside you and a fire on the hearth.
This is a book to be loved.