For those who find it difficult to believe that there are still isolated, secluded, and uninhabited or sparsely populated pockets of land anchored firmly in the midst of the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans, this quietly beautiful and subtly evocative book is a must read. Firm in her conviction that atlases should take a much-deserved place in the literary pantheon and that there is “no more poetic book in the world,” her cartographic drawings are accompanied by compelling narratives, outlining the history, natural science, local lore, and legend of each of the 50 islands she visually and textually conjures up out of her impeccable research and vivid imaginings. An armchair traveler’s delight, this book will also beckon, challenge, and inspire intrepid explorers and exotically inclined vacationers. --Margaret Flanagan