A Map of New Wonders: a Journey in to the Search of Modern Marvels to quote the author, ‘this book is an attempt to inspire and share curiosity and wonder, …’ (Henderson 2017: 21).
The book begins with Henderson recalling a moment of wonder he experienced one morning in his kitchen, which he writes inspired him to think about wonder itself. This prompted him to explore and investigate many of the questions and elements surrounding wonder and thus inspired the book.
The book is divided into seven chapters with titles including ‘The Rainbow and the Star: Light’ that focusses on all aspects regarding the phenomena we know as light as well as rainbows; ‘Edge of the Orison: Self’ which explores the three stages of life as told in the riddle of the Sphinx; and ‘A Hyperobject in the Head: Brain’ which discusses the incredible and complex piece of engineering that is the human brain.
Each of the chapters delves into religion, science, philosophy, art, history and technology to explore and interpret the various wonders. Throughout the reader is shown where wonder can be found and takes every day phenomena and reveals how extraordinary and unfamiliar they really are. This makes for an informative and interesting read.
While this is definitely the book for those of a scientific background or who possess a scientific curiosity, it is also a good read in general. For a non-fiction book, it is an easy read that is factual in its detail but personal in writing style as it is filled with the author’s personal anecdotes that detract from the tedium of facts and figures.
Filled with interesting and fascinating diagrams that inform and provide greater detail within the chapters.
Overall this an intriguing read that inspires the audience to look for the wonder in our everyday lives. Well deserving of its glowing reviews.