Full title – “The Riddle of the Compass – The Invention that Changed the World”
What a little gem of a book!
This is a great example of what a good librarian can do for you. I’m so embarrassed to admit that I have forgotten the English-speaking-librarian’s name, perhaps because she rarely works during the times when I visit the library. But I do remember what I have learned by reading some of the stranger looking books she has placed on the recommended bookshelf – give the book a chance! It’s a library – you can always return it if you don’t like it.
You don’t have to be a skipper (I hate boats, get seasick) or a fan of how-devices -work programs (I just want them to work, thank you very much) to find this book fascinating. In a simple and very engaging style, Aczel takes you on a trip around the world and through the ages. Not only does he present how people navigated at sea before compasses came on the scene, he shows you how things are related to each other – commerce, war, prosperity, health, education, cultures and technology. In this case the technology is the compass.
Telling you anymore would ruin the experience and Aczel does it so much better! It’s like reading a multi dimensional travel book – globe-trotting and time travel.
It says on the cover that the author wrote more books – I’ll keep an eye out for them.