“Lyrical” “RevelatorY”

“What are navigation apps doing to our innate spatial orientation? To find out, science journalist M. R. O’Connor embarked on a journey of discovery both inner and outer. She walks the labyrinth of the brain’s time-and-space-mapping hippocampus. And, on the road, she meets astrophysicists, anthropologists and traditional wayfinders — such as Bill Yidumduma Harney of Australia’s Wardaman culture, who steers by thousands of memorized stars. At one point, landscape historian John Stilgoe tells her: “I feel sorry for your generation. It doesn’t get lost much.” This hymn to topophilia offers a corrective.


"O'Connor talked to just the right people in just the right places, and her narrative is a marvel of storytelling on its own merits, erudite but lightly worn. There are many reasons why people should make efforts to improve their geographical literacy, and O'Connor hits on many in this excellent book―devouring it makes for a good start."

―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“O’Connor’s coverage of the cognitive map theory—one of the most eminent theories in the field—is deep and broad.”


"Rich and multifaceted...O’Connor brings her subjects to life in a delightful manner."

Publishers Weekly

"This revelatory book has the qualities of a grand adventure. M. R. O’Connor leads readers out into the world to discover something deep within themselves. Treat yourself to Wayfinding.”

―Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows and The Glass Cage

"In this lyrical look at both our small, shining planet and the unexpected science of how we navigate it, M.R. O'Connor reminds us that exploration is journey and understanding, that we sometimes best see the world and ourselves while standing on a path less taken."

―Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad

“An insightful examination of the human mind and navigation. O’Connor weaves together different disciplines of science in an accessible way which makes for an engaging read from start to finish.”

―Mary A. van Balgooy, executive director, Society of Woman Geographers

"I thoroughly enjoyed this deep and absorbing investigation. Fascinating."

―Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator