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    $16.47 list($24.95)
    1. Map of Bones
    $15.61 $14.60 list($22.95)
    2. A Year in the Merde
    $15.30 $13.84 list($22.50)
    3. Apple's America : The Discriminating
    $103.95 $99.94 list($165.00)
    4. National Geographic Atlas of the
    $13.60 $12.49 list($20.00)
    5. Into a Paris Quartier
    $14.28 $11.69 list($21.00)
    6. Assassination Vacation
    $12.91 $10.97 list($18.99)
    7. The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney
    $16.49 $15.17 list($24.99)
    8. Roadtripping USA : The Complete
    $15.40 $11.98 list($22.00)
    9. Three Weeks with My Brother
    $10.17 list($14.95)
    10. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan
    $19.80 $19.70 list($30.00)
    11. Italy (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    $10.36 $6.00 list($12.95)
    12. Into the Wild
    $16.47 $16.39 list($24.95)
    13. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind
    $10.89 list($18.95)
    14. 1,000 Places to See Before You
    $11.53 list($16.95)
    15. Hey Ranger! : True Tales of Humor
    $16.29 list($23.95)
    16. Honeymoon with My Brother : A
    $13.57 $12.98 list($19.95)
    17. Rick Steves' Italy 2005
    $16.50 $13.95 list($25.00)
    18. London (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    $10.47 $7.86 list($14.95)
    19. A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering
    $11.53 $10.13 list($16.95)
    20. Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2005

    1. Map of Bones
    by James Rollins
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060763876
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 39633
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    2. A Year in the Merde
    by Stephen Clarke
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582345910
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
    Sales Rank: 2866
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)


    Here's a fun frolic not just for Francophiles but for all armchair travelers who like their globetrotting mixed with whimsy.Stephen Clarke presents the fictionalexperiences of an ex pat living in France with large servings of humor, contagious enthusiasm,and a sharp eye for laugh provoking detail.

    Paul West is an almost thirty something Britisher who is in Paris to open a string of very English tearooms.He has ignored the advice of his pal, Chris, who told him in no uncertain terms not to go to Paris.Chris said the French had a great lifestyle, terrific food, totally uninhibited women, but, and this is the biggie - they were impossible to get along with.

    "It's permanent payback time," Chris warns, reminding Paul that the French don't like the British one bit.Nonetheless, Paul is in the Eiffel Tower city where he runs into any number of obstacles, whether it be recalcitrant employees or a tyrannic boss.On the plus side he also enjoys a bevy of willing beauties.

    All of this is related with colorful asides as listeners learn how to fend for themselves in Paris, and laugh at Paul's mishaps.

    Voice performer Gerard Doyle's voice is spot on Paul - he's a bit husky with a tint of Upper Class British accent.It's a pleasant slightly sophisticated reading with no overplaying of the almost non-stop comedy.

    Listen, laugh, and enjoy.

    - Gail Cooke

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you've ever lived in France, READ THIS!
    This book was hilarious, moved along at a brisk clip and was dead-on accurate about the French and about American ex-pats in Paris.It may be fiction but it definitely had the ring of truth!There was a little too much frat boy-style focus on trying to get laid, but it didn't bother me that much.If you liked "Le Divorce" and David Sedaris's Paris essays in "Me Talk Pretty One Day," you'll love this.I hope to read more from Mr. Clarke.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Frat boy meets Bridget Jones
    As an American living in Paris, I'm always interested in finding interesting tales about the French.One has to keep one's sense of humor about living here, after all.I found this book in an English bookstore in Amsterdam, and had high hopes for it - A year in the s**t, how could it be bad?

    It's much more non-fiction than humorous anecdotes about the French, although it does have its moments.I've decided that if frat boys wrote chic lit about living in Paris, this would be the result - kind of fluffy, lots of sex, not much substance but a good short read.He's right on a lot of his observations, but the story is much more about the author's alter-ego's life, which just happens to take place in Paris.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Funny and accurate
    As someone who lived for a year in France as an exchange student this book brought back memories of how it was to discover France and french culture.
    Paul West, a young englishman, comes to Paris to work there for a year, establishing english tea-houses for a french business. During this year he explores french culture and describes his experience one month at a time.
    And what a read. The author is extremely witty without taking it too far and manages to point out some striking differences between english culture and the french one without sounding condescending.
    The french people loath America and american culture and England and all things english are only a notch less despised.In spite of that they have embraced some things american and/or english such as McDonalds with a fierce passion that would put the average American to shame.Taking the family for a Macdo on a Saturday is a ritual for many and the Happy Meal is loved like it belongs to french cuisine.

    Of course, this book doesn't give you a complete understanding of french society but it does provide a pretty good insight. It mentions the importance of the shrug, for example.The shrug is heavily used in France, in fact I don't think anyone has mastered conveying such strong emotion (total indifference) like they have.The book also tells us, for instance, about the importance of using the right language when ordering something at a french restaurant/bistro (of course, speaking in english is strictly forbidden) to get exactly what you want, how you must throw away notions of being liked and embrace being rude in a polite way, how wishing somenoe Bonne journee (Good day) can drive people mad and how you never ever cut the lettuce on your plate.

    Whether you are going to dwell in France for a shorter or longer time, are interested in France or are just looking for an amusing yet interesting read this is a good book to pick up.
    The text flows easily, the anecdotes are totally believable and there is something to make you smile or even laugh out loud on every page.

    Highly recommended, I couldn't put it down. ... Read more

    3. Apple's America : The Discriminating Traveler's Guide to 40 Great Cities in the United States and Canada
    by R. W. Apple
    list price: $22.50
    our price: $15.30
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0865476853
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-16)
    Publisher: North Point Press
    Sales Rank: 861
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Unpretentious, sophisticated, and always appetizing advice from a celebrated authority

    For more than thirty years, R. W. Apple Jr. has roamed the United States as an eyewitness to history. Here, in Apple's America, his robust enthusiasm for the food and culture of New England, the South and West, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and his native Middle West carries him to forty great cities, where he proves to be our ideal guide--amused and amusing, knowledgeable, indefatigable, and endlessly curious.

    From Boston to Honolulu, from Montreal to Las Vegas, Cincinnati to Seattle, Johnny Apple explores the landmarks, architecture, business, culture, and, of course, the food and beverages of his favorite urban communities. Capturing the tone and style of American city life to perfection, he shows us the hidden treasures, the best buildings, the famous landmarks, the historical aura, and the present-day realities that make each city so memorable. And in each he recommends several places to stay, numerous places to eat, and sites or activities you shouldn't miss. No traveler in the United States will want to do without his recommendations.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Travel Companion
    Apple's America is a God-send for the traveler who is in town for just a day or two but really wants to learn what makes each city tick. No more excuses for just "grabbing dinner" or just passing through on business. I could spend days exploring each city but with this book I've been able to learn more about cities than in years of visiting for business. I've been sending this book to friends of mine to take on business trips and vacation. I prefer Apple's America to any guide out there. ... Read more

    4. National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
    by National Geographic
    list price: $165.00
    our price: $103.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792275438
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 169
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Combining state-of-the-art cartographic technology and information with dynamic and diverse physiographic and cultural content, the Eight Edition is National Geographic's most accurate and interesting record of the world yet.The opening section, Ninety Years of Mapping at National Geographic, traces the founding of Geographic cartography to the present advances in technology and the practice of compiling and organizing geographic information. The atlas truly begins with three stunning new, full-spread world maps, that drape Earth's surface seamlessly with satellite imagery, then physical and natural features, and finally today's political world of countries and growing cities.World thematic topics are organized into two groups: the Physical and Natural World and Human Activities. The Physical and Natural World section includes captivating core topics such as the evolution of earth, geology and tectonics, climate and weather, oceans, world water, the bioshere, and biodiversity. Human Activities covers 11 world themes: population, migration and refugees, conflict and terrorism, cultures, economy, energy and minerals, communications, food, health and education, the environment, and ending with wildlands. All of these intriguing spreads reflect the most authoritative and recent data available and are reviewed by preeminent scholars and experts. Lined up after the world thematic focus is the continental division. All seven continents open with views from space and are then represented with separate physical and political maps. Larger scale regions of each continent are presented for higher definition and detail. Because of our primary readership, additional coverage is given to the United States and Canada. An entirely new component to the Eighth Edition is the city section. Maps and text discussing urban explosion will open this compilation of sixty new maps. Pictures, fact boxes, and text will accompany each city map to create colorful and informative portraits of our built environment. Selected cites such as, New York, Mexico City-the most densely populated city in the world, and Paris will receive more detailed scaling.Less familiar and remote areas of the world and beyond-the poles, the ocean floors, and space-are mapped with new data and findings and dramatic effects. The addition of a new spread and map devoted to Mars will provide a timely reference to the expected news coverage of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission-Spirit and Opportunity. Flags and facts of every country in the world have been newly designed and consolidated into one section, listed in alphabetical order. Locater maps and cross referencing to corresponding large-scale map plates are provided for every entity. Text for each independent country summarizes physical and cultural aspects, while facts reveal the status of population, religion, area, capital, language, literacy, life expectancy, GDP, and economy.A user-friendly, 136 page, comprehensive place-name index cross-references over 130,000 geographical sites and areas. An appendix presents valuable, convenient reference to time zones, metric conversions, foreign terms, abbreviations, airline distances, and temperature and rainfall statistics from all corners of the globe. Navigating throughout the atlas is made easy with enhanced cross-referencing, pointers, labels and an end sheet that includes a visual key with corresponding plate numbers to all the maps. Every map spread in the atlas will include interactive features and access to up-to-the-minute updates and information via the electronic National Geographic Map Machine.Streams of information are available to us on myriad topics and on many fronts. At the same time, there is a need-greater than ever-to better understand our global culture. The Eighth Edition helps bridges the gap with a collection of maps and information that is as engaging as it is informative. ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    5-0 out of 5 stars National Geographic Atlas of the World
    This Atlas is the best reference book I have ever had. Since I received the book 2 weeks ago I can't count anymore how many times I have flipped through the pages. The more I open the book the more I am amazed with how much details it has and the amount of information you can get from the book. The pages are just full with fantastic graphics with wonderful colours, especially the satellites photos which are just out of this world! Everytime I watch any TV documentary programs about travel or nature, as heavy and big as it is I make sure I have the atlas by my side so I can spot the locations mentioned.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dollar For Dollar The Best World Atlas
    The 7th edition of the National Geographic Society (NGS) Atlas of the World is very much "evolutionary" rather than "revolutionary". Besides updated boundaries, etc., compared to prior editions it makes much better use of shading to indicate topography and has more detailed city maps. I buy an atlas primarily for the maps, and it's the maps that make the NGS Atlas superior to all others.

    The traditional NGS "look" sometimes seems dated compared to the flashier colors and trendy graphics employed by some other publishers. However, the more I study the maps, the more information I find in them. A few months ago I did a comparison of this NGS with the most recent edition of the much more expensive Times Atlas of the World for a professional geographer's meeting. I was amazed to find that many of the NGS maps of North America had more than twice as many place names and named physical features as the Times Atlas. I also found the NGS Atlas maps equal or superior to the Times' maps for parts of the Middle East and northeast Asia with which I'm familiar (frankly, I found the 10th Edition Times Atlas inferior to the prior edition in several regards; for example, the elevation colors are far less discernable and detailed city maps have been virtually eliminated). Despite contrary opinions by some other reviewers, I judge the National Geographic Atlas maps to be far and away superior in content and sheer volume of information presented to all the other "high end" atlases published by Oxford, Hammond and DK. In fact, I couldn't justify recommending any of the other atlases (except possibly the Times, which, I admit, does offer fantastic detail for village names in the rural plains of India where I hope to never visit) to a library.

    The National Geographic Society Atlas of the World is a great investment for travel planning, tracking current events, studying geography and history or just reading maps for pleasure. I recommend it highly.

    Map out your academic studies or armchair travels with this incredible book --- without a doubt, the most up-to-date, comprehensive atlas we have ever seen. This seventh edition puts a changing world, in 140,000-plus entries, in everyone's hands, and boasts state-of-the-art satellite imagery and the work of more than 50 cartographers, designers, editors, researchers and indexers. (The mountain, valleys and other landscape features were digitally painted over a period of a yea by one staff artist!) Expensive? You bet. But much cheaper than a trip around the world. But if you have to go, just don't try and pack it in your luggage; the book weighs close to 15 pounds!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Atlas Doesn't Shrug!
    O.K... not the greatest pun, but at least I got your attention! I wanted to tell anyone who is interested that I have owned this atlas for two years and I can now say in all sincerity that it is one of the best book investments I've ever made, hands down. I keep it in a very handy spot between my computer, my television and my bookcase, and pull it out whenever an unfamiliar geographic reference comes my way. Usually this leads to 20-30 minutes of sheer pleasure as I flip through the pages and bolster my understanding of distant and exotic places. The maps are clear and detailed, and very esoterically pleasing, and the index is one of the best I've ever seen in any book; I am constantly amazed that all of the maps are served by this one simple-to-use index. Bonus Information: I was browsing in a store which specializes in geography products shortly after I bought this atlas, and the salesman suggested a product called the "Magnabrite light gathering magnifier", a small clear glass object which rests on the page and brings small print and details forward clearly and dramatically. If you search "all products" on Amazon, I believe they have a catalog listing which will allow you to order one. Also, you can just Google for it easily. It's the best! Mine says on the box "Precision, Prefocused 4X - Magnifier"...but I believe it's available in four sizes. I hope this atlas serves as a great tool for you to delve deeply into the geography and topography of our beautiful planet. Enjoy it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular and practical
    This atlas is an excellent balance between spectacular layout and user-friendliness. While still very, very large, the book is not as ungainly to handle as the huge Times atlas and I find the maps in the National Geographic Atlas to be easier on the eyes compared to those in the Times.

    The book has a quite satisfying introductory section, especially the part dealing with the universe and earth's relative position in same.

    As far as comprehensiveness is concerned, the maps and index serve all of my purposes, and I am very picky. If you need more detail, you probably should buy a road map for the area, especially pertaining to the individual states in the USA section.

    In ordering such a tome, I personally suggest the next-day delivery option as it minimizes the time the book spends in transit and the resultant bother of having to secure a replacement for a damaged copy. My own copy arrived in perfect condition but I did use next-day shipping.

    The National Geographic Atlas of the World is a worthwhile investment for any home or school and should give years & years of service for any map enthusiast. ... Read more

    5. Into a Paris Quartier
    by Diane Johnson
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792272668
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 4197
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    Book Description

    Paris has always held a special appeal for Americans -- its cosmopolitan culture, its great boulevards, the majestic sweep of its history. But what really makes Paris irresistible is a deeply personal connection that's not found in any guidebook but rather in a particular café, a chance encounter, a side street whose charm inspires an affection at once instant and indelible.

    For acclaimed novelist Diane Johnson, that feeling focuses on ST.-Germain-des-Prés, and in this delightful book she takes us on an affectionate tour of her home neighborhood, where the Three Musketeers swaggered, La Rochefoucault honed his cynically delightful maxims, and Gertrude Stein played den mother to a Lost Generation of American expatriates. Evoking both a rich past that has everywhere left its mark and the vibrant urbanity, Johnson brings a keenly curious eye and an eloquent pen to this fascinating, welcoming portrait of the Paris she knows and loves so well.

    ... Read more

    6. Assassination Vacation
    by Sarah Vowell
    list price: $21.00
    our price: $14.28
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743260031
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 250
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrumsof American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

    From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult. ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wierd but Funny - A Great Way to do History
    This book is just a touch wierd. Who would take a vacation with the specific intent of going to see where the presidents got shot?

    OK, I'll admit having visited the Texas Book Depository building in Dallas. But that was because of the publicity that was high at the time regarding who actually shot him. An aside -- anyone who has ever gone rifle shooting can look out the window he used and will think, "I could have made that shot."

    Still, her dry wit can't help from coming through, "Going to Ford's Theatre to watch the play is like going to Hooters for the food." She makes the study of history come alive much better than the dry history books I remember from school.

    As now the author of five books, television appearances on several shows, and the voice of Teenage superhero Violet Parr in "The Incredibles," Ms. Vowell is a budding great voice in American literature.

    1-0 out of 5 stars For Presidential History Geeks Only
    I like Sarah Vowell's personality and normally enjoy reading her books and listening to her on This American Life.Plus she kicked ass in The Incredibles.

    I found this book really dull reading though. Unless you, like Sarah, are obsessed with the tiny details of President Garfield's presidency (and other subjects equally dry) you may be as bored as I was. She herself keeps saying how the companions she brings along on her research trips are bored to tears by the subject matter.

    I look forward to her next book and a return to more interesting territory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's No Coincidence...
    This book is great! The wit and humor of Vowell's essays, collected in Take the Cannoli and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, translate well to this more focused tale of her visits to sites related to presidential assassinations. Filled with Vowell's quirky observations and animated by the rapid-fire connections her mind makes, Assassination Vacation is a page-turner AND a history lesson at the same time. Vowell's deep appreciation of and enthusiasm for her subject matter is infectious. Highly recommended, especially if you're planning a trip that includes visits to historic sites. Vowell's viewpoint will give you a new way of enjoying them that will definitely enhance your experience!

    5-0 out of 5 stars quirky history tour
    Very informative, hilarious and even moving at times. One other reviewer mentioned Vowell's Bush bashing, but they should read or listen to more than a snippet. The "current president" only pops up a couple of times and briefly. The rest of the book is for the most part a quirky nonpartisan journey through American political history. Vowell's narration in the audiobook abridgement is broken up with some interesting guest voices. Stephen King as Abraham Lincoln for instance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Charming, Witty and Funny
    I just, today, discovered Sarah Vowell's work. It is a wonderful treat. She looks at history in an amazingly honest way. Her history is never boring, of course. I was fortunate to see Sarah do an author presentation on C-Span2 BookTV.

    She presents history in a quirky, honest and humorous way. This book is about the history of the people and events surrounding the assassintions of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. You will learn historical details that you never knew or even thought that you wanted to know. You will be very pleased with Sarah's look into history. ... Read more

    7. The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2005
    by BobSehlinger
    list price: $18.99
    our price: $12.91
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0764559729
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-09)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 1868
    Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    The Disney World bible-our #1 travel bestseller, year after year
    * Based on interviews and surveys of 19,500 patrons, this evergreen bestseller ranks and rates all attractions by age group-and shows visitors how to make the most of their time
    * Features objective ratings of each ride, field-tested itineraries to help save time and beat the lines, in-depth rankings and reviews of hotels and restaurants inside and outside the World, and special tips for families with children, honeymooners, and seniors
    * Now updated to cover the latest Orlando-area developments, including a new resort and rides
    ... Read more

    Reviews (211)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Essential for Your Sanity
    I haven't read the latest edition, but I just returned (as of 5 days ago) from Disney World with a well-worn version of the previous edition. Every review from hotel, to age appropriateness, to rides and inside secrets proved its weight in gold. Each ride was described in detail, included any warnings (motion sickness, frightening aspects, etc.), a star rating guide for a variety of age groups (preschool, grade school, teens, adults, seniors), along with an overall review and letters from readers. The rides and attractions ratings were dead-on accurate and when we doubted a warning from the book and went anyway, we soon regretted it. Conversely, all of the recommendations were highlights of our trip. Restaurants were rated by overall value, price, service, and food quality. While they seemed a little on the harsh side (we loved the Cinderella Castle restaurant), they were very accurate in their suggestions. I neglected to listen to all the money-saving advice, and now regret that I didn't follow the instructions to the "t." From the initial planning to the final day, this will be an indispensable tool and a cheap ticket to your sanity. Skip the official line-- this is infinitely better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Planning Tool!
    I'm in the middle of planning my WDW vacation and this book has been indispensable! It's given me a feeling of confidence about navigating "the world" and my choices of where to stay etc. If you read the reviews of the individual attractions you'll see that the authors really enjoy WDW! Everything a friend or family member has recommended to us has been included in this book.

    The in depth look at each ride/attraction, hotel and restaurant in WDW is amazing. The realistic but humorous tone is great, I read the entire book cover to cover even parts that don't apply to me (the sections for people traveling with children for example).

    If possible I'm even MORE excited about this trip than I was before I read "The Guide"

    Update: 8/16/01 Now that I've been to Disney and back I can honestly say that this book was indispensable! We used the tour plans (the "one Day" plan for Magic Kingdom, MGM and Epcot) and they worked like a charm! Avoiding parks on early entry days let us ride many "Main" attractions 2+ times! I can't reccomend this book enough! Just remember it IS a guide not a "rulebook' you aren't required to follow every suggestion exactly. I know I would have been lost without this book both literaly and figuratively.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of Time
    Part of the fun of going to Walt Disney World is the anticipation. This book has a negative feel to it and takes away some of the fun from the anticipation. A book can give you the real scoop without giving a negative feel. Steer clear of this book in favor of the Passporter series which is done both realistically and kept positive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Want the best WDW guide? Stop here - this is it.
    I read four books in my preparation to my trip to Walt Disney World in June 2004. I also went to about 7 different websites and subscribed to two different email lists (getting more than 100 emails a day!), all on the subject of what to do and how to save money at WDW. THIS is the best resource for information, bar none. The Unofficial Guide spends pages and pages rating the rides for you, the restaurants, even giving sample itineraries so you don't waste time. It's the best.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Neurosis Delight!
    A thick booked packed with information (along with some additional non disney information just to make the book look thicker). However the tone of the book can be quite negative. Fear the long lines. Fear the lame rides. Fear the long lines again. I think if you followed the advice of the book you would go to the park for one hour in the morning, leave for the rest of the day, and return for an hour just before closing. and oh by the way, if you do not follow the computer generated scientific neurotic tour guides, you will end up wasting at least 3 hours every hour.

    Look, Disney is the delight of crowds. If you dont like crowds, dont go. There message delivered with no need to pound it into the ground like this book does. I have been to Disney several times over the years. Was it crowded, yip. But one of the wonders of Disney is they do a great job with crowd control and there is almost always something fun to do - if if that ride over there has a line up the wazzu. Relax. Have fun. Go skip through the disney water toys for a while.

    Disney is a great experience for those who go looking for a great experience. Disney can be a really downer for those who are uptight or dont like crowds. Go with the child with in and be flexible. ... Read more

    8. Roadtripping USA : The Complete Coast-to-Coast Guide to America (Let's Go)
    by Inc. Let's Go
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312335695
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Let's Go Publications
    Sales Rank: 2606
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    The Essential Roadtrip Companion
    Let's Go hits the open road to rediscover the classic American roadtrip, and this book offers firsthand advice, budget-savvy tips, and plenty of local flavor to boot.

    - Eight classic cross-country roadtrip routes
    - Over 230 detailed route and city maps
    - Extensive budget-conscious listings for lodging, food, practical information, attractions, and more
    - Pages filled with Americana, roadside kitsch, and informative factoids
    - A guide to time-tested road tunes, movies, literature, and the history of the roadtrip

    - Explore museums devoted to voodoo, UFOs, cookie cutters, holograms, and baking powder.
    - See Nebraska's only lighthouse or get lost in the Great Vermont Corn Maze.
    - Blaze your own trail on detours to North Dakota's Wind Cave or Pennsylvania's Brandywine Battlefield Park.
    - Check our the world's largest frying pan, hairball, ketchup bottle, dreamcatcher, rotating globe, prairie dog, or steam locomotive.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    Having travelled all over the USA by automobile, I was disappointed at the paucity of information and the highly selective coverage in this book.I had hoped to obtain an update, and more comprehensive coverage of all 50 states.I found it too selective with major ommissions by state (e.g. Kentucky has no entries at all) and smaller to mid-size communities such as Champaign, Illinois, or the beautiful Rock River valley of NW Illinois are conspicuous by their absence.

    Most disturbing is this.I live in the Greater Houston, TX, area, and read the authors' motel recommendation on US-59.Not only is that motel and immediate area known for being a place of constant drug raids, but also it is a major area of known street prostitution and that motel seems to house them.I hardly consider that "family friendly".

    5-0 out of 5 stars 1010 pages of things to see!
    If you want to make every mile count, take this guide on your next trip around the USA.It explores America's classic routes (Route 66, the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail) and off the freeway routes.Travel down these blue highways to find some things you won't find on speedy, but mind-numbing interstates.
    This book includes tips, maps, sights and leads you to great offbeat places to eat.Forget the fast food and find the real America with this heavy-duty guide. ... Read more

    9. Three Weeks with My Brother
    by Micah Sparks, Nicholas Sparks
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $15.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446532444
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
    Publisher: Warner Books
    Sales Rank: 504
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    As moving as his bestselling works of fiction,Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragic. ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Summer Reading
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Spark's family and about the journey around the world and through childhood of these two brothers. I was deeply touched to be given such insight into the author's life and it made you realize that no matter how good someone's life looks on the outside, you never know really what is going on/has happened behind the smile/tears. This book is different from his others since it was inspired by his own life not someone else's (also enjoyed learning where he came up with the ideas for other characters in previous books)...truly an enjoyable book to read. I loved how he mixed past and present stories with his trip with his brother. Kept it very interesting.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Skip the Travelogue, Read the Memoir
    If anyone advised Nicholas Sparks to abandon couching his memoir within a travelogue, he should have paid attention. Sparks's thoughts about the wondrous places he visits -- Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Agra, among others -- are silly and shallow. Plus he and his nominal co-author brother proudly portray themselves as buffoons and philistines. You want to slap them both on the back of the head and tell them to at least be quiet if they can't behave.

    On the other hand, the bulk of the book, which details the series of tragedies that have overwhelmed the brothers' adult lives -- deaths of parents and a sibling, as well as the rearing of an autistic child -- is sad but compelling, and ultimately encouraging, because it is written from the heart.

    I also think another book -- perhaps it will take the form of a novel -- needs to be written about the Sparks' mother. Nicholas professes unblemished love and respect and devotion to the woman, who died tragically at 47, just weeks after his marriage. However, she was a complicated character whose parenting of her three children was often questionable at best. Perhaps additional time is needed for him to examine her -- and his own feelings about her -- more honestly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full Of Heart
    Thats exactly what this book has-Full Of Heart. The brothers go through so much together, life is a challenge, sometimes so unfair but the one thing-the clearest thing spoken is that they have the ultimate gift-Love. Full of heart! Also recommended: Other Memoirs-A Child Called It, Father Joe,Running With Scissors,Nightmares Echo

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Three Weeks" is a great read
    Like many others who have reviewed this book, I have read all of Nicholas Sparks' previous books. I completely enjoyed reading this book as well. I think some reviewers missed the point of the book, unfortunately. It is not a "travel" book and it is not a "spiritual" book. It is a memoir, an autobiography, of the author and his brother's life experiences. I was drawn into the story on many levels - the familial relationships, the growing up years in Fair Oaks, the heartbreaking traumas endured. I think it is wonderful that Cathy and Christine were in favor of this trip for the brothers. They truly are saints (it's nice to know that both Nick and Micah truly understand that!). It makes me sad to think that Micah and Nick are so far apart (physically), but the book is a beautiful reminder that love knows no bounds. And aren't they lucky to have each other. I don't think they come off as pretentious at all...they're all they've got, it doesn't get more real than that. I think it must be amazing for Nick to look back and realize where he was and where he is now (and that he thanks God for all the blessings). I think writing this book must have been very cathartic for him, at least I would hope it was. And that he can still rely on his faith to carry him through the difficult times...we all have them, even if we aren't best selling authors or successful businessmen. It's interesting that as I read the book, I kept reminding myself that this wasn't one of his novels...this stuff really happened. And though some of the antics that he and his brother did on the three week trip were borderline-out-of-control, it was funny. I could see me and my brother and sisters doing stuff like that! Micah seems to be a good reminder to relax, enjoy life and have fun. I hope that they both benefitted from traveling together and spending quality time together like that...and that there was some healing in the pains suffered after living through so many tragedies...especially for Nick. Micah seems to deal with life and it's ups and downs well enough...I mean, if not going to church and questioning his faith are the worst things that he has endured, then good for him. I think writing the book for Nicholas probably has helped him move forward, which sounds like he is doing. God bless him, his brother and their families. Now I think I need to make a run downtown to get some Zelda's and beer myself! :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written!
    This is a different kind of book but wonderful! Any Sparks fan will love this! You will laugh and cry. Have some tissues nearby and enjoy! Fan for life! ... Read more

    10. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
    by Sam Keith, Richard Proenneke
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0882405136
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books
    Sales Rank: 161
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    To live in a pristine land ... to roam the wilderness ... to choose a site, cut trees, and build a home ... Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them. Here is a tribute to a man in tune with his surroundings who carved his masterpiece out of the beyond. ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great journals of wilderness living
    This is a powerful book and has quite a following. I was given the book by one of my best friends, which I consider a wonderful gift. This book has it all, beautiful photos, Richard's journal notes are amazing in their insight to his thinking and how this adventure unfolded. It is a simply wonderful book, and has people traveling to Alaska just to see the setting for such a balanced book. This book lays claim to new territory, and the claim is valid. No wonder it sells well, it is captivating reading and makes you look hard and close at your own life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One Man's Wilderness
    This has to be one of my very favorite books. I have read it front to back at least 7 times! It is written with the true adventurer in mind. Every detail of his experience makes the reader wish it were he/she that was there with him. If you have ever wished you could just go off into the woods, build a cabin and be self-sufficiant, This is the book for you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful "Alaskana" read
    Sure the writing style isn't polished and there is little action, but I think that is what helps makes this such an enjoyable book. The observations and opinions presented in the closing pages (chapter 9) will cause most any reader to consider their place in their world. There is enough good here for me to add this to my extensive Alaskana library for long term keeping.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One Man's Carpentry
    The book is entirely journal entries that for the most part describe how the author builds his wilderness cabin and goes about other day-to-day tasks. This is not the book for those seeking accounts of extraordinary Alaskan adventures but it is an impressive account of craftmanship. It is a story of impressive feats of carpentry and resourcefulness. You do get a few descriptions of encounters with wildlife but I didn't find that to be a strength of the book. Great pictures, too.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting details, but slow for me
    I like books that contain the kind of real details that this book contains. Properly presented, fact can be more interesting than fiction. The book reads somewhat like a journal. For me, however, it deserves 3 stars because of writing quality, and because it failed to keep me reading past midnight. ... Read more

    11. Italy (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by Not Applicable (Na )
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789493861
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
    Sales Rank: 2709
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Eyewitness Travel Guides are the original illustrated travel guidebooks-and they're still the best. Since 1993, the Eyewitness brand has established itself as one of the industry leaders, with sales of more than 6.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Featuring more than 70 worldwide destinations, new titles are being added to the best-selling Eyewitness Travel Guides series each year. In 2003, to mark the 10th anniversary of the publication of Eyewitness Travel Guides, DK is re-launching the entire series, fully updated, and with a brand-new look. ... Read more

    Reviews (61)

    4-0 out of 5 stars beautiful overview, less helpful for specifics
    What a gorgeous book. I fell in love with the Eyewitness series and decided to buy this book to learn as much as I could about as many places as I could in Italy, before I planned my trip. I also plan on collecting more, for future trips and because they are great educational books, even if one never plans on traveling. Great for the coffee table, too! Organized by region with an overview of each area and brief highlights about specific sites (most of which are churches). The map on Rome was a little confusing at first and I had to keep flipping page to page to navigate. Luckily, the book is designed with two flaps that can be used for page markers. Useful organization on the sites (such as which ones charge admission, open/closed times, market days for towns, etc.) Loved the sections on regional foods and festivals, useful travel info located in the back. Photographs are small but lovely and numerous, architectural cutaways give interesting perspective on the sites. Restaurant and hotel recommendations are well organized but I never really consulted them. (Stuck to the internet for finding rooms and our wanderings and recommendations from other travelers to find restaurants.) We went to the Amalfi coast, Capri and the Umbria area (staying in Gubbio) and found the book mildly helpful. It was most helpful in Rome. I saw many tourists with Eyewitness Italy and Rome guides everywhere in Rome, in many languages. I've also seen the Frommer's series and found that one to be more densely packed with useful information and suggestions for interesting (and often inexpensive) excursions. However, it lacks the stimulating layout of the photographs, maps and color coding found in the Eyewitness guides. I felt the need to get more specific local guidebooks as I traveled with more detailed information and photographs. For example, I bought a guidebook outside Pompeii in order to have more information on the sights as well as a more useful map. It turns out that much more of Pompeii was excavated since the Eyewitness book was written. Hardly any information was given on the excavation of Herculaneum, which we heard is even a better site to tour than Pompeii. We could have used information on navigating around Capri efficiently, too, considering a day trip allows little time to see many of the sights, which often are contingent on the weather (such as the famous Blue Grotto, inaccessible at high tide). Capri is also very expensive for just about everything. The only warning given is that it's a "tourist trap." Minimal, general information was provided for the Amalfi coast, so much had to be learned (such as driving hazards) by experience, which is one of the joys of traveling anyway. Overall, a beautiful,informative book, providing a good general overview of a variety of areas and sites. Decent maps, terrific photos, useful travel info (though limited description of bus and metro routes). Not detailed enough for many areas so local souvenir guidebooks, or a more densely informed and photo-poor book might be helpful for the more investigative traveler. A note to travelers: order foods that are specialties of the region. Foods adopted from other regions tend to be less than expected. (ex. Risotto in the south is often made with the wrong rice, pizza in the north is difficult to eat and has too thin a crust. Whereas gnocchi in the north is incredible.) What also would have been useful is a description of different shop names and what they sell so travelers know what to expect when they're looking for something specific. (Like a deli--"salumeria" for an inexpensive lunch of prosciutto and cheese) However, that is again some of the fun of traveling--finding these things on your own. Buon viaggio!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bella Italia
    When Eyewitness travel guides burst on to the scene, they revolutionised the genre. Dorling Kindersley have long published marvellous series information books for schools and young people, and they have brought the same high quality of production to their travel series. Eyewitness does a few things superbly: 1. Their use of full colour photography. 2. No Top Tens or 1/2/3 stars. Eyewitness just show it how it is and let you decide what interests you most. 3. Real maps, with real street indexes, integrated right into the book. No more sketch maps with dubious scale or misrepresentations of actual distances. 4. Breaking up cities into manageable and logical sectors. So after helping you get there, they offer full coverage of the area. 5. There is no attempt to be hip or impose points-of-view. Other guide books do that, and do it quite well at times, so they are best left to that field.

    Italy is a fat book, and it might be heavy to carry around, but as other reviewers have said it is invaluable. It would replace at least two other guide books, and relegate the other lushly illustrated "guides" that are out there to the coffee-table status that is probably more appropriate.

    My one criticism is that the accommodation listings are more appropriate for the well-heeled traveller. Here's what I'd do: go to the local library and borrow the Let's Go, Rough Guide and Lonely Planet. Photocopy the listings and use them to supplement . As for restaurant listings, I've never used them in any guide book - just stepped outside the lodgings and wandered!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Useless... but great pictures!
    As a travel guide, this book is beyond useless! The pictures are amazing and they will definitly inspire you to take a trip to Italy but once your get there, if you depend on this book, your family will have to declare you missing! There aren't any directions to any of the places addressed in the book. And some of the places discussed would be impossible for the average person to go see on his/her own. I used Let's Go Italy as my travel guide for my 3-month italian excursion and it was the best! Yes, it wasn't without it's errors, but nothing too off the wall. I brought both my Let's Go and my Eyewitness Travel Guide with me on my trip. I gave the Eyewitness book to a British girl I met while working. She only liked it for the pictures too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure for Travelers
    After purchasing many books on Italy, I have found that this is one of the best for your money. Eyewitness does a great job of covering the entire country, and does not sacrifice information. This book appeals to both travelers and those who simply wish to learn more about the country and its history.
    The information provided ranges from maps to the cultural and historical value of the country. As you go through each city or town, famous buildings and pieces of art are depicted as well. For those who are planning a trip to Italy, the maps of each city are helpful, as well as the directory of hotels and restaurants provided. Overall, this was an extremely well made book that presents lots of information in an interesting way and is filled with beautiful pictures. This is the book to get for covering a variety of aspects of Italy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Available
    I have to confess up front. I love these books. I must have over a dozen. I really like the Paris book, and the one for Prague, and Stockholm, and South Africa, and .... You get all the detailed material similar to other great travel books plus you get great visuals. I have bought travel books from all the competitors.

    I strongly prefer the book to those available from Lonely Planet, or Frommer, or others such as Rick Steve that have zero or few photos. Michelin of course has excellent guides but the visuals are better in the DK Eyewitness Guides.

    On a cold day back here in the USA (or Canada) or elsewhere, have a glass of wine and sit in a nice chair or in the garden on a warm day and read this book. For a moment you will be back in Italy. You are back in a small restaurant or museum.

    The photos and descriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent which is ideal for a country like Italy with a lot of history. But there is lots of detail here. The book includes the history and many details on the art, art galleries, parks, cutaway views of historical buildings, and many other things of interest. The history is summarized at the beginning of the book with historical time lines and cross referenced to the culture and political figures. A solid 670 page effort - lots of stuff to see and absorb.

    It has the other things too such as maps, accommodations, transportation, and the rest. This book is one of the best for a visitor.

    You will be pleasantly surprised with the depth and quality of this book and it makes a nice souvenir to refresh your memory. Buy extra maps plus this book and you will be set.

    Jack in Toronto ... Read more

    12. Into the Wild
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385486804
    Catlog: Book (1997-01-20)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 1144
    Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
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    "God, he was a smart kid..." So why did Christopher McCandless trade a brightfuture--a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm--for death by starvation in anabandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer's book tries to answer. While itdoesn't—cannot—answer the question with certainty, Into the Wild does shed considerable lightalong the way. Not only about McCandless's "Alaskan odyssey," but also the forces that drivepeople to drop out of society and test themselves in other ways. Krakauer quotes Wallace Stegner's writing on a youngman who similarly disappeared in the Utah desert in the 1930s: "At 18, in a dream, he saw himself ...wandering through the romantic waste places of the world. No man with any of the juices of boyhood inhim has forgotten those dreams." Into the Wild shows that McCandless, while extreme, washardly unique; the author makes the hermit into one of us, something McCandless himself could never pulloff. By book's end, McCandless isn't merely a newspaper clipping, but a sympathetic, oddly magneticpersonality. Whether he was "a courageous idealist, or a reckless idiot," you won't soon forgetChristopher McCandless. ... Read more

    Reviews (745)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Krakauer's story of Chris McCandless
    Why would a talented and gifted young man walk away from his life of promise and lead the life of a penniless wanderer? Jon Krakauer, the nature/travel journalist, takes on this question in the story of Chris McCandless, who after two years of coast-to-coast travel, was found dead in the Alaskan wildreness.

    Krakauer retraces McCandless's steps from his childhood to his days at Emory and uncovers a smart, compassionate young man who revelled in the works of Tolstoy, Jack London, and other figures who advocated a simple self-sufficient existence, turning away from money, government, etc. He interviews several people that Chris, "Alex Supertramp" as he calls himself, met in his hitch hiking travels and discusses his journal writings. I came upon this book after reading Krakauer's newest book, Under the Banner of Heaven. I appreciated Krakauer's style of being in the story as an author/journalist, but keeping the story in its purest form.
    Krakauer first encountered this story after McCandless's death in 1992. He wrote a feature story in Outside magazine, but was very interested in McCandless, so he decided to research the events more. This book is the further research. He provides some insight and answers some of the questions with his own experiences as a mountaineer and outdoor-lover.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FINDING CHRIS MCCANDLESS
    As the mother of sons and a writer for whom reading is the greatest pleasure, I found "Into the Wild" to be one of the finest and most unexpectedly beautiful books I have read in a very long time.

    It is the harrowing story of the death and short life of Chris McCandless, a bright, charming, adventurous young man whose mysterious travels and untimely death left a legacy of heartbreak and confusion to those who loved him.

    In returning to the scene of his own admittedly incomplete reportage of the story for :"Outside" magazine, Jon Krakauer reveals his own honesty and decency as a writer and a man.

    The book is as beautifully written as it is fascinating. Krakauer and his readers come to know Chris McCandless as our own youthful hopes made flesh. We also come to know this boy -- and love him -- as everyone's son, perhaps even our own.

    Late in his troubled adolescence, Chris set out into the American "wilderness" on a journey to adulthood. He did not return.

    He didn't return, that is, until Krakauer, who recognized in this story aspects of his own difficult youth, embarked on an odyssey of his own in McCandless' footsteps. .

    With almost unbearable detail he pieces together the last year of this young man's life and derives from it a compelling pilgrim's tale of anger, fear and courage. Through those who knew him during his "lost" days, we move from dissatisfaction and yearning to spiritual rebirth that arrives gratefully, but late and despite terrible twists of fate

    .Chris McCandless tunneled through Peer Gynt's mountain, punted across the Slough of Despond and into the dark and icy forest. He received boons and encountered spirit guides; listened and learned from scouts and story-tellers All of them later helped the auther piece together the real story, heretofore untold, of a boy who found himself and death in the same process and in the same place. Free at last, he quietly, and even joyously, welcomed the arrival of both with valor and uncommon grace.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    How does a young man leave a comfortable life with an education and well to do parents and just wander into the wild? This is one of the questions that Jon Krakauer tries to answer. At first the reader is given the idea that Chris McCandless read one too many books like "On the Road" or "White Fang", but as the story develops, he becomes more complex a character. This young man was looking for adventure and decided to leave "normal" life behind. Unfortanuatly for him. it cost him his life.

    Krakauer does an amazing job of bringing McCandless back to life by trying to show what he was thinking. Krakauer used personal notes, interviews with family and friends and historical experiences to flesh out this person. When the personal notes run out and speculation starts, Krakauer gives a personal tale to explain why McCandless was not an idiot and just had some bad luck. This book is a very good read and is time well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The dark side of idealism
    Last Christmas I gave this book to my father. I thought he might enjoy the adventures of Alex (though you know from the start his life will end badly), and thought if things went well I might use this to try to explain to him why it is that I spend all my extra money on travel and why I do illogical things in pursuit of my dreams. His reaction, though, was nothing but frustration with Alex's "idiocy."

    The difference between my response to the book - that Chris/Alex lived an extreme form of the longing I and many others feel - and my father's response is the same gulf that this story seeks to bridge. Jon Krakauer, who has also sacrificed a great deal and risked his life in pursuit of his dreams, clearly feels some sympathy for Alex's wild decisions. But the result of Alex's tramping is his own death and the heartbreak that ensues, which seems to outweigh any selfish satisfaction Alex may have received from his experiences.

    When people create great art or invent something remarkable, society celebrates their achievements in spite of any collateral damage. But Alex is an example of someone whose idealism was far greater than his accomplishments. The art he left behind in his notebooks is unremarkable, and the few friends he made in his travels have not been catalysts for improvement in the world. His one success (or failure) was that he was able to unbind himself from his expected, normal life and give himself wholly to his ideals. So many of us secretly wish that we had the courage to do something similar, and this book forces us to confront that desire. Is the pursuit of a dream a worthwhile end, in and of itself?

    There are no clear answers, in this book or in life, but the question is worth asking, no matter whether you see Alex as someone to be admired or throttled.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lonesome pines in snow
    This is an excellent read! But more than that, it is one of most moving and human stories you will ever have the pleasure of encountering by an author such as Krakauer, a splendid naturalist with a true ear for epiphany. Krakauer has a style unlike any writer this side of the twentieth century, and makes his way honestly and earnestly into the psyche of the reader, unexpectedly portraying a very real and true, almost unspeakable understanding of the young adventurer, Chris McCandless. If you are American, you absolutely must read this book! It should be cannonized. ... Read more

    13. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
    by Rachel DeWoskin
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393059022
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 636
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    A smart, funny, insightful peek into modern China through the eyes of a "foreign babe."

    Hoping to improve her Chinese and broaden her cultural horizons, Rachel DeWoskin went to work for an American PR firm in China. Before she knew it, she was not just exploring but making Chinese culture—as the sexy, aggressive, fearless Jexi, star of a wildly successful soap opera. A sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex in the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes, the show was called Foreign Babes in Beijing.

    Living the clashes in real life while playing out a parallel version onscreen, Rachel forms a group of friends with whom she witnesses the vast changes sweeping through China as the country pursues the new maxim that "to get rich is glorious." In only a few years, billboards, stylish bars and discos, international restaurants, fashion shows, divorce, foreign visitors, and cross-cultural love affairs transform the face of China's capital. Foreign Babes in Beijing is as astute and informative as it is witty, moving, and entertaining. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouths of babes ... come the truest words . . .
    This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a very long time.I have been to Beijing once and I now live in thevery multicultural city of Toronto.The author deftly weaves the scripted story of the soap opera in which she acts with her real story on the streets and clubs and offices of Beijing.In a style of writing that is clear but deeply nuanced and humorous, she relates the lives of young men and women in a rapidly changing China, dealing with their own kind of culture shock, even as she deals with hers.

    The chapter "Model workers" talks of the emerging, very non-Maoist profession of runway models.Brief, capsule biographies of the author's friends in China who are both typical and extraordinary, painters, actors, and fellow office workers, provided me insights that I will long carry with me.The story is told in part with quotations from her actual conversations, quotations from the show script, lyrics from popular songs, and brief quips about historical women recorded in the ancient "Lives of Eminent Women." Together these constribute to a fine tapestry that reveals many truths about our complex multicultural lives without judgement and with considerable affection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Crisp, Clever, Fast-paced, and Funny
    This book is both smart and fun. On the one hand it is about an American babe who stars in a Chinese TV soap with funny stories to tell; and on the other, a glimpse into China's vast cultural landscape that is shifting as we speak.The seduction by the foreign babe is a metaphor for the impact of the West on the middle kingdom. DeWoskin has a smooth as silk grasp of language that is kind to the reader. Well done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary - Served Hot and Spicy
    Rachel DeWoskin arrived in Beijing during the mid-90s, among the first wave of Westerners to see the city since the protests and reprisals at Tiananmen Square a few years earlier. During her stay, China relented from rigid socialism, opened up to foreign capital, and incorporated western business practices. On one level, "Foreign Babes" is the story of this process. DeWoskin's descriptions of these cultural convulsions are pithy and delightful. From the introduction of Coke and McDonald's (and the resulting obesity epidemic), to the latest trends in Chinese rock music and performance art, she was a witness and an insider - the perfect guide.

    DeWoskin was not just an anonymous tourist, though, she was a pop-sensation. Starring as an American temptress in China's version of Beverly Hills 90210, her weekly seductions were seen by half a billion people each week. Hundreds of fans mobbed her on the streets of Beijing and followed her through stores, buying whatever random products she put in her bag.

    But the heart of "Foreign Babes" is not the fascinating backdrop of Beijing in bloom, or the glamorous and sexy soap opera, but the relationships between the characters. Sparring across a huge divide of language, politics, and culture, they must shed stereotypes and find a personal space in which to understand each other - not as American or Chinese, but as individuals and friends. DeWoskin possesses an astute social sensibility, a pitch-perfect ear for conversation, and the gift of spot-lighting the most awkward - and revealing - moment in any interaction.

    Just going to China after college was adventurous. Signing on for the TV-show was audacious. Most impressive, however, was DeWoskin's ability to bridge the gaps and surround herself with friends in a foreign country. Impressive, but not surprising, since the author's warmth and grace are apparent on every page.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Look at Late 1990's Beijing
    Having lived for much of the period from 2001 - 2004 in Suzhou, (about 50 miles west of Shanghai), I can categorically say that Rachel DeWoskin's new book, FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA, gets nearly everything right when it comes to Chinese culture and interpersonal relations. Her book is a fascinating account of a city, a country, and a culture in transition. The people around her, and she herself, suffer the contradictions of tradition versus modernity, socialism versus entrepreneurial capitalism, blind patriotism versus Westernization, and government control versus individual freedom, yet everyone zooms ahead to find their own way even as the book's timeline approaches the millennium.

    Ms. DeWoskin arrives in Beijing on something of a lark, a college grad with an English degree, a little Mandarin, and a desire for something adventurous. She has taken a position with the Beijing office of an international public relations firm (we later learn that "P.R." sounds uncomfortably like the Chinese word for an unflattering body part) but quickly finds the work empty of content. She unexpectedly gets offered a spot as one of the two foreign female leads in a new Chinese soap opera entitled "Yang Niu Zai Beijing," or "Foreign Babes in Beijing." She is duped into signing a contract for far less than she's worth to the producers (there are still relatively few attractive young Western women in Beijing in 1995), and a series of acting misadventures and cast romances ensue. DeWoskin can barely separate her real-life feelings for her hunky co-star Wang Ling from their respective romantic roles in the soap opera. In the end, "Foreign Babes" is a huge success throughout China, and Ms. Dewoskin is recognized everywhere she goes as Jiexi, the "loose" Western woman who steals a married Chinese man (Wang Ling's character, Tianming) from his wife and takes him to America.

    The author eventually quits her P.R. job and takes on a series of small acting and spokesperson roles, and even takes a brief turn as a runway model. Along the way, she meets and briefly profiles four young Beijingers (two female and two male, despite oddly labeling their chapters, "Biographies of Model Babes") and describes their lives, beliefs, and aspirations. Each is fiercely independent and nontraditional, seeking to find their own identity and purpose in a newly-opened society. These four people are sometimes misinformed and often obstinate, even foolishly obstreperous, but there's no doubt they are brave, going where relatively few in their country have gone before.

    DeWoskin develops close relationships with each of her four Beijingers, including a live-in relationship with the actor/screenwriter Zhao Jun. The last one-third of the book details her post-Jiexi life, which seems to devolve into clubbing and bar-hopping punctuated by occasional vague hints at working. Two tragedies -- the sudden death of a close Chinese friend juxtaposed against the mistaken U.S./NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- bring DeWoskin's relationships and her Chinese life to an abrupt end just as the 20th Century is drawing to a close. It is time to go home, to find her place in her native country.

    Ms. DeWoskin tells her story in casual prose with easy pacing. Her writing is sometimes poignant and other times humorous. The reader feels her confusion about Chinese life and language; she doesn't even learn until later that her Chinese name, Du Ruiqiu (Du for DeWoskin, Ruiqiu to sound like Rachel), actually means "Bumper Harvest." She finds huge cultural gaps and differences with everyone around her. She makes repeated cultural faux pas, but muddles through nonetheless, just like any American in her place. Interlaced with her story are bits and pieces of Chinese history and language. Ms. DeWoskin also offers a number of surprisingly on-target, passing observations about Chinese life and culture: the importance of face, women covering their mouths when laughing, lack of winter heating, foreigners' prices, women holding hands but not hugging, and a host of others. Combined, these little bits add to a greater whole, creating a "Beijing atmosphere" that effectively complements her personal story.

    It is hard not to see FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA as a coming of age story, both for the naïve, young college graduate author and for the country in which she is perpetually an outsider. She uses China and the Chinese for her own adventure story as surely as they use her for her "exotic" foreignness. This book is also a story about cross-cultural personal relationships, about roles assumed and played out, about what is thought and said, and not said, between any two people, complicated a hundredfold by cultural differences and ways of thinking. In the end, Ms. DeWoskin's confused, conflicted, and ultimately lost relationship with Zhao Jun may well serve as a metaphor for the instability, and perhaps the utter hopelessness, of the larger Sino-American relationship.

    3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, and impressionistic
    A good read, funny at times. In a way, this book is not exactly about the "new new China," but "recent new China," for the described events happened more than 5 years ago, a generational period on the Chinese time scale. DeWoskin is charming, self-deprecating, and going out with interesting people including Cui Jian. Do not look for any substantial, observant description of the capital and its people in this chattery book. She is after all a babe, living a half-real, half-dreamy life in Beijing. Never an insider, she is but a sweet, lovely guest who is invited to watch China and be watched at the same time. ... Read more

    14. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
    by Patricia Schultz
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $10.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761104844
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-22)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 18
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Introducing the Eighth Wonder of travel books, the New York Times bestseller that's been hailed by CBS-TV as one of the best books of the year and praised by Newsweek as the "book that tells you what's beautiful, what's inspiring, what's fun and what's just unforgettable everywhere on earth."

    Packed with recommendations of the world's best places to visit, on and off the beaten path, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE is a joyous, passionate gift for travelers, an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. There's Botswana's Okavango Delta, the covered souks of Aleppo, the Tuscan hills surrounding San Gimignano, Canyon de Chelly, the Hassler hotel in Rome, Ipanema Beach, the backwaters of Kerala, Oaxaca's Saturday market, the Buddhas of Borobudur, Ballybunion golf club-all the places guaranteed to give you the shivers.

    The prose is gorgeous, seizing on exactly what makes each entry worthy of inclusion. And, following the romance, the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone and fax numbers, web sites, costs, and best times to visit. ... Read more

    Reviews (95)

    3-0 out of 5 stars 1000 places to stay before you're bankrupt
    This is a great idea for a book, and it is fun. I'm being a bit tough to give it only 3 stars, but after a while it got to me.

    There are probably about 50 to 100 places in this book that one ought to visit if at all possible. There are also some places that ought to be there, like the Vale of Kashmir, but one would die while visiting them. There are also about 8,765 very expensive hotels to exercise a Platinum card on. She's a traveller who likes her servants elegant and plentiful. I'm sure they're fine hotels, I've known a few of them myself. Still, they're hotels darn it! Not one is worth ten minutes in the Louvre, or a walk in any fine forest.

    Some of the places she mentions I knew 20 years ago when they were fresh, now they are well worn and there are different and better alternatives. She also is rather stuck on the northeast.

    That said, it is a fun bathroom read for residents and guests. As a travel book it's three stars, as a certain kind of recreation it's 3-4 starts. If you want to travel with it, use the examples as hints, but explore as much around the places she mentions as in them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kudos - A Job Remarkably Done
    I have been professionally traveling for 35 years and for personal reasons twice that. Yes this 900-page travel bible features a lot of (historical, must-see and unusual) hotels, but there are so very many more museums (the world's biggest and best and the small gems too), festivals (a betrothal festival in in Morocco's Atlas Mountains and the Spoleto Festivals in both Spoleto, Italy and Charleston USA), food experiences (the Maine Lobster Festival and George Blanc in France) and sites of natural beauty (the Grand Tetons, Patagonia, Cappodocia in Turkey, Italy's Dolomite Mountains, Connemara in Ireland) - oh and I could go on and Patricia Schultz does. You can never please everyone all the time, but no one has ever come as close as this intrepid author, and with a lovely and easy to read prose that should awaken the adventurer and explorer in all of us. I gave 20 of these books away as Christmas gifts and now have 20 best friends who are still talking about the best gift they ever received.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Before You Die - Another Last Chance
    As a well-preserved baby boomer, I am increasingly aware of the passage of time and how little there is left of it (even if I live to be 100+, which I definitely plan on doing). I have visited only two of the places referenced in this book, and I found Schultz's descriptions to be accurate and pleasing. After reading this book, I plan to visit at least a dozen more, excluding the museums and old buildings. I'm more of an outdoors and scenery type.

    And if you find yourself in need of a travel companion, I suggest Baby Boomer Bachelorette: How to Have S** At Least Once More Before You Die - AT LEAST being the operative phrase here. It's a funny and fast read, with lots of how-to info on internet dating.

    5-0 out of 5 stars From Alaska to Zanzibar
    This book's description of Alaska's Inside Passage partially influenced the choice of my wife's 30th birthday gift. But had we not read the rest of Schultz's Alaska chapter we would not have gotten off the ship and experienced some of the most remote and awesome lodges and heli-hiking destinations that have just returned us back home exhilarated and ready to check out her other 900-some suggestions. I lived in Italy for 13 years until recently and one could swear Ms Schultz is Italian herself, so perfectly has she chosen those Italian destinations both world-renowned and quietly hidden that make up the quintessentail Italian Experience. My feelings are the same for her coverage of a number of other European countries I feel I know almost as well and much of Asia where I travel often for business.
    Who needs a travel agent?

    3-0 out of 5 stars random samples not too promising
    I checked out the book's recommendations for two regions with which I'm familiar: Alaska and Massachusetts. In the case of Alaska the author recommends a couple of places that any 80-year-old on a cruise would be likely to visit. She does not mention Katmai National Park (where you can get up close and personal with bears catching salmon) or any of the other places that an Alaska resident might recommend. In the case of Massachusetts she recommends Legal Seafoods. This is a chain restaurant and if you're hungry in Washington National Airport it is a fine place to eat but it is hard to see how the various branches of Legal's qualify as one of the 1000 top places in the world. ... Read more

    15. Hey Ranger! : True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America's National Parks
    by Jim Burnett
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1589791916
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
    Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
    Sales Rank: 4933
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In his thirty years with the National Park Service, Jim Burnett has seen it all: baotramp mishaps that have sent cars into the water; skunks in the outhouse and bears at the dumpser; visitors looking for the bridge over the Grand Canyon. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for everyone!
    This book is a good read for anyone who enjoys reading about how incredibly dense other people can be!I love the acronyms he uses, and I especially like the chapter titled "Back It Up Right Here!"and "Thousands of Chickens!"Jim Burnett has a great sense of humor and I'm sure he has more stories to tell!I really hope he writes another book - I'll be sure to get it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I haven't read this book....
    ...quite yet (though I certainly intend to), but, as a former Park Ranger, I'm going to give it 5 stars. I heard the interview on NPR with Mr. Burnett and he sounded like he had some terrific and hilarious stories in the book. I can confirm that I've seen otherwise reasonable people ask incredibly stupid questions or do completely off-the-wall things while on vacation, so I can well believe the veracity of the author. I'm looking forward to reading this. I may be a law student now, but I still bleed gray and green.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fun book for almost anybody
    I enjoy travel and visiting parks, and even though I don't consider myself to be an `outdoorsman," I really liked this book. The author is a great, conversational story-teller and has a wonderful sense of humor. If you like Garrison Keillor you'll enjoy this style of writing. He has come up with some really funny acronyms to describe why things often turn out differently that we expect, such as the "oops" factor (outcome outside of planned scenario). My son always thought he wanted to be a park ranger and I'm giving him a copy of the book. Like the previous reviewer I was surprised at some of the things I learned about their jobs. This is a fun read and the short chapters made it easy to enjoy even with my busy schedule.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hey Ranger!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading, Hey Ranger!, especially the amusing style the author uses to tell of the incidents he encountered and the so called fringe benefits a Park Ranger's family endures.The chapter titles grab your attention and relates well to what's told in that chapter."Don't feed the skunks" is one of many hilarious accounts of how people depend on a Park Ranger to solve their mistakes. I really enjoyed the use of abbreviations such as C.U.B.S. (Constitutionally Unable to Behave Sensibly), that adds to the funny explanations of brainless situations people get into. His own personal chapter account of one of his moves in, " Mister, It's not to late" was so funny I found myself laughing out loud.This book proves that a Park Ranger's job is more than just riding around in a truck enjoying National Park scenery as some people think. It's hard to put down and I'm sure you will find it entertaining. ... Read more

    16. Honeymoon with My Brother : A Memoir
    by Franz Wisner
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312320906
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 159772
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    Book Description

    This is the true story of Franz Wisner, a man who thought he had it all- a high profile career and the fiancée of his dreams- when suddenly, his life turned upside down.Just days before they were to be married, his fiancée called off the wedding.Luckily, his large support network of family and friends wouldn't let him succumb to his misery.They decided Franz should have a wedding and a honeymoon anyway- there just wouldn't be a bride at the ceremony, and Franz' travel companion would be his brother, Kurt.

    During the "honeymoon," Franz reconnected with his brother and began to look at his life with newfound perspective.The brothers decided to leave their old lives behind them.They quit their jobs, sold all their possessions, and traveled around the world, visiting sixty countries for the next two years.In Honeymoon With My Brother, Franz recounts this remarkable journey, during which he turned his heartbreak into an opportunity to learn about himself, the world, and the brother he hardly knew.
    ... Read more

    17. Rick Steves' Italy 2005
    by Rick Steves, Heidi Sewell, Sarah Murdoch
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1566916798
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-10)
    Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing, Rick Steves
    Sales Rank: 1181
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    18. London (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by Michael Leapman
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789493837
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
    Sales Rank: 3701
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Eyewitness Travel Guides are the original illustrated travel guidebooks-and they're still the best. Since 1993, the Eyewitness brand has established itself as one of the industry leaders, with sales of more than 6.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Featuring more than 70 worldwide destinations, new titles are being added to the best-selling Eyewitness Travel Guides series each year. In 2003, to mark the 10th anniversary of the publication of Eyewitness Travel Guides, DK is re-launching the entire series, fully updated, and with a brand-new look. ... Read more

    Reviews (51)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Travel Guide, Beautiful Coffee Table Book!
    Every Dorling Kindersley Guide has been a great and interesting book... and delightful to have and use, even if you are not traveling to that location, but are only interested in learning more!

    The Guides are well organized in a logical and easy to follow manner. They are beautifully illustrated, well developed with accurate information (it is unusual for hotel and restaurant information to be that accurate), have enough history to help the reader understand the people and cultural background, and have a lot of useful travel information and useable maps in the appendixes.

    The really great attraction to this book is several fold; it is:
    ............Very complete
    ............Easy to read
    ............Beautifully and artistically completed
    ............Good shopping, safety and other tips
    ............Gorgeous photographs too numerous to list.

    The guides are organized as follows:

    How to use this guide
    Introduction to Historical and Geographical information
    Geographical Regions
    ............Introduction London
    ........................At a Glance
    ........................Through the Year
    ........................Riverview of London
    ............London Area by Area, each section includes:
    ........................Introduction to street by street area
    ........................Detailed pictorials of area buildings
    ........................Architectural drawings, pictures, cut-aways of buildings
    ........................Specific stops, historical monuments, churches, buildings, etc.
    ........................Four Guided Walks

    Travelers Needs - includes full list with rankings and notes
    ............Restaurants, pubs
    ............Shops / Markets
    ............Children's London

    Survival Information
    ........................Tourist info., Etiquete, Personal Security and Health
    ........................Currencies, Telephones, misc info.
    ............Getting to London
    ............Getting Around London
    ............Street Maps
    ............General Index
    ............Phrase Book

    The book begins with "Introducing London", including a complete map, a review, the city's history, and London thought the Year - including events, etc.

    Areas with an "At a glance" overview, then has subsections of specific blocks, or forums, then specific locations, churches, historical monuments, bridges, galleries, etc.

    Architectural reviews include various views, and cutaways; given greater understanding and better perspective. They are all attractive, if not works of art - honestly.

    The travelers' Info. offers good and valid info. on prices, currencies, customs, important words, etc. I used the reviews on hotel's restaurants and nightclubs, etc. and found they were useful and accurate, and helpful with my touring and site decisions.

    The books are so well thought-out that it has multiple maps, with various lookup tables, and the book's flaps are designed to be used as bookmarks for map pages.

    Each book in this series is a great help, and beautiful collectible resource. As the President, CEO of an International Meeting Planning Corporation we have many resources and techniques to learn about places we have meetings / groups at as well as the cities and sights. But, as a traveler, this book really is top notch and I would recommend it to anyone going on a personal trip, or wanting to learn about a city, or location. We have used some of these books to augment our research to investigate cities for our groups.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Cannot Go Wrong - These are Great Books for Travel
    I first discovered these books by accident on Stockholm. The book I bought by accident was in Swedish but it still useful because of all the photos, cut away views, museum pictures, and maps and historical details. When I got home I bought one in English. I own more than a dozen of different cities and countries in this series.

    What differentiates these books from the competition is the photos. On a cold day back here in the USA (or Canada) or elsewhere, have a glass of wine and sit in a nice chair or in the garden on a warm day and read this book. For a moment you will be back in London. You are back in a small restaurant overlooking a busy street in the theatre district. Thats how good the photos are! I am still impressed every time I pick up the book.

    The photos and desicriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent. They cover art galleries, museums, churches, special architecture, history, an a lot more. A solid 430 page effort - lots of stuff to see and absorb. Where does one to begin and describe the things to see and do in London such as the Westminster area, the galleries such as the Tate, Buckingham Palace, Soho, The City, Mayfair, Southwark, on and on. The book includes subway maps, restaurants and more. In other words you get all the travel information as found in other books plus great visuals.

    The history section is impressive. They have a timeline showing developments cross referenced to photos, people, and things to see all in a detailed section.

    Great city, the visit made better.

    Jack in Toronto

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best buy!
    Brilliant book. Accurate, easy to use and very concise. A pleasure to carry around with good quality maps, street name lookup and lots and lots of information regarding places to eat (very good recommendations) and places to go to.

    A must have if you are planning a trip to London.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good and very visual, but lacks more detail
    I am going to be travelling to Europe soon and I was looking for new books. I got the eyewitness london guide because of all the images it has. It is a really nice book and really entertaining and the suggested tours are good.

    My only complain with the book is that it is not so informative about prices like other guides. I would recommend getting this guide just for the visual aspect, but maybe consider buying like the Let's Go London Or Lonely Planet London guide books for budget travellers because they give you ALL the prices informations on everything from transport, restaurants, entrances to sights, etc. For example in London's case, the eywitness guide just mentioons the travel cards to get around but doesn't give information on prices which do come in the Let's Go and LP series.

    2-0 out of 5 stars An index of London, not really a guidebook
    I took this book and Frommers to London. This book lists everything,and yet at the same time can be vague when it comes to directions, prices and if something is worthwhile or not. It's an index rather than a guide book. The Frommer's book was as if someone went to London before you did and came back with the good places and sites that you should go to, including restaurant recommendations that I find to be on the money. I'm going to Italy next month and will be taking a Frommer's guide since it gives me prices, times, and what's worth seeing. And...while the individual graphics in this book are good, overall the book is too cluttered. ... Read more

    19. A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767902521
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 560
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

    For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature. ... Read more

    Reviews (751)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than fiction
    Typically, I read a lot of fiction. I'm an escapist, I guess. I read to get away from the world we are all here to occcupy, and often I find that the best escape is into a fictonal land where nothing is as it seems, or even plausable.

    I took a chance on this book on a friends recomendation, and I was not dissapointed. Knowing my penchant for escapism, he steered me directly to this often hilarious account of a middle age writer and his drunk hippy college buddy hiking the appalchian trail. Two more mismached fellows I could not imagine.

    This book details a hysterical tale of survivial that leaves you half wanting to call up that old college friend that you haven't seen in 10 years and pack your bags and hit the trail, and half glad to continue to lead your sedintary life writing book reviews on some web site.

    The other great positive that this book offers is it's interesting history lessons. I don't think I've learned as much about american history since 10th grade social studies! Bryson has a little Charles Kuralt going on (well, maybe without the love affairs!) as he leaves the trail and gives frank, raucous descriptions of the little towns he finds food and shelter in along the way.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone with a good sense of humor, a free weekend (it's a quick read) and an escapist personality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny!
    Very seldom do I read anything that makes me laugh out loud. To do so more than once or twice in a single book almost never happens. With "Walk," I became almost hysterical over certain chapters - in an airport, no less, while waiting for my flight. People must have thought I was nuts! Anyway, this is the story of two middle-aged and out of shape men (Bryson and his buddy, Katz) who decide to hike the Appalachian Trail. The AT is the third longest nature trail in the US, stretching from Georgia to Maine, along some incredibly rough terrain. Not all of their journey is rustic, however, as they often take a break to spend a night in the closest little town off the trail to have a shower, sleep in a "real" bed, and wash the grime from their clothes. It is during one such trip to the laundromat that Katz has a rather interesting encounter with 300 lb. Beaulah, her extra-large-sized panties, and a washing machine. Aside from the comical adventures, Bryson also has a great deal to say about the AT itself, and in particular, how much the National Parks Service needs a giant kick in the pants to help preserve these Trails.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Uncovers some effects of civilization...
    Though his book isn't the best book I've read in a while, it was entertaining and did make me walk to start hiking for often. The parts a appreciated most however dealt with the US Forest Service, logging, road building, acid rain, and hunting owls, lions, and bears for bounties. He cites some good sources for information on the destruction of the forests of North America, but fails to deal with the destruction of the planet as a global phenomenon. He also fails to connect the problem with choices being made by people--especially people just like him. While I learned something from his story, there is much more to be said about the violence of our culture and the demise of the natural world.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read for Someone with Experience
    I read the book before I started backpacking and used Bryson's descriptions for making my decision on where to tackle a section of the AT. I went back later on to read it again, and enjoyed it more the second time. If you have gone through the same sorts of experiences on the AT, met similar people, been in the same areas, and delt with the same problems, its an excellent read. Granted it slows down in part two, but if you're interested in some history and background of the AT it doesn't matter. Part one a must read for those who would like a taste of the AT. Bryson is honest and at times very hilarious about his experiences and lack of skill. You should not read it if backpacking or the Appalachian Trail is of no interest to you.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The previous reviewer got it perfectly...
    ....unfortunately you would need to read the book to understand that review. The book started off nicely, and at times was witty. However, it eventually becomes a big disappointment when the author decides that completing his walk along the whole trail was too much. He then proceeds to occasionally walk snippets of it, and give you lots of filler about some aspect of the area in which he is walking. Overall, he didn't complete his mission, and he gives no compelling reason why he didn't, other than it was too tough. Then, because he is a journalist, he is able to transform that failure into a mediocre book. Perhaps a skilled writer can walk the whole trail, write an interesting book, and then we can stop talking about this one. ... Read more

    20. Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2005 : Expert Advice from the Inside Source (Birnbaum's Walt Disney World)
    by Birnbaum
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786854286
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Disney Editions
    Sales Rank: 2038
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Birnbaum's Walt Disney World, the most respected and well-known name in travel guides, takes readers to the world's most popular tourist attraction. Since our guide is the only guide that's official, this book includes the most accurate information on prices, changes, and new attractions for 2005. Highlights include the lowdown on Disney's latest attractions, including Mickey's PhilharMagic, a 3-D film spectacular where Disney magic meets Disney music, and Wishes, the new nighttime fireworks extravaganza. Get the scoop on the World's newest lodging facility, the deluxe Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa as well as the newest value resort-the colorful and quirky Pop Century. ... Read more

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