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$9.80 $6.23 list($14.00)
101. Notes from a Small Island
$13.59 $13.09 list($19.99)
102. Lonely Planet London: City Guide
$7.19 $5.23 list($7.99)
103. Lonely Planet Costa Rica Spanish
$16.49 $16.44 list($24.99)
104. Let's Go 2005 Europe (Let's Go
$11.53 $10.89 list($16.95)
105. Rick Steves' Florence and Tuscany
$17.13 list($25.95)
106. The Milepost 2005: With Plan-a-Trip
$10.17 $9.45 list($14.95)
107. The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook:
$15.26 $11.97 list($17.95)
108. Italian in 10 Minutes a Day
$18.47 $17.33 list($27.99)
109. Lonely Planet Japan (Lonely Planet
$11.87 $10.95 list($16.95)
110. Fodor's London 2005 (Fodor's London)
$17.13 $4.95 list($25.95)
111. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account
$18.36 $13.99 list($22.95)
112. The Naked Truth About Hedonism
$19.80 $18.73 list($30.00)
113. Europe (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
$13.60 $13.13 list($20.00)
114. Venice & The Veneto (Eyewitness
$13.60 $13.04 list($20.00)
115. Budapest (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
$11.53 $10.95 list($16.95)
116. Rick Steves' Rome 2005
$80.75 list($95.00)
117. Emerald Gems:The Links of Ireland
$14.95 $13.14 list($21.99)
118. Frommer's Greece
$9.95 list($25.00)
119. In a Sunburned Country
$19.80 $18.50 list($30.00)
120. Spain (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

101. Notes from a Small Island
by Bill Bryson
list price: $14.00
our price: $9.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380727501
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 2902
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Reacting to an itch common to Midwesterners since there's been a Midwest from which to escape, writer Bill Bryson moved from Iowa to Britain in 1973. Working for such places as Times of London, among others, he has lived quite happily there ever since. Now Bryson has decided his native country needs him--but first, he's going on a roundabout jaunt on the island he loves.

Britain fascinates Americans: it's familiar, yet alien; the same in some ways, yet so different. Bryson does an excellent job of showing his adopted home to a Yank audience, but you never get the feeling that Bryson is too much of an outsider to know the true nature of the country. Notes from a Small Island strikes a nice balance: the writing is American-silly with a British range of vocabulary. Bryson's marvelous ear is also in evidence: "... I noted the names of the little villages we passed through--Pinhead, West Stuttering, Bakelite, Ham Hocks, Sheepshanks ..." If you're an Anglophile, you'll devour Notes from a Small Island. ... Read more

Reviews (217)

4-0 out of 5 stars The new American pilgrim
A wide gulf separates the "travel writer" from those who keep journals of their rambles. The former wishes to entice you to visit the places he's seen - indeed, he's generally paid to accomplish that end. The travel journal is often a pure record of sights, events, people encountered. It is also an honest record of what is experienced. Bill Bryson writes journals of his travels. His accounts are forthright, often with scathing wit, but devoid of malice, even when deeply critical of their subjects. In this book, mainly a walking tour of England, Wales and Scotland, he writes a valedictory to his years in Britain. A delightful read, Notes provides rich entertainment with a serious look at the current British scene.

Bryson deserves full marks for courage. He walks. He covers vast distances in weather that would dismay a seasoned fisherman. He risks his life along wind-blown cliffs, looking down for surf lost in driven fog or slashing rain. No-one wet, cold and hungry can maintain their humour long. Bryson conveys his feelings with honest vigour, but veneers his stress with vivid descriptions of the environment he traverses. He struggles to make sense of British Rail [something even the natives have abandoned hope of achieving], more than once falling back on irregular bus services. He suffers a day's dogleg travel to cover a twenty mile distance because no connecting line exists. Still, he persists and is often enough rewarded to make the effort worth the time. And his descriptions of these events rewards the reader through sharing his reactions yet not pointing an accusatory finger. It's "the system" that's at fault.

As an American from Iowa, Bryson may be relied on to take a detached view of Britain. He's no royalist, but he has a strong affinity for the traditional. He admires old buildings and wants money spent to keep them intact. He grieves volubly over the supplanting of "heritage" buildings by modern steel and glass monuments to capitalism and modernity. In this vein, perhaps the best chapter is on Oxford - the town and the uni. He virtually takes you by the hand, leading you about the town, up one charming street or along "some forgotten lane." Regrettably, you emerge in a desolate square swamped by parked cars. Grungy shopping centres abound, and he [and you] find little refuge unless you choose the right pub. His anguished cry for Oxford, " . . . there is so much that is so wrong. How did it happen?" is
repeated throughout the book as variations on a theme.

His tour completed, he returns to his family in preparation for a return to America [he's now in New Hampshire - not Iowa - a telling point]. His British home in Yorkshire seems unsurprising in view of his travails in the South. He likes the North's warm-heartedness, although he admits it is manifested only over a long duration. He adores the scenery, but has never had to make a living from that land. His favourite town names are Northern ones and he'll leave with more than mild regret. Yet, at the end of this book, as he declares his bliss at returning to Yorkshire, one cannot but wonder whether the long journey was worth the effort [other than to produce the book]. Because this book is a journal of a pilgrimage, it fails to entice the reader to duplicate it. Bryson's superb wit and descriptive powers hold you to his side as he journeys. But on closing the pages, this reviewer felt no compulsion to emulate the tour. There are other places that appeal more and Byson's otherwise admirable account doesn't evoke a desire to divert from them. A wonderful book to read, but only once.

3-0 out of 5 stars We love you Bill but you let us down
I am a Byson fan so I was somewhat disappointed with "Notes". I usually enjoy Bill's sense of humour but this time he kept descending to mockery. I think this was mainly in a desperate attempt to appear funny to the British readers who have a dark and sarcastic wit but he overdid this, became repetitive, and lost his own lighter voice.

I am British so I did enjoy the truthful descriptions of some lesser known areas of the country which I'm sure would be interesting for Anglophiles. However Bill, you kept getting a bit lazy didn't you? Just dashing from the train and up the high-street of numerous British towns is hardly very challenging or worthwhile. I also find it hard to believe that in 6 or 7 weeks you only managed to speak to about 10 people, you never struck me as anti-social before now. Scotland and Wales barely featured except to be patronized.

However, I have a real affection for you starting with "The Lost Continent" which is a great travel read, so I know I'll keep buying everything you produce. I love all your anecdotes about language and local history. You have also sussed the British, having taken the plunge and married a British woman (who can blame you), so your observations are accurate and very funny. It is true for example that the British like nothing better than "a good laugh". The greatest sin in Britain is for a person to take themselves too seriously and you are a social outcast if you cannot laugh at yourself (or refuse to buy your round). So its correct to say "Watch any two Britons in conversation and see how long it is before they smile or laugh over a joke or pleasantry". It's also true that British rail is good fodder for many of those national jokes.We are also a very weird nation and rejoice in eccentricity which can become very irritating for the traveller and which Bill conveys well.

To be fair, this book is a good introduction for the uninitiated to Britain but has many glaring gaps and runs out of energy halfway through, along with Bill as he puffs up and down yet another high-street

4-0 out of 5 stars Addressed as much to Americans as to the British
Bill Bryson first came to the attention of the British public through the readings from his book of a journey across the USA, 'The Lost Continent'. That was on BBC Radio Four, it was back in 1993, and it was read by Kerry Shale. Unfortunately, such was the impact of those readings that for much of the British public, Kerry Shale still IS Bill Bryson. Shale has much the same cynicism as Bryson, but his voice is tougher, and a bit more no-nonsense.

So when you first listen to Bryson reading 'Notes from a Small Island', it comes as a bit of a shock that Bryson's true voice is more softly-spoken, and a little camper. To my ear, his accent sounds a little more southern states than I would expect from Iowa, but that shows you how much I know. Bryson never tries to hide his American accent -- even when imitating old English crones or drunken Scotsmen.

Bryson gives the view of the outsider, despite his having lived in England for 20 years when he wrote the book. If he makes the odd error of judgement, we forgive him. But most of the time he is dead right about the British towns and cities he visits during his seven-week tour. He exposes our quaint eccentricities -- both the ones we knew we had and some that we didn't.

My feeling is that Bryson is so popular with the British listener because it is clear that, despite his criticisms, he loves the place and the people. This is no gratuitous American 'I love the UK' simply to buy popularity -- even the foreign tennis players at Wimbledon have worked out that the quickest way to our affections is to say this is their favourite venue. Bryson's love of Great Britain is deeply felt.

In this audio CD, he takes us to many places we'd never even heard of, let alone places that we'd told ourselves we must visit some day. And he's so enthusiastic about landscapes, townscapes and buildings, even if our hotels and guest-houses often disappoint him. Once you've heard this, no doubt you'll be making a mental note to find the forgotten Roman villa that he had to hack through brambles to get to. And you'll be strengthening your resolve to visit Durham and the Burrell Collection, and find out much more about that mad old Duke who lived almost entirely underground.

On this audio CD, you get five CDs, mostly uninterruptedby music. (For no good reason, after over four CDs of zero background effects, music suddenly seeps into track #9 on CD #5 when he visits John O'Groats. I was so surprised that I had to stop my car and search under the driver's seat for a hidden radio.)

Warmly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Before you buy this book...
Watch out! I don't think this book actually exists. I've ordered it three times, and each time the various sellers have sent me "Notes from a Small Island" instead. (Which is an excellent book, by the way.) I don't think anyone is intentionally misrepresenting themselves. I just think some confusion slipped in along the way, and people have been incorrectly posting the book ever since. I could be wrong, of course, but before you buy this book, ask the seller to double check the title, or you could be in for a disappointment!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bryson's best book
Bryson's best book is "Notes From a Small Island," about traveling in Great Britain. It's one of the funniest books I've read. The British are funny, and Bryson knows them well after living in Britain for 20+ years.

His book about Australia, "In a Sunburned Country," is also entertaining. He studied Australian history, met many interesting locals, etc. After reading it, I feel like an expert on Australia and its people.

His book about Europe, "Neither Here Nor There," isn't so good. The problem is that he speaks no languages other than English. He didn't talk to anyone on this trip. Wwithout any characters (other than Bryson) the book isn't engaging. The book has only one joke, which he repeats: "The waiter/hotel clerk/taxi driver didn't speak English so I tried to make him understand that I needed..." Some of these moments are quite funny, but they don't constitute a book. Bryson didn't study the places he visits. Unlike the Australian book, you learn almost nothing about the countries he visited.

Bryson's book about America, "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," failed to make me laugh. It reads like a series of Erma Bombeck columns. Bryson comments about various aspects of his life in a small town in New England. Not other people's lives, which might have been interesting, but only about his domestic life.

I got only a few chapters into his book about the Appalachian Trail, "A Walk in the Woods." I wasn't amused that two people with no backpacking experience would attempt a six-month hike. After several chapters of Bryson repeating one joke -- "I know nothing about any of this!" -- I stopped reading.

This suggests that the old advice "write about what you know" is worth following. It also made me realize that traveling is only enjoyable if you do two things: meet interesting people, preferably by speaking their language; and studying the area you're visiting.

Review by Thomas David Kehoe, author of "Hearts and Minds: How Our Brains Are Hardwired for Relationships" ... Read more

102. Lonely Planet London: City Guide (Lonely Planet London)
by Martin Hughes, Tom Masters, Sarah Johnstone, Neil Setchfield
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1741040914
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Sales Rank: 6582
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The timeless treasures of Westminster and St Paul's, the hedonistic pleasures of Shoreditch and Soho, culture on the South Bank and multiculturalism down Brick Lane - London is a world in one city.Find its heart with this smart and stylish guide.

* GET THE INSIDE SCOOP from our dedicated London experts
* GO UNDERGROUND, GO OVER GROUND with easy-to-use colour maps and detailed walking tours
* EAT & SLEEP LIKE ROYALTY - accommodation and restaurant options to suit all, whether your style is pie and mash or Fortnum & Mason, elegant townhouse B&Bs or ubercool designer hotels
* IMMERSE YOURSELF - drink in Dickensian pubs, club in Clerkenwell and browse the boutiques of Bond Street with the help of our definitive listings
* GET OUT, GET ABOUT with day trips to Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and beyond ... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for a return visit
Having used two editions of the Japan guide book I turned to Lonely Planet for another trip. The London book is a great guide if you want the occassional opinion and are looking for solid advice on the standard tourist sights and some insight on the less-well-known sights. It's also a good size - it fits into large pockets or easily into your backpack or camera bag. Unlike the book on Japan, the London guide is not long on specific directions on how to get places once you exit public transportation. Still, it has a broad listing of things to do and places to see, good maps, a reasonable but hardly exhaustive list of hotels and restaurants, and the quirky but entertaining point-of-view that characterizes all the Lonely Planet guides. The descriptions are arranged by topic and then by neighborhoods. I found this very useful when making general plans for each day - we could focus on one or two parts of the city and not spend all day riding back and forth on the tube. The guide includes interesting walks through parts of London and a good variety of day trips outside of London. In short, it's useful and well-worth the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of the Top guides on London
There are many guides to London. From what I can see there are two good general guidebooks. These are the Eyewitness Travel (DK) guide which is the one that I personally prefer or Lonely Planet (the present book). These two books are both just around 500 pages and both are tremendous efforts. They are well balanced guides with lots of photos, maps, history, etc. Both are clearly 5 star guides.

I would rate both (and DK Eyewitness Travel and Lonely Planet) head and shoulders ahead of Frommers or similar books that are less well balanced, i.e.; fewer photos. Overall, the DK guide has better photos and visuals. In fact I am amazed every time I pick up and read that DK guide with the quality of the photos and technical detail. Those graphics make for a better souvenir so it gets the nod as the better book, but it is a close call.

The city has lots of fun things to see and do but time is usually limited and it is expensive - so these guides are good investments. This book is well balanced and like the DK guide it pulls a lot of things together such as history and culture, food, towns and lots of interesting information on London. The book brings it all to life with just magnificent photos and maps, including subway maps.

I have one suggestion, and that is to buy the guide before planning your trip. The guide has lots of information and tips on places to see.

Either case this is an excellent buy. 5 stars.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars This One is All You Need
~I checked out just about all the london travel books at the book store, and decided to purchase just one - this one - before my trip. This book is slim - about 4.25 inches X 7.75 inches X .33 of an inch - and will fit easily in a purse. It has very useful maps of London, including a subway map (or, as the English say, a map of the underground). It has all the information you'll need for your trip, including travel from the airport to the city, tipping, hotels, shopping, restaurants,~~ entertainment, and, of course, the sights. The book devotes 20 pages to "Highlights" - the major tourist attractions. If you want to bring only one travel book to London, this should be the one!~

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical and Helpful Guide to London
I have always been a fan of the Lonely Planet books, having recently used the Lonely Planet Iceland and Greenland book to great effect. I like this London guide because it is a nice size (easy to carry) and is full of genuinely useful information.

I particularly like the very detailed maps in the back of the book (there are 16 color maps in addition to the tube map and a few other handy things back there). The maps make planning itineraries much easier than if they are spread throughout the book. One minor quibble about the maps, though: the maps are of excellent detail, but cover relatively small geographic areas. That's ideal for detail, except for the fact that there is very little orienting information about how the various maps fit together. It's not a huge deal, but is the only real room for improvement that I saw in the book.

As far as information goes, the hotel and restaurant stuff is pretty standard fare, but the information on sights and attractions is wonderful. I am especially fond of the "Highlights and Lowlights" sections which point out the things generally of highest import to a tourist. Of course, there is substantial information on other things, but this 'do not miss' feature is great. I was also especially pleased with the detailed public transport information including the tube, trains, taxis, buses, and all five airports (and how to get to and from them.)

In short, I am really impressed with this latest edition of the Lonely Planet London book, and will definitely be packing it when I go to England next.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Size and Great Highlights
One of the few guides that you can actually slip into a purse or bag and utilize. Convenient tube and location maps on both the inner and outer flaps that were extremely helpful. Although I was staying with a friend and did not use it for accomodation or food, I did find the highlights of things to see in London very informative and interesting. Particularly---they highlight a "not to miss" list at particular sights, which made certain gallery viewing all the more interesting. Take this book along and buy a current Time Out magazine for up to date restaurant choices. ... Read more

103. Lonely Planet Costa Rica Spanish Phrasebook (Phrasebooks)
by Thomas Kohnstamm
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1864501057
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Sales Rank: 2462
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Costa Rica, it's impossible not to get caught up in the feeling of Pura Vida, 'pure life'. So whether selecting from the huge range of traditional dishes, dancing the merenge at a fiesta, or cheering a toro brava, 'fighting bull', this book will help you get into the swing.

  • join in the crowd at a rodeo, street festival or salsa club
  • loads of cultural & traveling tips, whether you go by bus, scooter or donkey
  • sections on diving, hiking and surfing
  • includes Lim n Creole, the language of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast
  • music, food, shopping, art & more
... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Travel more intelligently with this phrasebook
I was extremely pleased to see that Lonely Planet came out with a phrasebook specific to Costa Rica. Prior to this, they (and most other guidebook companies) had only general Latin American Spanish phrasebooks. This was silly as Spanish varies considerably from country to country in Latin America. The author, Mr. Kohnstamm, does an amazing job of including the nuances of the Costa Rican dialect while offering interesting cultural insight and traveling tips. This book is perhaps a little over the head of your average tour group or package tourist. However, for those who see travel as a way or life and as an art form, this is an indispensible text. Costa Rica is a travel hot spot and sees greater numbers of foreign visitors each year. This phrasebook will help the reader to respect the local culture and conduct themselves in an efficient, responsible manner while traveling in Costa Rica. I highly recommend this phrasebook to anyone plannning to live, study or take an extended trip to Costa Rica.

5-0 out of 5 stars in defense of criticisms
I am the author of this phrasebook and would like to respond to recent criticisms on the content of the book. Please excuse my star rating of my own text, but ... will not let you post a review without a rating. I would like to make 3 basic points.

1. This is a phrasebook for travellers, it is not the official Costa Rican Colloquial Dictionary, nor a list of idiomatic expressions. It was written to help travellers to conduct themselves in Costa Rica, not to determine every aspect of the Costa Rican dialect. Many of the more esoteric expressions that were originally included in the book were cut in order to appeal to Lonely Planet's market. Once again, this was not intended to be a dictionary for Ticos.

2. There was consultation and editorial assistance by a bilingual Costa Rican throughout the entire writing process. He is credited in the acknowledgements. Although I am not a native speaker, my experience in different parts of Latin America enables be to determine regional differences in the language.

3. This is a unique book, unlike other phrasebooks on Latin American Spanish. Perhaps if Mr. Mora were not Costa Rican, he would have the perspective to see how the Spanish in the book differs from the Spanish of other parts of Latin America and other phrasebooks. He is taking many of the vocabulary and grammar nuances for granted.

This is a phrasebook to help travellers to communicate and conduct themselves specifically in Costa Rica. If that is what you want, this book will help you in ways that other phrasebooks cannot. Thank you, Thomas

5-0 out of 5 stars Dialogue & Dialects
This little phrasebook is invaluable because Costa Rican Spanish is dialectical! Another book I found that spoke to Costa Rica's idiosyncracies was "Costa Rica: The Last Country The Gods Made," sort of a hybrid of a coffee-table book, a social/ politcial discussion and a geological history of the country in a series of essays and sidebars. It truly does lives up to it's scope of topics. Aside from geology and social history, it covers the political and economic history of the country and emphasizes its liberal reformist tradition as exceptional in Central America.A series of essays by the two authors A good read, especially while one is traveling because the 2-30 page segments stand on their own.

1-0 out of 5 stars Buy a good bilingual dictionary instead
As a professor of Spanish I was hoping to find a good phrasebook on Costa Rican Spanish for a group of students that will be studying in San Jose next summer. I have always used Lonely Planet's guides when travelling abroad. However, I was very disappointed with this phrasebook. Beginning with the explanation of pronunciation, which is basically a guide to pronouncing Spanish with a strong American accent, the book is full of elementary mistakes regarding grammar, vocabulary and phonetics. For example, the "o" in Spanish is never pronounced as the "o" in "hot". There are similar mistakes throughout the pronunciation section. Perhaps one of the most important facts about Costa Rican Spanish is the complete absence of the subject pronoun "tu" (you) and its accompanying verb conjugations, as is the case in most of Central America, Argentina and many regions throughout Latin America. All Costa Ricans either use the more formal "usted" or the less formal "vos". You will never hear "tu tienes" (you have) in Costa Rica but rather "vos tenes". But this phrasebook claims that the "vos" forms are less common than "tu", when in fact the later doesn't even exist there. There are many more mistakes in the explanation of grammar, the subjunctive, "ser" and "estar", and others. The rest of the book is a series of phrases with the English translation. You would assume that Lonely Planet would have the resources to provide better material for travelers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't leave home without it
This book was immensely helpful when myself and two other girls traveled to Costa Rica for a week and a half. You don't need to speak spanish in Costa Rica, but it's much more fun when you can immerse yourself in their culture. And the Costa Rican people are so nice and more than willing to help you learn. This phrase book was great and had all phrases under the sun that you might need. We used mine so much the binding has fallen apart. This thing went everywhere, the pool, horseback riding, whitewater rafting... and survived. The two-way dictionary was great when shopping in small markets where no english was spoken. It's very organized too. I highly recommend this book when you go to Costa Rica. ... Read more

104. Let's Go 2005 Europe (Let's Go Europe)
by Stuart J. Robinson
list price: $24.99
our price: $16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312335466
Catlog: Book (2004-12-13)
Publisher: Let's Go Publications
Sales Rank: 7921
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Book Description

Completely revised and updated for 2005, Let's Go: Europe is your comprehensive guide to the European landmass. Our original bestseller, updated for the forty-fifth consecutive year, covers thirty-six countries from Andorra to the Ukraine. This year's update features improved suggested itineraries and brand-new themed trips, so you can make the most of your time, whether you have three days or three months. Expanded outdoors coverage, from volcano-hiking in Italy to skydiving in Switzerland, takes you off the tourist track, while completely fresh nightlife coverage lets you see and be seen all over the Continent. So, whether you'd rather help restore French castles and churches or sip an exotic red in a Croatian wine cellar, Let's Go can show you the way with style to spare.
... Read more

105. Rick Steves' Florence and Tuscany 2005
by Rick Steves, Gene Openshaw
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566916194
Catlog: Book (2004-10-10)
Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing, Rick Steves
Sales Rank: 4825
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Book Description

Who but Rick Steves can tell you how to stroll the same streets walked by Michelangelo or stay in a farmhouse in a Tuscan hill town? With Rick Steves' Florence and Tuscany 2005, you can experience Rick's favorite destinations in Florence, including the Duomo, the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Ponte Vecchio-economically and hassle-free. Completely revised and updated, Rick Steves' Florence and Tuscany 2005 includes color maps and photos, opinionated coverage of both famous and lesser-known sights; friendly places to eat and sleep; suggested day plans; walking tours and trip itineraries; clear instructions for smooth travel anywhere by car, train, or foot; and Rick's newest "back door" discoveries. America's number one authority on travel to Europe, Rick's time-tested recommendations for safe and enjoyable travel in Florence and Tuscany have been used by millions of Americans in search of their own unique travel experience. ... Read more

106. The Milepost 2005: With Plan-a-Trip Map
by Kristine Valencia
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 189215417X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Morris Communications Company
Sales Rank: 1110
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Pound for pound and inch for inch, The Milepostis the most valuable piece of luggage you could include on a trip to Alaska and northwestern Canada, whether you're going by plane, car, bus, or bicycle.No wonder they're celebrating their fiftieth anniversary as the "Bible of North Country Travel." This is not a fluff and nonsense production, because there's serious driving to cover when you're heading to Anchorage or Denali Park, and you need to know things, like what the major highways and roads contain, mile-by-mile, where there are gas stations, campgrounds, fishing, lodging, and food, what the geography is like and what road conditions to expect. There's even some information on the history of the lands and communities, and what attractions are nearby. The maps are exceptional and the abundance of information remarkable, making this the most irreplaceable of guides for a trip up north. --Stephanie Gold ... Read more

Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars If touring Alaska by car,put this book in the passenger seat
I go up to Alaska every few years. And every time I go, I get the most recent copy. If you need to find a gas station or a place to stay in Alaska, its in here. If you are going to Denali National Park, get "Discovering Denali". Another good travel guide to bring along is "Alaska's Best Places"

5-0 out of 5 stars Milepost is a must have
I read other reviews that said you could find the same or better info from local info centers. Maybe the same, but not better and not all in one spot. The Milepost is useful because you can see what iscoming BEFORE you get there, not after... when you locate a tourist center and hope it is open. Very accurate from scenic overlooks, food & fuel, even construction locations. A good value especially buying well below Alaska local list from Amazon.

We just came back from 2000 miles of RVing in Alaska and were very pleased with the Milepost. I just wish we had bought it from Amazon ahead of time!

Don't think twice, buy it before you go! Of course, if you aren't driving and just sitting on a tour bus spend your money on the Lonely Planet guide instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute necessity for driving in Alaska
We recently returned from 18 days in Alaska.We drove on the Parks Highway, the Glenn Highway, the Richardson Highway, the Steese Highway, the Elliot Highway, the Fishook-Willow Road, the Alaska Highway, the South Klondike Highway, and the entire road system around Juneau and Douglas Island.The Milepost covered all of the roads and we always knew where the next turnout was.The local advertising is indispensable (Eat at Fast Eddy's in Tok.)

5-0 out of 5 stars The miles fly by!
There are lots of miles of roads in AK, and driving them can be a bit boring.Unless you have the milepost to guide you.There are interesting things happening all along the roadside, and a long road trip will whiz by when you are aware of what you are seeing, or can anticipate what is coming up around the bend.

Well worth the investment.

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful but tedious
I found the Milepost to be better than having no reference material at all (the maps are the most useful feature).Its best use is in finding RV parks and gas stations but the method of reporting services available at the RV parks is somewhat hit or miss and is not always accurate or reported in any sort of consistent format -- except on the keycodes on the maps.One key piece of information that is only grudgingly made available are the months that the parks are actually open for customers. ... Read more

107. The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed (Ultimate Kauai Guidebook)
by Andrew Doughty, Harriett Friedman
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971727910
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Wizard Publications
Sales Rank: 2060
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Most travel titles are put together in a few weeks by visiting travel writers. Wizard guidebooks take over a year to compile and the writers are residents who personally and anonymously review every facet of the island. Their maps are the best you'll find. From restaurants to helicopter companies to scuba to beaches to trails. They see it all and show you the best the island has to offer. They also reveal who's the worst and who to stay away from. All told in a frank, humorous way that keeps the reading fun. ... Read more

Reviews (185)

5-0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt, the BEST Kauai Guidebook
We've taken five trips to Kauai since 1998, and have our sixth trip planned for next February/March. We have bought three different editions of this fabulous book, so we can keep up to date on our favorite island, even when we can't be there in person. It's highly readable, and the authors have a terrific sense of humor. I recommend this book over the Kauai Underground Guide by Lenore Horowitz. While Ms. Horowitz' book is ok, her writing style is much more stilted, in my opinion. Her constant use of !!!!! drives me batty.

I can also vouch for the authors of Ultimate Kauai Guidebook for being willing to help tourists. I emailed them a question about the island delicacy shave ice, and they answered me promptly!

In a nutshell, I'd say the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook is the one indispensable item you must have with you on a visit to the Garden Island. While you can purchase it there, it is very helpful to have ahead of time so you can anticipate the wonderful adventures and dining experiences that await you. And speaking of food, while I realize that everyone's tastes are different, my husband and I generally agree with the book's assessments of various dining establishments. We've found some true delicacies that I doubt we would have found without them, and I like to think we've probably managed to avoid a few duds as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I had bought this book for my first trip to Kauai!
This is an outstanding guide book full of beautiful pictures and right on information. I picked up this book before my second trip to Kauai. We had visited the island the year before for our honeymoon. I really wish we had bought this book a year earlier!

There were so many things on Kauai that we didn't even think of to do or see the first time and we bumbled around from place to place, seeing little of the island. The second trip, we used this guidebook and checked out some outstanding restaurants and beaches. Without the book, we never would have gone to JoJo's Clubhouse for shave ice or found parking for Ke'e Beach.

Something we found helpful was the aerial photos of the resorts section where we got to see just how far the ocean is from where you are planning to stay. We were at the Hyatt for both trips and would readily make reservations there again in a heartbeat!

This is an amazing resource for the island. I wish the authors would write books for Maui and Oahu!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate for sure
This was definitely the ultimate guidebook. It helps you eliminate the places that you may not want to go to, and allows you to go to as many of the best places that you have time for. Also great for describing where to park, how to avoid lots of traffic/people. We were able to do everything we wanted to while viewing the whole island with the guidebook.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Kauai Guidebook & Maui Revealed
Thought you'd like to know another great use for the "Ultimate Guides" by Doughty & Friedman - SOUVENIRS OF YOUR TRIP! I buy quantities of The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook & Maui Revealed, and automatically send them out to family & friends who I invite to come stay with me on these islands. I encourage EVERY VISITOR to "do their homework" by reading these books before you go. It is THE GUIDE BIBLE and indispensible for finding most of the "hidden" i.e. BEST spots on Kauai, and some of the still "unknown" spots on Maui. Believe me, without the Ultimate Guide, you WILL NOT FIND MOST beaches, trails, waterfalls, swim holes, hieus (temples) or other natural attractions. My favorite feature are the maps with the yellow lines showing you EXACTLY where to access a beach or trail. Island locals have used highway "mile markers" since State created them. Now the authors are sharing this navigational secret with you too. You are WASTING YOUR MONEY ON GUIDEBOOKS OTHER THAT THE WIZARD PUBL. "GUIDES" BY DOUGHTY & FRIEDMAN.

BUT WITH INFORMATION, COMES RESPONSIBILITY. Since now the Guidebooks are leading more & more people to spots not known before publication, I ASK THAT EVERYONE USE THEIR INFO. WITH RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY. PLEASE HELP US KEEP HAWAII LITTER-FREE AND PROTECT THE REEFS AND MARINE LIFE. Don't leave cigarette butts, trash, dog excrement, your beach gear, fishing lines or other paraphenELia on the beaches, trails or parking lots. I pick up other people's trash when I see it and I encourage all of you to do the same. Bring a plastic grocery bag with you when you go to the beach or on a hike, to be ready to "pack out" any trash you see. I do this all the time. Please don't walk on the reefs, grab turtles, feed fish or remove life forms. You have a right to approach others who are doing this, to tell them to stop. And we all have to behave. We don't want the State, or previously lenient land owners, closing accesses due to folks walking thru or camping on their property. As for the nude use at Secret Beach which I treasure, a wonderful way to enjoy any island, it is becoming increasingly extinct in HI as tourism increases, more people buy homes. Let's try to preserve this luxury by using our common sense by moving up the beach when we see obviously conservative locals or tourists, or families with kids, marching up the beach in our direction. Stay at the right end. I fought hard in the '80's to keep Little Beach on Maui optional, let's not lose this natural experience on Kauai. Thanks everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish Every Destination Had a Guidebook Like This
+ The reviews are written for the average tourists, not for some choice travel editors. For example, the conventional guidebooks' dining guide consists mainly of large/hip restaurants and hotel restaurants. Ultimate Kauai also tells you about roadside stands, take-out places, and "plastic paper & picnic table" kind of places. Very helpful for quick meals and we had some best food in such places.

+ This one tells you which sights/restaurant/tour/hotel/etc are great and which are not and why that is so. The brutally honest review is so helpful.

+ It's very easy and fun to read. To me, reading guidebooks is usually equivalent to studying text-books (I don't enjoy it but I must study it). But I actually enjoyed reading this one.

+ This guidebook is beautiful to look at. All the pages are smooth coated papers with lost of color photos. Hard to believe for the price.

When we went there in June 2004, we followed this book's recommendations for dining, heli tour, snorkeling, & hiking trails, and it was a success! Now whenever I travel to other destinations without a guide like this, I feel like I'm missing out a lot (and I probably am). ... Read more

108. Italian in 10 Minutes a Day
by Kristine K. Kershul
list price: $17.95
our price: $15.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0944502334
Catlog: Book (1997-11)
Publisher: Bilingual Books (WA)
Sales Rank: 35831
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Loved the stickers
One of the "gimmicks" of this book is that it comes with stickers you can place on objects around your house, labeling them in Italian. It may sound silly, but it works. I will never forget what to call the door, the mirror, the cat (okay, he's not really wearing a sticker), or dozens of other common items around the house. Writing a word or phrase over and over again and repeating it out loud may seem like tedious exercises, but there is a reason why these kinds of drills are used in schools throughout the world. Writing and saying words is an effective way to reinforce them. The pronunciation guide is helpful, although its weakness is that it does not tell you which syllable gets the emphasis. This book is a terrific way to get started, but you will also need some kind of audio course, or a live teacher, to master the sound of spoken Italian.

1-0 out of 5 stars Look Elsewhere
The book makes every attempt to be fun and easy, but once you get past its kindergarten feel with multitudes of colorful pictures, large type, double spacing and clutter, you'll begin to notice its shortcomings.

Most of the book consists of predominantly English text with Italian words substituted for some of the English words. Aside from giving the false impression that speaking Italian is just a matter of plugging Italian words into an English sentence, this practice gets very old very fast. You are introduced to the word "Lei" (singular polite version of "you") early in the book, and from that point on every single instance of "you" (and there are lots of them) is replaced with "Lei". The fact that pronouns are typically omitted in Italian emphasizes the inappropriateness of this approach.

The book includes a pronunciation guide for Italian words. However, the pronunciation guide doesn't indicate the stressed syllable. Given that Italian is highly phonetic, and that stress is one of main unknowns in Italian pronunciation, this omission renders the pronunciation guide practically worthless.

Don't bother trying to find the book's index in Amazon's "Look Inside". The book doesn't have an index. It does however have a page at the end plugging the author's other publications. I suppose it's a matter of priorities.

For some reason the verb tables are missing the "tu" (singular informal "you") and "voi" (plural "you") conjugations. I am guessing an attempt at simplification is the reason, but as long as you are looking at a verb's root and five conjugations, would it kill you to look at a couple more?

The book attempts to compensate for its lack of substance with a couple of gimmicks. On the bottom of most pages you'll find the so called free words. These are Italian words that are similar to their English counterparts. Well, you still have to remember the fact that a particular word is similar to an English word and the details of how it differs from the English word, so while you may argue that these words are in the low cost category, they are definitely not free. Further, some of the supposedly free words bear little resemblance to English. Would you have guessed that "scala" means "staircase"? You definitely need to cough up a few bucks for that one.

Another gimmick consists of a few sets of stickers with Italian words on them with which you are meant to label common items. The idea is that as you encounter theses stickers every day, the words will be permanently imprinted in your memory. I wasn't sure where to put the "i jeans" sticker. The book suggests using your imagination. After using my imagination for a while, I imagined several better ways to build my vocabulary.

I have a few introductory Italian books, and most of them are pretty good. This one doesn't deserve to share shelf space with any of the others. You can find much better alternatives for the same investment of time and money. I don't know where the glowing Amazon reviews came from. Friends and family come to mind.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great intro
This is an excellent intro to Italian for the person who wants the basics for a vacation to Italy, or perhaps as a starting point for someone who wants to go on to study Italian more seriously. The idea that you are only to spend 10 minutes a day is reassuring for those of us with busy someone else said, you actually end up spending more time with the book every day because it is fun...but knowing that my "commitment" is for ten minutes makes it easier for me to pick the book up at the end of a long day at work. The brevity of the exercises makes it perfect for those times when you have a few minutes to spare (e.g., waiting for a friend to show up). I also liked the sticky labels and the pocket guides.

In general, this book is very strong in teaching a lot of good vocabulary, but I found it a bit weak in teaching structure. (Keep in mind that I am only about half way through it, though!) I am discovering that I have learned a lot of great vocabulary, but except for some basic phrases (Where is the...? Here is the...), I am not able to produce a lot of complete sentences. Again, the phrases the book DOES teach are useful for travelers, but not necessarily helpful for someone wanting to make casual conversation with an Italian speaker. Also, though they do a great job teaching how to pronounce the different consonants and vowels, they don't talk much about where to place the stress in multisyllabic words. My Italian friends frequently corrected me because I've placed the stress on the wrong syllable (interference from Spanish, probably).

4-0 out of 5 stars A great book to begin your Italian langauge studies
If you have little or no knowledge of the Italian language, this book is a great place to start. It will take you through all of the basics and prepare you for further studies. However, it will not teach you everything you need to know about Italian. It's only a nice introduction to the language.

5-0 out of 5 stars High School Student Preparing for a Vacation
Last April I spent 10 days in Italy with my family. I am a language fanatic so I used the trip as an opportunity to try out a new language similar to two that I had already studied (French and Spanish). This book really helped me learn the basics of conversational Italian, without being bogged down by intense grammar sessions and cumbersome textbooks. It is arranged like a children's language book with pictures and workbook pages that really help you become interactive with your learning.

Despite some reviewers, I enjoyed the fact that there were no tapes or CDs attached to this book. Listening to tapes for long stretches of time is, frankly, boring, and I know that I can just as easily fall asleep listening to tapes than actually learn the language. This book is fabulous for learning some Italian for a trip, but probably not for a long term study of the language. It is only an introduction and I know that I said I like the minimum amount of grammar in the book but a serious student would be stunted by those missing lessons.

One more comment that I would like to add is that I did not have the recommended amount of time to study with this book before my trip. Nonetheless, I learned Italian that helped me be polite, but maybe not a stellar conversationalist. The people there (and I would guess just about anywhere) appreciate visitors attempts at the native language. It shows common courtesy and acknowledges that you are visiting them, and not vice versa. There is too much Anglophone superiority in our country and, no matter which book you choose, learning some Italian is really appreciated. ... Read more

109. Lonely Planet Japan (Lonely Planet Japan)
by Chris Rowthorne, Andrew Bender, John Ashburne, Sara Benson, David Atkinson, Craig McLachlan
list price: $27.99
our price: $18.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1740591623
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Sales Rank: 13648
Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The electric chaos of Tokyo or the tranquil wilderness of Hokkaido?Osaka's street culture or Kyoto's shrines and Zen gardens?From Ginza's bright lights to the 88 Temples of Shikoku, with this guide and a bullet train you can see it all.

• Japanese script throughout • extensive menu glossary covering all styles of Japanese cuisine • wide range of sleeping options from opulent ryokan to capsule hotels • over 150 maps, most with Japanese script to aid navigation • illustrated special section on art and architecture • language chapter to help you tell your setto from your sento ... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best tour guide in Japan could use this book
I was lucky when I went to Japan because my sister had already been living there for almost two years, just the same, I wanted to do all the research. In looking at all the information on the web and reading several tour guides, LONELY PLANET really stood out. By using this book, I found things that my sister had never heard of -- some of which were right in front of her face. By the time we had spent my 10 days there, we had seen the real world of Japan as well as the tourist sites. The book was so helpful that my sister requested it stay with her. She used it extensively as did I for return trips. As another review pointed out, LP does a great job of describing individual locations (and giving you good landmarks to make the trip low stress) both in the big cities and small towns. The things which stand out for me were the hints on the public baths and hot springs, staying at Buddhist temples, tips on the crowds of school kids that hit in May, cultural events like the bunraku, etc. We've bought the updated version since that first trip and each time find some thing new and exciting. This publisher is the first one I turn to for all my travel.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best one out there for do-it-yourself travelers.
I've been using travel books on Japan for 23 years, attempting to discover new & interesting places. None has completely fulfilled this quest. However, the LP book has set the standard for the others: It covers more places, has more maps, and has more information than any other. "Rough Guide" comes in second in this regard, and I find very few places in RG that aren't covered in LP. It's like the RG author's traveled around using the LP. The omissions are the same on top of that. A few examples: neither covers Fukushima, or Koriyama, both major cities that you may end up in traveling northward, and in the same area, both overlook nice areas such as Miharu town (3 Spring Town, so named for its 3 flowering trees in the spring) and Soma City (famous pottery and samurai horsemen festivals), and neither checks out Rikuchu Kaigan National Park along the Pacific Coast in Iwate. On the other hand, both LP and RG cover the small town of Tono, both not reaching the park. They both also cover the Iya Valley in central Shikoku while overlooking the most isolated Heike refuge in central Kyushu, Gokanosho. There are too many parallels between the two.

I agree there is not a consistent style throughout LP. It was written by 4 authors whose work was based on original work by Ian McQueen who burned out after 3 editions, so there is much original style mixed in with subsequent updates by the various authors through the next 4 editions. This does make some areas better than others, though, especially when it comes to locations of bus stops and "getting there" sections.

But overall, I don't see much problem with some sections having transportation and other sections not as no matter what book you get, you need to get JNTOs Railway Timetable or updated ferry or bus schedules because the train-bus-ferry schedules change from year to year, making everything obsolete quickly.

This book is also aimed at those who are traveling around using the main train routes, who want to see the big sights and maybe a few of the smaller ones. If you have a car or motorcycle, you're going to end up in places that aren't covered in any book almost every night. A smattering of Japanese is the only thing that will help this kind of traveler. It also only contains brief history and background on some areas. At times it seems to assume that you have a separate book for this information. If you want a history book, get a history book. This is a practical guide for travelers to get you to a place and into some lodging. At that it excels.

I do get annoyed with the phone number area codes only being given at the beginning of a section. With a large section, it make take a while searching for the correct page with the area code so you can dial a number. This always seems to happen in an unlit phone booth on a rainy night.

Lastly, this 7th edition is now old. I read as part of an article in the NY Times that said that Japan was getting ready to promote domestic tourism to help its economy, that someone was back in Japan trying for an update . This would help immensely as LP quotes exact prices on hotels and admissions. Anyone who has used this book recently knows that prices have gone up on most things, and down in a couple of other cases. I like the exact quote on hotel prices better than RG's range quotes, as I can get a better idea when planning a budget than just a Y5000 to Y10,000 range.

When the next edition comes out, I'll be first in line to get it, again looking for anything I've missed (and I know there's a lot as I discover every year). If you're looking for a tool to help you travel through and around a very interesting country on your own, this book is for you. If your hotels and transportation are already covered in your tour, a Frommer's guide with photos and history would work better for you.


2-0 out of 5 stars Badly flawed, but the best option for budget travel
Initially frustrated with this guidebook's (I bought the "red kimono" edition in spring 2004) limp recommendations and surly tone, I also bought the new "Let's Go Japan" book. While more useful than the "Let's Go" book, the LP version has some very flawed contents. The directions to the top recommended ryokan / guesthouses in Hiroshima and Tokyo were poor or nonexistant. Landmarks and restaurants shown on the maps no longer existed in Ginza, Ikebukuro and Kyoto. The photos and history are nice, but in my opinion a wasteful padding. I'd much rather have a $20 book without the fluff, or at least a $27 book that's accurate. Cities change and mistakes are made, but when LP's writers place a ryokan at the top of the list (incidentally, the "best budget option" in Tokyo proved to be extremely overrated by this book), there should be a premium placed on the traveller being able to find the place. I gave LP 2 stars instead of 1 for the very valuable advice to purchase a 7-day rail pass before visiting Japan (but did not distinguish between a "green car" ride and an ordinary ride; in my experience, the ordinary non-smoking cars were spacious enough). If and when Fodor's/Frommer's comes out with a new edition, it will almost certainly be a better value than LP.

3-0 out of 5 stars Reader beware.
While Lonely Planet produces many fine travel books, this one is disturbing and rather invidious. I get the distinct impression that the authors do not like or respect Japanese culture and some of the statements made are frankly, quite racist. For example- "Foreign travellers should be warned that medical services in Japan may not be on par with those of other developed nations." "Condoms are widely available in Japan, but generally only locally produced varieties, which tend to be on the small side." "Ainu traditions are re-enacted by sometimes listless performers and these tourist circuses can be pretty depressing- they are often combined with caged bears in a debased imitation of the Ainu's sacred Iyomante (Bear Festival)." While a few subtle implications are excusable, the entire book is rife with them. Despite these flaws, the book does give a good overview of places to stay and visit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensiive, Well Balanced, Good Photographs and Maps
My preference is the Eyewitness Travel DK - Japan - which has excellent graphics but is just 400 pages long. But now I have to reconsider because of this new guide from Lonely Planet. This book is just a tremendous effort 800 pages long, very well balanced with photos, maps, history, etc. It is clearly a 5 star guide.

I would rate it (and DK Eyewitness Travel) head and shoulders ahead of Frommers, or Rough Guide or similar books that are less well balanced.

Japan is a place one does not visit every day and it is expensive. Also I like to go well armed with maps and books because unlike the USA or Canada some areas have no English signs so the more information the better. It is unnerving to be on trains and subways where there is just Japanese signs. I would recommend this book, and at least one book on Japan's society - see plus a good map book.

This book is well balanced and like the DK guide is that it pulls a lot of things together such as history and culture and urban areas. The book brings it all to life with just magnificent photos and maps.

Personally I would buy more than one guide and definitely a guide on just Tokyo, so I would buy this book or the lighter 400 page DK guide and one book on Tokyo.

Either case this is an excellent buy. 5 stars.

Jack in Toronto ... Read more

110. Fodor's London 2005 (Fodor's London)
by Fodor's
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400014190
Catlog: Book (2004-08-24)
Publisher: Fodor's
Sales Rank: 11957
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111. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679457526
Catlog: Book (1997-04-22)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 21951
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Into Thin Air is a riveting first-hand account of a catastrophic expedition up Mount Everest. In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of Hall and the other leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead. Krakauer's book is at once the story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Written within months of the events it chronicles, Into Thin Air clearly evokes the majestic Everest landscape. As the journey up the mountain progresses, Krakauer puts it in context by recalling the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history. The author's own anguish over what happened on the mountain is palpable as he leads readers to ponder timeless questions. ... Read more

Reviews (1256)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for the Adventurous Reader
Adventure has always intrigued me. Books, movies, and sports all have that critical element of action and suspense that makes for interesting media. Into Thin Air met, and at sometimes exceeded my expectations. Jon Krakauer does an excellent job of portreying the raw emotion of losing his comrades and friends. I really felt as though I was there on the summit, among Scott Fischer, Rob Hall, and Niel Beidleman. The sheer realism of the situations presented to me was expertly crafted. I felt triumph at reaching the summit, sadness at the loss of Doug Hansen, and I felt the true burden of leadership that was quickly and brutally placed on the shoulders of Stuart Hutchinson and Neal Beidleman. I also enjoyed the book becasue it gave some of the history of Everest. I especially enjoyed hearing of Reinhold Messner, an alpine legend. The only problem with devling into history is that Krakauer got a little too engrossed in it and strayed from the story. Learning about where Everest got its name may be interesting to some, but I prefer to stick to the climb itself. Another plus in the book that I enjoyed was Krakauer's interaction with the other climbers and how he showed the way they felt and what was going on. These extra "characters" add lots of depth to the plot and make for a more interesting read. I also was a little frustrated with the way the timeline skips around. This is very apparent in the later chapters of the book, where keeping track of time becomes increasingly difficult. Into Thin Air is a well done book, and nearly got five stars, if only Jon Krakauer stuck to the basics and stayed organized.

4-0 out of 5 stars Criticism on Into Thin Air
Criticism: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The book that I have read I called Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. The main character in the story that sets the plot in motion is Jon Krakauer, or Rob Hall, his leader. He writes, in depth, his accounts of his mountain climbing. Next, the villain, who is against Krakauer, could either be the mountains, or Sandy Pittman. One Antagonist is the mountain. They try to challenge Jon to the best of his ability, and make it so that he doesn't succeed. Or, it could be Sandy, because she kind of makes a mockery of climbing, such as bringing an espresso along on her adventures. Some other important characters are the Sherpas, who are very dedicated, Hall, who completed expeditions in harsh conditions, too. Also Rob, who was in his group, Scott Fischer, Andy Harris, Lene Gammelgaard, Tim Madsen, Charlotte Fox, and Nel Beidleman. Scott Fischer was the leader of the Mountain Madness expedition, Andy Harris was a guide on Rob Hall's team, and Doug Hansen, who was a postal worker, and his dream was to climb. There were also some important places, which were Mt. Everest, Dhera Dun, Pakding, Lobuje, and many others One symbol is I think Mt. Everest. It symbolizes the problems we have today. At first, it hits you head on. While you are trying to overcome it, you have more problems, and hardships, that make it difficult for you to succeed. Then, when you reach the top, you are overjoyed and relieved. This is just like any problem that you will encounter in real life. Each character has a conflict with him vs. nature. They climbs, but the mountains do anything they can to stop them. As they get higher, there is less oxygen. Being very fatigued, it is hard to go on, so it takes even longer. It is very cold, too, which makes your body weaker. The weather is very icy and stormy. On top of all this, they have to climb a mass of land that is vertical. There was also a self vs. society, because sometimes on group leader had to make a decision, which would put the other group members life's' on the line. This book is ad, because thirteen people died in one season, just because they wanted to try to climb a steep mountain. When they are climbing, they are low on oxygen, and some get very ill. But, the different groups are kind of like families, since they are putting their life into someone else' hands, and trusting them with it. The reader also becomes part of their family, feeling bad for the different things that happen to the characters. It is tragic, yet adventurous at the same time. Into Thin Air is adventurous, because first he talks about how steep the mountain is, and how hard it is to climb. Next, when they are climbing it, it talks about all the hardships, such as weather, oxygen, and oxygen depletion. This is the climax of the book, since you are very intense to see what happens to the characters. Lastly, the outcome, or denouement, occurs and some are happy, since the character made it, and some are tragic. The book leaves you like there should be more. When he's talking about how he hasn't slept in a long time, under nourished, and very sick. I know I wouldn't have the energy to climb if I hadn't slept in 57 hours, only eaten soup and candy, and separated ribs with a bad cold. However, I also liked that the book left you hanging, because then you could imagine what happened, good or bad. I liked this book a lot, since it had to sides. It was very visual; you could picture the climbers climbing up the mountain. This book makes you want to look into climbing, but then when you read how hard it is, and how easily you can die, you rethink it. I recommend this book to readers of tragedies, and adventure novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading it...
This tale is Jon Krakauer's personal account of his attempt to summit Mt. Everest. Rob Hall is the leader, a guide with impeccable credentials who is also a man of caution...yet a daring individual, as anyone would have to be to climb Everest (especially time and time again). Rob leads the team up the mountain, and everything is going fairly well until that fateful day where everything seemingly went wrong. It's almost hard to read this book knowing there's a tragedy coming, but I couldn't put it down to find some heroism also involved in this story...the will to survive is amazing, and it is demonstrated clearly in this book. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting!!
I loved this book! I read it a few years ago and have recommended it, and given it as a gift, to many people. I also heard Beck Weathers speak at a sales meeting a few years ago, and he recounted his story, much as it is in the book. If you like real life adventure stories, this book is definitely for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating
An incredible account of the Everest Disaster. Krakauer is an expert at including as many details as possible without being too wordy. This book reads like a novel, and in fact the story is so incredible that at times you have to remind yourself that it is non-fiction. I appreciated the vivid pictures he painted of the important people in this book, a talent for which he is as skilled as the best contemporary fiction writers. Reading the book, you can grow so fond of some of the more likeable characters that you feel a deep sense of sadness when you read about their passing. In a sense, Krakauer has accomplished the difficult task of explaining in laymen's terms the technical aspects of high-altitude mountaineering (which is necessary in a book like this), and somehow also gave the reader a sense of the profound grief of the situation. This is something that is lost among the litany of newspaper articles, less-talented writers, and the controversy of conflicting accounts fails to do.

Oh yes, the controversy. I suppose that it is inevitable that when you're dealing with this magnitude a disaster, with equally-high magnitude of some mountaineers' egos, you're going to get arguments. Unfortunately, Krakauer has been sucked into this and actually has devoted a portion of the book to responding to someone's complaint about his account. Frankly, it reads like an internet message board flamewar, and it detracts from an amazing book. Hopefully, a year from now when I think back about this book, I'll remember not the controversy but rather people like Rob Hall, one of the people who died on the mountain. ... Read more

112. The Naked Truth About Hedonism II (2nd Edition, Updated for 2004)
by Chris Santilli
list price: $22.95
our price: $18.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0966268334
Catlog: Book (2003-05)
Publisher: Scarlett, Oh! Publishing
Sales Rank: 42933
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What Happens in Jamaica, Stays in Jamaica?

Except in this tell-all, cheeky guide to the world's naughtiest resort, Hedonism II.

Everyone returns from Hedonism II with at least one good story no one at home believes.

Is Hedonism II a retirement home for worn-out swingers? Is it a testosterone tour-de-force with too few eligible single women to clamor over? Is it a cult that sucks away all your vacation time? Well, the last one might be true.

Learn why Hedonism II has a 90% repeat guest rate--the highest of any Caribbean hotel--even though the facilities are tired, the food is mediocre, and the beach sand hurts your feet--if you are still standing after a week.

The Hedo myths:

Only young singles go to Hedonism II. People walk around naked everywhere. Open sex is rampant. Someone will try to steal your wife.

Every myth has its truth...but Hedonism II is 50% couples--and most guests are over 30, full nudity is only allowed on one beach, the hotel does not condone public sex (but it happens), and your wife--well, that's her choice. But at Hedo you will see what you've never seen before. And you might do it too.

Here are the truths and tips that will make your vacation to Hedonism II the most fun trip you'll ever take--again and again. FYI: The resort Hedonism II did not authorize this book; the book includes the good, bad and the ugly. Although the resort's owners tried to stop distribution of the 1st ed. of the book in federal court in 1998, the author enjoys Hedonism II as a vacation destination and continues to travel there regularly on her annual "Naked Truth Tour" that is not affiliated with the resort. ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Naked Truth About Hedonism II (2nd Edition, Updated)
I recommend this easy read to both Hedo veterans and potential guests. The repeaters will recognize themselves and their adventures and the future repeat guests will thank Chris for not only the helpful hints on the basics, but for the frank, funny, and somewhat outrageous tales that occur at Hedonism on a daily basis. No one could make these things up. I have several favorite stories from the book about various couples meeting the loves of their lives there. We (spouse and I) have been to many weddings of Hedo couples.....some in Jamaica and others here in the US, but these same couples return year after year. I only wish the book was available for our first trip to Hedo in May of 1984. We didn't have pins or belts for toga night. Now on our 40th trip, we are much better prepared. Some things come with experience, but having an 'unofficial guide' certainly helped!
Fun read, good information, very entertaining.......what more could you ask for?

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever read
Prior to my first trip to Hedonism II, I purchased the book. I read it 6 times before my arrival. Every day I was there something I experienced was followed by the words "just like in the book". The book really hits the nail on the head. I knew exactly what to expect and not expect. I've made 5 trips there so far and I have to thank the author for writing such an informative book. Even if you have no plans of going there, you'll laugh your butt off reading the stories about what goes on at Hedo II

4-0 out of 5 stars Like being there all over again!
This book was very informative and really details what the Hedo vacation can be. The storys from the guests were very funny. I truly felt like I was back at Hedo while I was reading this book. I can't wait until my next Hedo vacation.

5-0 out of 5 stars good info for any all inclusive vacation
This is the first travel book I've read that didn't put me into a coma. Each page I laughed. Each page I learned. This book supplied the answers to the questions unasked. Woodies, Wallys, (...) checks for toilet paper, floating members (hell, I've had one all my life and didn't realize it floats), etiquette, all inclusive tipping and much more. I realize how little I knew when I first vacationed "all inclusive". This book isn't just for those interested in Hedo Resorts, Jamaica, or any all inclusive vacation; This book can stand alone for "a good read". I must return to Jamaica to put my new found knowledge to work.... They need me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good.
I've been to Hedonism and LOVED it, so when I came across this book, I had to buy it to see if it was accurate. It was. In fact, I wish I had bought the book before my trip. I'd recommend it if you're considering going to Hedonism and I'd also recommed "Swinging for Beginners", too becuase it also has one chapter (small) on Hedo. But this one definitely needs to be read before you go. ... Read more

113. Europe (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
by Not Applicable (Na )
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789497301
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 13713
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Book Description

Covers: Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. ... Read more

114. Venice & The Veneto (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
by Susie Boulton, Christopher Catling
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789495740
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 17359
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Areas covered include: San Marco, San Polo, Santa Croce, Castello, Dorsosuro, Cannaregio, the Lagoon Islands, the Veneto Plain, Verona, Lake Garda, and the Dolomites. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

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 Venice
........................Intro to Venice
........................Portrait of Venice
........................Through the Year (events, holidays)
............Venice 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.
............Veneto Area by Area (same format as above)

Travelers Needs - includes full list with rankings and notes
............Restaurants, bars, cafes
............Shops / Markets

Survival Information
........................Tourist info., Etiquete, Personal Security and Health

........................Currencies, Telephones, misc info.
............Travel Information
........................Planes, trains and automobiles, signs
............Street Maps

............General Index
............Phrase Book

The book begins with "Introducing Venice", including a complete map, a review, the city's history, and Venice 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 Make Eyewitness essential part of your travel fun
DK's Eyewitness Travel Guides are our best travel companion during our tour of Europe. Full of tips, pictures, maps, site info, history, local reference ... every page is not only helpful but beautiful. The layout anf format is very innovative and reader friendly, a ture standing out from any other travel books. It was interesting to see that almost everywhere we went, we saw other people (tourists apparently) holding and checking the same DK book on the street.
The coverage is comprehensive and growing year after year, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice ... every city we went have its own Eyewitness serie. We studied them before our trip, consulted them during our trip, and kept them as memo and photo book after our trip. They are simply essential part of the travel fun.

I recommend buying indiviual city/area book wherever possible instead of the country book. For example, buy Rome, Florence, and Venice books instead of Eyewitness Italy (unless your destination doesn't have its own Eyewitness). That way you get more detailed and targeted info.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book With Stunning Visuals
I have to confess up front. I love these books. I must have 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.

The photos and descriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent and more than make up for any lack of small detail. But there is lots of detail here. The book includes the history of Venice and many details on the art, art galleries, parks, cutaway views of historical buildings, and many other things of interest. That is the good part.

You will be amazed with the visuals and cutaway architectural views. A great book, very detailed, with all the regular stuff such as maps, rstaurants, hotels, etc.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent job - you'll need very little to supplement this
Eyewitness did its usual brilliant job with Venice & Veneto. I bought many guides available to this city but took only two with me: DK Eyewitness and City Secrets (the latter one is an excellent assortment of subjective specialist views, get it if you take your trip seriously).

Descriptions of usual high-profile highlights and lesser-known places are clear and accurate, as usual, pictorial plans of churches and streets are very helpful.

Accommodation and dining sections are quite superficial, I increasingly find these parts not the strongest bit of Eyewitness guides: they tend to focus on most famous places which rarely represent the best value for money and often are shameless tourist traps. In fact, there is no need to list specific places - what the guide could do is present general guidelines on what to avoid (such as places with menus in five languages) and what to look for (places that don't take credit cards, for example).

I found the map of Venice at the end of the book completely sufficient and as easy to use as could be possible in the Venetian maze of streets of multiple names and multiple spellings.

Veneto part is not really the best bit of the book - Verona is covered only adequately and Padova receives simple an inadequate treatment. The authors probably had to find a balance between thickness of the book and depth of coverage.

I was pleased with coverage of less obvious areas such as Dorsoduro and Canareggio, which are still inexplicably ignored by 90% of visitors (well, maybe they don't have time).

All the criticisms above are observations of only minor glitches of what is a very, very strong guide and what probably should be your first choice for a trip to Venice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dorling Kindersley captures Elegant Venice
I bought this book for my daughter before she went on her trip to Italy. DK Eyewitness Travel Guides books are a high quality publication. This volume is a useful as well as attractive book. If you need to deviate from your travel plans this is a very useful book. It contains exhaustive information on lodging, dining, points of interest and contains useful maps and photographs. She found it to be invaluable. ... Read more

115. Budapest (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
by Barbara Olszanska, Tadeusz Olszanski
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789497247
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 41232
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Book Description

Includes: The Castle District, Gellert Hill and Taban, areas North of the Castle, Parliament, Central Pest, and around Varosliget. ... Read more

116. Rick Steves' Rome 2005
by Rick Steves, Gene Openshaw
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566916836
Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing, Rick Steves
Sales Rank: 6675
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Book Description

Who but Rick Steves can tell you the best way to see St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Colosseum? With Rick Steves' Rome 2005, you can experience the best of everything Rome has to offer-economically and hassle-free. Completely revised and updated, Rick Steves' Rome 2005 includes color maps and photos, opinionated coverage of both famous and lesser-known sights; friendly places to eat and sleep; suggested day plans; walking tours and trip itineraries; clear instructions for smooth travel anywhere by car, train, or foot; and Rick's newest "back door" discoveries. America's number one authority on travel to Europe, Rick's time-tested recommendations for safe and enjoyable travel in Rome have been used by millions of Americans in search of their own unique travel experience. ... Read more

117. Emerald Gems:The Links of Ireland
by Laurence Casey Lambrecht
list price: $95.00
our price: $80.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0965143333
Catlog: Book (2003-04)
Publisher: Lambrecht Photography
Sales Rank: 37129
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Book Description

A beautiful coffee table book on the links golf of Ireland featuring the landscape photography of LC Lambrecht.Every links in Ireland is featured and the text is provided by golf scribes from Ireland who really know the subject.This over sized book is a treasure for anyone who appreciates the beauty of golf course architecture. ... Read more

118. Frommer's Greece
by John S.Bowman, SherryMarker, HeidiSarna
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764524569
Catlog: Book (2003-10-20)
Publisher: Frommers
Sales Rank: 11966
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The premier travel guide to the site of the 2004 Summer Games

  • Includes a special section devoted to the 2004 Olympics in Athens
  • Greece is the fifteenth-most popular tourist destination in the world
  • New construction in anticipation of the 2004 Olympics will mean better transportation and other improved tourist infrastructure
  • Expert authors, who have lived in Greece and studied its culture and history, offer a real insider’s look at one of the world’s most beautiful countries
You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might go— they've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us!

Meticulously researched by an experienced team of experts, this in-depth guide is much more detailed and comprehensive than its major competition. You'll find authoritative but fun-to-use coverage of all the classical sites, with valuable insights that will enrich your trip. We've provided all the background information you need to enjoy and appreciate what you're seeing.

Our authors have personally inspected and chosen wonderful hotels in every price cateogory; whether you want to stay in a rustic guesthouse or an exquisite beach resort, you can trust their opinions. They'll take you to the most beautiful islands, where verdant hillsides tumble down to the blue waters of the Mediterranean. And since Greece can be a tricky place to travel, our guide is loaded with detailed city, regional, island, and town maps; it also features a handy language appendix, complete transportation information, and detailed directions for anything that's hard to find. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good, targeted recommendations
My group of friends, who had all travelled Greece in our backpacking days, benefited greatly from this book. As our trip in July 2002 progressed, we relied more and more heavily on the book. The recommendations from sites to food to hotels proved to be excellent every time. I particularly liked that the lodging and restaurant recommendations had inexpensive through expensive listings, which we used as our budget-mindedness changed during the trip. For anyone beyond backpacking and Lonely Planet, this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars most useful.
I found this book very useful. I used it mostly as a guide on a walking tour of Athens. I only had three days in Athens and wanted to see as much as possible. I spent a few hours browsing through the pertinent section and made my plan of action. Everything was as described. I also referred to it when making my hotel reservation and when looking for good restaurants. I stayed at the Hotel Philippos near the Acropolis - a great little place. Eating I went through great troubles one night to find the Taverna Sigalas in the Monasteraki area (because of subway construction,) but it was well worth the effort. I still drool at the thought of the wonderful Greek salad I had and the very best moussaka I've ever eaten. Going to Rome this year and I plan to buy a Frommer's for Rome because I only have three days there and I know I can depend on this book. ... Read more

119. In a Sunburned Country
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767903854
Catlog: Book (2000-06-06)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 89796
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Bill Bryson follows his Appalachian amble, A Walk in the Woods, with the story of his exploits in Australia, where A-bombs go off unnoticed, prime ministers disappear into the surf, and cheery citizens coexist with the world's deadliest creatures: toxic caterpillars, aggressive seashells, crocodiles, sharks, snakes, and the deadliest of them all, the dreaded box jellyfish. And that's just the beginning, as Bryson treks through sunbaked deserts and up endless coastlines, crisscrossing the "under-discovered" Down Under in search of all things interesting.

Bryson, who could make a pile of dirt compelling--and yes, Australia is mostly dirt--finds no shortage of curiosities. When he isn't dodging Portuguese man-of-wars or considering the virtues of the remarkable platypus, he visits southwest Gippsland, home of the world's largest earthworms (up to 12 feet in length). He discovers that Australia, which began nationhood as a prison, contains the longest straight stretch of railroad track in the world (297 miles), as well as the world's largest monolith (the majestic Uluru) and largest living thing (the Great Barrier Reef). He finds ridiculous place names: "Mullumbimby Ewylamartup, Jiggalong, and the supremely satisfying Tittybong," and manages to catch a cricket game on the radio, which is like

listening to two men sitting in a rowboat on a large, placid lake on a day when the fish aren't biting; it's like having a nap without losing consciousness. It actually helps not to know quite what's going on. In such a rarefied world of contentment and inactivity, comprehension would become a distraction.

"You see," Bryson observes, "Australia is an interesting place. It truly is. And that really is all I'm saying."Of course, Bryson--who is as much a travel writer here as a humorist, naturalist, and historian--says much more, and does so with generous amounts of wit and hilarity.Australia may be "mostly empty and a long way away," but it's a little closer now. --Rob McDonald ... Read more

Reviews (309)

5-0 out of 5 stars Of Droughts and Flooding Rains
Being both an owner of every Bill Bryson book in print, and a patriotic Australian, I couldn't believe my luck when I found this book had come out. I currently live in the USA, so it was interesting to see an Americans point of view on Australia. Bryson's insightful views on the country avoid stereotypical characterisation of the people and places, and he mixes his accurate and always relevant research perfectly. I learned things about Australia that I didn't even know, and being one of those much discussed Australians who first see the world before even regarding travel in their own country I realise how much of my own country I have ignored. In my opinion, this is better than 'Walk in the woods', which I found drifting and aimless in sections. 'In a sunburned country' nearly heads in the same direction, but saves itself with constant changes in scenery and the method with which he covered the country. Maybe I am biased because of the subject matter, but it is a great read. If you are going there, get the book and read it on the plane. You'll get a much better understanding of what the country has to offer than by reading a guidebook to Sydney. And, Bill, if you are reading, thanks for not mentioning Fosters, Paul Hogan or 'Shrimps on the Barbie' even once.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pack the bags and head for Australia...
That's how you'll feel once you read this book. Despite the fact thatAustralia is one of the most dangerous continents on earth (if not the most dangerous), you will still feel the pull to visit and, possibly, become a resident.

The book recounts Bryson's assignment to essentially circumnavigate and criss-cross Australia, reporting on its people, its sights, and its culture. At each city or site he visits, he humorously recounts why its well known, who died there and why (for some odd reason, people keep setting out to cross the Outback and are never heard from or seen again), and what he found interesting about it.

Bryson points out the many dangers of Australia. Among them, of the ten deadliest snakes in the world, all ten happen to reside in Australia. For whatever reason, Bryson's writing style grabs you and pulls you. Almost like a thriller where you can't wait to get to the end, you'll fight falling asleep as you read late into the night while trying to find out what oddity he is going to encounter next in his travels.

Highly entertaining, informative, and recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Bryson's best books
Bryson's best book is "Notes From a Small Island," about traveling in Great Britain. It's one of the funniest books I've read. The British are funny, and Bryson knows them well after living in Britain for 20+ years.

His book about Australia, "In a Sunburned Country," is also entertaining. He studied Australian history, met many interesting locals, etc. After reading it, I feel like an expert on Australia and its people.

His book about Europe, "Neither Here Nor There," isn't so good. The problem is that he speaks no languages other than English. He didn't talk to anyone on this trip. Wwithout any characters (other than Bryson) the book isn't engaging. The book has only one joke, which he repeats: "The waiter/hotel clerk/taxi driver didn't speak English so I tried to make him understand that I needed..." Some of these moments are quite funny, but they don't constitute a book. Bryson didn't study the places he visits. Unlike the Australian book, you learn almost nothing about the countries he visited.

Bryson's book about America, "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," failed to make me laugh. It reads like a series of Erma Bombeck columns. Bryson comments about various aspects of his life in a small town in New England. Not other people's lives, which might have been interesting, but only about his domestic life.

I got only a few chapters into his book about the Appalachian Trail, "A Walk in the Woods." I wasn't amused that two people with no backpacking experience would attempt a six-month hike. After several chapters of Bryson repeating one joke -- "I know nothing about any of this!" -- I stopped reading.

This suggests that the old advice "write about what you know" is worth following. It also made me realize that traveling is only enjoyable if you do two things: meet interesting people, preferably by speaking their language; and studying the area you're visiting.

Review by Thomas David Kehoe, author of "Hearts and Minds: How Our Brains Are Hardwired for Relationships"

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Get this book!
Speaking as an American who moved to Australia a year ago to live and work, I was instantly curious about this book after a friend recommended it to me. I thought it might be interesting to read another American's perspective on what it's like to experience this far away country that I've decided to call home.

First off, let me say that this book is an extremely easy and entertaining read from cover to cover and I never wanted to put it down. Bryson has a great writing style and he has a way of making you feel as if you're right there along side him as he travels the country, exploring the countryside and it's people. He travels far beyond the traditional tourists spots that most visiting Americans stick to when coming to Australia on vacation - namely Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Gold Coast, although his passages on these places are just insightful and funny as anything else in the book.

Bryson obviously did his research when he gets into the history behind these far flung places that dot the landscape of this vast country. He never bores you, and he has written a book that seemlessly blends historical fact with observational humor and brutally honest storytelling. I found myself nodding and laughing out loud at so many of his observations about the people, having experienced so many of the same things firsthand when I first arrived here.

I feel the Bryson hits the nail right on the head when he speaks of Australia as being a place where interesting things happen all the time.I agree wholeheartedly with him that it's unfortunate that this country 'down under' seems to go largely unnoticed by the rest of the world.

This book will give you more insight into Australia then any garden variety travel book. This book has heart, humor, and brutal honesty (the latter being what most standard travel books lack. They want to make you think that every single place in a country is worth your time).

If you've ever been curious about Australia I highly recommend this book. If you plan on visiting Australia in the future this book is definitely a must have. It will make you wish you were in Australia that much more. It truly is a special place and Bryson's book conveys this brilliantly.

To quote an excerpt:

"Australia is mostly empty and a long way away. It's population is small and it's role in the world consequently peripheral. It doesn't have coups, recklessly overfish, arm disagreeable despots, grow coca in provocative quantities or throw it's weight around in a brash and unseemly manner. It is stable and peaceful and good. It doesn't need watching, and so we don't. But I will tell you this. The loss is entirely ours."

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent....
This book is excellent regardless of whether or not you have ever or plan on ever visiting Australia. One thing is for certain, that Bryson's mix of humor and historical facts coupled with this dynamic country prove to be sheer entertainment. ... Read more

120. Spain (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
by Not Applicable (Na )
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789493888
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Sales Rank: 6360
Average Customer Review: 4.57 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 (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Orientation!
I can honestly say that no other brand of travel guide will give you the feel of a country more than DK's Eyewitness series. Eyewitness Spain is a beautiful book that uses excellent pictures, maps, and illustrations more than words to bring across the FEEL of Spain.

When planning a trip to Spain, I would reccomend this book along with the Rough Guide to Spain as an unbeatable duo. Whereas Rough Guide provides you with the nitty-gritty and exhaustive traveling advice, Eyewitness Spain will ensure that you will be anticipating your trip like none other.

The most aesthetically pleasing of all the Spanish Travel Guides, Eyewitness Spain is a beautiful book to read, whether it's employed on the plane there or on the coffee table at home.

3-0 out of 5 stars pretty for your coffee table, not very useful for traveling
I think the title of my review wraps it all up: the eyewitness guide to Spain is a work of graphic art. Its highlight is probably the great work on the maps, both small and large scale, which are of great help as you navigate around the citise and towns looking for the hot spots. As a tool for reaching all of the sights you want to see, I would say that the Eyewitness Guide is among the best, with its close-up street maps, neighborhood maps and public transportation guides. In addition to this, as another positive comment I would say that it is a great guide to take on a trip if you don't have much time and you need information presented in an easy-to-read, simple manner. The drawings and photos, and the way they are laid out, is very appealing.

The advantages stop there, however. If you really want to get to know a city, town or region, you simply need more in-depth historical and cultural information on the sights you are seeing. Most of the descriptions of places in the Eyewitness Guide for Spain do not stretch beyond a paragraph or two, which is quite superficial in my opinion. The country is simply to big to be covered in this sort of book with so many nice pictures and drawings, but so little of the written word that you will need as you travel around.

If you really want to know about the history behind the church, monument, museum or park you have traveled so far to see, you will definitely need another guidebook to give you any kind of detail, since the information here is utterly superficial. This flaw becomes far worse when you read the sections on sights that are off the beaten track (which are so many!). The descriptions become utterly superficial, with sometimes no more than a sentence dedicated to a whole town or village filled with things to see.

VERY harsh critique also for the hotel and restaurant information, which is limited to places designed for the rich and famous, or at least the very upper of the upper-middle class, especially in a country like Spain, which has so much to offer at a lower price but with high quality. The best guides give you a little information on all styles of lodging and food, from low budget to luxury, but these guides make little effort to do so, and even the information on the laps of luxury is limited to little symbols, instead of providing descriptions like other guides do. If you rely on this book for advice, you will think Spain is outrageously expensive, and this simply is not true.

With this combination of characteristics, I think Eyewitness is good to take along for a short trip in which you have little time to spend seeing the city and you don't really care about getting any deep information on what you're seeing. Otherwise, keep looking for another guidebook, ESPECIALLY if you are going anywhere outside of the big cities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stock Photo from Mallorca
If you like this book about Mallorca, take a look to one of the following links:

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This travel guide is superb. There are probably an average of four pictures on each page. Pictures showing the wildlife--butterflies, birds, mammals; foods--cheeses, wines, seafood, fruits, local specialties; architecture; beautifully drawn maps showing exactly where all the notable sights are located. There is a 20 page history of Spain at the beginning of the book. At the back of the book are the hotel, restaurant, and survival guides. In between are the wonderful descriptions of all the notable sights ordered by geographic region.

The one problem I see with the book is that after you look at it, it will be impossible to determine how to spend a limited amount of time among all the things to see. (Also the print is kind of small, 7 pt?. The index must be 5 pt.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sets a new bar for travel guides.
This is the best travel guide I have ever used for any country. The photos are spectacular and comprehensive beyond any expectation. Clearly tabbed by region and covering towns and villages covered sparsely if at all by other guides, this guide also allows the reader to learn basics of history, architecture, art, food, wine, and adventure with cross-references to the tutorials as you tour the country.

An adventurous independent traveler should not be without this book! Armchair travelers will also find this the next best thing to being there. Viva Eyewitness! ... Read more

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