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$14.95 $14.73 list($21.99)
141. Lonely Planet Mauritius Reunion
$5.49 list($24.95)
142. Give Me the World
list($23.00)
143. On the Grand Trunk Road: : A Journey
$10.19 list($14.99)
144. Lonely Planet Best Of Bangkok
$6.75 $3.95 list($7.50)
145. Riding the Iron Rooster
$21.95 $14.23
146. Impact Guides the Treasures and
$35.00 $23.09
147. India: The Beautiful
$16.29 $15.94 list($23.95)
148. Insight Guide Vietnam (Insight
$9.50 list($17.95)
149. City of Joy
$10.20 $7.95 list($15.00)
150. The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train
$11.55 $10.83 list($16.99)
151. Frommer's Hong Kong (Frommer's
$16.77 $13.95 list($23.95)
152. Fodor's India, 5th Edition (Fodor's
$8.96 $7.46 list($9.95)
153. China: A Quick Guide to Customs
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154. The Russian Way, Second Edition:
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155. Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree
$16.50 $16.49 list($25.00)
156. Philippines Travel Guide
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157. Hiking in Japan (Lonely Planet
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158. The Last Forbidden Kingdom: Mustang,
$12.21 $11.50 list($17.95)
159. Fodor's Beijing and Shanghai,
$8.06 $5.58 list($8.95)
160. Etiquette Guide to Japan: Know

141. Lonely Planet Mauritius Reunion & Seychelles (Lonely Planet Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles)
by Jan Dodd, Madeleine Philippe
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 1740593014
Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Sales Rank: 184851
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142. Give Me the World
by Leila Hadley
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312198884
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 691962
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This travelogue about the mystery-shrouded Far East is a must-read book. However, there are hazards in doing so. Originally published in 1958, Give Me the World clutters up the tidy notion that women in the '50s were all Donna Reed clones. Leila Hadley, a 25-year-old divorcée with a plum PR position in Manhattan tossed aside conventionality and shipped out to Hong Kong--her 6-year-old son in tow. Hooking up with characters from scholars and mystics to a quartet of American sailors, she traveled to locales such as Ceylon, Bombay, Bangkok, and Delhi, sailing much of the way on a schooner on which she was a bona fide shipmate.

Her danger-filled, 18-month trek is remarkable, but it's her skill at observing details and capturing them on paper, creating a dreamy world that plays to all senses, that makes her memoir extraordinary. Of a Bombay street, she writes: "The women floated through the traffic like butterflies. The men ... leaped and darted, tentatively jumping forward and back in the path of onrushing motorcars, cyclists and oxcarts. Rickety gharries hurtled past driven by whip-cracking turbaned charioteers." Whether writing of food, rituals, or topography--"the mazing side streets were soft and muddied by the monsoon rains"--Hadley unleashes images so rich you can't help thinking that if everyone wrote like this, we wouldn't need TV. Like TV, Give Me the World is habit-forming: you ignore pressing work simply to curl up with this intoxicating memoir. When asked what's new, you may answer: "Well, today Leila Hadley stumbled into an opium den with a camera, and someone chased her out with a knife!" or, "Leila nearly died from a dust storm that gave her a fever of 107, but she survived and met Indira Gandhi." You may sniff at the books of other travel writers, as though they're phonies who aren't even trying.

In short, this is a wonderful book filled with such luxurious prose and so many cultural insights and wild experiences that you finish it feeling enriched and realizing that Hadley has set a standard for travel writing--and traveling--that few, including her ancestor Boswell, can match. --Melissa Rossi ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best travel book ever, period!
Travel books have never, ever interested me--when I hear that one is particularly good, I tend to think, "Yeah, that was THEIR experience, but there's no way it can translate . . . " My thinking has always been that you yourself have to be somewhere, live somewhere, to really know what it's like or else what's the point?

My views on this changed when my sister gave me a copy of Leila Hadley's extraordinary "Give Me the World." A travel book in name only, this work by a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of author James Boswell is more a journey of self-discovery than it is about the places she visits--but the writing is so fierce, so fine, so rich and complex, that as a travelogue it is still head and shoulders above 90% of what else is out there cluttering the travel book bookshelves. Case in point:

Of trying to learn Siamese: "Learning to recognize such simple signs as DANGER, WOMEN and EXIT was as difficult as memorizing the patterns in filigreed silver."

Of the Siamese attitude towards life: "Although Siamese, as good Buddhists, do not believe in taking life, they see nothing wrong in rescuing a fish from drowning. If the creatures die on the bank or in a net, it is probably from exhaustion due to their long immersion, they say, and surely there can be no harm in eating them."

Of Bangkok's reputation as a den of iniquity: "To make sure that one missed nothing of Bangkok's [physical] wonderland, the Siamese had thoughtfully provided a 'Baedeker' . . . in the preface [it noted], 'This pocket book is somewhat inevitable to be kept ready at the hands.' "

Of her opium den experience: "I thought ahead to the times when, back in New York, I would say, 'By the way, I once had an interesting experience in an opium den' or even, 'Opium? Why, of course, I smoked it in Bangkok.' "

Of the difference between western and Malayan clothing: " . . . the people not in western costume looked out of place and a little garish, like partygoers in evening clothes coming home at breakfast time."

Of cooking on board a small boat: " . . . breakfast was a tempestuous affair. Vic darted about the lounge scaling coffee mugs at us, swearing at the stove, in a pother that the biscuits were burned on the bottom and raw on top, rattling and banging pans, and all the while keeping up a running flow of conversation about an article one of the men's adventure pulps had ordered him to rewrite, about the things he wanted to do--all the wildly impractical things like walking from Cairo to Morocco, chartering a dhow to explore the Baluchistan coast, leading an archaeological expedition to Alaska, and then his talk coursed off onto the subject of women and their extraordinary behavior."

On jellyfish: "We were almost abreast of the muddy current when a myriad of filmy jellyfish streamed past the hull. They were beautiful things, delicately colored--some like fragile bladders of Venetian blown glass, some like the pinky-fawn undersides of toadstools with pearly streamers."

On steering the boat at dawn: "The dawn watch. It was one of those chance rewards of travel, a magic moment, untranslatable from its time and place, a moment which lives on perpetually, with all its colors made fast. Just then there was no sign of dawn. The masts were still black against the luminous darkness of the sky, the sails grey in the starlight. There was a thrilling flush of wind against my skin."

On the Taj Mahal: "It shimmered. It glowed. It had the magical property of not looking man-made. Its marble walls had the tender radiance of seashells, petals and moonlit snow."

I could go on and on (and already have!), but really, you have to read the book to get more of this gorgeous prose and see a sheltered girl--yes, a girl, despite her twenty-five years and her six-year old son--blossom into a woman of the world as she makes her way around it. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Travel the world with Leila
'Give me the world' is one of my favourite books. The way the author takes us with her around the world is just magical. It is not a description of what she sees, but really makes us feel the different parts of the world. She adds all those little anecdotes that make the reading a pleasure ...
Do you know why they break a coconut before any religious ceremony in India ??? or how do you know that a girl is single in Haiti ?? well , read this book and you ll know the answer, and lots of other things .. enjoy the reading

4-0 out of 5 stars A Gutsy Transglobal Trek
Leila Hadley defies the 1950's female stereotype when she takes off for Asia with her young son in tow. Leaving a prosperous career behind, Hadley is in search of more enlightening and meaningful experiences than her lush New York life affords her. She does very little in the way of planning, throws caution to the wind and hopes for the best. While the first part of her Asian adventure is quite comfortable and even luxurious at times, she dives headfirst into the adventure she covets when she hitches a ride aboard a sailboat with a small, all-male American crew. Her stories of her experiences sailing to remote destinations throughout Southeast and Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean are exhilarating and fascinating. Hadley's writing style is a bit haughty, however her stories are so interesting that this small flaw is hardly noticeable. Not the best travel memoir I have ever read, but an interesting tale by a gutsy traveler who was before her time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Word pictures
This book is so packed with visual images and sensuality that I could open the book to any page, any paragraph and find poetry and description so graphic it makes my expensive camera obsolete. Her vocabulary is intense and her respect for her readers intelligence challenges me to read nothing but quality. A remarkable book. I wonder how her son, Kippy, now regards that journey. It certainly changes my notions about the fifties woman. Whew! Barbara Levinson

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down...
This is one of those books that left me searching for more. Hadley's wonderful descriptions of each of the people she met while travelling made me wish I could read more about their lives.

Hadley brought each of the places she visited to life with deep, involved descriptions.

Great book and an ending that was a big surprize! ... Read more


143. On the Grand Trunk Road: : A Journey into South Asia
by STEVE COLL
list price: $23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812920260
Catlog: Book (1993-12-28)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 341646
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to the Region
I picked up this book at the library based on the title and the pretty neat cover photo and artwork. It figured to be a reasonably interesting travelogue about an area I wasn't overly familiar with. It only took a few pages to realize that I was quite mistaken. The author, a former Washington Post correspondent covering South Asia from 1989-92, has written a variably readable introduction to the political and social dynamics of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal. By far the most attention is given to India and Pakistan, as these are the two areas he appears to have spent the most time in. The best parts of the book are those in which he relates little vignettes which serve to underscore a broader point or illustrate a particular nuance of a region. Unfortunately, there are also long dry spells which threaten to glaze one's eyes. By far the most compelling portion is the 26 pages in which the author recounts his investigation into the 1988 plane crash which killed the Pakistani leader, General Zia, many of his top military aides, and US Ambassador Arnold Raphel. This disturbing chapter is a page-turner which ends with no resolution, but is deeply affecting. As a whole, this is good reading for someone who wants a casual introduction to the forces at work in South Asia. Amazingly enough, you will have to provide your own map, as the publishers didn't see fit to include any. ... Read more


144. Lonely Planet Best Of Bangkok (Lonely Planet Best of Bangkok)
by China Williams
list price: $14.99
our price: $10.19
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Asin: 1740597656
Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Sales Rank: 1351680
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145. Riding the Iron Rooster
by PAUL THEROUX
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
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Asin: 0804104549
Catlog: Book (1989-03-28)
Publisher: Ivy Books
Sales Rank: 48849
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Paul Theroux invites you to join him on the journey of a lifetime, in the grand romanttic tradition, by train across Euope, through the vast underbelly of Asia and in the heart of Russia, and then up to China.Here is China by rail, as seen and heard through the eyes and ears of one of the most intrepid and insightful travel writers of our time.

... Read more

Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but pretty good anyway
The first 100 pages of this book are a delight to read, with Theroux taking the Trans-Siberian railway through the vastness of Russia, then travelling down through Mongolia and into China. His observations amuse and enlighten, and as always he brings a literary context to all his travel books. Reading Main Street by Sinclair Lewis as he went through a similar flat boom town in the middle of Siberia was just an example of the way he weaves literature into his narrative.

Once Theroux gets into China, he tends to get lost in the vastness of it, as well as the restrictions of having his own special companion specially selected by the folks in the People's Republic. These are minor quibbles, with Theroux I treasure every paragraph, as he puts the effort into making every paragraph important and interesting. Riding the Iron Rooster is no exception. Of course so much has changed in China since the mid-80's, and Theroux addresses these changes in his newer collection Fresh Air Fiend. Theroux observes the places and people in China in his own usual way, he is curious and unsentimental (some say grouchy). My favourite book in this genre is still The Old Patagonian Express, but Iron Rooster is not far behind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant or Not, It's the Truth
Paul Theroux has always had an extremely sharp eye for detail, and an even sharper pen with which to mold these observations into telling, sometimes ascerbic commentary. In "Riding The Iron Rooster", Theroux is at the top of his form in capturing the flavor and collective psyche of mainland China during the last quarter of the 20th Century.

One of the more revealing angles put forth in "Iron Rooster" is the face-saving that the Chinese government has engaged in with respect to The Cultural Revolution. Everyone knows that what Mao Tse Tung did was monstrous, but few in China appear willing to own up to the magnitude of the sin in any public way; so half-measures are taken to pay "proper respect" to Mao at just the appropriate place and just the appropriate time.

The author also nicely captures the first wave of pro-capitalist fervor that began engulfing China in the late 80's. But the core of Theroux's book, as always, are the vivid snapshots of the customs, foibles and mores that constitute a culture.

Reading "Iron Rooster" as I boarded a plane in Hong Kong in 1994, I discovered I was about to experience, first-hand, the aeronautical and social turbulence that the author ascribed to Chinese plane travel. By the time I landed in Guangxi Province, all of his observations had been confirmed.

"Riding The Iron Rooster" is vintage Theroux - insightful, droll, always pleasurable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Improves over time
Slow and non-engaging at the beginning, the pace and tone improve substantially and I was hooked during the last third. This is an account of Theroux's criss-crossing through China during 1988, amazing descriptions of the landscapes surrounding him, and many people's answers to his questions about Mao and the Cultural Revolution. While I probably would have enjoyed it even if I wasn't planning to mimic his trip anytime soon, knowing that I might follow in his footsteps made it all the more exciting. The book would have been better with the first 50 pages cut, largely detailing the annoying habits of a tour group.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ups and Downs of Late 80's Travel in PRC
I was assigned this book for a class in modern Asian history. The professor was deadly dull, but I'm glad I took the class because it led me to Paul Theroux. In RtIR I found some of the funniest and most memorable bits of nonfiction in my life. China is a truly unique place and Theroux seems very well suited to its mysteries.

The author has made a career out of sharing his wit and wisdom about his travels in the world (fiction as well as non). As in all his travel tales, Theroux points out everything odd and fascinating to him along his route to and through the area he's focused on, including meaningful chunks of local history, literature, and cultural background. This is very literate travel writing and, taken with a grain of salt, can be highly educational though parts are a bit dated now.

You'll learn nearly as much about Theroux (or the character of Theroux, travel writer) as you do about the place. There is no story here: this is travel writing and you must go with the flow or put the book down. But the payoffs are tremendous; there are always dozens of "I gotta read this to somebody" passages in Theroux books. This one is no exception. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in modern China and some humor.

4-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant ramble through 1980s China
It has become a clich¨¦, but nonetheless true, to remark "how much China has changed", be it in the past year or month or decade.

Reading "Riding the Iron Rooster" in 2003 Shanghai highlights that truism while calling to mind another: "The more things change, the more they stay same." Theroux's China of twenty years ago is an alien world, yet oddly, unsettlingly familiar.

Travelogues by definition focus on the details, at risk of missing the forest for the trees, but those details are valuable for illustrating changes in a society. Every single writer to address China in the 1980s made the tired observation of how the blue and gray Mao suit monotony gave way to a cacophony of color in the average Chinese wardrobe. Yet such minutiae, such as the currently popular extrapolation on the proliferation of cellphones and Starbucks and everything else, while not providing the substance of change, are the stylistic curlicues that can represent so much.

Theroux's appeal and success lies in his witty, vivid descriptions, and he continues the tradition in this particular tome. However, in the one other book of his I read, "The Great Railway Bazaar", he created a much better sensation of traveling, and captured the senses of place much more vibrantly. In "Iron Rooster", he visits so many different places that they all start to blend together, and he makes little effort to explore their differences. One suspects he was trying so hard to get his mind and pen around the whole of China and its changes and society and people that he forgot to stop and smell the chrysanthemums.

When he does give himself over to capturing scenes, the wry witticisms make the long slog though the long book worthwhile. Little gems like, "The girls even had to have a fancy brassiere, probably the most superfluous garment in China" make you wish he had spent more time on said chrysanthemums and less on "whither modern China". The book also gets bogged down by describing excessively the author's annoying encounters, such as the American tour group at the beginning and his government escort Mr. Fang.

Nonetheless, it makes for an intriguing social snapshot of the China that was, and provides an interesting benchmark against which to compare the present day. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who hasn't been to China; it would create false impressions and expectations, especially given how most western readers woefully fail to take into account datedness in regards to other countries. But if you've already been, it makes for an amusing and at times provocative blast to the past. ... Read more


146. Impact Guides the Treasures and Pleasures of Thailand and Myanmar: Best of the Best in Travel and Shopping (Impact Guides)
by Ron, Ph.D. Krannich, Caryl, Ph.D. Krannich
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
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Asin: 1570232032
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: Impact Publications
Sales Rank: 370966
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147. India: The Beautiful
by ANTHONY OSMOND-EVANS
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 1904668488
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Mercury Books
Sales Rank: 608519
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Book Description

Kuldip Nayar writes in his Foreword, ‘It is more than history. It is a saga of those who have ruled and those who have defied. India is a land of struggle and sacrifice, of suffering and subjugation, where people have sustained their identity, their being, against all odds for centuries. Raiders came and retreated. Empires expanded and receded. Dynasties rose and retracted. India was conquered and re-conquered, destroyed and disfigured. But it has remained beautiful’.

Anthony Osmond-Evans has captured the mood of this endeavor and the determination of the people to achieve it in this stunning photographic extravaganza. The distinctive feature in this book is the perception of how time comes to a stop in India and how monuments and people span the distance of ages to give the same message of cultural unity and solid defiance. ... Read more


148. Insight Guide Vietnam (Insight Guides)
by Scott Rutherford
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9812349847
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Insight Guides
Sales Rank: 40553
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of over 400 titles in the Insight series,

Insight Guide Vietnam. This 380-page book includes a section detailing Vietnam's history, 8 features covering aspects of the country's life and culture, ranging from the newly-discovered animal species uncovered in Vu Quang rainforest to flavourful Vietnamese cuisine, a region by region visitor's guide to the sights, and a comprehensive Travel Tips section packed with essential contact addresses and numbers. Plus many high quality photographs and 12 maps. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Insight Pocket Guides Vietnam (2nd Edition)
Although it includes most of the information I found in Fodor's, it wasn't as detailed. It's as if the writer assumes the reader knows his way around Hanoi or other larger cities. Top sights to visit are blurred together. Maps were difficult to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vietnam Bound
While the Insight Guides do not provide the best info as far as hotels and restaurants, they give excellent background info and tourist info. A great resource. ... Read more


149. City of Joy
by Dominique Lapierre
list price: $17.95
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Asin: 0385189524
Catlog: Book (1985-10-01)
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Sales Rank: 180500
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the story of living saints and heroes-- those who abandoned affluent and middle-class lives to dedicate themselves to the poor. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

1-0 out of 5 stars A self-indulgent, unworthy book that should be binned
Everything about this books screams white supremacy. Lapierre claims to have "researched this book for two years", but this shoddy work is replete with silly, irritating mistakes - 'Bhagvan' is apparently 'the most powerful God in Hinduism'; a charpoy is something you drink from. But that is the least of it.

I can overlook the inaccurate research (or lack thereof), I can forgive the racism and the advertisement for imperialism that the book is. After all, one of my favourite books - Gone With The Wind - succumbs to similar failures. What I cannot condone are the writing and the message of this book.

It's a novel 'based on true stories', it claims. Why, then, is there no plot, no flow of events, no climax, no ending, no discernible anything to differentiate it from a painstaking chronicle of everyday events in a not-so-everyday place that starts and ends for no reason? The characters are discussed and revealed very well, true, but there is absolutely no development. The people in City of Joy are static: no one, not even the two foreigners, undergo any process of meaningful change. Superficially, they're disgusted by the way the people in the slum live, they admire the slum dwellers' capacity for love and joy - these are things they learn and find out as they live in Anand Nagar... but that's prosaic to the point where you want to start ripping pages from the book for sheer want of some fresh happening.

And then there's the message. The book claims to be about love and joy thriving in the worst possible conditions, but whereas it explores these 'worst possible conditions' in loving variety and detail (lepers' colonies, children drowning in open drains, starvation, filth, maggot-infested internal organs of the slum-dwelling sick, typhoid and tuberculosis, the privations suffered by rickshaw pullers, the 'human horses'...), all that Lapierre says about the survival of life and joy in these conditions is... that it has survived. On and on he goes about men keeling over and dying as they pull rickshaws, only to be kicked aside and eagerly replaced by other men desperate for work, and at the end of a 10-page chapter, there's a line that goes - he was happy to be alive. Well, one sentence repeated over and over at the end of different incidents does not a message make.

And of course, I hate the way the book grosses you out for the sake of effect. I'm all for having my heart wrung and made to shed tears of blood, but at least don't do it this blatantly, without even a pretence of plot to cover it up! Even Passion of the Christ was better in this respect, and that's saying something.

4-0 out of 5 stars An imperfect but majestic book
I felt I should write to correct the impression left by the last reviewer, as her criticisms may turn people away from this gripping account of the daily lives of people in a slum in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India.

The previous reviewer accuses the author, French journalist Dominique Lapierre, of spreading a sentimental gloss over the poverty described in his book. As an example, she describes a scene in which, she claims, a healthy woman is married off to a leprous slum dweller. Lapierre, according to the reviewer, ignores the horror of the situation and callously celebrates the colorful wedding: "gee, if you look at it in just the right light, folks, it's an affirmation of the life force!"

First, the woman who is married off already has leprosy. She is also already married to another leper, is 27 years old, and has three children. Of course, the fact that her present husband marries her off to someone else for 500 rupees disturbs the reader. But Lapierre doesn't shy away from this at all: he notes that the woman has no choice in the matter, cries during the ceremony and seems "ill at ease." The book does marvel at life and vitality the lepers display during the wedding ceremony. But it is clear that Lapierre is actually conveying the thoughts and observations of a character who is taking part in it, a Polish priest (the priest is Polish, not French as described above on this page). Lapierre actually quotes the priest several times. The priest, for his part, is simultaneously aghast at how the wedding came to be and inspired by the anarchic glee displayed by a group of people who are more often thought of as a "collection of derelicts resigned to their lot."

The wedding chapter in fact captures a strength of the book: Just as the fulsome jacket blurbs (from Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa, among others) promise, Lapierre tells stories of extraordinary courage and humanity amidst wretched poverty, ignorance, and oppression. He obviously worked long and hard to strike the right balance, and succeeds more often than not. As a European, he tends to reserve moral judgments, and leaves them for the reader to make. This approach enables him to understand the alien culture he describes more fully, and to approach it with nuance and understanding.

So, facile this book is not. Neither is it a literary masterpiece. It's more a collection of anecdotes than a carefully-structured analysis. The English translation is credited not to a person but to a French company called "Pressinter." It's apparently not by a native English speaker, since it often uses words in a way no English speaker would. (Note to Warner Books: this book deserves a better translation.)

Still, Lapierre's gift for narrative and description -- and his feverish urgency to tell these amazing stories -- shine through. Most importantly, he allows his characters to speak for themselves. The book was the product of thorough research and insightful interviews. The characters thus drawn, especially the Bengali peasant driven into the city by drought, and the Polish priest who chooses to live among the poor, are genuinely unforgettable.

In addition to introducing you to some remarkable people, City of Joy depicts the causes of the poverty it describes, and the challenges faced by those trying to alleviate, end, or escape it. And, for all its occasional excesses of sentiment, it does so in a direct, lively, disarming style.

1-0 out of 5 stars cardboard cut-out disease porn
There is no context or depth to the one-dimensional, facile and perverse moralizing in this book. I read it over a decade ago, before travelling and speakign with people around the world. For a suburban college student, it was a shocker. As an adult, I found it to have the exact lack of context, multi-dimensionality and context as pornography. Substitute graphic sex for graphic disease and you have City of Joy. A huge disappointment.

3-0 out of 5 stars Typical westerner's view of India?
The theme of this book is really worth to read.A missionary comes to India to service poor people and live with them, participate in their joy and sorrow of them really makes you gel with the book.But I don't understand the view of the foreigner's about the sanitation condition of India(from Seinfeld to this authour).They always view that as an adventure(true it is disgusting in some places, including where I lived) and wanted to explain that ad nauseum, but my suggestion would be India is not a land of lacking sanitation and dirt as the media claims in the other side of the world.It has its true colors and history and people who dedicated their life like Mother Teresa.Please write about them.Another thing to mention about is referring Kama Sutra(like mentioning drug cartels in most of the south american books).Please note that in majority of Indian home, Kama Sutra book is viewed as Playboy or PlayGirl in a conservsative american home.

Apart from that, this book never wavered from the reality.About a peasant's life, how his life turns upside down when the city takes him in, how the missionary adapts the life in India and how the rich and poor view their life has been well documented. Definetly worth to read.

1-0 out of 5 stars A formulaic piece of garbage
I just finished reading The City of Joy.Normally I would be embarrassed to admit that I had been stupid enough to actually finish such a terrible book, but it was required for school that I do so.
The premise of the book isn't so bad - a bunch of poor people on a farm lose their land and possessions, and go to live in the city of joy, Calcutta's famed slum.However, the book is written terribly and uninterestingly, by some French imbecile who couldn't write his way out of a medicine cabinet.In addition to that, the plot that he decided on was formulaic and uninteresting (they faced hardship and perservered, wow!! so original and so interesting!!), thus meriting a 1-star rating.
In conclusion, don't read this horribly formulaic, boring, poorly-written, and ultimately overrated, piece of garbage. ... Read more


150. The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia
by Paul Theroux
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 014024980X
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 125398
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

3-0 out of 5 stars Train travelling by reading.
"Train travel animate my imagination and usually give me solitude to order and write my thoughts: I travel easily in two directions, along the level rails while Asia flashed changes at the window, and at the interior rim of a private world of memory and language. I cannot imagine a luckier combination."

The words are from Paul Theroux's book The Great Railway Bazaar, where he takes us on a train journey through Asia. The book has excotic chapters, starting with The 15.30 - London to Paris, taking us via The Direct - Orient Express, The Night Mail to Meshed, The Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpus, The Trans - Siberian Express and so on. Names and places I dream of, and would like to go to - one day.
Paul Theroux has been there, and he has been there with an open mind and his pen and paper to take care of this world of memory and language.

This is fun reading. Some people call Theroux a rasist, but I don't agree. Theroux travels with an open mind and really see people and places where he goes. The way he shares his experiences with his readers is so rich and funny, you almost can feel the smell of the meal of old onions wrapped in a dirty piece of newspaper his travel companion is having, or you feel the dust in your eyes from the dry countryside you are passing.

I bought this book at an European airport when I was out travelling, and has read it as a "travel"-book, reading on planes, railways, busses, in cars and so on. And my eyes have been opened to see the people around me - not as grey everyday fellow travellers, but as all different human beings. And from Paul Theroux I have learned that strangers are not actually strangers, but people who can show me more of a mixed world when I take the time to start sharing part of my life with them.

Britt Arnhild Lindland.

3-0 out of 5 stars Less than I expected
Despite it's previous bestseller status, I found this book to be quite slow and it didn't grab my concentration. Theroux traveled by train from England to Turkey, India, Singapore, Japan, several other countries, and back across the whole of Russia. The tone is rather arrogant and I was disappointed that most of his time seemed to be actually spent on the train, rather than in the places he traveled to. Reading about his many train companions and the train staff was not as interesting as hearing about the people on the street he spoke with. I found the chapter on Vietnam interesting, but his trip home across Russia found him horribly depressed, and his negative attitude clouded the details of an experience that so many others have recorded as marvelous.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all
This is a journal of a trip covering the major rail routes available in the 1970s across Europe and Asia. Theroux, an American, sets off from London on a tour where the journey itself was the goal. He wanted to sit back, observe, and absorb the atmosphere of the trains. In the book, he details his experiences on the trains, tells us about his fellow passengers, and describes what he was seeing out the windows while the trains wound across the tracks from Paris to Italy, Bulgaria to Turkey, Pakistan, India, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, and the Soviet Union. Occasionally, he stopped for a night or two in a hotel along the way, and he also tells us of his adventures at these stops.

It's been years since I read a book by Paul Theroux. In the past, I found his attitude a bit off-putting. There's something about deciding to write a travel book, then taking a trip for the specific purpose of having something to write about that makes the whole genre somewhat useless. But now that I have traveled a bit more myself and have visited many of the countries that Theroux describes here, I can appreciate the accuracy of his descriptions much more. In traveling through a country in a few days by train, no one would be able to make enough observations to make worthwhile analyses of the culture or the society of a country, but that's not Theroux's goal in this book. Instead, it is the journey itself that he is describing- -the focus is on the trains, and the particular subculture of train travel. Theroux provides us with images of the trains themselves and the people one meets on them as he describes his experiences of months spent living on the trains.

Theroux's best descriptions are towards the beginning of the journey. By the end of the trip, he is reduced to a drunken stupor and his observations dwindle in the steppes of Siberia. The only reason for including his final chapters in the book are simply for the sake of completeness, to get him home again. The section on Vietnam is a remarkable snapshot of ordinary life trying to continue between the '73 ceasefire and the '75 withdrawal. It is images like these that give this book its enduring value.

4-0 out of 5 stars A series of interesting vignettes.
I recently re-read Theroux's Great Railway Bazaar and immediately was awash in memories of innumerable train journeys across the length and breadth of my native India. This is an excellent read both for train lovers (whom the exotic trains Theroux rides will captivate) as well as readers who enjoy travelogues. To be fair, this is less a travelogue than a series of vignettes covering Theroux's journeys through various Asian countries. Theroux makes no attempt to develop an understanding of the cultures he travels through but is content to describe the train itself along with a handful of anecdotes about the people he meets on each leg of his journey. Fair enough, this is not after all a sociological text but a travel diary of sorts.

And it is in description that Theroux's strength lies. He has the ability to make an anecdote seem so real as to make the reader a part of the scene. The pace of the book varies with the stop and start of each journey and I guess every reader will prefer some parts to others. Plus of course, it is a bit jarring when one reads this book today, since the tide of history has greatly changed many of the countries Theroux traversed. Still, culture is slower to change than politics and that keeps much of the book relevant even today.

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting, rambling journey
"Paul Theroux is _so_ overrated!"

It was a line I would hear over and over again during the past month I spent with 'The Great Railway Bazaar' every time I fielded the inevitable "So...what are you reading now?" question so popular amongst writers and journalists.

Having finally finished the compact tome, I understand my colleagues' antipathy: Theroux makes it look so easy. Take a trip, write about it with lots of descriptive curliques and viola! money in the bank.

Theroux has a sharp eye and a neutral without being self-effacing voice that makes for the best travel writing. He is a master of detail, meticulously recreating the sense of place and space. As a writer, he is superb. And yet...I also sympathize with the criticisms that he exploits a place, visiting only for the writing, dismissing the deeper truth and more complicated understanding for the lurid, the sensational, the scene and the steam.

In 'Railway Bazaar' at least, Theroux at least makes no pretentions of being anything more than the passing observer. They are snapshots, vignettes viewed through a train window and filtered through half a bottle of gin. It is personal, and pretends to be nothing more. It also serves as a reaffirming paean to the joys of alcohol and travel.

As a book, it has its stops and gos. Slow at the start, it picks up spead through Central Asia, finds its confident footing in South and Southeast Asia, and then flounders through Japan and Russia. At its best, it captures a time and place, such as Vietnam at the end of the war or bits of India. Perhaps I found those parts more coherent because I traveled similar roads some 30 years later, and found it interesting to compare how things have changed - and how they haven't. I suspect other readers will find similar experiences: it is a book for the already seasoned traveller, not the armchair enthusiast. ... Read more


151. Frommer's Hong Kong (Frommer's Complete)
by BethReiber
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764576690
Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
Publisher: Frommers
Sales Rank: 178609
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

  • A discriminating guide to a great time in Hong Kong
  • Our guide offers the lowdown on the best hotels, restaurants, sights, nightlife, and shopping
  • A giant foldout map, walking tours, and special tips for single business travelers as well as families make the guide even more valuable
  • Travelers also get the scoop on nearby Macao as well as side trips to the New Territories and mainland China
... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Woefully Inadequate
If there is a hell for travel writers, I hope Beth Reiber will burn in it. The useful information in this book could be condensed into a postage stamp size guide: One good Dim Sum Restaurant, one good Macanese Restaurant and one walk in The Western District. I recently traveled with this book to Hong Kong. I had a Hong Kong resident as a companion and still got lost using this book. Ms. Reiber recommends a walking tour of Kowloon, but does not bother to place the last four destinations on the included map. Nor does she say that you will encounter two rivers of humanity flowing in both directions that will turn a fifteen minute walk into a half hour hike. It is easier for salmon to swim upstream to spawn than it is to find the Bird Market in Kowloon. She also recommends a Kowloon park that is not even on the visitor map! (Just hop on the bus, she says. It stops across from the park. Hah!) We took the bus to Stanley after seeing Victoria Peak. The bus ride is interesting but time consuming. First time travelers on a three day holiday will never be able to complete her suggested three day tour. Taxis speed things up at night, but get snarled in traffic during the day. I was there six days and saw most of the things on her list, including a side trip to Macao, but only by the grace of God did my Hong Kong friend and I find the ruins of Saint Paul's Cathedral, so inadequate were the included maps. As for the unnecessary words: Anyone can walk into a four star hotel and find a great restaurant. If you follow Ms. Reiber's restaurant suggestions you'll be eating either Very Expensive or Expensive (her categories) most of the time. If you like to shop, which I do not, I'm sure you'll find Ms. Reiber's book helpful; she drags you through every major complex of shops on her walking tours. Rick Steves she ain't. So if you are planning a trip to Hong Kong you can buy this book, but get some good maps as a supplement and draw out your routes in advance. A few things Ms. Reiber doesn't mention: The locals seem to think that tea is a disinfectant for chop sticks and soup spoons. Bring a pack of Kleenex with you to a neighborhood restaurant, because napkins are not provided. And forget about breathing clean air while you are in Hong Kong. However, the city is full of delights and I intend to return, now that I know my way around.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is not updated. Many names dont exist any more.
What have the frommers done is Just duplicating the old edition with a new name. This so called 2001 edition " frommer's hong kong 6th eddition" has so many names I could not look up on the internet mainly because they were sold to another company with a different name. The air lines they suggested dont even fly to hong kong any more. Many restaurants were nonexistant. Things are changing rapidly in Hong Kong. Frommers has not kept up with those changes. Seems like a (...) rip off scam to me.

Good luck.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is not updated. Many names dont exist any more.
What have the frommers done is Just duplicating the old edition with a new name. This so called 2001 edition " frommer's hong kong 6th eddition" has so many names I could not look up on the internet mainly because they were sold to another company with a different name. The air lines they suggested dont even fly to hong kong any more. Many restaurants were nonexistant. Things are changing rapidly in Hong Kong. Frommers has not kept up with those changes. Seems like a [price] rip off scam to me.

Good luck.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This is a good tour book tell you all you need to wrap before your traveling.This book also help you to control your travel budget and tailor your travel into your appetite!So how can you travel to Hong Kong without this one?

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
This is a really excellent, accurate, and carefully researched guide, full of helpful information. Note however that it is not BY Arthur Frommer, who publishes a magazine and lends his name to the series, but no longer writes guide books--the author is Beth Reiber. She is right on top of her subject, and you couldn't ask for a better, more complete guide to Hong Kong. ... Read more


152. Fodor's India, 5th Edition (Fodor's India)
by Fodor's
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400013127
Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
Publisher: Fodor's
Sales Rank: 23214
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Fodor's India 3rd ed.

"Fodor's guides are always a pleasure." - The Chicago Tribune

"Teeming with maps and loaded with addresses, phone numbers, and directions." - Newsday

Experienced and first-time travelers alike rely on Fodor's Gold Guides for rich, reliable coverage the world over.Completely up-to-date, Fodor's Gold Guides are essential for any kind of traveler.

Insider info that's reliable and smart
Local experts show you all the things to see and do -- from top sights to off-the-beaten-path adventures,
from sports to shopping, from nightlife to recommended walks.

Hotels and restaurants in all price categories
From B&Bs to luxury hotels, from casual eateries to elegant restaurants, we list hundreds of detailed reviews that show what is distinctive about each place.

Practical info that's completely up-to-date
Useful maps and background information; key contacts; how to get there and get around; when to go; what to pack; local do's and taboos; costs, hours, and tips by the thousands.

Here's a helpful companion guide to Fodor's India. To learn more about them, just enter the title in the keyword search boxFodor's Exploring India: An information-rich cultural guide in full color.


... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An information-packed travel guide
Now in an updated and strongly recommended fifith edition, Fodor's India is an information-packed travel guide to just about everything business or vacation travelers need to know or would like to see in this vast and dazzling nation. From where to go tiger-spotting to paying homage to holy sites to learning how to navigate bazaars and much more, Fodor's India brims with over 600 pages full not only of places to go, but tips for blending in and making the most of one's experience when one gets there. Over 600 pages cover the sights to see in various sections of India as well as a basic overview of the culture, language, and strategies for navigating. Fodor is a premier publisher of travel guides offering expert information on cities and countries abroad. Send for their free catalog for a complete title listing.

4-0 out of 5 stars good, could be better
This is a good book for getting an overview of where to go and what to do.It also does a good job of listing hotels (though it's not the best for lower end venues).The book is frustrating, however, in that the person who makes the maps does not seem to be coordinating his/her efforts with the person who writes the text.Maps list main streets, but not the ones where major hotels are located (except in the big cities).Hence, you have no idea if your hotel is near or far away from major sites.This is especially problematic for single travelers who might wish to favor a central location to minimize commute times and the troubles that accompany them.Also, there is some inconsistency in the text.A suggested "ideal" itinerary will exclude an item that is later listed in the text as a "must see."Perhaps the problem occurs when different reviewers provide updates for the guides and don't bother to read the existing text carefully.Is the book worth your time? Yes, for the early stages of planning a trip.But you will definitely need another guide for information that could easily have been provided here.Finally, the guide subscribes to the PC nonsense that has become so popular lately....they soft peddle important things like SAFETY tips.It's not being a wet rag to acknowledge that there are some serious safety concerns you must keep in mind....and spelling them out for each area.

4-0 out of 5 stars No one guide has it all...
When you're embarking on any big adventure, and India certainly is, you'd be foolish to rely on one guide, and this one is no exception. (Take a look at my review of Lonely Planet India). Fodor's is always pretty reliable when it comes to restaurants and hotels, especially if you're not a low budget traveller. Prices of course are usually out-of-date pretty quickly, and the exchange rate fluctuates all the time, but their "$$$" system gives a good idea of the relative costs of different places. I also like the "star" system highlighting sites to see--in a country chock-full of palaces, temples, forts, and natural wonders, it helps to prioritize if time is short. The maps of local areas are OK as you plan your trip, but of course no guide book has really good maps--pick one up as you arrive in a major city, and as you plan your itinerary around the country, a country map is critical. Fodors is, however, short on history and culture, and some reading before you go is critical. And remember--things change, particularly in a place like India--local knowledge from your hotel or guide (from a reputable company, not someone you stop on the street) is always the best bet.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better guides exist.
Hello to fellow travellers to India.

I bought this 2000 edition of Fodor's India because I got a deal online, but found the book to be of very limited use.

One of the best features of this book is the recommendation of itineraries based on the number of days that you might spend in a neighborhood. For example, if you intend to visit the state of Tamil Nadu, the book recommends specific itineraries if you have 4 days, 7 days, or 10 days at your disposal. If such a feature is important to you, this may be a very satisfactory book for you. The section on travel tips is also a good one.

I found the book to lack in comprehensiveness. For example, if you intend to visit any places in Maharashtra other than Bombay (Mumbai) or the Ajanta, Ellora caves, you wont be able to find it in this book. The hotel and dining recommendations were also disappointing. We stayed at the beautiful Park guest house on the beach at Pondicherry and ate at wonderful Annalakshmi restaurant in Madras (Chennai). Neither was listed in Fodor's.

Another helpful feature that you find in other guides such as Footprint is the location of money changers (for foreign exchange) in any given city - a feature that you will not find in Fodor's.

If you are looking for historical details about locations, it is hard to beat the Blue guides. I was also impressed by the Rough guide and Footprint guide. The latter is especially good about including detailed maps of cities. (I got a chance to look at these various guides in a local library and would recommend to others that they look at as many guides as available in your local library before buying one to take with you to India.)

No matter which travel guide you use, I hope you have a great time in India! ... Read more


153. China: A Quick Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Smart!)
by Kathy Flowers
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558687025
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 160423
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Book Description

Culture Smart! Is a new series of travel guides written for the traveler on the go. Each volume is a quick, accurate guide to customs and etiquette. Outstanding features of CULTURE SMART!

* all the essential cultural and etiquette points are covered, making you confident in a variety of situations.
* You will know what to expect in each particular culture
* You will learn how to behave in specific social and business situations
* Essential attitudes and values are clearly explained
* You will find each topic a quick, easy read due to the concise writing style
* Small and light, it tucks into your pocket or purse for on-the-go use.
* Your Culture Smart! Books are written by a staff of experts who consult on world travel as a profession. ... Read more


154. The Russian Way, Second Edition: Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs of the Russians
by ZitaDabars, LiliaVokhmina
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0658017969
Catlog: Book (2002-01-04)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 72212
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Fully updated to reflect the rapidly changing cultural climate in today's Russia, The Russian Way is indispensable for understanding the Russian way of life and for communicating with the Russian people. It is not only fascinating but also invaluable to businesspeople, travelers, and students.

Organized alphabetically, the book answers questions such as:

  • How do Russians celebrate holidays?
  • How do Russians think, do business, and act in their daily lives?
  • What do Russians enjoy eating?
... Read more

Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars This book.
A very boring book. It goes into the very basics of Russian culture. It only had a couple pages about dating a Russian. I have been there twice in the last year, and didn't find the book useful at all. Find another book to read about Russian Culture and social dynamics.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some useful information, but nothing earth shattering
This book is relatively good, but basically all the information in the book can be found by a couple of simple google searches. The information is presented in a rather matter of fact way, but I just don't feel that I learned much or got anything in the way of new insight into Russian culture.

If you know next to nothing about Russia and its people and are traveling there in the near future but don't have much time to learn, the most basic information is here in one convenient location. If you're looking for any deeper insight, seek elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad Book?
This was the worst book I have ever read. It was so boring. I have never spent so much money on such a stupid book!! I can't believe that anyone would say that they liked this book!! And I really wouldn't recomend anyone else buying or reading it!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise introductory guidebook to Russian culture
Dabars and Vokhmina have created a thorough, yet concise guidebook, which is geared towards those who plan to travel to the former Soviet Union in the very near future. The stated purpose of this book was to make the Russian culture explainable and believable to the non-Russian reader, and I believe that this goal was accomplished.

I have the 1995 edition of this book and it does contain a disproportionate amount of typographic errors which I found to be a little irritating at times. The authors credited a lot of people in the preface for "proofreading" this book - What were they thinking?

After reading this book, you will be able to answer the following questions:
- Should you give an even number or an odd number of flowers to your Russian friend?
- How do you write a Russian postal address?
- What do a Russian newlywed couple traditionally do after the wedding ceremony?
- What is the "evil eye"?
- How many letters are in the Cyrillic alphabet and how are they different from the Roman alphabet?

Dabars and Vokhmina effectively cover these topics and more in "The Russian Way". The book is very lightweight, only 99 pages long, and thus can serve as excellent reading material while traveling. I think that "The Russian Way" would be an excellent start for any beginning Russophile.

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise and informative book
Writing from her experience, Zita Dabar answers the top queries on cultural mores, social issues communication, and idiosyncracies of Russian society. Additionally she offers great tips for the situations one will confront in their cross-cultural encounters. You could think of this as a "71 of the Best Things to Know About Russian Culture and Life" book. You know-- the kind of thing airline magazines print in those crisp but colorful illustrated travel commentaries ("The Ideal 10 Ways to Spend Three Days..." or "15 Fascinating Facts About...").

Dabar lists each of 71 items indexed numerically, followed by several paragraphs to pages of great material. Don't let the "Top-Ten-ish" approach dissuade you. She obviously has given each one serious thought, telling us they all have been reviewed by Russians and other informed cultural veterans just to be sure she didn't leave out or misstate anything.

While her goal of bringing all of us to "Level III" of cultural awareness might be a bit of a stretch, we can say at least we've made a good start. All in all, it is a really good short volume. ... Read more


155. Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5)
by MARY POPE OSBORNE
list price: $3.99
our price: $3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679863710
Catlog: Book (1995-03-21)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 14081
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The tree house is back--but where is the enchantress Morgan le Fay?The

search for her begins as Jack and Annie are transported back to ancient Japan,

where they find themselves in the cave of a ninja master.Will the evil

samurai warriors get to Jack and Annie before they can learn the secrets of the

ninjas?




... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book in all areas
"Night Of The Ninjas" is truly one of the best Magic Tree House books ever written. This is the book where they meet Peanut, a little mouse that is actually Morgan under a spell. However, they don't know that, but still they take Peanut on their journey. When they arrive in Japan, two Ninjas capture them and take them back to the Ninja master. Afterwards, the Ninjas learn that Samurai warriors are coming, and then the Ninjas all leave, leaving Jack and Annie on their own. Do they survive and escape the Samurai? You'll have to find out in this exciting Magic Tree house book that every fan will love.

5-0 out of 5 stars its a great book
If you like ninjas then you'll want to read night of the ninjas.

If you are a fraidy cat you might like Jack and if you like to imagine,then you will like Annie. If you like mice, then you will like Peanut in the story.

The story keeps you guessing because the mouse acts like a human.

I liked Night of the Ninjas, because it's exciting and you will like it, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book ever
I'm a 10 year boy who loves the Magic Tree House series. I especially like when Jack and Annie went to England and met William Shakespeare. This is an easy chapter book to read. It keeps your interest.

4-0 out of 5 stars Night of the Ninjas Strike Again
This excellent book is about two kids named Jack and Annie. One day they were walking in Frog Creek Woods and they found a magic treehouse. Then they travelled back to Ancient Japan where two ninjas capture them. Read to find out what happens next.
This is an exelent book and one of my favorites! I would recommend this book to any one that likes adventure.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ninjas!
If you like ninjas, then this is the book for you, the Night of the Ninjas.

If you like mice, you will like the wise mouse Peanut. This is no ordinary mouse. There is a whole bunch of mystery.

I like Night of the Ninjas, because it kept me reading. ... Read more


156. Philippines Travel Guide
by Jens Peters
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3923821328
Catlog: Book (2005-06-15)
Publisher: Jens Peters Publications
Sales Rank: 22578
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Philippines Travel Guide includes a varied selection of pre-planned travel routes and useful information on transportation, loads of good-value accommodation, selected local and international restaurants, comprehensive language chapter, illustrated sections on flora, fauna and culture, details on outdoor activities including cycling, diving, hiking and surfing, e-mail directory andmaps. Its the most extensive travel guide on the Philippines. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars it's incomplete, but the best there is, as of today.
before i criticize, let me say that this book is crammed with great info--much more info than any other (up to date) book in existance on this country. i would say it is worth taking, and i will use it next week on my return to the islands. my suggestion to jens is to beef up some sections in the next edition.
for example, bataan province--jens has about 4 or 5 paragraphs on the entire province! totally inadequate for anyone traveling there. he mentions a new road has been completed to reach the subic area but has no specifics.
the index in the back does not cross-reference any place names or geographic areas (ex: manila, cebu, mactan, etc.). these have to be looked up using the front of the book. this is awkward.
there are advertisements in the book. this is ok, maybe... however in searching for some resorts that are pretty well known, there is no mention of them in this book-- contact numbers, accommodations, etc. i wonder if this is retaliation for these places refusing to advertise? i don't know if this is true, but by accepting advertisements it creates an appearence.
jens advertises he has a lot of maps, and he does, but again many provinces are all but ignored. i will still bring an out of date moon guide, and the latest lonely planet also, and use both of them to augment jens' guide. i just wish i didn't feel the need to pack 3 or 4 guides. i was hoping jens' guide was complete to do it all for me. it's really going to be helpful, certainly, but also frustrating to use.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best!
I have many books & guides on the Philippines but this is the best written and most accurate I have ever seen. While there are many good guides not to be missed out there like Evelyn Peplow's "The Philippines" and Jill & Rebecca Gale De Villa's "Philippines Guide", this one definately surpasses them all, it's the guide I pack on my Philippine trips now. It doesn't deal with as much history as some of the others, but remember, this is a guide and not a history book. The info is exactly what a traveler needs to know. For example, let's say your in Manila and want to visit Naga City,it will tell you how much it will cost, how long it will take to get there by plane,train and bus. It also tells you hotels & resturants in the area & how much everything cost.It tells you of any festivals in that area,stores,churches,banks and other misc places in the area, also has a street map with all the points of interest pointed out for you. There's over 170 maps in this book. There is so much more this book offers that no other does, but it would take too long to long to list them all.So to sum it up, if your looking for the best actual travel guide then this is it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Philippines travel guide
When I'm traveling, I like to have a book I can depend on. If I read that there's a ferry from A to B leaving on Sundays at 6am, then I like to know I can be sure it'll be there for me. If my travel guide tells me a hotel is clean but basic, I want to know what to expect. If it says a restaurant is excellent, I have to trust the writer's taste if I go there.

All of the above are the case with Mr Peters' book, which I've used over the years in various editions. This latest one is the best there is if you're heading for the Philippines.

5-0 out of 5 stars The only Philippine guide to take on your trip
This is the only guide you need to buy when you are planning a trip to the Philippines.The author is the same person who wrote the first 6 editions of Lonely Planet Philippines, which used to be the best guide on the Philippines, but if you are like so many people who are disillusioned by the 7th edition, buy this book.The book is well researched and not as biased as other guide books. ... Read more


157. Hiking in Japan (Lonely Planet Walking Guides)
by Mason Florence, Craig McLachlan, Richard Ryall, Anthony Weersing, Chris Roethorn
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1864500395
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Sales Rank: 30827
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Sunrise atop Fuji-san, steaming volcanoes, natural hot springs, ancient temples and pilgrim trails, wild subtropical jungles, spectacular gorges, unique wildlife and nature's seasonal shows - explore the wonders of Japan with this meticulously researched guide.

  • detailed trail notes with kanji for more than 70 day and multi-day hikes
  • 70 detailed, custom-drawn contour maps with kanji
  • accommodation options from gateway cities to remote camp sites
  • tips on transport to and from the trailheads
  • practical advice on local culture, responsible hiking and pre-hike preparation
  • quick reference language section, glossary and gazetteer with kanji
... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with ideas and advice
This is a really good guide to the mountains of Japan, both informative and inspirational. All too often, walking guides focus on the easiest routes to tick off an artificial list of peaks (just about every Japanese-language guide fits this description), but instead the authors have produced a wide range of easy to fairly challenging walks in the most attractive settings around the country which should suit just about everyone. Ok, the suggested itineraries will not stretch the fittest (especially for hut-dwellers who are not carrying tents) but there is plenty of info to enable you to modify the plans to suit yourselves. For the routes that we have followed precisely, we have found the information to be very accurate and up-to-date, and they have all been memorable walks.

This book has significantly enhanced our time in Japan and I highly recommend it to anyone who is itching to get out of the cities but doesn't quite know where to go.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hiking in Japan
Another specialized book from the Lonely Planet team, this one catering to those who like to take exercise with their nature. Japan is heavily populated, and the megalopolis called Tokyo is easily the world's biggest, but nearly all the people live on the coastal plain of the Pacific coast, leaving the rest of this mountainous country open for the adventurous hiker.
The book follows the usual Lonely Planet formula with the first pages devoted to the geography, history, climate, flora and fauna as well as social and religious areas of Japanese life.
The second section deals with specific information for the hiker, including suggested itineraries, weather information, safety while hiking and, usefully, pre-departure planning. This last section tells us to have health insurance and know something about First Aid; good advice for those who haven't thought of such things.
The hikes suggested in the book, and there are over a hundred, cover the length and breadth of Japan, are classified into five levels from easy to hard, and are divided up into day-long walks.
The maps in the book show a marked improvement over earlier Lonely Planet publications, early editions of which often had no scale or compass point! "Hiking in Japan" on the other hand contains maps that are very difficult to obtain even in Japan itself.
For those who speak no Japanese, there is the glossary of everyday language at the back of the book, and, perhaps even more essential, a transliteration of the Japanese character place-names into the roman alphabet.
Recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars I only missed one thing
And that is descriptions of longer treks.
There are a few described as 4-8 days long in this book, but when walking I found that that would have been at a snail's pace and the times given had to be halved. Even a quick look at the regional maps will confirm that all hikes described only cover relatively small areas.
So those planning a longer trek through the backcountry of Japan might be disappointed, but I understand there aren't many of those.
On the other hand, those looking for advice on short hikes in national parks or near the major cities will find lots of good ideas, and practical details that tend to be amazingly correct by guidebook standards!

4-0 out of 5 stars A wise man climbs Fuji once; a fool climbs it twice.
I found that you really don't have much of a choice if you are going to Japan and are interested in recent comprehensive English hiking guides. There is a lot of information once you get to Japan on day hikes available from the tourist information places in each town. I found that for a survey trip, this book was just extra weight in my pack. (I ended up using this book thrice for 1-2 days trips on a 3 week trip to Japan, and that was pushing it.)

I did read it and looked at the pretty pictures to get an idea of where to go during my Japan trip planning phase. It is useful to the person focused on hiking around Japan. This may seem obvious, but it's basically a trail guide. It gives great information (including translations of hiking signs) that isn't found in other more general guide books. It tells you how to get to a trailhead, and where to go once you get there, and has some sections on floura, etc. native to Japan.

Although they are great (just because they exist), I found the trail maps lacking at times, especially (and surprisingly) for the everybody-does-it Mt Fuji trek.

Good reading if you're thinking about multi-day treks. Otherwise, skip it for a more general (regular Lonely Planet) guide since it will just weigh down your pack.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
Very well written and detailed description of the trails of Japan. Excellent resource to prepare potential hikers and walkers for the task of exploring the hinterlands of Japan... ... Read more


158. The Last Forbidden Kingdom: Mustang, Land of Tibetan Buddhism
by Clara Marullo, Vanessa Boeye, Ce Tuttle Co, Vanessa Schuurbeque Boeye
list price: $38.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804830614
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Tuttle Pub
Sales Rank: 80510
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

159. Fodor's Beijing and Shanghai, 1st Edition (Fodor's Beijing and Shanghai)
by Emmanuelle Morgen, Deborah Kaufman
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400013399
Catlog: Book (2005-01-04)
Publisher: Fodor's
Sales Rank: 107370
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

160. Etiquette Guide to Japan: Know the Rules...that Make the Difference
by Boye Lafayette De Mente
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804834172
Catlog: Book (2001-08)
Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle Co.
Sales Rank: 198130
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Virtually essential
Virtually essential when travelling to Japan for business (or visiting relatives) and extremely helpful for the casual tourist. In spite of its brevity, it covers nearly all of the essentials and provides a weath of historical and cultural background for many of the customs. Even though this is the only one I have read so far, I would imagine that other books by De Mente are well worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars the authors time tested phonetic system is great
the authors time tested phonetic system is great and I think he should write a complete English-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionary using romaji and true Japanese characters. a complete dictionary with all four systems: english, romaji, japanese, and the authers phonetic system. ... Read more


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