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Friday, August 21, 2009

Off the Tourist Trail - Eyewitness Travel

LibraryThing Early Reviewer Books

I have to admit that I requested this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s selection list because I saw the name Bill Bryson on the cover, and I’ve always enjoyed his books. I figured a new Bill Bryson book was worth checking out, and something about places off the regular tourist trail sounded interesting. Imagine my surprise when I received a rather large package that turned out to hold a coffee table sized book with only the forward by Bill Bryson. The rest of the book is chock full of pictures and suggestions for unusual places to see.

I was immediately intrigued by the structure of this book: identifying a popular tourist destination, pointing out its highlights and warts, and then giving a few other ideas of places to go that are similar to this famous location, but that you may never have heard of before.

There are sections for Ancient and Historical Sights, Festivals and Parties, Great Journeys, Architectural Marvels, Natural Wonders, Beaches, Sports and Activities, Art and Culture and Cities. Each chapter is filled with photos of the various destinations. (I’ll admit I wanted more photos of most of the locations, but this book is really more about whetting your appetite. I now have several ideas of places to seek out I hadn’t known about before.)

This book isn’t going to tell you where to stay, or where to eat, but it is going to give you some new ideas about interesting places to visit. And if you’re not into traveling, this is a great survey of some really interesting places thorough the world, a number of which I’d never heard of before.

I’m pretty sure I’ve found one of my go-to gifts for the impossible to buy for on my list. I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t enjoy this book.

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