In the Stacks

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2002

A travel book is a travel book, right? Not so! The Juneau Public Libraries carry a stunning array of travel guides that cater to just about everyone from hikers to citygoers. Here are some of the series we carry, and a few of the countries they cover:

• Insight Guides: New England, Paris, Barbados, Sri Lanka, Alaska, Prague and more. Fold-out maps inside covers, location finder in front cover, travel tips in back cover - what else could you ask for? Well, lots of color photos; a "Features" section covering history and culture; a "Places" section including what to see and do; ideas for traveling with kids; and "Travel tips" to cover travel, accommodation, restaurants and other practicalities complete the image of the perfect book to stuff in your carry-on as you fly off to adventure!

• Rough Guides: Mexico, Scotland, Guatemala, Greek Islands, Scottish Highlands, Tuscany and Umbria, Poland, Berlin, Canada and more. Just enough color photos to whet your appetite without weighing down the book, complete and easy-to-use table of contents, thorough practicalities, "Guide" chapters covering the country's regions in depth, "Contexts" section including history, environmental issues, cultural stuff like music and literature and enough language to help you get around. Oh, and lists of books related to the area to expand your horizons. Whew!

• Blue Guides: Northern Italy, Vienna, Denmark, Rhodes and the Dodecanese and more. Full of history, geography, architecture, and culture, these are meant to be read before you go to help you plan your trip, or, take them along with you to tell you what you are seeing. Definitely pair them with another guidebook for the details of food, lodging and getting around.

• Wild Guides: Wild Italy, Wild Britain, and Wild Spain. Put out by the Sierra Club, these guides focus on the natural sites and what to do in them: birdwatching, hiking, skiing, caving, and ponytrekking, to name a few. Gorgeous photos accompany essays on wildlife and information on practical details.

• Lonely Planet: Aboriginal Australia, Nepal, Jerusalem, Portugal, East Africa and more. The focus is on friendly and complete information for both novice and experienced travelers, and encompasses both nations and cities. This series is oft-named in "books to take with you" lists because of its focus on day-to-day details like where to eat and sleep, but doesn't do so well in the cultural/historical grounding.

• Best Places: California Wine Country, Las Vegas, Vancouver, San Juan and Gulf Islands and Alaska. Dreaming of a getaway in the Lower 48? Try one of these guides to whet your appetite. By focusing on a smaller area, they provide an impressively detailed list of things to do and see and places to stay.

• Bradt Guides: Madagascar Wildlife, Backpacking in Mexico, China's Yunnan Province, and Seychelles. Bradt guides are meant for the hiking and exploring traveler, and are filled with advice on trails to take and the wildlife and fauna you are likely to see. There are pages of beautiful photos - in fact, the book on Madagascar is worth picking up for the photos alone - but you will need other guides for most of the day-to-day information.

• Eyewitness Travel Guides: Egypt, Venice, Portugal, Sardinia, St. Petersburg and more. The books in this series are full of maps, tips on eating and drinking (including a picture dictionary of food), places to go (with must-see spots marked by stars), and color photos of things to see. In the back is a section with hotels, safety issues, and cultural do's and don'ts. This is high on the list of things that go in your carry-on.

Event alert! Local author Nancy Ferrell will be telling the stories behind the stories collected in her new book, "Alaska's Heroes: A Call to Courage," about Alaskans who have won the State of Alaska Award for Bravery-Heroism. Be at the downtown library at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 to hear all!

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site (www.juneau.lib.ak.us/library) and looking at our catalog. The "In the Stacks" column is now archived! Go to the Juneau Public Libraries' Web site and look for "In the Stacks."



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