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Travel books

About the guides

Insight Guides include lots of high quality illustrations, good texts and practical information in a section at the end of the book. They are particularly useful for preparing a trip or reading about a country after your return - a bit heavy to carry around when travelling.
Mobil Travel Guides Very useful if you decide on the next destination as you go along - or to plan your overnight stays. Good list of hotels, maps at the beginning of the book.
Lonely Planet travel survival kit I like the Lonely Planet guides because of their concise and practical approach, with an accent on budget travel. The background information on the country or region, at the beginning of the book, helps to understand the place.
Lonely Planet travel atlas Provide useful maps in a compact format.

Travel books and guides

USA California and Southwest Insight Guides
US National Parks West
Mobil 98 Travel Guide California and the West - Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah0679034986_m.gif (10283 bytes)  
Lonely Planet
travel survival kit Arizona, New Mexico, Utah

Frommer's California '98 - Erika Lenkert, et al; Paperback
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Islamic Art (World of Art)
David Talbot Rice Paperback Published 1985
If you look for more background than a guide can provide, David Talbot Rice's book provides a good grounding in the Islamic art, in all of its variety and geographic breadth - from Europe to Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
In Europe, the Islamic treasures of the Andalucia (southern Spain) are witness to the peak of the Islamic civilization.
Hawaii Frommer's Hawaii from $60 a Day (31st Ed) - Jocelyn K. Fujii, et al; Paperback0028616553_m.gif (11725 bytes)  
Egypt, Sinai Lonely Planet Egypt - A Travel Survival Kit
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Again, this Lonely Planet guide sets itself apart from the competition. Just leafing through it, you will find who is Naguib Mahfouz (writer, winner of the 1988 Nobel prize for literature for the Cairo Trilogy), besides the obvious coverage of the monuments and the Nile.


Lonely Planet travel atlas Egypt When travelling in the Middle East, you cannot buy maps. When asking for directions, locals are likely to tell you: "Turn left 2 hours after the oasis", which is rather vague, considering my navigational skills. Buy all the maps you are likely to need before you leave.
Italy Lonely Planet
travel survival kit Italy
To half decently cover Italy, you should travel with a whole library - for each main city. This guide succeeds in covering the essentials, including some practical information. It also manages to cover, in a few pages, information about Italian culture, stereotypes, family, the mafia, the cinema and music, political scandals, etc. You don't just visit the monuments, but have a chance to understand the country as it is today.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome Paperback

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The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome Hardcover

If you want to go beyond what a guide can give you, without taking a degree course in ancient Roman history, this book is for you. Written in a readable style, it's full of useful photographs, graphs and maps. And it's small enough to carry on your trip (144 pages) to compelement your guides.


South Africa
Lonely Planet Africa the South (Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit)0864424736_m.gif (6030 bytes)  
Insight Guides
South Africa
Johannes Haape (Editor) / Paperback / Published 1996
Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit) What a place! The guide will help you understand the country and to get around. With the usual Lonely Planet features.
Switzerland Dilbert's Future "Prediction 19: In the future, we'll realize that the creatures we thought were from other planets are actually smart people who live in Switzerland"
Walking in Switzerland - A Lonely Planet Walking Guide Hiking in Switzerland is a must, this guide will take you to some of the best places.
Lonely Planet Switzerland - Travel Survival Kit (2nd Ed)0864424043_m.gif (6517 bytes)  
Insight Compact Guides Switzerland  


Hurry up to visit Zimbabwe before it becomes too fashionable and spoiled by the tourists! The Victoria Falls are out of this world - you've seen some of my pictures. Not to mention the lodges and parks...
Lonely Planet Zimbabwe Botswana and Namibia Travel Atlas (Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit) The usual remarkable coverage from Lonely Planet.
Spectrum Guide to Zimbabwe Good illustrations, similar format to Insight Guides.
A section on Business Zimbabwe contains useful information for people who wish to make business in the country.

Other books I enjoyed reading recently

Scott Adams The Dilbert Future
Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century
How can you ignore a writer and cartoonist who wrote the "Prediction 27: In the future, scientists will create a powerful and legal aphrodisiac". That was before Viagra took the world by storm. The man is a visionary!
Although you could claim that all the Dilbert books are management handbooks, you should not read them in your cubicle, as you will not manage to conceal your laughter.
I'm not Anti-Business, I'm Anti-Idiot0836251822_m.gif (13033 bytes) This one is cartoons only.
I got snared again - I just picked it up in the bookshop and could not stop chuckling and guffawing all the way to the checkout.


The Dilbert Principle - A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions Another classic Dilbert book.
For the cubicle (or open plan dweller) it's comforting to know that it's not just me going mad...
Peter De la Billière Looking for Trouble: SAS to Gulf Command, the autobiography The commander of the British force in the Gulf War 1990, Peter de la Billière, starts from his childhood, to finish with his retirement from the army after the Gulf War.Reading about his difficult childhood and his later career in the SAS, one cannot fail to notice the parallel with the author of Bravo Two Zero, Andy McNab: turbulence and misbehavior in the civilian life, make for excellent soldiers.What is unacceptable behavior on civy street, is very desibrable, tough and resourceful behavior in the special forces.
Among the proliferation of books about the SAS, this is the definitive account on the special force - de la Billière was its commander and then director, he should know a thing or two about it, although he still cannot write it all.
A must for the modern history and military buff, with a lesson or two about management thrown in for good measure.

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