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These are two of the 12 launch titles in the new "Discover" series from one of the most reliable and exciting travel book publishers, Lonely Planet. The series caters to highlights-based travelers on vacation and covers Australia, Europe, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Germany, Greece, and (publishing in November) Egypt. Each book includes the 25 top experiences in the region, some practical itineraries, and a section on planning. They feature descriptions and beautiful color photographs of cities, neighborhoods, and resort areas, with "must-see" recommendations from local experts. Of particular note is the "In Focus" section, which discusses local travel, history, dance, artwork, architecture, food, drink, culture, customs, and religion. For example, in the Spain book, the section explains the passion and melancholy of flamenco dance and discusses the artistic tradition of master painters. The other volume covers Thailand's social conventions and etiquette, its highly valued emphasis on sanuk, having fun, and the influence of Hindu-Buddhist iconography on temple architecture. These easy-to-use, compact guides burst with useful information, including maps and comprehensive tables of content, indexes, and glossaries. They feature introductory information on the region as well as concise practical information on exchange rates, communication, metric conversions, customs, transportation, dangers, food and drink, shopping, and accommodations. Verdict This series represents a different emphasis for Lonely Planet, rounding out their collections on budget travel (Shoestring), specific regions or groups of countries, travel within one country (blue-spine country guides), one city (City Guide), and one city with minimal time (Encounter).-Melinda Stivers Leach, Precision Editorial Svcs., Boulder, CO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

For sheer global reach and dogged research, attention must be paid to Lonely Planet...' --Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2003

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