Have a young adult or student in the house and a three-month school break is pending? "The Best Summer Jobs in Alaska" by Josh Graves could provide answers to their what's-to-do seekings. It's written by a 24-year-old who has worked three years of summer vacations in Alaska. He supplies a wealth of detail on how to earn up to $750 a week (Mustang: $7.95).
Sunshine, seashore, great food, including luxurious hotels and gambling casinos are a few highlights in Fielding's "Africa-South of the Sahara" by Sherra A. Suttle and Billye Suttle-Graham. Tourist attractions, festivals and events plus highlights of the area's culture and history are well described (William Morrow: $13.95).
"Austria--a Phaidon Culture Guide" is a treasure of information in a stimulating hardcover format. The excellent text and color photos make it a worthwhile investment for $17.95 (Prentice-Hall).
Anyone who has lived or visited Paris will enjoy "Americans in Paris" by Brian N. Morton. If you have not been there but want to wander through the city in the comfort of your favorite armchair, this anecdotal street guide would be a good addition to your library. It takes the reader through and by homes and haunts, from Jefferson's to Capote's. It includes enough photos and illustrations to enhance the text (Beech Tree/Morrow: $12.95).
"The Idea of England" by Russell Chamberlin is a many-faceted compendium of the land and its people through six centuries to present. It is not a guide but a broad-scope collection of historical observation (Thames & Hudson: $24.95).
Rick Steve's "22 Days--Step by Step" travel guides to "Great Britain" and to "Spain and Portugal" ($4.95 each) present a worthy selection of travel itineraries. The one-day plans, schedules, bistros, cultural vignettes, et al., should give the traveler a more-fun-for-the-dollar vacation (John Muir).
If you're in the area, James Barber's personal guide, "The Best Eating Places in Vancouver," will please the discriminating. Inexpensive or posh, dim sum, East Indian and Italian are a few of the choices offered. Anyone who enjoys food should salivate in anticipation (Soltice Press: $7.95).
The Berlitz "Complete Handbook to Cruising" ($12.95) is a must for anyone planning to step aboard. It's worth a four-star rating as a most complete guide that lists various ships, departures, ambiance, destinations, facilities and much more. Important decisions can be made with this guide before sitting down with a travel agent.
"Train Trips Exploring America--Including Canada by Rail" by William G. Scheller is not a page-after-page listing of time schedules that could be obsolete by the time the guide hits the stores. Instead, it is packed with information that includes various carriers, 52 detailed miniguides, itineraries, accommodations, etc., geared to the needs of a train traveler. Thumbing the pages of route descriptions almost puts you next to the window of the passing scenery. It's an excellent well-indexed guide (East Woods: $9.95).
With Expo 86 in Vancouver now open, here are two editions worth the investment: "The Vancouver Guidebook" by Ginny and Beth Evans (Chronicle: $5.95) and "British Columbia 1986--Best Places" by David Brewster (Sasaquatch: $9.95). Both present information and varied observations on where to stay, eat and what to see plus the myriad activities available.
"What to Do With the Kids This Year" describes 100 family vacation places with time off for you. Jayne Wilford with Janet Tice helps you encounter new experiences, including the excitement and wonder of taking the children along with no extra problems. The guide could open a wealth of shared enjoyment without the challenges (East Woods: $8.95).
"I Love New York Guide" by Marilyn J. Appleberg is a revelation of what to see, do and enjoy in the Big Apple. For touring, eating, shopping and where to stay, it's an excellent source book. New York is a 24-hour town for visitor or resident, and the fold-out map, included with the guide, should help get to the core (Collier/Macmillan: $8.95).
"Home Exchanging" by James Dearing reveals a fast-growing style of vacationing that many times beats high hotel costs. Home and abroad, it outlines the opportunities and cultural advantages, including the possible pitfalls (East Woods: $9.95).