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Turning Pages Down Book Lane

January 11, 1987|DON JAMES | James is a Los Angeles free-lance writer.

A person with an adventurous nature probably would enjoy Valerie Fon's chronicle "Keep It Moving--Baja by Canoe." It's a diary of her 2,411-mile journey on the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez. With her 61-year-old partner Verlen in one canoe and 31-year-old Fons in a 17-foot canoe, they take off from Long Beach, Calif., and take readers along as they face challenge, excitement and adventure (Mountaineers: $15.95).

Something that could open an entirely new horizon is the Explorer News. It's a printed quarterly and describes how to join scientists conducting research around the world. No experience is necessary, and participants receive instruction at the research site. Best yet, your share of any expense is tax deductible and covers food, lodging, most transportation and equipment. To get a free introductory copy from the nonprofit organization, write to Foundation for Field Research, 787 S. Grade Road, Alpine, Calif. 92001-0380. If you like the introductory copy, you may subscribe to the quarterly for $12 a year.

Antoinette DeLand's "Worldwide Cruises" rates more than 100 ships with one to five stars. Barges, river boats and other specials are also included. It does not appear to offer offhand observations but presents in-depth information right down to the featured wines and their prices on many ships, personal services, activities, etc. DeLand outlines each itinerary, cost, best time to visit, what to see at ports of call and even a few criticisms (Fielding's: $12.95).

"San Luis Obispo--County, Coast and Castle" by Vicki Leon captures the beauty and mystique of that mid-California county fronted by the Pacific Ocean. The book is a collection of 127 vivid color photos highlighted by comments and explanations that demonstrate why many travelers tend to stay much longer than a gas fill-up. The book portrays why the area's tranquillity, pastoral climate, ocean views, etc., are enjoyed by 193,000 residents who brace themselves most of the year for the arrival of vacationers. For $7.95 you can get a copy almost everywhere or add $1 for handling and send to Blake Publishing, 2222 Beebee St., San Luis Obispo, Calif. 93401.

Its title "The Teenager's Guide to Study, Travel and Adventure Abroad--1987/88" explains what this guide, prepared by The Council on International Educational Exchange, is about. It's exciting and packed with information sources for students 12 to 18 who are considering trips abroad (St. Martin's: $8.95).

A few excerpts that can help change you to an old salt are: It's a ship, not a boat; It's topside, not upstairs, and the deck is not called a floor. These and much more can be found in Ford's "Freighter Travel Guide--And Waterways of the World." Cruise dates, fares, ports of call and lots of cross-indexed information are well covered in easy-to-read type that includes more than 100 photos, illustrations and above-average text. The descriptions of accommodations, food costs, clothing, et al. are precise (Ford's Travel Guides: $7.95).

If you plan to live past the year 2000 and want to break into a new trade, forecasters predict that at that time tourism will be the single largest industry in the world. Karen Rubin explains in detail how to get a piece of the action in "Flying High in Travel--A Complete Guide to Careers in the Travel Industry" (John Wiley & Sons: $12.95).

Karen Brown's "European Country Cuisine--Romantic Inns and Recipes" features more than 100 inns in 18 countries and a mouth-watering recipe from each. It also includes some other personal selections of deluxe hotels and their culinary delights. For planning a visit or just browsing the recipes, it's worth the $10.95 tab (Travel Press).

The 500 listings in "The Best Pubs in Great Britain," covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, make this an excellent travel companion. Edited by Neil Hanson, it describes the various amenities such as meal services or bar snacks, accommodations or children's rooms, gardens, fireplaces and various amusements. It's one of the more complete guides that will help make your tour unforgettable (East Woods: $9.95).

Twenty South-of-the-Border countries are re-explored in Fodor's revised guides for "South America--1987" and "Central America" ($14.95 each). The guides offer a broad spectrum of detail and also feature a useful "practical information" section on where to stay, eat, shop, etc.

Bob Kane's "Paris at Its Best" or "London at Its Best" in your travel bag will assure you of not missing the desirable places to stay, eat, see or enjoy. It describes almost everything a tourist would want to be apprised of in luxury, first-class or moderate. The advice, tips and suggestions are comprehensive and well detailed (Passport Books: $9.95).

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