"Hawaii Access" by Richard Saul Wurman is not a thick volume of rhetoric but a guide that stays focused on paradise. It's a well-organized collection of virtually every important landmark, attraction, hotel, shop and point of interest. The guide is presented in an elaborate color-coded system, with thumb index and keyed information. The maps, diagrams and various type sizes make the guide an adventure in discovery. It presents a fresh view of the Islands, with brief essays of each.
There's a best-bet section, plus segments on volcanoes, leis and the music of the islands (Prentice Hall: $12.95).
In 1792 British sea captain George Vancouver's ship arrived in what he described as an inland sea with lots of islands. He directed his lieutenant, Peter Puget, to have a look around, sound out the natives and report back. As a reward for Puget's effort, the captain named the area Puget Sound. Marge and Ted Mueller's "North Puget Sound: Afoot and Afloat" will lead you through the same fascinating area of variety and abundance of beautiful scenery. The water-oriented region has lots to see and do for young and old, and it can be reached by car, boat, ferry, on foot or by bicycle. The guide is chock-full of such information as marina and launching facilities and public access to beaches. A common thread throughout the guide are the shorelines, which are easily found on the 59 maps, and related activities and amenities (The Mountaineers-Seattle: $9.95).