If you're planning a visit to New York, "The Streets Where They Lived" by Stephen W. Plumb will provide something extra to see. It's a walking guide to selected residences of famous movie and stage personalities, artists and journalists, as well as nearly 400 other noted people. There's a thumbnail description of each entry that also includes hotels and apartments of notoriety. The 212-page guide of 37 one-hour-or-less walking tours offers maps and historic photos. It's available at most bookstores for $12.95, or you can call toll-free (800) 669-4908 (MarLor Press).
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The area between San Diego and San Luis Obispo is a gigantic playground for both children and adults, and you can discover it all in "Places to Go With Children in Southern California" by Stephanie Kegan. The guide details hundreds of things to see and do in 10 counties, including Los Angeles. The various theme parks are only a part of what the area offers: magnificent canyons, trout farms, ghost towns, aquariums, missions and much more. For $9.95 you'll find more than 400 entertaining diversions, many of them free (Chronicle).
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When making a purchase abroad, many travelers have discovered too late that apparel sizes are much different from U.S. sizes. In addition, they are sometimes inferior or incorrectly marked. Not to worry, Fielding's "1989 Selective Shopping Guide to Europe" by Joseph and Judith Raff lists more than 1,400 shops and markets in 17 countries where you can buy a $5 memento or a $500 luxury item with confidence. Many tips are included on what to buy, when to haggle, customs regulations and how to order by mail (William Morrow: $9.95).