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May 28, 2006 | Beverly Beyette, Times Staff Writer
WHILE other cruise ship passengers lounge in deck chairs, Douglas Ward is peering under his bed, running a finger along a deck to check for dirt, making a mental note at lunch that -- horrors -- the butter is in packets, not in "proper little iced dishes." "I'm not really snooping," he said during a phone interview from his home near Southampton, England. "I'm observing." That's his job.
May 21, 2006 | Alfred Borcover, Special to The Times
AS hard as travel guidebook publishers try to keep their products current and fresh -- and they do try -- deadlines thwart them. It simply takes time -- about a year -- to research, write, edit, print and distribute a book. Given the amount of material that goes into a tome, it's not surprising guidebooks may contain incorrect information. Restaurants open and close, hotels change hands, hurricanes and other disasters occur.
April 30, 2006 | Susan Spano, Times Staff Writer
"MURRAY'S Handbook to France," published in 1848, had some advice for pugnacious travelers: "Let them be especially cautious not to make use of their fists. No French magistrate will listen to any plea of provocation." That warning goes to show that guidebooks have been looking out for travelers for at least 150 years.
April 30, 2006 | Mary Rourke, Times Staff Writer
Alexis Bespaloff, a wine expert and author whose most popular work, "The Signet Book of Wine," has sold more than a million copies, died April 22. He was 71. Bespaloff died of cancer at his home in Las Cruces, N.M., his publicist, Margaret Stern, said. "Alex was one of the best in the field," said Bespaloff's longtime friend, Ed McCarthy, who with others has written several wine "for Dummies" books. "He knew wine; he knew how to talk about it and how to write about it."
February 23, 2006 | Janet Eastman, Times Staff Writer
IN one terrible 10-day period recently, a leak damaged the walls and floors of Terry Snyder's Westside home. He found someone to install new flooring, but his favorite painter wasn't available to restore the walls. Then there was an electrical problem and his computer crashed. Who should he call? Fortunately for Snyder, a teacher who is picky about who works on his home of 34 years, he found what he was looking for on, a website directory of home and garden services.
April 17, 2005
I became hooked on the Travel section during "The Wander Year" series you did in 2000 and have been a cover-to-cover reader each week since. The top reason I buy the paper every Sunday is to read Susan Spano's Her World column; she's fabulous! I look forward to her reflections -- on how travel changes us, shapes our worldview and, most recently, her thoughts on life in Paris. A reader wrote a few weeks ago asking for "just the facts" and suggested that more reflective pieces didn't belong on your pages.
April 12, 2005 | Mary Forgione
How do you translate the barred owl's call -- Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you? -- into Spanish? Translating bird "voices" was one of the trickiest parts of producing "Guia de campo Kaufman a las aves de Norteamerica," the first Spanish-language field guide to North American birds. "There have been field guides to Mexico in Spanish, but never one for North America," says Taryn Roeder of Houghton Mifflin, publisher of the guide.
February 6, 2005
It's character building to know how others see us, and that goes for cities, too. Take "Los Angeles," a pocket-sized travel guide that debuted several months ago in the United Kingdom-based DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides series (
November 21, 2004 | From Associated Press
A Tennessee woman says she and her husband were washed away in a flash flood because they had relied on a guidebook that directs tourists to remote areas of the island. "We had no idea we were somewhere we should not be," Beth Pickel told the Maui News on Tuesday from her home in Nashville. The Pickels said they got into trouble last Sunday when, following the guidebook "Maui Revealed," they drove to Nahiku to visit the Blue Pool.
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