Over the years I've consulted various travel guides for Asia, Europe and the Middle East: Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, Let's Go, Fodor's. The Frommer's Guides have always suited me best. FROMMER'S IRELAND 2011 is no exception. I like lots of detail on the history, geology, flora and fauna, literature, art and music of the place I will be visiting, and this guide fit the bill perfectly for my trip to the west of Ireland in July 2011. The enclosed map was nicely coated for all of that Irish rain, which didn't hurt either. I don't really need all of the lodging and dining listings that Frommer's includes in their guides, but can always page past them to soak up the background of each place I visit. So much of the Irish experience relates to a very long and complicated past. For example, in Counties Limerick, Kerry, and Clare, I was surprised to realize that the Famine of the 1840's is not an abstraction, but still very much in the minds of the people who live there today. FROMMER'S IRELAND 2011 prepared me to absorb as much as possible from my all-too-limited trip to Ireland.