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Jl Metcalf (USA)

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Paris: 1000 of the Best Places to Eat, Drink and Shop
Paris: 1000 of the Best Places to Eat, Drink and Shop
by Virgin Publishing
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly helpful!, Feb. 5 2003
When I first received my copy of this book from, I leafed through it very quickly and wasn't impressed. However, when I started actually reading it, I quickly changed my mind! It isn't a traditional guide book such as Lonely Planet, Let's Go, or Time Out (though I heartily recommend all three of those, as well), but instead is completely categorized in a very easy-to-read fashion.
The categories are divided as such: shopping, restaurants and cafes, bars, clubs, gay scene, entertainment, events, sights, body and soul (beauty and hair essentially), games for a laugh, hotels, practical information, transport, phrasebook, and maps.
But in the front, you can also look up a specific arrondissement to find out which of the above categories are included. Thus, it's extremely user-friendly, so you can check out a category for everything in Paris or just one arrondissment. But the book doesn't just list the name, address, and phone number. It also gives some information about the establishment or landmark, which is very valuable.
What was surprising is that many of the entries are not the same old ones found in most guide books! I found some off-the-wall restaurants, clubs, and record stores that I may never have found otherwise!
I wouldn't recommend this as the only guidebook to read for Paris, but for those vaguely familiar with the most beautiful city on earth, it's a wonderfully refreshing bevy of treats.

Hair: An Owner's Handbook
Hair: An Owner's Handbook
by Philip Kingsley
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book, Feb. 5 2003
We're often given misinformation about the actual science of our hair, such as getting it cut will make it grow faster (if the end of the hair had nerves signalling back to the follicle inside the head, then it would hurt to get a haircut!) and other such nonsense, so this is a very good reference book on the biology of our hair and how the environment and other factors affect it.
However, I must disagree with some of the information in the book. The author says that all hair should be washed every day to keep it healthy. If we did nothing else to our hair, that might ring true, but when you add blow dryers, curling irons, and other chemical processes, I personally believe it can be more harmful to wash hair that often.
My advice is to read the book but keep in mind that every word is not gospel. I think it's sad that the book is generally not available in the US except through second-hand stores. I trust the scientific information in it a lot more than I do many books on the subject of hair.

International Yellow Pages: How to Get by in Paris If You're Not a Parisian
International Yellow Pages: How to Get by in Paris If You're Not a Parisian
by Betsy Andronikoff
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 21.51

1.0 out of 5 stars Scant on information, Feb. 5 2003
As a Parisophile and one who visits Paris as often as I can, I looked forward to seeing this book but was sorely disappointed. There are names, addresses, and phone numbers but no other information about the businesses listed.
A far better bet is to pick up a FREE copy of "Les Pages Jaunes" at any Paris hotel or information center (there are English translations in it). It's more like an American yellow pages book, with (albeit "paid") ads in it telling much more about businesses. New issues of "Les Pages Jaunes" are always being published, so when you pick one up, you're better assured of getting up-to-date information.

Avant-Guide Paris
Avant-Guide Paris
by Dan Levine
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Crème de la crème, Jan. 4 2002
This review is from: Avant-Guide Paris (Paperback)
I have an absolute infatuation with Paris. I travel there about once a year and now own over 40 travel guides on Paradise, err, I mean Paris. This book is my absolute favorite. Sure, the images and layout on the pages are totally hip, but more important so is the information. Anyone who's read a few travel books on Paris knows about FNAC music shop and Virgin Megastore, but through this book, I also learned about Boulinier, Crocodisc, Chez Sanchez, Monster Melodies, La Silence de la Rue, and Parallèles, which all specialize in a focused area of music. I discovered some incredible boutiques that I've never seen listed elsewhere. A few sights are mainstream (how can one visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe?) but what makes this book unique is the listing of sights, restaurants, and shops that are totally cool that I haven't seen elsewhere. And if you want up-to-the-minute changes to the text, one simply travels no farther than their website. The book also has a "bite" -- raw, honest opinions. One problem with my book, however. I have read it and carried it around so often that my copy is getting quite tattered. For anyone with a true sense of adventure or who wants to explore some unique French spots where you won't encounter dozens of other tourists, this is your book.

Frommer's Born to Shop Paris: The Ultimate Guide to Travelers Who Love to Shop
Frommer's Born to Shop Paris: The Ultimate Guide to Travelers Who Love to Shop
by Suzy Gershman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.92
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Much fluff with little substance, July 6 2001
It was difficult to wade through her tasteless anecdotes (mostly about her age) to find much substance. She seems more interested in trying to build a personal fan club than trying to give out great information on the truly wonderful shopping in Paris! Her "great deals" on hotel rooms are between US$200 - $300 a night, so beware that she's writing for those with beaucoup d'argent to burn.
I like books that I can carry with me for reference when I shop in Paris. It's nearly impossible to do that with this book because there is so much "chit-chat" included in the reviews of stores. It's very difficult to look up a specific area or kind of specialty store that you seek. You pretty much have to read the entire book to sift through her laborious writing to find what little helpful information actually exists. She includes one map of Paris which may be good for an overview of where shops are located, but a more detailed map is truly warranted.
This book is adequate if it's the only one to which you have access,... I'm sure Suzy has adequate experience of shopping in Paris, but her book needs some serious reorganization and brevity to make it more widely appealing to those who aren't as experienced as she is.
Bottom line: Not worth the effort to read it when there are far more informative books available. Sorry, Suzy.

Birthday Parties for Children: How to Give Them, How to Survive Them
Birthday Parties for Children: How to Give Them, How to Survive Them
by Jean Marzollo
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas!, Jan. 19 2001
I bought this book in 1988 when my oldest son was three. I had no idea what to do at a birthday party other than to serve cake! It contains "themed" parties but also has sections on recipes, games, and activities to do for each appropriate age group. For instance, it says that 5-year-olds generally do not like to play "win or lose" games, so this book has many suggestions for games that do not leave anyone crying because he has lost a game. EXCELLENT -- the games are great, and the kids have fun and are happy. I now have three children, and the best suggestion that I've found that is a hit is the scavenger hunt. However many children attend the party determines the number of "notes." Each child reads a note that will lead him to the next note and eventually the treasure. Kids absolutely go wild over this! This book makes planning a home birthday party not only simple but fun. My kids' friends always leave saying that this [particular] birthday party was one of the most fun they've ever attended! The games spark the imagination yet more importantly, are FUN for kids. This book has made my life as parent of a birthday child much, much easier. I sincerely highly recommend it!

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