Author: National Geographic Society, George Stone
Source: from publisher for review
I have a number of these National Geographic book tour reviews scheduled this month, so I hope you all enjoy them as much as I’m enjoying the books. As I mentioned in my last review, these books are of uniformly high quality. I just can’t pass up the chance to review them! Like the others, this is a beautiful, well constructed coffee table book. It’s clearly intended to serve as inspiration for future trips, rather than a detailed logistical guide. I think I’d still prefer having a guide book form factor instead of a coffee table book (it’s so big!). I was surprised to find I didn’t miss the detailed information of a guidebook though. This included less information, but it was exactly the information I needed to decide if I was potentially interested in each trip.
The book was organized by theme, which I thought was perfect for a book intended to be inspirational. You could find trips that interest you based on type of transportation (by rail or by sea, for example) or by theme (such as cultural or food tours). There was also an index for people wanting to search geographically. I was happy to notice that every category contained trips on every continent (minus Antarctica), so searching a particular section wouldn’t limit your possible destinations too much.
The description for each individual tour had several full color pictures and a single sentence summary. This made it easy to quickly decide if I was interested in learning more. There were also single lines devoted to when to go; how long to go; most important planning information; and websites to get you started planning. I loved that I could find these key details so easily. The final element of each entry was a full paragraph description of what you could expect to experience on each trip. When I found a trip I wanted to learn more about, these descriptions included exactly the amount of information I wanted. The introductory text for each section felt light and full of platitudes, so I was happy to find that the full paragraph descriptions were detailed and specific.
I have to admit – once I got this and saw it wasn’t more of a guidebook, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. It completely won me over. The purpose is clearly to provide trip ideas, not all the information you need to plan, and it’s organization suits that purpose perfectly.
For more opinions, check out the other stops on the tour.