1,000 Places to See Before You Die, the second edition: Completely Revised and Updated with Over 200 New Entries
This 1,200 page book isn’t the kind of book you read through--it’s more one you browse. Subtitled “a traveler’s life list” it has entries for those 1,000 choice places around the world, complete with places to stay, to eat, attractions and tour operators and their websites, phone numbers, and current prices. What I looked at is the recent 2011 second edition--the first edition was published back in 2003. Schultz writes that she considered the second edition a revision that she considers “an entirely new book.” This one boasts an internet site (www.1000places.com) where you can access thematic lists. The door-stopper tome “divided the world into 8 regions, which are further subdivided geographically... entries are further divided by country and within each regionally.” On the contents page there are 40 counties listed for Europe, 20 for Africa, 10 for the Middle East, 24 for Asia, 11 under “Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Ocean,” 12 for Latin America, 28 for “The Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda” and a substantial portion devoted to “The United States and Canada” divided by state and province. I don’t know that this is a great book for an armchair traveler. It’s too... much a yellow pages for that, but I did enjoy browsing it. I was first pulled into looking up the places I had been--as it turned out around 30 of those thousand listed places, 8 in Europe (in England, Italy, Greece) and 23 in North America--if you include my hometown of New York City. It’s amazing how little I remember about some of those places I’m sure I visited. I was only 14 when I visited England. I can’t even remember if I ever made it to Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London--what I remember best of London is that delicious chocolate cake served with cream poured over it--and the plays I saw at West End. I remember Bath and Stratford-Upon-Avon much better (and Stonehenge I only got to see from a distance). But reading this book made me want to go back again. Greece is a complete blur--we saw “The Acropolis” (which gets its own entry) only from a distance. Rome and Florence? All I can tell you is reading this now I want to go back! That’s the primary emotion felt reading this--looking backward and wishing I got more out of where I had traveled rather than wanderlust looking at all the places I’ve never been, and probably never will. For a bucket list, the book isn’t evocative enough for that. Oh, and would you believe there are some attractions listed in New York City, I, a native, have never seen? At least those are only a subway fare away.