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MAY 29, 2000 VOL. 155 NO. 21

Off the Shelf

  TRAVEL WATCH
Spas: Are You Man Enough for a Manicure?
Your average bloke has acquired a taste for being sponged, scrubbed, rubbed and wrapped

Detour
The forest monastery of Wat Tham Wua Sunyata

Hot Deals
The Pan Pacific Bangkok is offering a suite promotion that's truly sweet

Off the Shelf
Art Sites--Britain & Ireland

Art Sites--Britain & Ireland
By Sidra Stich
(art-SITES; 270 pages)

If architecture is, as they say, frozen music, this series of books should help thaw the ice. Author Sidra Stich, an art historian and curator, traveled extensively during the preparation of these works. Like all good ideas, this one is simple: assemble photos of an area's great architecture and art sites and put them in a small book suitable for travelers. Intelligent histories bring the subjects to life, particularly for those who appreciate art and architecture but aren't experts. Stich covers the territory comprehensively, finding interesting creations in unlikely places--like the M8 highway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, home to Patricia Leighton's organic sculpture Sawtooth Ramps, and a small herd of grazing sheep who keep the art mowed. The guide offers enough insight to help you immerse yourself in the artistic life of your destination. It details where you can find innovative works by new artists and guides you through more obvious destinations, such as London's new Tate Modern. The first two books in the series deal with Britain (plus Ireland) and France. Japan and Spain are next, and the publisher hopes to cover the globe.

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