Frommer's has put together a second edition of 500 Places to See Before They Disappear with some new additions and/or new information on previously listed places. Instead of a classic Frommer's travel guide listing tourist areas of interest, hotels, food places and some history; this guide focuses on endangered destinations. It is packed with 500 disappearing spots worldwide. It is organized not by location but by categories that list the endangered aspect, geography or cultural aspect. Some chapter headings are islands, holy places, ancient ruins and disposable culture. The majority of the entries are just under one page and may include black and white photos. At the end of each entry you will find a listing of resources such as tourist centers or hotels. These listings are not full reviews; they mainly include contact information. The bulk of the information dispensed in this book is about the threatened area; history, statistics and of course, areas to visit. In reading the books, you will discover that some of these sites are not as much disappearing from the world as being changed by environmental or human involvement.
You may read about places not generally known to visitors such as Coiba Island in Panama. With its 147 species of birds and 36 species of mammals, it is considered an exotic environment. However, its existence is threatened by logging, tourism and illegal fishing. The Mabi Forest also has a page in this book. It is a very unique Australian rainforest endangered because of invasive species and recurring cyclones in the area. Maybe you are interested in more urban areas such as Detroit and the decline of America's Motor City or the loss of many stores to the internet and malls in High Street in London.
Besides an alphabetic index, there is a resource index and a geographic index. Wisconsin does have several entries including Taliesin and Leon's Custard Stand. 500 Places to See Before They Disappear is a wonderful resource book for a traveller looking for something a little different and eco-friendly. Additionally, the book is instructive about why certain areas do need additional protection and what we can do to help. It is also a good guide for armchair travellers who might want to read up on places that may no longer be there when or if they are ready to travel the world.
Submitted by Lori @ Central Library