A trio of new guides gives insider tips, an intimate look at unfamiliar cultures, and a few unexpected laughs.
Cool Restaurants ($14.95, teNeues) lives up to its title with pages of hot spots in New York, Paris, Milan, and other equally stylish cities. Alongside sleek photographs, recipes from top kitchens appear in four languages.
A sense of humor is required when reading JetLag's guide to Molvanîa ($13.95, Overlook Press), a fictional country "downwind of Chernobyl" that's known as "the birthplace of polka and the whooping cough."
The slim Rough Guides Directions books ($10.99, roughguides.com) think big with their "Ideas" section (a hit list of what to see and do) and a mini CD-ROM in each volume that has hyperlinks to sites profiled within.
—H. Scott Jolley