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Book reviews: 'Over the Pond', 'Forget Nice', and 1963 Was A Hell Of A Year'

LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN | 6/20/2013, 3:50 p.m. | Updated on 6/25/2013, 3:50 p.m.

Over the pond

When I first learned about “Bradshaw’s Illustrated Hand Book to London and Its Environs,” I was expecting a contemporary travel guide to the who, what, why, when and where of London, complete with websites, glossy color photos, detailed maps and the like. Well, I did get some of that, but in an unexpected form of an almost mini-encyclopedic book that would make a great shelf mate to my dictionary.

But upon closer look, I see that the book—written by George Bradshaw (1801-1853), an English cartographer, printer and publisher, and first published in Great Britain in 1861—really offers a journey back to Victorian London in the style and vernacular of the day, peppered with intricately drawn vintage illustrations that offer a very personal touch for tourists to the city.

Great for walking tours, Bradshaw’s book offers vignettes to all areas of London and the districts in those areas, plus a tour of the Thames, Greenwich, Gravesend and Windsor. Whether you’ve been to London or would like to visit someday, you’ll find a wealth of information to give you a unique insider’s look into one of Europe’s biggest tourist destinations.

The book is available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Forget Nice - It's just plain naughty!

I lived in Los Angeles for 20 years and never, not once, ever heard it referred to as “The Porn Capital of the World.” Obviously I was not paying close enough attention.

But Sienna Sinclaire, a “Naughty Lifestyle Expert” (I never knew there was such a career either!), adult model, burlesque performer, sex coach, world traveler and, yes, a journalist—her first career just after college—offers a unique look at the City of Angels (do you see the contrast here?) in “The Naughty Girl’s Guide to Los Angeles.” She calls it “the perfect travel companion for those who want more from their L.A. trip than fresh seafood and tracking down their favorite movie star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

I’ll say! Although writing from a naughty girl’s perspective, the book will appeal to men as well. And if a couple, this may just be the guide that adds a new exciting layer to your relationship.

Like traditional tourist guides, Sinclaire offers a bevy of information about must-see places but with sexy and kinky details to spice things up a notch. She starts by defining a “Naughty Girl,” then moves on to detailed, multi-chapter sections like “Naughty History,” “Naughty Travel,” “Naughty By Day,” “Naughty Shopping,” “Naughty by Night” and “Naughty Business.”

Photos in the book—both of destinations, aspects of naughty travel and naughty girls—are well thought out, beautifully shot and tastefully presented, although I wouldn’t leave it on the nightstand if you have young children at home or if your parents will be visiting for the holidays! All in all, it’s a great read for both residents and visitors alike.

On the author’s website (http://naughtygirlsguide.net), she offers several “Naughty Tours” of L.A., and those interested in the tours or book can hear more about it from her personally by checking out her G-rated video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw_MNAK3SmM.