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Sunday, June 1, 2008

BOOK: "Make the Most of Your Time on Earth" (Rough Guides, $29.99)

TARGET AUDIENCE: Folks with 1,000 open spaces on their "to-do" lists.

The Rough Guides folks pick up the recently popular publishing concept of places to see "before you die," recasting it more positively in the title. Either way, there are many destinations to check out before you, er, check out. Too many, maybe, to describe fully: Angkor Wat ends up getting as much space as "eating ceviche in Lima."

Nevertheless, there are promising entries here: white-water rafting in Finland, without the raft (it's just you and your "drysuit"); camping in the Pyrenees; working in Bulgaria's vulture reserve. You could live in the black wool tent of a Moroccan nomad family. Or drink tequila in the town it's named after. There are eco-friendly stays to be had in Jordan's desert lowlands, Tanzania's Chumbe Island (snorkel in one of the world's finest coral gardens) or an organic farm in the Australian Outback. Plus the more conventional must-sees: Pompeii, the Grand Canyon, Graceland, Banff -- a total of 1,000 places. Time's a-wastin'. -- Jerry V. Haines


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