Remember wish books that showed up just in time for the holidays that you studied, dog-eared and marked up so you’d remember all the things to ask Santa for?  That’s what I think of when I look at Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book.
Especially when I watch my daughters looking through with rapt attention dreaming about all the places they want to go (Australia is currently topping the list) and reminiscing about all the places we’ve been.

As we are still making our travel plans for 2011, The Travel Book, with its alphabetical profile of every country in the world, is like a wish book for travel holidays.  In addition to the breath-taking, National Geographic quality photos, this encyclopedic size book provides just enough information to fuel your wanderlust-filled dreams, offering suggestions on books to read or music to listen to before you go and food to try or festivals not to miss once you’re there.  However, it isn’t really a guide book, so once you’ve chosen your destination a book or website with more detailed information about the location might prove helpful.

The Travel Book weighs in at 8.2 pounds and while I like having this hefty book on my coffee table as a physical symbol to myself and my children of how big and grand the world truly is, for those who like to travel light, there is a mini version available as well.