WALKS THROUGH MARIE ANTOINETTE'S PARIS
Ravenhall Books / $27.95
A life, anyone's life, is bound up in the place or places it is lived. Take, for example, the life of Marie Antoinette. She became famous because she traveled from her native Austria to marry in France. And because court etiquette kept her at Versailles for so much of her life, she eventually created an idyllic getaway resort on its grounds. Author Diana Reed Haig has captured the poignancy of Antoinette's life in what is a fast-paced and compassionate biography. Along the way Haig weaves in wonderful stories about the palaces, rooms and grounds where much of the queen's life played out.
Trains from Boston to slopes
A new weekend train service will bring skiers from Boston to the slopes of Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts beginning Saturday, when the ski area opens for the season. The train, which will be fitted to include ski racks, will leave from North Station in Boston at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings and head to the commuter rail stop in Fitchburg. From there, mountain staff or a livery service will take the skiers to Wachusett free of charge. The train leaves at about 5:30 p.m. for the 90-minute trip back. Cost is $6 one way.
Tourists cancel trips over whaling
The Icelandic government is getting a quick lesson in ethical tourism as a result of its decision last month to resume commercial whaling, despite a 21-year international moratorium on the practice. The airline Icelandair and several of the country's leading whale-watching companies have reported cancellations in response to the Fisheries Ministry's policy, which allows the taking of 30 minke whales and nine fin whales by the end of August. According to Asbjorn Bjorgvinsson, chairman of the Icelandic Whale Watching Association, last year about 90,000 tourists went on whale-watching trips.
NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE
GEAR & GADGETS
Wouldn't it be nice if your tent could light up to help guide your approach on dark nights? Yours can do just that if it's equipped with Coleman's Remote-Control Tent Light. The battery-powered light secures to the tent via a strong built-in magnet. With the push of a button, the separate matchbook-size remote control unit turns the light on and off within a 20-foot range. The light operates on six AA batteries (not included). The remote control unit runs on one included 12-volt battery and comes with a key chain. The unit is water resistant but not waterproof. Remote Control Tent Lite is $17. Information at coleman.com or call 800-835-3278.
Hotels may skip mag's murder issue
The Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association is urging its members to think twice before putting the latest edition of Philadelphia magazine in guest rooms, saying the cover story on the city's homicide rate could scare away visitors. Ed Grose, the group's executive director, said the article could end up hurting business. Ordinarily, about 6,000 complimentary copies of the glossy monthly are distributed in local hotel rooms. But Grose urged hotels to reconsider this month because of a cover that depicts a single handgun and reads "Murder. One terrifying night on the streets -- and why everything we're doing to stop the shooting won't work." The issue hit newsstands Oct. 27.