Travel Books: A New York state of mind

NEW YORK STATE: Moon Handbooks

By Sascha Zuger

Avalon Travel. $19.95.

New York City may get all, or at least most, of the glory, but beyond the five boroughs is another New York. In addition to the Big Apple, this book is divided into several big sections: Long Island, the Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, the Finger Lakes and Niagara and the Erie Canal. Like the state itself, this fifth edition is full of surprises. The charming towns of the Hudson Valley are described at length, none more so than Woodstock.

Though it gained its fame with the 1969 music festival of the same name, the town and surrounding area have been inhabited by various generations of artists and craftspeople for decades (an arts colony was founded there as far back as 1902).

Lesser known is Opus 40, an environmental sculpture created by artist Harvey Fite almost 40 years ago that covers more than six acres of an abandoned bluestone quarry whose focal point, the author says, is a monolith that suggests Stonehenge.

June Sawyers, Chicago Tribune

FLAVORS OF FRIULI: A Culinary Journey Through Northeast Italy

By Elisabeth Antoine Crawford

Equilibrio. $29.95.

Crawford fell in love with Friuli, in northeastern Italy - with its people and their genuine hospitality but especially with its cuisine. She kept returning, sampling its food, collecting cookbooks, interviewing chefs and talking to the people. Her friends were surprised that she was so drawn to Friuli, considered to be the most un-Italian part of the country.

She loved the fusion of many cultures, with a mixture of Venetian, Austro-Hungarian and Slavic influences that helped to create a distinctive culture and cuisine.

Full of mouthwatering recipes and color photographs, Crawford's book also offers portraits of the land and its people, its architecture and its festivals.

June Sawyers, Chicago Tribune