Bestselling #8216;Idiot#039;s#039; books offers a guide to just about anything

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It’s the good ol’ summertime, and time for many to catch up on their reading while they enjoy a much-needed vacation.

There are plenty of largely mindless &uot;beach reads&uot; out there to pass the time while the kids build sand castles and you catch some rays.

However, if you want to gain some knowledge while you &uot;veg out&uot; this summer – brush up on your foreign language skills, become a great &uot;grillmeister,&uot; bone up on fitness boxing or break bad habits – may we suggest a wildly popular book series known as The Complete Idiot’s Guides (CIG).

Published by Alpha Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA and New American Library, CIG offers more than 500 titles currently in print, covering more than 30 subject areas. The how-to books are sold worldwide in 26 different languages.

The tongue-in-cheek title of the series really sets the tone of the books.

Complicated subject matter (&uot;theories of the universe&uot; and &uot;middle east conflict,&uot; for example) is put forward in simple terms in these guides, explanations that won’t leave you scratching your head and feeling like, well -an idiot. There is a welcome humor injected into the books through both the authors’ writing styles and the creative illustrations.

Complete Idiot’s Guides are the kinds of books that, once you pick them up, it’s hard to put them back down. There is very likely at least one book that will pique your interest, whether you are a retiree, business manager, student, teacher (or doctor, lawyer or Indian chief).

Among the categories offered by CIG are Arts and Humanities, Business and Personal Finance, Science and Technology, Family and Home, Health and Fitness, Language Reference, Personal Enrichment, Sports and Recreation, Religion and Spirituality and Events and History.

Hundreds of titles are found in subcategories.

For example, in the Hobbies and Crafts category under Family and Home, you will find titles on such diverse subjects as sewing, cigars, online genealogy, ghosts and hauntings, choppers, beading and Labrador Retrievers. In Food and Entertainment, there are titles on bartending, diabetic meals, homemade ice cream, low-carb meals, etiquette, and wine basics, among others.

There are even Family and Home books geared to Teen Interests, including guides to cool jobs, dating, money and elves and fairies (for all those &uot;Lord of the Rings&uot; fans.)

Looking to lose weight, shape up and turn into a lean, mean machine? Fitness and Weight Loss titles include guides on Pilates, yoga, working out at home, walking for health, total nutrition, core conditioning and glycemic index weight loss.

If you want to learn more about subjects as diverse as mortgage brokering and ballroom dancing, then check into Alpha Books and their Complete Idiot’s Guide series. Visit their Website at