Looking for an authentic St. Brigid's cross? The perfect Aran sweater? What about the best tweeds and woolens? Or how about where to find the highest quality Irish whiskey? You'll find them all in The Smart Shoppers Guide to Ireland, an indispensible guide to the four green fields that could teach the Irish themselves where to find the best Irish goods. Written by Patricia Preston, a New Yorker who's been a regular traveler to Ireland for over 40 years - she leads three tours a year to the old sod - you can say with certainty she's become an Ireland expert. From the most humble Irish scone to high-end smoked salmon, from farmhouse cheeses to gourmet Irish spreads, you'll never need to wonder again. Presented in the most clear-sighted way, Preston has chapters that feature where to shop in Dublin and then the four provinces. There's even a handy chapter on how to reclaim the VAT (value added tax) at the airport on the way home. Oh and if you're using a credit in Ireland, tell them to charge you in euros rather than dollars, you'll get a much better rate. Advice like this makes The Smart Shoppers Guide to Ireland an essential reference tool. Xlibris, $8.95.
USS Michael Murphy, named after Irish American Navy SEAL hero, heading toward Korea