Not so much a book review as another chance to mention our New York trip and ramble on about what I want in a guide book. First off, I don't really care about a section on hotels. I mean, we're booking a hotel before we get there, so I'd much rather take the advice of all the travel sites instead. What is nice is some background reading about the place to read on the plane trip. This book has it. It's good. Next up, a list of sights. Given I'm going on holiday for a week, a week's-worth is good. At maybe a museum a day, plus other sights and walks, that's surprisingly little. So, I'd personally focus on selecting the 'must-sees'. This guide goes in for a huge overkill on sights, plus several billion tonnes on shopping, arts and entertainment, etc.
However, it does get one thing spot on. It's a big city, with lots of restaurants. We love good food. Also, when we're hungry, we don't want to have to go too far. So, the chunky restaurant section is excellent. Ordered by area and cuisine, it never once let us down when our stomachs were rumbling. In fact, we went to some really lovely places. Thank you, TimeOut!
Finally, a decent guide needs a solid map and a sensible size. The map's pretty good, although the great thing about Manhattan is that it takes real effort to get lost. As for size, this is a Winter guide book - it fits happily in my coat pocket, but as soon as the weather heats up it'd be a real pain to carry. All-in-all, a good guide if you're looking for decent food, or need to find touristy things to do for, say, several years.