The nice thing about living in Wisconsin is that I can just drive to TNS HQ. My girlfriend and I went there Thursday to purchase a bunch of stuff from their Skinny Dipper Shop, drop off a CD, and to chat with Nicky for a bit.
As we were shopping, Nicky was explaining the history of each item. It's clear that they take a lot of pride in their merchandise, because they seek out the best quality for everything they stock. Additionally, they've been moving toward more eco-friendly items, which I certainly appreciate.
Anyway, among the things we bought are the following books and DVD. (What can I say -- I love books and always like to expand my library.) I haven't read them all cover to cover, obviously, but have skimmed them well enough to post a review.
The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts
The book is made to be a reference. It has color-coded tabs on the pages which makes finding a location easy. At the start of each country's section is a map of all the places listed. Each listing has a paragraph or two describing the place, along with a section of "practical info" on what you need to know to get there. When possible they include addresses, phone numbers, and websites. Not only is this book a great text, but it also has great pictures for most of the places listed and can give you a feel for what the place is like. About 1/3 of the book's content is pictures. The only downside is that the book only shows 1000 places, the "best" 1000 places, so it's not a complete reference. Based on the listings for Wisconsin and Queensland (places I know), there is about a 5:1 ratio for listings. I concur that the 4 that are unlisted aren't as good as the 1 that is listed, so they really do pick the best. This will certainly be my primary reference for beaches and resorts, and any traveller should have this book with them. It's a fairly cheap book, and is well worth the money.
The Funny Side of Going Naked
At about 150 pages of mostly images, it's a quick read. It's a book that once you pick it up, you can't put it down. The only time that you'll stop reading is when you're laughing too hard to continue. This happens a lot! Plus, the jokes are still funny after you've read them a few times. Whenever you need to cheer yourself up, reach for this book and open it up to any random page. This, too, is well worth the money.
Bodies and Souls: The Century Project
It started out as a fairly simple project, but has evolved over the last 20 years into something quite impressive. Each turn of the page reveals a new woman, slightly older than the previous one, with a picture on one side and their words on the other. Sometimes the author adds a little text to the bottom to put things into context better. The goal is to present real women, along with their stories of body acceptance and inspiration, to show other women that they are not alone in their struggles. It directly goes against society's pressure that women must be perfect. This book shows that you can be happy without being perfect. This isn't a full review, because I'm not a woman with body acceptance issues, and therefore don't have the qualifications to say if this book is of benefit or not. Sorry. My girlfriend is better qualified than I am (even though she doesn't have many body acceptance issues), so I may revisit this after she's read through it.
The Spirit of Lady Godiva
It's a book full of impressive black&white photography at many places across America. Each turn of the page has a full picture on one side, and some text about it on the other. The photographer shows standard building, landscape, and people shots, except with one small twist. His images show a world where people have a true choice of what to wear, or what to not wear. Textiles mix with nudes, and nobody seems to mind. (Well, OK, some heads are turned and some faces have a big smile, but a vast majority don't seem to notice.) What's most impressive is that all of these shots are real, and are of great quality. The book is a bit pricey, since it's a big chunk of tree. I'd only recommend it if photography is a big interest of yours.
Chasing the Sun DVD
This is a short video from TNS that is an introduction to naturism. It's made to be shown to classes, politicians, and anyone who doesn't really understand the topic. I'd say that it meets the goal pretty well. It includes statistics from the Roper polls, the positive economic impact of a nude beach, how beaches are self-policing and very safe, and how naturism is a family friendly activity. It addresses every big concern or misunderstanding that people have, and shows them that naturism is a good thing. The only problem with this video is that it shows a lot of nudity. Anyone who is seriously offended by nudity will not want to watch it, despite them being the ones that should watch it. Since it's a short video, they could've added a censored version just in case, or a version that uses alternative video clips that don't show nudity. Either way, it's in my archive just in case I need it.
If you have more to add about any of these items, or have questions, post 'em in the comments.