By Denis McNamara, Rizzoli, $17.95, 256 pages

10This little pocket guide is the perfect reference for anyone who wants to know more about churches. It is an excellent, short, and quick guide to the different designs, styles, and modes of worship that churches can represent. It gives examples of the many ways Jesus can appear in a church and what it means. Back in the Middle Ages in Europe churches were built with meaning attached to them; from scenes on the door, to the glass in the windows, to the spires rising in the sky. The church was a book and a building at the same time, for a largely illiterate population. Mr. McNamara brings to life all those ideas that many people have forgotten. This is an exceptional pocket guide; he does an excellent job explaining the many ways a church can look and how it has changed over time. This is designed not only for students, but tourists traveling to Europe where there are many old churches. So the next time you travel to Europe bring this with you and impress your friends with your knowledge.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter