Books by Brenda Ralph Lewis

COINS AND CURRENCY by Brenda Ralph Lewis
Released: Aug. 2, 1993

From a British series, a profusely illustrated, large-format ``Hobby Handbook.'' Selected topics (``Obtaining Coins and Notes,'' ``How Coins Are Made,'' ``Keeping Your Collection'') are treated in two- or four-page sections, each with several good color photos and special information highlighted in boxes. Other sections feature brief histories of currency in various parts of the world. The book succeeds handsomely in conveying both the historical interest and the aesthetic satisfaction inherent in this hobby, wisely skirting the issue of coins as an investment. Aspects of the ``how-to'' sections may be more helpful to British readers than to Americans (e.g., a pocketful of US change isn't likely to include an Indian- head coin). An annoying design flaw: almost half of the page numbers are obscured by graphics. For an older audience than the Maestros' The Story of Money (p. 231); reading level and graphics quality are similar to the Eyewitness series' Money (1990), which lacks the information on collecting. Glossary; addresses of numismatic societies; excellent maps; index. A list of periodicals and reference sources (on both sides of the Atlantic) would have been helpful. (Nonfiction. 10+) Read full book review >

An American edition of a British introduction to the history and fundamentals of stamp collecting. Intended mostly as a reference source, the book is arranged by topics like types of collections, methods of buying and storing stamps, and such esoterica as famous forgers and collectors. Most useful are a glossary, maps, and a diagram of the parts of a stamp. Lewis's style is more enthusiastic than elegant, and the design—with each two page spread featuring a column of text plus captioned illustrations—is crowded and often confusing. Still, there's much useful information here, and the book as a whole is more complete than other available titles on the subject. Acceptable until a better written—and better organized—book comes along. Index. Read full book review >