Cover Image: Amazing Temples of the World

Amazing Temples of the World

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Member Reviews

Another coffee-table book from Amber Books, another delightful journey around the world. This time we’re going to explore temples, together with Michael Kerrigan. 

**

Temples have been places of worship, a focus for spirituality and a place for communities to gather since the earliest days of human civilisation. The first temples date back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, deriving from the cult of deities and residing places for gods and immortals. Today, temple buildings remain lively focal points for the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh religions.

Organised by continent, Amazing Temples of the World offers the reader an intimate portrait of some spectacular and unusual places of worship dating from the fourth millennium BCE to the present.

Ornate or spartan, immense or intimate, from the Middle East to California, this book features such impressive places of worship as the Mahabodi Temple, India, built in the location where Buddha is thought to have achieved enlightenment; the fifth century BCE Temple of Confucius in Qufu, China, the largest Confucian temple in the world; Abu Simbel, in southern Egypt, the great carved monument to the Pharaoh Ramses II; the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, the spiritual home of the world’s 25 million Sikhs; and the Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, London, the biggest Hindu temple outside India. Illustrated with more than 180 photographs, Amazing Temples of the World includes more than 150 places of worship, from Ancient Greece and Rome, through traditional synagogues to modern Buddhist, Taoist and Sikh temples.

224 pages
Photography, travel
Amber Books
Goodreads

**

Cover: Lovely. It caught my attention right from the start.

Yay!

- What’s the point of photography books? Well, photography, of course! It’s all about the pictures, and I’m happy to say I’m 100% satisfied with that aspect. Every picture looks amazing, from the ones encompassing entire buildings to the ones focusing on details. 

- The format is Amber-typical: four main sections (Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, North and South America) for easy browsing, introductions, and some historical info about every temple. It’s non-obtrusive, letting the reader enjoy each photo without bombarding them with written content. Books like Amazing Temples of the World are meant to be a feast for the eyes.

- On point editing. As usual, there are no typos or mistakes, yay!

Special mention:

- El Ghriba Synagogue, Tunisia. I love the coloring.
- Japanese Peace Pagoda Unawatuna, Sri Lanka.
- Seiganto-ji, Japan. 
- Itsukushima Shrine, Japan.
- Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Indonesia.
- Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii.
- Subotica Synagogue, Serbia.

Nay!

- There’s a serious lack of variety here. ‘Temple’ is a word with a broad meaning, and I can think about at least half a dozen grandiose churches that would have fit right in. The artistic and architectural value of Christian cathedrals is not well-represented. 
TL;DR


4 stars on GR.
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Amazing Temples of the World by Michael Kerrigan offers readers an intimate portrait of some spectacular and unusual places of worship dating from the fourth millennium BCE to the present. Ornate or spartan, immense or intimate, from the Middle East to California, this book features such impressive places of worship as the Mahabodi Temple, India, built in the location where Buddha is thought to have achieved enlightenment; the fifth century BCE Temple of Confucius in Qufu, China, the largest Confucian temple in the world; Abu Simbel, in southern Egypt, the great carved monument to the Pharaoh Ramses II; the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, the spiritual home of the world’s 25 million Sikhs; and the Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, London, the biggest Hindu temple outside India. With more than 180 photographs, this book includes more than 150 places of worship, from Ancient Greece and Rome, through traditional synagogues to modern Buddhist, Taoist and Sikh temples organized by region.

Amazing Temples of the World is a collection of stunning temples from around the world. I liked that the images included ancient and modern places of worship, including those in a wide variety of repair. The contrast between the ancient ruins, the well maintained and highly decorated, and the simplicity of some of the temples was wonderful to see. I loved getting the opportunity to see places that I am not likely to get to see in person, for a variety of reasons. It was also interesting to see that even across several continents, spanning a variety of religions and centuries, there is a similarity of reverence and majesty in all locations regardless of the obvious differences.
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I liked: 
--Interesting commentary on how different styles of temple are related to the religious beliefs, as well as the styles of the times,
--The lighting on the photo of Temple of Debod is stunning!  Need more photos with this much care to staging.
--I was particularly impressed by the examples of Jewish temples/synagogues.  They were the most stunning and surprising of the collection.
Not so fond of: 
--Photographs seem poorly chosen, not very appealing.at times.  Full page photos should be ones that are worthy of that space, rather than something mundane
--Seems a bit skimpy in the Americas.  Could use more examples.
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"Amazing Temples of the World" is a collection of photography featuring temples and synagogues divided across four regions. Each photograph is accompanied by a snippet of information offering limited context. The biggest disappointment in this coffee table-style book is the lack of quality and consistency of the images. Some are lovely, but many show poor composition and lighting. A great number are reproduced with poor image resolution. The image credits at the end give some clue to the inconsistency and lack of cohesiveness: a majority of the images are credited to Shutterstock and Dreamstime and almost every single image or temple is credited to a different photographer. 

There are certainly higher quality collections of temple photography available, as well as books offering more intentional context on the imagery presented. 

Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for providing an eARC for review.
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Another excellent book that made me travel and discover new places. Great photos and interesting text.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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The beautiful pictures in the 226 page coffee-table book "Amazing Temples of the World", by Michael Kerrigan, perfectly match the title. I think the author said it best when he wrote that this book "showcases 120 of the most remarkable and striking temples from around the world, from abandoned ruins to newly-built architectural masterpieces."

After the introduction, the book is split in to four major sections based on geographical area: Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, & North and South America. Each section starts with a brief description, and each temple has a caption explaining key history and facts. 

Without a doubt, this book includes many timelessly historic relics, stunning architecture, and hauntingly beautiful pictures of temples. Each is an admirable testament to humanity's ability to look beyond mundane everyday life.

Having visited over 10% of these temples in five countries, I appreciated the reminder of my past travels. In particular, I have fond memories of Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan. And this book showcases wonderful temples and locations that I look forward to visiting in countries such as Peru and Myanmar.

Given the massive number of candidate temples for this book throughout all of history and geography, anyone who reads this book will surely wonder how these particular examples were chosen, and I think that second guessing both inclusions and exclusions is unavoidable. This is not a criticism of the author.  Given the massive diversity in architecture, culture, people, and faiths, I would expect lots of debate to any list of temples. Though, I was somewhat surprised that while many synagogues were included, neither Catholic cathedrals such as the Basilica de la Sagrada Famillia nor modern LDS temples were found in this book. Perhaps this is due to a semantic issue of what is and what is not considered to be a temple. 

Regarding the typesetting, occasionally the captions for photographs are inset inside the picture that is described. With the electronic version of the book I reviewed, due to a smallish font size and relatively low contrast, these are sometimes hard to read.  I assume it is easier to read in the actual book.

I certainly recommend this book to those interested in history, travel, architecture, and even photography. I am deeply appreciative to the author and the publisher for providing an electronic review copy of this book.
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This book is my favorite book that I have received from Netgalley. The photographs are rich and vibrant. Each page is like taking a trip to another part of the world. I am fascinated by the attention to detail that was used when these temples were built. The photographs showcase these details. I will be purchasing this book for my library and my home. 
This book was provided by Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a beautiful book full of stunning photographs of temples and synagogues from around the world. Each with a short history and description. 

No matter where I travel, I love to look at places of worship. No matter the religion or belief system, these buildings offer some of the most gorgeous artistry and craftsmanship a culture has to offer, whether it’s a Greek temple, Anchor Wat in Cambodia, or the Hall of the Great Buddha in Nara, Japan. With travel still being restricted, it’s lovely to be able to pick up a book like this and visually travel through these beautiful pages until we can once again enjoy the sites in person. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This is an absolutely beautiful coffee table book. It is filled with gorgeous full-color pictures of temples from around the world. In terms of current religious buildings it includes synagogs, mandirs, and other non-Christian or Islamic religious structures. Additionally, it includes ancient temples like those in Greece, Egypt, and Central America. The book is divided by geographic region and has a brief general introduction to each region and the types of temples there. Each photograph is also accompanied by a brief caption providing its name, location, and brief context information. This book would make a wonderful gift for a world traveler or anyone interested in world religions. 

Bookstagram post to follow, but no date set.
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This beautiful book absolutely lives up to its title. Stunning pictures of stunning places that make me wish I traveled more but also makes me feel like I have gotten to see the world from the page. I like that it always tells you where the place is so if you ever do get lucky enough to get enough money to go traveling you know exactly where you can go. Would make a beautiful coffee table, and I believe it would be a great conversation starter as well. Has little bits of information in there that are fun and helpful. I highly recommend this book. 

Thank you #netgalley for allowing me the chance to review this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Beautiful photography capturing the mystery and majesty of the world's temples, this is a book that would appeal to artists, travellers, architects and students of history. 

Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my ARC.
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This is a book that really showcases the diversity of the world. I read it learning a lot from relatively little. The blurbs accompanying the photography were short and sweet but also very informative.
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This is a book of temples covering Europe,Africa, and the Middle East, Nice to look at . I have always wanted to  look at these places before I consider  visiting some of them, Thanks,
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As a member of a faith that builds temples as places of worship I jumped at getting this book.  According to the book a temple is a places for religious ceremony.  This is a photo book with 180 pictures.  Each photo is given a brief description and location.  The majority of the book is focused on Europe and Asia with Africa, the Middle East and North and South America getting much less attention.  As expected there is a lot of Greek and Roman Temples and I was surprised at the inclusion of Jewish synagogues.  I've been to the ones in Prague and they are no longer active places of worship but are museums to the past.  The American temples focus on Asian communities and the only one I've visited is on the Oahu in Hawaii.  I know these are photo books for your coffee table or book shelf but I would like if they could indicate even by an icon or something if it is a place that you can visit.  I love to add to my travel wish list from books like this.  Some places are famous and I know are tourist destinations but others I have no idea if it is somewhere you would be welcome inside.  This is a beautiful book of temples but without a lot of detail of the faiths or people that built them.  Thank you to NetGalley and Amber Books for a temporary ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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This book has beautiful pictures of temples around the world. The photographs were very enjoyable to look at. The captions and chapter headings were well written and interesting. The architecture of the temples is beautiful.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Lush, stunning, sigh-inducing photography!   This book would appeal equally to religious scholars, architecture buffs, and armchair travelers.    The photos are accompanied by helpful text to explain the local and historical context of the buildings photographed, but it's hard to pull one's attention away from the gorgeous images!  

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
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In a time when we are still not free to travel overseas, Kerrigan’s book takes readers to some of the most exotic and storied locations in the world. Beautiful photos are accompanied by historical information and also information about visiting (someday)
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This latest masterclass in the picture researcher's craft from this publisher comes in the form of a global survey of temples – any permanent structure for the spiritual and religious life, that is neither a church nor mosque.  The author has to admit, and does so more than once, that Jewish synagogues should not be in here either, as they only had the one Temple and wouldn't mind having it again, thank you very much, but don't consider anything they use now a temple.  This, then, makes the balance of the book a little awkward.  Starting with Europe what we do get, almost more than anything else, is a synagogue – the Valley of the Temples on Sicily, and some Greek and Roman buildings on the mainland, almost the only truly valid entries.

Before the end we've seen a fair bit of what we expected – Angkor Wat, Amritsar's Golden Temple, some Incan remains – and a lot we won't have, unless this was bought for a specialist to browse.  The North Americas are nearly all represented by temples for Asian communities, and so look out of place – to an American.  To their users they are of course an evocation of their faith, and the home of their spirituality.  And because we like to decorate our homes, and give alms to those who protect our faith, these buildings all look quite lavish and spectacular.  I don't need to say then that this very pictorial volume is also very picturesque.
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