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Signs & Symbols of the World

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Member Reviews

Thanks Netgalley for giving me the chance to review this ARC in exchange for my honest review. 
Overall Signs & Symbols of the World is an interesting read. It's both educational and entertaining to learn within the pages.
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A really fascinating reference book, with so much info packed in across a huge variety symbols from the well-known to the more obscure. Felt like more of a reference book, though anyone with a great interest in this subject might enjoy a cover to cover read! But plenty of scope for students, researchers and enthusiasts to find something they need here. Liked the writing style, the layout and all the imagery, so overall a great book!
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This is an interesting read on history, ritualism, and symbols. You learn about the meaning behind certain signs and symbols and how it's been a huge part of human history. If you're into this kind of stuff, you'll dig it!
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Really enjoyed this book which gave an insightful look at symbols that we see all around us in everyday life. Will be buying a hard copy of this book as its one that I can see myself dipping into again and again.
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This is a complete and illustrated collection of signs and symbols from all over the world. We see the signs and symbols in our everyday lives and we just take them for granted. The truth is we need and depend on them daily. It is very interesting and I was completely amazed at how many there are in our civilization. I was fascinated by this book and I felt like it is a fabulous addition to my personal library.
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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Such a cool book! totally going to want to buy this for sure lol
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Title: Signs & Symbols of the World
Over 1,001 Visual Signs Explained
By:  D.R. McElroy
Pub Date 06 Jul 2021
Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group – Chartwell Books, Chartwell Books
Genre: Nonfiction (Adult) | Reference

In this book McElroy explains some of the worlds most common symbols. The chapter pages are beautiful and the explanations easy to follow.  Each type of symbol gets its own chapter and a handy table of contents and index, to make it easy to find what you are looking for.

Definitely more of a reference book than a cover to cover read. I found the majority of chapters interesting and informative. I did struggle with the Chapter on the element chart but that is a personal lack of interest. 

The only aspect of the book that I was in anyway annoyed with was that the section on religion seemed to deal largely with Catholicism. Though there were other major religions mentioned there was nothing on Atheism or Agnosticism beliefs or symbols, in fact I don't recall seeing anything for evolutionists either. . 

This is a must have book for writers and researchers alike.
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A fantastically intriguing book, this covers symbols from a whole host of eta and spheres, secret socities, mythology and ancient civilisations abound and I found it utterly fascinating
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While I had some issues reading the full text of the book due to the formatting and compatibility of the e-book's file with my tablet; I will base my review on what I could read. Signs & Symbols of The World appears to be an informative and entertaining book about the history and meaning behind over 1000 of the world's most common symbols; from alchemy to the zodiac and everything in between. It was well written with easy to understand language that didn't bog the reader down with unnecessary over-explanation but was still informative and interesting.

I was given a free copy of the e-book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Showing a lot of signs and symbols that we may encounter or in some cases we don't encounter them nowadays, maybe more in fiction, this book presents the history of some them and the meaning. The symbols are found in different categories like mythology, religion, chemistry and more. It's full of information and I, definitely, enjoyed reading it.
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An interesting and and informative look at signs and symbols around the world. Divided into sections from alchemy, medicine, religion, military and more, it’s was good to dip in and out of where it caught my eye.
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2 stars  

I enjoyed flipping through this book, but there are better reference books out there for design & symbology. The image quality is low, & the information included is very basic/not comprehensive, & lacks references/citations.

[What I liked:]

•The layout & fonts & general design of the book are appealing. The “chapters” are brief, have a nice balance between text & images, & the book is enjoyable to browse through.
•While not comprehensive, there is a nice variety of subjects covered, including mythology, religion, writing systems, astrology, the chemical table of elements, traffic signs, etc.

[What I didn’t like as much:]

•Some of the images are low quality & are very blurry or pixelated when I tried to zoom in on them a bit on my phone screen. It’s like low resolution clip art was used instead of designing or creating the art specifically for the book.

•Myth, writing, & art symbols from Asia, Europe, & the Americas are included, but there is no representation of African cultures (besides ancient Egypt) or Australian/Pacific Islander cultures, which was disappointing.

•The photos are credited in the back of the book, but there are no references or citations for the factual claims in the text.

[I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]
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"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign", (Five Man Electrical Band)

So, do you know the difference between an amulet and an emblem, or a glyph and an icon, or an ideogram and a pictograph, or an insignia and a sigil? Well, I do now, and I had a remarkably enjoyable time reading about and learning about all these sorts of signs and symbols. This book is a treasure trove of fascinating trivia, (not that there's anything trivial about civilization's oldest form of communication), and an entertaining and congenial companion.

The book is heavy on text, but doesn't skimp on illustrations, (which is, of course, essential when the topic is signs). The organization is wildly idiosyncratic, but I suppose that is to be expected, and I'm not sure if there is any better way to organize such material. The general early flow is historical, in that the first chapters address Alchemy, Ancient Civilizations, Astrology, and Celtic Symbols. The proper order for Chemistry, Currency, Ideograms, Medical, Military, Musical, Transportation, and so on, (apart from being alphabetical), is however you would like it, and mostly just serves to emphasize the extreme skimmability of this work.

And skim you should. The tone is engaging and entertaining, but not jokey or casually superficial. This book has not only breadth but depth. There is a great deal of information packed in here in handy sidebar and factoid style, and at least one pleasant, amusing, or intriguing surprise on every page.

So, this was a delightful find. And I can thrill my associates with explanations of the differences among the "Eye of Ra", the "Eye of Horus", the "All-Seeing Eye", and the "Evil Eye". A real treat.

(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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Signs & Symbols of the World: Over 1,001 Visual Signs Explained by D.R. McElroy is a fairly comprehensive collection of symbols and their very basic meanings.

While this is a good reference book it is not a scholarly reference book. I don't mean to say it doesn't have a place in a scholar's library but it is neither exhaustive in its descriptions nor does it offer a bibliography or any notes. This is neither a positive nor a negative in and of itself, just something readers need to understand. I miss having a bibliography but I think that is just my personal quirk. This book offers enough information that if I want to research further I have a jumping off point here. Space is also, I think, a consideration. With so many signs and symbols from such a wide range of uses, a bibliography or reference section could get to be as long as the body of the book. I think, for what it is, a general reference for casual readers who want to have access to information, it works wonderfully.

I found the presentation to be appealing and I, for one, was neither confused about the layout or had problems knowing what captions went with what images. This is not a book on semiotics and does not get into a lot of depth, but most people who want a book covering this wide of an area don't want or need great depth, that can be found elsewhere, this is to answer the question "what is that symbol?" Why and how is a topic for another book(s).

I see two main places where this book will be very popular. First is the person who simply likes to have a handy source that can answer the basic question of what a particular symbol is. This person will also likely enjoy reading through the book, whether cover to cover or jumping around. And it certainly doesn't hurt that this is an attractive book and, at 8"x10", can sit on a bookshelf or on a tabletop for display. The second place is the academic or researcher (writers, game developers, etc) who wants a handy reference to place a found symbol within a context or, conversely, to find symbols within an area they are working.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Signs and Symbols of the World is a broad and general book that talks about signs and symbols used in the world from ancient times to the present. This is one of those books that's great for browsing and has bits of information attached to the many illustrations provided. The chapters are mostly in alphabetical order, starting at alchemy and finishing with transportation. 

The book covers many subjects and some of them seem to be done quite well. But I did find several that seemed to overlap. This was particularly apparent between languages and various other subjects. I'm assuming it was necessary to make judgements as to how to categorise but I must admit it doesn't seem quite as logical as it could be. 

I don't know how comprehensive it is, but the chapter on sex and gender is particularly strong and there were a number of symbols that were completely unfamiliar to me. I felt like the chapters on manufacturing, music and ideograms also covered quite a bit of territory that the average person might run across. Also the chapter on digital symbols was pretty good and there were a number of good illustrations there. That said, I don't feel it was so necessary to show so much of the clipart, especially seeing at its relevance today isn't as high as it might have been in the past. 

I do feel the chapter on the military was entirely US-centric, and therefore was quite limited in scope. Instead of showing so many of the US symbols. it might have been good to see examples of various other countries instead. The transportation chapter was reasonably good but I also felt it was rather limited to US examples. It does mention signs from other countries but then fails to show examples. I think just a common speed limit sign from Europe would have been the least that could be illustrated as it is quite a common one outside the US. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I give it 3.5 stars.  I would like to thank Netgalley and Chartwell Books for providing an advanced reader copy for free. This review was written voluntarily.
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I was having a great time reading this book until I read the header "Chinese Kanji Symbols". Thereafter, I pretty much started doubting most of what I read. While I'm sure a lot of research and knowledge was utilized in this book, I can't be certain, because it seems like such a basic mistake should have never made it on the page. Another error I spotted was the supposed way dragons are called Lang in Chinese. This is very much not so.

I also find it strange that the author has mentioned that some topics were "beyond the scope of the book" but included some very extraneous or repeating information. I also find it curious that the Wakandan salute is included in this book. Perhaps it's just trying to meet the quota of 1001 signs and symbols.

One thing I think my just be the fault of the ARC is the terrible layout and photo quality. Some graphics were so blur that I couldn't make anything out. How am I supposed to learn anything then? I very much hope the physical book does better in this.

Still, it's a cool and informative book. It makes me excited as someone who wanted to be a "symbologist" after reading Dan Brown's The da Vinci Code.
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I have never read a book like this before and it was very interesting. I really enjoyed learning about all the different signs and symbols but I think I need the physical copy of the book to getting the full effect of what the author was trying to do.
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Signs & Symbols of the World – Over 1,100 Visual Signs Explained
By D. R. McElroy 

Now Available…

 Ancient Secret Society Sigils to Computer Short-Cuts—A Master Reference 
What a terrific find!  D. R. McElroy has done an impressive job compiling an extraordinarily extensive compendium of symbology that is both modern and esoteric, historical and useful.  

This is a pictorial research and reference manual of signs and sigils; hieroglyphs and pictographs; currency; emoji; military insignia; flags; astrology signs; medical symbols; religious iconography; emblems; mythology; musical notes; writing and punctuation; and so much more.

McElroy’s book is organized into well-defined Chapters, and has included an 11-page Index at the back to cross-reference every topic covered (and there are lots and lots of fascinating attributions).  

Following is a great little tidbit from the book that I find truly useful and informative.  The “thumbs up” sign in the Western world is typically a symbol for something positive.  It typically means “OK,” “Yes,” “I will” or “Good.”   

McElroy, however, cautioned that all cultures do not interpret gestures in the same way.  In the Middle East, he said that the “thumbs up” sign is considered an extremely rude action because it means, “up yours!”  Good to know…

This is a book that you will read, reference, and read many times again.  It will also make the perfect gift for all of your Trivia Guru friends!

The Book Maven’s Journal                Reviews for Word Connoisseurs
REVIEWER:                J.Hunt
STAR RATING            ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Signs & Symbols of the World – Over 1,100 Visual Signs Explained
By D. R. McElroy 
Reference, Non-Fiction (Adults)
Publication Date 5 July 2021
Quarto Publishing Group  – Chartwell Books

My Sincere Appreciation Goes to NetGalley, Author D. R. McElroy, and Quarto Publishing Group – Chartwell Books for Providing this Advance Reader's Copy for Review.
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This book was enjoyable. It was informative and enlightening to learn more about symbols from around the world. The illustrations are simple and pretty. The explanations are easy to understand.
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Signs & Symbols of the World is a comprehensive reference of more than 1000 symbols collected and curated by D. R. McElroy. Due out 6th July 2021 from Quarto on their Chartwell imprint, it's 256 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats (ebook available now). 

The formal study of symbols and signage, semiotics, is fascinating. The fact that an abbreviated, sometimes tenuously related squiggle can convey information without words is amazing. This book gathers a chiliad (love that word) of symbols together for reference and perusal. In addition to the symbols themselves, the author provides an engaging overview over the history, development, and minutiae behind the symbol categories. This is a very wide ranging collection, everything from uniform rank symbols to alchemical and astrological symbols are included.

The entries are grouped thematically: alchemy, ancient & modern civilizations, astrology, celtic symbols, chemistry, digital, currency (yes, it bugged me too that this is the only chapter out of alphabetical order), ideograms, language, manufacturing, medical, military, music, mythology, popular gestures, religion, sex & gender, sigils & paganism, transportation, and writing & punctuation. In addition to the line drawn basic symbols, there are numerous colored illustrations and some photographs reproduced here. The photography and digital rendering of the symbols in electronic format is formatted and clear enough to follow. Some chapters have practical and/or academic uses, there's a capsule introduction to the periodic table, for example, with a clear explanation of the symbols used to identify and categorize each element. There are some clearly intentional omissions. In the chapter for hand gestures, for example, the "finger" (the "bird", "one finger salute") is overlooked. The author does advise caution when using hand gestures, especially abroad, as meanings vary widely by location. There are some whimsical additions as well - in the same chapter, the author has included both the Vulcan "live long and prosper" symbol as well as "Wakanda forever". 

In general, this is a good introduction to a broad range of symbols with some background. It's accessible for all-ages and will give enthusiastic readers enough basic information to investigate further. Since it's appropriate for all ages, it would make a good school or public library selection as well as potential source material for tattoos, drawings, sketching, or journal use. 

Four stars. Lots of interesting general info.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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