This book walks the reader through a set of icons that are commonly used in Orthodox Churches. For someone not "in the know" about icons, this was a helpful book. It is interesting to me that icons, which have similarities to stain glass windows, were originally "written" because Christians at that time were not always literate. They provided Bible stories in visual form, and a way to focus devotional prayer time if you didn't have a Bible available to read for yourself. Yet now this book provides a way to read an icon, and understand what is going on. To learn how to read something that is not word based, I need to read a book. One item about icons that I did not know, if an event happened inside, the icon is "written" (Icons are not painted, they are written because the communicate God's word) with a drape of cloth across the top. Therefore the Annunciation where Gabriel comes to tell Mary that she will become pregnant, has a canopy over Mary.... thus signifying that Mary was inside when Gabriel appeared to her.