>I love maps. They’ve been an interest of mine since I was little. I remember looking at the atlas my family had for hours and hours, enthralled with all of the places. I am the same way now. We have a world map shower curtain (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=114153&RN=382&) that is my excuse to take looong showers (“Honey, I’m not wasting water, I’m learning! Did you know that Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar?”) and it just draws me in every time I’m in the shower or bath.

So, when I saw that my next book from Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze was Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. Things seem to come alive to me when there is a map involved. Stories that had previously been somewhat confusing to me are clarified, which was my main excitement about this book.

I flipped open the book and was excited to see clearly marked colored maps. I paused for a moment to think back to the last confusing Bible Study I’d been in: 1 & 2 Kings popped right up. I opened to the section on 1 Kings and was amazed to see Elijah’s life mapped out: different locations, and something resembling a timeline. Cool! And, wow, the summary of each book is well written and interesting. I had no recollection that Elijah’s name meant “Yahweh is my God” (115). Besides the maps and timelines, there is another great piece to each sections: Themes and Literary Structure. As an English teacher, my heart smiles when I see this.

I do have to admit, though, that my favorite section is the New Testament. I love the stories of Jesus’ travels with his buddies, but they were always moving…always heading somewhere new and different. It’s helpful to see just where each of their adventures took them and to picture them there. I love seeing maps of the area and seeing the original names. Two of my favorite books are from The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. How amazing to see the places Hadassah and Marcus walked on their journeys with the Lord. (Okay, I know they’re fictional, but they feel very real!)

Anyway, the book is intriguing — the maps for books of the Bible I haven’t read yet will no doubt get me to open my Bible and read. The tables are helpful and informative. And, I can’t lie: I love timelines. A great help for us visual learners. This book was right up my alley. Thank you, Thomas Nelson for this book! I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I’m so thankful for this book and I cannot wait to use this book more and more as I dig into my Bible. It’s a great resource for the visual learner and often-confused Bible reader!