Torongo, Paul A. Collecting Medieval Coins: A Beginner's Guide. Self Published, 2013. ISBN 1492172022 Price: $50.00 Grade: C Paul Torongo attempted to do the nearly impossible by writing a book on how to collect Medieval Coins. Torongo's book certainly is for the beginner, as many of the basics of coins itself are covered. This is fine in and of itself, but there are numerous problems and difficulties with using the book. Organization seems to be Torongo's nemesis. The order of the contents lacks direction, the reasoning for the inclusion of many coins is random (with the phrase "here is a coin" literally thrown in at certain spots with no explanation as to why the coin is being illustrated), and the works cited is a complete jumbled mess. On the topic of the works cited, Torongo has compiled an impressive number of references for those interested in pursuing specific areas of medieval numismatics. However, there is no citation style in use, meaning sources are not easily found, and when a book is cited in text, the reader is referred to a number with no other identifier. This is incredibly frustrating when trying to check where more information can be found, or where a coin is catalogued (in which case the 'reference number' is eschewed, and the author's last name is given, which is worthless when the works cited isn't organized by author). There are other deficiencies I could go into greater detail (spelling & grammar errors, poor choices for examples, and constantly referring to the early Middle Ages as the "Dark Ages"); all make Torongo's book a frustrating read. However, there are positives. There is a great list describing cross forms and names (very common on medieval coins), and numerous Latin place names and their English equivalents. There is a basic introduction to Latin abbreviation marks, which I imagine would be useful to those not familiar with medieval palaeography. The pictures are generally good, and have been enlarged so that more of the details on the coins can be seen. There is a wide variety of coins from all over medieval Europe, which does give one a good taste of the wide opportunities one has in collecting medieval coins. This, more than anything, should be the reason for someone to pick up this book. Torongo's book is entitled A Beginner's Guide, and it is that. It seems natural that the beginner would reach for this book as it is readily obtainable from Amazon as a print on demand book, and it can be quite useful as an introduction only. As a reference, organization is its undoing, but it does have the benefit of being one of the few books to actually attempt a wide overview of medieval coins. As I was reading it, I kept thinking 'how could I do this better?' To be frank, I think the only way to cover such a wide range of medieval numismatics would be through a website (much like Wildwinds ).