Nick Schenkel

Contributor

Nick Schenkel is the director of the West Lafayette Public Library, and reviews books from all walks of literature.

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Contemporary Cambodia is the product of a rich but tumultuous history that dates back hundreds of years. Through a thriving civilization to a fairly recent genocide, Cambodians are rebuilding to become better understood by the world around them. This week's feature includes two books on the history and destinations of Cambodia and neighboring Laos, both written by author David Chandler. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Book Review: Lit Up

Feb 17, 2017

David Denby, acclaimed writer for The New Yorker, sat in classrooms for an entire academic year to see if literature was really dead with the Millennial youth. He read the books and poems that were assigned, and witnessed the students discuss each piece. What he discovered was that the passion for reading still can be ignited - with the help of great teachers and great literature. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Widely viewed as one of the most controversial (or least effective) presidents of all time, Herbert Hoover is often overlooked in US history. But, despite his public image, Hoover gave much of life to service in the federal government outside his four-year reign. This week's book review looks at Herbert Hoover as a whole - the man before, during, and after the presidency. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Author Karen Maezen Miller explores the "Zenness" of the natural world in this week's feature. After she and her family find a home with an old garden in the backyard, she uses its contents to discover lessons in forgiveness, presence, acceptance, and more. For gardeners and spectators alike, the natural world can provide a window into Zen that may normally be overlooked. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

This week's feature stars a ragtag group of teenagers who take in a new member, Vic, who suffers from Moebius Syndrome. Vic has a mission to complete, and his new friends seek to help him fulfill his father's last wishes. Full of love, loss, and even murder, Arnold's newest novel will intrigue readers of any age. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Cartoon books are becoming increasingly popular among new readers, and Kevin McCloskey is just one of many breaking into the genre. His two books We Dig Worms! and The Real Poop On Pigeons! bring the common animals to the forefront. Both worms and pigeons are featured as interesting species with lots of little-known facts, all depicted through beautifully illustrated storyboards. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

A hallmark of human civilization, paper has become integral in the development of societies all over the world. From ancient times to the electronic present, paper is still around - even though it was once regarded as dangerous to the oral tradition. This week's feature explores how paper came to be and its role as we move into the future. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Renowned British author Jeannette Winterson has compiled a collection of Christmas stories in this week's feature. It is unclear which details are true autobiography and which are fantasy, but each story is peculiar and quirky in its own way. From dark stories about strange parents to recollections of St. Nicholas himself, these twelve stories are unlike any other collection for the holiday season. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

 The first installment of a new mystery series, this week's feature brings southern charm and whimsy to the "thriller" genre. It follows a woman coming back to her rural hometown in Georgia, where her father is successfully operating an olive grove. She finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery after finding a deceased man in the woods one night, and must find the true killer to clear her own name. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Included in The New York Times top 10 books of the year, this week's feature explores one of the art world's greatest mysteries. It follows a bookseller that was obsessive over his chance purchase at an auction, which he firmly believed was a long-lost portrait by Diego Velazquez. The bookseller was chased by aristocrats accusing him of fraud, and the still-missing painting led to his eventual demise. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

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