Nick Schenkel


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

Ways to Connect

Many writers have come and gone through Indiana, and the state itself claims both natives to the state as well as adopted Hoosiers born elsewhere. This week's feature is an anthology of Hoosier writers throughout time, commemorated for the bicentennial anniversary of the state. Writers highlighted in this book include Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Marianne Boruch, and Dan Wakefield, among many others. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Globalization in the food industry allows Americans to enjoy cuisine from all around the world. But, as easy as it is to buy exotic foods, it is more difficult to find out exactly where it comes from and who is impacted by its production. Indiana native Kelsey Timmerman travels around the glove in search of the sources of his food choices in this week's feature. This is Timmerman's second book exploring the international connections that produce everyday items. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

As dietary preferences change for many from meat-centered to plant-based, it is sometimes difficult to incorporate the variety into shared meals. Renowned vegetarian writer Anna Thomas has released a new cookbook that encompasses options for recipes that allow anyone to share the same food. Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore presents recipes that start as a vegan base, with the option to expand ingredients to include vegetarian and omnivore compliments, with the goal of bringing everyone together at the same table. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

As Americans reflect on the country's history in this election year, the tumultuous Revolutionary War cannot be forgotten. The up and down relationship of George Washington, seen as the hero of the nation, and Benedict Arnold, the traitor never forgotten, are depicted in Valiant Ambition, as they maneuver the long stretch of the war. Both men struggle to create the personal identity that their forming nation needs, and battle as much with internal tyranny as they do the outside enemy.

Fifty years after the creation of the first television show, Star Trek has become one of the most famous science-fiction stories in our culture today. Known for its intergalactic characters and far-reaching technological advancements, Star Trek as an enterprise is encapsulated in this Encyclopedia-Britannica-like book. Rated as one of the best containing all the facts, seasoned lovers and newly-interested readers alike are sure to fall in love. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

The story of a newly-blinded doctor and her blossoming love for renowned Russian writer Anton Chekhov weaves throughout this biography-inspired novel. Written through diary entries from the doctor, the publisher who finds the original diary, and from the translator, The Summer Guest explores themes present in two different centuries. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

   Public libraries rank only below emergency services and fire departments as the most important public service to local communities. As an establishment that has been around for centuries, public libraries have seen all facets of American culture, and has adapted with the changing times. Part Of Our Lives explores the history of the first libraries and how they came to be in almost every community around the nation.

Traveling books are among the most popular checked out of public libraries, and today's books are unique variations on the normal "where to go and eat" guides. Escape London is for the London traveler or native, looking for quainter locations outside the busy city. The Rough Guide to Vintage London explores the alternative spots within the city, alive with food, fashion, and culture. The combination of these books cover the traveling needs for any tourist. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review. 

A bold new twist on the average take of Christianity is waiting in the pages of Accidental Saints. Contemporary and relatable, the chapters following author Nadia Bolz-Weber's life as she navigates her faith provides both believers and non-believers a new way to look at the world. As her second book, Bolz-Weber dissects the good and bad in others, and discusses how her interactions shape her faith. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.