Nick Schenkel

Contributor

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

Ways to Connect

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.

Fictional tales of the mysterious ocean are full of whimsical characters and great beasts. The ocean as we know it today, as described in this week's feature, is not as fictional as it may seem. Considering the vastness that is still undiscovered, author Hugh Aldersey-Williams guides readers through the scientific history of the oceans, as well as the stories told around the world about its wonders. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Author Jolene Brackey has come out with a fifth edition of her book Creating Moments of Joy this month. In it, she shares her experiences as an Alzheimer's caregiver and her ideas for changing the way we see the disease from the outside. WBAA's exclusive interview highlights Brackey's inspiration to write, her advice for caregivers, and the updates to the fifth addition that will benefit old and new readers alike. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel leads the discussion.

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.

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