Nick Schenkel


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

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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.

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.