Nick Schenkel Book Reviews

Arts & Culture
7:50 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Book Review: What It Is

From her first comics published in the Evergreen State College school paper to her influential weekly comic strip, Ernie Pook's Comeek, books, novels, graphic memoirs and plays, Lynda Barry has been part of the North American alternative comics scene for thirty years. In her first book, What It Is: The Formless Thing Which Gives Things Form, Lynda Barry singlehandedly created a literary genre all her own: the graphic-memoir-how-to. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

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Arts & Culture
8:57 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Nick Schenkel Book Review - Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Seth Godin maintains that a tribe is a group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For thousands of years, humans have joined tribes: religious, ethnic, political, or even musical. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time, allowing for new tribes to emerge.In this week’s book review, West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel discusses Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, which encourages people to shake up the status quo and lead these tribes.

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Arts & Culture
7:45 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Book Review: What If?

The book takes imponderable questions and ponders them scientifically.

Each week, millions of people visit Randall Munroe’s web-comic XKCD. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. And, fans of XKCD ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. Questions you probably would never even think to ask.

Munroe’s answers are clear and witty, and paired with hilarious cartoons and infographics. From The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek through chemistry, geography and physics, Munroe leaves no stone unturned in his quest for knowledge.

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Arts & Culture
4:44 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Book Review: Goodnight iPad

A modern parody of an all-time children's classic.
Credit Matt Walton /


There are dozens of children’s books that have stood the test of time – that is to say: bedtime.

If you’ve got kids, you can probably name many of the classic works of Robert McCloskey, Dr. Seuss or Sandra Boynton.

But there are also new takes on kiddie lit, by the likes of Mo Willems and BJ Novak – many of which take on a more sardonic tone aimed both at adults and as the children they’re reading to.

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Arts & Culture
4:08 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Book Review: The Monkey's Voyage - How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life

Did monkeys cross the wide Atlantic Ocean - long ago - traveling from Africa to South America? The Monkey's Voyage suggests that yes, monkeys and other creatures did make many such journeys.  Delve into the fascinating world of bio-geography – and read why we find so many creatures distributed so widely across the varied landscapes and biomes of the world.

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