Nick Schenkel Book Reviews

The Eclectic tells the story of an iconic Hoosier of his time, Dr. Wallace Wheat, the “herb doctor of the Wabash Valley” who utilized the pharmaceutical powers found in medicinal herbs, focusing on allaying pain and building stronger bodies with natural materials that were ready to hand, techniques and medicines in sharp contrast to the often crude and painful remedies popular among physicians at the time. Hoosier author Laura Clavio’s fictionalized story of Dr.

The ghost of Christmas future as written by Charles Dickens to the Nativity story told by Luke; Clement Clarke Moore’s “Night Before Christmas” to the culinary delights of Mrs. Beeton’s “One Shilling Cookbook”.  O’Henry’s sly “Gift of the Magi” to Sherlock Holmes’ “The Adventure of Blue Carbuncle” – they're all here for you to enjoy in this delightful holiday collection!


Nov 22, 2013

Religious vs. Secular.  Urban vs. Rural.  Orhan Pamuk delves into the differences that set the current Turkish cultural scene and that resonate with many of us in the States as well.

Author Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American modernity grew out of the flat prairie land next to Lake Michigan." - Chicago

Chasing Francis is the peripatetic story of Chase Falson, a minister whose strong faith in a comprehensible God is shredded by a tragedy within the mega-church his sweat, words and tears built. Told in sensitive prose, we experience Chase’s search for God as if we were there walking with him as he travels Italy in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, a man from 800 years ago who’s own search for God led to a stirring refreshment of Medieval Christendom’s  faith.

This color jammed Doring Kindersly book takes up the gauntlet long ago thrown down by the folks at “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”, presenting us with an image rich look at the strange, the odd, the fascinating  world around us. From the depths of space to the deeps of the ocean, from the high mountains to the deep valleys, densely populated modern world to the prehistoric earth of yesteryear, the range is wide and full of surprising comparisons to delight readers of all ages.

It’s a warm summer in 1812 as our story opens in the wooded environs of Fort Wayne, Territorial Indiana.  Our story alternates between James, the American and Anikwa, the Miami Indian, their friendship founded on the like interests of two young men living on the edge of the new American civilization, more familiar with the woods that surround them than with the brewing war between the new American nation and the British Empire and their Native American allies that inevitably reaches their wooded outpost.  Helen Frost presents a riveting story where tensions slowly build between these soon-t

This translation of "The Arabian Nights" is the complete text of the Mahdi edition, said to be the definitive Arabic edition of a fourteenth-century manuscript, which is the oldest surviving version of the tales and considered to be the most authentic.

The newest book by Eldon Ham "All The Babe's Men: Baseball's Greatest Home Run Seasons and How They Changed America"

Thread the icy waterways with this Bradt travel guide of The Northwest Passage: Atlantic to Pacific: A Portrait and Guide.  Adventurous travelers will grab the chance, and this book, when they see the spectacular Canadian archipelago in a way 16th century mariners could only dream about.

A local pharmacist is so taken with the early 1960's hit song "Love Potion Number 9" that he develops a “good for what ails ya” tonic t to capitalize on both the song’s popularity and the tonic’s reputed romantic results with hilarious success. Love Potion No. 10 is quiet fiction that sings.

This is the latest 'novel' by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.  Unlike his most recent books, "A Manuscript Found in Accra" follows the pattern of one of his earlier works and is a collection of wisdom sayings and sage advice around various life topics.

This is the story of our nation’s earliest tornado chasers – from the day Benjamin Franklin whacked his riding crop at a whirlwind he chased into a Maryland woodland to the storm watchers of WW II, meet up with early proto-scientists and awe-struck adrenalin junkies who back in the day didn’t have motor cars to drive nor much scientific knowledge to explain the violent weather they chased.  But  they were as awed by the power of rampaging nature as those who travel with storms today.  This is quite a story!

Boasting 25,000 entries and more than 8,000 illustrations, the serendipity of discovery beckons on every page! Publisher’s Weekly calls the book “… a wonder to behold...” and I think you'll agree.

Lead character Paul Jacobson is an 80 year old with a daily short term memory challenges but he's one heck of a retired investigator! A thoughtful plot, appealing characters, and most importantly in my mind, an honest look at the travails and joys of old age today make this latest entry in the new genre of "Geezer Lit" worth your reading time.