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Weyenberg Library Blog

Mar 15

A Book a Minute, Round 1

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 3:51 PM by Craig Jacobson

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What happens when you condense a book down to its barest essentials? Some of them are eminently recognizable. Others, nearly impossible to pick out. Some ultra-condensed book summaries are below.

Here’s an easy one to try: Huck goes rafting. Huck goes home.
If you guessed Huckleberry Finn, congratulations! You’re right!

Here are some other books to guess at.

Once there was a caterpillar who ate holes in stuff and turned into a butterfly.

A family’s farm is taken away. They go to California. On the way, there are calamities.

The Earth is bulldozed to make an interplanetary bypass, so always have your towel ready.

A lonely and cantankerous book store owner on a small island has his world turned upside down by two new ladies in his life.

A teddy bear thinks no one will buy him because he’s missing a button.

A captured British spy in Vichy France keeps a diary. So does her friend.

A 16-year-old boy roams around New York City for a couple of days after getting kicked out of school and shares the details of his inner thoughts about the people and situations he encounters before being sent to a sanatorium.

A story of a missing wife turns from mystery to suspense to psychological thriller as the truth comes out about both main characters.

The Bachelor and The Hunger Games made a book together.

Little rabbit says goodnight to everything.

An angel and a demon sabotage the apocalypse.

An Australian conservator analyzes an illuminated Jewish text’s history.

Two teens with cancer fall in love and go on a trip.

Summaries from: Rinkworks Book-a-Minute list, B.A.D. Girls Book Club, and Weyenberg Library staff.

Feb 27

The Amish

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 2:30 PM by Craig Jacobson

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At 6:00PM on Thursday, February 9, UW-Madison Professor Mark Louden will visit the library to discuss the lifeways, history, and beliefs of the Amish and similar religious communities.? We hope you’ll join us!? Until then, why not whet your appetite with a few books about Amish life and living?

The Amish Way.jpgThe Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World highlights Amish spiritual practices.? Authors Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, and David Weaver-Zercher discuss how Amish Christianity influences and shapes innumerable aspects of Amish life, from the technologies they use (or don’t) to how they choose their religious leaders.? Drawing on knowledge gleaned while writing their first book, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher are outsiders to the community, but well-versed in its religious customs.

Growing Up Amish.jpgIra Wagler’s Growing Up Amish: A Memoir is a firsthand look at life among the Amish.? Wagler, who was born into and ultimately left the community, chronicles his childhood in a Canadian Amish settlement and his family’s move to a different settlement in Bloomfield, Iowa.? After that move, Wagler repeatedly left and returned to his family and their traditions, until he finally and permanently broke away from them at age 22.? Growing Up Amish is a close-quarters look at everyday Amish life and the pressures faced by some of its members.

Plain Secrets.jpgFor an outsider’s account of Amish lifeways, look to Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish.? Plain Secrets focuses on the Swartzenruder Amish, a community based in Ashland County, Ohio.? The book’s author, Joe Mackall, documents the lives of his Amish neighbors, the Shetlers, over the course of three years, highlighting their customs, accomplishments, and struggles.

Any one of these books would be a great place to start for facts about Amish life and culture, with or without Professor Louden’s excellent overview.

Jan 06

Audio All-Stars, Volume 2

Posted on January 6, 2017 at 11:24 AM by Craig Jacobson

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Welcome back to round two of audio all-stars! From your daily commute, to household chores or the gym, audiobooks are a great option for people on the go. At the Frank L. Weyenberg library, you have to access to audiobooks in CD format, or as digital audiobooks through OverDrive and Hoopla. Earlier in 2016, I highlighted the talents of Jim Dale, Jayne Entwistle, George Guidall, and Julia Whelan. The following are four more recommended narrators, all with audiobooks available on CD, OverDrive, and Hoopla. If you need additional information on how to access digital audiobooks, reference staff can help you access OverDrive or Hoopla on various devices.

  • Rebecca Lowman has narrated for several best-selling authors including Jodi Picoult, Lisa Gardner, Nicholas Sparks, and Lisa Scottoline. I would suggest giving some of the lesser-known titles in Lowman’s library a try: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, City of Savages by Lee Kelly, and Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer.
  • Sunil Malhotra is a narrator who is skilled at both fiction and non-fiction works alike Readers of non-fiction should consider listening to Malhotra’s narration of Katherine Boo’s National Book Award Winner Behind the Beautiful Forevers or When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. For adult fiction, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese are great book club selections. Additionally, Malhotra jointly narrated the young adult novel Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell with Rebecca Lowman, our first featured narrator.?
  • Before he was on Downton Abbey, the actor Dan Stevens was building up a library of accomplished narration work on works such as Fall of Giants by Ken Follett and two historical fiction titles by Louisa Young: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes’ Welcome. In recent years, he has tackled the likes of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.
  • Often one voice among many, Steve West is a talented narrator who frequently collaborates on audiobook productions. He contributes to both installments of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, as well as the fantasy novel The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and the thriller The Widow by Fiona Barton. Individually, West has also narrated the Richard Jury mysteries by Martha Grimes, The Rocks by Peter Nichols, and several romance novels by Stephanie Laurens.


If you do find a narrator you like, the online card catalog, www.monarchcatalog.org, allows you to search by the narrator name, just as you would for an author. Please be sure to stop by the reference desk if you have any questions, or are looking for additional recommendations!