The original category was published from February 21, 2013 3:37 PM to March 5, 2013 8:31 AM

Feb 27

[ARCHIVED] The Amish

The original item was published from February 27, 2017 2:28 PM to February 27, 2017 2:30 PM

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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: 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.

Ira 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.

For 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

[ARCHIVED] Audio All-Stars, Volume 2

The original item was published from January 6, 2017 11:23 AM to January 6, 2017 11:24 AM

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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!

Sep 08

[ARCHIVED] Stranger Reads

The original item was published from September 8, 2016 1:23 PM to September 8, 2016 1:23 PM

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Perhaps you've already binge-watched Stranger Things, the 1980s nostalgia horror series. Perhaps it's still sitting in your Netflix queue. (Or maybe you've just listened to others endlessly rave about how good it is and been annoyed by the Stranger Things meme showing up everywhere). Whether you're looking to relish the show's deliciously creepy atmosphere a little longer or do a little advance reading, here are some fantastic books and shows to consider.

Blog_KingCovers.pngStephen King is unquestionably one of Stranger Things' biggest influences: lurking monsters behind a small town's peaceful fa?ade traumatizing children and government goons toying with forces beyond their control are all hallmarks of classic Stephen King novels. Many of King's titles pair well with the TV series, but Itand Firestarter are two that complement it particularly well.

13-year-old Conor wakes up one night to a monster outside his window, though it's not the one he's seen in nightmares. It offers a trade: a story for a story, but the story it wants from Conor isn't a story Conor's sure he's prepared to tell. Both humorous and eerie, A Monster Callswrestles with questions of life and death. And it comes with a perk: you'll have read the book before the movie comes out this October.

WaywardPines.jpgIf you'd rather turn off the lights and watch a creepy story unfold, try picking up Twin Peaks, in which an FBI agent and a sheriff try to track down a murderer in the quiet town of Twin Peaks. Their investigation creates more questions than it answers as the pair realize that Twin Peaks has more secrets beneath its surface than a simple murder mystery.? You might also enjoy Wayward Pines, on which the Duffer brothers also worked. After a car crash, U.S. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke wakes to find one agent dead and the other happily settled in the small town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. Although the town first appears idyllic, Burke is unable to contact the outside world and finds that the town is contained by an electric fence – and any attempts to escape are punishable by death. Burke sets out to uncover the forces at work behind the mysterious town.

PaperGirls.jpgIf the trio of Mike, Lucas, and Dustin searching for their lost friend have captured your heart, pick up Paper Girls: in the wee hours after Halloween, four newspaper delivery girls out on their morning routes get more than they bargained for. Lights in the sky, strange men in masks, and missing townspeople have them out of their depth, but the Paper Girls are as determined to defend their homes as they are to defend their jobs. You could also re-watch The Goonies, in which a group of kids go chasing after treasure and encounter a band of outlaws.

If Nancy, Barb, and Steve have caught your attention, try Eleanor and Park, the story of two high school misfits brought together by music. They fall for each other despite knowing that first love almost never works – but they can't help but try. (For a truly immersive reading experience, Rainbow Rowell also provides a full playlist of all the music on her website.)

Ready Player ONe.jpgAnd if you're looking for another heavy dose of '80s geek nostalgia, but without the dark setting, try Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. In the near future, the real world is a bleak place – which is why most people spend their time in the OASIS, an online universe full of everything from normal schools to whole worlds inspired by Bladerunner or Dungeons & Dragons. The world's creator has left behind 3 keys and a series of puzzles hidden inside the OASIS and the first person to find them all will inherit the vast fortune he left behind. But when Wade Watts finds the first key, he finds that some of his competitors will stop at nothing to win this virtual game – including real life murder.

Still not enough? Drop by FLW this week to check out our Stranger Reads display!

It and Firestarter cover art from http://jimtierneyart.com/1_king.php
All other images courtesy of Easicat.