Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Book Review: What Set Me Free

Jun 19, 2020

Brian Banks is a former NFL Linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. He could easily be an overlooked player, but he has a story like no one else. Banks was an unfortunate victim of falsely accused rape as a black man. The odds were against him. What Set Me Free shares this autobiographical story of how he was able to handle this false accusation and a six year prison sentence that crushed his dreams. West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review.

See You in the Piazza

Jun 12, 2020

The country of Italy has been facing plenty of sad news recently, but West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel reminds us of the beauty of Italy through his review of See You at the Piazza. Author Frances Mayes takes  readers on a journey through the hidden secrets of one of the most visually and culturally appealing countries in the world.

Book Review: The American Story

Jun 5, 2020

At a time that seems so significant in our American history, perhaps it is good to see the path that led us here. The American Story is a collection of dialogues with some of the best U.S. historians. The professional interviewer David Rubenstein leads these discussions, capturing fresh insight on pivotal moments in the story of America. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review. 

Book Review: The Expectations

May 29, 2020

 Life has plenty of expectations. In our teenage years, these expectations can build pressure, ego, frustration, and plenty of other feelings. Expectations by Alexander Tilney is an exploration of this theme.

Jason Bell / Opus 3 Artists

We have something truly special to offer you for Memorial Day weekend. In memory of those we have lost during the pandemic and in honor of those who are on the front lines of this global struggle, WGBH and PRX are thrilled to present a LIVE broadcast by Yo-Yo Ma.

The 2.5-hour program will be performed live in the WGBH studios. Yo-Yo Ma will treat audiences to the six Bach Suites for unaccompanied cello. Tune in Sunday at 3 PM on WBAA Classical on 101.3 FM and

Book Review: The Mechanical Horse

May 22, 2020

There are many names for the bicycle: Bike, cycle, two-wheeler, Bichael (its full name given by the internet), the penny farthing, etc. This fascinating nonfiction book uses the nickname The Mechanical Horse. West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review.

Book Review: The Wives

May 15, 2020

Monogamy is a practice observed by many, but not all, relationships. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is a fictional thriller that takes a polygamous relationship down a path of mystery and drama. The woman narrating the story is a wife to a husband with two other wives she has never met.

After purposely bumping into one of her husband's other wives, our protagonist finds that her husband may be an abuser, and hiding more secrets than she believed. West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review.

In her introduction to Tbe Best American Short Stories 2018,  writer Roxanne Gay says, "I am looking for the artful way any given story is conveyed, but I also love when a story has a powerful message, when a story teaches me something about the world." This famous collection of short stories has famous literary icon Roxanne Gay take the wheel, with stories that do indeed convey powerful, important messages. West Lafayette Library Public Director Nick Schenkel has the review.

Book Review: How To

May 6, 2020

Science can answer many questions about our natural world, but can it solve some of our mundane problems? Problems such as moving, trying to charge your phone, taking a selfie, and other human foils of this day and age?

The book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems gives unexpected scientific answers to these questions and more. West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel is back with another review from his own home.

Book Review: The Pianist from Syria

Apr 24, 2020

Perhaps we could all use a story of hope in these times. The Pianist From Syria is a story like no other that shows the power of human potential. It's the true memoir of a Syrian man growing up in his war-torn country. Music is his escape, and carries him through a life longing for peace. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review. 

Book Review: Call Upon the Water

Apr 17, 2020

Working for an engineering university, we are more than aware of the steretoypical engineer lacking romanticism. Breaking these stereotypes, Call Upon the Water is one of the few novels that tells a beautiful story of romance with an engineer as its protagonist. And don't worry there aren't any corny mathematics pick-up lines in its pages. West Lafayette Libaray Director Nick Schenkel has the review. 

P.S. The derivative of my love for you is 0, because my love for you is constant 

Book Review: Slime

Apr 10, 2020

When you happen to see algae in your daily life are you one to say "yuck!" at its appearance? Well, after reading this book you might be inclined to say "thanks" or "don't hurt me." The book Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us by Ruth Kassinger gives complex insight into a seemingly simple organism. West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel is back again with another review from his own home.

Book Review: Let's Make Ramen!

Mar 27, 2020

Rain or shine or pandemic, no matter, West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel is back with another book review recorded from his own home! Are you in need of some comfort food in these strange times? Let's Make Ramen! A Comic Book Cookbook gives a comedic take on a classic food that you may already have stocked in your pantry. Nick Schenkel has the review.

Suzanne Bona has launched a new short-term series on the Sunday Baroque blog: “Beautiful Music in Difficult Times”. She is posting a daily musical selection on the website and Facebook page as a means of social connection to counter the necessary social distancing we are all practicing. Click here for more:

What is love? What is masculinity? What is IKEA? These are the questions husbands face when raising a son, and these are the main topics of the non-fiction book Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman. The book offers life advice for Backman’s son, but the lessons shared are universal to anyone who is still growing up. West Lafayette Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review.