Friday, March 17, 2017

Renegade Amish Beard Cutting, Hate Crimes, and the Trial of the Bergholz Barbers

By Donald B. Kraybill

A very detailed, descriptive account of the Bergholz community and the trial of the people involved in what came to be known as hate crimes against their own Amish people. Kraybill details the Amish-on-Amish beard and hair cutting attacks, the perceived impetus behind them, the changes within the Bergholz community, and the actions of other Amish communities in response to changes in Bergholz. Kraybill follows with complete details of the trial from both the prosecution and the defense teams. He researched and interviewed many people for this book and does an excellent job documenting the events, his findings, and the legal proceedings.

The use of legal system vocabulary makes this more difficult to read than Johnny Mast’s Break Away Amish Growing Up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters but is a great complement to Mast’s book. Between the two books, one can gain an understanding of how Bergholz operated, how the crimes originated, and how people were transformed through the teachings of their Bishop.

~ Miss Deb

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Break Away Amish Growing Up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters

By Johnny Mast

This book, written from the perspective of the grandson of the Bishop in charge of the Bergholz community, details Bergholz turning from a loving, Amish community to an isolated, cult-like community. The grandson explains how he saw small changes enacted Bishop Sam Mullet escalate to bigger changes. When he witnessed some stark situations that shook him to the core, he realized just how far “across the line” the community had travelled.

Johnny Mast’s willingness to testify against family members and loved ones in court attests to his own emotional compass. The actions of the community were comparable to that of hate crimes in society. Knowing the Amish steer away from traditional courts and law enforced punishment, it was intriguing to read how the group had to answer for their crimes. This was an educational and enlightening read. It was much easier to read and understand than Renegade Amish by Donald B. Kraybill.

~ Miss Deb

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir

By Saloma Miller Furlong

Having been acquainted with a few people who have left the Amish, this title piqued my interest. I had read a brief review that this author had made in another Amish-related book and read with interest of her family struggles, ties, and relationships.

This author relays the reasons she found it necessary to leave home. Despite being Amish, her reasons seem to mimic those of other “runaways”: family members, rules, expectations, dysfunction, illness, abuse, and dynamics. The desire for freedom and education forced Saloma to explore the world. The call to come “home” for her father’s funeral created a flood of memories, thoughts, and emotions. The reader can appreciate the detailed discussion of societal norms prevalent with the Amish from this particular church community. The book seems to stop too soon though—perhaps leading to the other work: Bonnet Strings.

~ Miss Deb

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bonnet Strings

 By Saloma Miller Furlong

This memoir of a former Amish woman wan an interesting read.  I especially enjoyed the references to places currently and formerly around the Burton, Ohio area.  It explains many customs of the Amish in the area pertaining to hair, dress, behavior, and shunning.  It is a story of true love, home influences and how maturity allows one to make different decisions. It was quick, enjoyable read that was a great follow up to another of Furlong’s works:  Why I Left the Amish:  A Memoir.

~ Miss Deb

Eliminate Chaos

By Laura Leist

The fun part of this book was having before and after pictures for each area of the home to address. Only want to address how to organize the garage?  Read only that chapter. Want to organize the kitchen?  Read only that chapter.  This book uses the same 10 steps to address several different areas of the home. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining those strategies that work for the individual reader.  Like other home organizing books, the reader should take away those tips that work for them.  Some ideas are easy to implement, others a bit more difficult.

~ Miss Deb


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Wonder

By Emma Donoghue
Audiobook format

Lib Wright is a nurse that receives an unusual assignment. She is to travel from England to Ireland to watch an eleven year old girl who claims to have not eaten since her birthday four months earlier. Lib is very skeptical for obvious reasons; people cannot survive without food for four months. During her stay with Anna O’Donnell she discovers many secrets. An expected discovery is that Anna is dying a very slow death.

Give this compelling book a listen (or read) and discover if Anna survives her four month fast and what could possibly make her decide to stop eating.

~Beckie H.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Turn of Mind

By Alice LaPlante

64 year-old Jennifer White is a widow, a former acclaimed hand surgeon, and Alzheimer victim. We witness her decline first-hand through Jennifer's own experiences. When someone murders Jennifer's best friend, 75-year-old Amanda, who lives three doors down, suspicion falls on Jennifer because the killer surgically removed four fingers from Amanda's hand.

Jennifer herself has no idea whether or not she has committed this heinous crime. We watch on the edge of our seats as Jennifer moves from one uncomfortable situation to the next, with a sense of entitlement, confusion, and sometimes humor.

This is the first literary mystery by Alice LaPlante.

~ Paula

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tying the Knot

By Elizabeth Craig

It’s so great that Burton Library has been a part of the CLEVNET consortium all these years because I can get books by authors that Burton does not own. Tying the Knot by Elizabeth Craig is one of these books and the fifth Southern Quilting Mystery Series. Two of the reasons I started reading these mysteries is the connection with quilting and a Corgi named Noo-noo in each of the books (I quilt and own a Corgi). I really enjoy the way Elizabeth weaves the story and keeps you guessing till the end.

Since Beatrice moved to Dappled Hills a few years ago to be closer to her daughter some murders have occurred. Beatrice often finds the body and has an uncontrollable impulse to find the culprit. She is great friends with her neighbor who happens to be married to the chief of police (very helpful in solving mysteries). In this book the sister of her “boyfriend” and pastor Wyatt is getting married. The murder happens during the reception and goes un-noticed till after the party is over. If you enjoy soft mysteries, you’ll enjoy this author; you might want to start with the first book Quilt or Innocence, they were all great.

~ Beckie

Turbo Twenty-Three

By Janet Evanovich
Audiobook format

I love listening to Lorelei King read Janet Evanovich’s books! This woman is so great at creating distinct voices for each character. And Janet is so great at producing mysteries that have you laughing out loud. The two of them together make any trip in the car shorter and a whole lot more fun. In this story, Stephanie Plum (bail bondswoman) and Lula (her sidekick, co-worker and former ho) are looking for Larry Virgil (FTA) to reschedule his court date. When they find him, he is driving a stolen ice cream truck and discovered in the back is a man frozen solid, covered in chocolate and chopped pecans. If you are a Stephanie Plum fan you will not be disappointed is the latest saga of her life, all your favorites are included: Joe Morelli (her almost fiancĂ©), Ranger (her extremely desirable mentor and occasional lover) and Grandma Mazur. I don’t think blogs should retell the entire story so you’ll have to take my word for it that this is another great one!

~ Beckie H.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Skeleton Tree

By Iain Lawrence

Chris is 12 years old and his Uncle Jack asks him to go on a sailing trip with him. His mom reluctantly lets him go. When Chris boards the boat there is another boy on board, Frank, a little older than he is. They are busy right away getting ready to travel and Uncle Jack says he will introduce them properly the next day, when they have more time. Before tomorrow comes, the boat sinks and Chris and Frank are the only survivors. They find themselves alone on a beach with nothing to help them survive. Frank is clearly the stronger of the two and shows his distain for Chris by bullying him constantly. Chris spends more time with a friendly raven that Frank hates and is clearly afraid of. Chris is persistent in trying to find out why Frank is so unhappy. Eventually they discover an unbelievable bond that explains Frank’s hostile behavior. They realize quickly that they have to work together to survive and last long enough for help to come.

~ Dixie

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Movie Reviews

God’s Not Dead 2
When high school teacher, Grace Wesley, is asked a question in class about Jesus, her response lands her suspended and in the courtroom.

I liked this movie, something like this could definitely happen these days.


Alice through the Looking Glass 
Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to help the Mad Hatter.

I enjoyed this movie, I like going back and seeing how some characters are doing and what’s been resolved.


Ghostbusters (2016)
Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbery and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.
It was cool to see the female version of a classic male movie.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

When Mischief Came to Town

By Katrina Nannestad
Children's Book

After her mother passes, Inge Maria moves in with an elderly grandmother she does not know. She enrolls in a new school and meets a variety of people in the new town. Wherever she goes, mischief seems to follow. Inge Maria has a creative sense of humor and offers reasons for the occurring events. Inge Maria helps take care of an injured animal and meets another child who is also orphaned. She is touched when Grandmother shares what little they have with both. She finds acceptance and unconditional love with Grandmother and learns the importance of compassion, friends, and family relationships.

~ Miss Deb

Some Boys

By Patty Blount
YA Book

Grace is raped by the star athlete in school that everyone loves. She is ridiculed and mocked by many as the truth is revealed. Despite many options, Grace faces everyone at school and lives the mantra “what is right is not always popular, what is popular is not always right. She is a survivor.

This book certainly makes one think about how one would respond if your best is accused of rape and how to treat others who have been raped. Readers will find themselves torn between various versions of the event. It is very realistic in dialogue, delivery, and situation and wraps up nicely in the end.

~ Miss Deb

Monday, December 19, 2016

Empire of Storms (#5 Throne of Glass series)

By Sarah J. Maas

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mozza at Home: More than 150 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes

By Nancy Silverton

Now, in Mozza at Home, Nancy shares her renewed passion and provides nineteen menus packed with easy-to-follow recipes that can be prepared in advance (with no fancy restaurant equipment needed!) and are perfect for entertaining. Organized by meal, each menu provides a main dish along with a complementary selection of appetizers and side dishes. 

Under Nancy's guidance you can mix and match all the options depending on the size of your gathering. Make a few sides for a small dinner party with friends, or make them all for a delicious family feast! And don’t forget dessert there’s an entire chapter dedicated to end-of-meal treats such as Devil's Food Rings with Spiced White Mountain Frosting and Dario's Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Pine Nuts that can be prepared hours before serving so that the host gets to relax during the event too.