Wednesday, March 23, 2022

by Joanne Mengel

National Agriculture Week is March 20-26, and what better way for a library to participate than to highlight Wisconsin author Jerry Apps?

He was born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, and, not only did he excel at farming for many years, he also managed to write over 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life.  I was fortunate enough to meet Jerry at a library convention several years ago and enjoyed chatting with him. Having a farm background myself, we shared a few childhood experiences and a few chuckles as well.

Jerry Apps has won multiple awards for his writing but has also excelled in the academic world. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Science, was named a Fellow by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters in 2012, and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.To learn more about this very interesting author visit his website

The Fond du Lac Public Library owns many of Jerry Apps books and I selected a few of my favorites for you. The first group are nonfiction titles that delve into the hardships and struggles of the family farm. These typically are true stories told with a little humor thrown in. The second group I selected are fiction titles Jerry wrote based on farm life. I enjoyed reading them all and hope you do too!

 Country ways and country days : from weathervanes and tractors to auctions and outhouses--remembering rural life (630.9775 Ap65c)

 Humor from the country (630.9775 Apps 2006)

 Living a country year : wit and wisdom from the good old days (630.9775 Ap65L)

 Never curse the rain : a farm boy's reflections on water (630.9775 Apps 2017)

 Old farm : a history (630.9775 Apps 2008)

 The quiet season : remembering country winters (630.9775 Apps 2013)

 Simple things : lessons from the family farm (630.9775 Apps 2018)


Jerry Apps novels you might enjoy

 Cranberry red : a novel

 Blue Shadows Farm : a novel

 In a pickle : a family farm story

 Letters from Hillside Farm

 Settlers valley

Joanne Mengel works in the FDL Public Library Reference department.