Hello everyone, hope you are enjoying the post-Xmas, pre-New Year period as I am.

A few items of interest:

An 80-strong Amish furniture wholesaler’s association is opening a showroom in Shipshewana, Indiana, further evidence suggesting increased small-business activity in the 3rd-largest Amish settlement.

“We’re trying to take it to the next level,” says an Amishman quoted in the story (at http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20091228/BIZ/312289935/1031/BIZ), explaining that the growth in furniture-making is part of an entrepreneurial trend going back a decade, and in fact predates more recent economic troubles in the region.

At the Weekly Standard, author and mystery buff Joe Queenan describes his discovery of Amish mysteries written by Ohio native PL Gaus.

When it comes to Amish fiction, female authors are the order of the day, so it is interesting to see contributions from the less-fair sex (former Amishman Jerry Eicher is another noteworthy male author, primarily of Amish-themed romance).

While Queenan contends that Gaus falls short of greatness, he admits that “the fact that these mysteries take place in the Amish hinterland of Ohio confers upon them an aura of congenial weirdness no other mystery writer I know of can approach.”  Thanks to the Spokesrider for the heads-up on this article.

And staying in the realm of books, retired history teacher and Aylmer, Ontario native Kirk Barons informs me of a new one he has written on the Amish of his region.

The Aylmer Amish community is the home of Pathway Publishing, the Amish Historical Library, as well as David Luthy, a historian and convert to the Amish who is frequently cited on this blog.  For those interested in ordering the book, the cost is $5 and you can email Kirk at baronsk@amtelecom.net.

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