New Books

   Village Books and Gifts, the gift shop at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) is seeing an increase in traffic these days. No doubt this has something to do with the rapidly decreasing number of shopping days left before Christmas and the fact that Village Books and Gifts has a lot of specialty gifts not carried by most other stores.

   As the name would suggest, books are an area of specialty for this store. Our book section focuses on Mennonite History, cook books, novels by Mennonite and other local authors, and a few children’s books.

   One of the more recent arrivals in the store is The Outsiders’ Gaze compiled and edited by Jacob E. Peters, Adolf Ens and Eleanor Chornoboy, and published by the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society. Most of what has been published about Mennonite life and culture has been written by “insiders.” The introduction to this book states “The material in this volume was deliberately chosen to present ‘the other side.’ Some of the selections are taken from government reports (Down, St. George, Locke); others from larger studios (Dawson, Shortt and Doughty, McLaren); still others from churchmen of other denominations (Bitsche, Woodsworth); and some from travelogue accounts (van Dyke, Rae, Barneby, Kropotkin, Hayward).”

   Laura Reeves’ Guide to Useful Plants has also recently been added to the book shelf. The back cover of this volume states, “What hoary puccoon is and how you can make beautiful dye from its roots? How wild bergamot will be your best friend during cold and flu season? Why cattail could save your life in a survival situation? How to make your own delicious maple syrup?”

   Learn all of this and more when you take a walk on the wild edible side with botanist and forager extraordinaire, Laura Reeves. Through her expert knowledge and enlightening anecdotes reaching all the way back to her childhood, Laura will bring you up to speed on identifying, sustainably harvesting and skillfully preparing over 65 of the most intriguing wild plants and mushrooms of the northern prairie and boreal forest – from acorns to zoomsticks!”

   In For the Children: Pursuing Religious and Political Freedoms Melvin D. Epp begins story-telling with the experiences of his ancestors Peter and Agnethe Epp who resided in West Prussia in the mid-1800s. Over time they migrate to Russia and then to North America in an effort to escape oppressive governments. The Introduction states “We can only speculate on what we would be today if Grandfather-and Great-Grandparents-had gone another way. Would we be in Siberia? Paraguay? Or Canada? Or non-existent? … Would we have faith?” No doubt many people with similar backgrounds have asked similar questions.

   In addition to these and many other interesting books, Village Books and Gifts has a selection of vintage style toys, Crokinole boards, wooden clothes dryers and many other unique gift ideas. Drop in and check it out.

About the Author

Gary is responsible for the overall management of MHV. Guiding the staff, informing the board, and networking with officials, volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual donors and other guests. He has a business diploma and a MA in Global Studies from Providence Theological Seminary. With his family he did humanitarian work for 18 years in Asia, including being a CEO of a Compost Enterprise in China. He loves to discuss the Mennonite story and how it is relevant in our world. Learn more about the MHV. is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.