Welcome to the Stories from the Land book club

Thank you for visiting a new kind of book club — one that is open to everyone no matter where you live.  This is an online meeting place and here’s how the virtual book club works. 

You buy a copy of the featured book—see below for how to do that—or borrow a copy from your library.  Then, over a period of six weeks, you read the book, and make comments or ask questions. You can post your comments and questions at the bottom of the book club page. This new book club is called Stories From the Land, and features Jerry’s seven novels.

Jerry will respond to your questions and comments, that are posted on this website, as well as ask additional questions (see the questions below to get you started) as the reading period continues. You don’t even have to sign up.  Merely begin reading the book, and post your comments and questions on this website for all members of the book club to see.

The first book for the book club is The Travels of Increase Joseph.  Here’s a little of what the book is about: Inspired by actual events that took place in upstate New York and Wisconsin in the mid-nineteenth century, The Travels of Increase Joseph is the first in Jerry Apps’s series set in fictional Ames County, Wisconsin

This first meeting of the book club is February 1 and continues to March 15. 
The Travels of Increase Joseph podcast

The Travels of Increase Joseph: Study Guide Questions

  1. How would you compare the challenges that Pastor Increase Joseph and his followers faced when they arrived in the “wilds” of central Wisconsin with the challenges other settlers from New England faced when they arrived in Wisconsin?
  2. Increase Joseph’s message was a concern for the land—the need to respect and care for it.  How successful was Increase Joseph in having farmers of the day follow his advice?
  3. To what extent does Increase Joseph’s message, preached in the 1800s, have application today?  Who are the Increase Joseph’s of the 2000s?
  4.  How would you compare Increase Joseph’s Standalone religion with today’s religions?
  5. To what extent does the “Restorative Tonic,” add or take away from Increase Joseph’s motto—THE LAND COMES FIRST?
  6. The Travels of Increase Joseph is a novel. It is a story. Most of the characters, and of course the story itself, is fiction.  The historical events, dates and several places are as accurate as I could make them.   What role can a story play in alerting people to issues and challenges in far greater depth, than “traditional” news sources can provide?
  7. What lingering questions and comments do you have after reading the book?

Here is what one reviewer wrote: The Travels Of Increase Joseph by Jerry Apps is a superbly crafted historical novel of a pioneer preacher who came to the wildlands of Wisconsin in 1852 with his small gathering of followers, the Standalone Fellowship. Supporting the Fellowship by selling his special curative tonic, and delivering oratory and with powerful messages that are nothing short of spellbinding, Joseph Link dared to speak out as he journeyed and his words and ideas made an impression that stayed. The Travels Of Increase Joseph is a most thoughtful and wonderfully entertaining read. Jerry Apps writes with vibrant character and has a penchant for making Wisconsin history come alive. Midwest Book Review.

Buy the book from your local bookstores, online, or from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, WI (Book sales are a fundraiser for the Library Friends). The Patterson phone is 920-622-3835. Email = barnard@wildroselibrary.org.

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