Friday, May 2, 2014

A Book Review of The Williams Guide to Amish Country by Kevin Williams

Kevin Williams has authored the definitive guide to touring Amish communities in America.  Kevin bills his book as containing over 50 day trips, overnight, and long weekend adventures in Plain America.  The book is set up in alphabetical order by state, with each Amish community getting attention.  Kevin tells of his favorite bakeries, restaurants, bulk stores, specialty shops, motels, variety stores, grocery stores, Amish furniture stores, road side produce stands, and more.

The Guide indicates what type of Amish or Mennonite community – Swartzentruber, Old Order, New Order, and Beachy – will be found within each area.  It also gives important history and background information to help travelers understand the backstory of each different Amish community.  The book gives context to the area and type of Amish community.

Kevin has a lot of detail in this Guide to help tourists find the best places to visit.  His descriptive writing will make you crave mouth-watering, hot, fresh, homemade glazed donuts.  Or how about Kevin’s product portrayal of Amish-owned Country Lane Bakery in Middlebury, Indiana, “whole-grain yeast breads, caramel slathered cinnamon rolls (iced to order), and 3 dozen pie varieties for custom order. A selection of whoopee pies also are customer favorites.”  The Guide includes addresses and phone numbers (where available) for all the businesses mentioned in the Guide to make it easy for readers to find and contact them.

The back of the book is devoted to the places and dates of Mennonite Relief Sales and Amish auctions and suppers.  As Kevin writes, “For a genuine cultural experience, we love attending Amish auctions!  First of all, it’s a time when non-Amish and Amish alike mix and mingle to pursue a common cause.”  These relief sales, auctions, and suppers are a fun way to spend a day with Plain people, enjoying their home made treats and foods while perhaps buying hand-made crafts, quilts, or furniture.

This book is packed with information about the Amish.  Readers will be rewarded with the years of experience that Kevin has had traveling among the many Amish communities throughout the United States and Canada.  His personal knowledge enriches this travel guide and paves the way for readers to create unforgettable trips of their own.   Additionally, Kevin suggests close by attractions worth visiting to supplement a trip to Amish country.

You don’t need to be a traveler to appreciate The Williams Guide to Amish Country.  Readers who aren’t inclined to travel may find this book an excellent arm chair guide to mentally take them on a tour of Amish settlements, stores, bakeries, and workshops without even leaving their living room.  All of Kevin’s added stories and interesting asides make this a must have guide for all who are fascinated by and admire the Amish.  The Williams Guide to Amish Country can be ordered from and Kevin may also offer it on his website

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