Growing Up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler - A review

I listen to audible books at work, as well as read traditionally at home. One of my recent Audible purchases was Growing up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler which you can find on Amazon (just click the Amazon banner on the right hand side of my page and give it a click then search the title). In short, I say get a copy of the book, it's well worth the read... and if reading isn't your thing, give the Audible book a go the narrator is great!

I've always been curious as to the Amish way of life due to the fact we have a healthy population of them (and other Anabaptist groups) here in Indiana and you'll regularly see them at the Zoo as well as around the towns surrounding Indianapolis. I even buy cheese and apple butter from them regularly but never really talk to them past doing business. This book gave me an adequate look into the Amish way of life.

I'll note that the book is not a look at a typical Amish life as Ira was one that moderately questioned the lifestyle and left the community a handful of times (read about that better in the book, I don't want to say why and what not... READ THE BOOK silly people). This however in itself is an interesting thing. You see raw emotion in this book, the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, you get to see a boy become a man and question the world he knows. You also see a man who still highly respects his family and the culture he came from, never portraying them in a bad light but simply telling it how it is.

My only complaint with the book is it has left me wanting to know more about Ira's post Amish life, although he does have a blog at which let me do just that! Check the book out!



Amish Money Secrets

I just saw this article on Vanguard, it's a good read and worth further investigation. Here is the quote that caught my eye skimming it...

  • First, there's Amos Miller, a 45-year-old Amish farmer, who managed to save $400,000 for a down payment on a farm. Amos and his wife Fern managed to save that much while raising their family—of 14 children.      
  • Next, consider the experience of Bill O'Brien, a local banker who has issued $225 million in loans (mainly for real estate purchases) to Amish families over a 20-year career. How many of these loans have resulted in a loss for the bank? Zero. And he can count on one hand the number of Amish borrowers who have ever asked him for a loan extension or modification.

Read more HERE and check out the book Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving