"I am completely smitten with the Lunch with Books patrons...who welcomed me like a long-lost cousin. It takes two to have a successful reading: an enthusiastic presenter and an engaged audience, and boy did the stars align for us." -Marie Manilla, Still Life with Plums

"Lunch With Books is an outstanding program -- one of the best in the country." -NPR Journalist Matthew Algeo, The President is a Sick Man

"With a new book in hand, I’ve visited a lot of libraries lately, and I think the Ohio County Public Library is my all-time favorite. People are kind and welcoming, and deeply appreciate a visiting writer." -Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (National Book Award)

“I wanted the book launch to be at Lunch With Books because it is the best library book program in West Virginia and because Wheeling and the Wheeling area was centrally involved in so many of the firsts in West Virginia sports.” –Bob Barnett, Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia

Next: Ripped from the Headlines, Part Deux

Next: Ripped from the Headlines, Part Deux
with Jeanne Finstein and Judi Hendrickson

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 30 Ripped from the Headlines, Part 2

Jeanne Finstein and Judi Hendrickson, of the Friends of Wheeling, will continue exploring the dark side of Wheeling's history, discussing sensational stories from our past that run the gamut from murder and mayhem to the pathetic and amusing. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 23: TWO Great Programs

First at Lunch With Books at noon: Wheeling Hospital and the Civil War

June 23, 2015

Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Margaret Brennan will explore the role of Wheeling Hospital  and the Sisters of St. Joseph in caring for wounded soldiers, both Union and Confederate.

Then at 7 PM at West Virginia Independence Hall

It's Wheeling History: The Final Four at WV Independence Hall

June 23, 2015

Event starts at 7:00 PM.

At the Historic Courtroom at West Virginia Independence Hall!


Whada’ya Know Weelunk 

Dave Barnett                                                          
Nancy Barnett                                                        
Laura Brahler                                                         
Sondra Clutter

Past Masters

Jeanne Finstein       
Kate Quinn                 
Jay Frey                                                      
Hal Gorby

The Downtowners

Don Feenerty                    
Jon-Eric Gilot          
Glenn Elliott             
Joe Roxby

3 Young Guys and an Old Guy (Wild Card)

Daniel Gatts
Ryan Finley
Mike Ramsden
Scott Holt


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tonight at 7: La Danza, Red Carpet Premier!

La Danza

Bridging Time Through Dance.

June 18, 2015--Event starts at 7:00 PM.

Join us for the premier of La Danza--Bridging Time Through Dance--a documentary film that highlights the challenges and opportunities in preserving traditional Italian dance. This short film will feature traditional dances from several regions of Italy as well as interviews with dance experts, workshops on how the dances were learned and performances featuring Allegro Dance Company. This film is sponsored in part by the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival and the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information visit www.allegrodancecompany.net.

Read the WEELUNK post.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Two Chances to Meet and Hear Dennis Frye

Dr. Joe Laker, chair of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation Board, and Dennis E. Frye, Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library on Tuesday, June 16 at noon to screen and discuss the making of as well as the history behind “Waving for Liberty and the Union,” a 13-minute introductory video for the Civil War battle flags exhibit on display at West Virginia Independence Hall Museum.  Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch and complimentary beverages are provided. Call the library at 302-232-0244 or visit the library's web site at www.ohiocountlibrary.org for more information.

and at 7 PM

On Tuesday, June 16 at 7 PM, at a special evening edition of Lunch With Books, the Ohio County Public Library will welcome Dennis E. Frye, Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Frye will discuss his Civil War book, September Suspense: Lincoln's Union in Peril.  Writer, lecturer, guide, and preservationist, Dennis is a prominent historian with numerous appearances on PBS, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and A&E. One of the nation’s leading Civil War battlefield preservationists, he is co-founder of Civil War Trust. He is also a well-known author, with 94 articles and nine books and has written for prestigious Civil War magazines such as America’s Civil War and Blue & Gray. Evening With Books programs are free and open to the public. Snacks and complimentary beverages are provided. Call the library at 302-232-0244 or visit the library's web site at www.ohiocountlibrary.org for more information.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One Week, TWO Great Programs...

First on Tuesday at noon: General Rosecrans

David Moore will discuss his book, William S Rosecrans and the Union Victory: A Civil War Biography. Rosecrans was stationed in Wheeling for a time at the Charles
Wells Russell house and designed one of the most successful battlefield ambulances used in the war. “One could argue that he is one of the very key persons in making West Virginia's independence possible,” Moore said. “If the Union army didn't occupy much of western Virginia a referendum for independence would have had little effect. Rosecrans spent a fair amount of time in Wheeling early in the war and he and his wife had their portraits painted there.”

on Facebook and OCPL Web Site.

Then on Friday at noon: The Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy

In American BrutusMichael W. Kauffman, one of the foremost Lincoln assassination authorities, takes familiar history to a deeper level, offering an unprecedented, authoritative account of the Lincoln murder conspiracy. Working from a staggering array of archival sources and new research, Kauffman sheds new light on the background and motives of John Wilkes Booth, the mechanics of his plot to topple the Union government, and the trials and fates of the conspirators.

on Facebook and OCPL web site.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

June 2 at noon: Brandon Kirk

Lunch With Books: Blood in West Virginia

June 02, 2015, Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Author Brandon Kirk will discuss his book Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield vs. McCoy, which chronicles the Lincoln County Feud, a brutal family war that occurred in the Harts Creek community during the 1880s. During its hey-day, the Lincoln County Feud commanded headlines in newspapers all over the country. Journalists hyped the Lincoln County trouble as something even more awful than the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. For the most part, while managing to chronicle some of the feud's major events, they largely missed the real story. It is only now that the true story of this once-famous West Virginia feud is told.

About the Author: Brandon Kirk

Brandon Kirk, a descendent of feudists from Lincoln County, West Virginia, is an avid scholar of Appalachian feuds and Southern violence. An assistant professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Kirk gives daily lectures on Appalachian history and has traveled to schools and colleges as a guest speaker. In addition to having written more than fifty Appalachian-themed articles for regional newspapers and books, Kirk has contributed to the PBS series West Virginia and offered expertise for participants in the History Channel series Hatfields and McCoys.

His diverse career has included working as a university library assistant at Marshall University’s Morrow Library Special Collections Department, writing for the Lincoln (WV) Independent and Lincoln (WV) Journal, researching and writing for Hartford Music, Inc., writing and reporting for the Logan (WV) Banner, and teaching advanced placement history at Logan and Lincoln County Schools. He was appointed to the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Civil War Commission by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and is a past member of the honor societies Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Alpha Theta. Kirk has appeared on The Friendly Neighbor Show, a local radio program. A close associate of the late John Hartford, Kirk co-authored the Ed Haley biography and contributed to an upcoming John Hartford documentary.

Kirk is a graduate of Marshall University where he specialized in social studies education and Appalachian and Southern history. An enthusiastic collector and compiler of oral histories, he spends his spare time researching at courthouses and archives, collecting old photographs, mapping cemeteries, and conducting field recordings of traditional Appalachian music. When he is not traveling through the American South or visiting old homes, museums, battlefields, antique stores, and music festivals, Kirk studies and preserves the culture of the Guyandotte Valley from his home in Harts, West Virginia.

People are talking about . . .BLOOD IN WEST VIRGINIA: Brumfield v. McCoy
By Brandon Ray Kirk

“When two proud families collide in the hills of West Virginia, there will be blood. Brandon Kirk’s marvelous tale of one of the bloodiest Appalachian feuds is a rip-roaring page-turner! The mountaineers in this book may at times be funny, mysterious, romantic, and deadly but they are always interesting. In Kirk’s sure hands, the reader will be transported back to the hills in an era when no judge and jury was required, just fists, knives, and gun powder. Highly recommended for anyone craving a good spirited read.”
—Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys

“This book brings a deadly story to life: As the Hatfield-McCoy Feud was finally coming to a close in the Tug Valley of West Virginia and Kentucky, another bloody vendetta was underway in nearby Lincoln County, West Virginia. Here it was Brumfields versus McCoys—and Haleys and Runyons and Adkinses and others—with results that were equally fatal. Author Brandon Kirk has done remarkable work in untangling the complex web of kinship connections linking both friends and foes, while detailing the social and economic strains of changing times in the mountains. The story he documents in these pages had lasting implications for the families and individuals involved—and, curiously, for the folk music of the region.”
—Ken Sullivan, executive director, West Virginia Humanities Council.
Editor, West Virginia Encyclopedia

Top Ten Lunch With Books Programs

Program; Presenter; Attendance; Date

1. SAENGERFEST; Eintracht German Singing Society; 200; 07-17-10

2. A Lucky Child; Auschwitz Survivor Judge Thomas Buergenthal; 198; 03-04-11

3. Fashion Show; Civil War 150; 194; 11-20-11

4. Ruanaidh; Art Rooney, Jr. and Jim O'Brien; 168; 06-15-10

5. Follow the River; James Alexander Thom; 160; 06-05-08

6. Warwood Memories; 157; 12-18-12

7. The Quiet Man Pub Reading; 150; 08-30-12

8. Wheeling Then and Now; Sean Duffy; 146; 09-07-10

9. Bloch Brother Tobacco; Stuart Bloch; 131; 04-27-10

10. Reasons to Believe; Dr. Scott Hahn; 126; 08-21-07

Book Discussion Groups

The Ohio County Public Library facilitates book discussion groups for both young adults and adults. Currently, the OCPL offers two adult groups, which meet on the first Monday and third Thursday of each month.

In addition to its own growing collection, the OCPL has access to the book discussion collection of the West Virginia Library Commission.

To join or form a book discussion group, or for more information, please call 304-232-0244.

Meeting of the Minds Philosophy Group

The Meeting of the Minds Philosophic Inquiry Forum is facilitated by David Weimer. The group meets virtually every Tuesday at 6 PM. Call the library for meeting room locations.

For more information, visit www.firstknowthyself.org/m&mphilosophy.htm or contact group organizer, David Weimer, at 740 526-0985 or by email at dwwweimer@comcast.net..