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"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

June 2: Blood in West Virginia

June 2: Blood in West Virginia
with Brandon Kirk

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



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Glenn Elliott, owner of the Professional Building (formerly City Bank Building), will discuss Wheeling of the 1890s and the optimism that fueled the construction of many of the city’s finest buildings. He will explore current preservation efforts giving buildings like his a chance for an encore performance in Wheeling's revitalization. Glenn is a Linsly graduate, an attorney, and a dedicated preservationist who believes his hometown is primed for a comeback.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Noon, Burning Down the Fireproof Hotel and at 6, The Trivia Challenge!

Lunch With Books: Burning Down the Fireproof Hotel

May 19, 2015 at noon.




Ask any Wheelingite if they know of a fireproof hotel and 10 out of 10 will declare, “The Rogers!” But while you may be familiar with the sturdy old brick structure, did you know it has inspired a life-changing, spiritual epiphany? Washington D.C. resident Cary Umhau has written a book about that journey and will share her story.









Then at 6 Pm: It's Wheeling History Trivia Challenge, Round 1

May 19, 2015


Event starts at 6:00 PM.

Get Ready for the “It’s Wheeling History” Trivia Challenge!


The Wheeling National Heritage Area, the Ohio County Public Library, West Virginia Independence Hall, and Dr. David Javersak are joining forces to present the first ever “It’s Wheeling History” Trivia Challenge.
The competition has room for twelve teams of three to four members each. Round one will feature six games on Tuesday, May 19, starting at 6 PM in the auditorium of the Ohio County Public Library. Each first round game will be limited to twenty minutes. Dr. Javersak, emeritus history professor at West Liberty University, will serve as the host for all games. Teams will choose from categories such as People, Places and Events and will accumulate points for correct answers. Team members will be permitted to consult for 30 seconds before a final answer is required. If the team answers correctly, the opponent will choose a category. If a team answers incorrectly, the opponent will be able to steal the points with the correct answer. Any ties after regulation will be settled by a sudden death lightning round. A panel of three expert judges will settle any disputes. Participants will not be permitted to access the Internet during competition.
Six teams will advance to Round Two, which will be held at the historic courthouse at West Virginia Independence Hall on Tuesday, June 23 at 7 PM. The second round will feature three games of 30 minutes in duration. The same rules will otherwise apply.
The three winning teams from round two will advance to the “It’s Wheeling History” Trivia Challenge Championship, to be held on First Friday, August 7 at 7 PM at the historic “Blue Church,” at 12th and Byron Streets in East Wheeling. The evening will feature musical entertainment, beverages, and snacks.
The Championship round will last 60 minutes and the winning team will receive the inaugural, prestigious and highly coveted, “It’s Wheeling History” Trivia Challenge Championship Cup, a traveling trophy comprised of a red antique galvanized “Dura-Zinc-Alloy” fire bucket manufactured by Wheeling Corrugating Company. Individual team members from the first, second and third place teams will also receive locally made gifts.
Team registration will be on a first come, first served basis until 12 teams are registered. The fee per person is $10.00. All registered participants will receive an “It’s Wheeling History” Trivia Challenge tee-shirt. Tee-shirts will also be available at the three competition venues for purchase. Teams can register in person at the Ohio County Public Library or online by visiting the library’s web site at www.ohiocountylibrary.org. Registration will not be considered official until the registration fee for all team members is paid in full.
Sponsors for the inaugural “It’s Wheeling History” Trivia Challenge includeDr. David A. Kappel, C.J. Kaiser, Dr.David Javersak, David H. McKinley, Dr. William Noble, the Ohio County Public Library, West Virginia Independence Hall, and the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.

Register now by clicking here!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 12: Use All the Crayons with Chris Rodell

Pittsburgh author Chris Rodell will discuss his book, Use All The Crayons! The Colorful Guide to Simple Human Happiness. This effervescent guidebook promises to combine populist common sense with a healthy dose of optimism in the hopes of teaching others how to make every day as vivacious as the brightest crayon in the box. The book includes 501 hilarious and thoughtful tips and anecdotes and 33 Colorful Day Diary essays that detail what can happen to your life when you “Use All The Crayons!”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

May 5 at noon: Victorian Trade Cards

Tony Paree will discuss his new book, Victorian Trade Cards of Wheeling, WV. The 188 page collection of full color images of vintage trade cards is a tribute to the companies and merchants that made Wheeling a thriving retail hub in the Victorian Era. Mr. Paree spent 45 years working at Crone’s men’s store in Wheeling and became a passionate collector of these interesting retail cards.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wheeling Film Society (noon) and Eric Wittenberg (7 pm)

Apr. 24 - Towngate at 7, Screening: The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985) - 82 mins. Apr. 28 - Library at Noon, Conversation: The Purple Rose of Cairo
John Whitehead

Woody Allen’s hybrid of romantic comedy and fantasy set in 1935 in a small, Depression-gripped New Jersey town, centers on Cecilia, who prefers the movies to her real life with an abusive, out—of-work husband. One of the two movies she goes to see during the film is Top Hat; the other is an equally frothy Hollywood confection, set in Egypt and Manhattan, called The Purple Rose of Cairo. Cecilia becomes unusually absorbed in this movie: one of the characters literally comes down from the screen to meet and fall in love with her, and eventually takes her back into his luminous black-and-white world of nightclubs and penthouse apartments. Allen has long maintained that this comes closest of all his films to accomplishing exactly what he’d set out to make.




And at 7 PM: People's University: The Civil War 1865 & the Lincoln Legacy

Phil Sheridan Reexamined

“Five Feet Four Will Do In a Pinch” – A Reassessment of Phil Sheridan. This class will examine the successes, failures and questionable character of General Phil Sheridan, focusing on his involvement in the closing days of the Civil War.

Instructor: Eric J. Wittenberg

Eric Wittenberg
Eric J. Wittenberg has a BA from Dickinson College and an MA and JD from the University of Pittsburgh. An attorney and Civil War historian, he is the author of 16 books and numerous articles on Civil War cavalry operations. His articles have appeared in North & South, Blue & Gray and many other journals. Eric regularly travels the country to lecture on the war, and he is frequently asked to lead Civil War battlefield tours. Battlefield preservation work is very important to him and he maintains a well-regarded blog, “Rantings of a Civil War Historian.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dick Phillips at Noon and Brian Matthew Jordan at 7

April 21 Arthur St. Clair: The Invisible Patriot 



Brigadier General Arthur St. Clair walked with the giants of the American Revolution -- Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Greene, Lafayette and others. And yet, for more than two centuries, St. Clair has been neglected by historians. Ohio Valley native Dick Phillips has written a new book to address this unfortunate omission.

Then at 7 PM


Brian Matthew Jordan

People's University, The Civil War 1865 and the Lincoln legacy--Veterans After the War

On Tuesday, April 21 at 7 PM, the People's University, the Civil War 1865 and the Lincoln Legacy at the Ohio County Public Library will present, Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty – Veterans After the War. A look at how Civil War veterans struggled to readjust to life after the war, having to face the realization that they stood as unwelcome reminders to an America eager to heal and forget. Instructor Brian Matthew Jordan is the author of Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War (2015). He holds a PhD in history from Yale University and is lecturer of Civil War Era studies at Gettysburg College. He lives with his wife in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a stone’s throw from the battlefield. People's University programs are free and open to the public. 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.




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..