"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: Did you know Wheeling had a Coney Island?

Next: Did you know Wheeling had a Coney Island?
Find out more at Lunch With Books.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

September 01, 2015: Wheeling's Coney Island

Lunch With Books. Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Ever hear of Wheeling's Coney Island?

Once upon a time, there was an amusement park on the largest of the Sisters Islands just south of the Pike Island Dam. The island was called Coney Island by locals, and on its opening day, 6,000 people arrived by steamboat and pontoon bridge. There they enjoyed rides, a dance pavilion, a picnic area, a swimming beach with lights for night swimming, and even an ostrich farm.

The park was busy and popular and was the site of operas, circuses, and the Saengerfest. Unions often rented the park for a whole day. The park was damaged by floods in 1906 and $100,000 worth of renovations were done for the 1907 season.
What happened to the park? Find out from Kathleen Quinn at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library​ on Sept 1 at noon.
 1888 image, OCPL Archives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lunch With Books: Author Susan Spencer-Smith August 25, 2015

Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Weirton based writer Susan Spencer-Smith’s “inspirational, cozy” mysteries are set in fictional Biddlebourne, WV. Her cookbook features recipes of “southern comfort” foods of West Virginia and Ohio.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aug. 18 A Visit from Sacagawea 

Meet the lone female member of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. Aside from her value as an interpreter and guide, her presence with the expedition communicated to tribes along the way that the Corps had peaceful intentions. Sacagawea is portrayed by Mary Dailey courtesy WV Humanities, History Alive.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Aug. 11 “Situations of I” with David Weimer

Explorations of life, meaning and existence are among the subjects of Weimer's 4th published work. This collection of philosophic essays, speculative short stories and prose poetry emerged from the author's life and observations while living in Flushing, Ohio.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

August 4 at noon: Stories by Sarel

An expert in historic restoration and preservation and a gifted storyteller, Sarel Venter will share some of his favorite tales as a South African living in WV.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 28 Ulysses S. Grant

Gettysburg resident Kenneth Serfass, a retired U.S. Marine and living historian, will portray Union Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant. Serfass has portrayed Grant for a History Channel documentary and is the bandmaster for the Antebellum Marine Band.

Ken's bio:

Kenneth J. Serfass, Gunnery Sgt USMC, retired
(Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant)

Gunnery Sgt Kenneth J. Serfass was born in Bethlehem, PA on June 18th, 1966. He joined the USMC in 1984 and his final tour was with the First Marine Division Band during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After a 20 year career as a US Marine bandsman, he settled in San Diego California to raise his daughter.

Since retiring in 2004, he has been very active as a tubist and conductor of varied community bands and also a music educator spanning grade levels from K through college level.

Ken has been an active civil war reenactor and impressionist since his boyhood in Pennsylvania, and from his forty years of study of his self-avowed childhood hero US Grant, he has created a niche as a full time professional living historian portraying Ulysses S. Grant. His adventures and travel as US Grant are documented on the Facebook page, “US Grant in living history” and through "Linked In", an internet networking site.

Ken has been appearing publicly as General Grant since 2009, performing in a History channel production in 2010, “Lee & Grant” , in 2013 for an HBO series, “Family Tree” in an episode set at a reenactment along with a Time Warner Cable commercial which played nationwide after Superbowl Sunday, 2014.

Currently he speaks at events across the country and has visited the major areas of Grant’s military campaigns in Virginia and Mississippi. He has participated in the Remembrance Day parades for the past three Novembers in Gettysburg. These appearances have led to opportunities for him to present the general in walking tours, horseback tours, train rides at "Steam Into History" and at various living history and roundtable events on a regular basis across most of the north east and along the west coast with events at Pamplin Park and Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

It is with a profound honor that he tells the story of one of America’s greatest military leaders and Ken takes it very seriously to reaffirm Grant’s place of honor among the most respected people of our nation’s history.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 21 at noon: Riding on Comets: A Memoir

Riding on Comets is the true story of an only child growing up in a working-class family during the 1950s and ‘60s. Cat Pleska whispers and shouts about her life growing up around savvy, strong women and hard-working, hard-drinking men. Unlike many family stories set within Appalachia, this story provides an uncommon glimpse into this region: not coal, but an aluminum plant; not hollers, but small-town America; not hillbillies, but a hard-working family with traditional values.  

and at 7 PM: 


Class 4: July 21 “Prehistoric Petroglyphs”

Exploring possible symbolic meanings represented by some of the prehistoric rock carvings found in WV. You will make your own clay petroglyph to take home!

Instructor: Andrea Keller, Cultural Program Coordinator, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex

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..