"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

This blog is being discontinued.

This blog is being discontinued.
Please visit: www.ohiocountylibrary.org/calendar

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Kinder Launches Weird West Virginia Week

On Tuesday, June 5th at noon, a large Lunch With Books audience of fifty-five people welcomed author and raconteur Chuck Kinder. The chair of the creative writing department at the University of Pittsburgh, Kinder made his first trip to Wheeling in many years.

Kinder has published several books, including Snakehunter, Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale, and Last Mountain Dancer: Hard Earned Lessons in Love, Loss, and Honky Tonk Outlaw Life. Kinder, who lists coal miner, moonshiner, bartender, bouncer, bandit, prizefighter, circus performer, tango teacher, white-water river guide, and cowboy among his previous job titles, read from the prologue and first chapter of the latter book, which, he admits is “full of lies”.

To gather stories for the book, Kinder said he would find a clean motel in a small West Virginia town and hang out at the local diners and bars. To get things started, he often told people he was a relative of Hank Williams, which Kinder admitted is not exactly accurate.

Kinder said he learned the art of storytelling by listening to his aunts (pronounced “ants” of course) and grandmother in the family kitchen when he was a boy in the Huntington area of West Virginia. He said they were fantastic storytellers who would often add new “memories” to enhance stories. If grandma approved, the memories might become part of the official tale to be retold time and again at similar gatherings. In this way, Kinder said, he learned he could “change history” through the technique of “faction” (part fact and part fiction), which makes a story juicier and more memorable.

Kinder admitted his regret that his book was not fully banned in Beckley as was his friend Lee Maynard’s book Crum. “That was the best thing that ever happened to that book,” said Kinder. “That got everyone interested and he sold a million copies.”

Kinder closed by saying that West Virginian’s should stop being defensive about being labeled hillbillies. He said that West Virginians should be proud and happy that they are not bland like the rest of the country. He also lauded the great West Virginia and Appalachian storytelling traditions.

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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..