"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

Thursday, June 30, 2011



Andrew Carnegie called the public library “The People’s University," believing it to be an essential institution of learning for people of all ages. Today, the Ohio County Public Library seeks to continue to assist local residents in the pursuit of knowledge and education by offering a third installment in a new series of programs entitled, “The People’s University.” The new series, "American Literature," will provide an opportunity for adults to learn or refresh their knowledge of the subject. The courses are free of charge and the presenters are experienced instructors of English and literature.

The third series will offer a glimpse at the seven major periods in American Literature, along with a sampling of the work some of the most important writers from each period.

Series 3 American Literature, Schedule

Classes meet on
Tuesday evenings @ 7:00 PM

Week 1 (July 19): Colonial Period 1607-1765
with instructor Dr. John W. Hattman, Emeritus Professor of English at West Liberty State University.

"God and His Sinners": The works of this period center on the relationship of (hu)man to God and the punishments for the inevitable human failure to obey God's rules. From the magnificent sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to the incredibly awful poem "Day of Doom" to the witch executions of Salem, we will explore examples of seventeenth century American literature.

Week 2 (July 26): Revolutionary Period 1765-1809 with Dr. John W. Hattman, Emeritus Professor of English at West Liberty State University.

"The Proper Study of Mankind": The Revolutionary period changes the focus from the human relationship with God to the relationship with his fellow (hu)man. Political theory and propaganda take center stage. King George III replaces the devil. We will consider the works of Jefferson, Paine, and Franklin among others.

Week 3 (August 2): Romantic Period 1809-1865 with Dr. Paul Orr, Emeritus Professor of English at Wheeling Jesuit University.

"The Essential Walt Whitman": The class will study the works of Walt Whitman, Students will learn why "Leaves of Grass." is such an important work by focusing on Whitman's Lincoln poems, including "Oh Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."

Week 4 (August 9): Realistic Period 1865-1900 with Dr. David J. Thomas, Professor of English at West Liberty State University.

"The Reality of War": This presentation will be a study of the American realistic writers' various views of war. The focus will be on Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps, Howells' short story "Editha," Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," and Crane's novella The Red Badge of Courage.

Week 5 (August 16): Naturalistic Period 1900-1930 with Dr. David J. Thomas, Professor of English, West Liberty State University.

"Men without Women": This presentation will focus upon the patriarchal attitude so very prevalent during the American naturalistic period. Featured will be some of Frost's poems, Hemingway's short stories and novels, and London's short stories and novels. Biographical anecdotes will be offered to connect the authors' lives to their more popular works.

Week 6 (August 23): Nationalist Period 1930-1960 with Mr. Lou Volpe, retired English and Literature teacher, Wheeling Central Catholic High School

"Seven Modern Poets: Of Time, My Body, and the Earth": The class will look at and listen to seven poets (James Wright, Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, and three to be named later) who have something to tell us about the value of time, our mortal bodies, and this earth we inhabit. The opening segment of the class will talk about the reader's need to suspend time, emphasize the imagination, and relax and wait for meaning -- in other words, "How one should read poetry."

Week 7 (August 30): Contemporary Period 1960-2011 with Mr. Lou Volpe, retired English and Literature teacher, Wheeling Central Catholic High School.

"Observers and Seekers: Walker Percy, Denise Levertov, and Wendell Berry": The class will discuss three authors who have acutely observed society and its direction (or misdirection!) and have sought clues or signs to the possible purpose of an individual's sojourn on this earth. All three have, in one way or another, arrived at a faith/love solution to the postmodern anxiety and meaninglessness of life and a direction for persons -- and in Berry's case, communities. The class will look at excerpts from Walker Percy's last novel The Thanatos Syndrome (1987), several of Denise Levertov's poems from different periods, and a short story and poems from Wendell Berry.

Week 8 (September 6): West Virginia Writers with Dr. Paul Orr, Emeritus Professor of English at Wheeling Jesuit University.

"West Virginia Writers": The class will consider the works of important West Virginia and Wheeling writers, especially Davis Grubb and Keith Maillard as well as the plays of Sean O'Leary.

To register for the American Literature series, please call 304-232-0244 or email lunchwithbooks@yahoo.com.

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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..