‘Wheeling Reads: One Book, One Community’ Kicks Off With Lecture

Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theater and the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission will host the kickoff event for Wheeling Reads: One Book, One Community. A popular vote chose Tara Westover’s “Educated” as the book to read over the next year.

The kickoff event is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb.6, at Towngate Theatre. West Liberty University English professor Scott Hanna will give a lecture on the impact of place in literature, followed by a short series of place-based readings by local writers, including Christina Fisanick and Laura Jackson Roberts.

Sean Duffy, chair of the History and Literature Committee of the Arts & Cultural Commission and program coordinator at the Ohio County Public Library, hopes the 10 months will involve more than just reading the book.

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He said the collaboration between Arts & Cultural Commission and the library will “feature programs at local restaurants, coffee shops and other venues, events featuring discussions of parts of the book and many more surprises over the next year.” Similar initiatives have been carried out in cities around the country to encourage a sense of community and a love of literature.

In a city-wide vote, “Educated” was selected from a group of five books nominated by the History and Literature Committee. The other four nominees were “Appalachia North,” “Clarinet Polka,” “Crapalachia: A Biography of Place” and “A Pure Heart.”

To participate in Wheeling Reads, simply purchase or borrow the book and complete it before the finale event on Nov. 7, a part of the annual Upper Ohio Valley Festival of Books. The Ohio County Public Library has available several copies of the book in multiple formats including digital and audio.

Snacks will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Sean Duffy at 304-232-0244 or email him at lunchwithbooks@yahoo.com.