The month-long events for Clinton County Reads 2019 have been set at local libraries and the General Denver Hotel, starting March 11 and culminating April 11 with a dinner and presentation by Kerri Shaw, field director for the Ohio University social work program.
Shaw, who will speak about “Every Book in Its Place, From Appalachia to Paraguay,” has served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay as well as for the AmeriCorps Appalachian Nutrition Network.
Presentations and discussions — starting with a March 11 kickoff with educator Joyce Kelly at Wilmington Public Library — will address various book themes, from education as life’s game-changer to the medical uses of plants.
Copies of the 2019 Clinton County Reads book choice, “Educated: A Memoir,” by Tara Westover, are available at the event’s sponsoring locations: the Blanchester Public Library, the Sabina Public Library and its New Vienna branch, the Wilmington Public Library and its Clinton-Massie branch, and locally owned booksnmore.org.
“Educated” is a fascinating memoir about growing up off the grid in a Mormon survivalist family in Idaho. Author Tara Westover was not allowed to attend school until she was 17 years old because her father believed it to be a governmental method of brainwashing citizens.
Instead, Westover spent her days working in her father’s junk yard or distilling herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. Surprisingly, however, Westover later attended college and eventually earned a doctorate in history from Cambridge University.
Her story has earned a place on many “Best of 2018” lists and captured the attention of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who personally interviewed Westover and named her book to his 2018 Holiday Reading List. Gates said he had been unaware until he learned while reading “Educated” that Westover had been a Gates Scholar at Cambridge.
“Tara’s process of self-discovery is beautifully captured in ‘Educated,’” Gates has written. “It’s the kind of book that I think everyone will enjoy, no matter what genre you usually pick up. She’s a talented writer, and I suspect this book isn’t the last we’ll hear from her.”
Events surrounding the Clinton County Reads choice of “Educated,” all open to the public, are:
• March 11 kickoff/discussion with educator Joyce Kelly at 6:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Public Library.
• March 19 presentation, “Educated: A Story of Hope,” at 6:30 p.m. by Terri Barton, at the New Vienna Branch Library.
• March 20 book discussion, at 6 p.m. at South Street Wine Cellar, 64 Main St. in Wilmington (upstairs).
• March 22 book discussion at 10:30 a.m. at Sabina Public Library
• March 24 presentation, “Plant Medicine,” at 2 p.m. by Janet Lawson at the Wilmington Public Library.
• April 2 presentation, “The Lincoln School Story,” at 7 p.m. at the Blanchester Public Library.
• April 3 book discussion at 6:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Public Library.
• April 4 book discussion at 7 p.m. at the Blanchester Public Library.
• April 11 dinner will begin at 6 p.m. at the General Denver in Wilmington, 81 W. Main St. Kerri Shaw of Ohio University will speak about “Every Book in Its Place, From Appalachia to Paraguay.” Shaw is the field director for the Ohio University social work program.
Pre-dinner social time, featuring a cash bar, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Reservations for the dinner are required by April 9; call (937) 383-4141. The $15 per-person cost will include dinner, beverage, dessert, and gratuity.