The Miami Public Library is beginning a new "Letís Talk About It, Oklahoma" series. By coincidence, the new series is called "Journey Stories," the same title as the exhibit the library recently displayed from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
"We had nothing to do with creating the series," said Marcia Johnson, executive director of the library. "The series are created by the Oklahoma Humanities Council. But, they might have heard about the exhibit."
The Miami Public Library has done several "Letís Talk About It" series in the past on various topics including historical, biographical and Route 66.
Johnson describes the next "Letís Talk About It" series as "a little more challenging."
Each book tells about someoneís travels and the effects the journey has on their life.
The series opens with the most challenging book of all, "The Odyssey" by Homer, which will be discussed on Feb. 11. The program will be given by Dr. Andrew Vassar, a professor at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.
Vassar has spoke at previous programs at the Miami Public Library and Johnson calls him a favorite.
About the size of "Gone with the Wind," it will take a little time to read.
The next book is "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. The program will be held Feb. 25 and hosted by John Coward from Tulsa University. Coward spoke at the first "Letís Talk About It" done by the Miami Public Library and Johnson is glad to have him back.
Former Oklahoma state scholar Dr. Bill Corbert, also of Northeastern State University, will host the program on March 8 about "Travels with Charley: In Search of America" by John Steinbeck.
Johnson pointed out that this program will be held on a Monday due to scheduling difficulties.
The next book is one some people might already be familiar with, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. The program will be held on April 1 and led by David Linebarger of Northeastern State University. This is Linebargerís first appearance at the Miami Public Libraryís "Letís Talk About It."
The series will finish on April 8 with Jamie Weaver from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College discussing "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel.
"People will get the most out of the series if they read all of the books and attend all the programs," Johnson said. "But, if they can only do one or two or if they donít have the time to read the book and can only come to a program or two they should still get a lot out of the presentation.
"The programs are open to everyone."
While the books to be used for the "Letís Talk About It" "Journey Stories" had not arrived at the library Tuesday, the public is asked to call and put their name on a waiting list. Library staff will call those on the list as soon as the books come in.
"We have different versions of most of these books on our shelves so people can come in and get started reading," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, some of the books like "The Odyssey" which was first written in Greek around 700 B.C. will be translated and each translation will be a little different."