Four Books by West Virginians You Should Read Now


by Betty Rivard

The West Virginia of the Great Depression is remembered in this recent publication of the West Virginia University Press. Betty Rivard has compiled a collection of photographs, taken by members of the Farm Security Administration, that revisits communities across the state as they faced the challenge of surviving the worst economic time in America’s history. The photographs compose a riveting portrait of the struggle, endurance, and hope that color the lives of West Virginians past and present.


by Roger Engle

After something triggered one of Roger Engle’s forgotten childhood memories, he began making a list of memories from his childhood in Hedgesville. By recording his own recollections of growing up in a small town, Roger hopes to encourage his readers to also take up the task of remembering and preserving their childhoods for future generations. Roger graduated from Hedgesville High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) in Shepherdstown. Roger Engle, P.O. Box 6154, Martinsburg, WV 25402;


by Steve Willis

Most of us remember when Jamie Oliver came across the pond to visit Huntington, dubbed by some news reports as the unhealthiest city in the country, with hopes of starting a food revolution. Steve Willis, a pastor in the Huntington community, had just taken up a similar challenge with his congregation when Jamie arrived. Winning the Food Fight gives an insider look at Jamie’s time in West Virginia and shares the story of how one community took its health back into their own hands.


by Phyllis Campbell Whitley

Phyllis Campbell Whitley drove all 756 miles of the roads in Summers County, combing the area for barns built before 1950. She compiled her finds in a self-published book, which includes more than 200 barns and the stories behind them. All proceeds from the sales of the book go to benefit the Summers County Public Library. Phyllis says, “I passionately believe that the heritage, the culture, and more importantly, the people who created the barns, are treasures that must be preserved for future generations.” You can purchase the book for $42 at Summers County library or for $48 at

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