Archive for the ‘Literary Picnics’ Category


Last Literary Picnic of the summer!

August 5, 2014

This Wednesday, August 6, local author and renowned photographer, Tony Mendoza will join us as the last Literary Picnic of the 2014 season. He will talk about his new coming-of-age novel, A Cuban Summer. It is the story about a 13-year-old boy in 1950’s Havana, his love of girls, and desire for romance.

Join us anytime after 5:30 p.m. on the lawn of Thurber House, and the reading will begin at 7:00 p.m. Please remember to bring your own chairs, and while it’s too late to order a dinner through us, feel free to bring your own picnic (and alcohol, if you wish). Picnics are rain or shine. The rain site is the Columbus Museum of Art.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here. We also have a full season of Evenings with Authors coming up! Be sure to check out our great lineup and get your tickets before they’re gone! Click here for the full lineup.


Keller Wrap Up & Short Prequel

July 1, 2013


Even getting rained out (for the second time in a row) can’t stop us from having a great night! Julia Keller filled the house and put on a great event at the Columbus Museum of Art. It was such a pleasure to host former Columbus Dispatch writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Julia Keller, to help her celebrate her great success and publication of her newest book, A Killing in the Hills. Set in Appalachia, many audience members connected with the setting in her story and were fascinated by her ability to truly capture the differences in culture and the portrayal of life in that area of the country. Those in the audience that didn’t already own the book before hearing her talk surely went to buy it after.

We are hoping for sunshine next week as we gear up for another Literary Picnic. Tickets are still available for our next event on Wednesday July, 10 to see Centerville, Ohio writer Sharon Short discuss her new novel, One Square Inch of Alaska. Prior to this newly released novel, Sharon spent 10 years writing a column titled “Sanity Check” in the Dayton Daily News. The hit column reflected her view on life that when strange things happen, the best way to deal them is humor. Now the director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, we are eager to get the inside scoop on this new novel that tells the tale of two siblings escaping a small town in Ohio. We hope you join us on the lawn (and hold off doing any rain dances) so that we can show this author what a Thurber House Literary Picnic is all about!


Our first Literary Picnic of 2013 is almost here!

June 3, 2013


ImageThe lawn is freshly mowed and we are gearing up for our first Literary Picnic of the 2013 season! On Wednesday, June 12, the fascinating Alexis Wilson will be at Thurber House discuss her memoir, Not So Black and White, as she tells us her tales growing up and going through many unusual and life changing experiences.

You’re invited to come relax, have a drink, and either bring your own picnic or purchase one of our delicious boxed dinners. You can pick up your pre-ordered boxed dinner anytime between 5:30-6:50, and while we do not provide alcoholic beverages, you are welcome to bring your own! The reading will begin at 7:00 p.m. and a book signing inside Thurber House will follow. 

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets online.

If you would like to ordera dinner, the deadline is Monday, June 10 by 4 p.m. Dinner will be Caesar Chicken and Parmesan Wraps; Panzanella Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Basil, Capers, and Croutons; Tiramisu

Help us help others! For the 2013 Literary Picnic Season, Thurber House will once again be collecting canned and boxed goods at each event to support the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Please feel free to bring any non-perishable items to the picnic and donate to a great cause! 


Here’s the line-up for the Summer Literary Picnic season!

May 14, 2013

We are so excited to announce the 28th season of Summer Literary Picnics, featuring readings from five authors with Ohio connections. The picnics are held on the Thurber House lawn at 77 Jefferson Avenue and you can purchase a boxed dinner from us, or bring your own. Here’s the line-up for 2013:

Not So Black and White WEBWednesday, June 12: Alexis Wilson

Alexis Wilson

Alexis Wilson is known to many as the wife of musician Byron Stripling, but her memoir, Not So Black and White, shows that she is much more than wife and mother. She shares the story of her father, a Tony-award winning choreographer, and her mother, a talented ballet star. This book is a fascinating look at the life of an exceptional woman.

A Killing in the Hills webWednesday, June 26: Julia Keller

Julia Keller
Pulizer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller has written her first novel, a mystery called A Killing in the Hills. In the book, prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins investigates the gruesome murder of three elderly men in a diner. The book takes place against the backdrop of poverty-stricken West Virginia, and Keller plans to make this the first book in a new series.

My One Square Inch webWednesday, July 10: Sharon Short

Sharon Short
Sharon Short’s column, “Sanity Check,” appeared in the Dayton Daily News for over ten years. She is now the director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, and her first novel, My One Square Inch of Alaska, was just published. It follows the story of two siblings and their dog as they escape their small Ohio town and travel to Alaska.

Ghosthunting Ohio webWednesday, July 24: John Kachuba

John Kachuba
If you are interested in paranormal investigations, be sure to check out John Kachuba’s Ghosthunting Ohio: On the Road Again. In the book, there are 25 ghostly spots to visit in the Buckeye State, from the home of President  James A. Garfield to Columbus’s own Thurber House. Kachuba is the author of several entries in the “Haunted Road Trip” series.

Harpo Marx as Trickster webWednesday, August 7: Charlene Fix

Charlene Fix
Poet and professor Charlene Fix takes a look at one of the Marx brothers in her book, Harpo Marx as Trickster. In history, folklore, and myth, tricksters have held a special place in people’s lives and hearts. Through photos and words, Fix examines Harpo’s trickster personality in each Marx Brothers film, demonstrating his affinity for mischief and magic.
Here’s how the Literary Picnics work:
  • 5:30 p.m. – Our Young Docents offer guided tours of Thurber House.
  • 5:30 – 6:50 p.m. – If you pre-ordered a boxed dinner from us, you may pick it up anytime within this timeframe. If you would like to order dinner, please make your reservation by 4:00 p.m. on the Monday before the picnic.
  • 7:00 p.m. – The reading begins. Thurber House remains open after the reading for touring, book buying, and book signing.
Please bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. You are also welcome to bring alcoholic beverages.
Click here for more information (including menus), and to purchase tickets to any and all of our upcoming picnics!

Summer Literary Picnic: Jeni Britton Bauer

July 26, 2012

We were incredibly proud to host Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams on Wednesday for a sold-out picnic on the Thurber House lawn. Her cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, won the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Baking and Dessert Cookbook – and features over 100 recipes to re-create her delicious ice creams using a home ice cream maker.

Take a look at these pictures from the event – as always, thanks to Leslie Miller for the use of these images.

Ice cream sandwich

Jeni never goes anywhere without ice cream – she brought everyone a scrumptious treat of Juniper and Lemon Curd ice cream on lemon macarons. James Thurber inspired this flavor in her summer collection; it is reminiscent of a gin martini with a twist.

Summer flavors

Jeni spoke about her vision of summer flavors inspired by writers, including James Thurber.

picnic crowd

The sold-out crowd asked Jeni questions about writing her first cookbook and the creative process of making new ice cream flavors.

Jeni book signing

Fans gathered for a book signing with Jeni after the picnic and talk.

Many thanks to Jeni Britton Bauer for spending the evening with Thurber House and making the night so delicious!





Summer Literary Picnic: Mark Titus

July 12, 2012

Sports fans and humor fans alike joined us on the Thurber House lawn on Wednesday to hear Mark Titus speak about his book, Don’t Put Me In, Coach: My Incredible NCAA Journey From the End of the Bench to the End of the Bench. Mark read some (PG-13) stories from his book and shared tales of the pranks he pulled on his fellow team members on the Ohio State basketball team.

Titus Picnic

Mark spoke with fans and enjoyed dinner on the lawn before reading from his new book.

Picnic crowd

Fans enjoyed the beautiful July evening during the picnic portion of the event.

Linda Logan

Thurber House board member Linda Logan welcomed the crowd.


Mark’s funny stories about his teammates and experiences created laugh-out-loud moments throughout the evening.

Mark Titus

Mark answered questions from the crowd about his time on the Buckeye basketball team and about how his book came to be.

Titus Book Signing

After his talk, Mark made time to talk to his fans and sign their books.

Special thanks to Leslie Miller for these fantastic photos of the evening!


Summer Literary Picnic: Karen Harper

June 29, 2012

We had such a lovely time on Wednesday with author Karen Harper. Thanks to everyone who braved the hot weather and joined us for a delicious dinner and a fascinating chat. Check out these pictures of the evening, thanks to Thurber photographer extraordinaire Leslie Miller:

Harper at dinner

Author Karen Harper and her husband enjoy a picnic dinner while chatting with fans.

Donna Gephart

Children’s Writer-in-Residence Donna Gephart attended the picnic and was able to meet Thurber House fans and friends.

Steve Miller

Board member Steve Miller warmed up the crowd before Karen took the podium.

Harper talk

Karen chatted about researching her novels, how a book gets published, working with editors, and gave us a preview of her newest book.


Karen talked with her fans and signed their books.




Summer Literary Picnics Are Underway!

June 20, 2012

Last Wednesday, our Summer Literary Picnic season kicked off with a salute to Columbus in celebration of the city’s bicentennial. Here are some pictures of the evening:

Picnic Dinner

Picnickers enjoyed a delicious dinner on a perfect Ohio evening.


Thurber Chamber Theatre

The Thurber Chamber Theatre entertained the crowd with a tale of Thurber’s college days and a reenactment of one of his famous fables.

Barbie Tootle

Thurber House Board of Directors President Barbie Tootle welcomed the crowd to our bicentennial celebration.

Joe Santry

Joe Santry of the Columbus Clippers told stories of baseball’s beginnings in Columbus.

Jim Tootle

Columbus and Thurber expert Jim Tootle spoke about Thurber’s time at Ohio State University and his connections to Columbus.

Doreen Uhas-Sauer

Doreen Uhas-Sauer of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation shared her love of Columbus architecture and some stories behind famous Columbus buildings.

Q and A

The speakers gladly answered Columbus questions from attendees.


Picnickers enjoyed our first evening of good friends, good food, and great books.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our first picnic of the season! Our next picnic, which will be held on June 27, features author Karen Harper. Tickets are available here. More information about the rest of our picnic season is available here.


Summer Picnics Featured by the U.S. Travel Association

June 14, 2012

The U.S. Travel Association recently included the Thurber House Summer Literary Picnic series on their blog, SeeAmerica. Check out the link and see what they had to say about our summer plans!


Evenings With Authors: J. Courtney Sullivan – And a Look Ahead to the Summer Season!

June 6, 2012

By Susanne Jaffe, Thurber House Executive Director

Last night we wrapped up our 2012 Winter/Spring Evenings With Authors season with a visit from J. Courtney Sullivan, chatting about her bestseller, Maine – a novel about generations of women visiting a family beach house and dealing with problems both personal and familial. This was the perfect book to lead into our summer season.

Drawing table at event

Attendees sign up to win a copy of J. Courtney Sullivan’s latest book.

J. Courtney Sullivan

Sullivan spoke about her books, her writing practices, and how she researches the settings of her novels.


Audience members asked many thoughtful questions of Sullivan during the Q&A portion of the program.

Book signing

Sullivan took the time to chat individually with attendees while signing their books.

This was quite a packed season of author events, including two Special Events, and all of us at Thurber House hope you enjoyed them. We want to say a big THANK YOU for your support. We love bringing the diversity of writers to you and are already starting to consider our Fall line-up.

Finish one season of author events, and just around the corner is another—this time the 27th season of our Summer Literary Picnics. In years past, the picnics have always spotlighted Ohio authors, but this year, in honor of  the Columbus Bicentennial, all five picnics will focus on Columbus authors. Information about each author can be found on our website. All the picnics—weather angels permitting!—are on the side lawn of the House. Bring quarters for those pesky parking meters along Jefferson!

Our picnics offer the option of ordering a delicious boxed dinner from Party Panache catering, or you can bring your own picnic spread – and you are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages as well. Tickets for dinner and the reading are $30, and tickets for the reading only are $15 (or $5 for children under 12). You can order tickets online here or by calling 614-464-1032 x.11.

The first picnic is Wednesday, June 13 and then June 27, July 11, July 25 and August 8. We can’t wait to see you there!

But wait—there’s more from Thurber House this summer! Also in honor of the bicentennial, Thurber House in partnership with Ohio State University’s Rare Books Libraries will have a special exhibit in the Center, next door to the House. It’s all about Columbus and Thurber: Past and Present with fantastic archival photos and even copies of Thurber’s report cards! It’s free and you can visit anytime but it might be fun to come early to the picnic and take a look before you eat dinner.

Mark your calendars, everyone, for a summer of Thurber fun beginning June 13!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.