Bookshelf Roundup

The writing about what you know edition

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Some people write books that are designed to transport readers out of their everyday existence and into fantastical worlds. Other scribes, however, draw upon their own experiences to share larger lessons about the world. In the next week, three authors will bring attention to their stories in ways that may change your life.

He may be 77 years old, but author, scientist and environmental activist David Suzuki shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, Suzuki’s age seems to be spurring him forward in his fight against climate change. Since he co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990, he’s been trying to “find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us.” Clean oceans, clean energy, sustainability and the aforementioned climate change are the foundation’s priorities, and many of the 52 books Suzuki’s written—such as Time to Change, It’s a Matter of Survival, The Sacred Balance, and David Suzuki’s Green Guide—focus on ways humans can adapt their behaviors to help Mama Earth survive. When the visionary comes to Western Washington University May 6 as part of the school’s annual Japan Week, he’ll present a lecture dubbed “Time is Running Out: Ecology or Economics.” The community at large is invited to the free event, and the hope is that you’ll listen closely and take what Suzuki has to say to heart. When: 12pm Mon., May 6. Where: Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, WWU. Cost: Free. Info: http://www.wwu.edu

Rebecca Lerner doesn’t have as many years, or books, under her belt as Suzuki does, but the messages she’s hoping to send by sharing her memoir, Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness, is also largely an environmental one. In the tome, the Oregon-based author shares tales about the many ways she’s discovered to use an array of wild plants “hiding in plain sight.” In addition to focusing on ways to utilize them for food and medicine, Lerner also delves into anthropology, urban ecology and sustainability in the timely book, which she’ll reference when she visits later this week. When: 7pm Tues., May 7. Where: Village Books, 1200 11th St. Cost: Free. Info: http://www.villagebooks.com

When she left the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at the age of 13, it’s likely Noemi Ban was more focused on survival than she was with using her story to better the world. But, as readers will soon discover when reading her autobiography, Sharing is Healing: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story, Ban—who lost most of her family to the horrors of the death camp—learned to take the tragedy and use it as a tool for education. If you have questions that arise after reading the book or hearing the Whatcom County resident speak, ask them now, as the number of survivors from the holocaust is rapidly dwindling, and the ones who want to talk about their experiences are rare. Ban will be available for a Q & A following her May 9 presentation, so don’t miss the opportunity to learn from history. When: 6pm Thurs., May 9. Where: Western Washington University Library. Cost: Free, but reservations are required. Info: http://www.wce.wwu.edu

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Library Love
Crossing the digital divide

For me, frugality is a way of life.

Even when my coffers are full, I look for the best ways to save money—whether it’s by buying items at thrift stores or garage sales, growing my own food, utilizing coupons for nights out on the town or scouring Craigslist’s free section.

When I got a…

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The Girls
Cults, charisma and murder

With a publication date at the beginning of summer, Emma Cline’s debut novel, The Girls, has made a big splash on summer reading lists. And, no surprise, the story of a Manson-like cult in 1969 California will appeal to many types of readers.

Those who experienced the late 1960s will…

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Endless Summer
In search of the perfect wave

An estimated two million Americans surfed at least once last year, part of a worldwide surfing population explosion that The Economist reports may top 35 million. The international surfing industry is expected to generate $13.2 billion annually by 2017. 

Clearly, interest in surfing is at…

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Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

A Little Night Music

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Discover Birch Bay Days

10:00am|Birch Bay Drive

A Swinging Weekend

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Chuckanut Classic

6:30am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Veterans Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Run to Fight Blindness

9:00am|Cascadia Eye

Marsh Mucking

10:00am|Tennant Lake Interpretive Center

Anacortes Open Streets

11:00am|Commercial Avenue

International Concert Series Finale

2:00pm|Peace Arch Provincial Park

Cirque Literary Journal Reading

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Chuckanut Writers Info Session

4:00pm|Village Books,

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

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Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library


9:30pm|Green Frog

Andrew Subin Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Hiking Basics


Final History Sunset Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Final BIFT

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Amnesty International Meeting

7:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

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