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Words

Whatcom Reads

One book to rule them all

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cheryl Strayed won’t be visiting Whatcom County until late February, but that shouldn’t stop those who haven’t yet read her bestselling memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, from finding a copy and doing so as soon as possible.

The reason for the push for alacrity is because of the annual community-wide reading and discussion program known as Whatcom Reads, which kicks off this week and continues until Strayed makes her way back to the area for public readings Feb. 24-25 in Bellingham.

Because Strayed’s book—the one chosen for Whatcom Reads for 2014—deals primarily with the time she spent hiking more than 1,100 miles on the grueling Pacific Coast Trail in her early 20s, many of the events that will take place during the next eight weeks will focus on topics having to do with the great outdoors, and also what happens when you bring those experiences inside.

To kick things off, local author and mystery writer Pam Beason will offer a “Writing Wilderness: A Winning Setting for Great Fiction” workshop Jan. 11 at the Blaine Library. Beason will discuss how to make a compelling setting out of what can be found in nature, and talk about how her passion for wild places (and wild animals) influences her writing.

For those who’d like a closer look at the expansive Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) system Strayed focused on—and trekked through—Whatcom Museum’s Jeff Jewell has put together a tabletop display of the history of the PCT that focuses on its founder, Catherine Montgomery, who hailed from Bellingham. The display is at the Deming Library through Jan. 15, and will then be at North Fork Library until Jan. 30, and at the Bellingham Public Library until Feb. 4.

Other gatherings in coming weeks will include discussions with PCT record setter Heather Anderson (another notable local), book talks everywhere from Village Books to the Bellingham Public Library and beyond, meetings about “Grief as Transformer,”  gatherings focused on ways to write your own memoir, a traveling quilt show with Wild at its core, and more.

If, like me, you devoured the book when it was published in 2012, now might be the time to go back and give it a second read. It’s an inspiring tale, and one that deals with much more than the physically exhausting aspects of pushing your body to its limits.

At its core, Wild is about coming to terms with the future when the past hasn’t always been kind. It’s the kind of writing that demands the reader pay attention. If you follow that directive, it’s likely you’ll learn something, too. And then, thanks to Whatcom Reads, you can learn even more.

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Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Whatcom Humane Society Wine Social

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

And I Remember

7:00pm|Village Books

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

International Guitar Night

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

James Hunter Six

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Borealis Wind Quintet

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

MBT Rovers Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Snow Play Day and Survival Skills

8:00am|Mt. Baker Ski Area

Children's Literature Conference

9:00am|Performing Arts Center

What's New in Organic Gardening

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Plant Society Ramble

9:30am|Maple Creek Loop

UFO Primer

10:00am|Syre Hall

FiberFest 2017

10:00am|La Conner Middle/High School

Intro to Ancestry

10:00am|Ferndale Library

Winter Trail Run Series

10:00am|BBMX Park

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Smelt Run

10:00am|La Conner Middle School

Kids Can Cook

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Washington Beer Open House

12:00pm|Whatcom and Skagit counties

An all-season outdoor expo

1:00pm

Tax Help

1:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Weird Washington

1:00pm|Lynden Library

Raising Pigs

1:30pm|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Peace Corps Revisited

3:00pm|Lynden Library

Geology Underfoot

3:00pm|Deming Library

Starry Night Chamber Orchestra

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Whatcom Writes

4:00pm|Village Books

Wishes for Our Stars Gala

5:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Varsity Vocals

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Comedy Fundraiser

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Boating Center Fundraiser

7:00pm|Elks Club

Light in the Night Gala

7:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Wetzel's World

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

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Sunday
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5:00pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Refugee Talk

2:00pm|Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Northwest Cancer Summit

2:00pm|Bellingham Golf and Country Club

Sting and Piano Chamber Concert

3:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

The Tao of Raven

4:00pm|Village Books

Making time with Oscar

4:30pm

The Irish Rovers

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

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