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
Book Group Mixers

5:30pm|Village Books

Bringing history into sharp focus

10:00am

Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

U.S. Citizenship Class

6:00pm|Lynden Library

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

3MB

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Summer Bike Stories

7:00pm|Cafe Velo

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Village Books
Tomorrow
Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

3MB

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Book and Bake Sale

10:00am|Lynden Library

Grand Opening and Open House

11:00am|Social Fabric

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Clean Eating

2:00pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|downtown Bellingham

Art Night

5:00pm|SpringHill Suites by Marriott

12 Minutes Max Auditions

5:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Amber Sky CD Release Party

6:00pm|Presence Studio

Gore & Lore Tours

6:00pm|Historic Fairhaven, downtown Bellingham

Falliday Vintage Market

6:00pm|Port Transit Event Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

6:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Poetry Party

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Upstream

7:00pm|Village Books

USA Dance

7:00pm|Majestic

Thriller Dance Class

7:00pm|Moles Farewell Tributes

Halloween Movie Night

7:00pm|BHS Performing Arts Center

Friday Night Flicks

7:30pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Holding the Light

8:00pm|Honey Moon

CWWarrenMiller Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Saturday
Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

3MB

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Book and Bake Sale

10:00am|Lynden Library

Gore & Lore Tours

6:00pm|Historic Fairhaven, downtown Bellingham

Falliday Vintage Market

6:00pm|Port Transit Event Center

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Harvest Happens

8:00am|Bellewood Acres

Lynden Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Terrell Creek

Scarecrow Stuffing Contest

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|North Fork Library, Nugents Corner

Landscape stewards work party

9:00am|Chuckanut Center

Pumpkins 4 Pajamas

9:00am|Lakeway Fred Meyer

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Pumpkin Patch on Rails

9:00am|Wickersham Station

Port race ponders a wasted waterfront

9:30am

Everyday Superheroes 5K

10:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Bellingham Comicon

10:00am|Ferndale Event Center

Fall Family Fun

10:00am|Glen Echo Garden

Blaine Oktoberfest

10:00am|Blaine

Community Cider Pressing

10:00am|Chuckanut Center

98221 Studio Tour

10:00am|Fidalgo Island

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Enlightened Caterpillar

10:30am|Village Books

Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Crown Jewel Wilderness

11:00am|Western Washington University Bookstore

Mushrooms gone wild

12:00pm

Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Conquering Writer's BLock

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Winter Birds of Whatcom County

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Undersea Bubble Fantasia

2:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Brew on the Slough

5:00pm|Maple Hall

Community Library Celebration

5:00pm|North Fork Library

Bellingham Hoptoberfest

6:00pm|Bellingham Sportsplex

Seeds of Change

6:30pm|Edison Granary

The Great Unconformity

7:00pm|Village Books

Skagit Symphony's Gala Concert

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Whose Live Anyway?

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

The Tannahill Weavers

7:30pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

Original Comedy Night

8:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

see our complete calendar »

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