Words

Identity Crisis

A look at Lawn Boy

Get It

More:

MORE: I also recommend two of Evison’s other novels—All About Lulu (about a vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders who develops a crush on his new step-sister) and West of Here, a sweeping historical saga about the Olympic Peninsula juxtaposed with the modern story of the removal of the dams along the Elwha River.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

When Bainbridge Island author Jonathan Evison visited Whatcom County in 2017 as part of the Whatcom READS program, we met a gregarious, intelligent, self-destructive and endearing writer who loves to talk about books and drink beer—a lot of beer. 

He presents himself as a bit of a sad sack, an Everyman, but there’s a certain twinkle in his eye and twitch to his lip that indicates his brain is going a mile a minute and he’s got a lot to say, much like the lead character in his latest novel, Lawn Boy.

Mike Muñoz is just scraping by, grinding out one crappy landscaping gig after another. Topiary is his passion, but for now “the man” is keeping him down (or maybe it’s that he’s his own worst enemy?). 

When he’s not sweating at work, Mike’s taking care of Nate, his developmentally disabled adult brother with a major attitude. Nate’s nothing short of a tyrant, and while Mike loves him fiercely, Nate can be a little much. Nate’s addicted to Oreos and has watched Despicable Me dozens of times. Mike is clearly lonely, but his limited income doesn’t leave much cash flow for impressing the ladies. Mostly he lurks around Mitzel’s hoping to catch a glimpse of the waitress he thinks he has a crush on.

When Mike loses his latest job after refusing to pick up a client’s dog poop, it’s time to kick his plan for self-improvement into gear and head to the public library. Though the small but daily disasters continue to pile up, the library’s got AC, plenty of self-help books and a lovable librarian named Andrew to help Mike discover his authentic self.

It’s rare to read a novel that is both compassionate about the plight of the working class and unsparingly honest. Evison can find moments of beauty and humanity among the strip malls and trailer parks.  Through Mike, he explores what it’s like to grow up biracial, broke and fatherless. As Mike careens from one warped father figure to another, trying to achieve his dreams and understand his ethnic and sexual identities, we laugh, wince, cry and shake our heads along with him. Evison can be vulgar and blunt, but his characters are sweet at heart and vulnerable.

Whatcom County Library System and its partner, Bellingham Public Library, have plenty of copies of Lawn Boy at the ready for checkout at libraries around the area (with eBook and various audiobook formats on order). Take a break from mowing and weeding and borrow a library copy today!

Christine Perkins is the Executive Director of the Whatcom County Library System.

More Words...
Foodwise
Starting small, ending big

Late last summer, Huxley professor Gigi Berardi signed a contract to publish her book, FoodWISE: A Whole Systems Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Food Choices, shortly before she left the country on sabbatical.

By the time she returned home to Bellingham, she had discovered that what…

more »
Book Clubbing
Paging new members

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more in 2020, it might behoove you to know there are approximately 30 book clubs in Whatcom County designed to help you achieve that page-turning goal.

That may seem like an awful lot to choose from, but when you consider the varied…

more »
Library Road Trip
A countywide journey

A year ago, when Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) staff first brainstormed ways to commemorate our 75th anniversary, we thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to take a giant road trip to each of our 10 libraries and a bookmobile stop the day of our actual anniversary?” 

So on Nov. 7,…

more »
Events
Today
A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Beauty and the Beast

7:00pm|BAAY Theater

The Curious Savage

7:00pm|Alger Community Church

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

An American in Paris

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

An American in Paris

7:30pm

Tomorrow
Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

MLK Day Work Party

9:00am|Barr Creek

MLK Day of Service Work Party

10:00am|Whatcom Creek

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Read-In

10:00am|Village Books

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration

12:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Teen Art Club

3:00pm|Blaine Library

Community Soup Kitchen

6:00pm|Little Cheerful Cafe

Cider U

6:30pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Poetrynight

7:00pm|Alternative Library

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event

7:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

Tuesday
Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Tea for Beginners

2:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Cook It and Book It

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Community Conversations Book group

4:00pm|Village Books

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

see our complete calendar »