Whatcom READS is a county-wide program that encourages everyone to read and discuss the same book. It is organized by all the public and academic libraries in Bellingham and Whatcom County and us, their community partner. They receive significant funding from Friends of the Bellingham Public Library and Whatcom County Library Foundation, and support from other local businesses and organizations. Your purchase with us helps to support the Whatcom Reads programming since Village Books donates 10% of every sale of Greenwood to Whatcom READS.
Each year, a new book is selected by Whatcom READS organizers. Community members are encouraged to read or listen to the book, share it with family, friends and neighbors, and participate in programs and special events that follow the book’s themes. Each series culminates with a visit by the author of the selected book, who makes numerous free-of-charge public presentations at locations throughout the county.
Through all the books explored and authors hosted, their goal has been simple: creating an annual literary happening that gets people talking about great literature and sharing the joy of reading and discussing books.
Whatcom READS was modeled after the highly successful Seattle Reads program, which began in the late ’90s and became a national phenomenon. Communities large and small across the country now host similar programs to wide acclaim.
Thanks to the dedication of their partners, the generosity of contributing business and organizations, and some really excellent visiting authors, they have become the premier literary series in our area.
Publisher Penguin Random House describes Greenwood as a magnificent generational saga and a “shining, intricate clock-work of a novel.” The publisher description continues: “The book charts a family’s rise and fall, its secrets and inherited crimes. And throughout, there are trees: a steady, silent pulse thrumming beneath author Michael Christie’s effortless sentences, working as a guiding metaphor for withering, weathering, and survival, for the hopeful, impossible task of growing toward the light.”
Christie is also the author of the highly regarded novel If I Fail, If I Die and the linked collection of stories, The Beggar’s Garden. His work has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His essays and book reviews appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Globe and Mail. A former carpenter and homeless-shelter worker, the author divides his time between Victoria and Galiano Island, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and two sons in a timber-frame house that he built.