Community Read 2017
Before the Wind
Following The Highest Tide, Border Songs, and Truth Like the Sun, Jim Lynch now gives us a grand and idiosyncratic family saga that will stand alongside Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion. The Johannssens are a sailing family: adventurous, fanatical, and, for now, a complete and total mess. Ruby, a prodigiously talented skipper, has taken off for Africa. Bernard is god-knows-where at sea. And at thirty-one years old, Josh Johannssen, the middle child, is fixing up an old family boat and trying to figure out where it all went wrong. When Josh's father coaxes his children home for one last yacht race, the Johannssens find themselves reunited under thrilling circumstances that will change the course of their lives. Before the Wind is a funny, tender, and big-hearted novel about a gifted, volatile family whose love for the sea rivals their love for each other.
- Related Special Events
- The Community Read Program and How it Works
- Author Profile
- Discussion Groups
- Download Brochure
All events free except Author! Author! special fundraiser
Sea Gypsies: The Far Side of the World Film Kickoff – presented by the Port
Townsend Film Festival – Featuring a visit with the director Nicholas "Nico" Edwards
March 2 (Thursday) Wheeler Theater, Fort Worden 7:00 pm
Nico Edwards, in the documentary, finds passage on Sailing Yacht Infinity on an Antarctic
expedition and discovers more than just penguins, the seventh continent and open seas. Film event sponsored by Kris Nelson’s Family of Restaurants: Sirens Pub, Alchemy Bistro, and The Old Whiskey Mill.
March 4 (Saturday) Northwind Arts Center 7:30 pm
Reader's Theater– Live performance by the Key City Public Theatre
Wind & Water: A Juried Art Show
March 4 Reception (Saturday) Northwind Arts Center 5:00–8:00 pm
Northwind Arts Center Juried Art Show. The show runs all month.
Sea Shanties Performance
March 14 (Tuesday) Carnegie Reading Room 7:00–8:00 pm
A maritime musical performance of songs that once echoed across our Victorian waterfront
during the golden age of sail.
R2AK – Thoughts from a Race Boss
March 23 (Thursday) Carnegie Reading Room 7:00–8:00 pm
Daniel Evans, the Race Boss for the Race to Alaska, will be presenting on the R2AK.
Children's Seaside Storytime and Maritime Crafts
March 25 (Saturday) Children's Room at the Library 10:15 am–12:15 pm
Join the children's librarians for stories of the sea, shanties, and crafts.
Author! Author! An Evening Salon with Jim Lynch and Erica Bauermeister
March 26 (Sunday) Northwind Arts Center 7:30–9:00 pm
Special fundraiser: Enjoy catered hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer and the Wind & Water art
exhibit while Erica discusses Before the Wind with Jim. This is a ticketed event supporting
both Friends of the Port Townsend Library and Northwind Arts Center. Tickets are $50. Purchase tickets here.
Meet the Author: Jim Lynch
March 27 (Monday) Port Townsend High School Auditorium 7:00–8:30 pm
Join Jim for a talk and reading. A book signing follows with books for sale at the event by Imprint Bookstore.
The City of Port Townsend has proclaimed March as the official "Reading Month."
Community Read is designed to promote closer ties among community members
through the shared experience of reading, sharing and discussing the same book and
ideas related to topics raised by the book.
• A limited number of free copies of the book will be available at the Port Townsend
Public Library on a first-come first-served basis. Additional copies will be available
at the Library on two-week loans, or you may purchase a copy at Imprint Bookstore.
• Read the book, then pass it on to others.
• Prepare for a discussion about the book with your own book group or join in the
groups listed below. A brochure with discussion issues and questions is available at
• Attend the many related events in the community during the month of March.
All events are free except the Author! Author! fundraiser event.
The Seattle Times has said Jim Lynch "observes like a journalist and writes like a poet." He is the author of four novels, his latest, Before the Wind, released in April 2016. New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin picked his third book, Truth Like the Sun, as one of her 10 favorite books
of 2012. That novel was also a finalist for the Dashiell Hammett Prize. Lynch's first novel, The Highest Tide (2005), won the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Award, was performed on stage in Seattle and became an international bestseller after it was featured on England's Richard and Judy television show. His second novel, Border Songs (2009), was also adapted to the stage and won the Washington State Book Award, as well as the Indie's Choice Honor Book Award.
Lynch grew up in the Seattle area and graduated from the University of Washington before bouncing around the country as a reporter for newspapers in Alaska, Virginia and for columnist Jack Anderson in Washington, D.C. Returning to the Northwest, he wrote for the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the Portland Oregonian and the Seattle Times. His national reporting honors include the George Polk Award, the H.L. Mencken Award and the Livingston Young Journalist Award for National Reporting. He lives and sails in Olympia, Washington with his wife, Denise, and daughter, Grace.
MARCH 6 Book Lovers' Café 2:00 pm (Monday) Library Learning Center (Pink House)
MARCH 9 Facilitated Book Discussion at the Library 7:00 pm (Thursday) Library Learning Center (Pink House)
MARCH 16 Community Book Discussion at 7:00 pm (Thursday) Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar
842 Washington Street
MARCH 21 Community Book Discussion at The Boiler Room 3:00 pm (Tuesday) 711 Water Street
This program is funded by the Friends of the Port Townsend Library.
Thank you to our other community partners: Port Townsend Film Festival, Northwest Maritime Center, Imprint Bookstore, Port Townsend School District, Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader, Peninsula Daily News, Northwind Arts Center, Key City Public Theatre, Radio KPTZ 91.9 FM, Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar, The Boiler Room, and Kris Nelson’s Family of Restaurants: Sirens Pub, Alchemy Bistro, and The Old Whiskey Mill.