About the book selection process

We welcome your suggestions! Visit our contact page and let us know your ideas. 

Selection process

Title/Author possibilities are gathered throughout the year by representatives of Whatcom READS! partner organizations.  Titles are then discussed and a selection is made based on the following criteria:

  • Author must be available to visit Whatcom County;
  • Author must be an engaging speaker;
  • Book must have appeal to a wide range of readers;
  • Book must have local ties, addressing cultural, historical or local interests and/or be written by an author who is from or has ties to our region.

Other considerations include:

  • Availability of the book in multiple formats (for example, paperback, large print, audio, other languages, a film tie-in);
  • Affordability of the author honorarium fee (Whatcom READS! is funded solely through grants and donations).

Titles for the coming year are selected and announced each spring. 

Past selections

2018: Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

2017: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison (video)

2016: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (video)

2015: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (video)

2014: Wild by Cheryl Strayed (video)

2013: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (video)

2012: In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George

2011: Border Songs by Jim Lynch

2010: Old School by Tobias Wolff

2009: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie




Support Whatcom READS! Donations directly support programs and materials. For example:

  • Your $125 donation helps us purchase 10 copies of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, organized in a book club kit available for check out from all public libraries in Whatcom County.
  • Your $200 donation helps us purchase 20 copies of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, for "free-range" book distribution throughout Whatcom County. 
  • Your $500 donation helps us support the travel expense of bringing award-winning, best-selling authors to our area. 

​Whatcom READS! is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, making your contributions tax deductible. 

Mail your check to: Whatcom READS! c/o Whatcom READS! Treasurer, Whatcom County Library System, 5205 Northwest Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226.