By Mary Getchell, Communications Director, Pierce County Library System
Approximately 500 people laughed and learned from New York Times best selling author Paula McLain at the final 2013 Pierce County READS’ event on Friday, May 17 at McGavick Conference Center @ Clover Park Technical College, in Lakewood. See photos from the author event at Clover Park Technical College.
This year’s Pierce County READS book, the award-winning “The Paris Wife.” by McLain, flew off of the shelves at Pierce County Libraries and community partner libraries and bookstores. In all people checked out 4,684 print, e-book and audiobook copies of “The Paris Wife” from Pierce County Library during the nine-week community one book program.
McLain shared with the audience how she researched and wrote the book primarily from a Starbucks in Cleveland, Ohio. She used Google maps to see Paris, where she had never travelled. Since her book hit the New York Times best seller list and sold more than one million copies, she has traveled to the streets of Paris and has now seen first-hand the sights she described in her book.
“The Paris Wife” weaves an intriguing account of one of the world’s greatest authors, Ernest Hemingway, seen through the eyes of his first wife, Hadley Richardson. As McLain has traveled and talked about the book she has met Richardson’s family who has given her great praise for the personal and telling story.
Hundreds of people participated in 40 free events, where they learn how to write and get their books published, plan trips to Paris, and make art deco jewelry. Throughout the program, people donated nonperishable food items to a Pierce County READS’ community partner, Emergency Food Network.
KeyBank Foundation and Pierce County Library Foundation sponsor Pierce County READS. Twenty community partners participated: Associated Ministries, Barnes & Noble, Clover Park Technical College, Emergency Food Network, Garfield Book Company, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Joint Base Lewis McChord Libraries, King’s Books, Lakewood Arts Commission, Lakewood Historical Society and History Museum, Mostly Books, Pacific Lutheran University, Pierce College Puyallup, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, Puyallup Public Library, Roy Public Library, Sumner Arts Commission, Tacoma Art Museum and University of Puget Sound. Seventeen cities and towns and Pierce County signed proclamations for Pierce County READS.