By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Pam Houston’s adventure-travel novel Contents May Have Shifted is the 2013 Community Read selection from the Port Townsend Library committee, so a full slate of activities, all of them free, are coming up.
They will take people into the lands of art and dance, to the Greek island of Mykonos and to El Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage route across northern Spain.
Toward the end of the month, Houston will visit both Port Townsend and Port Angeles to read from and discuss Contents, her fifth book.
To start at the beginning: “Venture,” the new exhibition at the Northwind Arts Center, has 63 works about expansion and adventure created by 42 artists.
The show “encouraged the local art community to try something different, to challenge themselves a bit,” said Robin Anderson, the juror.
Anderson, who is also executive director of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, named Port Townsend artist Jeff Weekley’s painting “Girl with Books on Boat” the Best in Show.
“He has a very masterly technique,” Anderson said.
Anderson will give a talk on the whole “Venture” exhibition at 1 p.m. today at the Northwind Arts Center, 2409 Jefferson St.
She hailed the variety in “Venture.”
“It certainly reflects a lot of the local arts community,” she said of the show at Northwind, open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.
Another kind of foray will light the screen at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St., at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Jim Limardi and Martha Crites of Seattle will give a free slide-illustrated program on El Camino de Santiago, the Way of St. James, and why this ancient pilgrims’ path still appeals to modern walkers.
Limardi and Crites have walked the Camino each year since 2008.
Travel and other stretchy experiences: They’re the themes running through the Community Read activities, said Port Townsend librarian Cris Wilson.
Contents May Have Shifted takes readers over Alaskan treetops in a small plane; into a monastery in Bumthang, Bhutan; to an off-the-tourist-track bar in Jamaica; and to scores of other locations as its heroine veers far outside her comfort zone.
Love and freedom
Houston’s novel is about “finding both love and freedom . . . for a woman in midlife,” Wilson added.
“That really resonates with a lot of people on our Peninsula. We’re all adventurers, whether in the mind or by going places.”
All events in this eighth annual Community Read are free since Wilson and the program committee won a $7,500 Humanities Washington grant.
The Friends of the Port Townsend Library also will contribute funds earned from its monthly used-book sales. The next one is at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St.
Among the Community Read program highlights:
■ “Shirley Valentine,” a comedy about a middle-aged woman who leaves her Liverpool, England, home to explore Mykonos, an island in the Aegean Sea, screens at noon Sunday, March 10, at the Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St.
■ “A Smorgasbord of Alternative Treatment Options,” with Nia dance instructor Allison Dey, psychologist Marcia Perlstein, counselor Julia Rouse and acupuncturist Piper Dunlap on a panel, is set from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, March 11, at the Madrona MindBody Institute at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way.
■ The Hilltop Tavern, 2510 W. Sims Way, is the place for an open discussion of Contents May Have Shifted at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14.
■ Two hours of “Collaborative Creativity and Play” for all ages, led by facilitator Leif Hansen, comes to the Cotton Building at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16.
■ In “Contents May Have Shifted from a Writer’s Perspective,” Judith Kitchen discusses the book from her experience as an author and literary critic at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, in the Library Learning Center, 1256 Lawrence St.
■ Pam Houston, author of Contents as well as Cowboys Are My Weakness, Sight Hound, A Little More About Me and Waltzing the Cat, will discuss the writer’s life at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., and at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in the Port Townsend High School auditorium, 1500 Van Ness St.
For more information and to check out a copy of Contents, visit the Port Townsend Library, temporarily located in the Mountain View Center at 1925 Blaine St.; phone 360-385-3181; or visit www.PTPublicLibrary.org.
Copies are also available there for $10, with proceeds to benefit the Friends of the Port Townsend Library.
For more about Houston’s free reading in Port Angeles, phone presenter Port Book and News at 360-452-6367.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.