Fall 2020 edition of the Valley Reads Program: Go on an Expedition to the South Pole!

Valley Reads Program & Friends of the North Bend Library

The Valley Reads Program resulted from a conversation between Ginny Gorski (Friends of the North Bend Library) and Irene Wickstrom (Library Services Manager). They discussed how to provide attractive programming for adults in our community, and Irene came up with the idea for Valley Reads. The program focused on celebrating local authors in the Valley. The idea was supported and sponsored by the North Bend Friends group, the King County Library System, Kristen Erikson, the North Bend Adult Services Librarian, who organized each event.

The Friends of the North Bend Library Board discussed the program and decided on two sessions a year, one fiction and one non-fiction. The first Valley Reads was held in May of 2018, and after four successful programs, the pandemic caused the cancellation of the Spring 2020 event.

The program is now virtual, due to Covid, with some hard work from Library Service Manager Irene Wickstrom and Adult Librarian Kirsten Erikson. The free online presentation is open to anyone, anywhere, who is interested in joining. You need not have read the book to attend. The event is scheduled for December 2 at 6:30 pm PST. Attendees can sign up here.

The Event

The book selected for the first online presentation is The Expedition, written by a North Bend Local. On January 18, 2014, Chris Fagan and her husband became the first American married couple to reach the South Pole, unguided, unsupported, and unaided. They skied 570 miles in 48 days.

Meet Chris and Marty—a married couple working on their careers, raising their only child, and chasing big adventures. At midlife, they suddenly find themselves weighing the responsibility of parenthood against the possibility of one more grand adventure before their aging bodies and the warming continent of Antarctica further degrade. They ultimately decide it is time to pursue their biggest dream: Ski 570 miles from Antarctica’s edge to the South Pole. With no guide or resupply.

From the lush Pacific Northwest to Antarctica’s barren landscape, Chris and Marty embark on one of the hardest challenges on the planet. After three years of intense planning and training, including meticulous preparations for the care of their twelve-year-old son, they are ready.

Experience a boundless white wonderland like no other on earth—encounter life-threatening dangers lurking in the bitter cold. Feel the intensity of 220-pound sleds, relentless wind, 40-below temperatures, and mind-numbing isolation. This is not an average couple’s getaway. Chris and Marty go where few others have dared on the way to making history—stretching their bodies, minds, and marriage to the limit in the process.

Riveting and inspiring, The Expedition: Two Parents Risk Life and Family in an Extraordinary Quest to the South Pole is about the power of family and community, the adventurous spirit that dwells within us all, and breaking through to feel fully alive.

This program encourages those in our local community to read the same book and then gather together with the author to discuss and ask questions. Even though the gathering part will have to wait a bit, we can still listen to a great true-life story experienced by one of our very own residents. Don’t wait; sign up today!

[Friends of the North Bend Library earns the funds for library programs from selling donated books. They are currently having both a virtual sale on their Facebook page, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor. There is also an in-person sale running at the South Fork General Store off Exit 32 next to the Riverbend Cafe.]

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