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Cover Image of The Distant Land of My Father by Bo Caldwell published by Harvest Books
Cover Image of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Johnson published by Oxford University Press
Cover Image of ORGANIZED MIND by Daniel J Levitin published by Allen Lane Canada
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Whistler Reads: The Community That Skis Together Also Reads Together

abstract:The Whistler Reads initiative is fashioned on the "One Book One City" programs popular across North America. Want to be a part of this exciting community venture, meet authors, discover new books, join the biggest book group in BC? Check out the list of past books and events below. We welcome all newcomers and drop-in resort visitors alike. This is a great place to meet locals if you are new to Whistler.
"Whether you live work or come to play in Whistler—read what Whistler Reads!" says WR Founder, Paula Shackleton.

Here is how to join:

  • Click on JOIN
  • Select "Invited to join an EXISTING book group"
  • Type "Whistler Reads" (without the quotes) into the book group name field
  • Fill in the rest of your information.
  • If you are already a member of BookBuffet, check that box.
    You can now access the member home page, and begin receiving emails with the latest book and event details and discussion questions.

    See what other members are reading and post your current books on our FaceBook Page.
    Get the latest news and features via our Twitter Feed.


    March 01, 2010

    All About Whistler Reads

    The resort community of Whistler (home of the 2010 Winter Olympics) is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by a cathedral of mountains with Whistler and Blackcomb at the center of alpine activity.  It's a recreational paradise, but with 2 million-plus annual visitors and a permanent resident population of just 10,000, there are challenges here that other towns and villages don't face.

    Like deciding whether to ski, board, play tennis, a round of golf, go sailing, windsurfing, or kayaking; or mountain bike the extensive trail system, catch a visiting band performance or kick back with friends. Believe it or not, reading a good book is also in the mix of alternatives for many of us. 

    Add to all those distractions the fact that we still have to work, in a resort that's open 24-7-365, with most people in the service industry orienting an ever-changing, world-savvy visiting staff who have decided to make Whistler their home for the next year (or as long as they can manage housing and cost-of-living expenses). Meet the grind.

    Uniting this diverse community through literature is Whistler Reads. Whether you're new to Whistler, a seasoned resident, recreational property owner, long-stay guest, employee, or returning resort visitor - Whistler Reads welcomes you!

    Whistler Reads members receive 10% discount off the current WR book selection from Armchair Books in the village. Thanks Dan! Join WR, support our local bookstore, and save while you read.

    WR is a Partner of the new Whistler Public Library who's doors opened January 2008. Become a WPL member and borrow the Whistler Reads book picks from the library. We will host many of our discussions in the library, easily available to the public. Our special events are often hosted in beautiful local homes. This provides a unique opportunity to see the spectacular craftsmanship of Whistler's builders, and enjoy the famous mountain hospitality of our generous residents.

    Current WR Event

    Our 30th WR book selection for Aug and Sept is in the works. The author has agreed to join us and we are working out dates and details. She lives in Los Angeles but teaches at the University of Alabama. There may actually be two events associated with this book - a reading and discussion with WR members and a writing workshop with the author: Up Close:Harper Lee by Kerry Madden. And To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee now in its 50th anniversary edition.

    Past Book Discussions, Author Events, & Photos

    Whistler Reads was inaugurated on February 11th, 2005, and now has over 600 local members who are: local residents and vacation homeowners of Whistler and the Howe Sound corridor, Vancouver, and the Seattle corridor, as well as visiting tourists who have become friends and stay in touch with us online (and make WR events their next vacation).

    • 29th Event: May/Jun 2010:
      Deloume Road
      by Matthew Hooton. Matthew gave a wonderful reading and answered questions, then everyone took a lovely summer stroll down the village walk to the waiting patio tables at Il Caminetto.Matt also critiqued two local writer's successful writing contest submissions.Buy Book
    • 28th Event: Feb/Mar 2010:
      Food Rules
      by Michael Pollin. We had a 6-member local panel from the health care policy maker, to Olympic athletes, to fitness trainers and experts in sports psychology to a local organic food producer from Pemberton.Buy Book
    • 27th Event: Dec/Jan 2009:
      The Golden Mean
      by Annabel Lyon. The author attended.Buy Book
    • 26th Event: Oct/Nov 2009:
      Bicycle Diaries
      by David Byrnes. At the Westin Hotel's Fire Rock Lounge with video clips of the Talking Heads band (Byrnes was the band's lead singer-songwriter for over two decades) and stories by WORCA - Whistler's Off Road Cycling Association executive.
      Buy Book
    • 25th WR Event:Aug/Sep 2009:
      Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, Canada's diva of the short story genre. In a spectacular Blueberry Hill, Whistler residence.
      Buy Book
    • 24th WR EVENT: June/July 2009:
      Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton with 5-member expert panel culled from all areas of the art world: artist, advisor, collector, curator and dealer.
      Buy Book
    • 23rd WR EVENT: Apr/May 2009:
      South by Ernest Shackleton with special guest speaker Chris Shackleton and opening remarks by South Pole enthusiast, Andrew Prossin, ONE OCEAN ADVENTURES, our sponsor for this event who has led over 100 trips to the pole.
      Buy Book
    • 22nd WR EVENT: Feb/March 2009:
      The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid with special guest speaker Graham E. Fuller former Station Chief CIA in the Middle East discussing the book. Opening remarks by John Weston, MP all located in the library of the Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler. (video clips upcoming)
      Buy Book
    • 21st WR EVENT: Dec/Jan 2009:
      Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman. Jan 4th 1:30-2:30pm at the Whistler Public Library. Ski all morning then drop by after lunch. With seven interesting speakers whose talks are available via the video link.
      Buy Book)
    • 20th WR EVENT: Oct/Nov 2008:
      A Romance On Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest For The Perfect Piano by Katie Hafner. Nov 6th, 2008 at the WPL with special guest speaker UBC Department of Music Paula McLaughlin.
      Buy Book
    • 19th WR EVENT: July/Aug & Sept 2008:
      Devil May Care by Sebastian Fawlks celebrates the Ian Fleming Centenary. This event is a James Bond-themed WR fundraiser. Sept 13th, 2008 that was held in an exclusive Whistler home and featured a lingerie fashion show by Agent Provocateur, gambling tables a-la James Bond and body-painted Bond Girls. Grey Goose sponsored our Vesper martini bar.
      View event photos.
      Buy Book
    • 18th WR EVENT: Mar/Apr 2008:
      The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. A lively skit put on by members of Whistler's politico MC'd by Pique Newsmagazine's GD Maxwell and special guest MP, John Weston.
      Event photos here
      Buy Book
    • 17th WR EVENT: Jan/Feb 2008:
      Out Stealing Horses by Pers Petterson. A cozy group evening with host Paula Shackleton presenting a close-reading of this exceptional translated novel from Norway and discussion of the art of translation.
      Buy Book
    • 16th WR EVENT: Nov/Dec 2007:
      The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan with special guest speaker, Economist Glen Donaldson, PhD from the Sauder School of Business who consults to the Bank of Canada. With the forecasted recession, the changes to the Cnd-US currency exchange rates, and the banks reeling from the sub-prime mortgage crisis a can't-miss opportunity. Held at The Four Seasons Hotel. (drinks and appi's)
      (Three part video of this event appears on the home page.)
      Buy Book
    • 15th WR EVENT: Sept/Oct 2007:
      The Female Brain by Dr. Louann Brizendine. (Author podcast pending) The whole group was able to speak LIVE with the author from her home in SanFrancisco about this fascinating topic - how women's brains work and differ from those XY's.
      Buy Book
    • 14th WR EVENT: Jul/Aug 2007:
      The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee, who joined us at Millennium Place followed by an Shanghai Tang-themed party at Rick's MIX bar and restaurant.
      See video of author giving a tour through Chinatown with WR founder Paula Shackleton on the home page video screen.
      " >Buy Book
    • 13th WR EVENT: May/Jun 2007:
      Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai at the local Indian restaurant, Tandoori where we shared delicious Indian cuisine and hospitality.
      Buy Book
    • 12th WR EVENT: Mar/Apr 2007:
      Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden hosted at the fabulous Path Gallery surrounded by native art we commenced the evening with a traditional Sage Smudge Ceremony and members read their grandfather's WWI trench poetry - a moving event.
      (Author Interview)
      Buy Book
    • 11th WR EVENT: Jan/Feb 2007:
      Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan (Author Interview) with play-back of Paula's interview with the author and an in-costume parody skit of the Paris Peace Conference world leaders led by members of Whistler's own town council and the president of the Chamber of Commerce.
      Buy Book
    • 10th WR EVENT: Nov/Dec 2006:
      Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam, Giller Prize Winner 2006 with the author joining the group via teleconference from Toronto, Ontario.
      Buy Book
    • 9th WR EVENT: Sept/Oct 2006:
      Ms Alcott's Email by Kit Bakke with the author joining us at the spectacular home on Horstman Lane and delicious wines by Quail's Gate and Food by Vancouver's top restaurant chef from "NU".
      (View event photos at the 2nd annual BookBuffet Cornucopia Luncheon)
      Buy Book
    • 8th WR EVENT: Jul/Aug 2006:
      The Futurist by James P. Othmer with the group meeting fireside at the Wild Flower restaurant to share a delicious BC wine tasting.
      Buy Book
    • 7th WR EVENT: May/June 2006:
      The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant. Winner of the GG nonfiction 2005 with the author attending to provide a reading and answer member questions.
      (View event photos and video podcast
      Buy Book
    • 6th WR EVENT: Mar/Apr 2006:
      Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Winner of the NYT Book of the Year 2005 with the group meeting at local coffee shop Blendz
      Buy Book
    • 5th WR EVENT: Dec 2005/Jan 2006:
      The Girls by Lori Lansens with the group meeting at Java's in Nesters.
      Listen to our Author Podcast Interview
      Buy Book
    • 4th WR EVENT: Sept/Oct 2005:
      Beyond Measure by Pauline Holdstock, BC Book Award winner and Giller finalist, who attended this, our first food and wine literary event, at the Buy Book
    • 3rd WR EVENT: July/Aug 2005:
      article feature click here">A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
      Buy Book
    • 2nd WR EVENT: May/June 2005:
      Small Island by Andrea Levy Winner of the Orange Prize among other awards.
      Buy Book
    • 1st WR EVENT: March/April 2005:
      Rockbound by Frank Parker Day A Canada Reads selection
      Buy Book

    Getting the Book

    Click on our vendor links to purchase online, or stop in at Armchair Books for your member discount reserved copy—and don't miss the next meeting!

    Feedback and suggestions. Which books are you reading? Who are your favorite authors? Become a WR sponsor?

    Start an Employer-Sponsored Reading Group—It's easy! Survey your staff to see who's interested. Identify a group leader and we'll train them with leadership and group dynamic skills. We will get you reading and discussion materials. We'll also moderate your first few meetings.

    Come on, Whistler! It's only one book every 8 weeks. You already exercise your body; reading exercises your mind. Meet people. Share your ideas. Meet authors. Improves employee satisfaction and staff cohesion, and your customers will enjoy discussing books and hearing about the events. Perfect for ski & board instructors, restaurant staff, concierge & hotel staff, grocery clerks, or anyone in the hospitality industry. Meet on staff premises or join the main WR group meetings.

    Re-donate used books back to us and we will distribute to schools, libraries, and places where people can't afford to buy books.

    Call Us at +1 (604) 907-2804 or email Register and receive all the updates.

    Become A Whistler Reads Donor

    Whistler Reads is a not-for-profit organization. We rely on donations to bring you quality events and bring authors.
    Make a donation to Whistler Reads TODAY
    Donate Amounts

    Here's what we do:

    • Select interesting, well-written fiction and nonfiction books with wide appeal
    • Post research and reading group questions on the website to stimulate discussion
    • Notify members with news, information and events in a monthly email
    • Bring the author to Whistler to discuss the book
    • Bring expert guest speakers
    • Connect existing book groups and motivate new readers
    • Secure sponsors to subsidize events
    • Donate books to schools and the community
    • Film video book reviews, putting local faces to books!
    • Put together "book group six-packs" - library lending sets of each WR title to encourage group reading that come with accompanying discussion material and comment sheets to share opinions



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