Everett Reads

Graphic showing Everett Reads 2024 Into the Wilderness

2024 Everett Reads: Into the Wilderness author events and programs 

Everett Reads is a community-wide reading initiative designed to deepen an appreciation of reading and unite the Everett community through conversation. Under the theme of Into the Wilderness, this year’s selection of authors and titles explore themes of climate change, nature, and survival. Community members are encouraged to read “The New Wilderness” and “Dry”; copies of both titles are available to check out, and a limited number of giveaway copies will be available at both library locations. These events are free, and tickets are not required. Artisans PNW will have copies of the books for purchase at the events, and authors will be available for book signing after their presentations.


Diane Cook
Diane Cook will speak about her award-winning book “The New Wilderness.

This event has been postponed. Please check this page for updates about a rescheduled date.

Original date: Friday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Weyerhaeuser Room, Everett Station, 3201 Smith Avenue. 

New date: TBD

Photo of author Diane Cook with book cover showing two people in the woodsAbout the book

“The New Wilderness” is a wildly imaginative debut novel of a mother’s battle to save her daughter in a world ravaged by climate change. Bea’s five-year-old daughter, Agnes, is slowly wasting away, consumed by the smog and pollution of the overdeveloped metropolis that most of the population now calls home. If they stay in the city, Agnes will die. There is only one alternative: the Wilderness State, the last swath of untouched, protected land, where people have always been forbidden. Bea, Agnes, and eighteen others volunteer to live in the Wilderness State, guinea pigs in an experiment to see if humans can exist in nature without destroying it. The farther they get from civilization, the more their bond is tested in astonishing and heartbreaking ways.

About the author

Diane Cook is a critically acclaimed novelist and Booker Prize Finalist. Her book “The New Wilderness” is a Washington Post, NPR, and Buzzfeed 2020 Best Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her story collection, “Man V. Nature”, was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the Believer Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. She is a former producer for the radio program This American Life and was the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Neal and Jarrod Shusterman will discuss their critically acclaimed book “Dry” on Thursday, March 21, at 6:00 p.m., at Cope Gillette Theatre, 2730 Wetmore Avenue.

Photos of authors Neal and Jerrod Shusterman with red book coverAbout the book

In “Dry”, a drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers. Then the taps run dry. Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

About the authors

Neal Shusterman is a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books, for children, teens, and adults, including the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, “Downsiders”, and “Challenger Deep”, which won the National Book Award. “Scythe”, the first book in his series Arc of a Scythe is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. 

Jarrod Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the novel “Dry”, which he is adapting for a major Hollywood film studio with Neal Shusterman. He is also the coauthor of the accoladed novel “Roxy”. His books have all received critical acclaim and multiple starred reviews. Jarrod wrote his most recent title, “Retro”, with Sofía Lapuente, and together, they teach a course on writing at UCLA.

Related Events

For All Ages:
Tiny Art: Into the Wilderness 

Starting on Feb 6
Main Library and Evergreen Branch
Showcase your artistic talents in our Tiny Art Show! The show runs from March 1 – April 8 at the Main Library. Participants can pick-up a take-and-make Tiny Art kit containing a 4”x4” canvas, acrylic paints, and paint brushes at either Everett Public Library location starting February 6 (while supplies last). Use the included supplies or your own to create a tiny masterpiece (no larger than a 4” x 4” cube). Tiny Art will be displayed at Everett Public Library, Tabby’s Coffee Shop, on the library’s website, and in social media posts. Drop in to make some art at the Tiny Art Paint-in: Create Art for the Tiny Art Show on Tuesday, February 6, 4-6:30 p.m.

66 Birds/3 Degrees: the Art and Science of Protecting our Local Birds 
Saturday, March 9, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. 
Main Library
Join Skagit County artist Natalie Niblack for a presentation of her project, 66 Birds/ 3 Degrees. The project was done in collaboration with biologist Dr. John Bower and consists of 66 paintings of at-risk birds with recordings of their vocalizations.  She will discuss the Audubon study the work is based on and impacts on Western Washington bird populations.  
Following the talk there will be a printmaking art project related to birds. Space is limited and registration is required. Please signup here beginning on Feb. 10. 

Repair Café: Don't Toss It - Repair it!
Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Main Library
Got broken stuff? Toss it? No way! Bring it to a WSU Repair Café! You can bring your vacuums, lamps, computers (software issues only), bikes, jewelry, and one of our volunteer fixers will diagnose the issue and do their best to make it usable again. They will show you their process, order parts if necessary, and help you learn how to do it yourself with one-on-one instruction. Our fixers can repair your items and keep stuff from being tossed in the landfill!

Hosting Native Pollinators in Your Garden with Brenda Cunningham
Saturday, April 20, 11 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Main Library
We are all concerned about pollinators and the importance of their work in our food systems. Come join Brenda for a program about how to attract and host pollinators in your gardens. She will also share resources with you for learning how to identify pollinators, at home and on the trail. Brenda Cunningham is the Garden Manager of the Salal Native Plant Garden. Located in the lowland fields of the Skagit Valley, a labor of love and concern for native plants manifests as an extensive and charming display garden.

For Youth:
Build It: Daring Dissections
Thursday, March 7, 4-5 p.m.
Evergreen Branch
Owl pellets are essentially owl hairballs – and they contain many clues about how healthy ecosystems work!  Take a look into the world of the barn owl and discover what it eats by dissecting its pellet in this workshop lead by staff from the Imagine Children's Museum. Register at epls.org/signmeup starting February 8.
For youth in grades 1 - 5

Reptile Lady
Saturday, April 27, 2-3 p.m.
Evergreen Branch
Snakes, alligators, & lizards! Interact with intriguing reptiles from all over the world in this educational & fun event with the Reptile Lady, April Jackson! 
For families with children of all ages.
This event is ticketed on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets available 30 minutes prior to program at the Reference Desk.