Pierce County READS selects "Grunt" by best-selling author Mary Roach

Celebrating its 10th year, Pierce County READS selects “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War” by Mary Roach for the county’s largest one-book reading program. With this choice, Pierce County Library System emphasizes the important ties between its larger countywide community and the military community. Pierce County READS runs now through April 28.

A kickoff open house is planned for Saturday, March 11 at 3-5 p.m. at Lewis Army Museum on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The event includes music, food, special museum exhibits and brief remarks at 3:15 p.m. Visitors can access the museum with an ID and without going through the main Joint Base Lewis-McChord gate.

“Pierce County READS highlights one of our Library System’s primary focuses—community—to be a catalyst to engage and connect the diverse individuals in our communities,” said Pierce County Library System Executive Director Georgia Lomax. “This year’s Pierce County READS book helps us explore the strong relationships between Pierce County readers and those who work and serve in our own backyard at JBLM.”

During March and April, thousands of Pierce County residents will check out and read “Grunt” and participate in events and book discussions. Events explore military medical science, cooking for an army, Robert S. McNamara’s career as Secretary of Defense, and the profound emotional impact of war on military personnel.

Book discussions will take place at nearly all Pierce County Libraries and several places in the community. Many of these discussions will be joined by service members from JBLM, who will lend practical experience to the conversations.
In “Grunt,” Roach turns her sights on the science and research that goes into helping keep soldiers safe and well as they battle dysentery, extremely loud noise, dysfunctional uniforms, fatigue and battle wounds. She shows the human side of military research with a wry sense of humor and a willingness to go where no one else wants to go—literally and figuratively.

In addition to best-selling author for “Grunt”, Roach is the best-selling author of “Stiff,” “Bonk,” “Spook” and “Gulp,” where she is also known for looking into the underside of her subjects with a unique blend of curiosity, science and narrative journalism.

The highlight of Pierce County READS is the author event, slated for Friday, April 28, 7 p.m. at McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College. Ariel Van Cleave, KNKX’s “Morning Edition” producer, will interview Roach onstage. Afterward, Roach will autograph books. The author event will also be live streamed at seven locations around the county.

Pierce County Library and The News Tribune present the 10th annual Pierce County READS, sponsored by KeyBank Foundation, Pierce County Library Foundation, McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College and KNKX. Dozens of community partners are participating in Pierce County READS.