Phyllis Bernt

Phyllis Bernt

The Cannon Beach Library will finally be done with zoom-only events in November. The World of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series, the Cannon Beach Reads book club and the NW Author Speakers Series will all be offered in a hybrid format, allowing participants the choice of either attending an event in person or participating virtually from home.

The World of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Friends of Haystack Rock, is beginning this year’s season with a lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, in the library, at 131 North Hemlock. A link to the lecture will be available on the Friends of Haystack Rock website (

Oregon State University faculty member Sylvia Yamada will present “European Green Crabs: Are They Here to Stay?”

The European green crab is listed among the world’s worst invasive species. It is native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, but has spread to Australia, South Africa, South America and the Pacific coast of North America.

Sylvia Yamada has been monitoring European green crabs in Oregon estuaries for 20 years. She also researches salmon identification, predator-prey interactions and invertebrate fisheries. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from the University of Oregon.

This year’s season is special because it is dedicated to the memory of Sandi Lundy. In addition to being a devoted member of Friends of Haystack Rock, Sandi was a long-time library volunteer, serving as a library board member and board vice president. Sandi had a great smile, a quick wit and a generous heart. She was a gourmet cook who delighted volunteers at the July Fourth Book Sales with delicious sandwiches and supplied the World of Haystack Rock lectures and Cannon Beach Reads meetings with delectable treats. Her humor, good sense and kindness are greatly missed.

The World of Haystack Rock Lecture Series meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month, from November through April.

The Cannon Beach Reads book club, which meets on the third Wednesday of every month, will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, at the library, to discuss “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” by Stephen Greenblatt.

“The Swerve,” which was awarded both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, tells the story of Poggio Bracciolini, a papal emissary and avid book hunter, who in 1417 saved the last copy of the Roman Poet Lucretius’s poem “On the Nature of Things.”

Lucretius, whose poem had been all but lost for a thousand years, was an atomist who believed there was no plan to the universe. Instead, he thought the universe was made up of small bits of matter—atoms—that were in constant motion, colliding with one another and swerving randomly in new directions, without any intervention from gods or other divine beings.

Greenblatt likens the rediscovery of Lucretius’s poem to a swerve, arguing that it changed the direction of history because Lucretius’s ideas of a random universe presented an alternative to the fifteenth century worldview of an orderly universe created and overseen by a supreme being, with the earth at its center. According to Greenblatt, Lucretius paved the way for the great thinkers who helped define the modern age: Galileo, Darwin, Freud, Einstein and Thomas Jefferson.

Stephen Greenblatt is a Shakespearean scholar and literary historian. Educated at Yale, he has taught at UC Berkeley and Harvard. Greenblatt has been influential in literary studies since the 1980s, when he introduced the concept of “cultural poetics,” an approach in which literature is analyzed as a way to understand history and culture. He has written extensively about Renaissance studies and Shakespeare. His biography of Shakespeare, “Will in the World,” was on the New York Times best seller list for nine weeks.

Joe Bernt will lead the discussion at the library. A zoom link will also be provided for those who wish to participate from home. Contact Joe Bernt at to get the link.  Cannon Beach Reads is open to everyone. New participants are always welcome.

The third installment of the library’s NW Author Speakers Series will also be presented as a hybrid event, with either in-person or online participation, beginning at 2 p.m., on Saturday, November 12, at the library, when Ellie Alexander will present “Meet the Modern Mystery.” The link to her talk will be available on the library’s website (,

The author of more than 30 cozy mysteries, Alexander has more than a half million books in print. Her work has appeared in Climbing Magazine, Women’s World, Mystery Scene Magazine, Buzz Feed and the Oregonian. She also teaches classes and workshops on writing and marketing for published and novice authors.

Alexander is the author of the long-running Bake Shop Mystery series, whose heroine, baker Juliet Capshaw, helps solve murders when she’s not baking luscious confections at Torte, her family’s bake shop in Ashland, Oregon. To date, there are 16 Bake Shop Mysteries. Alexander also writes the Sloan Krause Mysteries, which are set in Leavenworth, Washington, and feature Sloan Krause, a female craft brewer and amateur sleuth.

Writing under the pseudonym Kate Dyer-Seeley, Alexander has also created a Pacific Northwest Mystery series featuring Portland journalist Meg Reed and a Rose City Mystery series featuring Portland florist Brittany Johnston.

Not all events during November will be presented in a hybrid format. From 12 to 1 p.m. on November 12, right before Ellie Alexander’s talk, library board member Peggy Thom will conduct Story Time in the library’s Children’s Room. This will be an in-person event for children up to age eight, though people of all ages are welcome.

Both Ellie Alexander’s talk and Story Time with Peggy Thom are listed as part of the WOW! Weekend events.

WOW! Weekend is a three-day festival of spa sessions, speakers, art classes, yoga sessions and artisan vendors. Once known as Women’s Only Weekend, WOW! Weekend is more inclusive, with activities for everyone in the family. Information about WOW! Weekend is available at

The festival, which takes place November 11 through 13, is funded by the City’s Travel and Tourism Fund and with support from local hotels and merchants. Proceeds from the sale of general admission tickets to WOW! Weekend will be donated to the library.


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