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Welcome to A Novel Idea 2024

Last year was a milestone for the A Novel Idea community read program. We celebrated our 20th year of reading together, and every year along the way we’ve witnessed the power of books to build empathy and understanding, as well as foster connections between people. As we begin our 21st year, we once again look forward to the ways in which a novel helps build community, one book at a time. With thought-provoking events and discussions—more than three dozen in all—as well and in-person visits from authors, A Novel Idea 2024 promises to continue giving Deschutes County readers something to talk about.

We are proud to offer a book selection for adults and another for young readers. Finding two books for two different age groups of readers is always an exciting challenge. This year we bring forward two books that speak to each other across genre and age demographics. Shark Heart: A Love Story, the adult selection and Emily Habeck’s debut novel, is the unforgettable story of Wren and Lewis as they navigate Lewis’s transformation into a great white shark. In No Matter the Distance, the youth selection by Cindy Baldwin, we fall in love with Penny Rooney and the dolphin Rose, who lives in the creek behind Penny’s home.

What could these two books possibly have in common? Each novel is a love story, between Lewis and Wren and between Penny and Rose. The achingly beautiful center of both love stories is the unavoidable good-bye that both novels move toward. Those good-byes are not optional. They are happening whether Penny and Wren like it or not and both choose to make those good-byes as meaningful and beautiful as possible. Good-byes can be unspeakably sad. They can also be moments of memory-making and joy.

Programming for A Novel Idea kicks off on May 3. During the weeks leading up to the main author event, readers can explore and expound upon ideas found in Shark Heart and No Matter the Distance. A Novel Idea culminates with a free author event featuring Emily Habeck on Saturday, June 1, at Caldera High School and a visit from the youth edition author, Cindy Baldwin, on Saturday, May 18, at the Downtown Bend Library. All programs, including the authors’ presentations, are free of charge thanks to the support of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation. Tickets are free, but required for the main author event and are available starting May 13.

Thank you for continuing to make the A Novel Idea community read program the largest of its kind in Oregon, and thank you to our sponsors and supporters for making this program free to all, year after year. We hope you enjoy both novels and that Deschutes County readers embrace the love and sorrow behind the good good-bye.

A Novel Idea 2024 Video Collection

Page Last Modified Wednesday, April 17, 2024


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