Take Flight with The Dog Stars in Central Oregon

Posted By:  Chantal Strobel
Date Posted:  3/20/2014

“A Novel Idea” Celebrates Its Eleventh Year with Three Weeks of Events

The Dog Stars Deschutes Public Library proudly announces the 11th annual celebration of “A Novel Idea…Read Together.” “A Novel Idea” is the largest community read program in the state of Oregon. Last year more than 6,000 residents read, discussed and attended free cultural and author events at the Library’s six branches and at partnering businesses. With this year’s selection of The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, the Library is anticipating the highly successful program’s continued growth.

“The growth of ‘A Novel Idea’ has been remarkable,” says Community Relations Manager Chantal Strobel. “Back in 2004, our first year, we were thrilled to have 600 people participate. We’ve been pleased to see that number steadily grow to 10 times its size during the last 10 years.” Strobel says the program provides Deschutes County residents with a common forum in which they can discuss ideas, discover culture, create art and explore similarities and differences in a safe and neutral environment.

“A Novel Idea” kicks off on Saturday, April 12, at 3:00 p.m. at the Downtown Bend Library with an overview of events, followed by an introduction to The Dog Stars by COCC English professor and “A Novel Idea” selection committee member Stacey Donohue. What follows are more than two dozen programs that explore and expound upon the themes and ideas found in Heller’s best-selling novel.

“These free cultural programs are designed to enhance the readers’ experience and enrich discussion,” says Strobel. “This year’s programs include: book discussions, documentary film screenings, poetry workshops, a look at Mennonite culture in the Northwest, plane flight as a tool for survival, star gazing, therapy dogs, a history of Spanish Flu in Central Oregon, fly fishing, growing your own food, and so much more,” she adds.

The events culminate with two free presentations by author Peter Heller on Friday, May 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the Tower Theatre in Bend and Saturday, May 3, at 1:00 p.m. at Sisters High School in Sisters. A book signing follows each presentation. Tickets are required for the free Tower Theatre event and become available on Saturday, April 12, between 10:00 a.m. and noon at the Tower Theatre box office or online at There is a two ticket limit per person for the Tower Theatre. No tickets are required for the Sisters High School event.

Reader’s guides will be available at each of the public libraries in Deschutes County beginning April 1. Free book club kits are available upon request—and while supplies last—by calling 541-312-1032.

About the Donors

“A Novel Idea” is made possible by the generous donors of the Bend Research; the E.H. & M.E. Bowerman Advised Fund of OCF; Francis, Hansen & Martin LLP; Oregon Humanities; and The Roundhouse Foundation. This program was made possible in part by a grant from the Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program.

For more information about A Novel Idea, please contact Chantal Strobel at (541) 312-1031 or Check out the “A Novel Idea” website for event listings and author information.

Page Last Modified Wednesday, June 23, 2021