Dozens of books entered the arena and only one will emerge as 2021’s “A Novel Idea” selection.

The Deschutes Public Library Foundation will unveil the 2021 A Novel Idea book during a virtual event on Saturday, December 5. The community is invited to join in at 6 p.m. for the build-up to the big book reveal — complete with a plot twist. Join early to test your A Novel Idea trivia knowledge, and find recipes and music inspired by this year’s book to help set the ambiance. Finally, the book will be revealed followed by a message from the author.

The community can watch the announcement and entire unveiled program online. The evening will include a special announcement regarding a change-up for the first time in the program’s 18-year history.

“We will miss being in person and seeing the reaction from guests when the book is announced, but rest assured, we are putting forth our best efforts to deliver incredible online programming,” said Deschutes Public Library’s Programs Supervisor Liz Goodrich. “A Novel Idea is one of our favorite programs, and the community’s too. We have interactive elements to bring the event to viewers in all its glory to make it an unforgettable year.”

A Novel Idea began in 2004 with David James Duncan’s “The River Why” and 400 community participants attending a handful of programs. After a quick pivot to move the program online in March 2020, with Anne Griffin’s “When All Is Said” — including a live-streamed event featuring the author in Ireland — organizers saw their highest engagement numbers ever, with more than 800 viewers tuning in for the live event. In addition, more than 9,000 people viewed “A Novel Idea” programs online leading up to the main author event.

By transitioning A Novel Idea to the digital realm, Goodrich notes the library has the ability to reach people throughout the county, whether it is their first year or 18th participating in the project.

“Last spring when we transitioned to online programming, Deschutes County readers continued to show support for A Novel Idea by turning out for virtual programs in record numbers,” Goodrich said. “We believe that A Novel Idea provides a platform to understand one another a little bit better by reading, exploring, and discussing a book together.”

Programming for A Novel Idea begins on Saturday, April 3, and culminates with the author’s live-streamed event on Sunday, May 2. All programs are presented online and free of charge thanks to the support of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation. Readers can reserve a library copy immediately following the reveal on December 5. All local bookstores will have copies available for purchase.

For more information about this or other library programs, visit the library website at www.deschuteslibrary.org and the Foundation website at www.dplfoundation.org. People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Goodrich at 541-312-1032.