anne griffin

Anne Griffin’s “When All is Said” is Deschutes Public Library’s pick for the 2020 A Novel Idea program.

Though we’ve turned the page on 2019, take heart, bibliophiles: The forecast calls from local literary events to the pending publication of new books from the likes of Stephen King, Nick Hornby, Louise Erdrich and other ink-stained authors.

And thanks to Deschutes Public Library, you won’t have to wait long in the local lit department.

Last June, the library introduced its first writer in residence, and this weekend, the second is up to bat: Author Karen Thompson Walker reads at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Brooks Room of the Downtown Bend Library. (Though Thompson Walker has more planned, those events are already booked full.)

Before the month is through, the annual Author! Author! series kicks off with presentations from three high-profile authors. First up, the Oregon-based, National Book Award-winning Barry Lopez, author of “Field Notes,” “Of Wolves and Men” and many more, kicking things off on Jan. 23.

Just a few weeks later, Susan Orlean will visit on Feb. 19. Orlean is the acclaimed author of “The Orchid Thief” and the more recent “The Library Book,” which investigates the 1986 arson of the Los Angeles Public Library, which suffered $22 million in fire damage in 1986. As the L.A. Times cleverly put it, “In a reverse ‘Fahrenheit 451’- Orlean took a fire and turned it into a book.”

Michael Pollan (“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) wraps things up just two weeks later, on March 4, but that event is sold out. Tickets for Lopez and Orlean are $30 per event. Contact: or 541-312-1027.

The library’s other popular literary event, A Novel Idea … Read Together, launches a month later, on April 4. This year, the Deschutes Public Library Foundation has selected the book “When All is Said,” Irish author Anne Griffin’s first novel, for the annual community read, which always features community conversations and other programming based on themes in the selected title. The 2020 iteration of A Novel Idea concludes May 3, when Griffin will give a presentation at Bend High School. All Novel Idea events are free, but a ticket is required for Griffin’s reading; tickets become available April 18 online and at all library branches.

Other literary happeningsStarting Monday and continuing through Jan. 29 in Bend, Redmond and Prineville, Central Oregon Community College and other area organizations are holding a series of book talks on Ijeoma Oluo’s bestselling “So You Want to Talk About Race,” which encourages and facilitates difficult conversations.

For a schedule, as well as other Season of Nonviolence events, visit

In June, students in Oregon State University-Cascades’ low-residency Creative Writing MFA program will again convene in Bend, at which time OSU often hosts public readings by students and faculty. The latter group includes author Beth Alvarado, whose 2019 essay collection “Anxious Attachments” has been longlisted for a PEN America award.

Sunriver Books and Music has a number of author readings in the offing, including John Bruning presenting “Race of Aces” Jan. 18, Melissa Crandall presenting “Elephant Speak” March 7, Matt Ruff presenting “88 Names” March 21 and Les AuCoin presenting “Catch and Release” April 11. All events are at 5 p.m. Visit for more.

Keep an eye out for the return of the Sisters Festival of Books, featuring author presentations and more, Oct. 16-18.

Upcoming book releasesAmong the many books you can look forward to in 2020 are these:

Jan. 7 — “Long Bright River,” by Liz Moore

Jan. 21 — “American Dirt: A Novel,” by Jeanine Cummins

Jan. 21 — “Long Petal of the Sea,” by Isabel Allende

Feb. 4 — “Golden in Death,”

by J.D. Robb

Feb. 25 — “Apeirogon,”

Colum McCann

March 3 — “Night Watchman,” by Louise Erdrich

March 3 — “Trace Elements,”

by Donna Leon

March 3 — “Long Range,”

by C.J. Box

March 3 — “Deacon King Kong,” by James McBride

March 10 — “A Reasonable Doubt,” by Phillip Margolin

March 17 — “The Boy from the Woods,” by Harlan Coben

April 7 — “Redhead by the Side of the Road,” by Anne Tyler

April 21 — “Book of Longings,” by Sue Monk Kidd

April 28 — “Camino Winds,”

by John Grisham

May 5 — “If it Bleeds,”

by Stephen King

May 12 — “Shakespeare for Squirrels,” by Christopher Moore

May 12 — “Sorry for you Trouble,” by Richard Ford

May 19 — “Big Summer,”

by Jennifer Weiner

June 2 — “The Ties that Bind,” by Emily Griffin

June 16 — “28 Summers,”

by Elin Hilderbrand

July 7 — “Outsider,”

by Linda Castillo

Sept. 15 — “Transcendent

Kingdom,” by Yaa Gyasi

Oct. 31 — “Just Like You,”

by Nick Hornby

David Jasper: 541-383-0349,

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