Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]

Literary Events

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here. Next event:

PRESS RELEASE: JEFF ABBOTT, JANUARY 31, 2018, GEORGETOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY

Austin novelist, Jeff Abbott, will return to the Georgetown Public Library to speak at the Hill Country Authors Series on Wednesday, January 31st at 2 PM. Abbott’s first appearance here was in 2012; this time he’ll discuss his fourteenth novel, Blame, published July, 2017, to critical acclaim. Known as one of the best thriller writers in the business, his latest effort was described by fellow thriller author, Harlan Coben, as “the perfect blend of complex characters, plot twists galore, and great psychological suspense."

Bestsellers around the world, Jeff's novels are thrillers that center on ordinary people caught up in sudden, unexpected nightmares, often related to secrets in their past. They combine high-stakes intrigue with emotional punch.

In Blame an amnesiac accident victim has to investigate her own past in Abbott’s tense psychological thriller. Froom Kirkus Review: “The Austin, Texas, suburb of Lakehaven is shaken when two teenagers drive off a cliff; driver Jane Norton survives while high school hero David Hall is killed. Jane comes out of a coma with part of her memory lost. After a note is found at the accident scene that suggests Jane caused the accident in a suicide attempt, she becomes an outcast; as Jane pieces together her own history, she becomes convinced she wasn’t trying to kill herself, and the accident starts looking more like murder. The unconventional plot, the constant surprises, and above all the psychological depth of the characters all make this a first-rate crime novel. “

A Rice University graduate with a degree in History and English, Abbott worked as a creative director at an advertising agency for more than eleven years, as he continued to write novels. He left that job in 2005 in order to write full-time after the success of his thriller, Panic. Three of his novels have been optioned for film, and are in script development.

He is a three-time nominee for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award and a two-time nominee for the Anthony Award. Jeff’s first novel, Do Unto Others, won both the Agatha Award and the Macavity Award.

The event begins at 2 pm at the library located at 402 W. 8th Street in Georgetown; the doors open at 1:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online (link here) beginning December 1 at the special online price of $13.00. Tickets will go on sale in the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library on January 2, 2018 for $15.00, $18 at the door. Tickets are also available from the Wow!mobile, the bookmobile that services Georgetown. Contact Marcy Lowe at 512-868-8974 for more information.

A dessert and beverage from the Red Poppy Café in the library will be served.

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The Nobel Prize in Literature was given to author Kazuo Ishiguro.
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Amazon is planning a video series based on stories by Philip K. Dick. Date of release is not yet announced.
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Click here to see the trailer for Stephen Spielberg's Ready Player One, currently scheduled to debut March 30th. Look for the DeLorean. (Hint-it's moving quickly and is black and you're more likely to find it if you watch one of the explanatory videos that elaborates on the trailer.) If you want to, stay on the YouTube page and see lots more about Ready Player One. After all, it's a movie about the native online generation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Devil in the White City

When I went home from book discussion last Monday, I was so proud of our group! Almost everyone had read the book, the full title of which is Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson. Of course, we all enjoyed it; it was a great read! But, I think it's a very special group of people who will tackle and tame a fat, well-written history book in August, rather than a simple romance or mystery. And, we all found the story compelling and the history fascinating! The author did a great job, but he couldn't have done it for each of us without our contributing our share in time and intellectual effort and focus. We had another enlightening discussion, too, with many insights and contributions that everyone enjoyed!

Here are a few of the highlights, in case you read or are reading the book and missed the meeting:

The current Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is in one two buildings from the fair that is still standing. It was the art building at the fair. So, if you have been to Chicago or plan to go there, take an extra look...

Burnham and Holmes were each obsessed in some way, Burnham by the Exposition and Holmes by his sick stuff.

Why wasn't Burnham more famous? Would he and Root as a team have been famous if Root had lived?

The fair was the best character in the book.

Imagine the magic and sensory overload the people in that era would have had upon going to the fair, from plain homes in small towns without TV, Internet, nonlocal food, or much access to the World at all. Those from Chicago would have been from the "black (soot-covered from coal) city," and so also would have been enthralled by the fair.

Everyone was surprised by all the aspects of current life that originated at the fair. Pabst Blue-Ribbon beer explained!

How about the size of that Ferris wheel? What would it cost to insure such a ride today?

I brought some commemorative stamps that had been minted in honor of the exposition in 1893; my husband had them in an old stamp collection. They were the first commemorative stamps in US history!

Patty's family has a gold medal that was won by her husband's grandfather at the fair for the best butter from Amber, Iowa (I think that was the town).

One of us read all the parts about Holmes and then went back to read all the parts about the fair!

We had more good discussion about Holmes and who we liked and disliked and what we found interesting. Questions were answered for some of us.

Although reading is its own reward, after finishing a good book, there's nothing like a good discussion with others who have read the book!

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