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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Amazon Prime Video has released a series based on stories by Philip K. Dick. It's called Electric Dreams.
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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.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Dave Steakley
January 31 – March 4, 2018 | Topfer Theatre
(Zach Theater in Austin)
If you can, go February 10th @2:30 PM

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Catch the Song

A little long-winded today, but hang in there – you don’t have to have the next book read for a month…

Today we discussed The Songcatcher, by Sharyn McCrumb. Everyone enjoyed the book, and there was plenty to think and say about it. We are becoming such experienced critics! We know how to find the themes that carry through, such as the subtle examples throughout the book of the McCourry curse, where parents slight the firstborn child. We noticed that a couple of things didn’t quite fit, such as the question as to why the spirit of Fred, the pilot of the airplane that had crashed long before the story, still was hanging around, when spirits aren’t supposed to need to stay unless there is unfinished business, and there didn’t seem to be any for Fred. We noticed that some of the characters’ stories didn’t get resolved, such as Lark’s and the relationship between Lark and her father, and also Becky Tilden. There was no indication as to what would happen to Becky later. Did she inherit Lark’s father’s property? Of course, Lark wouldn’t want or need it, but things were left up in the air. Someone suggested that relationships are not always completed in real life, either.

Although we found the weak spots in the book, that didn’t mean that we didn’t also notice stengths. We enjoyed the history and the descriptions of life in this special part of the country both for the time of the modern story as well as for the various historical times. McCrumb covered many generations in this story, weaving them all together with several simple themes. We liked the subtle hints and ideas that were but left to the reader to figure out, eg, that the young lady toward the end whose boyfriend had mentioned the “stained” petticoats suddenly realized that the boyfriend had been the murderer. And the salt that Nora put on the front step…ghosts can’t pass across salt. (I hadn’t known that.)

Several of us had read more than one of Sharyn McCrumb’s novels and told us that the characters Nora, Spencer, and LeDonne are recurring characters…always pivotal but never really main characters. There were a lot of characters in the book! They were all connected, but some more loosely than others. Some of us tried to keep track of the connections and/or genealogy.

Discussion also centered on some of our own experiences traveling through Appalachia or knowing people from there. It always enriches our discussions when some of us tell about their personal connections to what we are reading!

One other author was mentioned who has written some good stories about Appalachia: Lee Smith. Her book that seemed most recommended by our members was Fair and Tender Ladies. If you are interested in this book, you may want to look at it and think about nominating it sometime.

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