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

Literary Events

What's New?__________


July 6th, author Neil Gaiman will speak at the Long Center. $32.
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The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here.
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Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
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Monday, August 20, 2007

The Coffee Trader Stimulates Us

It's always special when someone comes back after being missed for a long time! It was great today to see Dee on her visit from Mexico and also Peggy, who has been taking care of her grandson on Monday afternoons for many months!

We had a good discussion about The Coffee Trader, by David Liss today! This was a complex book with a lot of plot twists, and some business dealings that I'm not sure we all totally understood. I realized about halfway into the discussion that this would be a good book to read again, to get all the pieces and foreshadowings and cause-and-effect stories understood. I'm going to tell you 3 interesting points I picked up from the discussion, rather than ramble on.

(1) In 17th century Amsterdam, the water wasn't safe to drink without boiling it. So that was why everyone drank so much wine all the time, whether they were doing business or having breakfast or whatever! And that would also be another reason why the world was ripe for coffee to become popular - a wake-up drink rather than an alcoholic one, and one that could be made best with boiled water!

(2) Truth was hard to find in this book and for all the characters in it. Everyone seemed to lie to everyone else, and no one could trust the truth if it was staring them in the face, as they couldn't tell that it wasn't another lie. The reader was brought along on this ride from fabrication to fabrication and from one consequence of one person's lie to other consequences of other people's lies.

(3) There was a lot of discussion of this author's previous book and next book. David Liss wrote A Conspiracy of Paper, which is sort of a historical business mystery taking place in London about 50 years after the time of The Coffee Trader. The main character is a Jewish man who seems to be the nephew of the son of one of the characters in The Coffee Trader. This book, as well as Liss's next book, which is advertised in the paperback edition of The Coffee Trader ( I don't have it and didn't write it down, and it's not online yet, as it isn't on sale yet), seem also to have lots of well-researched history, business intrigue, and plot twists.

David Liss is an interesting author, whose home base is San Antonio. Maybe we can read another of his books sometime and get him to visit us!

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