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.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Confederacy of Dunces Shows Autobiographical Influence

Our discussion of A Confederacy of Dunces was full of information and insights...as usual! Sandra had nominated this book, and she somehow made it to our discussion, but she had very recently had surgery and was still in pain and on codeine. She was a great sport about it all and because of the codeine, she enjoyed the pleasure of eating some of those great BN treats without the usual guilt. It was great to have Sandra there to discuss this book that she loved from a long time ago. Jennifer ran the discussion in the absence of those of Sandra's wits that were temporarily dulled. I hope, Sandra, that you are feeling much better every day!
I shall mention 3 points that I found particularly interesting about our discussion of A Confederacy of Dunces.
1) As an introduction to the discussion, Jennifer had done some research on the author, which turned out to explain the very essence of the book and to color much of the discussion. The information showed that much of the book was autobiographical! The author was plagued by an overbearing mother, had sexual identity problems, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and committed suicide at an early age, soon after writing the book and immediately after a fight with his mother. Many of his life's endeavors involved getting away from his mother as much as possible. After destroying his suicide note so that the press never got it, his mother later published the book.
2) I am tempted to say that number 1 serves also as #2 and #3! The idea of this book being autobiographical says a lot! But there was more to the book, so we didn't dismiss it as the ramblings of a crazy man. We found the book to be brilliantly written in some parts, and we agreed that the author's plan for the book, and the melding of the various characters and subplots was very cogent and well thought out.
2.5) Carla came up with the word "tragicomedy" for this book, and there was general agreement.
3) Group opinions were polarized. Some loved the book, mostly those who had read it near the time it was published (1980, but the author died in 1969, so the book was written quite a long time ago). Others hated the book and/or didn't think it was at all deserving of the Pulitzer prize it received. We were all 27 years younger in 1980 than we are now, and times have changed a lot since 1968 or 1969 when the book was written...so that may have a lot to do with one's opinion of the book. A lot of the issues in it were major fresh issues at the time: slavery and racism, worker's rights, homophobia, sexual freedom. These issues have changed in character...hmm...I'll go out on a limb here and say except racism. (Well, maybe it has changed a little. I recently watched a youtube copy of an episode of a Canadian comedy called "Little Mosque on the Prairie" - great little show, going into it's second season.) So some of us found the book immature and/or irrelevant reading it in 2007/8. There was discussion about this.
Great book for discussion!

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