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: [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.

Thanks to Cindy V. for sending me listings of 2 TV series you might find interesting, and you might have access to:

The Son (book by Philipp Meyer), starring Pierce Brosnan. On AMC starting April 8.

American Gods (book by Neil Gaiman) on Starz, starting April 30.
The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series will feature Texas author Paulette Jiles discussing her upcoming novel News of the World, which was shortlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction.
WHEN: Thursday, May 11, 2017, at 2 pm. Doors open at 1:30 pm.
WHERE: The Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street in Georgetown, Texas.
WHY: All proceeds from the event will go toward meeting unfunded projects of the library. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance or $18 at the door, and may be purchased starting April 3, 2017, at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library, online at, or by contacting Marcy Lowe at 512-868-8974. A dessert and beverage from the Red Poppy Café in the library will be served.
THE BOOK: In 1870 a 10-year-old girls makes a journey back to her aunt and uncle’s home after living with Kiowa warriors who had killed her parents four year earlier. Subsequently she is traded to Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a 70-year-old war veteran, who takes her 400 miles to her family near San Antonio.

Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets Tuesday May 16th 7:00-8:30. They will discuss Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain. They will be voting on future book choices. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.

Book Buzz - June 6th, evening - Round Rock Public Library - Free, but seating is limited. Reservations are necessary and will open closer to the time of the event.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

American Shaolin Kicks Butt

I'm already on an airplane over the Benedict Ranch, but I am writing to you about China. It would be great to write these messages as soon as I get home from our discussion. I guess you'd like that, too! I am always energized after our discussions, even though I invariably seem to need that energy for something other than writing up a summary. If you can get home and write us up more quickly, please feel free to contribute any summaries of our discussions or maybe plan in advance to be a guest messager! Please send me whatever you think of!
Last Monday our discussion took us to China, looking at American Shaolin, by Matthew Polly. I think it was Cindy T. whose daughter has met Matthew Polly, the author of the book. Cindy told us that Polly is engaged to be married, among other interesting things about him. Although none of us at the meeting had been to China, 2 (at least) had read the book Rivertown, by Peter Hessler, which we have had nominated but didn't choose, and said that Rivertown is comparable to American Shaolin but different and another interesting tome on more aspects of modern China. Modern China seemed to be what we most wanted to discuss, rather than the characters in the book. The changes in China and cultural differences between China and the U.S. were of particular interest. Frank posed a question about what young Chinese people would come to the U.S. for, given a situation similar to Polly's from the Chinese point of view. This set us thinking and brought up even more contrasts between the U.S. and China. The Chinese youth all learning martial arts seems to have affect the Chinese adult culture, giving them more experience with self-control than many American citizens, and also giving them a competitive nature. Competition and self-discipline are a compatible pair! But even with the current strides China has taken, the poverty is still a major problem. We wondered how well the poverty will be hidden during the worldwide coverage of the Olympics. I think the span of time covered by the book and discussion, partly because Polly delayed 10 years between visiting China and writing the book, plus another 10 years since then, helped our discussion to cover both the aspects of Chinese tradition that were endemic at the time Polly was there and the changes that have since occurred. It was a very rich context for discussion!
We got into the discussion, and it included everyone, and everyone seemed to think it was an especially interesting discussion! Only a couple of people mentioned anything negative about the book. And then as everyone was leaving, I asked who did not like the book, and I was surprised to see that about a third of the group did not enjoy reading the book. Someone said it seemed ridiculous for Polly to go on his adventure to study kungfu. I think the details about kungfu bored most of us. I kind of tried to picture them a little but didn't waste much time or energy on them. I could just about picture the leg going out and around...never figured out that part about the hips! I was surprised that we hadn't gotten into a detailed discussion about the aspects of the book that were disliked. We're a good group to have so much to cover that we never get to the negative aspects! The rest of us enjoyed the reading. I enjoyed the book and didn't consider it a problem to ignore the kungfu details. I liked the way Polly described the individuals and their relationships in the context of Chinese ways.

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