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, February 18, 2009

Forgive Me Needs No Forgiveness

With a show of hands as to who "liked" this book, my quick count was 3 who didn't and 13 who did.

Dennis, who posted on this blog after reading all of Amanda Eyre Ward's books, said that the other 2 books were happier and more pleasant to read because of that.

This started a discussion of the somewhat driven and dark character of Nadine. We summarized Nadine as self-centered and/or centered on her job, placing her job and ambition before her concerns with relationships or even with her own safety. We characterized Nadine as afraid of relationships but not physical danger. Someone noted that Nadine left everyone in her life. It was through the events of this story that Nadine finally stopped leaving people.

I thought the most interesting aspect of our discussion of Forgive Me was that we had trouble making any criticism stick. When someone mentioned that the writing, particularly at the beginning of the book, was choppy, someone else suggested that the author had done this purposely to express Nadine's anxiety and the frightening beating that starts the reader turning the pages of the book. When someone complained that Nadine's decision to trade her driven lifestyle for hearth and home was out of character, the group found ample precedent in what we knew about Nadine. There was the flashback to the comfortable family of Nadine's ex-boyfriend that she very much appreciated when she visited; the plans she and Maxim had made before his death, and the natural instincts that tend to be part of the pregnancy package. Without any of these, the change might have seemed insincere, but with them all, it fit.

Another instance where the author had carefully laid ground for what might seem an implausibility was when Nadine showed up to rescue Harry just in the nick of time! We found that this was not just a coincidence. I can't find all the passages without rereading too much to ever get this message posted; but there seemed to be evidence in the book that Nadine had planned to be there. Carla mentioned that even when children are secretive, and perhaps especially then, parents are watchful and may know what is happening. Part of the redemption and forgiveness in the story took place when Nadine did manage to be there when her son needed her. This contrasted with her missing Maxim's death and Thola's and not helping Evalina's cause with her original newspaper article.

Our discussion answered questions some of us asked and answered some questions that others didn't realize were questions! We uncovered reasons for characters' actions and reasons for things that happened seemingly beyond the characters' control. The answers were all in the book, but they were hidden in the text that bounced from one place and time to another.

Forgive Me was a page turner with a lot of depth! The group was enthusiastic about the idea of inviting the author, Amanda Eyre Ward, to join us for a discussion of her books later this year. She has a new book of short stories scheduled for release this summer, so we may aim for early fall.

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