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, August 16, 2009

Love Stories in This Town

Elissa Harbert, Claudia's daughter

I greatly enjoyed reading Amanda Eyre Ward's collection of short stories, Love Stories in This Town. The stories are all thoroughly engaging, and they ring with the truth of real life. Ward's language is both familiar and evocative, pulling you into the minds of her characters and the complexities of their circumstances. I was relieved that the stories are not sentimental tearjerkers, as so many short stories tend to be. Many have a tinge of realistic sadness, but they explore all sorts of emotions, often lingering on quiet moments of contentment. Her tales of the glee of new love and the joys of a strong marital relationship make the book a true pleasure to read.

The first half of the book is a set of unconnected stories about women and the men and children they love. Reading each story in the first half feels like being in the middle of a great novel. You quickly become comfortable with the characters, and their situations are clear and multi-dimensional almost from the first page of each story. I enjoyed all six of the stories in part one, but especially "The Stars Are Bright in Texas," which is one of the most honest and poignant stories in the collection.

The second part of the book is a set of episodes in the life of a young woman named Lola. Although each story is told from a different perspective, they have a strong feeling of continuity and evolution as the character grows and changes. By the end of the book, I desperately wanted to continue reading about Lola and her family, and Ward suggests in the concluding interview that she hopes to wrote a novel about Lola at some point. Let's hope she does!

I believe you will all enjoy this clever and welcoming set of stories. I was quite impressed with the book and plan to read more of Ward's writings. She's very talented and her characters touch my heart.

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