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.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Epistolary Novel Liked By All

Dear Frank,

Although you weren't able to be at our meeting this month, the Barnes & Noble staff took care of all our needs, including extra chairs, coffee, cookies, and putting away the chairs.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, was the first book in a long time that received all hands up when I asked, "How many liked the book?" Generally, everyone enjoyed reading the book. We identified some especially clever aspects and (of course) offered some critiques as we talked about the book in general and then addressed specific questions under Carla's guidance.

Praise included the sheer pleasure of reading the book. The word "delightful" was used. Members said that the characters were easy to get to know and that they seemed real. The historical facts about the German occupation added depth and enriched the story without overpowering it with researched detail. The themes of reading and the book club in the story were of interest to us all! We liked the evidence of the characters being changed by joining the book club and reading. We saw that reading helped the individuals escape from the daily difficulties surrounding the German occupation and war, and we noted that discussing the books helped the characters get to know each other.

As we got to know the characters, some of us developed the feeling that there were very few other people on Guernsey. To us, it was as if the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society were the only people around. When someone brought up this idea, I realized that in my mind, Dawsey's land was along a road, and Elizabeth's place was along a road, and everyone else in the story had a home in the area, but there wasn't much between these homes besides greenery and some rolling hills. We had a good laugh over that idea. It wasn't so much a critique of the book as a shared experience of it.

Another perceptive comment we appreciated was Pam's noticing that through the letters the reader was given each character's perspective on each topic. There were several times in the book when this was particularly effective in giving the reader the full story on an issue or topic. The only main character who never wrote a letter was Remy. We decided that Remy was important in that she brought the news about Elizabeth's imprisonment, heroics, and death; and that she added tension to the romance between Dawsey and Juliet.

Questions raised included the following: "Who will play Juliet in the movie? (Maybe Amy Adams?)" Did letters from Oscar Wilde really appear in Guernsey? I couldn't find anything corroborating this online. The only thing I found was a blogger who noted that at the time the letters in Potato Peel Pie were supposedly written, Wilde was indeed not using the signature that was used to identify him in the story. Was Elizabeth too good to be possible? Heroics aside, we decided that Elizabeth was a lot like Juliet: independent, caring, and unconventional.

The character Isola received special mention as a favorite. Many of us had particularly noted her statement, "Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." There was some disagreement among us as to the veracity of the statement!

Related media mentioned: Movie - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, about a boy helping a Jewish boy during WWII. Epistolary book and movie: 85 Charing Cross Road.

Frank, we suggest that this would be a "delightful" book for you and Judy to read aloud. We really think both of you would be pleasantly surprised, as some of us were. We can't promise you any blatant violence in this story, but there is the aftermath of WWII.

Respectfully, Claudia

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