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.

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

No comments: