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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Amazon Prime Video has released a series based on stories by Philip K. Dick. It's called Electric Dreams.
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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.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Dave Steakley
January 31 – March 4, 2018 | Topfer Theatre
(Zach Theater in Austin)
If you can, go February 10th @2:30 PM

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discussing The Help Brings Back Memories

Although we started to discuss characters in The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, the discussion soon turned to sharing about our distant past experiences with racism. The shared stories were fascinating! Some of these experiences highlighted "color blindness," mostly among ourselves or others as children. Some comments told about encounters we had at young ages with black people we liked and admired. Others involved racism as we saw it practiced by our elders, mostly before the 1960s. Some sharing stemmed from life in small towns in Texas. A little was about today's problems with racism, but not much. Is that because there is much less racism now than there was during the time of The Help? That would be another topic. Maybe next month...

The author's statement at the end of the book explains the origins of the book; the author was raised with a black maid. Jennifer, who presented the book to us, told us that because there was only one bath tub in the Stockett house, the maid shared the tub...but had to bathe in her clothes. That disturbs me! Stockett encountered some anger about the book, including some from her own relatives and some from readers who objected to her writing from a black point of view. One black maid who worked for Stockett's family at some time saw herself in the book and is currently suing the author. If anyone sees any follow-up on this case, please let our book group know!

The discussion started with the question of what motivated Hilly. Candy suggested she was scared, and Sandy thought she was just mean and manipulative. There was some agreement that she was intimidated by Skeeter's college degree.

We thought about whether these maids in the real world would love the children they cared for, as in the book. We questioned whether "the pie" was a realistic form of revenge. Not sure why, but we didn't dwell on "the pie."

We only briefly touched on the literary quality of The Help. Consensus was that this was an excellent book, especially for a first-time author!

The Help has been on the NY Times Best Seller list for close to 100 weeks! A movie is planned for release this summer.

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