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

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here. Next event:


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.


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


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


Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Power of One Packs a Wallop!

No surprise that "Who liked the book?" brought a unanimous response from those who finished The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay. Almost everyone at the meeting had read the book! Those who hadn't may have been convinced to read it now and are in for a treat.

Thanks to Billie for nominating this book! It is one of my favorite books ever, a pleasure to read.

I (Claudia) led the discussion, mostly using a list of questions from the Random House Reader's Circle web page. First I read some notes about the author. I found these particularly interesting because they indicated that the book was semi-autobiographical. Courtenay lived in a small country town called Barberton in South Africa and was sent to boarding school at age 5. There was a "Doc" in his life who was a German music teacher who liked to drink and taught Courtenay wonders of nature. Courtenay was banned from South Africa because he was caught educating Africans on weekends in his private school. He moved to Australia and became the most famous Australian writer.

My first question to the group was one of my own: was Peekay too perfect? The answer from Linda was that in spite of Peekay's almost unrealistic achievements, the author was able to keep the reader seeing Peekay as an underdog throughout the book. The reader liked Peekay because he seemed to be motivated to do things by the right reasons. The boxing theme carried through because it was an opportunity for "small" to defeat "big." Peekay's treatment of the African Blacks was based on his early experiences loving and respecting Black individuals. Author Courtenay's ability to sustain the mood carried through the book and kept it refreshing and exciting for the reader.

The published questions were solid questions, asking which characters influenced Peekay the most (we said Doc and Geel Peet), and why Grandpa Chook was so important to Peekay (Pam said because he was Peekay's only friend and represented stability from home after the shakeup Peekay had undergone losing his Nanny and being sent away). We had mostly short answers for the questions. In answer to a question as to what really happened between the witch doctor and Peekay, Marla shared an episode in her son's life where the power of suggestion proved its strength.

It seemed to me that we noted the best qualities of the book when Phyllis said she had not read the book and asked us to tell her why she should read it. The Power of One hooks the reader almost immediately, sustains the interest via an engaging narrative and deeply developed characters, presents challenging adventures for the main character, and never loses the momentum until the end...when the mood is still there, whether or not the sequel was originally planned.

Our typically critical-of-endings group seemed satisfied with the ending. Some of us were pleasantly surprised at the end, as we had not expected or required the tying up of that particular loose end in Peekay's life. In considering whether the ending of The Power of One changed Peekay's life and what happened to him in the future, we opened the choice for each of us as to whether to read the sequel, Tandia. The book is available but out of print, so we will not be reading it as a group.

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