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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Bitter and Sweet Story, Aptly Named

Although I found our September 19, 2011 book, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, to be a straightforward story with few mysteries; I had read that book clubs love the book, so I looked forward to the discussion. Our group discussion often produces new insights into our books. The book did receive a thumbs up from everyone who had read it. I found this book to be a delightful read, as did most of us!

This discussion seemed to veer quickly away from the details of the book to greater societal and historical truths. Although Phyllis began the discussion with a question about the relationship between Henry and his father in the story, the group did not delve into that question. Instead we talked about general and specific group racism and other prejudicial behavior, particularly in light of war and the fear that comes from war. The treatment of the Japanese by the American people and the government during the 1940s was engendered by fear. Japan was indeed an enemy of the United States, and with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor earned a reputation of being a dangerous and wily enemy. This then trickled down to the way Americans in the city saw all Japanese-Americans, even those who had been born and raised as Americans. Our discussion mostly focused on this situation and similar situations in history.

During WWII, German-Americans were also sent to camps in some cases, but those communities were not as dense and singular as the Japanese community in San Francisco, which is probably why their internment didn't become as famous. Someone mentioned that prejudice toward Japanese people was particularly easy to act on, because the Japanese look so much different from other Americans, as opposed to German-Americans. This led to some discussion about the differences among various Asian groups. German camps during the war in Colorado, Nevada, and California were not as well documented in history as the Japanese internment camps. Someone noted that the U.S. shipped German POWs to Texas and held them here during the war. German families had to lay low in Texas and probably throughout the Midwest during the war.

We had a mixture of opinions as to whether Henry's wife knew about or had a hand in Henry's father's request to intercept Henry's letters back and forth with Keiko. Some of us assumed that Ethel was at a lower level of the Post Office and never saw the letters; others figured that there were probably very few people working at the Post Office so that she probably did know about the interception. Regardless, her regard for Henry stemmed from his steadfast loyalty to Keiko.

We ended our discussion mentioning some of the ways that history is taught, and the prejudicial angles that are typically implied in textbooks. For example, what do the British children learn about the American Revolution? Most of us in our group are out of touch with what the current textbooks are teaching, but it seems they are edited to slant more toward what might be the current politically correct wishes as to what the truth had been, rather than the truth.

Patty mentioned that the Panama Hotel currently has a tourist area with a tearoom. You can ask for a tour to see the Japanese belongings that are still there and unclaimed.

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