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.


The Nobel Prize in Literature was given to author Kazuo Ishiguro.
Amazon is planning a video series based on stories by Philip K. Dick. Date of release is not yet announced.
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, October 20, 2011

We Are the Infidels

The description of the life story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel, is so full of unusual and extreme adventures that one needs to read the book to absorb it all, page by page. It is hard to imagine what the young woman experienced as a child and into her 20s and how she managed to rise above it and move so far beyond it that she now is in a visible position (well, visible in the media but somewhat under cover and behind security physically) working to help produce the change needed to save today's and tomorrow's Muslim girls and women from similar hardship. I thought that one of the most interesting ideas that we covered at our meeting was that, even with searching, members of our group uncovered very very few similar stories written and published by Muslim women. This underscores the uniqueness of Hirsi Ali's strength. The few books mentioned will be listed at the end of this post.

Hirsi Ali's face is on the cover of her book and in photos on Facebook, but she is under a fatwa and probably doesn't show her face in public often. Maybe she even wears traditional Muslim coverings on the streets of Washington, DC. Well, probably not, but there is a slight parallel one could draw between the hiding of Muslim women under wraps and the current hiding Hirsi Ali must be doing at times.

There are numerous news articles about her on the Internet, dating back to approximately 2006, when she arrived in the United States. Most recently, the news is that she was pregnant, due to deliver in October. Here is a link for an interview article from 2007:

It is interesting to read a book by an author who is in the news. I hope to hear that Hirsi Ali is gaining followers and  having successes in the future.

We seemed an island of order in the chaos of the noisy cafe Monday! Although there were more than 20 of us, everyone took turns contributing to the discussion, and everyone listened when someone was talking. Thanks to Pam for finding and nominating this book and working to keep our discussion moving and orderly!

As promised, here are the titles of the few books mentioned that are by/about the feminine Muslim experience: Crossbones, by Nuruddin Farrah; and Princess: A True Story about Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, by Jean Sasson. That's all, and without looking into it, I surmise that the author of Princess is Western. Other books mentioned on related topics include Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil, by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson; The Bookseller of Kabul, by Asne Seierstad and Ingrid Christopherson (also mentioned in the previous post in this blog); and a book about a woman in repressive Korean society, Ten Thousand Sorrows: The Extraordinary Journey of a Korean War Orphan, by Elizabeth Kim.

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