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, March 25, 2012

Beautiful Island, With a History

Moloka'i, by Alan Brennert, was one of those charmed books - hadn't heard of it, but couldn't put it down. I don't need to speak for anyone else about that, as we had an attendance of 23, and everyone had read the book ... and liked it!  (Well, we had a show of hands, and there were a lot of them.) Thanks to first-time nominator Carol for this hidden treasure.

Sharing about experiences with leprosy? No, none of us admitted to knowing of any leprosy (Hansen's disease) victims personally...I say "admitted" to shadow the book's atmosphere of shame of the disease and the pain caused by the social stigma attached to the disease.

We instead dug into the contemporary social implications of what we saw in the book. Pam started us comparing aspects of Moloka'i to the way AIDS patients have been and are treated in society today. Over the years, AIDS patients have been shunned and hidden. Fear surrounds AIDS even today as it surrounded leprosy in Hawaii before medicines were found to "cure" it. AIDS patients are not officially quarantined, but don't they live a somewhat quarantined life once they can't hide the illness?

Linda noted the intolerance in the book and extrapolated it to the American institution of picket fences, noting that the traditional American private property is surrounded by a white (the color of cleanliness) fence shaped like...shark's teeth! In Texas, it's barbed wire for the animals, with some homes surrounded by the wire rather than the prettier and more difficult to install picket fences. The barbed wire keeps the animals in and keeps people out. I suspect that few livestock animals are likely to jump any fence, barbed wire or none.

Carla continued the theme, noting prejudice on several levels in the society on Moloka'i. The original Hawaiian faith was replaced by Christian missionaries, who made the old faith taboo and virtually forced its proponents into hiding. Prejudice against the Japanese abounded during World War II. We read more about that in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, but it was especially alive in Moloka'i, exemplified by the naval officer who killed Rachael's husband. Rachael's reception on Honolulu, losing jobs and being shunned by most who noticed her disfigured hand, gave us a picture of the continued prejudice against leprosy even after it was given a cure and the new name of Hansen's disease.

Hansen's disease today is known to be minimally contagious and effectively treated. This doesn't discount the history of isolating the patients, as at that time the Hawaiian population did seem particularly susceptible to the disease, and there were no medications to stop the progression. Although the antibiotics used for many years have kept the disease under control, new drug-resistant strains of the bacteria are a current concern. Patty told us that there are still cases in poor countries, namely Ethiopia, that are going completely untreated due to lack of available drugs.

Moloka'i is beautiful and as yet mostly untainted by tourism. This is primarily due to the residents' resistance to tourism. The island was rated as #10 in "sustainable tourism" among 111 islands; Hawaii was #50, Maui #51, and O'ahu #104. If you went to Moloka'i and visited Kalaupapa, would you give your hands a little extra washing?

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