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.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do You Like Being Left "In the Woods"?


Caution - SPOILERS. If you didn't read In the Woods, by Tana French, and you plan to read it, you might want to wait until later to read this post.

Among the 15-20 of us at the meeting, most had read and liked the book. Some of us noticed and appreciated the quality of the author's writing style, and all enjoyed the way the book kept us interested.

Carla asked thought-provoking questions to run the meeting. If I had a tablet at the meeting, I could get more of your thoughts into writing more quickly... Don't worry! I don't have a tablet, and I don't plan to invite electronics to the meetings. Actually, you probably feel that I get enough or too much of your discussion contributions into this blog!

What really happened to the children? Shirley and Lydia thought the author was encouraging the possibility that Adam had killed the others. We batted that around a bit and decided that there wasn't much of a physical possibility there. Dennis reminded us that both Adam and Sandra had memories that alluded to the possibility of some kind of animal or monster. That would allow the reader to imagine a mystical force at play, and one could run with the idea all the way to the destruction of the woods and establishment of the new road and then wonder whether the evil force would be eradicated by forever changing the archeological site.

What did we think about the Ryan/Cassie relationship? Jay felt that it was still unresolved at the end. The group asked Carla whether the relationship continued or changed in the next book by author Tana French, The Likeness. Carla explained that French takes some characters with her but doesn't move forward on their story. She did tell us that there was no indication in the next book that Cassie had actually married Sam. (I told you there would be spoilers!) Phyllis felt that Adam's being taken in by Rosalind indicated problems in his relationship with Cassie. Certainly, his "fight" with Cassie that seemed to be a turning point in their relationship had Rosalind in the middle of it. Had Adam not been strongly attracted to Rosalind, would he have trusted her word over Cassie's intuition? Pam was disturbed by the pain Adam inflicted on Cassie, which, of course, was just what the author wanted. I thought the relationship was very strongly portrayed by the author, complete with realistic angst and difficulties and frustration that can cause relationships to fail. Although it was later in the discussion that Carla quoted me as saying in an earlier conversation with her about the book that "the characters were not just flawed; they were painfully flawed," I see this topic as exemplifying the flaws in these characters. (Not flaws in the author's creation, but flaws that the author purposely created.)

Other insightful comments included Rhonda's sharing that she has noticed that her memories of events that she recalls from childhood seem to be very different from her mother's memories of the same events. This surely was a theme in the book!   Frank had not read the book but was able to characterize the mystery. He said that the formula for a mystery is that there is chaos and a detective brings back order. Even the flawed detectives in this seemingly outside-the-box mystery brought order to chaos.

We discussed the theme of whether we like or dislike a mystery with unfinished business, without everything all tied up neatly for us at the end. Marla suggested that the reader is made to feel some of what the parents of the 2 missing children and Adam might have felt by not knowing what had really happened. We thought a bit about how many real crimes remain unsolved. We were all disturbed about the unsolved mystery, but it seemed to work for the book!

I am moved to bring us out of the world of fiction and mention here that on this particular day as I write this, I am extremely gratified that the Boston Marathon bombers were identified. 

1 comment:

Pam Fuchs said...

Followup to the "Pam" thought Claudia mentions above. I was way more invested in what happened to Adam's 2 friends than in what happened to Katy so was left empty when their fate was not revealed. Also, and this is what Claudia referred to when she said I was disturbed by the Adam/Cassie outcome... It was more that I kept hoping for something original to develop in that male/female plot line. Who thought they would have sex? I did, but hoped not (too predictable). Who thought after they had sex he would ignore her? I hoped not - that the author was just following the plot line of man and woman working together for years and finally falling into bed - but when I read on I realized the author was instead following the decades-old "When Harry Met Sally" premise, so Adam would Have to ignore her after sex. Now that I know that even in the next book they never "made up", I guess Adam was "...Just Not That Into You[her]". And since I know Cassie didn't marry Sam I guess I know that the "nice" guy sterotypically doesn't win/get the girl.