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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Nothing Daunting about Nothing Daunted

We are so eclectic in our reading that I almost hesitate to say that Nothing Daunted, by Dorothy Wickenden, was an unusual choice for us. It does seem an unusual story, though, and those of us who read it are thankful to Lyn for finding it for us! Lyn wrote a hand-written letter to author Dorothy Wickenden, who is an editor for New Yorker magazine. The author sent an email back, saying that her next book will be about three women from Auburn and the Underground Railroad, based on letters. Lyn showed us a 3-minute slide show, with narrative by the author and photos from the book and some that weren't in the book. You can see the slide show online at nothingdaunted.com.

The subtitle of the book is "The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West." Lyn opened the conversation by asking us what we thought the young women, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, learned, even though they were ostensibly the teachers. Linda said that because of her experience of the hardships of Colorado, Dorothy was probably better able to deal with the hardships of raising children by herself later when her husband was killed by a car (after pushing Dorothy out of the way) at age 43. Marsha noted that the girls had been most worried (daunted?) at the idea of teaching "domestic science," because neither knew how to cook or clean or do anything around the house. They learned cooking and many self-sufficiency skills in Colorado that they might never have learned had they stayed in their insulated world in the East. Patty suggested that the girls learned about difficulties of people's lives that they might never have imagined. Lyn mentioned that they learned about how a coal mine works when they toured Perry's mine...Safari, anyone? The group generally agreed that the girls lives were previously protected and that their experiences with the terrain, weather, travel, and much of everything else they did in Colorado expanded their education.

When Lyn nominated this book, she mentioned that she had been attracted to the book because she had taught in a country schoolhouse in the Hill Country. Marla asked Lyn to tell us about her experience. Lyn taught in Bandera from 2005-2007. The students were from ranching families. They had good manners and knew about farming and animals. Lyn was hired to teach to the TAKS test (standardized Texas test), but she did much more. She lived near the school and had much interaction with the students. She sometimes drove them home after a long day at school, visited their homes, and helped them privately when needed. The school and the students' lives were somewhat old-fashioned; but in the 21st century, the school did have a computer lab with Internet. Some of the students planned to continue to college, though many would be ranchers without higher educations.

Suzanne shared a list of "rules" from when her mother had taught in the 1920s in Utopia, TX - the same Utopia we read about in Welcome to Utopia: Notes From a Small Town, by Karen Valby (who visited our group). Long before Valby's study of the town, the rules for teachers included the following: No wearing bright colors, skirts had to be 2" below the knee, 2 petticoats were required, teachers were not allowed to fraternize with men or be married, no smoking, no playing cards, and no dyed hair.

Pat brought 2 large photographs from Wisconsin from the 1920s, when her Mom and aunts were all teachers. The photos were of a large group of women teachers. They also were not allowed to be married. Pat said school in Wisconsin didn't close during the winter unless it was 30 degrees below zero!

Thanks to everyone who shared stories of small schools they attended! I was looking at Pat's photos when that conversation began, and since I had missed the beginning, I decided to just enjoy it rather than take partial notes.

Websites of interest: www.nothingdaunted.com (the book website)

www.perry-mansfield.org (website of the oldest continuing performing arts school and camp in the U.S., which was begun by Charlotte Perry, sister of Bob Perry, who married Ros.)

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