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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Snow Child Refreshes Us on a Hot Summer Day

The Snow Child

First order of business when we met to discuss The Snow Child, by Eouwyn Ivey, was for Priscilla to tell us about the name "Eouwyn." The author was named after a J.R.R. Tolkein Lord of the Rings character. Without researching, I'm guessing that this is an Elfin name, which I think is important to our discussion because the author's Faina character seems so Elfin in so many ways. The author grew up in Alaska and still lives there. She has some photos of Alaska posted on her blog. Oddly, there are no photos of the dead of winter, when footprints disappear under blizzards as soon as steps are taken.

The Snow Child was a deceptive mixture of straightforward-reading story and inexplicable fantasy. We uncovered both aspects in our discussion. First we talked about why Mabel and Jack moved to Alaska to farm as middle-aged adults who had never been to Alaska. Patty noted that it was Mabel's idea because she was unhappy among all her friends and relatives at home who had children, because she had lost a baby and not gotten over it. Dennis said that at the time when the book took place, there was probably a lot of publicity encouraging people to move to Alaska, some of which probably painted a prettier picture of Alaskan life than reality could offer. We talked about Mabel's changing moods and her rising to the occasion when Jack was injured and needed her help in the fields.

Patty told us that she had visited Alaska on her travels in the spring, and she noticed that there were no pharmacies or doctors in cities smaller than Juneau. So, we could think of Alaska as being a lot like the way it was in the story. Visiting Alaska during the summer months and not needing a pharmacy or doctor is nice to think about...

Then we got into the main question of the story: Did Faina exist or was she a figment of Mabel's imagination? Patty said she was unsure throughout the beginning of the book as to whether Faina was real. Dennis noticed that there were no quotation marks in the book when Faina talked! Marsha suggested that Mabel created Faina. Dennis reminded us about Jack burying Faina's father, which added to the argument for realism. Dennis then presented the term "Magical Realism," and this began to be a theme of our discussion. Janice thought the author meant Faina to be more than just Mabel's imagination but a magical character. Patty remembered that Mabel said something like, "You have to believe in miracles." The first episode with Faina came up, where there were tracks leading away from the snow child that Mabel and Jack had built but no other tracks in the snow. Pam joked that Faina was heavier after putting on the scarf and gloves than she had been when arriving at the snow child, and that was why she had become heavy enough to leave tracks. Carla's opinion was that part of the charm of the story was that the reader could draw their own conclusion as to whether to think of Faina as real or magical or imagined.


We had more ideas and references to the story concerning whether Faina was meant to be considered real by the reader. Put to a vote, most of us said we had at some point in the book gone with the idea of Faina as a real child. This book gave all of us a delightful story, and our conversation brought out so many aspects of the story and angles about the ephemeral Faina that I doubt many of us thought of all of them while reading. This discussion was one of those magical ones that add to the pleasure of reading the book and make you glad you braved the sunshine to sit in the air-conditioned cafe with good company and coffee and cookies!

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