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, September 20, 2014

Still Alice: Now a Major Motion Picture

I'm still laughing about Frank's comment that he hasn't yet seen a book cover that boasts, "Soon to Be a Minor Motion Picture!" Still Alice, the book we discussed this month, by Lisa Genova, is already a major motion picture, with Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin in the two main roles. I didn't see any information about when it will be in the local theaters, but I saw a good review and a bad one. After our discussion and/or this posting, will you go see the movie? I'm not in a hurry to see it, but I will see it when it becomes convenient (Netflix or a group going at a convenient time that I can't resist...so please let me know!). The book is straightforward and educational, and it seems the movie is, too.

Almost everyone in the group that met at Barnes & Noble last Monday to discuss Still Alice had experience with Alzheimer's in a family member or close friend. Perhaps the book and the meeting were most attractive to people who were familiar with the ravages of Alzheimer's, or perhaps the percentages are that way among everyone. Our discussion included personal sharing, which I will not include here. #youhadtobethere.

We had a little fun discussing the symptoms of Alzheimer's and the tests that are used for diagnosis. I say it was fun because, from what we said, we could see that that our memory lapses in general are very common among us and also much less dramatic than the kinds of problems that indicate the likelihood of a diagnosis. We decided to agree that problems dredging up words and people's names, temporarily losing car keys or eyeglasses, and other errors a lot of us have made are caused by normal tiredness, filled brains from many years of high intellectual pursuit, busy lives, and fragmented messages among the barrage of multimedia aspects of daily life. #thanks Obama

The group thought well of the book, finding it difficult emotionally but a compelling story. Vicki mentioned that she liked the way the book stemmed from the patient's point-of-view. She also pointed out that because of this emphasis on the patient running the story, the reader never knew for sure how much the family talked about Alice when she wasn't there; the reader saw only the family's final decisions and interactions with Alice rather than their perhaps long and difficult deliberations among themselves. Marsha said it was a "graceful" book even though the reader knew what would happen. Shirley thought it interesting that the daughter who was fighting with Alice in the beginning of the book ended up being the one who most understood her mother. Cindy T. noted that there is a stigma to dementia that is different from such potentially curable diseases as cancer: cancer patients are considered brave and heroic and hopeful and have access to support groups; whereas Alice had to create her own support group for people suffering from early Alzheimer's.

Toward the end of the meeting, some local resources were mentioned. Marsha told us about a friend who works with Alzheimer's patients at a facility that has a take-apart room and a put-together room. In the morning, patients who like to take things apart go to the room and take things apart. In the afternoon, patients who like to put things together go to that room! (I'm not sure this is local, but what an idea!) Pam mentioned the Community Health Paramedic program in Round Rock. Patty mentioned a support group for Alzheimer's caregivers at her church. Several local churches apparently have groups, and they are very helpful. Dennis mentioned that there are some cognitive tests available online.


Thanks to Shirley for nominating this different and daring book and for guiding our discussion but also allowing us to diverge as much as we wanted. Thumbs up to everyone in our group who is currently a caregiver for a loved one with dementia. 

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