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

Literary Events

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The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here.
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Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Too Close to the Falls

What a cleverly named book! The star of this refreshing autobiographical book of episodic chapters, Catherine Gildiner, ventured too close to Niagara falls in the fifth and final chapters. In the chapter called "ice,"  at approximately 7 years of age, the author followed the example of some boys and sledded down a "straight drop that was solid ice," which was the gorge of the Niagara Escarpment, to land unhurt but close to the Niagara River, where she could hear the cold water babbling under the ice. In the last chapter, somewhat under the influence of more than enough of her first carafe of wine, she went outside to an outdoor deck of the restaurant overlooking Niagara falls, and she went down some stairs toward the gorge below and got dizzy and almost fell.

The book took Cathy from age 4 to age 12; and Jay, who nominated and presented the book, took us from beginning to end with a series of questions that were fun to think about. Example: Describe Cathy. I couldn't get everyone's name, but from the group's offerings, I wrote down "precocious, intelligent, and had a wry sense of humor." Another example: What were the skills Cathy used at her job at the pharmacy, starting at age 4? Answers: Reading, packing, running the car, lighting cigarettes, reading maps, talking with customers, being non-judgmental, and being non-racist.

Book club members shared childhood memories after answers to Jay's questions were given. This made the questions even more fun. Such questions as, "Was there some loss of innocence in the story?" and "Was the Catholic school in the book too restrictive?" brought answers such as the story of finding out about Santa Claus when one's father suggested a fire in the fireplace on Christmas eve, overhearing one's parents discussing one's IQ and comparing it to one's brother's, and noticing that the kids who had been in Catholic school until they were 13 and then joined the mainstream school tended to be wild.

Several members noted that the story reminded them of the book we discussed at our holiday party several years ago, Wishin' & Hopin', by Wally Lamb.

Too Close to the Falls was a delightful book, though it got a little darker as Cathy became a teenager. The author's next 2 memoirs cover her young adult and adult life and promise the reader many happy hours with Cathy.

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