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, 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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