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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Amazon Prime Video has released a series based on stories by Philip K. Dick. It's called Electric Dreams.
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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.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Dave Steakley
January 31 – March 4, 2018 | Topfer Theatre
(Zach Theater in Austin)
If you can, go February 10th @2:30 PM

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dead Wake Was Too Late to Warn Lusitania Passengers of Jeopardy

20 Book Club members played Jeopardy, with all the questions on topics about Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson. Thanks to Cindy T., the game was lots of fun and brought out main points from the book. Correct answers brought taffy candies, and there were more prizes at the end. The prizes were a book Christmas Carols, to symbolize the loss on the Lusitania of an original manuscript of Dickens' Christmas Carol and a book of drawings to symbolize the loss on the Lusitania of drawings by William Makepeace Thackeray. Dennis won first prize, Ken won second, and Carla was third...congratulations! The questions were challenging!

Here are some of the answers and the questions that went with them. Remember, this was Jeopardy!
26 knots: How fast could the Lusitania go?
A Roman province on the Iberian peninsula: What was Lusitania?
The world must be safe for democracy: What was the reason Woodrow Wilson gave for asking in a speech to Congress and his Cabinet  in 1917 that the U.S. declare war?
2 days after World War 1 began, this woman died of Bright's disease: Who was Woodrow Wilson's wife?
These were found by the Russians and were given to the British Admiralty and used in Room 40 in London for intercepting messages and translating them: What were code books?
The North Channel: What new route open to civilian liners did the Admiralty fail to transmit information about to the Lusitania?
Woodrow Wilson was doing this daily activity when he heard the first report about the deaths of Americans on the Lusitania: What was the daily walk around the green areas of the golf course?
This young Austrian soldier wrote about a stalemate during the second battle of Belgium where poison gas was used and people died: Who was Corporal Adolph Hitler?
These parts of the Lusitania had a design flaw that made the ship relatively easy to sink: What were coal bunkers?
And the Final Jeopardy answer/question that caused some confusion and discussion about interpretation was the following: A dead wake from a ship or torpedo leaves this kind of trail: What is a fading disturbance? Cindy T. researched this further after the meeting and wrote in an email message, "On page 440, the author states that dead wake is a maritime term for the disturbance that lingers on the sea long after the passage of a vessel.  This term resonates in other ways which might be the lesson of the book."

After finishing the game, we talked some more about parts of the book that had impressed us and were left somewhat unresolved. We talked about the potential conspiracy among the British officials, including Winston Churchill, to allow harm's way to intersect with the Lusitania to encourage America to enter the war. Another issue not handled clearly was Turner's guilt as the ship's Captain. It seemed he didn't really make a mistake but he suffered a lot of blame. Wilson's interest in a declaration of war after the sinking of the Lusitania even though the United States had been staying out it of also brought questions. And then there were the infamous 2 supposed explosions, of which only 1 was noticed.

An interesting discussion involved our answers to the question of whether we would have boarded the Lusitania if we had tickets for that fateful voyage. Carla said that she probably would have gone on the trip, without the hindsight we now have, because it's fun to travel and go on cruises. Dennis said that new ships were always considered dangerous, and that the Titanic had been a new ship, so he probably would not have bought a ticket on the new ship. Ken said the ship's design made it very topheavy, so it would keep its stability only if it didn't leak and stow a heavy amount of water. Linda said that since Britain was at war, the news probably would have allowed people to know that ships were being sunk, so that would have dissuaded her. Marla said that Americans tend to think they will always be safe or will have exceptions made for them, such as making space for them on a crowded lifeboat, if they say that they are Americans. Joyce said that the travelers were not necessarily on vacation but were traveling for business or to visit family.

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