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, June 25, 2017

The Aged Dragon in the Underground Lair

Although The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro, wasn’t everybody’s favorite read, it generated discussion. The book comprised a number of themes: we discussed memory, forgiveness, revenge, quests, aging and death.

Sometimes the themes were joined together, as when the Mist brought forgetfulness; and thoughts, promises, and plans regarding revenge were forgotten. Then, when we knew the Mist was going to be lifted, we realized that those who had sought revenge had been angered by people who were young, and now those same people were old; so the motive for revenge had lost power over time. Axl was an old man during the story, but he had been a young Roman warrior named Axelus or Axelum when Gawain was also young.  In the story, Gawain had been planning revenge for something Axl had done but let it go. As one of my friends once said, “Age is a great equalizer.”

The memory theme was poignant in the book, as the mist-caused forgetfulness was poignant. At first, it seemed that the elderly couple was suffering age-related memory loss, but then it became evident that the forgetfulness was caused by the dragon. Some of the correlated concepts that were thought-provoking were that forgetfulness helped the old couple to forget the grief that they had over their son’s death that had occurred during the plague; in the story, they were pursuing a journey to visit their son. The forgetfulness was also considered to have brought peace to the civilization by eliminating hate and revenge. Old wounds healed and relationships were saved because negative thoughts and feelings and grudges were forgotten. The author actively illustrated this forgetting by showing how it occurred between the elderly couple, Beatrice and Axl.

The boatman and the island he rowed people to were obvious symbols of the final journey of death. Early in the book an elderly, almost mythical witchlike woman told a tale of the boatman telling her that some couples were enabled to go to the island together but most were not; legend said people on the island wandered around alone and lonely, unable to find each other. At the end of the story, our discussion group worked hard to interpret the words the author used to describe the old couple, Beatrice and Axl, as they encountered the boatman. Beatrice was clearly ready to stay in the boat and go to the island. The boatman told Axl there was not room for him, but that the boat would return for him. Axl was then ignoring the boat and boatman and walking on his own. We had a little trouble being sure of what was happening and which direction Axl was headed, but the general consensus was that Beatrice was being carried to the island and Axl was walking toward it, both on their separate ways to death.

The Buried Giant was an excellent Book Discussion book!

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