“You were right!” I told my husband Monday evening. “You’re not the only person in the world who thinks Buckaroo Bonzai is a great movie. I met the other guy today.”
That would be Ernest Cline, author of the acclaimed Ready Player One, October’s discussion choice for the Round Rock New Neighbors (Barnes and Noble) book group. Cline’s ebullient commentary about his genre-bending novel, screenwriting, the cult film Fanboys (which he authored), publisher bidding wars, 80’s pop culture, and the writing life in general kept attendees vastly entertained. Cline’s appearance would have earned raves even had he not brought his DeLorean for attendees to explore and photograph themselves with — but he DID.
My enjoyment of this phenomenal author visit wavered just momentarily. Claudia, who nominated Ready Player One in the first place, mentioned that Wil Wheaton read the audiobook — which, I realized to my horror, I’d overlooked when selecting titles for the library (we have the print version, of course). Thanks to second chances and product inventory, both CD and Playaway versions are now on our October order lists. (Mr. Cline will also appear at the library’s International Games Day festivities.)
Also worthy of a re-think: Just A Pinch, an online recipe trove forwarded by City Communications Director Will Hampton. It seemed a nice enough recipe finder at first; then I tried several searches to appreciate its useful social networking functions as well (over 3.6 million site visits per month, more than 250,000 entries). The chicken recipe that Will found there and home-tested is one that my own family would love. I even found the exact brownie recipe — Speedy Brownies — that I swear by. It produces perfect texture every time and invites all manner of experimentation with toppings (try Andes Mint chips). The startling but endearing Halloween Spider Cookies were also “pinched” from Just A Pinch.
Which reminds me (you’ll see why) of this overlooked and under-appreciated endeavor: Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. If you read that FOL is “an independent non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation that supports the city-funded library”, you’ll be administratively enlightened without any sense of the fun and energy embodied by this crew.
You’ve likely enjoyed some FOL-funded features at the library: teen room shelving, the eye-catching Children’s Desk, traveling exhibits, special adult programs, summer reading program prizes, etc. Customers brag about the fabulous bargains they discover on second floor at the Book Nook—organized, re-stocked, and administered by FOL. Recycling at its best, Book Nook enables volumes to find new homes while generating profits to spend enhancing library users’ experiences.
We staffers love encountering Friends as they sort, stock, sell, strategize, and generally do amazing work. Precisely the kind of folks you’d want to hang out with, they are seeking talents you may possess—including but not limited to technical expertise for the website and assistance with Mystery night. Their special membership meeting, featuring Paige Morgan of Paige’s Bakehouse in Round Rock (she’ll demonstrate how to make and decorate holiday cake pops!) is coming up at 7 p.m. Nov. 12.
Come take a look (or two).