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This month we were back to normal (as normal as we get), and everyone read the same book for discussion. Of course some people wished they had read something else entirely (maybe even Lisa Jackson), but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Judy led us in a discussion of Jo Nesbo’s Phantom. She did a wonderful job, especially considering she read the book awhile ago and was unable to find a copy to refresh her memory…..and left all her notes at home on the table. Even off the cuff Judy is a class act.

Raj brought in some Violin, Heroine, and Marijuana for snacks. Ok, they were chocolate replicas, but who can score any real Violin these days? Especially now that Dubai is dead.

Welcome Dawn, our newest member. Dawn found us on the library website and did not run from the room screaming after the meeting, so I think we’ve converted another one (insert evil laugh here).

Before the discussion we played Jo Nesbo Bingo. Denise was the lucky winner of a copy of Police, Jo’s next book after Phantom.

OK, on to the scores. We had a wide variety of comments on this book, but a lot of them centered around the fact that the book was extremely slow for about the first 2/3 of the way in, then picked up at the end. I believe the beginning was referred to as “tedious” and “painful.” Chris K. and Dave couldn’t even finish, and I believe Dave exclaimed “life is too short” as he closed the book to read something he was more interested in. Kim had trouble in the beginning, and even emailed me to see if she was the only one struggling, but she made it. She plowed through and FINISHED the book. Way to go Kim! Amy’s bookmark wasn’t quite ¾ of the way in by the time we met to discuss the book, but I know she can do it.

Even many of us who liked the book were disappointed that it had such a slow start. The last 1/3 really pulled it all together and made the book mostly worthwhile. Many of us who are Nesbo Nuts agreed that this just wasn’t our favorite installment in the Harry Hole saga. I like that, Nesbo Nuts. Lee Child has Reacher Creatures, Steve Barry has Malone’s Clones, so I think Jo should have Nesbo Nuts. I guess it should technically relate to Harry, but I like Nesbo Nuts better than Hole’s Ho’s, you know what I’m sayin? Damn it, now I’m craving Ho-Ho’s, that’ll teach me to wander.

We had a few Nesbo virgins in the group. It was the first read of this author for Dawn, Denise and Linda. Their ratings of the book were 7, 8, and 9 (not necessarily in that order) so Jo can’t be all that bad.

Some of the plot points that had us going: several people followed the Stein red herring and thought he was the killer of Gusto. Not many of us thought that Oleg was the killer, so there was a surprise there. We got comments like “vulgar & graphic” mixed with “not enough gore.” Love this group! Overall a lot of us liked that part of the story was told by the recently deceased Gusto, and who can deny that the rat’s POV was a great addition too?

Judy and Raj, who have lived and visited Norway (in that order) both said that it’s not as dangerous and seedy as Nesbo makes it seem. I think it’s his way of discouraging tourists. I know that when I visit I will not be booking a room at the Hotel Leon, that’s for sure.

We got a wide variety of slap votes. Instead of choosing just one person who got the overall majority of the votes, I think we’re going to line them all up and slap them all. Roll call includes: Rakel, Harry, Jo Nesbo, Pharmacist guy, Gusto’s foster Mom, Oleg, and Irene.

OK, now to some important announcements. I hope that at least half of you have read this far and will continue to the fun stuff:

Next month is the Christmas party, here are the basic deets (invitation to follow):

1. Party is at Lorraine’s house in Castle Rock.

2. Party is on December 16 and starts at 6pm (one week and ½ hour early).

3. Everyone needs to bring a gently used or new – wrapped book for the exchange.

4. Everyone needs to bring a dish to share (hot, cold, we’ll take it as long as it’s edible).

5. Those who want to participate in the ornament exchange, bring a wrapped ornament.

6. You MUST RSVP to me, I do something specific that requires me to have a head count. If you RSVP yes and can’t make it at the last minute, please let me know (XXX-XXX-XXXX is my cell for texting last minute – I don’t do smart phones, so emails won’t be received last minute).

7. We will discuss Agatha Christie’s A Mysterious Affair at Styles – you’re mostly on your own for this book. There were a few copies, and I will make my own available after I re-read it. It’s a short, fast read, so if you got a copy please return it as soon as you’re done and email the group.

8. There will be a quiz. Those of you who have attended the party before know that that’s not a joke. I will have one quiz question for each of the 12 books we’ve read this year. There is a prize for the highest score, and Jeff usually wins this – so game on people!

In January we will read Suspect by Robert Crais. We passed out a bunch of copies at the meeting, and there are a few still available at the library. Since we will have the December meeting off site, you are responsible for getting a copy from a librarian if you didn’t get one on Monday. I passed around a sign-up sheet for leading and snack bringing for January-June. If you weren’t there and would like to sign up for either category, email me and I will let you know what months are available.

See you in December, Happy Thanksgiving!

Kerry

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