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I hope you’re all enjoying Tied up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh. That is slightly tongue in cheek since I know I get a lot of—oh let’s call it constructive criticism—when we read the oldies. I’m loving it! Thanks for indulging me at Christmas with the “classics.”

On to November. Thank you to Nicole for leading the book club discussion for our November book: Win by Harlan Coben. And thank you all for letting me record it so I could attend later (and not see spoilers). After I finished and was blown away by all of the twists I was VERY glad that I didn’t attend. It was so much better to find out the surprises as I read.

Quick Side Note: I finally updated the BookMovement list. The site will send you reminders before each meeting as well as an email with the new book the day after the meeting. Please let me know if you’re not on the site and I will send you an invite. It’s a great way to get book list reminders, add books to our choice list for next year, and get the Zoom info if we’re virtual.

Same with Facebook, we have an awesome group page for club members and if you aren’t a member, friend me (Kerry Hammond – photo is me by Paddington bear in London with the Sherlock Holmes pub in the background) and I will invite you.

Please friend me on GoodReads if you use it and aren’t my friend. It helps when I’m sorting the swag bag books for the party if I can check to make sure you haven’t read something.

Welcome to our 3 new attendees: Heather Blois, Julia Roberts, and Susan. We’re glad you joined us and hope to see you in person at future meetings (Heather, Julia, and Susan, please reply to this email if you’d like to be added to the email list for the club).

On to the book!

Win was a WIN! There wasn’t one bad review of the book. Some of us have suggestions for the author (see below) but we all really went along for the ride and enjoyed the read. Harlan Coben is definitely a great writer.

I usually list out the score totals and then summarize the good and bad, but I really enjoyed listening to each person’s take on the book and wanted to point out some great comments and insights into the author and characters, so I’ve listed some comments below that really stuck out. I always read the book and come with my score, but I absolutely LOVE to hear people point out things that I never even thought about. Sometimes it raises my opinion of the book and sometimes it lowers it, but it always makes me think. Book clubs rule!!

Win’s form of justice: Breaking bones isn’t enough, he wants to break their spirit

Jay (score 9) had mixed emotions about Win’s form of justice. He had to admit, it was very efficient and effective. Perhaps Win could get carried away. Jay was rooting for him in spite of his flaws. He also liked the supporting characters and hopes they will be present in other installments in the series (Kabir and Sadie).

Sharon K (score 8) looked up some reviews because she read the book so long ago and wanted a refresher. She believes Win means well, but found the following review online: “I know not all heroes wear capes, but the emotionalist vigilante toying with the world behind his vast personal wealth and safe regard is someone some readers might not want to spend almost 400 pages with.” Oh well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but WE clearly want to spend 400 pages with him.

Jeff (score 9) zoomed in from his penthouse at the Dakota. He pointed out that Win reminds him of Jack Reacher in his pragmatic approach to criminals. Win was always his favorite character in the Myron books. He sees a problem and he takes care of it. Jeff is right there with him, just slightly surprised that Coben chose to write him in first person, especially since he’s a sociopath.

Lisa (score 8) couldn’t attend the meeting, but emailed me her review. Given that she has read most, if not all, of the Myron Bolitar series, she is well aware of Win's playing loose and taking the law into his own hands. So she wasn’t surprised and enjoyed the book.

Is it wrong to like a sociopath, and in 1st person? Win has some interesting character traits

Heather Blois (score 9) didn’t like the beginning; Win came across as arrogant. She thought the book would be ho hum but really got into it and couldn’t put it down.

Janice (score 9) liked 1st person. She read ages ago and planned to skim it and ended up re-reading it entirely. She was able to notice the trail of crumbs on the re-read and it held up. She loves Coben stuff. Very topical.

Heather Blackmon (score 9) was shocked that she liked Win. He is somehow likeable. Heather does the audio books and it listened very fast, which equates to an easy read.

Christina (score 8) really liked it and was also surprised she liked Win so much. He justified what he was doing, but he said he used to be worse “but I’m growing and becoming a better human.” Christina hasn’t read Myron books but will go back. She felt bad for Kabir, he had to do work in the middle of the night. (methinks he is paid well for it, though, Christina.) She didn’t buy that Patricia had a love affair with Ry. Didn’t think that fit. Wants to know about what else grandmama orchestrated. (Don’t we all?)

Kerry (score 9) liked when Win spoke to us as the reader, which can only be done in first person. At first I was irritated because Win was a bit over the top. But he grew on me and once Coben threw in all the eccentricities, the story was the story (rather than a description of Win). Love, love, loved all the twists and turns. That’s why a Coben book is always a treat, he excels at twists. Didn’t see the Patricia thing coming.

Coben points out that Batman’s only super power is his wealth. We could add that Batman is also a good fighter, and so is Win. Not sure Batman trains like Win does, and he has Robin to help, so...

Win gets the girls, or rather, he gets them on his wealthy people dating app

Sharon L (score 8) pointed out that both Reacher and Win get the girls. She loved Win and wants to meet him and spend time with him. He’s a cool character and very different.

Did we like Win without Myron?

Amy (score 7 or 8 – couldn’t tell if she upped it in the end) has read all Myrons. The score goes down if she compares to Coben’s other books (that’s her 7). She’s used to sharp sarcastic wit going back and forth. This book was lonely because Win didn’t have anyone to do wordplay with. She liked seeing a new side of Win. As a standalone she would have loved it (probably the 8), but comparing it, it comes down a bit. Win couldn’t quip with people he was interviewing. She wanted more of the back and forth.

Susan (score 7) has read everything by Coben. She might have enjoyed the book a little more if she didn’t read Myron first. She got lost in all the characters, but the audio made it harder. If she had read the book it might have been easier. Would like to see him continue some of these characters in other stories. Well written, the whole rich thing was a lot, though.

Tara (score 9) hasn’t read any Myron books, but likes new characters so may read a book later. She liked the book and it kept her engaged, quick read.

Relationship with Myron is one of the strongest in Win’s life. Some said that either Myron should show up or we should stop talking about him. Jay thinks Myron wouldn’t condone the violence so he was shielding him. Win is private about his family, maybe the author used Myron to show his human side. Myron is his conscience.

Twists and Turns and Surprises...oh my

Julia (score 8) liked it; it was her first Coben book. It was a twisted story and disturbing that Patricia made up the hut of horrors story. The world they lived in was so elevated so she felt it was a bit far-fetched.

Cindy (score 8) liked Win and this was her first Coben book too. It kept her reading, lots of surprises and twists.

Paige (score 7) liked trying to figure out how it all connected (the crimes). She would have liked to see more street justice side stories.

Nicole (score 8) at first didn’t enjoy the book (first read) and then when she re-read to do the character list, she liked him. Crime & Beyond has corrupted Nicole, woohoo!

The only thing we were left hanging on is that we’re not sure why Ema had the same tattoo as Patricia and Ry.

NOTES FOR HARLAN:

Maybe we’ll have a book with Ema next. Father daughter relationship with an 18-year-old. Win’s Mom backstory, he regretted it and we would like to know more. More banter, need a Myron type person to banter with. If Ema dates Kabir, protective Win will come out. Tell us more about PT.

NOTES FOR US:

BookRags.com is a website where you can get a synopsis of the book to refresh if you read it too early. Put the book in the search bar but page down thru the search results until you see the bookrags ones.

Several people mentioned that the people Win hurt “had it comin’” and I kept singing this in my head. So I thought I would give you all the earworm:

Chicago - Cell Block Tango

Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone from the Zoom, it was recording on speaker view, so I didn’t have a whole view of the room at once. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I will see some of you on December 17 at the Holiday Party. Unfortunately, the window has closed to RSVP for the party, but I will see those who aren’t coming at the Lone Tree Library on January 24 to discuss A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz.

Kerry

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