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I haven’t laughed as much at a Book Club meeting since, well, ok, it was December...and alcohol was involved in that one, but still. We do have fun at our meetings, don’t we? Still wondering why Jose only gave the meeting a 9 that one time, but he never reads my emails so we’ll never know.

Let me start by saying that the mystery of the disappearing duo has been solved. Penny hurt her ankle and when she asked Claudia to bring the snack for her, Claudia thought she was a week early. Some of our other members have gotten caught in the “last” Monday versus “fourth” Monday sinkhole too. To clarify, it’s the Fourth Monday of the month that we meet. Claudia has since joined BookMovement, which is a great resource for reminders.

If you’re not using BookMovement, let me know and I will send you a new invite. It’s basically a way to suggest books and get reminders. You have to create an account to log in, but I never get any spam from them, so I feel like they’re a safe bet. They send 3 emails a month. The day after our meeting, they’ll send one telling you the next book. Then, a week before, you’ll get one saying book club is next week. Then you’ll get one the day before saying book club tomorrow. They ask for RSVPs, but I don’t see those, so you never need to RSVP to the emails.

There’s also a place where you can put in possible club reads and I pull everything from this list when we choose our books, which will be in early May, when we will choose the July-November books. Remember, do NOT read the books on the Lone Tree Library site for July-Nov. Those will change.

I reiterated all of that info above for our 2 new members: Laurie and Faith (I sent you both a BookMovement invite). I’m pretty sure they’re both coming back, even though the email Faith gave me is notonyourlife@gmail.com. Just kidding, they both gave me emails that appear to be valid, so I will get their cloak size for the next initiation. Paige, sharpen the knives.

On to the meeting. As usual, it’s better when we’re split on the book. If everyone loves it, we’re like – yep, we all agree. End of discussion. See you next month. Not so for The Only One Left by Riley Sager. We had quite a split. And you know it’s a good meeting when we get kicked out of the library.

The scores were: four 9s, six 8s, six 7s, four 6s, one 5, two 4s, and two 2s.

The high scores thought that the writing was great, we loved that it was creepy, we enjoyed the characters and setting, we liked the scene where Kit held up and then dropped the snow globe as a test, it had clever twists, Jose cheered when Lenora/Virginia walked, Patricia related to the family murder story, and Joel enjoyed it because he decided to just strap in and go! Some things were obvious and predictable, but this didn’t stop us from loving it.

It was said that the book had more twists and turns than we have Sharons in the group. And speaking of the twists and turns, most of the negative comments started with a variation of: there was too much going on. A LOT of people said there were too many twists. Apparently, the line in the sand was drawn when we found out that Kit’s father was Ricky.

The lower scores were based on the fact that many members would not have finished reading the book if it weren’t for the meeting. It was hard to suspend reality, the first part started strong but the last part really went downhill, it felt like a soap opera, the title was deceiving, it was too farfetched, it could have been shorter, we didn’t like the supernatural aspect that was implied, some fans of Riley didn’t think this was one of his best, and we hated that the book spanned like 50 years and that the timeline was confusing.

We decided that the house was NOT a character. In Kerry’s case, because she hates that cliché, but in other cases we felt like the author didn’t do enough to make the house stand out. I think it was Sharon Also who said that she wanted to hear more about the crack in the staircase. She thought it should have been mentioned more and we should have seen it getting bigger.

What we did agree on was that a lot of us, while reading certain passages, spoke out loud with the word “really.” Of course, some of them were said in an upbeat, excited manner when a new twist dropped. Others were said in a scornful, questioning voice, also when a new twist dropped. At the end of the meeting we counted to 3 and all said our version of really. The positives won, but as someone noted, the upbeat ones tended to be louder simply because of the pitch of the word.

We will meet on February 26 to discuss The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz. He’s one of our faves, so I’m excited to see if this book holds up.

For Riley Sager fans (and those who will give him another chance if they didn’t love this book), here are the books that Patricia, who is a Riley aficionado, recommended:

If you want to come to The Mousetrap play at the Lone Tree Arts Center, reply to that email by Sunday, January 28 with the number of tickets needed.

Kerry

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