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Book groups gather in Langley, pick their best reads

A massive crowd of 150 book lovers attended the seventh annual All Whidbey Book Groups Gathering in Langley recently. - Photo courtesy of Donna Hood
A massive crowd of 150 book lovers attended the seventh annual All Whidbey Book Groups Gathering in Langley recently.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Donna Hood

Book lovers from 25 book groups across the island met at St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley for the All Whidbey Book Groups Gathering recently, and some got to meet the author at the top of their lists.

The annual gathering of book lovers drew about 150 people this year. Best-selling author Elizabeth George engaged the group with a presentation which included how to tell the difference between a mystery novel and a crime novel.

George, often described as a mystery writer, said her books are actually crime novels or stories of psychological suspense. The difference is that in mystery books, the culprit isn’t revealed until the end. In a crime novel, the criminalists and reader march hand-in-hand toward the conclusion of the novel and the solution to the crime. The reader may already know “who done it,” and the story can be as simple or sophisticated as the author wants, she said.

The gathering was also a time to share the “top reads” of 2009.

Several of the book groups named George’s last book, “Careless in Red,” as their top read for 2009, and many attendees said they are looking forward to reading George’s 2010 release, “This Body of Death.”

A potluck dinner, a raffle to benefit Sno-Isle Libraries’ Whidbey Reads Program, a used-book sale and a sharing of best reads completed the evening’s activities.

The book most mentioned this year was “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Other selections mentioned more than once included George’s “Careless in Red,” “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Rellin, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson, and “City of Thieves” by David Benioff.

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