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Today Show: Harlan Coben on Once Upon a Wardrobe

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Full of magic, nostalgia and a sister's love, Coben calls Patti Callahan's Once Upon a Wardrobe novel "a love letter to those of us obsessed with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series."FOR A HINT OF WINTER MAGIC

Best Picks to Read this Month!

5 page -turning books for every kind of reader, according to author Harlan Coben

Thrillers, mysteries, memoirs and more!


Nov. 1, 2021, 9:32 AM EDT By Kathryne McCann

The weather outside is getting colder, which means it is time to curl up on the couch, throw on a cozy sweater and crack open a new book. With the holiday season approaching, you might also be searching for the perfect book to get a family member or friend.

Harlan Coben, the New York Times bestselling author of "Tell No One" and the recently released "Win," stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to share five books for every kind of reader. From music fans to thriller lovers, Coben has recommendations that will peak your interest and make perfect gifts.

So, whether you are a fan of mystery or enjoy memoirs by famous athletes, read to shop Coben's picks.

For classic literature fans

"Once Upon a Wardrobe," by Patti Callahan

"Once Upon a Wardrobe"$19.99 AMAZON $24.99 BOOKSHOP $20.99 BARNES AND NOBLE

"Once Upon a Wardrobe" takes place in 1950 when a dying boy asks his older sister to find C.S. Lewis and ask him where the idea for Narnia came from. Full of magic, nostalgia and a sister's love, Coben calls this novel "a love letter to those of us obsessed with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series."

For thriller fans

"The Collective," by Alison Gaylin

"The Collective"$24.99 AMAZON $25.75 BOOKSHOP $24.99 BARNES AND NOBLE

If you are still looking for a thrill after Halloween, try this dark thriller about grief, obsession and rage. Written by Edgar Award–winning author Alison Gaylin, this book is about a group of grieving women set on revenge. "Don't start 'The Collective' at night if you plan on getting any sleep," said Coben. He predicts this novel will soon be the book everyone is obsessing over.

For sports fanatics

"No One Wins Alone," by Mark Messier

"No One Wins Alone"$22.99 AMAZON $25.76 BOOKSHOP $22.99 BARNES AND NOBLE

Mark Messier, a six-time Stanley Cup champion and hockey Hall of Famer, joined forces with sports journalist Jimmy Roberts, to share Messier's journey to the National Hockey League. Coben describes this book as "part memoir, part sports book, part leadership/success manual." With lessons about teamwork, gratitude and overcoming challenges, this book is about more than just hockey.

For 2020 catharsis

"The Sentence," by Louise Erdrich

"The Sentence"$22.99 AMAZON $26.67 BOOKSHOP $22.99 BARNES AND NOBLE

"The Sentence" follows the story of Tookie, a woman who lands a job at a small Minneapolis bookstore after years of incarceration, who must solve the mystery of why a dead customer is haunting the store. Taking place over a year between All Souls' Day in 2019 and ending the same day in 2020, this story seeks to understand all that occurred in Minneapolis during a year filled with isolation, anger and grief. Written by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Louise Erdrich, this book is what Coben calls "a beautifully written and unforgettable novel from one of our finest writers."

For music lovers

"Unrequited Infatuations," by Stevie Van Zandt

"Unrequited Infatuations"$18.99 AMAZON $28.52 BOOKSHOP $24.49 BARNES AND NOBLE

Starting from his early life in New Jersey to his years in the music industry as part of the E Street Band to eventually playing Silvio in the hit TV series "The Sopranos," Stevie Van Zandt's life is filled with surprising twists and turns. "Stevie van Zandt tells it all in his own inimitable style," Coben said.

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