Can’t believe it’s August already – where does the time go?
First off a big thank you to everyone who interacted socially with last month – I really appreciate it.

As a thank you I’m running a contest there where you can win a FREE Kindle Paperwhite. All you have to do is register and click “enter” to get one entry – then there are a bunch of additional things you can do to get additional entries.

So click here to enter the contest. Feel free to share it with your friends etc!

Reading wise for me I read a few more in the Gabriel Allon series of books. Silva is a great writer – the 3rd book in the series was one where I just didn’t enjoy the topic which was to do with the pope and the catholic church and the politics within. However Silvas writing is good enough that I still enjoyed the book.

I just wrapped up Fiona Bartons second novel, The Child. I’m really not sure how I feel about her writing. I enjoy them however the “mystery” part in both her books seem to be only be a mystery because the author is choosing not to share information with us.

A character might reveal something halfway through the book to further the story along when it’s their “turn” to narrate – and you’re sitting there wondering “Why the hell did you wait so long to reveal that other than to prolong the mystery?”. Very frustrating at times.

Got the new Spider Shepherd book “Light Touch” that I’m about to start. One of my favourite series and if you’re a fan of action-thriller novels with an element of spycraft and mystery to them, read it.

And not that it’s got anything to do with books but I purchased a Google Home for the house. Surprising how fast things like that are integrated into your life. It seems perfectly natural to walk into my kitchen and yell “Hey google play Guns N Roses” and suddenly you’re rocking to Civil War while doing the dishes.

I had just fed my 10 year old daughter and her 2 friends some breakfast today then said “Hey Google add lettuce to my shopping list” before leaving the kitchen. Well of course the kids picked up on that. I didn’t realize it until I was at the grocery store and saw my shopping list contained donuts, gummi bears, an xbox one, 12 cats, one million dollars and ‘every pokemon card in the world’ on it. Yeah sorry kids I don’t think so.

Each month we give away 2 prizes to 2 random subscribers of $25 each in the form of Amazon gift certificates. I actually used the Google Home this month – got the subscriber list up in a spreadsheet then asked Google for two random numbers. So silly but cool being able to do that.

To win all you have to do is be a subscriber. Nothing more! When we go to hit “Publish” we take a list of all of our subscribers, throw them into a random draw and those are the winners.

Our winners this month are Kareena from New Orleans and Michael H. from Perth, Australia. Both of you have been e-mailed. If you don’t see anything, check your junk folder or contact me.

Book Recommendations

In this section I give 4-5 random book recommendations. They can be old books, they can be new. But either way – I recommend you read them if the type of genre they are in appeals to you. Feel free to e-mail suggestions to as many of the suggestions each month are from our readers. If you wish to add a description for the book around the same size as the ones below that’d be great too!

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks: I had someone ask me to recommend a dark book, and The Wasp Factory by Iain M. Banks immediately came to mind. Believe me when I say it – this is a really dark book. It’s about a teenager who used to kill people. He’s living with his dad in a remote village in Scotland. His older brother escapes from a psychiatric hospital and – man, this is just one messed up book. It starts nice and slow but before you know it you’re flying through it. If you’re looking for a dark book, Banks delivers.

Justice Redeemed by Scott Pratt: I haven’t read this one yet but it’s on my “to read” list after a reader, Jim, e-mailed about it. He said “WOW!! This book is very different from other lawyer books I have read. The story is unique. I liked the characters, the plot, and the pace of the book. An excellent read. Highly recommended.” So I gather that he liked it! Its about the hotheaded young lawyer Darren Street who has to defend a potential murderer under duress – but then that person turns ups dead and Street is the suspect.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King: Written in the early 90s, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice was nominated for an Agatha award in the Best Novel category. The independent also named it one of the best 100 mysteries of the century. It’s the very first novel in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series which is still going strong today. This one takes place in 1915 when the retired Sherlock Holmes meets up with a 15 year old recently orphaned Mary Russell. Holmes reluctantly tutors her. One of the most popular series on our site – here’s the full list.

Top 10 Popular Series on in 2017

A new section to the newsletter – where I list a “Top 10” based on traffic at Sometimes it’ll be based on series, sometimes authors and sometimes genres. This month we’re covering the top 10 most visited series/character pages on the site since January 1st, 2017 up to July 31st, 2017. It might help if you’re looking for a new series to sink your teeth into.

10: Alex Cross
9: Jesse Stone
8: Agatha Raisin
7: Inspector Gamache
6: Mitch Rapp
5: Scot Harvath
4: Stone Barrington
3: Walt Longmire
2: Harry Bosch
1: Jack Reacher

August 2017 Book Of The Month

Y is For Yesterday by Sue Grafton.

She’s almost done!

Sue Grafton began her Alphabet series of novels back in 1982 with A is for Alibi. 35 years later she is now at the 25th book in the series – Y is for Yesterday.

Have to give Sue our book of the month award. It’s been amazing journey and major props to her because I felt with the last few books it’s been a struggle for her. However she’s kept going and we’re just one away now!

Your Thoughts:

Your Thoughts!
Last month I asked you to recommend a good standalone thriller/mystery. The feedback is later in the newsletter.

This month I am asking – has reading a book ever inspired you to do something?

One of our readers – Diana – wrote to me to let me that due to Lord of the Rings, it inspired her to take up archery and join the Society for Creative Anachronism.

My wife wants to do a trip through Europe within the next year. She only came up with this idea after recently reading Angels & Demons by Dan Brown.

It can be a big inspiration or a small inspiration. For example after reading spy thrillers, I get motivated/inspired to play a similar style game on my XBox like Ghost Recon or Splinter Cell.

I’m a runner and after reading the Spider Shepherd character going out for a run with a rucksack full of bricks – I got motivated to try that. Once. Then never again.

So what’s inspired you?

E-mail us your feedback to or just reply to this e-mail, and we’ll pick the best comments and feature it in next months newsletter.

Reader Mailbag:

Click here to read it.

Order of Books » Newsletter » August 2017 Newsletter

One Response to “August 2017 Newsletter”

  1. Diane Standish: 7 years ago

    I love your website, your monthly letters and I use your site often. Thanks!


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