Welcome to August! Hope everyone is having a good Summer so far.

July was a very busy month for me as I was at the cottage for the first week of July, then my mum and sister visited from Scotland for a week.

That was a great time and we did a lot of fun local touristy stuff. Always neat to do stuff like that. For example I did a Haunted Walk. I’ve did those in other cities like when I was in Edinburgh and I just found it boring. But hearing all these ghost stories of buildings around me was actually quite neat and I enjoyed it. Went out and saw Boldt Castle too – that place is great and the story of it is fascinating.

Read some interesting books in the past month. It was interesting seeing the difference in some books. I read The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke which was great. A large portion of that book takes place in Hawaii and the authors actually mentioned that they visited Hawaii and went to the locations mentioned in the book. That extra research really shone through in the book as the descriptions were vivid and you could picture it happening.

Then I read The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft. I don’t mean to be negative but if she did any research at all it’d shock me. I mean just the basics like police protocols, legal proceedings etc – it read like a first draft. Note to all budding authors out there – do your research and go through a stringent editing process. It can make all the difference in book quality. It was a very disappointing read and has turned me off that author in the future. There were just so many small things about the book. as well.

My mum also brought me a book as a gift – an actual physical book. I went Kindle only about 6 years ago and I think this is only the 2nd actual book I’ve read in that period. My god I forget how I was ever able to manage that! It’s amazing how something so natural years ago felt so awkward Simple little things like reading a book while I ate my lunch turned into a chore ha.

The book in question was the first book in the DI Fawley series by Cara Hunter. I enjoyed that one a lot right up until the end. Basically it’s about a young girl who goes missing while at a party at the house. And I was invested in the book the whole way. Then the ending came.

I’m not a big fan of spoilers but if you read that book, just know in advance that the ending and the big reveal is absolutely horrendous. Everything up to that is great – but the “reveal” of who is behind it is a character who is in the book maybe twice.

It’s not like a Harlan Coben twist where it’s completely out of left field but makes sense when you go back and reread it or think about it. It reminds me of that Simpsons episode where they’re stranded on the island ala Lord of the Flies and it ends with “And eventually, they were rescued by oh, let’s say Moe.” Her new book, the 2nd in the series just came out. Hopefully it doesn’t have as bad an ending because she’s a very talented writer.

On a brighter note thanks to Stephanie H. who recommended The Peter Ash series by Nicholas Petrie to me. If you like Jack Reacher, this is a series for you. The Drifter is the first book in the series and an excellent book. I write more about this award winning book below however if you’re a fan of Reacher, this is a book series to try out. It captures the type of character Jack Reacher is more than any other book I’ve read thus far and I loved the structure of the book and the way it all builds up to the final act. Check it out.

Alright that’s it from me – I’ve got to get to reading. I mean I read about 15 books in July but it didn’t seem like enough. I’ve got the rest of the Peter Ash series to read, the new Liz Fenton / Lisa Steinke book, the new Stephen Leather book (can’t wait for the latest adventures of Spider Shepherd), the next Cara Hunter book and oh so many more. I can’t wait to get stuck in to them! We’re heading up to Toronto on the weekend and my daughter and wife are going to see Taylor Swift. Looking forward to just staying at the hotel in the hot tub during that time reading on my Kindle!

Each month we give away 2 prizes to 2 random subscribers of $25 each in the form of Amazon gift certificates. 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 chinyeeyee from Singapore and Jeff from Madison, WI. 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 site@orderofbooks.com 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 Drifter by Nick Petrie: The first book in the award winning “Peter Ash” series which was nominated for an Edgar AND Barry award for “Best First Novel”. If you’re a fan of Jack Reacher you’ll love this series. Lee Child even gives it his seal of approval, stating that “Peter Ash is the Real Deal”. In the first book in the series, Ash is out of the Military and dealing with PTSD in the form of white static induced by claustrophobia. He’s helping out a military buddies widow by fixing up her porch. Under the porch he discovers a suitcase which has a big pile of cash in it, and explosives. It’s so like Reacher but without going overboard like other books do. Highly recommended.

The Wife by Alafair Burke: This was recommended to me by a reader called Bev and I loved it. An excellent domestic thriller novel dealing with the hot topic of a celebrity (in this case a famous economics professor) being accused of sexual assault. His wife stands by him but as another accuser comes forward, she starts to wonder if their perfect marriage is all that it seems. This one was so good it got me marathoning the rest of the thrillers written by Burke. They’re all good but this one really stood out to me.

An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger: This is the first book in the highly acclaimed DC Smith Investigation series of books by the UK author Peter Grainger. This is the type of series that you’ll get hooked on and marathon through. In the first book, a sixth form student has drowned. it appears to be an accident but when DC Smith looks into it, he sees there’s a lot more to the story than meets the eye. If you’re a fan of the likes of Colin Dexter and PD James, this is one series you need to try.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman: Backman of course wrote A Man Called Ove, which was a tremendous story much loved by our subscribers. Surprisingly when I asked a few of them – they hadn’t actually read this book written by Backman. I’d strongly advise if you enjoyed A Man Called Ove that you read this – it’s a highly creative and unique story involving a 7 year old whose grandmother has recently passed. Her grandmother sends her basically on a treasure hunt via notes written prior to her passing which brings to life a world of homespun fairy tales. Seriously if you read A Man Called Ove and enjoyed it, make sure you read this one.

August 2018 Book of the Month

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena.

I was a big fan of Shari Lapenas original two books, A Stranger in the House and the Couple Next Door, and I’m really looking forward to this one.

Lapena is a thriller master and the premise for this one sounds great. A remote lodge in upstate New York which is the perfect place for a romantic trip in the Winter. A blizzard comes in and cuts off all the electricity as well as the ability to contact anyone else.

Then there’s a dead body. And another. And another. And suddenly they’re piling up as it seems someone is taking out the guests one by one.

I can’t wait to read this book. It’s out August 7th

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked you how you discover new authors/series to read after finishing a series. Your feedback is later in the newsletter.

This month I am asking: if you could write a book, what would it be about and what’s the inspiration behind it?

I’m sure there are many readers out there who have thought about writing a book themselves. What’s cool is in this day and age with self-publishing available and ebooks being so popular is that we’re seeing more people put their dreams into reality every day.

So what type of book would you write? Fiction or non fiction? What’s motivated you to write a book on that topic?

For me it would go back to when I was just a kid playing with my GI Joe figures. There was one toy I had who I would call “Razor” and he was an assassin. The idea has been in my head for years in regard to writing a series of books based on him. He’d have a hidden compartment in his shoe for example where this razor blade would be and he’d kill people with this incredible sharp razor.

Of course it’s all generic trash. I mean he’d be one of those guys that “wouldn’t kill people who had kids”. But of course he’d be sent on a mission where he kills someone, only to turn around and see their kid standing staring at him. Then he’d realize the organization he worked for had did this deliberately, so he goes after them. Blah blah blah.

Not that stories like that can’t be written – and I’ve tried a few times over the years. However I realize that I just don’t have it in me. Remember what I said in the opening about research in books? I’d be that guy that does no research. Just look it up on Wikipedia and go with whatever is written on there. So there’s no chance I’ll ever actually write it – but it’s nice to at least have the idea formulating in my head, and something to think about on a long drive.

What about you? What type of book would you like to write?

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

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Order of Books » Newsletter » August 2018 Newsletter