August already – where does the time go?

July was a great month for me as being at the cottage reinvigorated my love for reading. I mean I always have a book on the go – but just being there and flying through book after book got me highly motivated to read more.

I’ve found that I am a bit all over the place in terms of what to read. As you can imagine – running the website and the newsletter, I get a LOT of recommendations and discover a lot of new books to read. If my ebooks were physical I could open my own public library.

So I spent some time last week making a list of authors who I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of years, read a couple of their books but haven’t read all of them and am going to focus on that for the next little while before trying out new authors (except in special cases).

What I really enjoyed about that was just reading the descriptions of some of these books and actually getting excited at the fictional worlds I’d be entering over the next couple of months. Really looking forward to a lot of reading.

Speaking of the cottage – here’s a story for ya. I mentioned last month I was re-reading the Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch. Well there I was laying on my daughters unicorn floatie, beer in one hand and Kindle in the other, when a speedboat went by. It created some big waves, shook the floatie and next thing you know my Kindle Paperwhite was in the water. And it’s the non-waterproof one.

I dived in and got it immediately. Now the smartest thing would have been to rush to the cottage, throw it in rice and let it sit for 24-48 hours right? Except the reader in me couldn’t do that. I was at 80% on the final book in the trilogy and I decided to go down with the ship. I just kept reading knowing I needed to get to the end, cringing when it restarted twice and cringing even harder when it was detecting phantom touches.

Amazingly I was able to finish the book AND my Kindle was okay after all. For the next couple of days the backlight wasn’t working and some of the menu options were unresponsive but for whatever reason, it survived and is now good as new!

Here are some of the books I read over the last month and my thoughts:

The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson: Last month I mentioned that I read Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft where a girl went missing and then showed up again at 18 years old. I read this immediately following that and it was practically the EXACT SAME PLOT. That felt odd ha. It was a decent book. After that, I tried to read Locked In by Kerry as I’ve had that series recommended to me a lot. Couldn’t get into it and gave up at 14% but I’ll revisit it down the road.

The first two books in the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. I’d heard a lot about Stillhouse Lake the novel but for some reason I always assumed it was a standalone. I’m not sure if I’ll read the third one as I feel satisfied with how the second book ended, and I’m not sure the characters are strong enough. Overall decent enough books and worth a read.

I reread The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer after talking to a reader about Brad. I read this book originally approximately 15 years ago and always held it in high regard. Unfortunately, it didn’t stand up which was disappointing.

I read Golden State by Ben H. Winters. This was a really neat book. It’s a thought-provoking dystopian novel set in the “Golden State” – a nation that resembles California. In this world, the citizens of the Golden State are not allowed to lie and if they do, there are Speculators who can tell they are lying. It’s illegal and can put them in jail for 8+ years. This was an excellent book up until an extremely rushed final act. The ending was so weak that I actually went back and re-read that last section, thinking I’d missed something.

I’d still recommend that book, however please be aware that the ending of the book is extremely weak.

“Genesis” – a Wayward Pines Prequel. this was written by Stephen Konkoly and if you are a Wayward Pines fan but haven’t read it yet I’d recommend you do so. He does the series a great justice and he is a different style of writer than Crouch so it actually comes off really well.

At the tail end of the month I read two standalone thrillers that were just released – The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton/Lisa Steinke and Someone We Know by Shari Lapena.

The Fenton/Steinke one was different than their usual but enjoyable enough. I much prefer their previous two books where they went on location, then wrote a book based in that location however. It was via Kindle Unlimited which was nice.

Lapena just gets better and better and this was an excellent whodunnit. That book came out on the 30th, I started it at 5pm and finished it by 1am as I couldn’t put it down.

Finally as I continue to go through the Bosch universe, I finished up Blood Work. Then I discovered there was a movie which is always a bonus. Not had the chance to watch that though. I’ve just started Void Moon.

Alright that’s it for me – I hope many of you are using the Summer months to get some reading done. This is the period where the new books start coming out. The last week of July alone gained me 3 new books to read by my “blindly buy” authors.

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 Jeanne M from Alpine, CA and Hannah L from Wuanakee, 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 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 Inspector Erlandur series by Arnaldur Indridason.
This is an excellent series written by Icelandic novelist Arnaldur Indridason.  It’s a bit of a disjointed series in the sense that a couple of the books don’t really feature Erlandur at all, and also the first two books in the series were never translated.  

However if you can get past that, this is a fantastic crime fiction series with 11 books to read.  it starts with Jar City, where a lonely old man has been murdered with a cryptic note and photograph left behind.  Dark but engaging – if you’re a crime fiction fan, check out this series.

The Ellie Haskell series by Dorothy Cannell
This one is for cozy mystery fans! The Ellie Haskell series is a great cozy mystery/romance series written by Dorothy Cannell. The series begin back in 1984 with the book The Thin Woman and Dorothy wrote 13 books in the series, ending in 2009.

It’s a great series and the 2nd book in the series, The Widows Club, was nominated for “Best Novel” at both the Anthony Awards and Agatha Awards.

Paradise Crime series by Toby Neal
Reader Bev B. suggested this one for a recommendation, writing Toby Neal writes a dandy crime drama with just the right touch of romance. I personally haven’t read this series but I have heard good things, and if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber I believe a lot of the books are available on that as of this writing.

Hunt for Reacher series by Diane Capri
Another series that I’ve personally never read but I keep hearing good things about and receive at least a couple of e-mails per month recommending it. The series follows FBI agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar as they hunt down the infamous character Jack Reacher. It’s endorsed by Lee Child.

I know we have a lot of Jack Reacher fans reading, but many of them aren’t aware of this series from e-mail discussions I’ve had. So if you’re a fan of Reacher, try out this series! Be sure to let me know your thoughts on it too as I’m hoping to start it soon.

August 2019 Book Of The Month

A Better Man by Louise Penny.

The latest Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny comes out on August 27th, 2019. It’s titled “A Better Man” and if you haven’t read the Gamache series – get reading! It’s one of the most popular series on our website.

In this one, it’s his first day back as the head of the homicide department. There’s crisis after crisis happening as flood waters rise across Quebec and Gamache attempts to prioritize – knowing that he should abandon the task of finding a missing daughter. However with a daughter of his own, he decides to take up this case.

More Notable Books Releasing in August

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Girl Who Lived Twice (Lisbeth Salander) by David Lagercrantz
The Biterroots by CJ Box
A Dangerous Man (Cole/Pike) by Robert Crais
Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
The Passengers by John Marrs
Contraband (Stone Barrington) by Stuart Woods
Outfox by Sandra Brown

Audiobook Area:

Written by rhaspberry

Audiobooks – I like to listen to audiobooks while driving and while knitting. The audiobooks are usually on CDs – and it’s getting more difficult to find a device to play them! New cars don’t offer CD players. CD players are scarce or don’t offer good ways to pause when interrupted. I have downloaded books from my library to my MP3 player, but I really prefer the CD format.

What do other audiobook listeners do? Is streaming my only option? Is that workable for books?

We have a lot of audiobook fans and invite book listeners to write their own column every month. Want to discuss audiobooks or a favourite narrator? Hit reply or e-mail and write and we’ll feature your column in a future newsletter!

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked you about memorable scenes. Your feedback is later in the newsletter.

This month I am asking what book world would you like to inhabit? Either permanently or temporary?

Thanks to Chris R. for the suggestion.

I’d personally like to inhabit the “run for your life as everyone is after” you world that Blake Crouch created in “Run”. I mentioned it before but that was a very thought provoking book and I spent awhile thinking about how I would survive a world like that.

And oh boy would I LOVE to enter the world of Ready Player One.

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. Two people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

Reader Mailbag:

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Order of Books » Newsletter » August 2019 Newsletter

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