Hi everyone. Hope you all are having a great August. Well as great as it can be anyway.

I know I’m enjoying all the sports being back. It does mean a lot of extra work on my part but it’s nice having my day be completely busy and most of that from watching the likes of NHL and NBA.

I mentioned in the August newsletter that I hadn’t had much time to read lately. I struggled a bit this month with getting into reading. Just one of those things where went through about 4 or 5 books, read a few chapters, then just put it down and wasn’t motivated to go back to it.

In the August newsletter, I listed the Carter Blake series by Mason Cross which was recommended by a few readers. As this is one of those “if you like Jack Reacher” series, I figured it’d be a nice and easy read to get me back into it.

I read the first book, The Killing Season, and thought it was okay. The problem with a lot of these books is they truly are a Reacher clone – from the character to the actual writing. It might not be intentional however the way the character thinks in various situations just reeks of Jack Reacher.

The story itself was good though. Carter Blake is on the hunt for the Chicago sniper who escaped from prison and is out killing again. I enjoyed it enough that I’ve actually started the second book in the series. So that’s good at least. Hopefully I continue to enjoy it because I enjoy this type of character.

Being a “Reacher clone” isn’t necessarily a bad thing either – it’s all about whether the author can find their own voice for the character and make it their own. I’ve read others in the past and some are able to do so while others just can’t create that sort of identity.

I’ve recommended it many times in the past and I will quickly do so again – if you are a big fan of Jack Reacher and want something similar, the best I’ve discovered is the Peter Ash series.

So the jury is still out on the Carter Blake series but I’m looking forward to reading the next few. Either way it’s got me back into reading and that’s all that matters.

Other than sports I was able to watch The Umbrella Academy season two. Well actually as a family we binged it over the course of two nights upon release, then I watched it all over again with my daughter. Just such a fun and enjoyable show. From the characters to the direction etc. I’ve never been a fan of comic books so I haven’t read them at all and don’t know if comic book readers hate it or not – but I personally love it.

Each month we give away 5 prizes to 5 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:

Jenny from Portland, OR
Macile from Mercer Island, WA
Sue G. from Denver, CO
Don H. from Las Vegas, NV
Sharon V. from Willowbrook, IL

All 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 3 random book recommendations when it’s the mid-month newsletter, and 4-5 recommendations for the monthly newsletter. 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!

Mike Bowditch series by Paul Doiron
I’ve recommended this series before however it was back in November 2018. Time to recommend it again! This is a very popular series that readers are always e-mailing me asking me to recommend.

The latest one was from Judy who wrote in to say “I would like to recommend a series that I began about a month ago. It is by Paul Doiron and the main character is Mike Bowditch. He is a game warden in Maine. The character reminds me of Joe Pickett except he is single and younger. However like Joe he manages to get himself into situations that nobody else does. The writing is really good and the descriptions of the Maine landscape and the wildlife are first rate. Mike also has some great friends and girlfriends that help enhance the stories. There are about 17 books so far in the series and while I tried to slow down on my reading, it just hasn’t worked. I am now on number 13 and going strong.”

It’s a series you will fly through. It debuted in 2010 with The Poacher’s Son which was nominated for various awards such as an Edgar and a Macavity. It also won a Barry Award. If you’ve never read this series, start today.

Anna Willett
Anna Willett is an Australian author who writes suspenseful thrillers. She has numerous standalone novels as well as the Lucy Hush series of novels.

Rich e-mailed the recommendation for Anna stating “If you want to try someone new, take a look at Anna Willett. I’m not sure how I found her, but she writes very interesting mystery/horror books set in Western Australia.”

I have only read The Woman Behind Her so far which was available on Kindle Unlimited and I enjoyed it a lot. If you’re a fan of thrillers, check out Anna Willett.

Cicero Series by Robert Harris
Historical fiction fans will enjoy this one. It was recommended by Anna, who wrote:

“If you like the idea of reading The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire but find the task daunting why not start with The Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris.

It tells the story of the life of Marcus Cicero, a lawyer, as told by his slave and secretary Tiro and although it is historical fiction there is enough factual detail to give one a good sense of how Rome worked in its heyday and an insight into some of its most famous citizens including Pompei, Caesar and Marc Anthony. It is story telling at its best and a real page turner. “

Robert also has various standalone novels. Visit our Robert Harris page for more.

Top Books/Series TV Show & Movie Adaptations

I asked our Facebook followers to recommend their favourite books and series that have been made into TV shows or movies that they actually enjoyed!

This list of authors and series is copied ad verbatim. Authors who aren’t linked aren’t on our site yet but will be given the highest priority to add.

  • Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly (TV Show “Bosch”)
  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (1990 Film)
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1971 Film)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (1975 Film)
  • The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood (1972 Film “Cabaret”)
  • Shetland by Anne Cleeves (TV Show “Shetland”)
  • Inspector Lynley by Elizabeth George (TV Show “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries”)
  • A Time To Kill by John Grisham (1996 Film)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (1991 Film)
  • John Cardinal by Giles Blunt (TV Show “Cardinal”)
  • The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King (1994 Film)
  • Stand By Me by Stephen King (1986 Film)
  • Longmire by Craig Johnson (TV Show “Longmire”)
  • Phryne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood (TV Show “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”)
  • The Firm by John Grisham (1993 Film)
  • Inspector Banks by Peter Robinson (TV Show “DCI Banks”)
  • Little Fires Everywhere (TV Show “Little Fires Everywhere”)
  • Virgin River by Robyn Carr (TV Show “Virgin River”)
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty (TV Miniseries “Lonesome Dove”)
  • Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith (TV Show “Strike”)
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (TV Show “The Dresden Files”) 
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (TV Show “Outlander”)
  • The Shining by Stephen King (1980 Film)
  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (2019 Film)
  • Vera Stanhope by Ann Cleeves (TV Show “Vera”)
  • The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell (TV Show “The Last Kingdom”)
  • All Agatha Christie Novels (Too many to list)
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (TV Serial “Brideshead Revisited”)
  • The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott (TV Show “The Jewel in the Crown”)
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (1975 Film)
  • Jackson Brodie by Kate Atkinson (TV Show “Case Histories”)
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Multiple Films)
  • All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness (TV Show “A Discovery of Witches”)
  • Harry Hole by Jo Nesbo (2017 Film “The Snowman”)
  • Murder, She Wrote by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher (TV Show “Murder She Wrote”)
  • Agatha Raisin by M.C. Beaton (TV Show “Agatha Raisin”)
  • Hamish Macbeth by M.C. Beaton (TV Show “Hamish Macbeth”)
  • Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1939 Film)
  • MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker (1970 Film/TV Show “M*A*S*H”)
  • Spenser by Robert B. Parker (TV Show “Spenser for Hire”)
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (Multiple Films)
  • Midnight, Texas by Charlaine Harris (TV Show “Midnight, Texas”) 
  • Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris (TV Show “True Blood”)
  • Kurt Wallander by Henning Mankell (TV Show “Wallander”)
  • Jason Bourne by Robert Ludlum (Multiple Films)
  • Temperance Brennan by Kathy Reich (TV Show “Bones”)
  • Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Multiple Adaptions on TV and Film)
  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (TV Show “Pretty Little Liars”)
  • Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (TV Show “Dexter”)
  • Miss Marple by Agatha Christie (TV Show “Agatha Christie’s Marple”)
  • Hercule Poirot (Multiple film and television adaptations)
  • Lord Peter Wimsey (TV Show “Lord Peter Wimsey”)
  • Raylan Givens by Elmore Leonard (TV Show “Justified”)
  • The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (TV Show “The Leftovers”)
  • The 100 by Kass Morgan (TV Series “The 100”)
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman (TV Series “The Magicians”)
  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (TV Series “Altered Carbon”)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (2005 Film)
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1972 Film)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1962 Film)
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (2019 Film)
  • The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (2006 Film)
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (1999 Film “Fight Club”)
  • The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich (2010 Film “The Social Network”)
  • Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard (1997 Film “Jackie Brown”)
  • Top 10 Charts:

    This is a list of the top 10 most popular series and authors compiled over our entire book network of websites.

    Notes: James Patterson retains the top spot for the 2nd month. Was neat seeing Elin Hilderbrand on the list. Her new book 28 Summers came out at the end of June and was incredibly popular in the best selling charts. Based on traffic analysis, a lot of people discovered her via that book then went searching for more books by her. Some of her other books rose on the best selling charts too which is always cool to see.

    Notes: Amusing seeing Mitford on the list. A TV adaptation of a book by Nancy Mitford was announced in the last few days of July and we saw a massive spike in traffic for people searching for more details on it, and sending up on the Mitford series page by Jan Karon instead. We actually don’t have a page for Nancy Mitford however she will be highest priority.

    New Author Spotlight

    This month we are featuring Mary Torjussen.

    Mary has a new novel coming out in September so I thought it would be a good time to list her. She actually started writing back in 2016 however only has 2 currently published novels.

    Mary writes in the psychological thriller genre and is from England.

    Her first novel, Gone Without A Trace, is about a girl named Hannah Monroe who has just lost her boyfriend. She’s not only lost him, he’s seemingly disappeared without a trace.All of their texts, photos, and social media has been wiped clean and there is no record of them ever having been together. She sets off on a search to find him, but finds that the search is leading her into madness. In order to discover the truth, she’ll have to face the shocking truth.

    See our Mary Torjussen page for more details.

    Your Thoughts!

    Who are your top five authors who currently release new books each year?

    Last month I asked how you decide what book or series to read next.  The responses are below.

    This month’s question is:

    Who are your top five authors who currently release new books each year? 

    Let me expand on that slightly.  Most of us have a “blindly buy” list comprised of authors or book series that we trust and enjoy.  We don’t even read the descriptions.  As soon as we hear of a new book we’re either pre-ordering it, adding it to our list at the library, or marking the date in the calendar to go buy it.

    Of those – which are your top 5?  The 5 authors whose new books you look forward to the most?  And hey how many are on that list?

    I have a list of about 30 authors whose books I blindly buy.  It’s always interesting looking at it and seeing how things change over the years.  Harlan Coben is one who 3 years ago would have been on the list and now I’m not sure I’ll even buy his next book.  Andy McNab and his Nick Stone series – a decade ago I couldn’t get enough of that series.  Now I own all the latest books but haven’t read them in the last 4 years.

    For me it is in no particular author:

    John Marrs: John writes standalone novels and he isn’t afraid to go a bit “out there” when it comes to the topic he covers.  Every book is vastly different and I drop everything to read one of his novels.

    Mitch Rapp: Kyle Mills is doing a fantastic job of continuing this series and I look forward to them just as much as the Vince Flynn books.

    Nick Petrie: His last “Peter Ash” outing wasn’t too great however the previous ones were excellent and I can’t wait for the next one. 

    Joseph Finder: Whether a standalone novel or a Nick Heller book, Joseph is one of the most consistent high quality authors out there.

    Blake Crouch: He hasn’t written anything since Recursion in June 2019 and has no upcoming books on the horizon.  However I drop everything to read his novels and I have a Google News alert on his name just to find out when his next book is.

    I know this is a tough one – if you can’t limit it to 5 that’s okay.  Heck I’m going to break my own rules by also mentioning Shari Lapena.  Initially part of the “females writing thriller authors inspired by Gone Girl and Girl on the Train” crowd, she’s really evolved as a writer and is quickly becoming the queen of the present day whodunit genre.

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

    Order of Books » Newsletter » August 2020 Mid-Month Newsletter

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