Welcome to December!

Random question to open the newsletter – does anyone have any book related tattoos or had any thoughts about getting any? Would love to see them or hear the ideas. Send them over by hitting reply. Might feature them on the site in the future.

Also if you ever have any ideas or suggestions for the newsletter, be sure to send them in. Always happy to hear new ideas or try something out.

October was a bad reading month for me. I mentioned it in last months newsletter – I was only able to read two books. I thought November was going to be the same way – a 1/3 of the month had went by and I hadn’t even picked up a book.

Then I decided to start the latest Jack Reacher novel released just a few days prior.

And it reinvigorated my reading – because it was one of the best Jack Reacher novels I’ve ever read.

The past few years has seen me turned off by the Jack Reacher series. Nothing to do with Tom Cruise – I just wasn’t enjoying the books. The last book I can honestly say I enjoyed and could recommend was Worth Dying For. That’s 7 straight books that I wasn’t a fan of for a variety of reasons.

There’s The Affair (Good story and mystery, too many descriptive sex scenes that were a big turn off), Never Go Back (an enjoyable story with a big let down of an ending), Personal (the worst Jack Reacher novel I’ve read), Night School (2nd worst, boy was this bad) and a few others. Honestly if I wasn’t a big fan of Lee Childs writing style, I’d have simply quit the series. However despite all that I’ve persevered as I like his style, and at the end of the day I do love the way he writes about Reacher.

Past Tense is one of the best Reacher books I’ve ever read.

I’m not sure anything will ever beat Persuader, but this one came very very close.
Everything about it from the story to the mystery to the writing to the action – this book absolutely consumed me. I had to force myself to put it down to take breaks simply because I wanted to take portions of it in. Then with the big climax I read it so incredibly slowly – wanting to take it all in.

I know Reacher isn’t everyones cup of tea – especially after the casting of Tom Cruise. However if you were previously a fan of the series and gave up after what I feel were a lot of poor books in a row – I’d recommend giving Past Tense a try.

And if you read Past Tense and hated it and wish to vent or call me an idiot – feel free to write to me too ha. I’m used to the venting about Reacher. To this day I will receive at least 2-3 e-mails a month with someone randomly wanting to rant to me about the casting of Cruise as if I personally picked him or something.

Speaking of – no more movies and no more Cruise. It looks like there are plans for a Reacher TV series instead. Have to see how that one goes.

I read a very disappointing book in November – the Three Beths by Jeff Abbott. Jeff is one of my favourite authors from the Sam Capra novels to some excellent standalones but this one was just…..weird. It almost felt like it was written for a young adult audience – a very young adult audience. Honestly he just felt very out of touch with the real world in that book. Hope it was just a one off as he is an author I usually really enjoy.

I’m currently reading the third novel in the Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz. That was a series where I read the first book and absolutely loved it, then read the second book and hated it ha. Funny how opinion can change so quickly. I’ve put off reading this one for a good few months now but so far I’m enjoying it.

Off to Scotland over Christmas with my wife & kids to visit my mum and sister. We go most Christmases now and stay over New Years. One thing I love is that my mum has kept all my books from when I was a kid. There is a massive cupboard just full of them and I read them all over again. Can’t wait to get into all of my Enid Blyton novels and read them to the kids.

Not too much else going on. Hope you all have a Happy Holiday season, and I’ll see you all in 2019!

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 Kay from Sunnyside, WA and Shirl from Seacliff, NY. 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!

John Madden Mysteries by Rennie Airth: Thanks to Lajeanne Leveton for this recommendation. We’ve just celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the ending of World War I and this historical mystery series features Inspector John Madden and takes place immediately after WWI. Madden is a veteran of World War I and works for Scotland Yard. The first novel in the series, River of Darkness, was a finalist for an Edgar award for Best Novel.

Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci: Baldacci is a great author both in standalones and series. Personally I love almost all his standalones but he has some excellent series too like the Will Robie series and the Amos Decker series. From the feedback I got this month he’s struck gold again with the Atlee Pine series. The first novel in the series, Long Road to Mercy, was just released this month and it’s about a female FBI agent who is a heroine you’ll be hooked by. I haven’t read it myself yet but I always enjoy seeing more female leads in books and looking forward to it. Check it out. And like it or hate it, let me know your thoughts.

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber: If you’re looking for a Christmas themed book to read, Starry Night is an excellent choice. It’s a romance novel about Carrie Slayton, a reporter who is given the challenge of getting an interview with Finn Dalton, a reclusive author who lives in the remote Alaskan Wilderness. He refuses to speak to anyone however Carrie digs into him and finds out where she believes he lives and goes to seek him out. A wonderful Christmas themed novel.

Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige : I used the “random series” button on the site again – it’s fun to stumble upon different series. I’d read some of this series before and it’s quite fun. It’s a series of YA fantasy novels and novellas which are a follow-up/reimagining to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. We list both in publication order and then we also merge them together in chronological order for you. It’s not the type of series you can binge I found but it was something different and very entertaining.

Book of the Month:

A Delicate Touch by Stuart Woods.

What better way to end the year than a new Stuart Woods novel? That’s right the latest book in the Stone Barrington series, A Delicate Touch, hits bookshelves on December 31st, 2018.

An old acquaintance reaches out to Stone for some assistance. The job seems easy enough but one small solution ends up blowing the lid open on a huge scandal that spans decades. There are many prominent New Yorkers who are involved in the scandal and would rather it stay buried.

Most people would play it safe…but most people are not Stone Barrington! I know what many readers first books of 2019 will be!

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked where the most distracting/busiest place you’ve read a book at. Your feedback is later in the newsletter.

This month I am asking: What is the best book or books you’ve read all year? Or what authors did you discover that have gained a permanent place in your heart? (And your bookshelf).

Simple as that. Check your bookshelves, or your memory, or your blog etc – pick out the best book or books you have read all year and let us know!

For me – I think it has to be the Brilliance Trilogy by Marcus Sakey. I loved this series. I also got to read it and discuss it with one of my best friends who lives in another country as we both read it at the same time and it was great to share and discuss. Then I got my wife to read it and it was great getting to relive it through her. I’m not a big sci-fi person but this is a series that will forever leave great memories behind.

The Peter Ash series by Nicholas Petrie. As a Jack Reacher fan I loved this series. What I loved more is I don’t think I have received so much positive feedback from a series recommendation. I’ve had over 100 people e-mail me to thank me for the recommendation and that they also love the series. That sort of thing just feels amazing – both helping an author make sales, and helping readers discover new authors.

Honorable mention to the writing duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. I read The Good Widow and Girl’s Night Out this year and thoroughly loved their books.

Finally the author Brad Parks. I read a lot of standalone mystery novels this year and both of his stood out above the rest.

What about you? What was the best books or book memories you made this year? Let us know!

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.

Reader Mailbag:

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Order of Books » Newsletter » December 2018 Newsletter