Hi everyone and welcome to December!

My gallbladder surgery is over, and all went well. I was in and out of the hospital in just under 3 hours which was nice. Still some pains primarily with the belly button incision, but overall the recovery has been going very well!

Under doctor’s orders, I wasn’t to work at my desk for 2 weeks. So instead I worked on my laptop on the couch. Now going from a desktop computer, with two 27” monitors, to a laptop is already quite difficult.

But to make it even crazier – I went from using Windows, which I’ve used all my life, to use a MacBook when I have literally never used the Mac OS. Thankfully I’m very open to change and never bother with that sort of inane tribalism. I actually really enjoyed using the MacBook. It’s an incredible piece of hardware, and I got used to the OS quite easily. 

So that new website that we are launching where you can track your books read, get notifications on new books by your favourite authors etc – I’m hoping that this month will be the month. We want to do a week of closed beta testing before the official public launch.

So if you want to help out with that – I’m looking for people who currently use Goodreads. One of the features we will be offering is the ability to import your Goodreads data, so that all your reviews and read status are imported automatically and you don’t have to start fresh.

So if you use Goodreads, and would like to take some time to explore the new website and provide feedback, just e-mail me back and let me know. 

If all goes well, I’ll be sending out an e-mail later this month announcing the launch of the new site! Not sure if I will be doing a mid-month newsletter this month or not I’ll see how things go with the new site, and the work involved in that.

I didn’t get to do much reading in November. The World Cup is on right now, and I’ve been watching every game in that as a percentage of my work rotates around it. With 8 hours a day of soccer action – it doesn’t leave much room for reading!

I finished No Plan B, the latest Jack Reacher novel. I really enjoyed it. It was one of those books with multiple stories all seemingly separate, which then all come together at the end and I thought it was really well done. The usual fun writing with a Reacher novel. I’ve no idea how much of the novels are Andrew Child and how much are Lees, but I do feel they are in good hands.

I read The ’86 Fix by Keith A. Pearson. This is a time travel novel. A 46-year-old man is seeing his life crash all around him. He gets the chance to travel back to when he was 16, with 48 hours to make some changes that will hopefully help his future self.

I really enjoyed this book. The time travel part of it didn’t come in until halfway through, and I should note that the book can be a bit adult in nature. However, it was a really enjoyable book with some good humour in it. One thing I should note is that the ending basically forces you to read the sequel right away. Thankfully they are both on Kindle unlimited so it wasn’t a big deal for me. But if you’re buying it, just a heads up about that.

I of course read the sequel right away, Beyond Broadhall. Very happy with both novels, and I’ll be reading many more by Keith.

I read the new psychological thriller by B.A. Paris, The Prisoner. This one was….okay? It’s about a woman who along with her husband is kidnapped. The story bounces from the events leading to that day to the present time. I enjoyed it but it certainly wasn’t her best work and felt quite rushed in parts. Not one I would rush to recommend.

I’m currently reading Keep It In The Family by John Marrs. This is a story about a couple who buy a new house, only to discover many dead bodies hidden in the attic. It’s from the perspective of the couple that bought the house, the husband’s parents (who they temporarily live with), and then the actual person responsible for the bodies.

I’m a big John Marrs fan, but this one is a bit of a struggle. The reason is that all the characters were just horrible people. There was no one to root for. I’ve had this one on the go for about a week now which says it all. Normally books like this take me no more than 48 hours.

I listened to The Handyman by Bentley Little, after finishing that excellent short story collection by him, Walking Alone, last month. The structure of this one was neat. It’s broken up into 3 parts. The first part is one big story. The second part is various short stories involving the Handyman, and then the final act continues where the first part left off. Really neat concept.

I really enjoyed the first and second acts, although thought it ran out of steam in the final act.

I’m listening to Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk right now. First off a content warning – this is a MESSED UP book. How messed up? I started listening to it shortly after my gallbladder surgery, and my wife came rushing into the room worried I had fallen or an incision had opened up or something.

This was due to audibly groaning in pain at one particular scene. It was nasty! However, I actually thought that was pretty cool – for a book to have that sort of effect on me. I’ve not finished it yet but enjoying the concept. One long story is interspersed with short stories involving the characters.

The audiobook performances for that book are great and stand out.

Thanks to Louise, who recommended Scribd to me for listening to audiobooks. I haven’t tried it out too much yet, but it was $12.99 Canadian for me and boasts over 300,000 audiobooks. I believe that link should give you a 60-day free trial to check it out.

Unlike Audible, you get them all under your membership instead of credits. There are caveats to it like you can only read so many hours or pages from specific publishers each month etc. I mean you can just google “reddit scribd” and you will find quite a few negative threads talking about their throttling, so just a heads up on that.

However, I like to experience things firsthand, rather than rely on complaints online where negativity rises to the top. I only go through about two audiobooks per month so it’s not that big a deal if they do throttling for me. And with Audible and the library as well – I’ve got a great few places to choose from!

Each month we give away 5 $25 Amazon gift certificates to random subscribers. 

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:

Mari from Danville, IL

Barbara L. from Oceanside, CA

Sue P. from Oceanside, CA
Mary G. from Robbinsville, NC

Lisa B. from Grandin, MO

All of you have been e-mailed. If you don’t see anything, check your junk folder or contact me.

Quotes of the Month

“Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are”

” Things are far too serious to lose our sense of humor.” 

– Terry Patten (Author, teacher, (R)evolutionary community co-creator.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul”

– Cicero

“I have always imagined paradise will be a kind of library.”

– Jorge Luis Borges

Book Recommendations

In this section, I give 3-5 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!  I should note we also have a huge backlog of recommendations so if you don’t see one that you recommended then don’t worry – it’ll show up eventually!

Savages by Don Winslow

I’ve recommended Don Winslow previously in the newsletter and Keith wrote in asking me to recommend him again. I’m happy to oblige. If you’re looking t get started on Don, it’s recommended to read the Savages series, and probably his standalone novels, first. Here’s what Keith wrote:

“I’m writing to recommend the works of Don Winslow: I read the Power of the Dog trilogy in “dead tree” (paper) format about 3 years ago. These books were somewhat long, but mostly fast paced and very well done (4/5) (tough grader). I read “Satori” about 10 years ago, IIRC. Lately, I’ve been listening to the audiobook versions of Winslow’s books.

These have all been uniformly good (again 4/5) and the readers all did an excellent job – including correct pronunciation of various Spanish, Japanese and API words (one of my pet peeves about some other recordings). Most of the books take place somewhere in the surfer / druggie / criminal continuum of SoCal, but in his more recent work the author has branched out into the law enforcement / criminal continuum in the Northeastern U.S. While the various books can be read and enjoyed in any sequence, I suggest reading them in order because there is a lot of overlap of characters and venues between books.”

Her Last Goodbye by Rick Mofina

John wrote in to recommend this book. John is a fan of authors such as Shari Lapena and Diane Jeffrey, and said this was an excellent book.

It’s a standalone novel. Greg Griffin wakes up to find that his wife isn’t in her bed. The doting mother had gone to her book club the previous night but never returned home. Greg is under suspicion due to a razor-thin alibi as he has no one to vouch for him.

As the police investigate more, they start to discover that the happy marriage isn’t all that it seems. Most reviews praise the investigation part of the book, and how everything comes together.

Washington Poe Series by M.W. Craven

I haven’t read this series yet, but I constantly see it recommended on a Facebook group called the U.K. Crime Book Club. Mark also wrote in to recommend it. I’m hoping to get started on it soon.

The first novel in the series is The Puppet Master and Mark said it is “Crime mysteries that I guarantee you’ll love”.

Seven Sisters Series by Lucinda Riley

There are currently 7 books in this series with the 8th being released later this year. Judy wrote in to recommend this series.

The first novel in the series is called The Seven Sisters. A wealthy man adopts six girls and names them all after the Seven Sisters star galaxy. Each book in the series focuses on one particular sister, past and present.

It’s a combination of family/literary and historical fiction.

December 2022 Book Of The Month

The Pain Hunter by Jeffery Deaver is our December 2022 Book of the Month.

Mystery and crime author Jeffery Deaver, famous for the Lincoln Rhyme and Colter Shaw series, is trying something different in December!

He’s started a new series called The Broken Doll series with four books in it, all of them releasing on the same day.

All four are short stories that are interconnected.

Always neat seeing authors doing different things like this, and I’m also a big fan of short stories!

10 More Notable Books Releasing December 1-31

December Charities

While I appreciate all offers of donations to show your appreciation for the site and newsletter, I’d much rather you do that by supporting some great causes.  Each month I pick a few select charities broken down by our most popular countries or topics that you can support instead.   Thanks!

Charleston Animal Society
Innocence Project
BookTrust Christmas Appeal
Sick Kids – Holiday Gifts

I rotate this list each month. Feel free to suggest a favourite charity – hit reply.

Your Thoughts!

Last month I asked what got you or your family into reading. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month’s question is:

Did you discover any great new authors this year?

Any authors that you discovered this year, that made it to the “blindly buy” list going forward?

I mentioned Keith A. Pearson in the opening. I’ll certainly be reading more by him.

I think my favourite discovery this year was Tom Wood. I’ve had his Victor the Assassin series on my list to read forever and just started reading it this year. I’ve read four of them already and love it. I’m actually spacing them out just so I don’t burn through it too fast!

The psychological thriller author Sarah Alderson also made it on that list. I’ve went through four of her standalones so far and loved most of them.

Also have to mention Peter May. I read The Lewis Trilogy and loved it. An exceptional series, and I’m looking forward to reading more by Peter.

What about you? What authors did you discover this year?

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.

Reader Mailbag!

See the full list of e-mails in the reader mailbag.

Order of Books » Newsletter » December 2022 Newsletter

2 Responses to “December 2022 Newsletter”

  1. Renee: 2 months ago

    I discovered the Verlaque & Bonnet Provencal mysteries by M.L. Longworth this year. I began with A Noel Killing that I happened to pick up secondhand at a steep discount and enjoyed it so much that I’m now reading the series in order. What I particularly enjoy about this mystery series is that several stories develop throughout the series along with the murder mystery that is the focus of each particular novel. I’ve enjoyed the character development of Verlaque and Bonnet as separate individuals as well as their relationships with other reappearing characters in the series. But, my favorite part of the series is the wonderful evocation of Aix-en-Provence and the Provencal region of France. Reading each novel is very much like traveling to the region as the architecture, food, wine, geography, and lifestyles of the region are so wonderfully described.

    Reply

    • Graeme: 2 months ago

      Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

      All responses will be listed in the January 2023 newsletter or on the website. Five random contributors will win a $25 gift certificate for Amazon as well – good luck! They’ll be e-mailed just before the newsletter is released and mentioned in the newsletter.

      Absolutely love the way you described those! I’ll have to use that in the next newsletter in the recommendations section!
      Cheers

      Reply

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