Hi all,

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2018! I do apologize for no newsletter in January. Long story short I returned from Scotland a few days into January to a lot of work, then I had a family health situation and I was just unable to get to the newsletter. I just had to skip it that month.

It was very nice however to receive so many e-mails asking about my well-being and so on. That was great and it was nice to know the newsletter was missed!

If you wish to subscribe to the newsletter, send a blank e-mail to awlist3922173@aweber.com

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I did for sure – was great seeing my mum, dad and my aunts/uncles and cousins and so on. With my wife being from Canada it’s always a great excuse to do the tourist stuff in Scotland like visiting Falkirk & Edinburgh Castle etc.

Although for me the real highlight was going through all my old books that my mum hasn’t thrown out – boxes and boxes of Enid Blyton books from my childhood. Very easy to read all these years on as well – I could finish one in about 90 minutes and I must have read about 30 of them in my time there!

Speaking of reading – I find I always get hooked on a particular genre/niche and that tides me over for awhile. For example there was a period where all I read was autobiographies. I spent a good 6 months soaking up legal thrillers. After reading the Hunger Games trilogy I was reading all those copycat/inspired by series for months after.

The genre/niche I’m currently interested in – it’s almost embarrassing to say ha.

In the book world, when something makes it big you get a lot of – let’s be honest – copycats. The Hunger Games made it big and then we had Divergent, Maze Runner etc. And hey maybe they’re not pure copycats or anything but they’re definitely inspired by what made it big. Nothing wrong with that.

Right now the big trend – particularly from the UK I’m noticing – is books similar to Gone Girl and Girl on a Train. For the most part it’s a standalone thriller with a twist but there are so many similarities in the books. For example:

  • Female protagonist(s) many of whom aren’t very likeable (I personally don’t mind that but a lot of people are critiquing that)
  • Each chapter will be the perspective from a different person.
  • Usually a debuting female author.
  • Short chapters.
  • A good thriller/mystery however from a literature critique perspective they’re generally poorly written and you really don’t want to think too hard about a lot of them or you’ll see plot holes.
  • Sells themselves as having a “twist” or as being a “psychological thriller” – essentially just using buzz words.
  • The characters narrating deliberately keep things from the reader just to keep the mystery going.

I’m not going to throw around words like “crap” or “trash” to describe these as to be fair they’re all hitting best seller lists and so on. However if someone described them that way I’d certainly understand their view.

Yet I am absolutely hooked on them!

There are so many things that should put me off these books. Being in marketing especially when I see the word “twist” in the title of the book on Amazon, I’m sickened by such obvious pandering. YET I LOVE THESE BOOKS AND CAN’T GET ENOUGH.

I’ve been trying to fight it ever since I went camping in the Summer (you may remember I mentioned Shari Lapena and B.A. Paris back then) but I am absolutely hooked and the other night I actually spent over 2 hours just sitting around researching and finding as many books as I could, purchasing them and adding them to my Kindle. I just can’t get enough! I’m reading one of these every two days.

There’s just something great about seeing a description of a book and immediately getting hooked by a quick paragraph, and needing to read more. It’s so tricky too because I can’t sit here and recommend them to the masses – because I know so many people who would be turned off by them.

However I also find it enthralling just experiencing all these new authors. They’re all so similar but also slightly different so it’s interesting to see that.

I’ll add a couple of them to the recommendations section below. We don’t have a lot of these authors on OrderOfBooks.com yet but I don’t mind linking to the authors sites. And I mean – these books don’t come close to the great mysteries of our time and are “airport fiction’ to the extreme – but boy I just can’t get enough of them. And if you love these type of books, please e-mail me recommendations because I only have about 50 on my list to read and I need more!

Whew – now that confession is out, let’s get on with the rest of the newsletter.

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 Michelle from Council Bluffs, IA and Diane S. from Saint Charles, IL. 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!

In A Cottage In A Wood by Cass Green: Neve meets a woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge. They have a brief conversation, Isabelle talks to someone on the phone for a second then moments later Isabelle leaps to her death. Weeks later, Neve finds out that this stranger owned a cottage in the woods and has actually left it in her will for Neve! With Neves life crumbling around her she decides to leave London and move into this cottage. However what she thinks is her dream home becomes her worst nightmare…and this house hiding in the dark woods has a twisted secret that will change her life forever. Seriously how can you not read that and think “I gotta try this book out!

When You Disappeared by John Marrs: This was a really neat one. Catherine, mother of 3, wakes up to discover her husband is gone. She thinks he has gone for an early run, but he never returns and is presumed dead. 25 years later, he shows up on her doorstep! The writing style of this one was great. Each chapter has the perspective of both Catherine and her husband Simon, both telling their stories from the past – and then addressing them in the present. Really cool getting both sides of it – and this was probably one of my favourite thrillers.

The Color of Law by Mark Gimenez: Don’t worry – this one doesn’t fall into the above genre. Just talking about legal thrillers reminded me of this classic written in 2005. It’s the first book in the Scott Fenney series and it’s right up there with anything Grisham ever wrote. Fenney works at a top law firm in Dallas. A man is murdered and that mans father is a client of this law firm, a Texas politician. However Scott actually is assigned to defend the prime suspect – a prostitute called Shawanda. Everyone wants her convicted including the firm itself…..except Fenney, who believes she is innocent. A great legal thriller by a great author.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck: We all know Steinbeck from the likes of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men but this is my particular favourite Steinbeck book and I wanted to give it a mention. If you’re never read it, it covers two familieis and their intertwined destinies. However the real highlight of the book for me is the character Cathy – it’s hard to think of a book character who is more evil than her. If you’ve never read this classic – do yourself a favour and get a copy of it. Just great stuff.

February 2018 Book of the Month:

The Deceivers by Alex Berenson.

Last year I discovered the book series John Wells by Alex Berenson. It starts off with Wells, who is a CIA agent that has went deep undercover in al Qaeda. It takes place just after 9/11 and he’s finally ready to come back to the USA, with a potential major terrorist attack about to take place.

It quickly became one of my favourite book series and I read every single one back to back in the space of a couple of weeks. The 12th book comes out this month and I’ve been counting the days. This one in particular is going to be interesting because it looks like a strong mix of real life involving the Russians and that they have a plot to take control of the U.S. government – not just influence the election.

If you’ve never read this series, seriously get started. A top 5 series in the “spy thriller” genre and “The Faithful Spy” was the best book I read last year.

Reader Mailbag

Click Here.

Order of Books » Newsletter » February 2018 Newsletter
  • Ruth Vidomlanski

    I must say i live you book recommendations and always look forward to your m9nthly news letters. I am now reading Jojo Moyes new book Still Me, third one frim the original Me Before You. It is a nice easy read with delightful humor. The main character, Louisa Clark is now in New York helping out a rich family. She has been hired by a super rich family, the Gopniks to be a companion to Mr. Gopkins second much younger wife. Louisa is deyermined to get most out of her job and New York. The fun begins.