Hi everyone and welcome to the middle of January!

Thanks to everyone for the feedback so far on the launch of my new website, BookNotification.com.

It has made for a very busy couple of weeks, that’s for sure! Since unveiling it on January 1st, we’ve had thousands of people sign up for it and have had a lot of new authors requested. We’ve managed to add over 1500 new authors just since January 1st due to requests, or from Goodreads import files. We now have over 13,000 authors listed on there!

That is quite a process because unlike other websites we don’t rely on automation. We do human audits of every single list to make sure they are correct, that there are no duplicate titles etc. It takes a lot of work but is well worth it in terms of accuracy. It’s amazing just how much junk there is on the likes of Goodreads etc.

Then there are numerous little bugs or UX improvements pointed out by users that we have to get fixed. The joys of beta! I’m looking forward to when that part is all over and we can start adding cool features to the site.

For those wondering – the launch of the new website won’t change much concerning the OrderOfBooks.com website or newsletter. They share the same central database, so any new books added to an author page updates both sites.

The only slight difference you’ll see(and it’s a positive one) is that occasionally when I link to authors in the newsletter, I may link to them on BookNotification.com instead of OrderOfBooks.com because they don’t yet have a listing on the latter.

This is a good thing because my “authors to add” list for OrderOfBooks.com is massive, and there are a lot of recommendations I haven’t been able to do in the past due to them not yet being on there. Now I can recommend practically any author, knowing they’ll be on BN at least.

So last plug before I get on with the newsletter – head on over to Book Notification where you can follow all your favourite authors and get notified of any new books they release. You can also track what books you have read by authors there as well, select books that you want to read, rate them and write reviews, and more!

December and January were actually quite poor for me when it came to reading. I was reading the book Keep it in the Family by John Marrs, a standalone thriller. I’m a big fan of John Marrs, but this was one book that as soon as I finished reading, I went to Book Notification and marked it a 1/10.

It just kept dragging on and on and on and there were 4 protagonists, all of whom were just horrible people. A disappointing swing and a miss from one of my favourite authors.

I actually had that book on the go for 3 weeks. I’d pick up my Kindle, read a chapter or two and then just put it down and not go back to it for a couple of days.

I read the 5th Victor the Assassin novel, The Darkest Day. That series is by Tom Wood. I loved the first three novels in that series but not so much the 4th and 5th. There’s just something off about them. They’re still well-written, but I’ve found myself not really caring too much about what’s going on. I’ll stick with the series though and hopefully, it turns a corner.

Over the past month, I finished up the TV show Bosch and then watched Bosch: Legacy as well. Both superb. Really enjoyed them.

I’m mentioning that because I read Desert Star by Michael Connelly and I had to laugh. I’ve read all 39 Michael Connelly books and short stories in the Bosch universe before this, and I had pictures of the characters in my head. But reading this? All I could picture was Titus Welliver as Bosch, and Madison Lintz as Maddie.

Funny how that is. I really do think they were perfect casting for those characters. I’ll have to go back and read one of the older Bosch books as I’m curious if Connelly writes the recent ones picturing Titus as Harry and if it changes the character much.

The author Freida McFadden writes a lot of standalone thrillers. It’s funny as I don’t believe I’d even really heard of her until about a month ago, then I just kept seeing mentions of her or having people recommend her books. I decided to give Never Lie by her a try. Reading it just now and really enjoying it so far. Very curious to see where it goes.

I finished listening to Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. I ended up not enjoying it. It was a great premise but really fell short. It also peaked early on with Guts and none of the stories could follow that.

For those who didn’t know, I am a big fan of wrestling. Got into it back in the days of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. I lost interest in it for many years but All Elite Wrestling got me back into it. I’m using my Scribd membership to listen to Mox by Jon Moxley, which is an autobiography.

He recorded the book itself which is great as it means he’s not reading – he’s sitting there at a bar telling you the war stories. Makes such a difference. I’m enjoying it a lot but it’s not something worth listening to if you aren’t a wrestling fan.

Speaking of I am a big fan of Scribd so far. Paying the one monthly fee and being able to listen to a lot of books is great and has me motivated to listen to more. If you want to try it out, you can get a 60-day free trial with this link.

Also, I don’t really talk about TV shows or movies outside of book adaptations on here. There’s a reason for that: I rarely watch them! I just can’t find the time. I am trying to change that though, and I just finished The Patient which stars Steve Carrell and is on Disney+. Highly recommended!

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:

Randi R. from Saint Albans, WV
Thomas W. from Dallas, TX
Peter Fin. from USA
Pauline V. from Parksville, BC
Ken M. from Fayetville, GA

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

Quotes of the Month

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

– Martin Buber

“I have lived a thousand lives and I have loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time, Because I read.”

George R.R. Martin

“My life is a series of obstacles preventing me from reading my book”

– Source unknown.

Submit your own quotes; just hit reply. Book related are great but happy to share non-book related too! Thanks to Phil, Barbara and Chris for this months.

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!

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

Every few months we get a recommendation for a different Sally Hepworth book. If you haven’t read her yet, now’s the time!

Bill wrote in to submit this as a new author that he discovered this year, writing “A family story. Two sisters and a widowed father marrying a woman younger than the sisters/his daughters. Interesting yarn about family secrets. I will certainly read another of her novels.”

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
Susan wrote in to recommend this one, writing:

“I’m not sure if you have already reviewed it but I found it to be a fascinating study of what one perceives and what is real due to COVID.”

“This story proceeds until the middle of the book and WHAM! you are hit with a twist that just knocks you over! It was a fabulous read.”

“Very insightful on recuperation from devastating illness, recovery and the road back to normalcy. The characters were super, you could relate to them completely. Not a bad one in the bunch! And I loved the ending. It leaves you with many questions..”

Mother, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal

I believe I have recommended Susan’s Maggie Hope Mysteries before which is a great series.

This is her first standalone and is receiving great reviews. Christine wrote in to recommend this one, stating:

“The novel is based on a true story and it takes place in 1940 Los Angeles. Some of what occurs seems to me to parallel what is going on with the wing nuts in the U.S. today.”

If you’ve never read Susan before, she is a great historical mystery author. Check her out today.

Verlaque & Bonnet Mysteries by M.L. Longworth

Renee wrote in to last months mailbag with this one and I enjoyed her passion for the series so much that I wanted to add it as a recommendation. I love reading this sort of feedback from readers. Here is what she wrote:

“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.”

January 2023 Book Of The Month

The Cabinet of Dr. Leng by Preston & Child
One interesting thing I notice from running this newsletter is seeing the trends of authors and series over time.

A few years ago, it was rare I went a day without hearing about Daniel Silva, or the Pendergast series for example. These days I rarely hear about them.

However I know there are a lot of Pendergast fans out there so great news – the newest book in the series, The Cabinet of Dr. Leng, comes out on January 17th!

10 More Notable Books Releasing January 15-31

And don’t forget you can get updated on all the upcoming books by your favourite authors with your own personalized calendar at BookNotification.com.

January 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!

I rotate this list each month. Feel free to suggest a favourite charity below.

Your Thoughts!

Last month I asked what new authors you discovered in 2022. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month’s question is:

Has a book ever inspired you to do something?

A reader wrote in and mentioned that they weren’t an alcohol drinker, but they just had to drink a glass of prosecco to try it out after reading about it in Stuart Woods novels.

I know many of you have actually taken trips to various places such as the Isle of Lewis after reading The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May, etc. So I’m curious what things, big or small, a book has inspired you to do.

I remember the Nick Stone series by Andy McNab inspired me to buy a G-Shock watch, as the character wore them and the brand name was constantly referenced. I ended up buying one purely due to those references. On a related note, Andy ended up signing a sponsorship deal with the watchmaker company Traser at one point to promote their watches within the book.

I also started drinking coffee thanks in part to the Jack Reacher series. There’s just something about the way Lee Child describes the character stopping at a coffee shop. I’m primarily a tea drinker, but the way he described these moments I felt a cup of tea wouldn’t suffice.

I can’t think of anything else really specific. Oh – when I read a spy thriller novel, it motivates me to play video games within that same type of genre. I’m also sure food mentions, be it cooked or from a fast food place, have motivated me to eat that particular food as well.

Actually, I do believe in Remote Control by Andy McNab, that the character Nick stops at a Burger King and that I ended up picking up a few whoppers shortly after that!

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!

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Order of Books » Newsletter » January 2023 Mid-Month Newsletter

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