Hi everyone and welcome to halfway through July! Many of you loved the Quote of the Month section I added in the July newsletter so I’m going to have that in the mid-month newsletter as well.

I finished the John Matherson trilogy by William R. Forstchen. This was excellent! All three books were paced well, ended satisfactorily, etc. – just an extremely well-put-together trilogy that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Highly recommended if you have never read it. That’s the series where an EMP attack takes out all the electronic devices in the United States, and how a small community deals with it.

I also read Time and Again by Jack Finney, which was in the recommendation section a few newsletters ago. It’s the story of a man who is able to time travel back to the 1880s.

I enjoyed it. I could do without the incredibly detailed descriptions of New York streets. Those honestly started becoming skippable. A few minor issues with the plot and pacing. The ending of the book really moved it up a grade in my opinion; I almost put down my Kindle and gave it slow applause due to the ending. I’ll certainly check out the sequel at some point.

I read the 5th novel in the “Dewey Andreas” series by Ben Coes, Independence Day. Best one in the series so far. I’ve been fine just picking those up randomly whenever in the mood for a “lone badass” type of book – but I enjoyed this one so much I may prioritize them on my reading list.

I had a funny experience reading a book – Savage Island by Bryrony Pearce. I stumbled upon this book last year and added to my “to read” list based only on the few keywords I saw in the book description. That it was set on an island. That a millionaire sets up a competition. “Hunt or be Hunted”.

I really don’t try to read book descriptions honestly; I like to just get the most basic idea and then go in blind.

A few chapters in, something seemed…..”off”. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it so I decided to go read some reviews and the description to see if I could figure out what it was.

I’m very glad I did as I learned that it is part of the “Red Eye” series – a series for young adults! There were reviews from people saying “My 11-year-old loved this” etc. Ha.

I ended up reading it anyway. It was a super quick read – had it finished in about 2 hours. Bit silly at parts. I mean – spoilers ahead – a teen girl gets her hand chopped off, cauterized, and just seems to shake it off? The ending just totally fell apart as well.

I’m going to get my kids to read it though.  They haven’t really got into reading yet this Summer and I think this sort of book could change that.  It’s fast-paced, with the ideal horror and gore (not overly descriptive; leaves to the imagination).  If they enjoy it I may end up picking up the rest of the Red Eye series for them.

If you’ve got teens in your life it might be worth checking out that book; although I strongly advise reading it yourself first to deem whether it is appropriate or not.

I’ve now started up the latest novel by B.A. Paris, The Therapist. She is one of the best standalone thriller authors out there and I’m already hooked on this one.

I actually had my 2nd COVID shot on Tuesday, and last night I had the various side effects. Body aches, fever, extreme tiredness. I went up to bed at 8pm ready to pass out for the night….yet this book was so good that I stayed up an hour reading it! I’ll be finished with this one within a day no doubt.

Audiobook wise – I was listening to Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay but it wasn’t hooking me as I hoped. It’s hard to explain, but for a standalone thriller, it had too much depth to it. For listening to books, I prefer books that go at a much faster pace and just keep you hooked with twists and turns.

I decided to give Mary Kubica a try and have started The Good Girl. I’m about 3 hours in and not really hooked yet. There doesn’t seem much to the story yet but I’m hoping I’m still just in the “setup” phase.

The author Brad Thor releases the 20th novel in the Scot Harvath spy thriller series this month. I read the first couple in that series and quite enjoyed them – I really need to give that series another try.

I’m only bringing him up to mention a little-known fact – Brad Thor is indirectly responsible for the website/newsletter being around today.

I started this site back in June 2011. When I started it there were not any really good sites to get lists of books by an author from, or the sites that did exist were rampant with errors and issues.

I started the site primarily as a personal listing for myself. I just put it online for easy access wherever I was and to help out friends. I listed all the books by authors who I have read, and then authors who I was planning to read or had read a couple of their books. One of them was Brad Thor.

The site got a little bit of traffic each day and I thought that was cool – but nothing to really motivate me to put any heavy workload into the site. It was just a personal little project. Nothing more.

Then Brad Thor went on CNN.

August 2011 he went on Piers Morgan Live, to discuss terrorism and also promote his books. That night the site exploded in traffic. From 10-20 visitors per day to thousands – all looking for a list of the books by Brad Thor. I assumed the site would die down after a day or two but for some reason, traffic stayed very high.

I received numerous requests for order of books by authors and series and started listing them all and it all just snowballed from there.

I’ve only read a couple of his books but I own them all. It might not mean much to him but as a silent thank you, I always order each new book that he releases.

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:

James from Palm Harbor, FL
Susan from Ocean Shores, WA
Kim from Mashpee, MA
Ann W. from New York, NY
Jennifer from Lake Saint Louis, MO

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


Quote of the Mid-Month

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

— Mason Cooley.

Submitted by Ann. Feel free to submit your own quotes to site@orderofbooks.com or just hit reply. It can be just general quotes about books, author quotes within a novel or even character quotes.

Book / Series Recommendations

The Splendid & The Vile by Erik Larson
Our readers’ top list theme this month is non-fiction authors, so I thought this would be the perfect time to recommend Erik Larson.

Larson only writes non-fiction books and they are all excellent. His latest one is The Splendid and the Vile, the story of Winston Churchill during the Blitz.

Mary Ellen wrote in to suggest this one, stating “His book on Churchill during his year as Prime Minister when Germany was attacking everyone ran very smoothly Easy to follow and the length even seemed to go quickly He concentrated on his daily duties and personal life and you learned more about him as a person and how he knew how to get people to do his bidding “.

Lots of great non-fiction recommendations later in the newsletter with Erik Larson making the list three separate times. See why!

Plantagenet and Tudor Series by Philippa Gregory
I was surprised to see that I had never listed this historical fiction series in the recommendation section. Reader Victoria brought that to my attention.

Now this one may be a tad confusing – it was initially written as two separate series, the “Tudor Court” and “Cousins’ War” series. Philippa then merged them both into the “Plantagenet and Tudor” series. On top of that, there’s also a chronological order if you wish to read in that manner.

Either way – if you’re a historical fiction fan and haven’t read these, you’re missing out. Victoria also added this note on The Other Queen for the audiobook fans:

“The Other Queen is a story about Mary Queen of Scotts that has three narrators. This is one book that is very probably BETTER on audio than any other way! Each narrator does a superb job and the story is one that I suspect has never been imagined in this detail. The three perspectives enhance this historical fiction to a degree that I have rarely noted. ”

Don’t miss out on one of the best historical fiction series out there – click here.

4MK Trilogy by J.D. Barker

This is a psychological thriller trilogy. Here’s what reader Barbara had to say:

“I would like to recommend the psychological thriller trilogy by J D Barker. The Fourth Monkey Killer. I am in the middle of the third book at the moment so I don’t know how it ends, but the anticipation is killing me.

I discovered Mr. Barker thanks to James Patterson and his Coast to Coast to Coast Murders, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The 4MK trilogy can only be described as diabolical. Anson Bishop, the killer, and Sam Porter, the detective, are pitted against each other through the whole trilogy. Anson is trying to blame Sam for all the Murders and Sam is trying to prove that Anson did them. But who will succeed in the end? Both have friends who are helping them, and technology is being used for good and bad to support them. The FBI gets involved too.

All three books are long, but yet not long enough. You want to know how it all comes out, but yet, you don’t want them to end either.”

I know that feeling about never wanting a book to end, and I’ve added this series to my reading list. Check it out!

July 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 that you can support instead. Thanks! And please note you’re not restricted to the country you reside in of course – pick any you wish to support!

USA: ASPCA (Prevention of cruelty to animals)
Canada: Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada
Australia: Companion Animal Network

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

Non-Fiction Book Recommendations

I asked readers on our Facebook page for some non-fiction book recommendations.  Here are the responses – any non-linked authors we don’t currently list but will be prioritized!:

Random Top 10 of the Month

10 Most Popular Book Series in 2015

Last month I listed the 10 most popular book authors in 2013. This month I thought I’d pick a random year and list the top 10 most popular book series from that period. 2015 is the year I went with.

Also for reference, I will put where they are in the popularity charts for 2021 so far.

  1. Jack Reacher (#16)
  2. Scot Harvath (#13)
  3. Walt Longmire (#7)
  4. Alex Cross (#54)
  5. Stone Barrington (#3)
  6. Department Q (#56)
  7. Mitch Rapp (#6)
  8. Jesse Stone (#36)
  9. Inspector Gamache (#1)
  10. Inspector Lynley (#5)

Your Thoughts:

This month I am asking:

What pet peeves do you have when it comes to books? What really sticks in your craw?

It’s nice to have a little vent session once in awhile.

One of my biggest issues is when authors have two main characters with the same name. One Second After for example has two main characters called Jen and Jennifer. Last month I read some Lisa Unger and she had characters like Libby and Lucy, and Joey and Jenna – both female.

There are like a billion potential names – no need to have them so similar!

My other pet peeve is when the author shoehorns the book title into the story. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved Relentless by Mark Greaney – but I could do without the Gray Man being told he is relentless about 15 different times.

Also when we get to hear the inner monologue of a book character and they have a big secret to tell but they never actually say what it is. Sure it’s to keep the mystery going but it’s a trope that needs to go away.

What about you? What pet peeves do you have about books you read?

E-mail us your feedback to site@OrderOfBooks.com or just reply in the comments, 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 » July 2021 Mid-Month Newsletter

One Response to “July 2021 Mid-Month Newsletter”

  1. Katrina: 3 years ago

    I read mostly mysteries and thrillers. My pet peeve is the overuse of certain words.

    Recently, I read a legal thriller (good book), but the word ‘palpable’ was used 9 times! Thesaurus needed.

    Thanks for the work you do.


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