Hi everyone and welcome to March!

After 10 years, it’s pretty neat hearing that a new book on the Hunger Games series is coming out. I loved that series and it came at a time where I needed it to reignite my love for reading so looking forward to revisiting that series. Hope it’s good!

I track the most popular authors and series traffic wise on the site on a regular basis, and usually it’s the same authors at the top. An author might release a new book and pop up to the top briefly, however it’s usually the same authors and series day in, day out.

So when an author pops up to the top overnight, and they’re older…..well, I usually know what that means. And that is how I learned about the death of Clive Cussler.

A legendary author with his incredible Dirk Pitt series, and so many more. Thanks for all the entertainment Clive. You will be greatly missed.

Another incredible month in terms of the reader mailbag. Last months question was “who would you put on your own personal author Mount Rushmore?”

Not only did I receive a lot of answers, but so many of you wrote out the reasoning for each one and it was fantastic reading all of that.

Whether you got into Louis L’Amour while sitting on the porch in the evening reading Westerns with your grandfather, being a “nerdy outsider” who just felt a strong connection with Judy Blume, or Edwin Abbott due to his novella Flatland, that took the mystique out of multi-dimensional beings and brought them to reality.

So once again I am going to do 4 $25 Gift Certificates. This won’t be a regular thing! However sometimes I just thoroughly enjoy a mailbag more than usual and this was one of those times. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write in.

Obviously there were repeat authors, so the official list of Mount Rushmore authors as voted on by the readers are:

1: Michael Connelly
2: Agatha Christie
3: Vince Flynn
4: John Sandford

Authors who barely missed making the list were David Baldacci, Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, JRR Tolkien, John Grisham and CJ Box. Over 130 authors were listed which was a nice variety.

Wanted to give a quick shoutout to Operation Paperback. I was alerted to this service by Fred, a USA Air Force 30 year Chief Master Sergeant. Neat service that sends books to the troops. Some cool stuff there such as supplying children’s books to deployed soldiers so they can read to their kids via webcam or on DVD.

My reading month in February wasn’t the greatest however I did have a sort of epiphany. I mentioned last month that I was re-reading a bunch of Grisham books and that rolled over into this month. I’d find books that I had only read once and could only vaguely remember the plot so it got me hooked. Then I read a couple of his that I hadn’t read before and thoroughly enjoyed them.

It made me think how easy it is to get distracted by new authors. You have no idea how big my “to read” list is with authors I discover either via the website, the newsletter or corresponding with everyone reading this. What makes it even tougher is when someone strongly recommends a series to me, but there are already 13 books in that series. Quite a commitment.

So I made a list of authors whose books I blindly buy or have really enjoyed in the past. It’s not a massive list – about 70 authors. Then I made a list of every book by them that I haven’t read, and added each authors name to my office whiteboard.

Now my reading goal is to ATTEMPT to go through all of these authors and read their books before starting anyone new. That’s going to be tough of course as there are authors like Michael Connelly where I am about 11 books deep in the Bosch universe, with about 18 to go.

However it does feel nice to be goal-orientated. It gives me an additional sense of accomplishment when I finish a book, and motivates me to read that much more to “clear the backlog”.

I will of course read any NEW books by those authors, and it’s very likely I’ll stray from the course – however it’s been fun going through and reading these and getting that additional sense of accomplishment.

Speaking of new books – I read the latest book by Nick Petrie, The Wild One. His Peter Ash series is the one I have recommended the most to people, and the series I’ve received the most “thanks” for reading.

This book? Wasn’t feeling it. Not sure why. Maybe it was the setting of Iceland. Maybe it was because he was alone as opposed to previous books when there was some great secondary characters that would show up. However the majority of the book I just wasn’t really into and I hated the ending sequence.

I’m sure many of you read it – what are your thoughts? Always interesting to hear.

I’m off to Dallas this week. Going to an XFL game! Super pumped. I had that on my bucket list back when the XFL began 20 years ago to go to a game and never thought I’d have the chance. Looking forward to it.

That’s about it for me – thanks again for the amazing responses to the mailbag!

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 Lynne from Ashville, NC and Phyllis from San Marcos, CA 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!

Anything by John Katzenbach
When I was looking through authors on my “blindly buy” list and checking what books I hadn’t read, I was reminded of the great John Katzenbach. He hasn’t written a novel in 5 years so it’s easy to forget about him! A reader, Theresa, had sent me an e-mail about him too.

He’s written some incredible books. Some of them have been made into movies (Hart’s War, Just Cause) however I almost prefer the books that haven’t been made into a movie.

I wanted to recommend one book but it’s truly hard to do that hence the “Anything”. Seriously just check out his page, open them all up and when one description hits you go for that. I would say my personal favourite is State of Mind. The Traveler meanwhile was the first book I read by Katzenbach and I have a lot of fond memories of that one. I’d go with State of Mind though. That was one I re-read last month and loved it.

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

Reader Diana M. submitted this one after I asked people to suggest some Stephen King books. A librarian, Diana wrote:

“Dolores Claiborne” is my favorite King book by far, and I have read all of them. A hardened middle aged New England woman recounts her violent marriage and the untimely death of her husband. It also tells about how Dolores cared for a cantankerous old woman who also ends up dead. 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and 3.67 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. “Sometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive, sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to.”

Check out Dolores Claiborne. Haven’t personally read that one myself yet but will get to it soon.

Pen Wilkinson Series by Brian Lutterman
Jean wrote in with this recommendation. Lutterman is an interesting author who wrote two books, took a ten year hiatus, then returned with this corporate thriller series.

There are only 4 books in the series thus far. Pen is a lawyer who is confined to a wheelchair. In the first book, Pen is trying to put her life back together after the accident. She is working for a bank however believes the company isn’t what it seems to be. When they come after her, she discovers a history of deadly corporate sabotage incidents.

Miss Fortune Mystery Series by Jana DeLeon
Karen wrote in to recommend this series. I believe I have recommended it before but I know it’s a popular one. Here’s what Karen wrote:

One of my all-time favorite series is Jana Deleon, author, a Miss Fortune mystery series.

Book one, “Louisiana Longshot”. You have a young woman ex: CIA assassin who killer the only brother of a drug lord with the stiletto of her high-heel shoe! A hit put out, a poster with her face for 10 million alive or 1 million to any drug and arms dealer organization delivered to the drug lord.

With a leak (mole) at headquarters and only the director,her partner and herself that knows, she is sent uncover to Sinful, Louisiana. “Louisiana…you mean swamps and alligators and hicks?”

Fortune encounter’s ( while posing as a former beauty queen and librarian), start out filled with an assortment of the most unusual characters, a dead body in her backyard swamp and laugh out loud misfortunes and danger to keep you turning the pages!

If, like me you will go forth the next and the next book in this cozy mystery series.

Thanks Karen. Love when people write recommendations and expand with all that detail!

March 2020 Book of the Month:

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben.

The thriller master is back! I must admit I miss Myron Bolitar and Win, but I do enjoy the standalones Harlan brings to the table.

The ideas he has are always great and his stories are laced with twists and turns that you never see coming. In The Boy From The Woods, a boy is found living feral in the woods and no-one knows where he came from.

30 years later a girl has gone missing but no-one is taking it seriously except Hester Crimstein, who we know from the Bolitar series. She wants to work with the boy from the woods to figure out what happened to the girl.

Coben has an incredible mind and I am really looking forward to this.

More Notable Books Releasing in March

Journey of the Pharaohs (NUMA Files) by Clive Cussler & Graham Brown
The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Long Range (Joe Pickett) by C.J. Box
Trace Elements (Brunetti) by Donna Leon
The Jerusalem Assassin (Marcus Ryker) by Joel C. Rosenberg
Devoted by Dean Koontz
Hit List (Stone Barrington) by Stuart Woods
The Last Odyssey (Sigma Force) by James Rollins
A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan) by Kathy Reichs

New Author Spotlight:

This month we are featuring Kacen Callender.

Kacen hit the ground running with his standalone novel Hurricane Child in 2018. This book was a Stonewall Book Award and Lambda Literary Award Winner.

His books since then have been very well received. Kacen primarily writes in the YA Fiction and fantasy genre.

Hurricane Child was a beautiful book ahout a 12 year old who was born during a hurricane (which means you are unlucky). She’s being bullied by everyone at her school and has a spirit that only she can see, which won’t stop following her. Her mother also one day left home and never returned.

However a new student arrives and becomes her friend. She then develops a crush on her and she needs to find the strength to confront her feelings, as well as brave the spirit that stalks her. Well worth reading.

See Kacens full bio.

Audiobook Arena

Written by Charlye

A review of The President Is Missing with narration by Dennis Quaid and January Jones.

I started reading The President Is Missing and just couldn’t get into it. Sometimes when that happens, I find that listening to the audio, instead of reading, will give me a new perspective. I was not disappointed. Dennis Quaid brought the President and my imagination to life. While it is not a piece of literary genius, it was fun to listen to. There were terrorists, a super cyber virus, a gorgeous assassin, a traitor in the White House, impeachment proceedings, cloak and dagger, twists and turns and even a countdown to total destruction. Listening to Quaid and Jones kept me focused on the story and entertained while doing all those mundane chores like driving, cooking, washing dishes, shoveling snow. If you don’t expect the book to be more than it is, it’s a lot of fun and rates right up there with other really good thrillers. It even shed a little light on what it must feel like, at times, to be the President of the United States.

We have a lot of audiobook fans and invite book listeners to write their own column every month. Want to discuss audiobooks or a favourite narrator? Email site@orderofbooks.com and write and we’ll feature your column in a future newsletter!

Picture of the Month:

Submitted by Megan. I believe the creator of this one is Loryn Brantz.
Send in your own to site@orderofbooks.com or by replying!
Images, jokes, etc. We’ll take it all!

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked you what 4 authors should be on your own personal Mount Rushmore.

What an amazing response!

Your feedback is later in the newsletter.

This month I am asking a question suggested by BL:

Which writer is the best at writing secondary characters?

My immediate thought when I read this question was Harlan Coben. Without a doubt. Win is probably the best secondary character in any book series I’ve read.

Next up would probably be Michael Connelly. The entire Bosch universe is filled with secondary characters (some who get their own books!) and that really adds to the books he writes.

Special mention to Nick Petrie. I said I didn’t like his latest book and I believe a large part of it was that Lewis wasn’t there. There’s just something about Lewis and his confidence that I love. Basically when he shows up I find it very reassuring.

What about you? .

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. Two people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

Reader Mailbag:

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Order of Books » Newsletter » March 2020 Newsletter

One Response to “March 2020 Newsletter”

  1. Stu in NC: 4 years ago

    Funny, I gave up on the Bolitar series BECAUSE of Win…for me he evolved into too much of a superhuman superhero.

    Robert B. Parker had great secondary characters in both the Spenser and Jesse Stone series.

    You’re not as big a Daniel Silva fan as I am, but the Alon series has a large cast of wonderful secondary characters.


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