Hi everyone and welcome to a rather late mid-month newsletter!

It’s just been one of those months where I have been absolutely swamped. Every day for the last week I’d sit down to work on this and something would come up. My apologies for the delay.

My standalone thriller audiobook binge of Peter Swanson is complete. I was almost embarrassed at how excited I was when I finished the last one and got to pick a new standalone thriller author to binge via audiobooks.

I’ve decided to go with Lisa Jewell. I’ve had The Family Upstairs on my list forever to read it seems so that is a good starting point. She also has numerous audio books on CloudLibrary which helps as less money to spend that way.

I’m close to finishing it. It’s one of those books written from three different perspectives and what are essentially three different stories – all of which come together at the end. I’m a big fan of that style when done right and hoping it all ties together nicely.

I read Ready Player Two, aka the most hated book on the internet. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it either but it was still an okay read. I wasn’t sure a sequel was necessary but I think Ernest did a great job coming up with the concept of a sequel and I was into the overall story.

I do have a few criticisms. Although Wade had to solve everything within a certain time; I never really felt that “urgency” at all. I also thought a lot of the writing was too cinematic. This was obviously someone writing with a movie in mind. That took away a lot from the book. Generally just a rather underwhelming book.

But as a big fan of John Hughes and all his work – I once watched Home Alone 365 days in a row just to win a bet and loved it each viewing – I really hope that particular world makes the cut!

I was in the mood for a “badass” type book so have started on #4 in the Dewey Andreas series by Ben Coes. Fun enough series and if you like Mitch Rapp etc, it’s well worth reading.

I received many e-mails in response to the e-mail I published in the May 1st newsletter; the reader ranting that an author isn’t an author until they have at least 12 books. Appreciate all of them and don’t worry – I’m used to ranting e-mails like that and they never bother me!

I see The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn is on Netflix now. I wasn’t a fan of that book honestly. I read a lot of standalone thrillers and I found that one more dull than anything. I’ll check it out though at some point. The Innocent by Harlan Coben is on there too. I remember enjoying that book and am debating reading it again prior to watching.

I’ve also been watching The Flight Attendant and realizing that more and more TV and movies I watch are based on books. So now I read books, “watch” books and listen to books. Within a month or so I’m going to be sneezing books!

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:

Constance from Williamsburg, VA
Arda from Horseshoe Bend, AR
Susan F. from Tucson, AZ
Nancy S from Westerville, OH
Joe M. from Wilmington, NC

All 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 5 book or series 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!

The Pact by Sharon Bolton
Sharon S.J. Bolton has written a few series in her time, but where she really excels is her standalone novels. Her standalone novel Awakening won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Best Thriller.

The Pact is the latest book by Sharon, released earlier this month. It’s a dark and compulsive thriller. Six friends with bright futures are playing a daredevil game and it all goes wrong – leaving a woman and two kids dead.

One of the group – Megan – takes the blame and goes to prison. The deal is that when she is released, they must all agree to a favour. It’s now twenty years later and Megan is free…..

Check out The Pact by Sharon Bolton today.

The Black Book by David Ellis & James Patterson
This is the first in a two book series by the great author David Ellis. The second book was released just earlier this year and I constantly get e-mails praising both books so wanted to recommend them here.

It is the story of Billy Harvey, a detective in Chicago who plays by the rules. He is part of a family of detectives with his twin sister also in the force, and his dad the Chief.

A prostitution sting busts the mayor and various other notable names. The brothel owner discovers that her black book with all the details is missing.

The story jumps from present to past timeline and comes very strongly recommended.

Morland Dynasty Series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Honestly I sat here for a good few minutes just trying to decide which one of Cynthia’s great series to recommend.

I finally decided to go with this historical fiction series. It started back in 1980 and went all the way through to 2013 with 35 novels in the series.

If you’re a historical fiction fan, this is one series you need to read.

Fast Girls by Elise Hooper
Elise is a relatively new author on the scene with three books to her name.

Nancy wrote in to recommend this book, stating:

“I’d like to recommend “Fast Girls” by Elise Hooper.
A fascinating story about women track stars that go to the 1936 Olympics in Germany! The struggles that these women overtook to make the teams and travel to Germany is truly amazing. Their winning GOLD was inspiring to all woman athletes.”

For more details, visit our Elise Hooper page.

Jane Harper

Jane Harper is an award-winning Australian author. Her first book, The Dry, was adapted into a major motion picture starring Eric Bana. A sequel to that novel was written a year later.

Jane also has two standalone novels and is well worth checking out. Christine wrote in suggesting we recommend Jane. The Dry is probably the best book to check out.

The Dry is the debut mystery by Jane Harper. Federal Agent Aaron Falk is returning to his hometown for the first time in decades as his best friend has died and he needs to attend the funeral. This is the first time back since twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder and he used Luke as an alibi. All these years later, someone knows they didn’t tell the truth back then and Luke is no longer around to provide the alibi. Falk works with the local detective to investigate Luke’s death and ends up being drawn into the small town’s dark secrets from the past.

May 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: ALS Therapy Development Institute (Work focused on a cure)
UK: SpecialEffect (Helping people with disabilities to enjoy video games – link is to a fundraiser my friend is running.  Would love for you to support him!)
Canada: Jump Math (Education)
Australia: The Fred Hollows Foundation (Ending avoidable blindness)

Favourite Mysteries

I asked readers on our Facebook page to recommend their favourite mystery book, series or author. Here are the responses:

Random Top 10 of the Month

0 Random Non-American Authors

American authors generally dominate the newsletter. Not on purpose of course; heck I’m not even American. It’s just a combination of popularity, population etc. I thought I’d pick 10 random non-American authors to highlight this month.

Your Thoughts:

This month I am asking:

Do you have a regular reading schedule? When do you read?

Obviously I have really got into audiobooks over the last little while – I never shut up about it!. I run 3-4 times per week and I also do a minimum of 10k steps each day. Those long periods outside I am always listening to an audiobook so I get a lot of reading done that way.

Once or twice per week my house requires a deep clean that is usually a couple of hours long. Kids are great aren’t they? Thankfully I now look forward to that as for me it’s just bonus reading time thanks to audiobooks.

As for the actual act of reading – I have a Kindle that I carry around the house with me constantly. Whenever I have a few minutes to myself I’ll read a chapter or two. Watching a TV show with the family and they pause it to go to the bathroom? Reading time! Computer slow and I need to reboot it? Reading time. I try and pop in the hot tub each night for about an hour and that’s the only “scheduled” reading period I have.

Otherwise it just depends on the book. I find the book quality dictates how much I read and when. There are some books I just get hooked on and I’ll take a few hours off from work to just read. Others I enjoy them but don’t have that “addiction” where the story just consumes me and my reading time is a lot less.

How about you? When do you read? What dictates it? Do you have any sort of schedule?

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.

Order of Books » Newsletter » May 2021 Mid-Month Newsletter

One Response to “May 2021 Mid-Month Newsletter”

  1. Joe Da Rold: 3 years ago

    I disagree with your recommendation of Jane Harper’s The Dry. Dry-as-Dirt would be my summary.

    My review:

    The book is tedious. Flashbacks to the two murders are boring rather than intriguing, and a deus ex machina element ends the book on a bewildering note with Australia going up in flames. My favorite takeaway is the “rock-tree” with a nearly invisible gap that (of course) holds many critical items. This has got to be Australia’s answer to the clown car, where Aaron first pulls out a set of keys and ends by pulling out a backpack. I wanted to toss this aside, but I finished it because it was highly recommended to me by a friend. I pushed myself to the end so I could quickly move on to another book.


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