Welcome to October! It’s the month of Halloween! I always like to google “best Halloween books” and pick at least one random month to read this month.

I always think it’s fun to read themed books depending on the time of year etc or what’s happening in the world. Based on the number of books on the topic of a pandemic that hit the best sellers lists over the last few months – I’m not alone in that thinking.

I also like to sit around with the family and read the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. Always some fun stories in there.

Just having a look at some lists – 1984 by George Orwell is on there. I haven’t read that one in a couple of years I might have to read that one again. I keep meaning to read The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons – I think I’ll read that one this month for sure.

I’ve been fairly busy the past couple of weeks. I’ve mentioned here before but we are switching all of our authors to a new database which will allow for many new features. We’ve now switched approximately 65% of authors to that. It’s been a lot of work and money but it will all be worth it in the end. Looking forward to it being complete.

Due to that I haven’t been able to focus too much on reading so I’ve just been re-reading books I’ve read before. Easier to read that way when I can only read for a few minutes at a time.

On that note we just implemented a big update in the system and the way it handles books and book series on author pages in regards to co-authors etc. If you see anything odd let me know.

I re-read a couple of Joseph Finder standalones. Absolutely incredible author and it’s not the first time I’ve re-read his novels.

I’m wrapping up the Carter Blake series by Mason Cross right now. On the 5th book. The 4th book was just as good as the 3rd book. Like I said in the mid-month newsletter; the first two books in the series struggle with POV/narrator issues however are still good. From Book 3 onwards – tremendous series. If a fan of Reacher, check it out.

After that I’ll start the new Mitch Rapp book.

This new system though – super excited for it and I’m going to keep this intro short so I can get back to it. Just an example of how much easier it will be for me though (and an example of the insane punishment I’ve put myself through for years).

Someone e-mailed me saying I am missing the book “Dry Bones” by Peter May, the first novel in the Enzo Files series.

I had a quick look, and it’s actually an alternate title to “Extraordinary People” which was already listed. I always like to list multiple titles so I needed to go in and edit that. Here’s the difference:

Old System:
– Enter Canadian database. Edit it for Peter Mays Listing.
– Enter UK database. Edit it for Peter Mays listing.
– Enter .com/rotw database. Edit it for Peter Mays listing.
– Enter Canadian database. Edit it for Enzo Files listing.
– Enter UK database. Edit it for Enzo Files listing.
– Enter .com/rotw database. Edit it for Enzo Files listing.

New System:
– Click on “Extraordinary People” within the listing and type in ” / Dry Bones”.

Quite the difference. A 5-10 minute process down to about 5 seconds. It’s crazy in hindsight that I did things the old way and for so long. Can’t wait for it all to be finished so we can start releasing new features with the biggest one being new book notifications. Hopefully by the December newsletter I’ll be able to ask in here for beta testers.

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:

lvi from Baltimore, MD
Sallie W. from Herrin, IL
Sue M. from Bremerton, WA
Gail G. from Las Vegas, NV
Lee H. from Sierra Vista, AZ

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 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! 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!

Broussard & Franklyn Series by D.J. Donaldson

This series started in 1988 and is still going strong today with 8 books currently in the series. I believe I read that he initially wrote Cajun Nights, the first in the series, purely as a standalone but it was so well received he kept going.

Andy Broussard is a chief medical examiner and Kit Franklyn is his new criminal psychologist and suicide investigator.

The books take place in New Orleans so if you are a fan of books taking places in specific locations you’ll like this series. I absolutely love New Orleans and would visit at least once per year so I particularly enjoy this series due to that.

Thanks to Pat C. for the recommendation on this one. Check out our D.J. Donaldson page for more details.

Dead Cold Mysteries by Blake Banner

If you’re looking for a detective series with a lot of new books being released, check out the Dead Cold Mysteries series by Blake Banner.

This series features Detective John Stone of the 43rd precinct in New York. Blake only started the series in 2017 and it has over 20 books in it already.

What’s impressive about that is that the quality hasn’t dropped. Reviews are still very strong – even stronger if anything as if he gets better with age.

Tales from Ivy Hill Series by Julie Klassen

There are currently three books in this series and a short story/novella.

It was recommended by Rebecca who wrote “These 3 books tell the story of the people of the village and their trials and tribulations. A soft story, simple and very enjoyable.”

This is the first time Julie has tackled a series after writing purely standalones and it has been very well received.

Check out the Tales from Ivy Hill series.

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

This is a standalone novel by Chanel. Linda recommended it, stating “I would like to recommend The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton. Her Cuba books were great, but feel this one is her best. Quick moving plot, characters you love to love and love to hate!”

The majority seem to agree. High review ratings, and an instant NYT bestseller. It’s the story of 3 women whose lives are changed forever in 1935 when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history heads towards the Florida Keys.

Night Sleep Death the Stars by Joyce Carol Oates

Rosey suggested this one, writing in:

“This summer seems like a great time for a long SAGA – you know, the “Gone With The Wind” type of summer reading.
So, I’d like to suggest “Night Sleep Death The Stars” by Joyce Carol Oates:

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society.

This novel is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

If you’re in the mood for this one, visit our Joyce Carol Oates page for more details

Book of the Month: The Sentinel by Lee Child

The end of the month will see the new Jack Reacher novel hit the shelves.

This one has to be more anticipated than normal though due to the inclusion of Lee Childs brother to the series.

Andrew Child will be taking over the helm of the Jack Reacher series and the two will co-author the next few books.

It’s some big shoes to fill and let’s hope Andrew is able to do just that. The book begins in Tennessee where Reacher saves a man from a 4 against 1 ambush. Reacher discovers there is more to the story than just a general assault and wants to stick around to find out exactly what that is.

Knowing Jack Reacher – he’ll do just that.

Pre-Order now.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in October

One thing I quickly want to note is that these lists are compiled based on popularity on my own sites. If you want a more versatile listing, check out the Best Books in October 2020 at BestBooks.net.

New Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Klehfoth

This month we are featuring Elizabeth Klehfoth.

Elizabeth Klehfoth is an American author with one novel to her name currently.

She earned her MFA in creative writing from Chapman University and her MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, where she taught fiction writing and composition. She resides in Los Angeles, California.

All These Beautiful Strangers is a standalone novel by Elizabeth Klehfoth. In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.

Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New England school she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.
Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.

As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.

Visit our Elizabeth Klehfoth page for more details.

Audiobook Arena:

Sourcing Audiobooks – An Update
By Andy

Over the years we who listen to books have been dragged kicking and screaming like the rest of the world to new technologies. The one consistent has been finding audio books to listen to. Now for most folks this isn’t a problem – you have an author or narrator you like and you buy titles to replace those you’ve already enjoyed. Only in OUR case we’re cheap. It’s been said of us that we can squeeze a penny and get turnip juice! Okay, I admit it, we’re old.

If you recall any of my previous submissions which Graeme has been kind (or silly) enough to include in the monthly OrderOfBooks.com missive, you may recall that “She Who Must Be Obeyed” (yes, I plagiarize) and I prefer discount books found at thrift stores and library book sales with the occasional online purchase via discount services or sellers. “But wait” says the astute reader, “Andy you’ve already covered this in previous posts with Graeme, you’re repeating yourself!” Yes I have, and I’m not going to repeat it here. Instead, I have an important update.

I have found that cheap audiobooks (on CD) are becoming hard as hard to find as a civil conversation around politics. In short, they’re disappearing from the after-market marketplace. The last time we looked on Craigslist for a specific title there was NOTHING available. I don’t just mean by that author, I mean there was only ONE audio book listed within the entire state of North Carolina! The library sales we hit in the last two years (pre-Covid of course) were also a disappointment. Only six or seven years ago I was able to net over 200 titles at just one library book sale, averaging only slightly more than $1 per title. Last year (pre-Covid) the same event had moved audio books to a corner like the anemic pickings were just an afterthought. The reason is simple – libraries are migrating most of their audio offerings to digital online content for temporary download.

Library offerings are always hit-or-miss, as they are limited in many ways not the least of which is budget. We’ve had some success finding what we want, but when we look for specific titles we sometimes run into either a wait because all the licenses they have for it are spoken for, or it isn’t on their list at all. So the fallout and my suggestion is, if you see a book by an author or narrator you like, don’t wait – it may not be available tomorrow.

This brings me to a ‘pet peeve’, digital ownership. There are some good digital resellers out there – we were introduced to Chirp recently, and it became an immediate favorite because of their list of deep discount titles (as much as 90% off). In fact I had to pause the Chirp app on my phone to pen this submission (I’m currently enjoying books 1-3 of the “Marjorie’s Cozy Kitten Café” mystery series by Katherine Hayton – as delightful as a warm cinnamon scone on a cold morning!). For those not familiar with these resellers, they take digital content from the publishers, put it in a proprietary audio format, and you listen to it using their app. See my problem yet? If the digital reseller goes out of business (such as Chirp), then I can only listen to that content – content I purchased – so long as I have their app on my phone or tablet! Since any business that discontinues will have its app removed from the online store dujour, the content (my audio book) disappears as soon as the app does. I’ve already run into this when an old Apple device removed apps that no longer worked after a mandatory Operating System update. No app, no way to play the proprietary files (which were probably deleted during the app removal process as well).

I don’t know if folks who have Kindles and other digital readers have this concern for ePub books. I guess it all boils down to whether or not you trust the business to still be around if/when you want to enjoy your purchases down the road.

All I know is I have a real sense of ownership when I can point to a print book or a CD audio book sitting on my shelf. Wait, is the third one on the left a book on cassette? Gotta do something with that one of these days.

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? Hit reply or e-mail site@orderofbooks.com and write and we’ll feature your column in a future newsletter!

Picture of the Month:

Thanks to Josh for submitting that one.
My wife has given me that look quite a few times over the years.
Send in your own to site@orderofbooks.com or by replying!
Images, jokes, etc. We’ll take it all!

New Content Added to OOB:

And many more new authors & series.  Be sure to check us out at https://www.OrderOfBooks.com for all the latest

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked you what the most memorable novels from your youth were The responses are below.

This month I am asking: if you could write one book in a series, or work with an author on a book, who would it be?

This is a combination of Andrew Child taking over the Lee Child series, and the suggestion by Sam. Sam wrote:

If you could co-author anything with anybody, what would it be? “Anything” and “anybody” are completely unqualified. You may choose an existing series and say you’d want to co-author a Mitch Rapp novel with Kyle Mills. Or even Vince Flynn for that matter. Or, you may have a totally original idea and think “I’d really like to work with Neil Gaiman on this one”. Maybe there’s an existing stand-alone novel that you thought of a great sequel to. Possibly you came up with an idea for an off-shoot of an existing franchise. Go ahead and include a little blurb on what your concept is as well. It’s “anything” with “anybody”, dead or alive, already running series or completely new concept. You have complete creative liberty.

I know right off the bat – I’d love to write a book in the Jack Reacher series. I’ve read every one multiple times and while they’re not all home runs – in the latter novels you can really feel that Lee Child is just having pure FUN writing the character.

I know I’d like to have that same fun. Reacher is one of the more fun characters out there and he’s at the point where even ridiculous situations end up coming off realistic purely due to his legacy over the years.

I’d love to write additional books in the series that I grew up with. I know last year when I read all of the Five Finder-Outers series by Enid Blyton, I started thinking of modern day storylines you could do with them. Oh what gadgets would Fatty get his hands on in 2020?

As for an author specifically to co-write with? There’s a couple. Stephen King is incredibly creative and is someone I would love to write with to see his process etc. I would also have to go with Linwood Barclay. Linwood is one of the best mystery writers there is and his ability to throw in big twists that make complete sense is unmatched. It’d be really fun coming up with a mystery with him inside the Promise Falls universe and seeing how the twists come about.

Okay enough of that – what about you? Who would you co-author with or what book series would you like to write a book in?

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 » October 2020 Newsletter

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