Hi everyone and welcome to October!

Some quick newsletter notes; I apologize if last month, you received two newsletters. I mentioned in the September newsletter that there were issues with our mailing list server. Well, that ended up being one of the issues – it was sent out twice.

I’m hoping that is resolved now although if you receive another newsletter shortly after this one – things still aren’t working correctly! They also had to make some format changes to the newsletter. If anything looks off or odd, let me know. I may tinker with that myself at some point, as I recently upgraded my monitors to 27″ and the newsletter looks incredibly narrow on these now.

Also, there won’t be a mid-month newsletter. I’m getting together with the partner of the new book website and the head programmer in Toronto that week to go over the finishing touches on everything before our live launch which we’re hoping will not be too much longer!

Summer is now officially over. One thing I found interesting over the Summer was seeing how my kids both adapted to reading differently. My son is 18 and my daughter is 15. I read to them constantly when they were growing up, but reading has sort of fizzled out for both of them over the last couple of years.

When I was that age I was reading all the time but it’s not something I’d ever push on them. We did sit around as a family and listening to Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir last year which was fun and they generally enjoyed that experience.

Well, that ended up getting my son motivated, and during our vacations, he asked me about The Martian, also by Andy. I purchased it for him and he listened to it within a day. We then started exploring other audiobooks and he has taken to going on long walks each day and listening away. He’s currently listening to the Bobiverse by Dennis E. Taylor.

My daughter surprised me when we were in Scotland by wanting to visit various bookstores. I think it’s been at least a year since she read anything. There’s just something about bookstores in the UK though that I always feel makes them more prominent and inviting. Plus there are a lot of stores with deals on books as well. She ended up returning home with about 10 different books. She learned from them all via Tik Tok. It’s cool to see some positivity from that platform.

Anyway, it’s just neat to see them both finding their own paths when it comes to reading. I’ll make that the mailbag topic this month: what got you into reading?

I mentioned last month that I was listening to Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney. I said that most reviews said it started very slow before getting great and going at a fast pace – but I had listened to 60% of it and it was still in that very, very slow state.

Well, I’m happy to say that it picked up after that. The story really got going, and it had some excellent twists and I ended up enjoying it. It’s interesting as it shows how important a strong ending can be to a book. This one ended up being worth the journey.

I read the third book in the Victor the Assassin series by Tom Wood, The Game. This is easily a Top 5 spy thriller series for me. The writing is exceptional. It’s non-stop action but still flows so well and it’s incredibly hard to put down. If you’ve read this book all I’ll say is – that restaurant scene, wow! One of the most enjoyable scenes I’ve read in a book in a while.

I was planning on reading a non-spy thriller book as a buffer between that and the new Mitch Rapp book. But that book was so good that I ended up reading #4 in the series, No Tomorrow / Better Off Dead. I was a bit disappointed in that one. Victor made a few idiotic mistakes he normally wouldn’t, and it seemed to adopt an “action first” mentality. It was almost like the previous book never happened as well. Basically, the people he worked for in books #2 and #3 – there was zero mention of them. Very odd. The ending though – perfection.

I read The Rewind Files by Claire Willett. I’m going to put this one in the recommendation section. Funny thing though as it’s billed as a time travel novel which was what got me interested in it. However, it’s really half time travel, half historical fiction.

Historical fiction is a genre that I never really thought would appeal to me. But I think it just depends on the topic. It’s all related to Watergate and Nixon. Growing up in Scotland, I only know the basics in regards to the 70s US political scene so there was quite a bit of stopping and looking up things on Wikipedia. I didn’t mind that though – it was educational.

Time travel is such an interesting concept to read about. Each author has their own rules regarding how time travel works. I find that at the beginning as they’re trying to explain it, I’m stopping to try and process it in my mind. Eventually, you just put trust in the author and hope that they’ve gone through everything with a fine tooth comb, to make sure there are no flaws in their theories.

I was listening to False Witness by Karin Slaughter. It’s 20 hours long but I’ve listened to audiobooks by her before that are that long and really enjoyed them. This one I gave up on after the 4-hour mark.

Only a couple of things had happened in that time and it just felt really dragged out for the sake of it. Man assaulted babysitter and she killed him. Years later, the man’s son is hired by the babysitter’s sister as a lawyer to defend him on similar assault charges. Didn’t need 4 hours just for that! I’ll read that one instead.

I listened to the first novel in the DCI Logan Crime Thriller series, A Litter of Bones. This is Scottish Crime Fiction, written by J.D. Kirk and narrated by Angus King, who did a phenomenal job.

What I really liked about this book is the patter, and that it was written purely for a UK audience. No attempts to try and explain what something is if you aren’t familiar with it etc.

I do have a bit of a conundrum though; the narration by Angus was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But all of the books are currently available to read on Kindle Unlimited. So it’s either read them all for “free” as part of my subscription to that or spend $16 per book on them to listen via Audible. Not sure yet what I’ll do on that one.

Currently listening to Look Closer by David Ellis, which is a standalone thriller. When I get recommended authors, I make a note of who or where I got the recommendation from. Well Doug wrote in to recommend this one, writing:

“I just finished reading “Look Closer” by David Ellis, and it was a great thriller, reminding me so much of early Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay books. The twists, turns and misdirection contributed to a fabulous plot. It was the first five star book I have read all year (but I am a hard grader). ”

I went to add David to my list, only to realize he was already on the list – from back in 2015, when Doug recommended him then! If someone is recommending an author 7 years later, then I’m going to have to drop everything and read them!

I’m 25% of the way in so far and really enjoying it. There’s one narrator that sounds a bit robotic but the rest are great, and the story has me hooked. I’ve mentioned that I listen to audiobooks on my runs. The only time I listen to music is on Tuesdays when I do a “fast 5k” as opposed to a long-distance run. I’m immersed in this one so much that I almost broke that rule.

Almost, but not quite. Instead, I ran 5k away from my house while listening to music, then I was able to listen to the book on the long walk home!

I also watched some book adaptations. I watched Where the Crawdads Sing, and thought it was decent I’m glad I listened to the book first though as it felt like there was so much backstory that was missing. That’s always the case I guess, but the relationship between Kya and Tate in particular felt like it needed a lot more development. Was happy to see David Strathairn in it. One of those actors I always enjoy.

I also watched The Weekend Away, after reading the book by Sarah Alderson last month. I thought it was okay. The movie gets panned a lot in reviews. I felt having read the book, it helped me enjoy the movie more as I knew more about the relationships between the people. The movie had a couple of eye rolling moments too (who runs away while holding hands?) with a bit of an improbable ending. Not a movie I’d rush out to recommend, but if you read the book I’d say it’s worth watching at least.

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:

Lenna W. from Greenvile, NC
Win P. from Mississauga, ON
Margaret P. from Beachwood, NC
Marie from Peoria, AZ
Chrissie R. from USA (e-mail begins with chrisseroc)

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

Quotes of the Month

Quotes of the Month

“I can move on to what’s in front of me instead of what’s behind me. It’s not like I want to forget Jimmy. It’s just that he’s in a different spot in my life now. He’s in the good memories spot. If I didn’t put him there, I’d be sad all the time and
I don’t like being sad. I figure happiness is a choice that you make. Even in terrible times. Sometimes you really gotta work at it.”

– Grandma Mazur quote from Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich
(Thanks RL!)

“Literature enlarges our being by admitting us to experiences not our own. They may be beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, exhilarating, pathetic, comic, or merely piquant. Literature gives the entree to them all. Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors. We realize it best when wee talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. My own eyes are not enough for me. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or bee.

In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself: and am never more myself than when I do.”

C.S. Lewis

(Thanks Cara!)

Submit your own quotes; just hit reply.

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 Rewind Files by Claire Willett
The debut novel by Claire. The year is 2112, and Regina Bellows works for the U.S. Time Travel Bureau. Their job is to make sure that no one interferes with the general timeline of the world.

However one day Regina notices an anomaly in the timeline. A potentially catastrophic one. In the 1980s, after Nixon served two straight terms, World War 3 occurred. However as Regina looks into it, she realizes that World War 3 might not actually be part of the general timeline after all. She travels back to Washington in the 1970s to explore, where she’ll stay at a place known as The Watergate.

Great book for both time travel and historical fiction fans. As of this writing, it is available on Kindle Unlimited as well.

State of Terror by Hillary Clinton & Louise Penny

I’ve had a lot of people writing in to recommend this one. Judy wrote in recently to say “It is a book I could not put down and, yet, needed to take a break to catch my breath. It is a nail-biter and you don’t know the outcome till the very end. Even then, you are left with questions.”

Barb wrote “Excellent read. Highly recommend it.” John also wrote “Love Louise. Not a fan of Clinton and that put me off this book. I’m glad I got by that and decided to read this as this was a great thriller, and a real different style from the Gamache series that showed what a talent Louise is.”

So there you go – if you’ve put off reading this one, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks
This one was recommended by Karen. Geraldine won the Pulitzer Prize for her book March in 2005.

Here’s what Karen wrote: “I think it is a magnificent book and so different from what I thought it would be. The history of black breeders in horse racing in Lexington, KY is so unusual and the parallel times in which Brooks wrote this is magnificent. I loved it and the people in horse racing that I recommended it to have loved it as well. ”

Found Things by Paula Brackston
This is currently a four-book series, recommended by Roxy.

The first book in the series is The Little Shop of Found Things. It’s primarily historical fiction with time travel mixed in.

The book starts when Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind to take over an antique shop in Marlborough. Xanthe has a special connection with antiques as when she touches them she can sense some of the memories that they hold. There is a silver chatelaine that she is especially interested in.

When she examines it she is transported back to the seventeenth century where she needs to save a girl. She’ll get help from Samuel Appleby who is the only one who can help her succeed and the one thing that could keep her from leaving.

October 2022 Book Of The Month

Keep It in The Family by John Marrs is our October 2022 Book of the Month.

John is a thrilling author who has written some great novels in the past. Psychological thrillers such as What Lies Between Us and his One Universe series of futuristic thrillers.

In Keep It In The Family, a couple buys a new home that they are turning into their dream home, only to find a creepy message on the skirting board: “I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC”. They look into the history of the house and discover that some horrific events transpired there.

Marrs is on my “blindly buy” list and I’m really looking forward to this one. If you’ve never read his novels, I’d highly recommend them.

10 More Notable Books Releasing October 1-31

October 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!

United Cajun Navy
Florida Disaster Fund
South Florida Red Cross

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

Your Thoughts!

Last month I asked what books did you hate, that the rest of the world seemed to love. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month’s question is:

What got you or your family into reading?

As mentioned above, my son realized he enjoyed the audiobook experience after we listened to Project Hail Mary as a family, and is now hooked on those.

My daughter saw some popular books on TikTok, and that has got her into books as it’s the “cool thing to do”.

My wife would only read one or two books a year, and never really got into it. Funnily enough, that changed a couple of years ago, when we purchased a hot tub. Spending hours in it every day, she started following my example and reading in it and now she reads about 3 books per month.

As for me? I can’t think of a time when I didn’t read books. One of those things that I’ve been into my whole life. Never without an Enid Blyton novel. I do remember my first foray into “adult” books though. My dad had read The Client by John Grisham. It was coming out in theatres soon, and he mentioned how much he was looking forward to it having read the book.

I was only 13 at the time. I’d never read a book that had been adapted into a movie before, so I thought that might be quite neat and read the book. Not only did I love seeing the book play out on the big screen and being able to chat to my dad about it afterward, but it got me reading every book Grisham had ever written, and that’s what got me started on more adult books.

He passed 3 years ago. On his birthday and the day he passed, we always eat dinner at one of his favourite restaurants and then watch one of his favourite movies. I think next time his birthday comes around, The Client will be on the viewing list. After I re-read the book, of course!

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!

See the full list of e-mails in the reader mailbag.

Order of Books » Newsletter » October 2022 Newsletter

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