Hi everyone and welcome to August!

I hope everyone is having a good Summer, and getting lots of reading in.

I had a great time with my family visiting from Scotland, which I mentioned in the prior two newsletters. I also had a friend visiting from Texas the week prior, and from June 25th until July 20th, I was basically on a “forced” vacation. I’m a bit of a workaholic, so that was a nice change of pace.

Unfortunately, It did affect my reading. I didn’t start Dust yet which is the third book in the Wool series by Hugh Howey. My wife wanted to read it so I’m waiting for her to catch up. We did start watching the adaptation Silo on Apple TV, which I am enjoying so far. Just a few episodes in but seems like a solid adaptation.

I’ve also started watching The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix, which is of course adapted from the books written by the great Michael Connelly. I’m halfway through season one and really enjoying the structure of it. I was worried it’d be hard to replace Matthew McConaughey, but Manuel Garcia-Rulfo does a fine job.

Sadly, I also took that time off from running, and am slowly easing my way back into it. So the audiobook I have going is still Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby.

I was able to read Zero Days by Ruth Ware. Wow! I’ve been a big fan of Ruth for years but this might be her best yet. It’s about a woman whose job with the help of her husband is to break into companies, and expose security flaws then give the company a report.

However her husband is brutally murdered, and the wife is the suspect and ends up having to go on the run. What I enjoyed most was the topics that Ruth covered in regard to electronics, cryptocurrency, etc, and just how knowledgeable she was about them. This was a great thriller and recommended.

I next read Clean Kill by Stephen Leather, the latest in the Spider Shephed series. Honestly, when it comes to desert island books this is one series I would take with me. I thoroughly enjoy each book and all of the characters.

He’s also able to keep writing stories about Islamic terrorists that don’t feel played out. There are some writers whose books I’ve groaned at when I see that they are the “bad guys”, as it just seems so forced at times. Not so with Stephen. Another top read by him, and if you haven’t read that series yet I highly recommend it.

I’ve started reading the new Shari Lapena novel, Everyone Here is Lying. She never lets me down. I started reading it last night at about 6pm, and I’m already 50% through the book.

It’s a standalone thriller about a young girl who goes missing. What I’m enjoying is while it is a whodunit, there is one clear suspect and she hasn’t yet created any other real suspects. But you can’t help but suspect everyone. In every single chapter, I find myself changing my mind about who the abductor could be.

Finally, for the month I read Going Home by A. American. It’s the first book in the Survivalist series. A suspected EMP attack wipes out all electricity. Our protagonist, Morgan, is a survivalist who is hundreds of miles away from his family. The story is about him attempting to return home, as society breaks down around him.

This was the author’s debut work, and I was very impressed. I did feel there were a couple of spots that came across as a bit far-fetched, and the writing was a tad rough at times but hey – it’s a debut novel. I loved it, and it was really cool to read it from the perspective of an actual survivalist. I immediately bought the next in the series.

Over the years, that author has received more “when is your next book coming” comments than any other author. Since launching Book Notification, I’ve noticed he is one of the most popular authors on there as well. It’s funny how it works – I’ve never once thought about reading him. Then looking at those stats, it just sort of “clicked” for me and I bought his first book to read it next. Looking forward to it.

Speaking of – Book Notification is going very well. We now have over 25,000 authors listed on there which is a big achievement. I wasn’t able to do too much work on it while the family was here, but it’s been nice to get back into it.

No big new features have been released in the last month, as a lot of the focus right now is on adding as many authors as we can, and working on making sure we never miss any new books. We did add a list of books you have read for the year under the reading challenge tab.

If you’re not signed up yet, we’re out of beta now so sign up today. It’s free, and you get to follow your favourite authors and get notified of their new books. You can also mark books read, create a “want to read” list, print lists cleanly, and much more.

Visit BookNotification.com today!

Toni wrote in with a quick note about something cool an author is doing.

“Stephanie Bond does an online story that runs from July 1 to December 31. You read a little bit every day. It’s kind of fun and the stories have been good, kinda a love mystery type. If anyone is interested, you can start reading Holiday Girl at www.stephaniebond.com Click on serials, Holiday Girl. She will have previous days available on her website for a short time and then you have to remember every day or you will miss it. There’s a Facebook group that you can go to and read what you missed. “

Thanks to everyone last month who contributed to the fundraiser run for the Strathcarron Hospice that I am doing. It’s not until October, so it will continue to be a monthly charity in the newsletter until then. I hit my goal of £1,000 which is 10x the standard amount, and I couldn’t be more happy. Strathcarron Hospice have featured me in some social media posts which is cool.

If you wish to donate, the link is here. It only gives you the option to donate in pounds but don’t worry – if you’re in the USA etc, it will still work. Just be sure to check with Google what the currency conversion is. £10 = $12.50 USD approx, for example If you run into any issues, just let me know.

It’s a small hospice in Scotland and a wonderful cause to support. Thank you.

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:

Sharon F. from Prescott, AZ
Sandra R. from Brisbane, Australia
Anne from MN, USA (email begins with chary)
Roy M. from Portland, OR
Noelle from USA (E-mail begins with tldn)

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


Quotes of the Month

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Each time you read a book, a tree smiles knowing there’s life after death.”

“My boat is packed with books. Thousands. Stacked up like cordwood. I never met a used bookstore I could live without. On the other hand, I don’t own a TV, read the paper, subscribe to magazines, or listen to the radio, and I’ve only had meaningful conversation with one other person in the last decade. But don’t think me friendless – I have hundreds. All tucked within the pages of these stories.”
– From the book Unwritten by Charles Martin

Submit your own quotes; just hit reply. Book-related is great but happy to share non-book related too! Thanks to Phillip and Sandra for this month’s submissions.

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!

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

Recommended by Joan, who has just started reading Michael recently. She described this book as “absolutely brilliant” and said every book she has read so far is “unputdownable”. Great praise.

Michael is an Australian author who you may know from his Joseph O’Loughlin series. This book is the first book in his new series, the Cyrus Haven series. Three books out already, with a fourth later this year.

Good Girl, Bad Girl was an Edgar Award finalist for the Best Novel award. Cyrus is a forensic psychologist who must analyze a girl called Evie who appeared out of nowhere years ago, and six years later no-one knows who she is. Cyrus also has to investigate the murder of a high school figure-skating champion, and as he explores the murder, he realizes Evie may have a connection to it.

I’m hoping to start this series soon myself.

The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Series by Leonard Goldberg

This series is written by Leonard Goldberg. There are currently 7 novels in this highly regarded series.

Mary wrote in to recommend it, saying that it is just like reading Sherlock Holmes all over again.

The name of the daughter is Joanna Blalock, and she has Dr. John Watson, Jr as her companion.

The books all take place in the early 1900s.

If you were a fan of Sherlock Holmes, be sure to check this series out!

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

Vince wrote in to recommend this 1967 sci-fi/fantasy novel, which he has reread several times.

It’s a standalone novel by a great author. The book is set on another planet where humans, with the help of advanced technology, impersonate Hindu gods.

Our protagonist, Sam,, isn’t on board with this and sparks a rebellion. Zelazny masterfully weaves themes of power, religion, and identity into this unique fusion of science fiction and mythology.

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

This is a standalone novel by Charles Yu. Caroll wrote in to recommend it, although added that it’s one of those books where the audiobook is recommended over reading it.

Here is what she wrote:

“The book is Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu. I can’t give you a sense of what it’s about because it’s just unique. However, I might describe it would be so off it would be an inaccurate representation.

Check out the audiobook for 10 min & decide if you want to keep listening. It’s like a social commentary. It’s funny because it’s true. And it shouldn’t be funny because it’s true. You have to hear it read to get the impact I think.”

Sounds interesting. I’ll certainly give it a try. We don’t have Charles on OOB yet but have him listed over at Book Notification.

August 2023 Book Of The Month

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard: Most of the time, I list books here due to the popularity of them on the site. However occasionally, I list one purely due to the book cover and that’s why The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard, is our book of the month.

This is the latest standalone novel by Catherine. A young woman accepts a lift from a stranger when on a dark road at night.

In the car, as they talk she can’t decide whether he is good or a monster as her opinion keeps changing.

She gets to her destination safe and sound, and so that means that he is a good guy.

And she is disappointed. Because she was looking for a monster. She’ll have to try again the next night.

Sounds like a very interesting premise.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in August

And don’t forget you can get updated on all the upcoming books by your favourite authors with your own personalized calendar at BookNotification.com.

August 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!

Strathcarron Hospice (My Fundraiser)
Gendered Intelligence
Ronald McDonald House
Yalari (Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children)

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

Picture of the Month:

Thanks to Phillip for this one of a public library in Rancho Cucamonga.

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 if you judge a book from chapter to chapter, or wait until the conclusion. The replies are later in the newsletter.

Here is this months question:

“What was the last book series you started?”

Started. As in, you read book #1 in that series. You may have read all of them by now, you may be in the middle of that first book, or you may have finished it and decided you didn’t want to continue that series.

As I mentioned in the opening, I’ve recently started the Survivalist series by A. American. There are currently 11 books in the series. It’s always a nice feeling starting a book series with multiple books. If Going Home was the only book, I’d feel a bit of an emptiness at finishing it. Instead, I have a potential 10 more books to keep me entertained featuring the same characters which is a great feeling.

Other than the Wool trilogy, the last series I started was last year when I started the Victor the Assassin series by Tom Wood. I loved the first three books in that series and rated them all 10/10. However, it’s fizzled out somewhat. Book #4 was a 6/10, and book #5 was a 7/10. I haven’t read it since. I’ll hopefully get back into it soon.

The rest of my reading has either been standalone novels, or books in series that I started many years ago.

What about you? What was the last book series you started?

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 month’s newsletter. Five people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

Reader Mailbag!

Click here to read.

Order of Books » Newsletter » OrderOfBooks August 2023 Newsletter

Leave a Reply