Hi everyone and welcome to June!

A quick note that there might not be a newsletter in July, as I have family visiting that month from Scotland. I’ll see how things go though – I may find time earlier in June to get the majority of the work for the newsletter done. But if you don’t hear from me, that’s why.

Thanks to everyone who responded with online bookstores they use other than Amazon. I was able to establish relationships with many of them, and we have the likes of eBay, Thriftbooks, Waterstones, and Bookshop.org listed as options to purchase books at BookNotification.com. Hoping to roll that out on Order Of Books at some point this year.

Very excited as we’re going to be emerging out of the beta period at Book Notification this month. We’re all really happy with how the site is going so far, both from an owner’s perspective and a user’s perspective. Initially, I planned to continue to track my reading list via both Goodreads and Book Notification, but I’ve found myself just using Book Notification and appreciating the easier interface.

Was quite neat in May to receive e-mails from both Book Notification and Goodreads of upcoming books by authors I like, and noticing that Goodreads was missing a few. They were on the website but just weren’t included in the e-mail for whatever reason. Not the first time, and one of the primary reasons I launched the site.

I read Do Not Disturb by Freida McFadden. Do NOT start this one near bedtime because it throws you right into the deep end, and goes at a breakneck pace. It opens with a woman who has just murdered her husband, and minutes later the police are at the door. Next thing you know she is on the run and wow – this book just did not stop!

It was a book that I enjoyed for the most part, although it’s one where if you look back at previous chapters, you see the author misled you in regards to how you should feel about characters. The twists aren’t “Wow I didn’t see that coming”, but more “Wow I didn’t see that coming because the author deceived me”. The epilogue, and everything being wrapped up in a nice little bow, felt off too.

So a couple of complaints, but the book is well worth it for the fast pace that it goes at. Freida also released Ward D this month, so I read that next. It’s the story of a medical student who has to spend the night in a locked psychiatric ward.

It was a very fast read. I read it in two sittings, unable to put it down. Quality wise though? Eh. I know Freida is a physician who specializes in brain injuries etc, but the way she describes the people on the ward with mental illnesses felt quite “rough”, to put it mildly.

It was also one of those thrillers that really require you to shut off your brain, and then not think about it after. Not one I’d rush out to recommend.

I read The Lost Colony by Irina Shapiro. This was in the recommendations section in the April newsletter, thanks to Phoenix. It’s the story of a group of people who are participating in a reality show. They are to survive on an island as if it was the 17th century, for six months.

They disembark on the island one night, and then the next day wake up and realize everyone has disappeared. All the staff related to the show. The ship they sailed in on. Everyone is gone.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The only thing I would suggest: when you start reading it, have a notepad handy to jot down some notes about the characters. Each character is introduced with their back story very quickly, and it was hard to keep track of who was who. I wish I had done that at the beginning.

I’ve started The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. I can’t recall ever reading that one. The Martian Chronicles is a top 5 all-time book for me, and I really need to read more Bradbury.

On audio, I listened to The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson. This was the sequel to The Kind Worth Killing. A woman hires a private investigator to look into her husband, who she believes is cheating on her. It was pretty good. A big twist early that I didn’t see coming, then the story just kind of plays out as is.

I’ve started listening to What Have We Done by Alex Finlay. Both Alex and Peter are authors that for whatever reason, I started them by listening to their audiobooks, so now I exclusively listen to them as opposed to reading. Just started the book yesterday and don’t know too much about it – something that a group of teenagers did years ago comes back to haunt them. Standard fare, but Finlay is a great writer so I’m looking forward to listening to it.

I try and always have an audiobook on the go with my family as well, and we sit down and listen to portions of it each night. Quite fun doing that. Currently listening to Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, which is a fantastic sci-fi book. The TV adaptation of that is coming sometime this year.

On TV, I watched The Big Door Prize on Apple TV. It has one season so far and is based on the book by M.O. Walsh. I actually didn’t even know it was based on a book until after the first episode. I’m just a big fan of Chris O’Dowd, spotted it on Apple TV one day and put it in.

I enjoyed it, even if it doesn’t really answer any questions and leaves you hanging. I’m planning on reading the book at some point.

Hoping to read Wool by Hugh Howey soon. Apple just adapted it into Silo. I’ve had it on my Kindle to read forever, so that was the proper motivation. Must admit, I am really loving Apple TV and the quality shows they currently offer. I signed up last year purely for Ted Lasso, but I find that when I finish a show now, I end up looking at Apple TV to see what they have to offer first.

Speaking of adaptations – my wife and 16-year-old daughter are big fans of The Vampire Diaries. That is a TV show based on the books by L.J. Smith. Somehow they’ve talked me into taking a trip to the States later this year. Specifically, Covington in Georgia, where there is a big Vampire Diaries convention taking place. Nina is going to be at it for “like, the first time ever”, which is apparently a huge deal.

I’ve never watched the show outside of bits and pieces, and don’t plan to. Not my cup of tea. But they’re both really excited, so that’s all I care about. A large part of my job I expect will be holding places in line for the photo ops. You mean I get to stand for an hour at a time, all by my lonesome with audiobooks or my Kindle? Sign me up!

Thanks to the three readers 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. 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 the owner of it e-mailed me yesterday to thank me for participating, and how cool she thought it was that someone was doing it outside of Scotland. Thought that was really neat.

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:

Claudia W. from Indianapolis, IN
Diane GD from Elmhurst, NY
Nancy G. from Cincinnati, OH
Beth (email starts with ewc) from Canfield, OH
Andrew S. from Ryde, Isle of Wight, England

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



Quotes of the Month

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.”

Jorge Luis Borges

“I will never cease to be amazed by books. Seriously. Just think about it: thousands of people read the same book but in each one’s mind the characters look different and the setting changes and we’re all reading the same thing but it’s so unique to each of us. That is insanely cool”

– findingahomeinabook on tumblr

“You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me.”

– The Reading Mother by Strickland Gillilan

Submit your own quotes; just hit reply. Book-related is great but happy to share non-book related too! Thanks to Carole, Deborah and Louise 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!

DCI Banks Series by Peter Robinson

Christine had just read the 28th novel in this award-winning series and wrote in to recommend it. I recommended it back in November 2019, and always happy to recommend it again.

After working in the Unsolved Crime Squad for the Metropolitan Police in London, Banks got sick and tired of the materialism of the big city, packed his bags, and left for the (fictional) town of Eastvale near Yorkshire. He works there as Detective Chief Inspector.

The series has been adapted for TV and began in 1987. Always great to see a book series still going strong, so many decades later.

Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mystery Series by Barbara Allan

(A different) Christine wrote in to recommend this series. It started in 2006 and is still going strong today. It’s a cozy mystery series with 16 books to date.

Interestingly, the series is a pseudonym for two different authors. The husband-and-wife team of Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins both write this series together.

The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey by Serena Burdick

Susan Harrison wrote in to recommend this one. It is told between two different time periods. England in 1898, and California in 2006. It’s classified as historical fiction, and a mystery.

In 2006, Abigail wishes she could learn the identity of her father. She stumbles upon a picture of him and a message indicating that Evelyn Aubrey was her great-great-great-grandmother. Evelyn was a writer in 1898, whose husband, jealous of her success, stole one of her drafts and passed it off as his own.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Suzyq wrote in to…..I think recommend this book. I’m not quite sure! Here’s what she wrote:

“Dear Graeme, I have a book that DISTURBED me  soooo much that I could NOT get it out of my head! I REALLY got so freaked out….not in a good way. It is “Bunny” by Mona Awad.  So much potential”. The book is described as a “down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination”.

June 2023 Book of the Month

All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Crosby: I’m a big fan of S.A. Cosby, and looking forward to this one. Even more so to see Adam Lazarre-White as the narrator for it. One of those narrators that always add to the quality of a book.

Charon County, Virginia has its first Black sheriff in history in Titus Crown. A year after he is appointed, a school teacher is killed by a former student, and then his deputies kill the student.

As Titus looks into it, however, he discovers there is a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in June

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.

June 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)
American Brain Tumor Association
Bone Cancer Research Trust
The Trevor Project

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

Picture of the Month

Submitted by Neil. It’s a sculpture of a book which he spotted at Hoo Hoo Park in McCloud, CA. Really cool.

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 what your favourite settings in books were. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month I am asking:

“What books do you re-read on a regular basis?”

You could read it semi-annually, or annually or just every few years. But a book that you’ve went back to quite often.

I thought of this question after mentioning The Martian Chronicles above. It’s one that I re-read probably every 1-2 years. It’s one of my favourite all-time books, and I read it whenever the mood strikes.

Funnily enough, I go back and read a lot of the earlier John Grisham books quite often, then watch the adaptation if there is one. There’s something comforting about them, and it always brings back memories from my original readings. My particular favourite is The King of Torts which I have legitimately read over 20 times. Might actually read that next.

There’s also a couple by Stephen Hunter that I go back and read regularly. The Day Before Midnight is probably the best action-thriller book I’ve ever read, and I usually binge on it once per year. Dirty White Boys and the Bob Lee original trilogy as well.

What about you? What books do you re-read on a regular basis?

And if you don’t re-read any books that’s okay too. You can still write in and mention that, and be part of the contest! No exclusions here!

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 June 2023 Newsletter

2 Responses to “OrderOfBooks June 2023 Newsletter”

  1. Laurie L Mooney: 1 year ago

    I want to recommend “The Mary Shelly Club”. It took me a couple of starts until I got to the point in the story where it grabbed me by the throat. It is a YA novel so I attribute the slow start to the poor decision/thought processes of the adolescent mind. A necessary “evil” to launch the story, but, holy-moly, the twist at the end totally took me by surprise.


    • Graeme: 1 year ago

      Thanks Laurie 🙂


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