Welcome to June!

The usual quick update on our sister site, Book Notification, to start the newsletter.

We hit almost 47,000 authors audited and added to the site, which is just incredible. Of course, it can be a bit frustrating because I have to verify each listing is accurate, and I keep discovering new authors that way! My “Want To Read” list is beyond silly at this point.

We also added a feature I’ve been excited for since day one – My Stats. This is an area where users can see stats on their reading history.

We started with basic stats and will expand with more as time permits. We’ll also be adding charts, graphs, etc. I’m a big stats geek, so I’m excited for the future of this section.

It will be one year since the official launch of Book Notification on June 26th, and it’s been just an incredible year. Looking forward to lots more exciting new features as we try to create the ultimate reader’s paradise. Sign up if you haven’t yet. It is, of course, completely free.

This month I read Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly. Primarily part of the Lincoln Lawyer series. This was another great one and I really had to stop and just think about what an excellent writer Michael Connelly is.

There are 41 books within that universe and practically every one I find myself rating 10/10. It took me a year to get through it (I think at the time there were about 35 books) and it was well worth the investment. Such a great series of books.

I read She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper, also known as A Lesson in Violence. This is an award-winning novel about a man who gets released from prison early and has to protect his 11-year-old daughter who has a kill order on her from a gang leader inside the prison.

This was a gritty, violent novel that gave Thelma and Louise vibes and I loved it. Excellent writing as well. Another book where it’s worth mentioning the prose. Reminded me a bit of Cormac McCarthy.

I next read Home Is Where The Bodies Are. This one is by Jeneva Rose, the first book I have read by her. You know the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, this one I read it purely DUE to the cover as it looks like a VHS tape. Look at this:

the book cover of Home Is Where The Bodies Are by Jeneva Rose is made to look like a VHS tape

So cool!

This was a book that I enjoyed a lot, to the point I read slower than usual just to savor it, it really hooked me. A mother dies, and this causes her three children to reunite. While going through her stuff, they discover an old VHS tape which reveals a night back in 1999 that involves their father, who walked out on the family, covered in blood, and a dead body.

A great standalone thriller and I enjoyed all the characters. First book I’ve read by Jeneva, won’t be the last.

One thing I have noticed is, when it comes to thrillers at least, I always have a bit of apprehension over them. For a Freida McFadden or Ruth Ware for example – they’ve gained my trust over the years. So I dive right in fully confident the journey is going to be worth it.

With authors I’ve never read before, I’m always a bit wary of trusting them and investing that time.

Speaking of Ruth Ware – I read her latest novel, One Perfect Couple. Eh. The premise was excellent. Four couples go to an island as part of a new reality show, and a big storm hits and they are deserted there. Then it is a fight for survival as people keep dying.

However, I didn’t really enjoy this one. It was difficult to keep track of the characters, and the writing was rough. It went at a pace that felt less frantic, and more disorganized. Not one I would recommend.

I mentioned last month I run a book club with a friend where we read a book with an adaptation, then watch the movie all together and discuss it. My friend and I are big F1 fans, so the “clever” name for it is Checkered Flags and Chapter Tags.

As part of that, I read The Ritual, a standalone horror novel by English author Adam Nevill. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and rated it a solid 8/10. It’s about four people who go on a hiking trip in Sweden and get lost in the remote wilderness there.

The movie? Eh. Not so much. It was more of a cliff notes version of the book, seemed rushed, and they practically omitted the entire second half of the book. It was a quick watch at 90 minutes though and I didn’t hate it or anything.

The next book was Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. I had seen the movie a few times but never read the book. I’m going to break the #1 rule and actually talk about it here.

I was a bit skeptical when I started the book. I loved the movie, and was thinking there was no way the book could be as good as the movie. Boy was I wrong. The book was fantastic. Absolutely exquisite writing by Palahniuk. I haven’t read many books by him, but I’m going to change that very soon.

If you’ve never read it, I highly, highly recommend it. Just an incredible experience. It was also neat watching the movie after, as it was an excellent adaptation. Although having read and watched, I’d say that yep – the book is better than the movie.

My wife had never seen the movie nor read the book. It was quite neat as I was in the room while she was reading the book, and she got to that part with the reveal, and audibly gasped. I didn’t even have to ask; I knew exactly what she was reacting to, and it was neat hearing that reaction.

I listened to the audiobook Woman Last Seen by Adele Parks, also known as Both of You. It’s about two women who have gone missing, and while they seem to be completely random, it looks like they may share a connection.

it might be because I listened to this book, but it felt like there was a LOT of filler to it. Some gratuitous descriptions of sex scenes as well. The ending was also very abrupt. However, it did have an excellent twist, and it kept me hooked.

I’m a bit more relaxed when it comes to rating audiobooks. I’d go 6/10 for that one and I’ll certainly try another book by the author.

While browsing for my next audiobook to listen to, I felt like I struck gold. There was an author who was on my blindly buy list Linwood Barclay. I read about ten of his books, then stopped reading for the silliest reason – he used to write only standalone thrillers. Then he started the Promise Falls trilogy.

I read the first book, then a year later the second book, then the third book came out and I realized I couldn’t remember a thing from the prior two books. So I decided to go back and read them all at once. However that was in 2016, and I haven’t read anything from him in 8 years!

His name popped up while browsing and looking for my next thriller audiobook, and I was excited to see that all of his books are available via the Libby app from the library. So I started Take Your Breath Away and am hooked. Great narration too, and I’m so excited to have “rediscovered” Linwood. I guarantee my next eight or nine audiobooks will all be books by him, as I catch up from where I left off.

Funny audiobook-related story. I was in Ottawa last weekend for Ottawa Race Weekend, where they shut down the streets downtown for the weekend and have various races.

I was participating in the half-marathon on Sunday. It’s really cool as all the people in the city come out to cheer you on. They have signs. They have air horns. They’re all urging you on throughout the entire distance – giving out freezies, screaming and yelling, and cheering for you as you run.

And while this was a cool experience, there was a small part of me thinking: “Could you please just shut up so I can hear my audiobook! It’s at a really good bit!”. I wear bone-conduction headphones for safety reasons when running, so I could hear the crowd noise very clearly. I ended up just giving up on the book, cranking some music, and enjoying the experience.

My daughter and I attended a ‘Conversation with Carley Fortune’ in Toronto last month. It was part of the Canadian authors book tour to promote her new book, “This Summer Will Be Different”.

I’ve not read any of her books but my daughter is a big fan. It was a very entertaining evening. She was very open and honest about the writing process and everything has experienced, including imposter syndrome. I always find these things fascinating, as you get a real behind-the-scenes look. If you’d like to read about, I wrote a recap of the event.

BIG shoutout to long-time OOB reader Peggy Sherman, who published her first novel last month. That is an INCREDIBLE achievement and I’m so excited for her. It’s called One Step Ahead, and I hope you check it out. It’s about a woman running from her past, but someone in the small town she has relocated to discovers her secret.

Well done, Peggy!

A shoutout as well to the Morning Brew newsletter. It is a great daily e-mail newsletter filled with quick and insightful news updates, recommendations for websites, and other great content. Many of you are familiar with it because they actually promoted OOB a few years ago. It’s been a while, so I just wanted to promote them again. Check it out.

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:

Marie from Washington, DC (email starts with wwr)
Brenda from Antioch, CA (email starts with gow)
Bob S from Sylvania, OH
Judy P. from Kalamazoo, MI
Edward Sch. from Texas

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


Quotes of the Month

“Second-hand books are part of the lifeblood of the ecology of book world. I never begrudge a single resale of a book: perhaps it will go to someone who will buy my next book new. Or just to someone who needed it.”

Neil Gaiman

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

– Confucius

(Submitted by Cathi)

“The body of
Benjamin Franklin, Printer
like the cover of an old book,
its contents torn out,
and stripped of its lettering and gilding lies here, food for worms;
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more,
in a new,
and more beautiful edition,
corrected and amended

– Obituary Benjamin Franklin wrote for himself 

(Submitted by Sharon)

“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.””

– Accredited to many.

(Submitted by Phil)

Submit your own quotes; just hit reply. Book-related is great but happy to share non-book related too! Love seeing quotes from books!

Book Recommendations

In this section, I give 3-5 random book recommendations from readers of the newsletter. They can be old books, they can be new. Feel free to e-mail suggestions to me. Just hit reply. If you wish to add a description for the book around the same size as the ones below that’d be great too! 

Infinity Gate by M.R. Carey: This one was recommended By Carol, who listened to it. She described it as “one wild ride” and wrote “The narration is fabulous and the story is gripping, the world-building is fantastic in its detail.”

It’s the first novel in the Pandominion series, and perfect for sci-fi and space opera fans.

The Pandominion is a political and trading alliance spanning a million worlds. However, these worlds are actually just different versions of Earth in various realities. When a threat from an artificial intelligence emerges, endangering everything the Pandominion has achieved, they will stop at nothing to eliminate it.

A great time to read it, as the sequel to it is released later this month.

The Women by Kristin Hannah: Kristin Hannah has written many novels but this is fast becoming her highest rated novel.

Jeannie wrote in to recommend it, writing “Every single woman I know who has read it would give it five stars.  She really takes the reader into the character to experience Vietnam and its aftermath. I also acknowledge that the book begins one month before I graduated high school and I lived all she wrote about. Still, the writing itself is to be lauded.”

“Women can be heroes.” These words inspire twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath to join the Army Nurse Corps in 1965, following her brother to Vietnam. Raised in conservative Southern California, Frankie faces the chaos of war, experiencing life, death, hope, and betrayal. Friendships form and shatter quickly amid the conflict.

As she navigates the trauma, she becomes one of the brave and broken. Returning home, Frankie and her fellow veterans confront a changed America filled with protests and a desire to forget the war. “The Women” tells of deep friendships, bold patriotism, and the often-overlooked sacrifices of women in war.

The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis: A standalone novel recommended Norm, who wrote:

“I wanted to give a shout out for a fabulous book I just finished, The Keeper of Happy Endings, by Barbara Davis. As a senior citizen, 80, maybe I’m a little more sensitive now, but I actually had tears dropping off my chin a couple times. ”

“It’s a beautiful story of love, dedication, and perseverance.  I’m not giving a real review because I’m sure I could never do it justice.”

Soline Roussel, from a family renowned for their magical bridal salon in Paris, loses her faith in love after World War II devastates her life. She boxes up her memories, determined to forget. Decades later, aspiring gallery owner Rory Grant leases Soline’s old property and finds a box with letters and a vintage wedding dress. Returning the mementos, Rory forms an unlikely friendship with Soline.

As eerie parallels between their lives emerge, it becomes clear they were destined to meet. Rory might hold the key to healing old wounds and bringing a little magic back into their lives.

The Sandbox by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson: This one was recommended by Keith, who listened to the audiobook. Here is what he wrote:

“The first entry I’ve heard in the expected tsunami of AI thrillers is “The Sandbox” by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson, with a very good performance by voice actor Saskia Maarleveld. In this case the sandbox of the title is not a battleground in the Middle East. Instead, it refers to a “fenced off playground” where programmers allow their AI creations to develop and experience various environments without exposing them to the dangers (and freedom) of the Internet. This novel was an interesting mixture of Sci-Fi, Horror and Police Procedural, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m looking forward to more books from this writing team.”

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica: Barbara wrote in to recommend this standalone suspense thriller. Here is what she wrote:

“I just finished reading The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica. I had to give it 9 out of 10 stars as I couldn’t put it down. I had every character guilty as I kept changing my mind. At one point I thought the book to be a little longer than I thought but after finishing it I realized every chapter was a stepping stone to the ending. I’ve read other books by this author but so far this is the best one. My synopsis:”

“Sadie Foust is a doctor married to Will. Since she is the breadwinner in the family Will is happy to be the stay at home dad who just teaches a couple of courses in a college during their 2 children’s school day. Will’s sister leaves her house and a daughter to them in her will. They move to the house on an island in Maine. Soon after they move in a neighbor is killed and the hunt for the killer started. I don’t want to say more so I don’t give away any hints to this story.”

“A very hypnotic story that I couldn’t put down.”

June Book of the Month

Red Sky Mourning by Jack Carr: I expect this one to be topping the NYT Bestsellers list this month.

The 7th novel in the much loved James Reece series by Jack Carr is out on June 18th.

Reece races to dismantle a conspiracy threatening America in this high-octane thriller from bestselling author Jack Carr. A rogue Chinese submarine approaches the U.S. with nuclear missiles, a tech mogul with dubious loyalties advances quantum computing and AI, and a foreign-controlled politician nears the Oval Office.

These events converge into a potential global power grab. The nation’s hope lies with a quantum computer named Alice, which has retreated to the deepest internet levels, evolving into a powerful weapon. Alice’s only link to the outside world is James Reece, who has left his violent past behind. Can Reece and Alice save the country, or will they be its downfall?

10 More Notable Books Releasing in June

Brought to you by BookNotification.com where you can get updated on all the upcoming books by your favourite authors with your own personalized calendar!

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! Feel free to donate to a similar charity but in your own area.

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

Pictures of the Month

A unique bookshelf
Submitted by Gayle – cool book shelf in Fatima, Portugal

The storefornt of a bookstore in Spain
Also by Gayle – a store window in Sala

Hello I am the protagonist of a psychological thriller. My name is Girl McWife. I have never asked the man I married a single question in all the years I have known him.
Submitted by Francis.

A jigsaw puzzle of books
Jigsaw puzzle submitted by Judy.

Send in your own to site@orderofbooks.com or by replying! Images, jokes, etc. We’ll take it all! Bit of a backlog but working my way through it.

Your Thoughts!

Last month I asked ‘how and where do you read?”. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month, the question is:

How do you decide what book to read next?

For me – the book I read next is based on four things:

1: Impulse
2: Mood
3: Release Dates
4: A Can’t Put Down Series

1: As part of running these websites, I see thousands of books and book descriptions a day. Many I tag as “Want to Read”, but there are always a few that immediately pique my interest, and I end up reading them next.

2: Sometimes, I am just in the mood for a book in a particular genre or a specific author. I’ve been slowly working through every novel by Bentley Little for example. I’ve read ten out of his thirty to date. They’re not books I can binge back to back, but I often finish another book and think: “I’m in the mood for Bentley Little” so I’ll pick one at random.

3: There are a lot of authors on my auto / blindly buy list, and that can dictate what book I will read next. I’m always paying attention to the upcoming dates. I finished a book on Sunday, May 19th, but didn’t start any new books on Monday because I knew the latest Ruth Ware novel was coming out on Tuesday.

4: These are book series where I read the first book, and I need to continue reading it. I find I am burning out a bit on these lately. There have been a few series that I’ve started, such as the Victor the Assassin series by Tom Wood or The Survivalist series by A. American, where I have binged the first four or five books and then needed a break. Then there was The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I read that last month, enjoyed it a lot, I gave it an 8/10, but for whatever reason, didn’t have the urge to keep going.

I will eventually, of course, and I’m so glad Book Notification has that “What’s Next?” feature, as it makes it so much easier to see where I left off.

Example screenshot from my account where I have about 60 ongoing series!

A list of the ongoing series feature at BookNotification.com

What About You? How Do You Decide What Book To Read Next?

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 2024 Newsletter

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