Hi everyone and welcome to March.

We had a great response to last week’s reader mailbag question, which was asking readers what series have they read where the author has never dropped the ball in terms of quality.

Check out the reader mailbag section later in the newsletter to see those responses. I know my TBR list got filled up a bit more after those e-mails!

Happy to announce we now have over 39,000 authors audited and listed at Book Notification. For comparison’s sakes, we have 4900 at Order of Books.

I get asked this often so I like to mention it every few months – the launch of Book Notification doesn’t mean Order of Books will close. They both run off the same database, so all current author lists are updated. However, Book Notification will prioritize adding authors and other features. For example, in February, only 15 new authors were added to Order Of Books, while over 2,000 were added to Book Notification.

It’s also beneficial for this newsletter because often I am looking to recommend authors that aren’t on Order of Books yet. Now I am able to do so for any author I wish and can link to their Book Notification page, so it stops me being limited when it comes to recommendations and mentions.

Even if you don’t want to use any of the great features like book notifications, tracking your reading lists, or using that awesome Fictfact-inspired “What’s Next” feature, if you’re looking for an authors list of books and can’t find them on OOB, look up Book Notification as chances are it will be there!

Quick note that there may be a small job available at Book Notification. Looking for someone to write news related to books and authors. Ideally up to 5 times per week, each article just has to hit at least 400 words. Pay will begin at $11 US per article. If interested, just reply and let me know, and your history, if any, with writing and in particular, writing news.

My book buddy Alana joined a book club last month, and the book they were reading was First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston. This is a standalone psychological thriller which is something I can’t get enough of, so I decided to read it.

Wow. I LOVED this book. It’s one of those I’m a bit hesitant to even write too much about.

There’s a woman called Evie Porter. She’s a nice Southern girl, who is about to move in with her perfect boyfriend. However Evie Porter….doesn’t actually exist. It’s just an identity she was given for her current job. And all seems to be going well until they attend an event and she meets a girl by the name of Lucca Marino – which is her real name.

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, I highly recommend buying First Lie Wins. It was a Reese’s Book Club pick. Honestly, I never really pay attention to celebrity book club picks. A lot of the time, they seem to be chosen for reasons other than the quality of them.

However, looking through the list of picks from that book club – there are quite a few I have read and really enjoyed. So I’m going to be paying more attention to that list in the future.

I finished listening to Life Sentence by David Ellis. This was a fairly solid book, but I felt it was hurt by a completely improbable twist. I’m glad I listened to this one though, as there was a very intense courtroom scene that the narrator did a fantastic job of. Dick Hill was the narrator, and sadly he has passed away so I can’t write to him to tell him what a great job he did. However I will be looking for more books narrated by Dick going forward.

This month, I also read Moneyball by Michael Lewis. This was a book that I enjoyed, but I know that I would have absolutely loved it if a) I was a big baseball fan, and b) I was a big baseball fan during that time period.

It’s a lot different than the movie, which I’ve watched multiple times. It felt more like a Billy Beane autobiography. I felt it really showed the talents of Michael Lewis as an author, as there were some areas of it that could have been considered boring, but his writing was able to steer it away from that. And there were a lot of emotional moments in the book too. If you’re a fan of the movie, I’d recommend reading it.

Another book I read was Want To Know A Secret by Freida McFadden. I’m very rarely negative when it comes to books in this newsletter, and I’m a big Freida fan, but this book is one big rip-off.

There are going to be spoilers here for the book, but believe me you do not want to read this book. It’s a shame because the first 60% was excellent, and then it had a “Gone Girl” type twist that I thought was going to take it to another level.

Alas, that was not the case. Instead, it was a book where the protagonist outright lies to the reader. She questions what happened to her elderly neighbour who died after falling down some stairs, and wonders if perhaps the new neighbour killed her just so she could move in there.

Then it turns out that the protagonist actually murdered her! That is not a twist. That is outright telling lies to the reader. There were numerous parts like this, and then it had the absolutely most ridiculous epilogue I’ve ever read in my life.

I am a big fan of Freida, but this was a terrible book and if one of those that I’d be asking for a refund if I purchased it, as opposed to reading it via Kindle Unlimited. There are unreliable narrators, and then there are bold-faced lying narrators, and this was the latter.

I started reading The Policy after that as I was in the mood for some good ol Bentley Little. I’ve mentioned before how much I love Bentley – something ticks him off, in this case an insurance company, and then he writes a book painting them as pure evil. It’s such a fun formula.

Excellent story as per usual by Bentley. The method in which he paints the insurance agent who is showing up at peoples houses is excellent and creeps you right out. He continues to be my favourite horror writer, and really the only author I actually read within that genre.

I just finished that one this morning actually before hitting “send” here so now I have that fun moment in life where I get to sit and decide what world to jump into next. Always exciting.

That’s about it from me. Hope you all have a good reading month.

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:

Patricia from Washington, DC (email begins with amb)
Kathy C. from Port Saint Lucie, FL
Kurt J. from Fremont, CA
Barbara H. from Toronto, ON
Terry S. from Denver, CO

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 will not buy anymore books until I’ve read all the ones I’ve got”, I said” then I laughed and laughed.”

– Unknown but printed on various t-shirts.

“When I am reading – the world outside no longer exists.”

– Margot, a subscriber.

“Think not of the books you’ve bought as a “to be read” pile. Instead, think of your bookcase as a wine cellar. You collect books to be read at the right time, the right place, and the right mood.”

– Luc Van Donkersgoed

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

Runt by Craig Silvey: Roger wrote in to recommend this one, describing it as “one of the best books for people of all ages I have ever read”.

It’s by the Australian author Craig Silvey. It’s a heartwarming story, generally geared towards the middle grade audience but audiences of all ages love it.

In “Runt,” Craig Silvey tells the story of a small and underestimated boy nicknamed Runt, who, despite his size, shows immense bravery and heart. Alongside his loyal friends, including a wise and protective figure, Runt faces challenges that test their courage, ultimately proving that true strength is not about how big you are, but about the size of your courage and the power of friendship.

Virgil Jones series by Thomas L. Scott: Jennifer wrote in to recommend this series. Here is what she wrote:

“If you like police procedurals with mystery, suspense, believable plots, realistic dialogue, and characters who feel “real,” check out Thomas Scott’s Virgil Jones series. Virgil Jones is a detective with Indiana’s Major Crimes Unit. There are 19 books in the series so far, and each book is a different case. They are written as stand-alone books, but I started with #1, State of Anger”.

I always like those book series that can be read as standalone, as I know many of you rely on libraries to get books and it can be tough to get the first one – especially after it’s promoted here!

Mallory Series by Carol O’Connell: This one has had a few recommendations in the past and is finally making it to the list. Sue wrote in to recommend it, saying:

“If you like detective/ thrillers then I would like to recommend the Mallory Series by Carol O’Connell.”

“Mallory is a cop with a lot of issues. She has been adopted off the street as a (possibly) 10 year old by a policeman and she can only really be described as psychopathic with little understanding of compassion or human attachment, but has a prodigious IT ability. As the series unfolds you get more of her back story and how she came to be on the street and how she came to call herself Mallory. The novels are very graphic in their descriptions of the murders and mutilations Mallory encounters, and her own behaviour and experiences will make you wince. But she is so compelling and so fragile.”

Appreciate the mention of the descriptions of graphic nature as I know that can be off-putting for many.

Benni Harper Series by Earlene Fowler If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, be sure to check out this 15 book series.

Betty recommended, it, writing: ” The Benni Harper collection covers mystery, humor and romance. And folk art thrown in as an extra. Great characters that you like and good stories. Everything a great cozy mystery needs.”

Alias Emma by Ava Glass: Keith always writes in great recommendations, and if you listen to books then you’ll appreciate these recommendations even more as he focuses on the narrator. He recommended Alias Emma by Ava Glass, which is the first in the series. There is a second book out now, with a third coming later this year.

Here is what Keith wrote:

“another recent release that I loved was “Alias Emma” by Ava Glass and read by Sophie Colquhoun. In this case, I thought that the publisher undersold the book by labeling the heroine as “a worthy heir to the James Bond mantle”.”

“Now don’t get me wrong – I loved Ian Fleming’s super spy / assassin who traveled to exotic places and slept with every beautiful woman in sight… when I was in 7th grade. Now, some 60 years later, Emma Makepeace (a pseudonym) is a newly minted agent of an obscure section of British Intelligence on her first independent assignment. ”

“Emma is intelligent, adaptable, fluent in several languages, emotionally complex, and physically capable modern young woman. She employs all these assets to accomplish her mission while simultaneously navigating internal Service politics. Overall, a satisfying story with spies, traitors, and endangered innocents, with plenty of high energy action and thrills to keep the narrative flowing. A great performance by the reader, who brought characters and locations to life. Highly recommended!”

March Book Of The Month

The Princess of Las Vegas by Chris Bohjalian: I’m a big fan of Chris Bohjalian, author of The Flight Attendant. His books always have unique and interesting premises, and this one is no exception.

Crissy Dowling is a Princess Diana impersonator. At night, she is a princess, but during the day, she is a pill-popping woman with a lot of issues. Then her estranged sister comes to town, the owner of the casino shows up dead, and her entire world comes crashing down as she gets drawn into a game of money, murder, organized crime, and family secrets.

Looking forward to this one.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in March

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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.

March 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!

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

Pictures of the Month:

The perfect car for a road trip! Submitted by Norma.

Submitted by Pam. This is INCREDIBLE. She wrote:
“I decided to try my hand at making a miniature room and of course I choose a reading room. All items had to be put together from wood and or paper. Each book is made separately. The entire chair had to be made and glued together. I put in over 60 hours of work and this projet. It was a true labor of love. “

Submitted by Ian. A great “little” library that he built for the Twin Pines Trailer Park in Mississauga. Excellent work Ian!

Send in your own to site@orderofbooks.com or by replying! Images, jokes, etc. We’ll take it all!

New Content Added to OrderOfBooks.com

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 what is a book series that you have read that has never dropped the ball in terms of quality. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This months question is:

What books did you read in school that you actually enjoyed reading?

Or perhaps you read the book in school and didn’t enjoy it, but years later read it and appreciated it more.

The most notable book I remember reading was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Initially, I hated this book. I remember complaining to my English teacher about it constantly. But the more I read it, the more I got into it and really appreciated it. I haven’t gone back to re-read it since, but it’s one that really grew on me.

And I mean – who doesn’t enjoy Lord of the Flies? Or Animal Farm and 1984? Those were all books I read and loved.

I actually had a really cool English teacher too. Shoutout to Mr. Williamson if he is reading. I get together with him every couple of months for lunch and a few pints. He was actually cool enough to let me do a book report on Filth by Irvine Welsh. And that’s a book which features a narrator who is an inestinal parasite inside someone!

What about you? What books did you read in school that you actually enjoyed reading?

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 March 2024 Newsletter

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