Hi everyone and welcome to November!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween. It was the usual for me while my family went out – I stayed at home, handed out candy to the kids, fireball jello shots to the adults, and of course indulged in both of those delicious treats myself.

I started a new tradition a few years ago where I read a horror short story collection every Halloween. I wrote an article on that topic over at Book Notification.

I continued that last night, by reading Skidding Into Oblivion by Brian Hodge. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m about halfway through and enjoying it so far. First time I have read anything from Brian, and I’ll be sure to seek out more.

Speaking of horror, October was a horrific reading month for me. It’s funny how things change over the years. When we would go on family vacations years ago, I used to get a lot of reading in. I distinctly remember when I visited Saint Lucia a few years ago, reading the entire Sam Capra series by Jeff Abbott, which is a great spy thriller series.

I love it when I think of a trip I have taken, and a book or book series I read during it instantly pops into my mind.

This month we went back to Saint Lucia, and I barely read anything. I had started Code Red by Kyle Mills early on in the month, and I chipped away at it while there but never made any real progress. Part of that I think is because my kids are older, so I’m doing more things with them in the pool, or playing ping pong, etc. While in their younger days, they’d meet kids their age and you’d barely see them the entire vacation.

I returned from vacation only to become instantly sick. The ol’ airplane flu. I was out of it for over a week and when I’m sick, reading is the last thing I want to do.

Finally last week, I finished off Code Red and then rushed through The Firm by John Grisham, so that I could start reading The Exchange. As soon as I click “send” on this newsletter, I’m going to make a cuppa and get started on that. Hopefully make November a much bigger reading month.

I watched season 2 of The Lincoln Lawyer, adapted from the books by Michael Connelly. I highly recommend this show. I mean, it’s not incredible TV that will have you on the edge of your seat like Line of Duty, but it’s an enjoyable show with solid acting, and it’s a very feel-good type of show.

By that, I mean the protagonist Mickey Haller you can generally count on coming out on top, and each episode he or the other characters you like will have little “wins” to make you feel good. It’s a bit cookie-cutter, but I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to Season 2.

I’ve also started the new season of Bosch: Legacy. which is loosely based on The Crossing apparently. I finished Silo, which is based on the Wool series by Hugh Howey. I still need to read Dust in that series and hopefully will this month. I was waiting for my wife to catch up so we could discuss it and now she has, I

Reading wise – that’s pretty much it from me!

Book Notification has had a huge month. We are now over the 32,000 author mark which is incredible, as the work it takes to audit many authors lists can be tough.

Many new features were added to the site, but the biggest one is the “What’s Next” feature. This page tells you what book to read next in a series.

You can see an example screenshot of it here.

It was really cool testing that and noticing all these series that I had read years ago but forgotten about.

If you want to track your books read, and get notified by new books from your favourite authors, be sure to register an account at Book Notification.

Finally, I’ll end this introduction on a rather amusing note. With the book websites I run, I speak to a lot of different authors daily. I get lovely e-mails from authors, who are just so happy that I am listing their books as well as providing a biography of them, and a way for people to stay updated on their new books.

Well, lovely e-mails from 99% of authors. There’s always that 1%. Before last week, I can think of only one really bad interaction. One author demanded that I remove his list of books as he did not give me permission to list them and threatened me with lawyers.

Of course, that information is in the public domain and I am quite in my right to list his books. There’s no copyright violation or anything like that simply by listing books that an author has written.

The REAL reason for this came a couple of weeks later when he released a book on Amazon that listed the order of his books just like our website. However, he was charging people to purchase it. Imagine actually attempting to charge your readers money just to figure out the order of your books. I often respect the hustle, but not in this case.

Well, I received another nonsense e-mail from an author this past week. I won’t say their name here as I see no point in it. But I got a chuckle out of how angry the message was.

“Who gave you permission to market or promote my books.
You are violating US Copyright Laws
Cease and Desist NOW”

I politely informed him that if I am violating any laws, to let me know which ones and received this:

“You do NOT have my permission to show/sell my books on your Website.
Cease and Desist… check with your attorney”

One of the most difficult things for an author is marketing, and this fella was actually screaming at me for helping him out. Hilarious. I always laugh when people immediately start screaming about lawyers, as if just the mere mention of a word will get people to do what they want. What’s funny is I’m a very reasonable person. If people like that could just send a rational e-mail, then perhaps we could open up a dialogue and come to some agreement or I’d even remove their listing if they really wanted. Instead, they just come foaming at the mouth, and get nothing.

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:

Joan B. from Center Lovell, ME

Maryanne from Ephrata, PA

Cinda S. from Laguna Hill, CA

Bill from Hayward, CA (email beings with wblx)

Susan C. from Elkridge, MD

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


Quotes of the Month

“To ban a book is to fear its magic”
– Unknown origin.

“Charles had just completed some soul-searching and found to his chagrin that he had remarkably little area to cover.”
– From The Windsor Knot by Sharyn McCrumb

“War’s always the same though – politicians square off and ordinary lads do their dirty work. I’d stick all of them ministers in a field – all of them, all these big nobs from every country what wants a fight, and I’d let them have all their blimin’ weapons and tell them to get on with it. Leave us ordinary people alone to live our lives. That’s what I’d do.”
From To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear

– “You will die with books unread. It’s not morbid, just a fact. So buy waht you want, get to what you like when you can. This isn’t a school project, a book report isn’t due. You’ve supported an author and collected art you love. A library of unread books is a beautiful thing.”
Laura Keating

Submit your own quotes; just hit reply. Book-related is great but happy to share non-book related too! Thanks to mngrgco, Chrissie and Pamela for this month’s submissions. Love seeing quotes from books!

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 me 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!

Gray by Lou Cadle: This three part series was recommended by Katherine. Here is what she wrote:

“It is an end-of-the-world disaster-themed series. It pulls you into the two main characters and their survival. I found it drew me in and kept me wanting to find out what was coming around the next corner.”

It’s broken into three parts, and each part isn’t too long which is nice. I’m always a fan of survival apocalypse and looking forward to checking this one out.

The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons: Note that this series has more books in it than just three. Prequels were released later but the trilogy is what is being recommended here.

Barbara wrote in to recommend it. It’s a big series with over 2100 pages so set some time aside. Here is what Barb wrote:

” The first book starts in 1941 when war was brewing and continues for decades. Tatiana was 16 and Alexander was I think 22. I could not get enough of their lives. I laughed and cried through their love and heartache. There was everything in this story: love, hate, family, manipulation, war experiences, sex, suffering and peace in life. The author brought you into their lives and into the war to such an extent that I will never forget this series. I hated it to end. This is a not to be missed trilogy and sorry I kept passing it over because of the length. But because of the story and writing I read it much quicker than I anticipated. I could not put it down and had trouble sleeping because I had to stop reading. I would wake up at 5am and run to my Kindle. Crazy!!! I give this 11 stars!”

That is quite the recommendation.

Cold Hand In Mine by Robert Aickman: This is a horror collection that I’m not sure will be able to wait for Halloween next year. Max wrote in to recommend it. In particular, one story in it but the collection itself sounds great. Here is what Max wrote:

“Robert Aickman wrote what he accurately described as “strange stories.” I don’t know if you could call them “horror stories” exactly, but they are weird, creepy, eerie, enigmatic, chilling, sometimes nightmarish, and definitely always strange.

The first story I ever read by Aickman was called “The Same Dog.” A horror story? I think yes. I read this story when I was a teenager, and it has stayed with me for 50 years! You can find “The Same Dog” and seven other of Aickman’s mind-bending tales in a collection of his strange stories entitled “Cold Hand in Mine.

I recommend reading during daylight hours only…”

Detective Vega Series by Joanna Schaffhausen: Barbara wrote in to recommend this series. It had been mentioned by a reader previously, so I decided to make it a full recommendation based on some other positive feedback I’ve heard. here is what Barbara wrote:

“I don’t remember if it was you or one of your readers who recommended this author and series, but thank you very much. I read Gone for Good and Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen in quick order. Then today I went to the library and picked up two of her earlier books. The stories are great and the characters are fabulous.”

There are three books in that series, with a fourth releasing next year.

Damascus Station Series by David McCloskey: Rich wrote in to recommend this series after reading the first novel in it.

In war-torn Damascus, CIA officer Sam Joseph and recruit Mariam Haddad search for a killer tied to an American spy’s disappearance. Their mission uncovers a series of high-profile assassinations and a deep-rooted secret within the Syrian regime.

Amidst this, they navigate a risky romance, drawing attention from Assad’s top spy, Ali Hassan, and the head of the Republican Guard, Rustum. “Damascus Station” is a riveting tale of espionage, love, and betrayal set against Syria’s volatile backdrop.

It was nominated for Best First Novel at the International Thriller Writers awards, and a sequel was just released recently.

November Book Of The Month

The Edge by David Baldacci: The Edge is the sequel to The 6:20 Man, and I know many of you will be looking forward to that book.

Baldacci started this series featuring Travis Devine last year and it was very well received. In the first novel, Travis lives the same dull routine every day. He throws on his cheap suit and takes his cheap briefcase on the 6:20 train to Manhattan, where he works as an entry-level analyst, a far cry from his previous career as a soldier.

Then his routine is broken by an anonymous e-mail stating that his ex-girlfriend is dead. The NYPD and others are coming looking at him for the murder. I don’t want to say too much about the second book as the description of it kind of spoils the first book. Anyway, if you haven’t started this series yet, or want to pre-order the second book.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in November

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.

November 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

Submitted by multiple people such as Elaine and Michele.
Not sure the original source.

Submitted by Dona.

Steve submitted these really cool earrings.

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 a bunch of ChatGPT inspired Halloween questions. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This months question is from Christine, who asks:

What has been your favorite autobiography, and why?

I read many autobiographies when I was younger generally featuring sports starts from the UK. I’ve lost a lot of interest in them these days. Many of them seem so transparent – they’re created just to earn that person money, and so they will throw some headline-grabbing stories in there to create a buzz, like the Britney autobiography.

I really enjoyed Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson. I was a big Tyson fan growing up, and it was great to read his story. it felt very honest and it didn’t feel there was any sugar-coating to his stories. You really got some valuable insights into him.

The only other autobiography I can remember reading was Behind the Bell by Dustin Diamond. That one I enjoyed, but probably not for the reasons Dustin intended. There were many stories written just so he could appear “cool” to the reader, and it just made me feel sorry for him but I also found entertainment from it.

What about you?

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 November 2023 Newsletter

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