Hi everyone and welcome to October! Well – almost.

I’m sending this a day early as tomorrow I’ll be running the Strathcarron Hospice Virtual 10k that I’ve mentioned in the past few newsletters.

By a nice coincidence, a friend asked me to join him for a fundraiser event for a different hospice in Cobourg, Ontario which is a few hours away from me. It fell on the same day and was billed a walk / bike / hike.

I contacted them and told them about my virtual 10k for the Strathcarron Hospice in Scotland and asked if it was possible to do that while participating in the Cobourg one. They gave me the OK for that – it’s a 5k circuit so just have to do it twice.

But that means I will be away most of the day. So I thought I would send out the newsletter a day earlier.

If you wish to donate, today is the last chance and 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. Or you could always Paypal me the cash and I could convert it and donate – if you wanted to do that then just get in touch.

It’s a small hospice in Scotland and a wonderful cause to support. Thank you. Appreciate any and all donations and also completely understand if you are unable to.

Okay onto book talk – alas, it was not a good month in terms of reading quantity.

I read Fly Girl by Ann Hood, a memoir of a flight attendant. I found this fascinating, especially the amount of training she went through and the stories involving that. I gained a lot more respect for flight attendants. It’s a fairly quick read too, and recommended.

I did feel it was lacking somewhat in personal stories. I’ve read enough “I’m a flight attendant AMA” threads on reddit to know there are a lot of great stories to be told. But overall, well worth the read.

I read Dark Corners by Megan Goldin. This is the sequel to The Night Swim, which was the best book I had read by her. It’s a thriller that again features true crime podcast host Rachel Krall, and I really hope we see more of her, as she is a strong female character.

In this book, a prisoner suspected of multiple murders is about to be released, and he wants to talk to Rachel. Only when she gets there, he immediately gets angry and chases her away. She then finds out the FBI is hiding a lot from her, and while they try to get her to go home, she stays to pursue the story.

Great book but I’d recommend you read The Night Swim first. Not that you would miss much, but it was a darn good book and always nice to read in order.

I also read the 5th novel in the Survivalist series by A. American which is called Resurrecting Home. This wasn’t as good as the previous ones. It had a main storyline involving a large fire that just didn’t get its hooks into me.

One of those books where you have about 10% left to read, but it takes you three days to read that 10%. Still a solid enough book, but the first one that didn’t make me rush to read the next one in the series.

I’ve just started Code Red, the final book in the Mitch Rapp series by Kyle Mills. Don Bentley will be taking over that series from here on out.

Sadly, that’s all I read this month. I did start a new audiobook just yesterday, which is the 4th book in the DCI Logan series by JD Kirk, Blood and Treachery. Such a great series.

Heck, I barely watched any TV adaptations and I have a couple of them going. I watched half an episode of Silo, and am halfway through season 2 of The Lincoln Lawyer. With NFL back, a lot of my TV viewing revolves around that.

Truthfully, any spare time I had, which wasn’t much, was spent playing a game on the XBox called Sea of Stars. If you ever played the likes of Chrono Trigger back in the day, it is much like that. Not the usual type of game I play, but it got its hooks into me after trying it on a whim.

Most of my time was focused on our new site Book Notification. It’s incredible seeing the growth of that site, both in terms of users and database size. Hundreds of people are signing up every day which is really cool to see, but that also increases the workload. We now have over 29,500 authors on there, and the site just launched on January 1st of this year.

In comparison, OrderOfBooks launched in 2011, 12 years ago, and has just 4851. One nice thing about that is if I get recommendations for a book to list in here, the process is a lot easier for adding authors so I can recommend them immediately, as opposed to putting them on a backlog.

One new feature we launched last month was listing new books releasing that week. Every Sunday, we do a post like this with a full list. It’s always incredible seeing the number of books released.

We are launching a new feature there this week or next that I can’t wait for. It’s the “What’s Next” feature, which was a much-used feature on the now-defunct Fictfact website from back in the day.

If you have any book series on the go, this page will list all of those series, and let you know what the next book to read is. It’s great if you read multiple book series to be able to keep on top of that. I was beta testing it yesterday, and it was cool seeing it and being reminded of various book series I was in the middle of but had stopped reading.

If you’re not signed up, be sure to head on over to Book Notification. Clean printable lists, track your TBR and read books, get notified of new books by your favourite authors and so much more.

That new feature should be up within the next week or two for those wondering. Also, I get asked every month so thought I’d make a note here – the launch of that site doesn’t mean Order Of Books will close or merge into it, and I don’t expect that will ever be the case. There are a variety of reasons why which I won’t go into – but I don’t expect Order Of Books to ever go offline. For reference, they all run off the same database so it’s not like it’s an additional workload when it comes to new books in a series, etc.

A quick note that submissions in our reader mailbag have been quite low the last few months. That’s okay – but just wanted to let people know that this just increases the chances of your winning a gift card if you reply! Last month, submitters had a 1 in 2 chance of winning $25. Sweet deal.

Finally, I want to give a personal shout-out to Platinum Views Villa in Barbados. If you are ever looking for an AirBNB or private home to stay at in Barbados, that place is wonderful. I got together with 4 friends from my fantasy football league, and we did our draft there and then watched week 1. Fantastic trip. My first time in Barbados, and certainly not my last. Highly recommend that villa. After a hot and sweaty day, being able to pop into the private infinity pool was bliss.

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:

Ro from Schiller Park, IL
Ruthann from St. Catharines, ON
Juanita from Titusville, FL
Becky S. from Heath, OH
Glori from Pittsburgh, PA

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


Quotes of the Month

“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

“Beauty, strength, youth are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.”
– George Peele (And written in Identity by Nora Roberts)

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
– Groucho Marx

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

The Moscow Trilogy by Simon Sebeg Montefiore

Hani wrote in with this great recommendation. Here is what they wrote:

“The trilogy begins just before the Russian Revolution and ends with Stalin’s Reign of Terror after the second World War. I could not put them down.”

The books generally standalone, although there are a few things that tie them together.

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Libby wrote in to ask if I had read this book, which she described as amazing. I haven’t, but it immediately went on the TBR. It’s the story of how a list of library books creates a friendship between a troubled teen and a lonely widower in London.

The two characters read the books and then we see how the famous books influence them. It sounds like a fascinating story, and one I am hoping to read soon.

This book was nominated for “Best Fiction Award” at Goodreads.

A Roosevelt Smile by Alexandra Kulick

This one is for all the historical fiction fans out there. Mark wrote in to recommend it and here is what he said:

“Historical fiction related to the FDR family. The author is a family friend so I read it for that reason. It is not the usual genre that I read–thriller, detective stories, police procedurals, etc. But I truly enjoyed the book. Highly recommend it.”

It’s the debut novel by Alexandra and I always love supporting new authors.

Country Store Mysteries by Maddie Day

Maddie started this series in 2015 and it’s a very popular cozy mystery series. Mary Ann wrote in to recommend it. Here is what she said:

“My dad saw a series that he thought I might enjoy and I do. He bought me a book for the -A country store mystery series by Maddie Day. Simple, cozy style set around Bloomington Indiana, I.U., Brown County and South Lick, Indiana. Went to I.U. and really enjoy. My dad also started and is enjoying and I sent to an Aunt that I also trade books with, she enjoys. Easy reading, can’t wait to start her other series too.”

I love that not just for the recommendation, but seeing the different family members reading it and something that they all have to share and discuss together. Nothing beats that sort of thing.

Maddie is also debuting a new series this month, The Cece Barton series.

The Rules of Three series by Eric Walters

Ginny wrote in to recommend this series, based on the Survivalist series which I am enjoying. Always love those “if you like this, read that” recommendations as I’m much more likely to read them. Here is what Ginny wrote:

“Since you are enjoying the Survivalist series so much, I thought I might tell you about The Rule of Three series by Eric Walters. The premise sounds very similar to the Survivalist series, only written for 12 – 17 year-olds. (Although, I think it’s a little brutal for 12-year-olds, as it contains quite a bit of killing.) I read straight through the 4-book series, barely noticing that it’s mainly for teens.”

Sounds interesting to read, and something my kids might get into.

October Book of the Month

The Exchange by John Grisham:

This book is released on October 17th, and I have it highlighted on my calendar.

It is the sequel to The Firm, which was written over 30 years ago. The Firm is one of my favourite Grisham novels. I’ve read the book countless times, and I always thought the adaptation was great too.

To be honest I haven’t read much about this book. I prefer to go in fresh. I’m going to re-read The Firm in preparation for this one, and possibly watch the movie as well.

So if you were a fan of The Firm, pre-order this one now.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in October

  • The Secret by Andrew & Lee Child
  • A Dead Man Walking by JD Kirk
  • Dark Memory by Christine Feehan
  • The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella
  • Sugar Plum Poisoned by Jenn McKinlay
  • Judgment Prey by John Sandford
  • The Sunlit Man by Brandon Sanderson
  • Hopeless by Elsie Silver
  • Second Act by Danielle Steel
  • The Honeymoon Heist by Brad Taylor
  • October 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!

    Don’t Be A Monster
    Spirit of Children
    Doctors Without Borders

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

    Pictures of the Month

    Submitted by Ila. The ultimate book nook.

    A neat idea submitted by Cathi. I always love seeing bookcases in houses, and the cool ideas people have to make them multifunctional.

    This was a jigsaw puzzle Judy submitted that she and her husband finished. A 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle which when finished, they framed and have hanging over one of their many bookcases. Love that sort of thing!

    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 who you discuss books you read with The replies are later in the newsletter.

    This month, I decided to ask ChatGPT for ideas for a Halloween themed question. It got quite excited, spouting out 20 ideas almost immediately.

    So I thought I would take a few of the questions and put them in here. Feel free to answer just one, or all of them if you wish.

    Which literary character do you think would make the best Halloween costume?

    What book setting gave you the eeriest feeling, as if you were walking through a haunted house?

    What’s the one horror book you’d recommend to someone who’s never read the genre before?

    Have you ever read a book that felt cursed or brought you bad luck?

    Which mythical or supernatural creature from literature would you NOT want to meet on a dark Halloween night?

    Alright, I’ll try and answer these.

    When I think of a literary character as a Halloween costume, my mind keeps going back to Pennywise. It’s just hard to shake that one. That’s also my answer to what creature I wouldn’t want to meet on a dark Halloween night. Although a close second for who I wouldn’t want to meet is Stumpy from The Association by Bentley Little.

    For the eeriest book setting? I think I would go with The Store by Bentley Little. The reason is it is set in reality, as if it was taking place at a Wal-Mart. It’s hard not to think of that book whenever I visit Wal-Mart now.

    A horror book I’d recommend to someone who hasn’t read the genre before? Well, my favourite horror author is Bentley Little, so something by him. I’d actually probably go with The Store again. It’s a book I have purchased for many people to introduce them to Bentley.

    I can’t think of a book I have read that I’ve felt “cursed” by.

    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 October 2023 Newsletter

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