Hi everyone and welcome to September! Quick note I’m away this week at the cottage, so I likely won’t reply to any e-mails until Monday or Tuesday.

I read the standalone thriller Everyone Here Is Lying by Shari Lapena, who is one of my top thriller authors. This didn’t disappoint. It’s the story of a young girl who goes missing, and the secrets within a small community.

I thought this was a great book. If I had one complaint it’s that she could have fleshed out the community and neighbours a bit more, but that’s just a nitpick. I couldn’t put it down, and it’s another win from Shari.

I also read Tell Me Lies by Teresa Driscoll. Another thriller which takes place at a cottage in Cornwall. While technically a standalone, if you are a faithful Teresa reader then a few of her popular characters make an appearance.

It’s about a couple who, due to a betrayal, have booked a cottage away for a fresh start. However things start going wrong almost immediately, such as dead animals appearing inside the house, and someone knocking at the door but no-one is there. I really liked where the story in this one went and how it all ended.

I was in Syracuse last week. Took my daughter to the Destiny Mall there, and then we visited a Barnes & Noble where she spent over an hour and probably could have spent much longer. Love seeing just how much she has taken to bookstores and reading. We then attended the opening day of the NY State Fair.

We were there for a few days, and I woke up a few times during the night, and on the TV were various ads for pharmaceuticals. I don’t have satellite or cable at home, so I never see those types of ads.

It made me think of one of my favourite books, The King of Torts by John Grisham. I must have read that abook at least 15-20 times. There’s just something about that book, about a down on his luck public defender who stumbles into various tort lawsuits that make him a multi-millionaire overnight, that I love.

I ended up reading it again and finished it in just a few hours. Just as good as I remember.

I’m looking forward to the North American release of Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter. It’s a murder mystery, but the focus is on the reader and if we can solve the murder before the six experts do. My daughter is hyped for it so I’m looking forward to reading it at the same time as her, and discussing it. Pre-order it now.

Other than that, I’ve been hooked on the Survivalist series by A. American. I’ve now read six books in total in this series and am going to read the remaining

If you haven’t heard of that series – an EMP attack or something similar has occurred, and all power is off permanently and all electronic devices are dead. The story is told from the perspective of an actual survivalist – someone who has been preparing for years for this sort of scenario. And it’s for the best he is prepared as society crumbles around him, resulting in a war zone.

You may have a different perspective as to how society would react in a situation like that, but I still think it’s quite interesting to read it from this sort of perspective. Not just someone’s opinion of the world, but an actual survivalist.

It does get a bit “in the weeds” at times when it comes to the government, but the cast of characters is great, and I find the author really makes you care about them.

The work still goes on at Book Notification. So excited about the new site, and where it’s going. We have over 27,000 authors listed now, and I love it myself just from a user perspective – getting the e-mails each week letting me know what new books are coming out is so handy compared to when I used to have to write everything in my calendar and check various authors pages every month.

The best part is I’m able to add features that personally suit me. For example, when I would sit down to write this newsletter each month I often forget what books I have read. I mark them read and rate them on Book Notification, so I came up with the idea of adding to the 2023 reading challenge page a list of books you have read in 2023. That way, I’m able to see exactly what I have read in the past month in seconds.

If you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to sign up at Book Notification. All completely free.

Thanks to everyone last month who contributed to the fundraiser run for the Strathcarron Hospice that I am doing. It’s next month on October 1st, 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 a wonderful cause to support. Thank you.

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:

Jean M. from Antioch, CA
John Th. from Greenville, SC
Ray G. from Jackson Township, NJ
Jo McP. from Tynemouth, England
Elaine from Vacaville, CA (email starts with dou)

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


Quotes of the Month

“The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace.”
Jhumpa Lahiri

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
Jhumpa Lahiri

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss

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

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

An Oprah’s Book Club pick which takes place in India following three separate generations of a family, Laura wrote in to recommend this one. Here is what she wrote:

“I have just finished The Covenant of Water, which is not my usual thriller, but I was so impressed with this book. How does anyone have that much in their mind to put on paper for us? I lived a lot of the episodes in the book, just because the writing was so vivid. Incredible! If you haven’t read it, you need to.”

The Cuba Saga by Chanel Cleeton

This is a very popular historical fiction series, and was recommended by Susan. Here is what she wrote:

“She follows the story of the Perez family in Cuba during the revolution.  There are 5 books and I have read the first 4.  She moves around in time before and after the revolution and writes many different stories centered around the 4 sisters.  Really informative about the times in Cuba, what the people endured, the rich as well as the poor, but great characters. ”

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Chris wrote in to ask about books that remain in my mind long after I’ve read them – great future mailbag idea. This book was one book that has stuck with him, and here is what he wrote:

“One notable such book for me was LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders. The author gets classified under literary fiction, not what I usually enjoy reading, but the novel was a surprise and delight to me. It’s both fantasy and historical fiction. The narration drew me into the story with compelling characters, one of which is Abraham Lincoln. Although he isn’t the “hero” of the story, he is certainly the main focus, and yet he only appears intermittently. The situation of the other characters casts light on the anguish of the grieving father, Mr. Lincoln. ”

Unbound Realm Series by Kent Wayne

Jessica wrote in to recommend this series which currently has two books in it. She wrote: “Right now I’m on the second book of a series called Unbound Realm by Kent Wayne. The first book is called A Door to Evermoor. The second book is called Weapons of Old. I’m almost through reading it. I don’t want it to end. It’s so good.”

I always love that feeling of not wanting a book to ever end. This is in the young adult fantasy genre, and about a kid who feels he is destined for something different, then stumbles into a fantasy realm.

Always nice to mix it up with reading and if this isn’t your usual genre, it’s worth checking out.

September Book Of The Month

Code Red by Kyle Mills: September 12th, 2023 will be a sad day because it is the final day that Kyle Mills will publish a Mitch Rapp novel.

In February, he announced he was retiring from the series and is passing the baton on to Don Bentley.

Don is a great writer and I’m looking forward to the direction he takes this series, but I always loved the passion and research Kyle put into this series, following the passing of Vince Flynn.

In the final Mitch Rapp book under Kyle, Mitch owes the powerful crime lord Damian Losa a favour, and has to deliver. Rapp has to travel to Syria to stop a new narcotic that is a danger to Losa’s business. When he gets there though, he discovers there is a whole different motive behind the drug.

Looking forward to this final adventure under Kyle.

10 More Notable Books Releasing in September

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.

September 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.

Picture of the Month

Thanks to Mark for this picture of a bookstore in Salmon Arm, BC. I love both the name, and how inviting it looks.

Thanks to Dawna for this one. I’ve received so many images I am going to start including two in every e-mail now.

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 the last book series you started was. The replies are later in the newsletter.

Here is this months question thanks to Vicki:

A week and a half ago a group of my family had a mini vacation together. Many of our conversations included what we have been reading. My Question Suggestion is:

Who do you discuss your reads/books with? Real life or online?

That’s a great question. Thanks, Vicki.

I discuss a lot of books with readers from this very newsletter. When I send out the newsletter, I get a lot of replies and literally spend hours chatting books with people. I’ve formed e-mail relationships with many, and get updates from them regularly as to what they are reading. I then share what I have been reading and it’s fun having a “pen pal” type thing going on.

My wife reads whatever I recommend to her, so that is great as we always get into discussions about the book after she has finished it. I know exactly what she likes. I still remember one short story we read by a horror writer. For the life of me I can’t remember the name – I think it was so messed up that I’ve erased it from my memory. But I just remember both of us reading it in about 45 minutes, then spending the next few hours just discussing it and how creeped out we both were. I’ll have to look that one up.

I also try and read some of the books that my daughter is reading so I can discuss them with her. I have a few friends that I’ll chat with about books but we don’t get into much in-depth discussion.

And I may have told this story before – but I have a friend of over two decades who I bonded with over our love of the same author. I had never met him before and we got chatting at a bar. It felt like one of those conversations where you make small talk, it’s a pleasant time, but then you both go on with your lives.

Then as we were wrapping up, the discussion moved onto books and he mentioned that one of his favourite authors was Stephen Hunter. This blew my mind, as I hadn’t met anyone who had read Hunter before and he was one of my favourite authors at the time. Still is a top 10 author in my books.

We ended up ordering many more pints, discussing books until last call, and have been best friends ever since.

What about you? Who do you discuss your reads/books with? Real life or online?

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 September 2023 Newsletter

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