Last months topic was for reader mailbag ideas – topics for future reader mailbags. Here they are:

Ann: Two topics I’d be interested in are “Favourite character in a book/series and why”, and “Favourite autobiography/biography”.

Diane: I lately have enjoyed reading European suspense (I think because it is different than American procedures)– Peter May, Nele Neuhaus and Harry BIngham–if you have not read these authors you would enjoy them. I now feel a need to visit the Hebrides and France after reading Peter May. My suggestion for question of the month would be have you ever planned a holiday around a book you have read–books have helped me plan holidays around the world.

Katrina: Mailbag idea: best book you read as a kid


books you remember from childhood reading


genres you do not like and seldom read


best book you read in each of the genres: mystery, sci-fi, humor, romance, contemporary

Susanne: Topics for discussion mayby could be on the genres of books that we like but what is to far I mean an example is I like the family romance you know Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber but not novels that are Harlequinn. Crime books like true crime or like the J.D. Robb futuristic crime novels is that too far. Western books should they be all bout the gun slingers or should they be based on true history or be based on families? What your readers enjoy but a more in depth approach possibly.

Or another approach is what genre of books should be like is Nora Roberts books the non harlequin type books just of familys should it really be classified under romance?

I do not read romance novels hate them to be honest but I can curl up with Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber and laugh, cry, and totally enjoy the book.

Or Do we as readers find a novel to be classified as something and not give it a chance cause it not our type and yet it is a good book and if we did not know its classification we may have read the books?

Do your readers Judge a book by its cover?

Another question how many of us can pick a random or how often do we actually try new authors or genres of books?

Norma: Or similar topics? Per Trip Advisor, the biggest new and used book store in Canada is Russell Books on Fort St. in Victoria, B.C.! Seeing is believing. Not only do they have a kazillion books in their main store on Fort but also a chock-a-block full annexe on View St which is the street behind the main store. The main store has an upstairs that groans with books plus a downstairs with shelves and shelves of vintage/antiquarian books.

The store on any given day but especially on Sat’s is crowded! Great to see people still buying and reading paper books vs (just) their e-readers.

OrderOfBooks…..keep up your great site.

Max: Glad to have you back this month!

One idea for the reader’s mailbox might be “Who are the most over-rated authors?” I know, I know, this sounds a bit nasty because indeed I prefer recommendations for GOOD authors and their books! But there are some very popular authors that — after reading 4-5 of their books — I ask myself “Why do people buy these books??” I can nominate two such over-rated authors right now: One is Brad Thor! I love his anti-terrorist genre, and Thor always comes up with plots and stories that should be terrific. But they’re not — Thor’s novels simply lack dramatic thrust. His climaxes often seem like mere afterthoughts. I just don’t get Thor’s popularity. Other anti-terrorist thriller authors like Vince Flynn, Alex Berensen, Daniel Silva, and Stephen Hunter are just so much better! Another overrated author, I think, is the famous Robert Ludlum — his characters and plots seem to meander in a mysterious, unmotivated way that just drives me nuts. After trying 5-6 of Ludlum’s books, I vowed I would never read another!

There you have it. And if I sound like a cranky old curmudgeon, I guess I must be!

AJ: I would love a series of questions about characters. Who is the most street smart? the most intelligent? love to hate? best supporting characters? most like to meet for real? For me, reading is a love of the characters created, which is why I prefer series over stand-alones. Just finished the Inspector Thanet series by Dorothy Simpson – absolutely loved the characters. Even though the stories were older and less technical than many mysteries, I just couldn’t get enough of them. Always sad to finish a series that is no longer ongoing 😞.

Patt: Hi there.
Thoroughly enjoy your newsletter & site.

Possible topics: Villains you loved to hate; Villains you were ambivalent about; Most creative crime in fiction

Sandy: Which authors do you prefer? Female or Male

I also love all the new physycological thrillers. I agree the plots all seem the same but you get hooked on the “twist” and “turn” that each author has. It definitely has me wanting more new books to read.

Thomas: Hi, missed the newsletter last month. For topics how about asking if anyone has written a book or published it. Or, if they would want to write a book and what would the subject be or if it would be fiction or non-fiction. Or maybe what characters they have identified with in the past. Or maybe what type of characters they would like to be in a book. Or what movies stars have written good books. Or maybe what biographies are worth reading. Or maybe how they became attracted to reading in the first place. Or what books might make good movies. Or does one read books that have come from movies where they already know the story and ending. Or do they ever just read a book form the library or otherwise where they have no idea what it might be about. Or have they read a book in the past and forgot the title/author and wish they remembered what it was and could read it again. Or what makes a book good to read? Is it plot, characters, story flow, the images it creates, or the expansion of ideas or theories. What types of books would you never read. Hopefully you haven’t covered all of these before. Take care and glad to have this month’s edition. Tom M.

Chris: Might I suggest the following Mailbag topics:
– The novel you read as a youth that made you a lifelong lover of reading
– The most memorable novel you had to read for a school English class
– The best fiction you’ve read that was essentially ripped from the headlines of the real world
– The novel you were reading when the most significant life event occurred for you
– The novel that had you go through the most boxes of tissue
Just a few suggestions off the top of my head… thanks.

Raymond: Hi
and greetings from a small village on the coast- down on the bottom West side of South Africa.
First a big thanks for your informative news letter and very helpful site.
For Mail Bag was going to suggest “Series and or authors who you have become disillusioned with or given up on – only to find that this topic had already been raised before.
What I did find interesting is that many readers had “moved off” authors that I lost interest in
Martina Cole –
James Patterson
OK I also gave up on Clive Cussler – he had gone from the ridicules to the sublime – Plus he was (like James Patterson) sticking his name on to many books written by others.

Thanks for introducing me to a host of new authors – who I have not lost interest in – yet!!

Jennifer: As for future mailbag topics, how about a discussion of books that are set in the same (or nearby) areas and are the same type of stories? I’m thinking of Wyoming novels by Craig Johnson (Sheriff Walt Longmire) and C.J. Box (Game Warden Joe Pickett). And two set in Italy: Donna Leon (Commissario Brunetti in Venice) and Andrea Camilleri (Inspector Montalbano in southern Italy). Of course, there are lots of crime/detective stories (my favorites!) that take place in Los Angeles: Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, David Chill, etc., etc. In the hands of a really good writer, the setting becomes almost like another character–and it’s always fun to read about an area from different authors’ perspectives.

Elizabeth: I’m in a book club in addition to reading lots of books just for myself. It can be hard to choose a book that will be a good book for the book club, one that members will want to read and havry a discussion other than whether or not you liked the book. What criteria do people use when deciding what is a good discussion book?

Shanna: What is the busiest/ most distracting place you’ve been, in which you were still able to be so absorbed in a book that you totally tuned out your surroundings?

Kelly: I’d like to see a discussion on books recommended that give a glimpse into each state. I’m thinking along the lines of the CJ Box series in Wyoming or John Sandford in Minnesota.

Joanna: (The idea of your favourite genres and why). .like you I get into a period or genre and read all I can find used…I find myself wallowing in UK history (my mom got Readers Digest Condensed Books when I was young, and I fell in lobe with Margaret Irwin’s “Captive Princess” and never recovered), fiction and non, currently into Alison Weir, who has begun a new fictional series called The Tudor Queens…Phillippa Gregory can be good and bad…so I hesitate to recommend her writing…but I still read it all…and Sharon Kay Penman’s writings (I hesitate to call a series because they’re not chronological and she changes her opinion of her characters often enough to confuse this elder citizen). I also plan to re-read Margaret Frazer’s Sister Frevisse mysteries…

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Reader Mailbag Ideas!
  • George Wanser

    I have been an avid reader of Don Pendleton’s series of books(Executioner, Stony man, super bolan) since Reading the first one while serving in Viet Nam. It seems that there are fewer new books coming out in the series. Can any one confirm this!

  • Gwen McKinley

    I started Dean Koontz “Whispers” while in college and have been an avid reader ever since. reading is my addiction. I love finding a new series. I love the setup of order of books it has helped me find the missed and new series and just plan good reads. and the recommendations