Hi everyone and a rather late welcome to September!

My apologies for the delay in the newsletter. Long story short; a trip to the UK, a week at the cottage, a lot of backlog of work, our newsletter software causing many issues, and the gallbladder issues causing pain.

This intro is going to be long – just a heads up. We had no mid-month newsletter and with this one being late I’m going to skip the September mid-month newsletter. So a lot to cover. Let’s get to it!

First a quick note- I was a bit misleading last month in regard to my reasoning for no mid-month newsletter.

I had mentioned that it was so I could focus on the new website that we’re working on. While that was partially true, the actual reason was that I was traveling to the UK to surprise my mum for her 70th birthday.

I just didn’t want to be specific in case she happened to read the newsletter. I won’t go into too many details and bore you all, but it was a great time and a big surprise. It involved a misleading trip to Blackpool for her and my sister, then a tram ride where my family and I all popped on to surprise her. A lot of fun, and so great to see them for the first time since pre-COVID.

Although we landed in Manchester during the brutal heatwave there mid-August. Yikes! Honestly thought we had landed in the wrong country and we were in Mexico or Vegas. Crazy. Also the air show was in Blackpool that weekend and there was something like 200,000 people there. That was a bit messy!

It was amusing though when a few days after being there, we drove to Scotland. Literally 5 minutes after passing the Welcome to Scotland sign, the skies opened up and it was like we were driving through a river. Oh Scotland – never change.

The new website is also on its way – I promise! We were hoping to get it launched in August but that never ended up happening. It’s a big project with a lot of moving parts so want to make sure it’s all good first. A lot of the key functionality just isn’t working like it should so need to get that all ironed out first.

I also mentioned the newsletter software causing issues. We use a company called Aweber for mailing things out and they have made some changes in the backend that added to the work of this newsletter. We’re using a fairly old template so maybe it’s not compatible anymore. I’m going to explore that later this month but if the October newsletter looks fairly different – that’s why. And if this newsletter has any weird formatting issues – same deal.

Alright onto book talk!

As mentioned I was at a rented cottage for the week. Something we do every Summer. One of my favourite memories isn’t involving my family, but of course – books!

I’ve told this story before I’m sure but it was August 2017. I randomly read a book by first Shari Lapena, then B.A. Paris, back to back while there. Both books I started in the morning, and had finished them by dinner time.

They were standalone psychological thrillers and that period was what really got me into the genre. Both authors had one other thriller released at that time. There was no Wi-Fi at the cottage and no phone signal, so I literally hiked over an hour to a spot where I could get a phone signal, set up my phone as a hotspot, and incurred roaming data just to buy and read their other book. I didn’t have the patience to wait 3 more days!

Well every time I go to the cottage now, I try and focus on psychological thrillers and discovering new authors much like I did with Shari and B.A.

I’m happy to say I was able to discover one which was Sarah Alderson. I read three of her books while there. The Weekend Away, The Cabin in the Woods and In Her Eyes.

The Weekend Away was the first one I read and I absolutely loved it. It’s about two best friends who haven’t spent a lot of time together due to the other one starting a family. They go to Lisbon on a girls trip together. One wakes up the next day only to discover the other girl has gone missing.

This was a great novel that really kept me guessing throughout. It’s also been made into a movie on Netflix which I haven’t had the chance to watch yet but hopefully will soon.

Next I read The Cabin in the Woods – quite fitting considering I was staying at a cabin in the woods! With a book title like that, does it really need a description? There was one part of this that blew my mind to the point that I had to go back and re-read it. Reminded me of Gone Girl to a degree.

I do have one complaint that I’m not sure how best to word as I don’t want to give any spoilers. You know those books where the ending and big final twist happens, then things continue and they wrap things up with a pretty bow? This one is wrapped in a double knot. Then with a cherry on top. If you read the book – that’ll make sense, trust me!

Finally I read In Her Eyes, which is about a family whose home gets invaded in a targeted attack. While I enjoyed this one, I felt it fell apart at the final act. You just have to really suspend disbelief in a big way.

It’s interesting because if I had read this book first, I likely wouldn’t have read others by Sarah. As I held her in high regard after the previous two books – I was a lot more forgiving. Funny how that works.

I read the standalone thriller My Little Brother by Diane Saxon. I received this recommendation via the UK Crime Book Club on Facebook which is a pretty great group for recommendations.

Unfortunately that one was a swing and a miss. The story takes place 20 years after a girls brother goes missing, and she starts receiving anonymous messages saying the person knows what happened, and to come back home to find it.

I just wasn’t a fan of the writing, and the story itself was disappointing. I likely won’t read any more by Diane.

I read Stay Awake by Megan Goldin, who rose to fame with her “Escape Room” book. It’s about a woman who forgets the last two years of her life every time she goes to sleep. This was okay. Her best novel is still The Night Swim which is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in recent years.

I finished reading The Travelers by Chris Pavone. This was one that I started listening to, but decided to read due to the length of it, and I’m glad I did!

The reason for that is that this one was a bit hard to keep track of. The entire story was shrouded in mystery right up until the final act, and there were so many different characters all playing spy or potential spy roles.

I loved it though. This was an excellent book. I just had to stop every so often and kind of take a breather, and take stock of what had happened so far.

I mentioned last month that I started listening toTrue Believer, the second book in the James Reece series by Jack Carr. I’d read the first book a couple of years ago and found it quite dull, which is surprising as it normally checks all the boxes for what I like in that type of book.

With the excellent Ray Porter narrating, I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately I tapped out at about the 60% mark. It just felt very generic within that genre and I realized I wasn’t into it. Just random Middle Eastern terrorist after Middle Eastern terrorist that the good guy has to take down and it wore on me. I think I’m giving up on that series.

If there are any psychological thrillers you’d recommend listening to via audiobook, let me know. I find reviews are lacking when it comes to audiobooks and whether the narrators are any good or not. A narrator can take a book to another level, but they can also take it down a notch.

I’m currently listening to Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney, which I discovered in the thrillers section of my library app. This was billed as a domestic thriller about a couple who have a struggling marriage, and travel to a remote location in Scotland for the weekend where all their secrets will come out.

The reviews of it were very positive saying that it started slow but then the twists and turns start coming and you can’t stop reading it. Well I’m 6 hours into this 10 hour audiobook and I’m still waiting for these twists to really start happening ha.

So right now – not something I’d recommend. I will praise the narrator Stephanie Racine though, who I feel does an excellent, authentic job and really catches the characters that she voices.

I also read the 19th Spider Shepherd novel. This series is by Stephen Leather, and is one of my all time favourite series. In the beginning of the series, Dan “Spider” Shepherd is an undercover cop but throughout the series he moves up through the ranks, working for the secret agencies in the UK.

While this one was about hunting terrorists there is a whole different approach to it. I read it all in one day. If you’ve never read this series, I highly recommend starting at the beginning. It’s a series I already re-read once and each time I read a new one, I debate re-reading it all again.

Finally – and I hope I don’t incur any of your wrath by writing this – but I’ve started reading The Chain by Adrian McKinty and oh boy – I am not enjoying it at all.

Many of you have recommended it in the past – especially after I read The Island by Adrian. The Chain won multiple awards such as a Barry Award, a MacAvity Award and the Best Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association.

The book description has praise from so many authors and publications such as Alafair Burke, Mark Billingham, Linwood Barclay, David Lagercrantz and so many more.

And I hate it!

I try never to be negative in this newsletter but clearly I am the odd one out here; the anomaly. So I’m happy to share my feelings in this particular case. If you are interested in the book then don’t avoid it because of what I’m about to say; everyone else apparently loves it.

I’m at 60% of the book so far. It has an interesting premise in that there is a chain that involves regular parents having their child kidnapped, then having to pay a ransom and kidnap a child to free their own child. It’s a really cool premise, and as a parent a bit horrifying in spots.

But I had to stop while reading it, to look it up and see if this was targeted towards young adults or early teens instead as that’s what the style of writing reminded me of. Disbelief can only be suspended for so long, and I’m far past that point. I was sitting here reading it earlier and just shaking my head as things got more and more ludicrous. Everything about it comes off very amateurish.

I’ll finish it because I’m curious to see how it all ends. I will also read more Adrian McKinty because I enjoyed The Island enough to add it to the June newsletter recommendation section.

But this one? Wow. I’m scratching my head wondering why I’m one of the few to feel this way. If they had Razzie awards for books, this one would be getting my nomination!

Now I’ve got that off my chest – let’s get on with the rest of the newsletter!

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:

Peg M. from Staples, MN
Lyndia K. from Groves, TX
Elden I. from Newark, CA
Trish N. from Riverside, CA
Alan from Niceville, FL

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


Quote of the Month

“Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are”

– Mason Cooley

Submitted by Ray. Submit your own quotes; just hit reply.

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!

Joe Grey Series by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

f you are a fan of cats, you will enjoy this cozy mystery series. We had a few different people recommend it.

Martina wrote “I love that Joe Grey is an awesome, smart cat that can talk and loves to solve mysteries in his hometown of Molena Point. I love this series so much I named my cat Nick Grey!!! ”

Beth wrote:

“Folks will think this series might be too simple for them because it is about cats but they would be wrong. Shirley Rousseau Murphy is an excellent author. She has written many books and her Joe Grey series is wonderful. The character development of the cats is handled very well and I got very attached to these cats. She has retired now so there are no new books in the series but it is definitely worth reading. The cats help solve crimes and all of the characters are wonderfully done. Her books are just a delightful read. I was truly saddened when she quit writing. I wanted to spend the rest of my life being informed of the crimes these cats solved.”

The Cartographers by Peng Shephard

Star recommended this novel, stating that it’s “A mystery that really is great if one loves maps, the library and history. ”

Nell Young has dedicated her life to cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and her own personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t help but investigate.

To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy that still exists… because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one – along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why? To answer that question, Nell heads off on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that the maps possess…

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This one was recommended by John. Here is what he wrote: “I hope I’m not being too obvious with my recco, what with the book having won a Pulitzer, but I’ve gotta recommend “All The Light We Cannot See”, by Anthony Doerr.

I read the book just based on the cover blurb, totally unaware of its reputation. I was totally stunned by the grace and lyricism with which it was written. It was suspenseful, yet completely open as to what was taking place with the characters. I would so much appreciate a sequel, but I know it wouldn’t have worked with the storyline. I read it a year ago, and I consistently recommend it to absolutely anyone who ask me if I “ …Read any good books lately… ”

This one is coming to Netflix as a 4 episode series soon. It’s the story of an orphaned German boy and a blind French girl. They are trying to survive the devastation of World War II in an occupied France, when their paths cross. I hear the audiobook narration is tremendous as well.

September 2022 Book Of The Month (9th-30th)

Oath of Loyalty by Kyle Mills

One of the best spy thriller series in the market returns, as Mitch Rapp is back in action!

Releasing on the 13th of September, 2022, Oath of Loyalty by Kyle Mills promises to be a good one. I feel that Kyle has went from strength to strength since he took over from Vince Flynn.

Rapp is butting heads with the president in this one. He promises to leave the country but that isn’t enough for the president, who leaks the identity of Claudia and Rapp has to go up against the people attempting to kill her.

10 More Notable Books Releasing September 9-30

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!

Lot of animal recommendations lately so let’s just hit them all in one blast!

4 Paws 1 Heart
Funny Farm Rescue (Love their Amazon wish list)
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY

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

Your Thoughts:

Last month I asked what was your favourite book to movie/TV show adaptations. The replies are later in the newsletter.

This month’s question is:

What books did you not enjoy, that the rest of the world loves?

If you read the introduction to the newsletter, then you’ll know what inspired me to write this. The Chainby Adrian McKinty.

Like I said – multiple award winning book. Overwhelmingly positive reviews. And I’m just not a fan.

Another one that I can think of is The Terminal List by Jack Carr. Not only is this book loved, but it really checks all of the boxes for my favourite type of book. I love the “lone badass out for revenge” type deal. It has conspiracy. It has personal revenge. It has lots of action. And I just found it extremely dull.

What about you? What books are you not a fan of that everyone else seems to love?

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 months newsletter. Five people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

Reader Mailbag:

Click Here

Order of Books » Newsletter » September 2022 Newsletter

Leave a Reply