Whose Bad Idea Was This?

Making a television series out of a terrible book is a waste of time, money, and talent. Okay, maybe I am being a bit harsh, but I literally about fell out of my chair when I saw today that J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy” is being made into a television series.

A very difficult read for me
A very difficult read for me

If you liked this book, you may want to stop reading now. I have this book still on my bookshelf for two reasons:

1) I cannot bear to throw a book in the garbage (I am going to repurpose it).

2) I do not want to donate it to my local library and risk anyone else reading this rubbish.

From what I am understanding, Michael Gambon, aka Professor Dumbledore, has a leading role. What? Why?

Michael Gambon The Casual Vacancy
Michael Gambon on the set of “The Casual Vacancy”; yes, in his pajamas.

I see this as a bad idea for several reasons:

He is Professor Dumbledore. He should not be recycled into your next book.

People will expect a Dumbledore-type character, which he is not playing.

People will think (Okay, I am thinking) you could not find anyone else to act in this television series.

Okay; I just did not like this book. I wanted to like it; I tried to like it. But I could not. She could have written it under a pseudonym like she did with “The Silkworm“, and not knowing it was J.K., I still would not have liked it.

I am really curious if I am the only one who finds so many wrong things going on here. And I would really love to hear from someone who liked this story. Honestly. I want to know if I missed something, judged too quickly, or just did not get it.


Dead On Demand-Daniel Campbell & Sean Campbell

I hope the inside lives up to the cover!
I hope the inside lives up to the cover!

I am really hoping that the best thing about this story is not the title. I have to say I have only read the first chapter, but all through that first chapter I kept asking myself “Do I really want to keep reading this?”

Why was I thinking this? Mainly because this story does one thing I do not like in the books I read: it introduces a whole town’s worth of characters and all the twisted ways they may or may not be linked together. Most books take a while to do this, but I think this book did it all in the first chapter. At least I hope they did it all in the first chapter, because if the next one or two chapters do this, it will be the second book in my lifetime that I could not finish. It reminds me of reading “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling. The only book I read from front to back and had no idea what I had just read when I finished it. (Honestly, I would sell that book at a yard sale or donate it to my local library but I would not want to be responsible for someone else reading that book).

So in chapter one, we meet Edwin, over-worker to avoid his wife, Eleanor. Drew, their son that died, and Chelsea, their daughter that lived. Betty, who is Edwin’s secretary. Derek Wood, the owner of the newspaper that Edwin works for. Wood’s personal assistant, so-far unnamed. Palmer, advertising employee for the paper. Mark, Edwin’s brother-in-law. Caroline Flack, Edwin’s just obtained divorce attorney. Jeremy Kyle, news reporter and likely Eleanor’s new boyfriend.

Now, they did not give a huge backstory for all of the characters I just mentioned (just most), but they were all mentioned; in the first chapter. 16 pages.

Now the first sentence of chapter two, and when I stopped reading this morning? “When his first son was born, Yosef Gershwin had paced back and forth frantically.” (page 17).

Having a sneaking suspicion I was about to learn all about Yosef, his son, and his extended family, I had to stop reading. I will pick it back up; but if too many more characters get added to this story, it is going back on the bookshelf, gathering dust, never to be looked at again.

The meaning of this story? Edwin is online, looking for someone to take care of a problem he has. Yep; that problem.




The Silkworm-J.K. Rowling

6-24-2014 release date!
6-24-2014 release date!

I was super-happy to see that Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling) has a summer release for the 2nd book about Detective Cormoran Strike. I really enjoyed “The Cuckoo’s Calling”, and really wish I had read it before I knew J.K. wrote it. I really do believe I would have picked it up at some point and read it (these types of books are what I prefer), but knowing the real author had me getting it within days. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

A very difficult read for me
A very difficult read for me

After reading The Casual Vacancy, I was so confused I couldn’t even begin to put a storyline together for that. So I definitely understand her choosing to write anonymously; I cannot imagine the pressure she felt having to follow Harry Potter. But what I do not understand is why she is still putting the name Robert Galbraith on the cover. Is there anyone who still does not know she is writing this series?

Anyhow, I will be getting this book on 6-24-2014 when it’s released. Are you going to be reading this book as well?

Friday Fun Facts!


I figured I would start a new type of post, with either information on a particular author, or a random post from a story I have read and loved!

So for this first Friday it will be a quote.

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


I love the HP series, one of the best series I have ever read!

I Need To Find That Book

I have read 4 books in the past month, and I am still searching for that book. You know the one; you stay up late reading it, fall asleep reading it, put off chores reading it, skip cooking dinner reading it, forget-the-world-around-you exists reading it. You hate to set it down and cannot wait to pick it back up. The book you think about when you are supposed to be thinking about something else. The book that makes you not hear what is being said to you because you are replaying in your head the last thing you read, and imagining what is going to happen next.

I’ve read a lot of those books. Just not recently. The books I’ve read have been good; just not the stand-in-line-before-midnight type of books. I crave a story that makes me laugh out loud, cry, cringe with fear, feel sick with disgust, believe in miracles, or feel like I will never read a book that good again.

For me, those books were written by C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer (yes, those books!), Andrew Greeley, Gregory McGuire, Stephen King, Judy Blume, William Johnstone, V.C. Andrews, James Patterson, and so many others I could fill two pages.

When I was a young girl and teenager I could not read enough Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators books, or The Boxcar Children. I will still randomly go to the library and check out about 10 of these books on that rare occasion when I know it is going to be a quiet, childless weekend.

Sometimes I worry that writing has gone commercial. Do you know what I mean? Someone has a contract, and has to churn out these books, and it turns into cookie-cutter reading that sounds a little like that story you read last year, but a couple things are different so it’s OK.

Where is the creativity? The magic? The unbelievable that is written so you believe it? I need that book.

Have you seen this book I’m looking for?

The Cuckoo’s Calling

Loved this book, cannot wait for the next in what is promising to be a great series
Loved this book, cannot wait for the next in what is promising to be a great series

OK, so I have to be completely honest here; if I did not know J.K. Rowling penned this book, it might have taken me a year or two to find it. I only say that because I tend to read books by unknown author’s, and since it was getting great reviews under the penned name of Robert Galbraith, and being a mystery, I am fairly certain I would have picked it up at some point.

Knowing she wrote it, I ran and out got it and read it in about 4 days. I probably could have read it faster, but my employer is pretty adamant about me going to work on a daily basis, and my kids insist on being fed and entertained!

All joking aside, it was a truly great read, and I am looking forward to the 2nd Cormoram Strike novel which I understand is already in the works. I just wonder if she is going to keep up the guise of writing under Robert Galbraith or just put her name on it since the whole world knows it’s her.

For any of you readers of this book, what did you think? I almost felt as I was reading it that I may not have said “This is J.K. writing this” but with all of the references to places in London that seemed to be mentioned in the HP books, and the writing style itself, I know I would have said “This certainly feels like a J.K. book, someone borrowed her style!”