Tag Archives: J.K. Rowling

Book Review: Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) (5/5)

25 Jul

I was a little hesitant to get into this because I’d heard there was some controversy about it being anti-trans. I also didn’t want to stop reading a series I’ve become so heavily vested in, so I pushed forward with caution. While I listened to audiobooks of the first four, I decided to do this one as an ebook while I nursed or rocked Baby to sleep. I haven’t looked forward to rocking them down so much in their life. I couldn’t wait to read a few pages of this book. I stayed up way too late one night to figure out the culprit and regretted the loss of sleep the next day. But it was sooooo good.

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Cover image via Amazon

Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Other books by Rowling reviewed on this blog:

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter y el orden del fenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y el misterio del principe by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y las reliquias de muerte by J.K. Rowling
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling

Summary from Amazon:

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough – who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974.

Strike has never tackled a cold case before, let alone one 40 years old. But despite the slim chance of success, he is intrigued and takes it on; adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, are currently working on. And Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention, as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.

As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with leads that include tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer, and witnesses who cannot all be trusted. And they learn that even cases decades old can prove to be deadly…

OK, wow. This one had me on the edge of my seat. I can’t remember the last time I read a book this long this quickly. The character building was great, the pacing was amazing, and the mystery was complex and enjoyable. I thought I might not enjoy this as much as an ebook as I did an audiobook, but I might have enjoyed it more. Though I had a narrator’s voice in my head the whole time.

I wanted to address the anti-trans opinions in this book. From what I read online, those who were upset were upset because of a character who is a serial killer and would dress in woman’s clothing to lure his victims into his van or home. This character himself is not transgender. I can understand why this is upsetting to some readers. I do want to share my opinion on the portrayal in this book only. This was a very minor part of the killer’s backstory and he himself is not transgendered. I barley noticed the few times this was referenced. It had minor impacts on the plot or even that character. I don’t feel there was a purposeful attempt to shame or slander the transgender community with the inclusion of this character and backstory. However, I know I’m speaking from the position of a cisgender woman and those with a different background might see it differently.

One of my favorite things about this series is how real Robin and Strike feel to me. I can see them being people I’d run into on the street. Robin has always felt very relatable and I often think “Yep, that’s what I would do” while we’re in her head. The cast of side characters are equally enjoyable and distinct in their own right.

Irene was one of my favorite side characters because she was so well drawn. I could picture someone just like her (and she reminded me of someone in my family at times). I didn’t think she was purposefully malicious, but she struck me as untrustworthy more than once. Well, we find out why but I won’t dive into that. Rowling/Galbraith has a way of describing people that are so real it’s almost hard to read about them. I was laughing through most of her interview.

I haven’t shared many experiences with the characters in this book, but I always seem to feel for Robin. Matthew always felt like a combination of all my horrible ex-boyfriends and her exasperation when dealing with him felt very real to me. In earlier books, we were around the same age and a lot of the familial pressures she shared were similar to ones I’d felt. My job is just less exciting.

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J.K. Rowling Image via Biography

The reveal at the end was wonderfully done. (No spoilers, I promise.) The way it was revealed, you got some answers you didn’t expect before you got the answer to the ‘Who’ part of the mystery. The pacing was just excellent. I stayed up WAY later than I should have one night to finish the chapter where everything was explained. It was a masterful display and I adored it.

The sub-plot with Saul Morris bothered me the most. He felt so icky and I don’t have better words to describe that. It seemed a bit out of place in the book and I have to imagine it’s a set-up for a future book, but it left me feeling put off. I almost hope he doesn’t turn up again.

A lot of people in this book were not listed to or believed. No one believed Brian Tucker’s theories about his daughter’s disappearance. No one believed many of the eye witnesses about what they’d seen on the night Margot disappeared. Few people believed Roy when he gave his account of the day. And no one believed the Athorn family and what they said. Many of the frustrations in this book seem to be from people who spent years not being listened to and they’re so happy Strike is finally taking them seriously.

Writer’s Takeaway: As with the other Strike books I’ve read, I wasn’t able to figure them out before everything was revealed. Honestly, I’m OK with that. I enjoyed the ride and when everything was presented, I remembered all of the evidence being readily available and in front of my eyes if I’d cared to look at it the way Strike did. I don’t write mysteries and I’m not sure I could. The way Galbraith/Rowling has layered them together is wonderful and enjoyable and I can only aspire to that level of nuance and subtlety.

A wonderfully fun book to read. Five out of Five Stars. This kickstarted my reading again.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Post:
Book Review: Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith | Richard Fox’s blog

WWW Wednesday, 20-July-2022

20 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


91m+9RkhGfLCurrently reading: Because of a push to finish other books, I didn’t make much progress in Rebeldes (The Outsiders) by S.E. Hinton. I’m hoping to get back to it a bit more now. I love this story and it’s helping me practice some new vocabulary and utilize some language skills I haven’t had to use for a while.
I made a respectable amount of progress in Dollface by Renée Rosen. Some of the book has been predictable, which is a bit of a shame, but I’m still enjoying the setting and some of the characters. I hope I can keep pushing forward in this one.
I was able to start Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab and illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri. Reading a comic on my phone hasn’t been as hard as I thought! Yes, it’s a bit of pinching and zooming, but it’s still very doable while rocking a baby to sleep. I believe there are three volumes out and I’m hoping to read all three before I write a review.

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Recently finished: I stayed up way later than I should have to finish Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). It was hard to concentrate at work one day with this hanging over my head so I figured I’d be better of with a late night to wrap it up and I’m glad I did in the end. It was a great ending. I’ll have a lot more to say in a review but I’m not sure how soon that will be up. I hope soon! I gave the book Five out of Five Stars.

44510181Reading next: It’s crazy to think I’ll need another ebook so soon, but I’m flying through this comic! I think I’ll pick up another Josh Malerman book next, Malorie. I know I just read one of his books, but I had a lot on my TBR and I feel like I’m flying through it lately! Just got to keep rolling.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 13-July-2022

13 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


15850930Currently reading: I made okay progress in Rebeldes (The Outsiders) by S.E. Hinton but have stalled out because I’ve been prioritizing my ebook. It’s probably better for my eyes to read this one before bed, but my heart is telling me to pick other things.
I’m absolutely loving Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). I’ve read it while feeding the baby, while rocking them, before bed, and at any spare second I have. This is my first time reading a Strike book instead of listening and I was worried it would feel slow but this is quite the opposite.
I was able to start Dollface by Renée Rosen on audio and I’m making descent progress. I’m not quite yet at the main action so I’m waiting to see what that will look like. I’m enjoying the ride so far!

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Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Into White by Randi Pink late last week. It was okay, but it had some elements too it that took me out and there were times I felt the book was trying to do too much. My review went up on Monday. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

I also finished another review! I posted my review for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling on Thursday. This was a bit of a disappointment, but I hadn’t enjoyed the movie so I wasn’t expecting a lot. I gave it Three out of Five Stars as well.

91m+9RkhGfLReading next: I’m nervous to do this, but I’m going to try reading a comic on my phone. I’m going with Shades of Magic Vol 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab and illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri. I’m nervous about the small screen and large pictures and how that will go. I hope well, but we’ll see!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling (3/5)

7 Jul

I went into this with mixed feelings. I saw the movie on opening night because I was so excited for a new Wizarding World story. I left highly disappointed. I got the screenplay thinking that maybe reading it would help me understand it better. I’m not sure it did. I don’t have plans to see the third movie at this time and I’m thinking I’ll wait until I can stream it.

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Cover image via Amazon

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts #2) by J.K. Rowling

Other books by Rowling reviewed on this blog:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter y el orden del fenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y el misterio del principe by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y las reliquias de muerte by J.K. Rowling
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Summary from Amazon:

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world. This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shape the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.

It’s been a few years since I saw this movie but I don’t think I’d forgotten much. This story feel very flat for me. There was almost no character development and what we do get seems a bit too far from what we learned in the first film. Queenie’s logic makes almost no sense, Newt and Tina’s relationship doesn’t develop at all, and Jacob adds no humor to the story. Maybe it’s Middle Book Syndrome. Or maybe the writing just wasn’t that great this time around.

Queenie sticks out in this book for seeming inconsistent with her previous self. Jacob has somehow overcome a spell that was not reversible in the original series and now Queenie is willing to do morally questionable things to marry Jacob. Where did this person come from? Her decision at the end is even more illogical as she thinks Grindelwald will somehow make it so she and Jacob can be together after he explicitly calls Muggles ‘other’ from Wizards. How she sees this playing out, I can’t understand.

Honestly, Grindelwald was my favorite character in this book. He was the only one who got some real character development. While he’s a total jerk and a big ol’ baddie, we’re introduced to him and what he wants and how he plans to get it. Maybe I’ll see the next movie when it goes to streaming just to see what happens to him.

None of the characters were very relatable. Credence might be to some, but I didn’t relate to him much. Newt’s odd crush on his brother’s fiancée was a bit odd and gave some relatable feelings of pining after someone you can’t have, but the relationship between he and Leta was very poorly defined and it wasn’t clear if there had ever been anything between them and how she came to be engaged to Theseus.

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J.K. Rowling Image via Biography

There wasn’t a part of this story that stuck out to me and that I enjoyed. In the movie, the circus was fun visually, but that fell flat in the screen play. I also got frustrated at Nagini’s character so that wasn’t helping anything. Again, might be Middle Book Syndrome, but I was a bit bored.

The ending of this one frustrated me for two reasons. One was Queenie deciding to join Grindelwald. The logic the story used to make this seem plausible was paper thin to me. After knowing Queenie from the first book, it was very out of character. It might have worked if it was earlier in our acquaintance with her, but at this point it took me out of the story. The second was revealing that Credence is a Dumbledore. I’m not sure what to think of this at all. Part of me wonders if it’s true and part of me thinks it’s one of Grindelwald’s lies. Either way, it upset a lot of fans of the original series who are already upset about the original timeline being ignored completely. I’ll have to see how it plays out in the next books, but I don’t know if this will ever be recoverable to me.

Credence wants to know who he is and wants to feel important. It’s similar to Harry at the beginning of the first book. There’s something about him that makes him believe he doesn’t fit in and wants to know what it is. As Harry learns about his wizarding family, Credence similarly looks for answers. Whereas the original series shows us how Harry can fight against Voldemort for what is right, this series shows us a contrast where Credence is taken under the wing of someone who wants to use him to fight. Harry and Credence are easily foils of each other.

Writer’s Takeaway: In an effort to bring in elements of the original series that readers enjoyed, this story suffers from having too much surface level elements that don’t get to the heart of the story. It’s fun to see Flamel as a character, but it would have been better to learn the backstory of Newt and Leta. Seeing Nagini as a woman is cool, but having an accurate timeline of when McGonagall was teaching would be better. This tries too hard to appease fans without trying to win new ones.

An overall disappointment but possibly setting up a great ending? Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay | Stephen Writes
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald | The Original Screenplay | Fantastic Beasts #2 | Lost in Fiction
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald | The Humpo Show

WWW Wednesday, 6-July-2022

6 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


51807232Currently reading: I’ve stalled some on Into White by Randi Pink. My partner had surgery and I’m not getting much time to myself between him and baby needing something all the time. I’ll get back to this when I can but life is getting in the way.
I have been able to make some time before bed to read Rebeldes (The Outsiders) by S.E. Hinton. I’ve tried to make this a priority to read a few pages and it’s going better than expected!
I’ve been able to make a routine of reading Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) while I rock the baby to sleep and it’s working well! I’m almost 20% of the way through already. This is the first Strike novel I haven’t listened to and I feel like I’m reading it in Simon Vance’s voice anyway.

Recently finished: Nothing new finished, I’m afraid. With how big of a week I had last week, I’m not surprised. I did get my review of True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Caray posted. It was an OK read, but didn’t blow me out of the water. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

15850930Reading next: I’m looking forward to Dollface by Renée Rosen for my next audiobook. It’s been a while since I read a 1920s novel so I’m looking forward to that.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 29-June-2022

29 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


51I9OngSemL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Currently reading: I’m making decent progress with Into White by Randi Pink but not flying through it like I thought I might. The story is fine, maybe a little heavy handed at times. There’s a lot that’s unique about this story, but there’s also a lot that seems cliche and predictable. We’ll see how it wraps up.
I finally started Rebeldes (The Outsiders) by S.E. Hinton! I know it will be slow because it’s a lot of concentration for me to read in another language. It does help that this is written for a YA audience so the reading level is appropriate for me. We’ll see how it goes.
I needed a new ebook and settled on up Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). I know there’s controversy surrounding this book so I’m a little apprehensive to see what that’s all about. I’m not very far in yet and trying to remember what had happened in the previous book still. I hope it comes back to me soon.

KellyRecently finished: I know it may seem hard to believe, but I finished True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey! I remembered the end of the Ned Kelly movie I’ve seen so I knew I was getting close to a good conclusion in the book and powered through the ending. It was enjoyable and it feels so good to finally have finished it!
I flew through Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling. I remembered that screenplays move quickly, but I forgot they moved this quickly! I had a good chunk of time on Friday and wrapped this up quickly! The review might be a bit delayed, but I’ll get to it soon-ish.

AND I wrote two reviews! This has been one of my most productive weeks since the little one was born. I reviewed Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati on Monday. This was an okay read for me, but it didn’t get me excited enough to want to read the (eventual) third book in the series. I can happily put this one to rest. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman this week, my review going up on Tuesday. This was a fun, quick read that I powered through while rocking baby to sleep. Four out of Five Stars from me.

15850930Reading next: I’ve just started so many books that it’s hard to think about this! It will probably be an audiobook that I need next. I got a copy of Dollface by Renée Rosen when I needed to use up some Google Play Store money and I think I’ll grab that next. It’s been a while since I enjoyed a 1920s novel!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 22-June-2022

22 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


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Currently reading: This has been a really great week! I made some progress in True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, mostly because I’m really determined to finish it soon. Hopefully I will, but it’s still a matter of finding some time to read before bed which isn’t always an option right now.
I started two new titles this week! The first is Into White by Randi Pink. This is a free audiobook I picked up a few years ago. I’m not completely sold on it yet, but I’m making good progress. I’m afraid it’s going to feel a little heavy handed at the end which may change how I feel about it.
I also started Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling. This is my ebook right now. I’m hoping it reads quickly, as those are the best types of ebooks. I’ve found time to read while I nurse my baby so we’ll see how long that holds up until they figure out what I’m doing.

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Recently finished: I wrapped up Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati! This was a monster of an audiobook so I’m so glad to say I’ve finished it. I’m working on a review, hopefully for next week.
I finished an ebook! Can you believe it? I wrapped up A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman in the middle of the night when Little One woke up and just needed to be held for a bit. Reading this horror story in the middle of the night might not have been one of my best ideas, but I avoided nightmares so I’m still calling it a win.

51I9OngSemL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Reading next: I keep looking at Rebeldes (The Outsiders) by S.E. Hinton on my shelf because I really want to read it. It’s helping keep me motivated to move through my books.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, March 2020

2 Apr

What a weird month. That’s all I’m going to say about that one. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in March:

Lethal White // Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) (4/5)
August Snow // Stephen Mack Jones (2/5)
The Girls at 17 Swann Street // Yara Zgheib (4/5)
Fingersmith // Sarah Waters (3/5)
The Yellow Wallpaper // Charlotte Perkins Gilman (3/5)

And caught up on reviews! Here’s a positive side of the pandemic.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

5/12
Moving forward! I used Fingersmith to mark of the 1800-1899 time period and The Yellow Wallpaper could have been used for it, too. I’ll call that a double win. I hope to keep ticking these off, one after another.

Goodreads Challenge

14/55
I’m one ahead right now but I don’t know how long that will last. I’m in the middle of a lot of books, too, which I know will slow me down or a while but I think it will be for the best in the long run.

Book of the Month

I’m going to have to go with Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It was really fun and reminded me while I like this series so much. I’m glad the fifth book is coming out soon so I can’t forget too much before learning more about Robin and Strike.

Added to my TBR

I’m shocked to say this is down to 55! I haven’t been this low since I joined Goodreads. I’m killing it.

  • None! Can you believe it? I’m in shock.

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Triathlon Age Group National Championships: Well. I’m set to start training on April 20th. We’ll see how that goes. At this point, I haven’t been in a pool for almost three weeks. I’m running or biking 6 days per week and doing stability exercise each day as well. I’m probably in a better place than most since I’m not concerned about the swim. This race isn’t until August so we should be in the clear, but I’m still not holding my breath.
  • Submit my novel: Here’s somewhere I’m slacking. With everything going on, this hasn’t been a priority. I’ll get more into it next Tuesday when I do a post about my writing, but a good summary is that I’m not moving forward with this at the time since the world isn’t moving forward at this time. I do hope to get back to this, but it may be quite a while.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for this year, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) (4/5)

19 Mar

I’m loving this series so far. With all the free time I suddenly have, I may have to look into finding the BBC mini series so I can watch it as well. I’ve heard that’s well done. But I like having my own picture of Robin and Strike in my head and I’m not sure I want to change that.

Cover image via Goodreads

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Other books by Galbraith reviewed on this blog:

Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)
Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

Summary from Goodreads:

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

I’d been hoping the series would start focusing on Strike and Robin’s lives a little bit more. I think with Robin’s wedding being a large part of the last book, it was finally time and I’m so excited about the change. It was fun to see the characters develop alongside the plot and I’m OK with how long this book was to accommodate so much. Rowling didn’t give up the mystery in favor of the character development. The mystery was still twisted and fun to unravel. I hadn’t seen the end coming until the big reveal. I’d seen glimpses of it but as a whole it took me by surprise. And I loved it.

Robin is a very real character. Her relationship with Matt is so well done. I understood why she fell in love with him and why she married him even when I hated him. Her feelings are very relatable and she’s changed a lot through the books and I like how that personal growth is reflected in her marriage. Strike has been less dynamic but his relationships with women are still interesting and fun to read about.

Strike continues to be a favorite character in this series. He’s constantly underrated and dismissed by people who can’t get past his handicap. But he proves time and time again that he’s more than capable and better than those on staff at the police. I can’t wait to see where his character development goes as I think there’s some more change coming to his character soon.

I felt as clueless as Izzy through the story and I liked her a lot because of it. I didn’t understand how most things were connected or why people were acting certain ways. I was unable to switch my perception of certain characters from what I first knew to a different reality. It made it easy to identify with Izzy and understand why the revelations about her family were so hard to stomach.

J.K. Rowling
Image via The Telegraph

I loved Robin’s plot line as it dealt with Matthew and Sara. That was the only thing I’d guessed before it was revealed. I think Robin was too close to it to see the obvious signs and she was too swept up in the case to look too closely at the clues. I’m glad it wrapped up the way it did and I regained a lot of respect I’d lost for Robin.

The beginning of the novel was frustrating for me. I didn’t like the strained relationship between Strike and Robin. It felt weird that after the wedding, things would be so different between them, but I understood why. After being so close and open for so long, Robin was keeping a big secret. I like that work was able to reconnect them even when Robin continued to keep her persona life to herself. Once that awkwardness went away, I was less stressed out about the book and enjoyed it a lot more.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Robert Glenister. He’s narrated all of the Strike books so far and I think he does an amazing job. The accents he uses for each character are reflective of their regions (as best as I can tell) and his voices for women don’t seem offensive to me. I liked how he changed Robin’s voice when she was acting under cover. The bored tone he gave the Chiswell’s when they were being pompous jerks was great, too.

Privilege and wealth were very prominent in the Chiswell children. It was a big motivator for all of them. Even Izzy, who seemed immune, seemed drawn to strike because he knew Charlotte and that made him desirable. It was their eventual ruin. With their father’s fortune in shambles and his life falling apart, they didn’t know what to do with themselves and the little they could continue to hold onto. The Lethal White of the title could easily refer the children who looked perfect on the outside but were destined to die.

Writer’s Takeaway: The blend between character development and mystery was great in this book. I loved the details of the case because it kept you guessing. The initial contact with Billy was great because he was so psychotic that you had no idea what to think of what he’d seen. I liked that the book ended with following up on this starting point. It was a good way to bookend the story.

Overall, a really enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Book Review – ‘Lethal White’ by Robert Galbraith | BookBloggerish
‘Lethal White’ by Robert Galbraith | papergirl

WWW Wednesday, 18-March-2020

18 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: As with almost every aspect of our lives, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected my reading. I’m working from home for the foreseeable future so reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch during lunch isn’t happening. I hope to get to it again int he future, but it’s taking a break for now.
I’m back to Fingersmith by Sarah Waters full time and still loving it. I’m getting a lot more reading time in because I’m staying home more so I hope to get through this one in a reasonable time.
I picked up the audiobook for The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz just in time. My local library has closed it’s doors so I’ve got until early April before I have to worry about a due date on this one. Because I’m not driving to and from work, it might take me a while to polish this one off. We’ll see how life has changed.
I started a new audiobook on my phone to keep me entertained on runs. My husband is working from home so I’m not getting a lot of alone time to listen. So it might take me a while to get through The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib. My next planned athletic event is a run (since I had two swim meets and a run canceled already). So I might as well get running a bit more.

Recently finished: Working from home left me with the chance to listen to an audiobook during lunch so I enjoyed Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and was able to wrap it up. I’m loving this series more and more and I’m so excited for the fifth book to come out later this year! Maybe I won’t take forever to get to it.
I used a slow weekend to wrap up August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones. The book club meeting for this book has been canceled so I won’t get a chance to discuss it with my group but I still wanted to wrap it up. It wasn’t my favorite but I’ll save all those thoughts for my review.

Reading Next: I should get to Cuando era puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago sooner than expected with how fast I’m getting through physical books right now. I’m glad I’ve got a large store of books to keep me sane through the quarantine and craziness. I’m trying to find the silver linings.

As a reminder, I’m out of the country on vacation. I will not be replying to comments this week in order to enjoy my vacation. I’ll check periodically to approve any new poster’s comments. All reading is suspect, this post is planned well in advance.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!