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BBC: ‘The Silkworm’.

That’s right, it’s another installment of Blanche’s (non-committal) Book Club! Over the weekend, I finished reading “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling’s pen name), and wow was it a great read!

“The Silkworm” is the second book in the Cormoran Strike series; where there are currently three books. I would definitely not complain if Galbraith cranks out a few more.

The funny thing about reading “The Silkworm” is… I read it on my phone. Le sigh. You see, I purchased it on my iPad through the Nook app, and when my Ipad was stolen over the holidays, I was most sad about losing my eBooks. So, I was thrilled to find them once I downloaded the app on my phone.

I haven’t brought myself to buy a new iPad yet, and I really couldn’t wait to read it, so… I read the whole thing on my phone. Now, if you know J.K. Rowling, it should not come as a surprise that the Cormoran Strike novels are also very detailed and lengthy. It was interesting to plow through it on my phone – it had its pros (being able to read pretty much anywhere) and its cons (reading about one paragraph before having to turn the page and getting distracted by texts and snaps).

But I did it! And, fun fact, J.K. Rowling wrote “Harry Potter” while riding the subway to work… so there’s some motivation for you.

Ok, so “The Silkworm”! From the official website:

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…

While I did say this book was detailed, it wasn’t too detailed, if you know what I mean. I’ve read books before that were just packed with so many pointless details, and it got old really quick. Of course, given that this is a crime/detective novel, the details are pretty necessary.

Could this be Cormoran?

Could this be Cormoran?

I love the details about the scenes, too. It’s very London-esque with its gray skies full of rain and snow; and several cozy scenes in pubs, right in the middle of the day. Sounds quite perfect, if you ask me!

Another perfect part about this book series? I totally picture Strike as Gerard Butler, with a little more scruff and incredibly pissed off 24/7.

Word is that the book series will also be a series for the BBC, and possibly HBO – if we’re lucky! I’d love to see this adapted to the screen, big or small.

The interesting thing about the plot of “The Silkworm” is that it focuses around the publishing world – a place familiar to Galbraith/Rowling. I will say, I thoroughly enjoyed the world she created in book one, “The Cuckoo’s Calling” given that it was full of celebrities, rich folk, and illuminati. Obsessed.

The world in “The Silkworm” is dark, made up of has-beens and could-bes, but in general it’s a sad world of characters; with the added murder in question.

If you read “The Cuckoo’s Calling”, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that we get a closer look at Cormoran’s assistant, Robin, and it’s obvious she’s not going anywhere come book three. There’s also a good look at her relationship… and *SPOILER* she is still not married at the end of this book. Could there be a shot with her and Strike? Wink, wink!

And finally, I’ll also say that there are some really fantastic, suspenseful scenes in this book! Especially at the end, I was flipping those digital pages as fast as my fingers would allow.

This book is definitely worth a read; and if you haven’t started the series at all – you’ve got to get in on this! To read a full review of “The Silkworm”, check out this one from The New York Times.

The next book we’ll be reading in Blanche’s Book Club is “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty. I actually have three of her books, and this will be my first one to read. Want to read it with us? We’d love to have you! Share your thoughts on the book with us via the comments, email (holly@thebitterlemon.com) or on Twitter & SnapChat @OrangeJulius7.

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Pic of the Week.

So, it’s only been officially summer for… what… a week? But now that July 4 is right around the corner, I all of the sudden feel like the summer is about to end! Summers in my previous life — when I had a desk job that allowed for free weekends — meant hours at the pool, reading.

In those days, I’d load up a cooler, put on my swimsuit, and walk to my apartment complex’s pool from about 10 am until the sun went down. I went through 1-2 books a week, and over the course of the year, I’d read around 30 books.

It was one (of many) luxuries I took for granted.

In these last 8 months, I haven’t had mush time to read, so I’ve been stuck reading Donna Tartt’s, “The Goldfinch,” — which is very good, but also, very long.

But, like many businesses, freelance writing gigs slow down a little in the summer. And while that means less money, it also means less work, and more free time. So, I’ve decided to pick up my old habits, and although I haven’t spent hours at the pool, I’ve cracked open “The Goldfinch,” and can at least see the ending is near.

I also took a look at my reading list. There are books in my apartment I’ve yet to read — books I’ve borrowed, books given to me, and books from Santa. And in my email was also a Christmas gift remaining from my mom: a Barnes and Noble gift card!

So, I used the gift card to treat myself to two books I hope to read before the summer sun sets: The Husband’s Secret by Lynne Moriarty and The Silkworm by Roberth Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).

Here’s what the back of “The Husband’s Secret says, “At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.”

And here’s the info on “The Silkworm” from the back of the book, “

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives–meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.”
So… they both sound mysteriously AWESOME! I’m hoping my two new purchases will force me to make some time for myself to read, even if it’s just 30 minutes each day. What are you reading this summer?