Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)
By: Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.
Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.
With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…
And here we are, the third Cormoran Strike novel and the next mystery on Cormoran and Robin’s plate. This one strikes a little closer home to both characters this time as opposed to them being drawn into the literary or modelling worlds like the previous novels had done, so it should be interesting.
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)
By: Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
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 . . .
At long last I am reading the second Cormoran Strike novel 🙂 I read The Cuckoo’s Calling (review) last year and greatly enjoyed it. I waited however until I got my hands on Career of Evil before I started reading this book (as I wanted to just dive into the third book after the second).
So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂
For this month’s edition of “So You Want to Read…”, I’m going to focus on books written by Amanda Grange (see author tag). By mid-last year I had more or less gotten around to reading all of Grange’s Jane Austen hero diaries save one (sorry, I have no interest in reading Wickham’s perspective on events. Henry Crawford, on the other hand, is another story…) and figured it would make a great focus for this feature. Grange does such a wonderful job in presenting familiar Austen stories from the perspective of the hero and add to characters we already know and love. I cannot recommend her books enough!
So without further ado, here’s three books from the diaries series that I’d recommend to start with:
- Captain Wentworth’s Diary (review) — Not surprising in that Persuasion (review) is my favourite Jane Austen novel, but Amanda Grange’s novel from Wentworth’s perspective just adds so much more to the character and to events, not only filling in the spaces on Anne and Wentworth’s relationship the first time around, but also sort of confirms my line of thinking that Wentworth definitely wears his heart on his sleeve 😛 Nonetheless it’s a great intro to Amanda Grange’s books, I think, adding a bit of something before and after the events of Persuasion.
- Mr. Knightley’s Diary (review) — Another excellent diary from Amanda Grange, I think what’s especially great about this book is how not only does it capture the sly humour of Emma (review) but again really adds to the character of Mr. Knightley (omg, he has friends?! Like, outside of Emma and Mr. Woodhouse? (c’mon, I’m sure that would’ve been Emma’s response to such new information 😛 )). Even if Emma isn’t you’re favourite Austen novel (definitely not up there for me if I had to rank her books), it does offer some fresh appreciation for the story, at least in my experience 😉
- Colonel Brandon’s Diary (review) — Okay, I knew Colonel Brandon was awesome in Sense and Sensibility (review) but this book brought that realisation to new heights *hearts and stars* He went through so much crap and disappointment when he was younger that you’re naturally rooting for everything good and decent to happen to him for the rest of his life. And this book just confirms the idea that he’s got this sort of Cinderella story, this second chance at love and happiness. Again, it’s great when books really add to the original story and build on what we know of the characters.
And that’s my list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Amanda Grange for the first time! If you’ve read her books, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
By: Elena Ferrante
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Following her mother’s untimely and mysterious death, Delia embarks on a voyage of discovery through the streets of her native Naples searching for the truth about her family. A series of mysterious telephone calls leads her to compelling and disturbing revelations about her mother’s final days.
This stylish fiction from the author of The Days of Abandonment is set in a beguiling but often hostile Naples, whose chaotic, suffocating streets become one of the book’s central motifs. A story about mothers and daughters and the complicated knot of lies and emotions that binds them.
After reading her Neapolitan books last year (see author tag) I was very keen to check out her three standalones. I was debating which of the three to start with and ended up picking up this novel first–planning on saving (and savouring) The Days of Abandonment for another day 😉
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
By: J.R.R. Tolkien
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun is a poem of 508 lines, written by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1930 and published in Welsh Review in December, 1945 (vol. IV, No, 4).
Aotrou and Itroun are Breton words for “lord” and “lady”. The poem is modelled on the genre of the “Breton lay” popular in Middle English literature of the 12th century, and it explores the conflict of heroic or chivalric values and Christianity, and their relation to the institution of marriage.
A major source for the poem has been identified as the Breton song ‘Le Seigneur Nann et la Fee’, which Tolkien probably knew through Wimberly’s Folklore in the English and Scottish Ballads (1928).
Honestly, I had no idea that this book was coming out until it was mentioned in passing somewhere either on Twitter or on Goodreads (and omg did I add that book so fast onto my wishlist). Having found this poem he wrote amongst his notes, does it warrant a whole book about it? Ehh, like previous books before it (Beowulf (review) and The Fall of Arthur (review) spring to mind), probably not, but whatever, it’s something by Tolkien 😛 Not to mention it staved over my wait for Beren and Luthien coming out in 2017 🙂