The Cuckoo’s Calling review

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

British supermodel Lula Landry tumbles to her death from her third-floor balcony on a freezing cold night. Although all signs point to suicide, her brother John Bristow thinks there is more to the story. So he hires private detective Cormoran Strike to get to the bottom of it. Cormoran has his own problems — kicked out of his home by his ex, broke, and injured from a tour in Afghanistan. But he and his (temporary) assistant Robin work the case and take an unforgettable tour of London’s jet-set crowd.

I love reading mysteries but I’m REALLY DUMB when it comes to mysteries. Very rarely do I figure out who the murderer is at all when everyone else on Goodreads has it nailed by page 30. So I was a bit surprised by the ending. This wasn’t a real page turner, which is okay for me.

I enjoyed the twists and turns, and by the end I was rooting for Cormoran and Robin to win the day.

Oh, and the elephant in the room? I knew that Robert Galbraith is JK Rowling, but that didn’t sway me at all, because I quit the Harry Potter series on the book where the first eleventy-hundred pages was about the Quidditch World Cup. Ugh. So that didn’t sway me.

This is the first in a series – I’ll give the second a shot.

View all my reviews

Comments { 0 }

Friday 5: Juice

Happy Friday! I’m glad to put another freezing cold and occasionally snowy week behind me on the march to … March?



The highlight/lowlight of my week was the series finale of Parks and Recreation. It is such a beautiful and WARM show that I’m genuinely sad that the series is finished. This last season was a beautiful love letter to the fans. Every loose end was tied up, everyone ended up smiling. I will miss Leslie Knope with her crazy enthusiasm and paladin-like crusade for things that are right and good. I stoically held it together until Ron Swanson’s story, and then I started weeping. The show ends with super-successful Leslie receiving an honorary doctorate at Indiana University. Here is part of her speech…

“When we worked here together, we fought, scratched, and clawed to make people’s lives a tiny bit better. That’s what public service is all about: small, incremental change every day. Teddy Roosevelt once said ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people that you love.”


It’s been an interesting few weeks for me. I can’t blog about it yet, but it’s good. (I’m not pregnant.) I’ve spent a lot of time lately walking through my own personal minefield of doubts and fears, but quotes like the one above have kept falling into my hands like perfect snowflakes.

This week’s Friday 5 theme is “Juice.” Okay, I’m game. And still on Friday, no less. BOOM, BABY!

1. What’s your favorite juice?

The passionfruit, orange, and guava juice combination served at the ‘Ohana breakfast at Walt Disney World. Since I can’t get my hands on that (and am disinclined to try making it), my second favorite is plain apple.

2. Blend fruit juice with fresh or fruit, (sometimes) ice, and other ingredients and you get a smoothie. What’s your favorite smoothie?

  • 1 1/2 ounces coconut cream (such as Coco Lopez)
  • 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce aged rum
  • 1 ounce coconut rum
  • Splash of coconut milk (optional)
  • Pineapple wedge, for garnish
  • 1 cup of ice.
    (from epicurious)

    Blend it and drink it while you’re on a walk in the rain.

    3. Juice in some contexts means credibility, the respect of others, and influence. In what way have you recently earned juice among your peers?

    I can’t talk about that yet. *smiles*

    4. How satisfied are you with your mobile phone’s charge capacity?

    I couldn't resist.

    I couldn’t resist.

    I have the iPhone 5s, and it can go 2 days on a single charge and regular use. I have background app refresh off and keep the screen relatively dim, though. Relatedly, I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need a Microsoft Surface Pro.

    5. What are your thoughts on Kool-Aid and Tang?

    I only had Tang once at a friend’s house as a kid, and I don’t have very good memories of it. Cherry and grape Kool-aid are amazing, as long as it is the kind you make with actual sugar.

    With that, I’m off to wrap up my Friday night with some … grape juice. Yeah. Grape juice. Cheers!

  • Comments { 1 }

    Wordless Wednesday: Warcraft Selfie

    Joining the WoW Selfie movement with Akromah's new 6.1 RBF.

    Joining the WoW Selfie movement with Akromah’s new 6.1 RBF and OllieBear.

    Comments { 2 }

    Heartburn review

    HeartburnHeartburn by Nora Ephron
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Successful cookbook author Rachel Samstat just found out that her husband was cheating on her. She also happens to be seven months pregnant with their second child. This book, though classified as fiction, is based on the demise of Nora Ephron’s marriage to Carl Bernstein. Despite the somber subject matter, reading this book is like sitting with your funniest girlfriend as she tells her tale of woe. And every now and then, Rachel gets so worked up by it all that she has to default to a subject that she knows in and out — she blurts out a recipe from her cookbook. I checked this out from the library, and regret I didn’t get to copy down any of these pre-healthy eating recipes.

    A little warning: This book was published in the early 1980s, so you’re not going to get a power-washed politically correct story. There are ethnic jokes and there’s also a very long period of time when we don’t hear about where Rachel’s toddler is. This sticks out in this day and age when we get a diaper-by-diaper telling about motherhood even in books where motherhood isn’t the main subject! Of course, the kid is with a sitter or nanny, but back in 1983, nobody cared where your kids were.

    It’s funny (in a ribald way), poignant, and a quick read. Here are some of the quotes that grabbed me:


    …and the next thing you know you think you’re in love with both of them simply because you’ve been raised to believe that the only polite response to the words “I love you” is “I love you too,”…


    …The nurse gave me one of those withering looks that are meant to make you feel as if your thoroughly understandable rage is mere female hysteria.


    Vera said: “Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”

    So I told her why:
    Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
    Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
    Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much.
    Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.

    View all my reviews

    Comments { 1 }