Fantastic Reading Suggestions for the Harry Reader on Your Shopping List, or Yourself!

Image result for harry potter libraryWhether you are shopping for a family member or friend, or perhaps looking for something to read over a school break or a long flight, thoughtful Harry readers are often seeking a text that will be, on some level, as fulfilling, thought-provoking, or entertaining as the Hogwarts adventures we love. Of course, no book can really be “just like” Harry Potter’s adventures, and we would not want it to be, but, depending on the reader, there are some authors whose work you might want consider as you make your list, and check it twice, even if the person who’s been naughty or nice is yourself! But if you are shopping for your own family’s versions of Newt, Fred and George, or Mr. Weasley, we have the goods after the break… [Read more…]

Cormoran Strike: Silkworm Excerpts Available Online

J. K. Rowling’s detective series featuring private dick Cormoran Strike, a veteran of the Afghan waR and illegitimate son of aN aging rock star, has a new entry on 18 June, namely, The Silkworm. USA Today published an excerpt online this morning, what seems to be the first two chapters (expletives deleted), and I confess, it was good enough a tasting that I broke down and finally ordered an advance copy.

What’s it all about? From the book summary at Amazon:

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.

Three quick notes:

(1) My advance copy was ordered at my local bricks-and-mortar bookstore. No, I haven’t suddenly become righteous about online purchases and, no, my favorite store won’t be having a Midnight Madness celebration to hand out copies to the Rowling Faithful at the strike of the hour opening the day of publication. It’s just that Amazon and the publisher are having a little disagreement. Who would have ever thought that Ms Rowling and her publisher, given their egregious history of copyright protection heavy-handedness, could play the role of David in a ‘versus Online Goliath’ story? Having been roughed up by Amazon myself as an independent publisher, I can only wish Hachete Group the best in this struggle.

(2) The Silkworm is the second of what Ms Rowling promises will be a seven book series. When do we begin to chart the ring composition echoes? Each book or in the parallel books of the series? Rhetorical question, of course.

(3) Insert obligatory observation that I wouldn’t be interested in this title almost certainly if it I didn’t know it was written by the “world’s best selling author” (c).  The voice is hers, however, and it is a delight.

Links to online stories mentioned above can be found after the jump. Hat tip to James! [Read more…]