The Cuckoo’s Calling

It has been a LONG time since I did a book review here. Why? Because it’s been a long time since I read a book completely and actually loved it.
I got about 25% through Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl… it was not my kind of book. This was extremely disappointing because I thought I was going to really love it, but it just wasn’t for me. Then I read I Am Malala, I think Malala is incredible and her story is truly remarkable. However, I much preferred listening to her speak and do interviews than the writing of the book. (I think it read too much like that written by a ghost writer.) It’s still definitely worth a read because she is one pretty special human!
It took me a while to get through The Cuckoo’s Calling (my fault, not the book’s fault). It was the first book that I’ve picked up in a while that I really thoroughly enjoyed. I picked it up because it had a dedicated display at Barnes and Noble. I am the biggest sucker when it comes to those displays.

Maybe I’ve been living under a rock or something, but I totally didn’t know that “Robert Galbraith” was J. K. Rowling’s pen name. I knew she had written other books under a different name, I just didn’t put two and two together. A few chapters in, I flipped the book over to reread the teaser and saw the note about J. K. Rowling. The book is definitely not Harry Potter, but it’s an entertaining light read.
After my very, very long book rut, it was just what I needed to get back in the habit of reading. I think I had been discouraged by my lack of enthusiasm and put reading on the back burner. I truly love to read and didn’t realize how much I missed books until I started The Cuckoo’s Calling.
The book is the first of a series about a detective named Cormoran Strike. In The Cuckoo’s Calling, Strike is hired by the brother of a supermodel who was tragically seen falling from her apartment balcony. Cormoran sets out to discover if it was suicide (as it was ruled by the police) or murder…
I’ve already bought The Silkworm, the second in the series, to read. I just started reading Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time and think it’s already captivating. 

What book have you read that helped you get out of a reading rut?

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Southwestern Prepster

Sadly, I had the exact same experience with Dunham's book as well – it was not what I was expecting! I have been meaning to pick up a copy of Amy Poehler's Yes Please along with J. K. Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling, so hopefully I can do that soon!
xx, Mikkaela


I thought the exact same thing about I Am Malala. Remarkable and inspiring young woman but I didn't like the way the book came across – much prefer to listen to her speak. To ease back into reading, I'd highly recommend Lost & Found by Australian author Brooke Davis. Really well written but easy to read. Thanks for a great post as always – your blog is my favourite! Laura x


The Cuckoo's Calling was so good! I had no idea that the second one was out, so I'll have to pick up a copy of the Silkworm. Two other books I really loved were Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan, and Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter. And of course, The Boys in the Boat!

Alyssa J Freitas

I find that I often go with themes when I read. First I'll be on a non-fiction history kick, then it's period fiction, then it's memoirs, then it's books set in a particular country, etc. When I'm in a rut I just switch categories!

Alyssa J Freitas

Diana Karavida

Yesss! The Cuckoo's Calling is amazing! I read it last year and it did the same thing for me. This year it was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand that did it for me. If you haven't read it already then you definitely should!

Cville to DC

I recently purchased The Cuckoo's Calling for my upcoming Cancun trip over Valentine's Day weekend! Cannot wait to dig in, thanks so much for the suggestion! I first saw it on your Instagram account 🙂


Kylie Mavrakis

I kept hearing about this book, but had no idea what it was about. Now I can't wait to get reading it! I totally had a book rut this fall (nursing school leaves little time), but I read Neil Patrick Harris' autobiography over break, and it was fantastic! And I just finished The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (movie comes out in April!), and I finished it in under 24 hrs! One of my new favorite love stories.

xo Kylie

Jackie {York Avenue}

I wasn't a huge fan of Lena Dunham's book either, which was very disappointing because I love her show. I'm a big fan of mysteries and have considered reading "The Cuckoo's Calling," but didn't know much about it. I'm definitely going to try it now, thanks for the rec!

skyscrapers + palm trees

Yes! Dunham's book was a bit tough to get through, I LOVED some of the parts but others, I found myself wishing that I could skip (shhh, I did anyway). Over the holidays I read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and it was such an eye opening experience in showing how being a feminist isn't this hardcore thing that media makes it out to be. Right after I read Me Before You which was this lovely light hearted book until it isn't (cue tears). Can't wait to start The Cuckoo's Calling, for some reason I keep forgetting to do so and this post was the perfect incentive! -alex

skyscrapers & palm trees

Ashley Alvarado

I had the same dilemma I bought Not that kind of girl as soon as it hit the shelves! I was so excited because I am such a fan of her show though I made myself read it hoping that it would get better. Sadly it was not my favorite but it helped me see how much her real life experiences are in the show. Though like you I am in a reading rut I hope to find something that sparks my interest so I may give one of your book choices a try!


I am very fortunate to be in a book club. Every month has a different book. Some are great that I can't put down while others I close after a few chapters. We're currently reading Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner. I wouldn't recommend it. I recently read The First Assistant: A Continuing Tale from Behind the Hollywood Curtain by Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare. It was a fun, quick read that was a mix of The Devil Meets Prada and Entourage.

Tory Banknell

Leaving Time was a huge disappointment to me. I'm a huge fan of Picoult and have read, and loved, almost all of her books but this one was a whole lot of nothing. Perhaps it's because I already read Where'd You Go Bernedette? which was almost an identical plot but executed much better, or just because I found it extremely dull, but this had to be one of my least favorites books.

Champagne Star

I haven't read a book for pleasure in years. When I was in college, I didn't have time and now I can't find any books that interest me (I usually go for fiction). I started reading The Serving Leader for work, but only got halfway through it. I've been reading The Long Shadow (about the life prospects of urban disadvantaged young adults in Baltimore) out of curiosity since I just moved to Baltimore myself, and so far I'm half way through this one also.


It's rare that I get into reading ruts! If I don't love a book, I generally put it down and move on. Goodreads has helped a TON with this! I'm reading more now than I probably ever have before and it's mainly because I have a constant source of inspiration.

My latest favorites have been Madeleine L'Engle's "The Small Rain" and "A Severed Wasp", John Piper's "Think", and Mary Higgins Clark's latest release (co-authored with Alifair Burke) "The Cinderella Murder".

Riley Fickett

For me, a reading rut can always be broken with a memoir or a biography of one of my favorite entertainers! I'm excited to read about The Cuckoo's Calling because, like you, I had no idea this was written by J.K. rowling! It has officially been added to my ever growing to-read list!

Riley |

Katerina Vasquez

I have been reading Seven by Jen Hatmaker, amazing book but kind of tedious as a constant read. My book to get me out of this rut, Grace's Guide The Art of Pretending to be a Grown up. So funny! Very real and has gotten me through my first two weeks of being back to school and in my final semester!