February Falling Up

I can only describe February as falling up because health-wise I am up on upswing. I’m still not really running yet (I’ve gone for four under-three-mile runs, but who’s counting?). I’m not really running but I haven’t fallen down either. Hence, falling up.

We had a snow day from work, I took a few days off for my birthday and we took a trip to New Jersey so I was able to get in a fair amount of reading. I spent President’s Day reading, too. Oh, and I almost forgot. I’m barely running so there’s that, too. Needless to say, I’ve been reading a lot. Weirdly enough, for all the reading I’ve done you would think there would be more books. Oh well. Speaking of the books, here they are:

Fiction:

  • Dead Room Farce by Simon Brett. Read in three days.
  • Captivated by Nora Roberts. Read on my iPad in four days.
  • Backup Men by Ross Thomas. Read in five days.
  • The Almond Picker by Simonetta Hornby.
  • Color of Money by Walter Tevis. Read in five days.

Nonfiction:

  • City of Falling Angels by John Berendt.
  • Full Steam Ahead by Rhoda Blumberg.

Series Continuation:

  • Beyond Euphrates by Freya Stark.

For Fun:

  • Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline.

Backup Men

Thomas, Ross. The Backup Men.New York: William Morrow & Company, 1971.

Reason read: Thomas was born in the month of February. Read in his honor.

Mac McCorkle and Mike Padillo are “saloon” keepers in Washington D.C. They came to Washington after their place of the same name in Bonn on the banks of the Rein had been blown up. Oddly enough, despite their reputations, their Washington D.C. establishment has yet to be assaulted. Despite the fact they are trying to put their pasts behind them and keep their noses clean, through various mishaps they find themselves with a new job, to protect a young man from assassination. Peter Paul Kassim is on the brink of becoming King of Llaquah, a country that has recently discovered it sits on nearly 100 billion barrels of oil reserves. Kassim stands in the way of political enemies who are extremely interested in getting Kassim out of the way.
The Backup Men is a fast paced suspense novel, but what really hold the story together is McCorkle and Padillo’s relationship. Their characters and conversations are witty, humorous and at times, utterly astonishing.

As an aside: From everything I have read, The Backup Men is not a continuation of a series, but rather has some of the same characters from previous novels. From what I could tell, it was not necessary to read the previous stories in order to understand The Backup Men.

Edited to add the only quote that I liked, “That type of revenge was based on rage which, if heated to the right temperature, can make any action, no matter how foolish, seem coldly logical and completely justified… (p 154). I won’t quote the whole sentence because it involves the word “baby” and the verb “slam.”

Author fact: Thomas wrote a ton of books. I have 24 of them on my list.

Book trivia: Many of Thomas’s books have reoccurring characters. The Backup Men is the third book to include Mac and Mike (Mac McCorkle and Mike Padillo). Both characters were first introduced in The Cold War Swap (also on my list).

Nancy said: Absolutely nothing.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Ross Thomas: Too Good To Miss” (p 234).