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.

Dead Room Farce

Brett, Simon. Dead Room Farce.New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997.

Reason read: February is Theater Month.

Charles Paris is at it again. This time he is starring in the satire theater production, Not On Your Wife! and on the side he is recording books with old friend and former BBS producer, Mark Lear. Things get a little hairy when Charles’s drinking spins out of control and he finds himself “pants-down” with two different women. To make matters worse, old pal Mark is discovered apparently murdered and Charles really can’t remember who said what the last time they were together. Did Charles do something in a drunken stupor? Everyone seems to think so. Charles needs to clear his name before the police think of him as a viable suspect, too.

Author fact: I have read two other Brett mysteries for the Challenge (Star Trap and A Reconstructed Corpse. This is my last Brett book.

Book trivia:  This is the seventeenth Charles Paris mystery.

Nancy said: Nancy said Dead Room Farce is one of Simon Brett’s best theater mysteries.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “All The World’s a Stage” (p 8).

 


February Progress

I have been seeing a chiropractor for over a month and have all but stopped running. At first, I admit, this bothered me to no end. Now, I’m okay with it for all the books I have been reading. And speaking of books, here is February’s plan for The Books:

Fiction:

  • The Almond Picker by Simonetta Agnello ~ in honor of Almond Blossom festival in Sicily.
  • The Color of Money by Walter Tevis ~ in honor of Tevis’s birth month.
  • Dead Room Farce by Simon Brett ~ in honor of February being Theater month.

Nonfiction:

  • City of Falling Angels by John Berendt~ in honor of February being the month of the Venice Carnival (AB/print).
  • Full Steam Ahead: the Race to Build a Transcontinental Railroad by Rhoda Blumberg~ in honor of February being Train Month.

Series continuations:

  • Beyond Euphrates by Freya Stark ~ in honor of Freya’s birthday in January.

For fun:

  • Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline ~ because a friend recommended it (E-book).

There might be room for more titles, considering Dead Room Farce and Full Steam Ahead are barely 200 pages apiece. We’ll see…


Star Trap

Brett, Simon. Star Trap. Boston: G.K Hall & Co., 1999.

Something is going on with the musical production of Lumpkin! They have barely started rehearsals when things start to go wrong. The rehearsal pianist has a shooting accident and can’t play the piano. Then a main actor literally breaks a leg. Both of these incidents happen within the same week. Is it a coincidence? Actor/amateur detective Charles Paris is hired to find out. He conveniently takes the part left vacant by the actor with the broken leg so that he is able to get up close and personal to the drama (pun totally intended). Only, Charles shrugs off the rumors of sabotage as mere coincidences until he is directly affected. As soon as he opens his eyes to the possibility of sabatoge he starts noticing strange things really are happening – deliberately. Will he find out before opening night or will he be cut out of the script before the mystery is solved?

Be forewarned: Brett introduces a lot of names in the first few chapters (21 people and 14 places and 6 plays, television shows and/or songs). There’s a lot to take in and at first it is hard to decide which names, places and productions are really important.

Post script: somehow I ordered the large print version. This is funny because I was just told last month I should purchase “readers” (although my husband calls them “cheaters”). My optometrist assures me I don’t really need them yet. Riiight.

Quotes I like, “…he felt in need of a red-hot poker to burn out the rotten bits of his brain” (p 74) and “Charles felt a great swoop of despair, as if all of his worst opinions of himself were suddenly ratified, as if his thoughts that infected him at his lowest moods had suddenly been classified as gospel” (p 96).

Reason read: Brett’s birthday is in October

Author fact: Simon Brett has his own website. His biography page is really fun.

Book trivia: Charles Paris is a reoccurring character in Brett’s books. As far as I can tell you don’t need to read them in order of publication.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “I Love A Mystery” (p 118).