The Blue Bell Book Review (BBBR)


The Blue Bell Book Review (BBBR) is a slightly less well-known and respected literary column than The New York Times Book Review (NYTBR). Also, it is less expensive. This book review is free and worth every cent. The BBBR is published in lovely Blue Bell, Pennsylvania –a small suburb of Philadelphia. It is just far enough away to avoid Philly’s big city politics while not being so distant to be considered too rural for a public transportation system. Everyone residing in the tiny hamlet can read, write, and is computer literate. Many of them are employed by the BBBR. Editor Geoffrey Blink will provide this month’s book reviews.

  • Fiction = “Rich and Guilty, Poor and Innocent,” by Leona Hawkins. Randolph and George met in their Freshman dorm room. They had English 101 and a Phys Ed class in common. That was 36 years ago. Since then, Randy inherited his Father’s publishing company and George worked in Philadelphia’s inner city. Tonight, separately, they would be arrested for murder and share a room once again. One of them was innocent; one was rich.


  • Fiction = “Bleeding at 11 PM,” by Samantha “Sam” Simpson. A news anchor notices his Program Director has an endless supply of ghastly crimes to lead off the station’s nightly newscast. How is she so well-informed –or does her talent have a more sinister explanation? Perhaps she is doing more than finding the news. Brilliant first novel.
  • Fiction = “Where’s My Body? A Coroner’s Quest,” by Dr. Reginald Quincy. Two doctors misplace 4 corpses, but with patience, grit, and questionable smarts find their forgotten friends by coming to a raucous conclusion. Soon to be a musical starring Christopher Walken and Cyndi Lauper.
  • Fiction = “Singing For My Supper,” by Florissa Caldwell. In her first two novels, Ms. Caldwell’s heroine, Pamela Best, made her way from East Texas to NYC and kept her head above water financially by waitressing. She sang where and when she stumbled upon an opportunity. She needed a break. But now, she has an agent: Billy Spangler. He’s smart AND cute. But are there strings attached to her first “deal?” Is it too good to be true? He’s been texting her frequently. And, now, he’s providing revealing photographs, as well. Why?


  • Fiction = “Seven Generations of Roses,” by Mary Smyth (a pseudonym). Following the Revolutionary war, the Rose family’s stories intertwine for seven generations alternating Love and Hate, Trust and Betrayal, Success and Failure, Wealth and Poverty, leading to a stunning climax you will remember no matter how hard you try to do otherwise.
  • Non-Fiction = “Beyond Our Universe and Theirs,” by Dr. Elizabeth Kubicek. Finally, her long awaited true story has arrived. After her severe Depression following the catreaddeath of her four cats from an unknown virus, Dr. Kubicek was transported to       another planet in a different dimension where mysterious, but friendly, “beings” furnished her with the cure for the illness that took her pets’ lives. Will the government permit the untried treatment of her new cats now that the malady has struck again? Her book makes her case convincing.
  • Non-Fiction = “Prale: Tuesday’s New Super Food,” by Jackie Shepard. With Superfoods seeming to pop from the soil daily, it’s comforting to have something come from a more artificial source: a professional lab. Ms. Shepard, an employee of Johnson and Johnson, has combined a vegetable and a fruit to reach new tastebudic heights. Combining the regularity of prunes with the nutrition of kale, she has given the world: Prale! She got the idea while serving Belgium chocolates and Brie to friends (so she says). Was she also experimenting with a combination of asparagus and mango earlier? Did it lead to Asparango? I hope she, and we, have gone in the correct direction.
  • Non-Fiction = “Main Street and Wall Street Run Parallel,” by Dr. Hilliard Trout and Dr. Carolyn Goodman. These two college professors explain in detail what we already know first hand: the early 21st century is not the first time these two roads failed to intersect. Economists Trout and Goodman describe 5 previous occasions when society’s top some-percent luxuriated and small town America collapsed. Most important, they point to a road not taken which can lead to a finer economic destination for everyone.
  • readlistNon-Fiction = “Can’t Be Broke, Still Got Bills,” by T. Jefferson Trent. In the follow-up book to his best seller, “Can’t Stop Dribbling,” Mr. Trent describes the plight of young professional athletes today. They need a suit for the college draft, a ring for   their significant other, a car for themselves, as well as at least one for childhood friends left behind but not forgotten, and, of course, a new home for their Mother. T. J. provides the outline for every baller’s first budget. It is the key to their financial future. Common sense for dollars and cents.
  • Non-Fiction = “The Eat A Little, Worry A Lot Diet,” by Dr. Y. Sow Hungree. This is the most recent 4-step guide to attempting to lose weight. The principles are: a) Stay hydrated; b) Get your protein; c) Don’t forget veggies; d) and Stoke some carbs. Remember: calories in, calories out could be a myth. Anxiety is your diet’s best friend. Use it or lose it.

Return next month when The BBBR examines highly anticipated works by archeologist White Wolf Jurgenson, as well as the hottest release regarding Party Balloons from Billy “The Kid’s Clown” Wilson.



About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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