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 death 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.
- Non-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.