Yes, Book Beat has brought benefits to yours truly after writing just one article and three book reviews, in the form of comedy, criticism and commitment to read more!
Choosing a book to review can be very scientific. However, I was never much good in science so many times it is a wonder I ever select a good book. Since most of the time I don’t read the inside flap, I have thrown the saying: “You can’t judge a book by its cover” to the wind and the cover may be my determining factor. I also may read a brief paragraph about newly published books. This could prove to be disastrous. Recently Parade Magazine listed the top books downloaded as E-books by state. The article just showed the information for five states and encouraged the reader to check the rest of the states on their Website. I had what I thought was a great idea. I would look up the book for Pennsylvania and report on it. The book had a weird title: Stuck in Downward Dog. When I searched to find more about the book, I found out more than I wanted. The book deals with a young lady who hates her life and decides to give herself an identity makeover. Some of the topics include enhancement of certain body parts, cooking with garlic, liposuction and eyebrow transplants. I think I will skip that book.
I do not report on all the books I read. Recently I read two books that did not make the cut. The first one, which dealt with the super natural, was just not my taste. I did give it a chance for redemption by reading the entire book but was thoroughly unimpressed. The second book I thought was a fine one which discussed forgiveness and compassion. I was going to write about it but someone whom I respect very much told me it would be best not to because of the emotion in the book, particularly in this area of the country.
I was surprised when I saw the reaction from Reid Warren, of Elverson, in the March 18th Tri County Record taking me to task for including some of my beliefs in my review of The Hiding Place. I do respect Reid’s comments and I don’t have to exaggerate in the slightest to say that he knows tremendously more about the Holocaust than I. In the attachment to the letter to the editor that he sent (which was not published), he refers to the number of books he personally owns as well as many more that he has read about the Holocaust. He and others in his family have toured parts of Germany as well as some of the concentration camps. However, when I read a book, I try to take it personally. What does the story tell me? Do I agree with the author or not? How may I apply it in my life? Is there something in the story that rubs me the wrong way? So I guess you could say you get a freebie since the column is not 100% about the book. The Tri County Record as well as I encourages your comments.
Finally, there is Charlie, a senior citizen (I’m allowed to call him that because I’m one too). Occasionally, I visit Charlie, a guy with a huge sense of humor and an even bigger heart. I delivered to him on the day the last Tri County Record was delivered. After reading the book review, he told me that the Tri County Record couldn’t even give the paper away that day! He was kidding once again……I hope.
Book Beat book review is contributed by Jeff Hall, Honey Brook.