Book Review : Don Drummond, The Genius and Tragedy of The World’s Greatest Trombonist.
As a writer, it is not often that I get to do a book review with which I have a personal and intimate connection. American journalist/Professor Heather Augustyn has written extensively on Ska music's roots and her biography, “Don Drummond the Genius and Tragedy of The World’s Greatest Trombonist” affords me the opportunity to relive my post-colonial musical growth in Jamaica. Some of the stories in Augustyn’s thoroughly researched to me on Don Drummond are stories my dad, Winston Smith, lived through and told me when I migrated to live with him in the United States in 1974. Don Drummond and my father were good friends. Imagine my delight when Augustyn contacted me, after she read on Jamaicans.com my dad ’personal account of the night Drummond, in an insane schizophrenia-induced rage, murdered his other true love, talented dancer, Anita “Margarita” Mahfood, who seems to provide the support and love missing from Drummond’s life.
Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun - Book Review
Many Jamaicans who grew up ‘poor’ did not realize that they were supposed to have been poor, until later in life they realized what they did not have. The experience of growing up with people who knew how to ‘tun yuh han meck fashion’ and ‘tan pon crooked cut straight’, taught us all how to survive hard times, skills which are proving very useful at this time.
Book Review: Keep On Pushing: Hot Lessons From Cool Runnings
Keep On Pushing: Hot Lessons From Cool Runnings is a semi-autobiographical motivational book by original Jamaica bobsled team member Devon Harris. In this book Devon has brought together all that he has learned along the way, from his days as a student in Kingston, to his education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, his life as a Jamaica Army officer, and of course to his experiences at three Olympics which changed his life forever.
Book Review: Reggae Reggae Cookbook TV's dragon slayer Levi Roots brings carnival to the kitchen with his hot'n'spicy debut cookbook. After winning over the business minds of The Dragon's Den with little more than a song and a smile, entrepreneur Levi Roots has since sold more than one million bottles of his delicious Reggae Reggae Sauce.
Jamaican Entrepreneurship: A review of the characteristics, traits and ideas underlying the success of some of the island’s most successful entrepreneurs. - Book Review
What makes an entrepreneur? Who are some of Jamaica’s most successful entrepreneurs? What did they accomplish and how did they do it? What traits did they have in common? What obstacles did they overcome? What can we learn from these entrepreneurs?
Rude Boy: Once Upon a Time in Jamaica - Book Review
Chris Salewicz first visited Jamaica in 1978. It was a life-changing experience, and over the next twenty years he was to return many times. The Island of Springs' has a population of only 3 million but an impact on the world that far outweighs its size: from Bob Marley and reggae; through Obeah, voodoo and Rastafarianism; to, of course, ganja. Then there is piracy and slavery; political civil war; death squads or badmen', and Yardie' organised crime. In 1995 the house Chris was staying in was attacked by machete-wielding badmen', a terrifying sequence of events that gives the book its structure. Part travelogue, part history, part memoir, Rude Boy gives us the complete Jamaican experience: the fear, the violence, the drugs, but also the beauty.
Reggae Explosion: The Story of Jamaican Music - Book Review
Reggae—a potent blend of Caribbean folk, American rock ‘n’ soul, Rastafarianism, and politics—is more than just a style of music: it’s a cultural movement. With more than 400 illustrations, many from the world’s most comprehensive reggae archive (based on Chris Blackwell’s Islandlife collection), Reggae Explosion charts the course of the rhythmic revolution that began on the tiny island of Jamaica and took over the world.
The Book of Exodus: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century - Book Review
Follow the Sacred Journey to Create One of the Lasting Musical Masterpieces of Our Time. Bob Marley is one of our most important and influential artists. Recorded in London after an assassination attempt on his life sent Marley into exile from Jamaica, Exodus
is the most lasting testament to his social conscience. Named by Time
magazine as “Album of the Century,” Exodus is reggae superstar Bob Marley’s masterpiece of spiritual exploration.
Bob Marley: The Untold Story - Book Review
What was it about Bob Marley that made him so popular in a world dominated by rock ’n’ roll? How is it that he not only has remained the single most successful reggae artist ever, but also has become a shining beacon of radicalism and peace to generation after generation of fans?
Book Review: Pleasure Under the Sun
Passion is the ultimate seducer…They meet at an invitation-only party in Miami. Desire instantly ignites. Financial advisor Bailey Hughes knows better than to get involved with Jamaican playboy, Seven Carmichael. But the gorgeous, world-renowned sculptor refuses to take no for an answer. And soon Bailey finds herself aboard a private yacht enjoying days and nights of pleasure beyond her hottest fantasies.
Book Review: Delbert And The Ginnal Woman
A story of an illiterate young man who lived in abject poverty until he befriends a German tourist in Jamaica. Together they accidentally discover a large fortune. The book tells how Delbert and his friend use their new wealth to help many Rastafarians who become their friends, and how Delbert gets his unique revenge for an injustice by a wealthy woman who tried to destroy him and his relationship with the young woman he loves.
Book Review: For Better Or Curse
This book asks the question: Do curses have power outside of us, or do they only have the power we give them? When her fiancé mysteriously abandons her the night before their wedding, Manda Love learns it may be the result of a curse that came about before she was even born. It all began when Manda’s mother was a young woman living in the West Indies, and she came under the wrath of a powerful Obeah woman.
Book Review: Justice pon di Road
Justice pon di Road is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary island. It’s a new children’s picture book about the sights, sounds and tastes of Jamaican culture as experienced by a toddler and his Momma on a morning walk.
Book Review: Barrel Child
The term 'Barrel Child' refers to parents who leave their child/ren in their homeland with family and venture out to the more developed countries to seek a better life and in return send barrels of food and clothing, and remittances back to their homeland to support their children. The story is about a young girl Sara coming to Brooklyn from Jamaica to meet her mother for the first time in 13 years. The book delves into the feelings of abandonment and mistrust that barrel children often harbor and the difficult family dynamics that come into play - immigration, cultural clash, and generational behaviors.
Book Review: "HEY JOE" (Jamaica Series)
HEY JOE is the first book in the Jamaica Series by Jerry Beller. It is an adventure story about an American named River Adams who moves to Jamaica, totally absorbing himself into the local culture. Most the young Jamaican males, and some not so young, refer to him as Joe, often starting the conversation with “Hey Joe”. River does not like being called Joe. He is living here and is not a tourist passing through for a couple of days and then gone. He moved here to write a book.
Book Review: Bageye at the Wheel
A brilliant memoir about growing up in one of the very few black families in Luton in the 1970s and a superb portrait of the author's father: the feckless, tyrannical Bageye. To his fellow West Indians who assemble every weekend for the all-night poker game at Mrs Knight's, he is always known as Bageye. There aren't very many black men in Luton in 1972 and most of them gather at Mrs Knight's -- Summer Wear, Pioneer, Anxious, Tidy Boots -- each has his nickname. Bageye already finds it a struggle to feed his family on his wage from Vauxhall Motors, but now his wife Blossom has set her heart on her sons going to private school.
Book Review: The Mother of Us All: A History of Queen Nanny
Queen Nanny was the leader of the Eastern or Windward Maroons of Jamaica, escaped slaves who established towns in remote parts of the island and defeated attacking armies from the British Empire from 1655 to 1739. In this exciting book, Karla Gottlieb analyzes the importance of Queen Nanny from cultural, military, historical and religious perspectives.
Book Review: The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks
Jamaica is the picturesque background for this explosive novel about love, fear, and intolerance, the second in Gillian Royes’s mystery series featuring charming and charismatic bartender-turned-detective Shad.
Book Review: Core Values
The home my family occupied after we moved to Kingston was situated along the route taken by dignitaries on their way to Jamaica House, the Prime Minister’s official residence. As a result of this fortuitous bit of luck, we never had to join the throng at the airport eagerly awaiting Queen Elizabeth, Emperor Haile Selassie or other important visitors to our island; we merely had to wait by our gate for the motorcade and wave furiously as they drove by, escorted by the police and a line of other official cars.
Book Review: Runaway Comeback
Runaway Comeback’s heroine is Rose Thorn, a high school dropout who flees her native Jamaica after years of physical and mental exploitation and voyaging over intercontinental waters way too many times. She hides out in Brooklyn with her young daughter.
Book Review: Black Inventors
This book documents a number of inventions, patents and labor saving devices conceived by Black inventors. Among many other inventions, pre-enslaved Africans, developed agricultural tools, building materials, medicinal herbs, cloth and weapons. Although historical documents emphasize that millions of Black people arrived in Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the United States under slavery's yoke, it is relatively unknown that thousands of Africans and their descendants developed numerous labor-saving devices and inventions that spawned companies which generated money and jobs, worldwide.
Book Review: You Did It Unto Me: The Story of Alpha and the Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica
How could the four little girls who enrolled as the first students of Alpha Academy in 1894 have imagined that, a century later, fourteen hundred girls would be retracing their footsteps through the gates of Alpha?
Book Review: Missing Joe
Joe, Dilys and their son Sean are all outsiders in the small English town where they live. Joe because of insidious racism, Dilys because she suffers the remaining stigma of her alcoholic mother and mentally ill father, and Sean because he seems slow. As Dilys and Sean become increasingly and unhealthily co-dependent, Joe is pushed to periphery of their lives. So much so that when he vanishes, Dilys is neither surprised nor concerned.
Book Review: The Girl From The Lane
The Girl from the Lane is a fictional a love story that is set in the Caribbean island of Jamaica during a time that regional historians recorded as marking a period of pivotal social, economic and political change in the island. The story is set in the transient socio-political period of the late 1970’s to late 1980’s, and explores issues of honesty, integrity, spiraling criminality and the influence of drugs, money, and power.
Book Review: Jubilation!: Poems Celebrating 50 Years of Jamaican Independence
In this compilation, more than 50 contemporary Jamaican poets reflect in outspoken, meditative, humorous, and outrageous ways upon the historical and existential moment of Jamaican independence. Ranging from the lyric and the pastoral to the declarative and the celebratory, these poems employ language registers across the full spectrum of Jamaican English and patois. Often surprising and sometimes alarming, this book affirms the contributors’ recognition of what it means to be Jamaican.
Book Review: Huracan
Loosely based on the author’s own family history, 'Huracan' tells the story of Leigh McCaulay, who after unhappily leaving Jamaica at FIFTEEN, now in her thirties, returns home in the wake of her mother’s death, to reconnect with her birthplace, her estranged father and the family secrets that he holds. As she builds an adult life, she discovers the stories of her abolitionist and missionary ancestors who came to Jamaica in the 1780s and 1880s, and she grapples with the burdens of this historical legacy.
Book Review: Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories confronts the subject of bullying by using a well-known Caribbean folk tale, "Anancy, Snake, and Tiger," in the multicultural setting of Miami, Florida.
Book Review: A Jamaincan’s Journey to Time and Patience: Broken Vows, Shattered Dreams, Redeeming Grace
A Jamaican’s Journey to Time and Patience is Derrick Garland Coy’s portrait of his multi-ethnic family whose African, Chinese, and European roots merge in Jamaica during the 1800s, then scatter across the globe in the mid 1900s, sending him on an odyssey to discover and fulfill God’s call in his life, heal family wounds, and share Christ’s message of redeeming grace and love.
Book Review: My Darling You
A collection of six short stories set in Jamaica. They all deal with a love theme. From first love between teenagers to the aftermath of lost love for the more mature, love doesn't always end in 'happily ever after' even when there's a bit of fantasy thrown in. Each story provides food for thought about romantic love and relationships.
Book Review: New Beginnings
New Beginnings is a contemporary rags to riches tale set in the island of Jamaica. It gives us tantalizing glimpses of the Jamaican inner-city life along with the completely opposite lifestyle of the rich and famous. It also touches on the decisions that one girl has to make between two completely different lifestyles and two completely different men, one an inner city don and the other an uptown Casanova.
Book Review: The Unrepentant Mother
This is the story of a little boy, who was left in Jamaica by his mother when he was 6 months old. He was living with his maternal grandmother. He was then given the chance to go live with his mother in Canada. But when he went there, he met a mother he had never met before. He came to learn something about her that he wished he had never known.
Book Review: The Preacher and The Prostitute
Maribel struggled to forget her past, when she dabbled in prostitution, made porn videos and was a nude poster girl. She became a Christian and made a decision to use her singing talent to glorify God. However, she quickly realized that a young, single, attractive, talented girl was never going to remain unnoticed at church.
Book Review: Toy Soldiers
Stephen Thompson's brave story centres on the plight of Gabriel Powers, a man who finds himself in a hostel for addicts after the most frightening flight from Hackney and the world of crime he grew up in. For Gabriel to come to terms with his addiction, he must first confront his demons, and although his hostel worker and lover Marcia is there to help him, the journey to back to the wastelands of West London is harrowingly and brilliantly recreated.
Book Review: JAMAICA WRITES 50 - Great Reads for Jamaica's 50th
This is a book of fifty reviews of Jamaican texts from the past seven years, It covers poetry and fiction as well as non-fiction and the reviews appeared in the local news-papers, The Sunday Gleaner and The Sunday Observer. The reviews are succinct and informative: they serve well as pieces of literary criticism with a view to establishing a literature that is Jamaican.
Book Review: Disposable People
Ten year old Kenneth Lovelace often went to bed without dinner. Instead of feeling hunger, however, what he mostly felt was fear and shame, knowing that his family’s poverty was the reason he had no food. Kenneth also recalls his bitterness whenever his parents locked him out of their tiny, one-room house to act on their 'urge'.
Book Review: The Tender Side of Me
This is a personal memoir that gives authenticity to social issues of love and relationships, single life, single parenting, jealousy, courage, envy, independence, coping skills, retirement and money. The Tender Side of Me chronicles Simpson’s fast paced roller coaster life to one that has finally found balance. Many will be inspired by her achievements, her boldness and her penchant for excellence and might be equally moved by her challenges and her ability to land on her feet.
Book Review: The Longer Run: A Daughter's Story of Arthur Wint
A star was born on March 25, 1920 in the quiet rural community of Plowden in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica. Arthur Stanley Wint is perhaps best known as Jamaica’s first Olympic Gold Medallist and has been profiles as such in his native island’s rich athletic history. However, little is known of the man who trained to become a Royal Air Force pilot and broke the Canadian 400m record while doing so; or the British trained surgeon who returned to Jamaica in 1963, eventually settling in Hanover as the only resident doctor and treating the poor for free; or the diplomat who was awarded the Order of Distinction, in 1973 and served as Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK.
Book Review: No Pit Too Deep
This novel, though not based on actual events, depicts real life experiences. It is the hard-hitting, graphic story of Julienne, a young girl who experiences rejection, sexual abuse and the consequences of her choices. Her journey takes her on a downward spiral, deep into a pit of pain, hatred, and bitterness. Through all of this, God’s hand is evident in her life, though at first she does not recognize this. She eventually cries out to Him in desperation and reaches for His hand to help pull her out of the pit
Book Review: The Misadventures of Saucy and Her Mama
Saucy’s Journey begins in Kingston, Jamaica and takes her to hustling, bustling Brooklyn, New York in the 1970’s. Share her experiences with her promiscuous, overbearing, distasteful mother, and her tentative, beautiful venture into a teenage love affair.
Book Review: The Dark Side of Darkness - Some family secrets must remain that way.
The Dark Side of Darkness is a story woven around time as it takes the reader on a journey through and into the dark side of the human psyche. It explores hidden passions and secret places that perhaps should be left alone. Written as a series of flashbacks, the book embraces issues that transcend culture, gender, and race, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit.