The author of such well-received releases as Joseph: A Rasta Reggae Fable and Growing Out, Barbara Blake-Hannah has put out the 7th Gold Medal edition of her eye-opening 1980 effort Rastafari: The New Creation. With a new cover and revised text, it’s reportedly the first to contain several pages of colour photos, including full-page icons of the Ethiopian Kwerata Re'esu (Christ with the Crown of Thorns), Emperor Haile Selassie, the Black Madonna and Bob Marley. The book is available exclusively on order from Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions and the author has announced that 10% of royalties will go to the establishment of a Rastafari Elders Medical Fund.
In Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me (SmileyBooks), Reggae Sumfest headliner R. Kelly shares his life story through episodic tales and exclusive colour photographs, vividly capturing moments in his eventful career. From the crippling learning disorder that rendered him unable to read or write, to the teacher/mentor who prophesized that his destiny was in music, not basketball, we follow his evolution from Chicago street performer to struggling L.A. musician and beyond. Kelly reveals his hard-won ascent to superstardom and his battle to move forward after legal and personal ordeals that threatened to destroy his life. Written in collaboration with noted biographer David Ritz, Soulacoaster packs a decent 392 pages.