Friday, 26 February 2021

TALLAWAH BOOK CLUB: New and noteworthy books by Jamaican authors

>> Editor’s Pick! 
THIS FAR BY FAITH: Locals fans of spiritual-based literature were pleasantly surprised when first-time author Mary White debuted her devotional Glass Houses to a warm reception. Three years on, she’s back with a second helping, offering Glass Houses Volume II: The Proverbs Edition. It delivers more captivating and inspiring stories, golden nuggets of scripture and food for thought to lift you up in trying times. “I’ve also included a section for affirmations and more space for journaling because it’s about going on a spiritual journey being able to record your thoughts and feelings, express your gratitude, so you can go back and read it. We need to remember our blessings,” White tells Book Club. “That’s what separates Glass Houses from other devotionals.”

COLOUR MY WORLD: Visual artist, musician and provocateur Richard Nattoo has published his first children’s book, Ian Takes Flight (Bookman Express), which is about a boy who goes to spend the holidays at his godmother’s house, learns new things and how to appreciate the beauty in all he sees. “The story is expected to spark magic within the reader,” says the 27-year-old PM Youth Award recipient, who also served as illustrator for the project. “Sometimes as adults we forget our inner child, and this book is able to take you to a place of magical discovery." 

FAMILY TIES: In a Sip of Cerasee Tea: Taking the Boldest Steps (Sweet Wally Productions) by emerging author S.E. Williams, a now-teenaged daughter uncovers some surprising truths about her late father, who went missing at the height of the social upheaval that preceded Jamaica’s unforgettable 1980 General Elections. How these discoveries eventually alter and shape Sanaa’s future gives Cerasee Tea its juice, amidst an exploration of family, Jamaica’s evolving political culture and the resilience of human spirit. 

OLD STORY TIME: “As deep and thought-provoking as it is humorous.” That’s what critics are saying about Pastor Mann/Sister Precious in the Valley of Despair (LMH Publishing), a two-part novella by Deroll Barrett. Set in the 60s in rural Jamaica, it’s about Ezekiel Mann and the hardships he endures with the support of family and friends – and Sister Precious, a meddlesome woman who folks try to avoid. In other words, a pair of colourful Jamaican characters with challenging circumstances you’ll recognize immediately. 

LEARNING CURVE: Dr. Pauline Watson has done teachers a major solid with the publication of Sealing the Cracks: Managing Behavioural Problems in The Classroom (Urban Books & Publishers), a guide for educators on how to effectively respond to students’ behavior. But at its core the book also tackles such weighty issues as building children’s self-esteem, treating them with respect and teaching them appropriate skills for living.

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