Caribbean Books Foundation Reviews

More coming soon…

March 2020 Review

 

Motilal Boodoosingh – Kal Kahanis Stories of Yesteryear

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

I normally write next to a window and of late the sky has been a perfect March blue. It’s a shame that there aren’t any kites in it so I’ll have to go back to the old-time days. Since the savannahs are more or less off-limits to the public due to the pandemic, I’ll have to fly kites the way I used to when I was little. In the backyard.

In those days I would trade flying kites with ‘playing pitch’ or many times crouched in a corner reading a book. If the sun was out, so was I. Heck, if it was raining I was outside too!

While visiting a Writer’s Union meeting last year I heard an excerpt from a book that, like the ones I used to read as a child, was based during the virgin years of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence. I liked the reading so much I bought it on the spot and stored it away for an idle reading day. So this month I’ll be reviewing that book called Kal Kahanis Stories Of Yesteryear

motilal

… by Motilal Boodoosingh.

The book is made up of several short stories. More than 20 with some of them having mini sections within it.

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/motilal-boodoosingh-kal-kahanis-stories-of-yesteryear/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

February 2020 Review

 

Catherine Dorsette – Aunty Kate’s Short Stories

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

It’s a leap year, baby! Honestly, this post has been ready for a while. I just waited to post it today because I have to wait four years to do anything on this day again! Happy Leap Day all! Health and prosperity to you always!

leap day 29 Feb 2020

And now to the book review! This month I thought I might read something different. As a matter of fact, I think I might return to a few classics this year and review how relevant they still are to society.

But looking at the titles available this time around, I realised that I haven’t explored any books for children, specifically in the under 10 age bracket. So this month I will be reviewing…

akate sstories

… Aunty Kate’s Short Stories by Catherine Dorsette.

And let me just put a disclaimer now. Yes, I am an adult reading literature not intended for me so take all my criticisms with a pinch of salt. I’m sure an actual under 10 reader would love this book and not particularly care about any of my little nitpicks! That being said, let’s begin

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2020/02/29/catherine-dorsette-aunty-kates-short-stories/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

January 2020 Review

 

Elizabeth J. Jones – A Dark Iris

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

First post for the year, and it’s a review! If you noticed, there was no December Caribbean Books review. Apologies, but December of 2019 was seriously hectic and needed to chill.

But we are here once again reading Caribbean books and letting the world know what’s what about them. This month I’ll be reviewing A Dark Iris by Elizabeth J. Jones.

dark iris e-j-j

We’re visiting the isle of Bermuda this session, but not in recent times. Well, it kinda is recent. The story is based in 1972, it’s not like we’re talking 1872 here. That’s still pretty recent, right? Although when you consider that 1972 is just two years shy of fifty years ago… geez, it does kinda make me feel old.

Anyway. The story follows our young girl Rebekah, living on the island of Bermuda. Like any girl child of that age and time with parents who are high achievers themselves, she’s worried about getting into the prestigious Meridian Institute that her parents also attended.

She’s stressed out further by the fact that her home life has turned upside down. Her parents have very different ideas as to what constitutes success.

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/elizabeth-j-jones-a-dark-iris/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

November 2019 Review

 

Various Authors – Sweet TNT Short Stories

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

Longevity is a good thing. It’s something every relationship, business, and organization strives towards. To be enshrined in society and successful for a long time. And not just for the sake of saying ‘we’re here’, but to create a real presence that can be remembered with good stories of your journey to tell.

After ten years of publishing monthly issues of Sweet TNT magazine, the Culturama Publishing Company has reached a milestone that many businesses only dream to get to. They are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year!

snoppy squad dance

To commemorate this event, they’ve released two books packed with the type of content that Sweet TNT magazine has become known for. One book was featured in our October Caribbean book review and this month we’ll review the other.

Sweet TNT Short Stories…

sweet tnt short stories

I love the cover. Although I’ve never been to a river lime it is quintessential of Trinbagonian living. Several of the stories were only one page long, and they were grouped together into three sections, Lifestyle, Superstition, and Fauna. I thought it was nice to have similarly themed stories put together as it made it easier to go back and find my favourites.

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2019/11/25/various-authors-sweet-tnt-short-stories/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

October 2019 Review

Joyanne James and Jevan Soyer – Sweet TNT 100 West Indian Recipes

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

Let me just say in advance, Happy Divali!! Every blessing to you and yours during this wonderful time of year!

fsufds

Now I had planned to do another review today but due to the relevance of this one to the upcoming holiday, I’ll save the other book for November’s review.

This month I will be reviewing the new Sweet TNT cookbook ‘100 West Indian Recipes’ put together by Joyanne James and Jevan Soyer.

51mqerGmFcL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

First, let me just say how quaint the introduction was. Reliving the childhood memories Caribbean cooking can bring. Food is like that, it engages memory and all the senses. Of course, the setting is much different now for today’s children, but I’m sure ten years from now the smell and taste of certain foods will take them down memory lane as well.

There are eleven sections in this book; Breads, Breakfast, Fillings, Chutney and Sauces, Soups, Main Dishes, Salads, Drinks, Desserts, Sweet Snacks, and Savoury Snacks. The recipes, which were mainly Creole and Indian influenced, were not native to any one Caribbean island.

There are exceptions, like Doubles, which is clearly Trinbagonian, but most of these are general Caribbean recipes that several islands use in their daily cooking or during festivals and holidays. So, if you expected to see something like joumou, which is native to Haiti or jerk chicken which is native to Jamaica, there was none of that.

I tried three of the recipes myself and as the non-foodie expert that I am, will give my best novice opinion. I also tried my best to follow the recipes to the letter, but where I couldn’t I explained why. Things didn’t go as planned at times, but let’s get into it.

Corn Fritters

This recipe was in the Breakfast Section.

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2019/10/26/joyanne-james-and-jevan-soyer-sweet-tnt-100-west-indian-recipes/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

September 2019 Review

 

J.L. Campbell – Don’t Get Mad… Get Even

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

The sun is out today again, after a series of heavy rainy days. Yes, the Caribbean is currently being pummelled by one tropical storm after another. Nothing new during this time of the year. Storms, rain, and floods for the Caribbean are like earthquakes are for Asia. It will happen. We will be hopelessly unprepared, but we will band together and get through it anyway.

That being said, hope things are sunny and well on your side of the world, and if not I hope you are cuddling up somewhere dry and warm looking for a book to read! And do I have one for you! This time from a Jamaican author (Jamaica! Wah gwaan?) J.L. Campbell’s book…

don't get mad get even

… Don’t Get Mad… Get Even Vol 1

If some of you took the opportunity to read the Caribbean Romance Teaser Book 1 from Caribbean Books Foundation a few years back you would have gotten a taste of her book ‘Grudge’, as she was one of the two authors featured in it.

Don’t Get Mad… Get Even, which also has a Vol. 2 by the way, is a collection of her short stories that all stay true to the book’s name, some of them terrifyingly so. I was seriously reading them and thinking, ‘what the hell?‘ most of the time.

But let’s begin the analysis. There were just five stories so I’ll review each one in turn.

A Push In The Right Direction

This story surprised me simply because, as the first one I knew it would set the stage for the rest and I just didn’t expect it to go there.

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/j-l-campbell-dont-get-mad-get-even/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

August 2019 Review

 

Kimolisa Mings – Woman Defined

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

Hello loves.

After being sick for a week and very ambitiously starting back my exercise routine afterward anyway I’ve been feeling a bit low. Maybe it’s the rain, but I love the rain so maybe I just need to put the dumbbells down and chill.

Still, I felt I could handle something short and sweet. So this month I’ll be reviewing a book of poetry by Kimolisa Mings called Woman Defined.

k mings w defined

I’ve had this book in my Amazon reader for a long while. More than two years now!! I just never found the time to get to it, until now. So let’s start the review!

I don’t know much about the author’s background, other than that she is from Antigua. So I can’t say if any of these poems are about her personally. The collection of 11 poems follow an initial melancholy tone that starts to get more hopeful as the pages turn.

They speak a lot about self-discovery, dealing with past hurts and how these things can stay within you and reflect on your life in the future, and ultimately affect how you treat people and allow people to treat you.

I felt like some of them didn’t appeal to me and others left me wondering what exactly the author was trying to say or make me feel. They weren’t badly written I just didn’t understand them, but most of them were intriguing and made me think.

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/kimolisa-mings-woman-defined/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

July 2019 Review

 

Liane Spicer – Café au Lait

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

Every time I do a review or have to write something not solely because I feel like it, I suffer a bit. I want to write what I want to write damnit!  pouts like a 5-year-old

But every time I hit this wall I remind myself that I am an adult (puts on my big girl pants), and more importantly, I’m a professional or at least I would like to be taken seriously. This isn’t about me, it’s about letting you know the deal so you can make an informed decision. It’s about building up my rapport, finding my own unique writing voice, learrrrrning.

If you’re wondering what I’m babbling on about, this month’s review is… drum roll, please…

cafeaulait-lianespicer

Oh boy.  sweats

A romance novel. sigh

I like romance. I like novels. But somehow when the two mesh together… not so much. Most of them make no sense to my mind, but by God, I’ll do this review justice if it’s the last thing I do! I am happy to say that I started off reading this book with no hesitation though. I was a little excited getting into it. I liked the cover art and wanted to know what was behind the knowing smirk and raised eyebrow on chérie’s face.

So let’s get into the review. Yes. Spoilers. Listen. I never say anything critical about the plot, so no worries.

This story is about Shari Zamore. A woman born out of the Windrush generation in the UK, looking to figure out her life after a long-overdue ‘breakup’. So during her holidays, she jumps on a plane and heads to the lovely Caribbean on the islands where her parents were born, Trinidad and Tobago.

She arrives with little luggage ready to sightsee and shop and indulge in a quintessential island get-away. She wants to relax and clear her mind and hopefully make some decisions about where she wants her life to go after her vacation. Her cousin Wanda, who acts as confidante and regularly spirits her away to all the sexy events, is bent on hooking her up with someone while she’s there. She introduces Shari to Gaston…

I didn’t know you were in this story!

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/liane-spicer-cafe-au-lait/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation

 

June 2019 Review

 

W. St. Cyr – Fields Of Death

This is an official Caribbean Books Foundation review http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/

First of all, let me just say that most reviews I’ve seen for this book have been glowingly positive but from the standpoint that they can’t believe such a hardcore crime novel came out of Barbados.

I find that a little insulting and I refuse to join in your amazement. There are incredibly talented people from that island who are capable of anything and I will not let this review be bulldozed by the low-expectations placed on a clearly talented author. Sorry but only honest reviews here.

When I chose Fields of Death to review, it really was the cover art that drew me, so kudos to the graphic artist, whoever they are. Cover art matters!

fields of death

It drew me to find out more about the story behind the book. The cane field murders in Barbados. Now I’m not going into the details of the actual murders. This book is not based on them. It is just inspired by them and all of it is fiction and unlike the real-life murders has a more satisfying conclusion.

The story follows the ‘X-Man’, detective-inspector Neil Boyce, a top cop in Barbados whose team is placed in charge of solving gruesome murders of women that suddenly hit the island in March of 2013. Their bodies decapitated and cut open are left in cane fields around the island causing nationwide mayhem and frantic attempts to catch the killer.

This book is disturbing but in a thriller crime novel kind of way. It’s like you’re supposed to be having a good time but then things get very bad really fast.

thriller gif

The author describes every kill in detail through the psychotic mind and eyes of the ‘Dragoon’. If you already have some kind of traumatic experience with being kidnapped, raped or abused, I suggest you leave this book alone. It may trigger you.

Traumatic experiences aside, if thriller, murder, horror crime stories are just not your thing, I doubt this book will scar you for life. After this review, if you still want to read it, go ahead. Ease into it and if it’s not for you, at least you tried. But if you do like thriller, horror, crime novels, you’ll be fine. It’s right up your alley.

So, on to the actual review. And spoilers, well, maybe. Do I have to call spoilers? Isn’t it obvious?

christmas-list

…continued at https://criticsmaylie.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/w-st-cyr-fields-of-death/

– N. Gomes, Caribbean Books Foundation