Offset Issue #1: The Man Who Travels With a Piece of Sugarcane – #CCF

Offset Issue #1

In late 17th century and early 18th century Japan, there was a famous Ronin swordsman by the name of Miyamoto Musashi. The term Ronin was normally applied to samurai who didn’t have a master, either because the master died or the warrior was in disgrace. In Offset Issue #1: The Man Who Travels with a Piece of Sugarcane (2014), the main character Kyle Harding is a little like a stick/sugar cane fighting Musashi—who happens to attend University in contemporary Barbados.

The above excerpt is from Kwame Slusher’s review of Offset Issue #1 by Tristan Roach and Delvin Howellthis week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Weekly posts and see the great material we have available at Fresh Milk!

The Art Of Loving Google #CCF

Recently, some friends and I kept joking about how the answer to everything can be found by Google. Typing: ‘How to code a website’, ‘How to make alfredo sauce’, ‘I fell and now my tail bone hurts’ and, with this review in mind, I Googled ‘how to love’.  A 30 step guide—with pictures—was one of the first solutions the search engine provided. Resisting the urge to roll my eyes too much, I browsed the guide. Step by step, I increasingly noticed similarities between this ‘how to love’ and The Art of Loving.

The Art of Loving is a small book about love written by Erich Fromm in the 1950s. A social philosopher and psychoanalyst, he discusses types and effects of love and goes so far as to identify ‘real love’ and even how to put it into action.

The above excerpt is from Versia Harris’ review of Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving, this week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Weekly posts and see the great material we have available at Fresh Milk!

A View from the Mangrove – #CCF Guest Review

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A View from the Mangrove is the final part of the late Cuban writer Antonio Benitez-Rojo’s Caribbean trilogy.  Like most of his work, this short story collection deals with the making of the “New World” both historically and in the formation of Creole identity. 

The eleven stories span several centuries.  The first ones bring to life historical chapters of the Caribbean as the “cockpit of Europe”, with European powers battling each other for a greater share of the loot. The first of these stories is a tale of the notorious slave-trader John Hawkins’s pursuit of Spanish gold.  Others involve French buccaneers, a Spanish governor sent to suppress autonomy in the colonies and of a reluctant priest trapped in this struggle.  A few centuries later, there is a human drama told by multiple narrators against the backdrop of the final stages of the Haitian Revolution, and later, an infirm and burnt-out soldier wasting away in a mangrove during the Cuban War of Independence.  The penultimate story is about Haitians fighting against Batista in the Cuban Revolution and against racism and exploitation at the hands of their comrades.  My favourite story of the collection though is “The Broken Flute,” on the last Tezcatlipoca; a tragic tale of an “old god” being swallowed up by the chasm that opens up when worlds crash.

The above excerpt is from an anonymous review by ‘The Book Guy’ of Antonio Benitez-Rojo’s A View from the Mangrovethis week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Weekly posts and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!

The Origin of Species – Super Human #CCF

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Nino Ricci’s the Origin of Species reminds me of how sloppy human feelings are. We make decisions then change our minds. We make mistakes and run from those mistakes. We do good, we do bad. Alex, the book’s main character, is not a bad person. But is he a good one? The phrase that comes to mind is ‘…things are never black and white.’

I once dreamt that I had died; I was killed in an explosion. Just before I died, I remember being excited about my death. I was ready for it. I felt like all the answers to the ‘big questions’ would become clear to me. I’d finally know the purpose of life and I would be awesome like Hugh Jackman’s character when he became enlightened in the movie ‘The Fountain’. And even though I was dreaming I felt that when I woke up, whatever insight I had found in my dream death, I would have in my waking life. I wanted death because I believed I was on the brink of some great knowledge that had eluded me all of my 22 years. But of course I passed and nothing happened. No zap or jolt of power or knowledge. I didn’t shine, my eyes didn’t become bright with wisdom and all that hoopla. I did float though, but that’s beside the point. What I want to zone in on is that feeling of being on the brink of something important; of acquiring the state of mind that will change you for the better. That is the feeling that plagues Alex.

The above excerpt is from Versia Harris’ review of Nino Ricci’s The Origin of Speciesthis week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Weekly posts and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!

Beyond a Boundary – #CCF

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…This heartfelt public interest in cricket led the sport into a political battle, of which James was the spearhead. The regime which supported class and race distinctions, which had prevented the West Indies from ever having a black captain, came under constant attack from James’ paper and a volatile open letter which seemed to threaten war. I found it stirring that this came from a man like James, a man so immersed in the game that he held the code of ‘keeping a stiff upper lip’ (James 24) to the highest standard,  that he was willing to put the decency and decorum behind him. Cricket was changing, so it was apt that a man so passionate about the game was changing as well. I spoke of my nostalgia earlier, for that is what it was. While James’ love for the game drove him to momentarily disregard his values—for the good of the game—my own feelings have dissolved to indifference…

The above excerpt is from Ronald Williams’ review of C.L.R. James’ Beyond a Boundarythis week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Weekly posts and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!