Born OTD in 1944, Bob Andy. Bob Andy was one of the founding members of The Paragons, along with Tyrone Evans and Howard Barrett, with John Holt later joining briefly before being replaced by Vic Taylor. Andy left after Holt rejoined and worked for Studio One delivering records and songwriting before embarking on a solo career.

Bob Andy is, arguably, reggae’s first serious songwriter. In the 1960s, when top ska and rocksteady acts were into covering…

We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. Rutger Bregman, a bestselling Dutch historian, explains that it needn’t be this way. Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization – from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy – was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.

This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. From…

Born OTD in 1931, American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and professor emeritus at Princeton University, Toni Morrison. Many people consider Morrison’s novels difficult to read. Most of her readers have at least one book on their shelves that they couldn’t finish or, when they did finish one, just scratched their heads in confusion. And when we think we are sure we know what she’s writing about, it turns out we are half wrong or only getting the tip of the iceberg instead of the whole, beautiful, brooding thing.

“Toni Morrison For Beginners” is about the woman, her books, her mission, her word music, and all that subtext in…

Resurrection (1899) is the last of Tolstoy’s major novels. It tells the story of a nobleman’s attempt to redeem the suffering his youthful philandering inflicted on a peasant girl who ends up a prisoner in Siberia. Tolstoy’s vision of redemption, achieved through loving forgiveness and his condemnation of violence, dominate the novel. An intimate, psychological tale of guilt, anger, and forgiveness…

Resurrection is at the same time a panoramic description of social life in Russia at the end of the nineteenth…

The more we debate about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we continue to burn. How did we get caught up in this mess? In this masterful new history, Malm claims that it all began in Britain with the rise of steam-power. So why did manufacturers turn from traditional fuels, notably water, to steam? Overturning established theories of the transition and offering a radically new view of our warming world, this study shows how steam was adopted as a superior source of power.

Two centuries later, the inheritors of that power continue to profit from ‘business as usual’ as the world heads towards…

Born OTD in 1953, reggae drummer of The Specials, John ‘Brad’ Bradbury. Brad played a crucial role in the history of the Specials, the still massively successful multiracial band that first shook up the British music scene in the late 1970s & early 80s by mixing Jamaican ska with punk energy, a bravely political stance & good humour. They were that rarity, a thoughtful band who created great dance music, & Brad was central to their distinctive style. According to the band’s bass player, Horace Panter: “He called his approach ‘attack drumming’ & it became the Specials’ signature sound. He mixed the drive of northern soul with a reggae feel. And he improvised. He was different every night.”

Against the backdrop of the demise of punk, social unrest, and the coming to power of Margaret Thatcher, the Specials…

James’s novel has been acclaimed as “a ground-breaking example of regional social realism” and as “a major forerunner of the Caribbean literary movements in English.” Many of James’s readers believe that it is not possible fully to comprehend Caribbean literary art in English without first reading Minty Alley. In the interactions of the characters of Maisie, Haynes, Mrs. Rouse, & Benoit, James discerns new forms of society rooted in the oldest of desires and aspirations. In the everyday language of the unforgettable dialogues in the novel James reveals new modes of human relationships.

Haynes, a young middle-class lodger at No. 2 Minty Alley, becomes both confidant and judge as he examines the other…

Our next Book Club read is Nicholas Shaxson’s, ‘Treasure Islands’, on Monday 11th March. In this book, Shaxson investigates the three main components of the offshore system, which may surprise you. While the small island states are integral fortifications of the offshore system, the main poles are actually the United States, London, and a grouping of states in continental Europe (mainly Luxembourg, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and the Netherlands). Considering that about one half of world trade passes through tax havens, they are integral to the current global system.

Also, while terrorists and crime lords are significant users of the offshore system, the primary beneficiary and architect is the…

“The word “love” is most often defined as a noun, yet…we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting & on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative & intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, & feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people & a society bereft with lovelessness. As bell hooks uses her incisive mind & razor-sharp pen to explore the question “What is love?” her answers strike at both the mind and heart.

In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society’s failure to provide a model for…

In early 2013, comedian Rosie Wilby found herself at a crossroads with everything she’d ever believed about romantic relationships. When people asked, ‘who’s the love of your life?’ there was no simple answer. Did they mean her former flatmate who she’d experienced the most ecstatic, heady, yet ultimately doomed, fling with? Or did they mean the deep, lasting companionate partnerships that gave her a sense of belonging and family? Surely, most human beings need both.

Mixing humour, heartache and science, Is Monogamy Dead? details Rosie’s very personal quest to find out why Western society is…