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Book reviews for "Jackson,_Brian" sorted by average review score:

Reclaiming the Commons : Community Farms and Forests in a NewEngland Town
Published in Hardcover by Yale Univ Pr (1999)
Authors: Brian Donahue and Wes Jackson
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A must read!
Reclaiming the Commons is an excellent read for anyone interested in the natural history of New England, community farming, open space issues, and the value of farms in the landscape. This is a well written, thoughtful book that offers an inspiring vision for a future of locally produced food, protected farmland, and community involvement that farms help to create.

A book that will inspire action
In Reclaiming the Commons, Brian Donahue has given us a remarkable portrait of a thriving community farm in Weston, Massachusetts called Land's Sake. In 1980 the nonprofit organization Land's Sake was formed in Weston, a suburb of Boston, to work closely with the town's Conservation Commission on managing and using the town's growing public land. Its three founding principles were to care ecologically for Weston's land, to involve the community and especially young people with the land, and to be as self-supporting as possible through the sale of products and services. By thinking of the land as a rural space that could "benefit from our presence, rather than need to be protected from us," they opened the possibility that they could engage suburban youth with the land and produce high-quality natural products for local sale, offering ample educational and recreational activities while striking "a balance between protecting natural ecosystems and making sustainable, productive use of the land."

Land's Sake sends about one-fifth of their fresh organic produce to Boston's homeless shelters and food pantries, as well as sponsoring a Harvest for Hunger every September, thus ensuring that their surplus finds an assured wholesale market (the town pays the price to send the food to the inner city) which benefits the disadvantaged and disenfranchised in the nearby urban areas. Donahue shows that suburbia "is the condition of residing outside the city proper with little functional connection to one's neighbors, aside from the schools, and almost no functional connection to the land," and he shows that community farms on common land offer a vibrant opportunity to keep farmland from being lost to development, and to transform the suburban condition from alienation to connection. This is a surprisingly powerful and exciting book that will show suburban and city readers how to become more connected to their land and to their source of food.

This is a fresh approach to sustainable suburban living.
This book,written by a newcomer in the environmental landscape, will become a landmark. It points the way to transform the suburban way of life into one that is sustainable.This it would do by converting suburban open spaces into community sanctuaries for agriculture,husbandry and forestry, administered by suburbanites themselves,especially by their youngsters.The great strength of the proposals is that they have been demonstrated to work by the author and his associates in the upscale Boston suburb of Weston. Another plus is the grace and humor with which the book is blessed.

The English Country House in Perspective
Published in Hardcover by Grove Press (1990)
Authors: Gervase Jackson-Stops and Brian, Morter, Peter Delf
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Buildings presented in 'cut-away views' like dollhouses.
Hardcover; 160 pages; 9.5" x 12.3"
Small map of Britain to locate buildings. Featuring Bodiam castle & 11 grand English country houses. All have beautiful color cutaway views, detailed floorplans of most levels of every house, and the history of the houses. This is refreshing because so often with other books I've read there are floorplans of only the first floor. This is one of very few books that contain enough content whereby a drafter could re-construct plans of the buildings.

Not all of the featured buildings have the following: some show landscape drawings; some show original renderings; some have photos of the interior; some have detailed drawings; some only have the artist's rendering of the homes.

Great value if price remains discounted.

Architectural Revelations!
The concept of a "Birds Eye View" of houses, was a revelation. That is why when I first saw this book, I bought it immediately!!! It features 12 of the richest houses in England, and gives you another view that in many ways is far more revealing. This Birds eye view shows us how the house fits the site; but it is much more than that. It shows the surrounding gardens and parks. Full of magnificent watercolors, this book gives the reader a lot of detailed information about not just the great architectural details, but how these people lived. Anyone who is interested in architecture or even landscape design will greatly benefit from having this book.

The Book: Guide to Mountain Biking in the Jackson Hole Area
Published in Spiral-bound by Prax Photography & Productions (11 August, 2001)
Authors: Brian Prax and Mark Schultheis
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Easy to follow
This book has some great trails and the descriptions make them easy to follow. I also bought the other JH guide book and found some of the "trails" to be lame and the descriptions were bad - I got lost. I highly reccomend THE BOOK! It's fun to read too.

Golden Stone: The Untold Life and Tragic Death of Brian Jones
Published in Hardcover by St. Martin's Press (1993)
Author: Laura Jackson
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one more point of view, an interesting one
There are many opinions and contradicting 'first hand accounts' about Brian Jones life and death. The only choice a serious fan has is to compare and contrast a good sample of the books available. While Bill Wyman's book may be more detailed, 'Golden Stone' is many steps above the average teeny-bopper fare available on Jones, and is a necessary additon for any real B.J. enthusiast.

GURPS Cliffhangers 2nd Edition
Published in Paperback by Steve Jackson Games (2002)
Authors: Brian J. Underhill, Andrew Hackard, and Steve Jackson Games
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An Era Revealed
GURPS Cliffhangers, like almost all GURPS books, is a gamemaster's delight. The book gathers handily in one place almost all the information you will want on the history and background of the 1920's - 1940's in one place. It not only covers the events and the background information for North America, but for almost all of the world. The layout is clean and well organized, and GURPS-specific rules are, as with all GURPS sourcebooks, confined to one chapter. This means that the book is easily usable as a source for GM's running campaignes set in the Cliffhanger era using different rulesystems. Several pages at the end are reserved for a very thorough bibliography of othe sources - not just books, but comics, films, and other games. If you're looking at running a cliffhanger/pulp style game, you can't do wrong by using GURPS Cliffhangers as a starting point.

Published in Hardcover by Pocket Star (1998)
Author: Brian Jackson
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An Introspective Journey¿.
Walking Through Mirrors by Brian Keith Jackson is a heartwarming journey of self discovery for Jeremy Bishop, a successful photographer who returns home to Elsewhere, Louisiana to bury his estranged father. Jeremy, nicknamed Patience by his paternal grandmother, Mama B, revisits his past by raising questions to puzzling childhood memories such as his parent's relationship, his untimely birth, his maternal grandparent's abandonment of him, and his relationship with distant father. By the end of the story, we meet an eclectic cast of characters who answer all of Jeremy's questions and shed light for the reader to understand the meaning behind the novel's title. To walk through mirrors is an expression of doing the is to look at things from the other side of the mirror and see more than one's own reflection.

This is a complex story with multiple layers of family secrets and hidden agendas. In this single visit home, Jeremy unknowingly has to reconcile his role as a son, stepson, grandson, brother, and nephew. He must seek redemption from those he loves and who love him. The writing style of Brian Keith Jackson is mature, fresh, and alluring-a definite notch above his contemporary peers. I loved "The View From Here" and enjoyed "The Queen of Harlem". He has definitely earned a place on my favorite author list - a feat that is not easily managed. I strongly recommend this novel and I am looking forward to his next body of work.

APOOO BookClub, The Nubian Circle Book Club

This book is an excellent novel written by an incredibly,INCREDIBLY talented and unique author. I had never heard of thisauthor before but based on his talent, he should be well known. This author excelled where many authors fail. He took the time to develop Jeremy and all of the characters in his book. This was accomplished by his unique, smooth and successful transition from the present to the past. Who were are in the present is a reflection of what we have been in the past and too often, authors do not take the time to thoroughly develop the past so that the reader can understand the characters in the present. Equally impressive was his use of language which successfully pulled at the emotional and intellectual heartstrings of the reader. In this area, his writing was utterly fantastic. Also of significance is that it is clear from reading the novel that the author was incredibly focused and directed. His stream of conciousness and thought was clear, concise and more importantly consistent. This book deals with real life and the real struggles that we have as human beings. The author deals with these issues in a very sincere, credible and honest manner and does not insult to reader by minimizing the importance of any of the issues nor does he end the book with a "quick fix" for those issues. This truly is the story about the end of one life yet the beginning of another. LISTEN UP OPRAH: THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF YOUR SELECTIONS A LONG TIME AGO! This is a must read for anyone who is interested in reading a book that is well written, thought provoking and emotionally and intellectually challenging. You will NOT be disappointed!

Lemmetellyasom'n, this is a 10
Jeremy, called Patience by his grandmother Mama B, is the focal character in this extraordinary story. This book traces the estranged relationship Jeremy had with his father, who has just died. This causes Jeremy to travel back to Elsewhere, Louisiana to face his dead father, family and friends, who he has kept at a distance since moving to New York to become a successful professional photographer. In his journey home, Jeremy takes us on a trip through his childhood (which will cause the reader to go back down memory lane) to the present and inturn discovers secrets to self discovery that he has never known. Brian Keith Jackson's writing is soooo powerful I could not believe someone his age was able to write with so much depth. The writing reminded me of Zora Neale Hurston. The authors of this day and age are not writing at this caliber. Wonderful story. Thanks Mr. Jackson for telling Jeremy's story. Fan for life.

Published in Paperback by Washington Square Press (1998)
Author: Brian Jackson
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A Great Book By A Great Author!
I LOVE this man's books! I've read both of his books and I could not begin to sing my praises for both of his works ("Walking Through Mirrors" is his other book). Brian Keith Jackson tells a story that reminds me of Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" in story content but this book is far clearer to read and, quite frankly, far more enjoyable in my opinion. This is a story about a pregnant Anna, her 5 boys, and her husband Joseph. Brian tells a powerful story of how Anna struggles to keep her family together despite her husband and his sister's intentions. I even liked the fact that the story's narration was told through Anna's unborn child. Quite simply put, this is an excellent book by a phenomenal author.

excellent, well written, looking forward to more from author
This book was read for discussion on my book club and everyone agreed it was wonderful. Coming from a male author, the voice is truly female and that comes as a surprise. Anna, the protagonist, is the backbone of the family and in enduring her circumstances and the times in which it is set, keeps the family from falling apart. We see where her strength of character comes from (in flashbacks) and we see how her best friend and alter-ego, Ida Mae, provides her freedom. Each character is written strongly and the style is taut. Even when a horrible sentiment is being expressed it is done so with either humor (Anna's sister-in-law's malapropisms which also serve to lessen the evil of this character and point out the difference between Anna and her sister-in-law) or with a spare style of writing. It is matter-of-fact. Anna, herself, is matter-of-fact and she knows her family better than they know themselves. It is a book we all enjoyed and have been recommending to everyone.

Wonderfully Written, Eloquently Delivered
The View From Here is a wonderfully written and eloquently delivered literary debut from Brian Keith Jackson! Some books are entertaining and devoured for the moment; other books are savored and last for a lifetime. The View From Here is a book that will stay with me for years to come as it is an emotional and soul stirring story regarding Anna Anderson Thomas and the unconditional love she has for her family. The View From Here is uniquely and creatively narrated by the protagonist Anna's, unborn child. Anna is married to mean-spirited and broken down JT; this union has been blessed with five sons and JT is satisfied with the current size of his family. Within a bleak situation in the economically depressed setting of a small Mississippi town, the Thomas' are barely making it when they discover that Anna is yet again pregnant. Not looking forward to feeding another mouth, JT promises the unborn child to his older sister Clariece...and therein lies the dilemna. I was emotionally wretched and drained and moved to tears as I read the mental abuse that Anna suffered at the hands of her husband and wondered "why"? The View From Here is the story of any women who has had to stand up for herself and make tough decisions which would impact her spouse, her children and her self-preservation when the going got tough. The View From Here is the story of any woman under immense pressures, struggling to survive and to ensure the unity of her family as she battles the obstacle course of everyday living. This story shows how a woman named Anna possesses strong strength and determination and how she keeps faith to the bitter end and turns the situation around for good. Rather than running away or cowering to the demons that be, Anna stood up for what was right, what was true, what was just in the moment of adversity. As the story poignantly and provocatively climaxed I cheered for Anna as she stood her ground and did what was right for her spiritual and emotional sanity! The View From Here is an unforgettable tale about family, adversities, and the events that shape our lives and our souls. In spite of hardships, poverty, tragedies and despair, The View From Here portrays the richness of life when one has hope, courage and determination. It's a poignant and touching portrayal of family life that's full of love and the determination of a mother to keep her family intact against all odds and obstacles. The View From Here is exquisitely and superbly told by Brian Keith Jackson. This is an author to be reckoned with and I look forward to reading Walking Through Mirrors and future novels by this very talented new author.

The Queen of Harlem
Published in Digital by Doubleday Publishing ()
Author: Brian Keith Jackson
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What Is It I Want, What Is It I Need?
Carmen, The Queen of Harlem or so she believed, is looking for a border and Mason, a.k.a. Malik is it. Why does Malik remind Carmen of herself? Who is Malik, who is Carmen? These are the questions that are explored in The Queen of Harlem. While the synopsis alludes to Mason living on the other side, we get a glimpse of Carmen and who she is, which is just as intriguing. The conclusion is unexpected and exciting as well.

Mason is the son of a rich Southern family and before he heads to law school on the West Coast he chooses to live in New York City among the brothers and Harlem's resurrection. Jackson effectively terms this behavior, "blacks blending". Mason/Malik was a lost soul that lived, as others wanted him to live his entire life. Enter Mason's parents, especially his mother, and you understood Mason. Mother discovered some issues within herself that effected Mason and his decision. We learn of Mason's childhood and his understanding that he no longer wanted to be the "only one", "the black guy".

Told in first person and highlighted in journal form, Brian Keith Jackson's novel gives the reader plenty of food for thought through his masterful use of the English language. When Malik explains to Carmen his reasoning for moving to New York her thought is "bravery implies a choice". The following statement put the entire situation of Malik into perspective: "This city is a peculiarity, a place where chameleons do as they do; a veritable island of strangers hoping to become less so as they scurry to get where they have imagined they should be; a place where even a spiderweb can appear beautiful with the right light reflecting upon it, but what light is reflecting on me?"

Reviewed by Dawn R. Reeves

A solid novel and meaningful read
"The Queen of Harlem" is the story of a wealthy, black college graduate's struggle for independence and identity. Malik, southern born and raised, takes on the characteristics of an urban hip-hop "bratha' " and moves to Harlem to round out his international post-undergraduate travel experiences. He rents a room in a Harlem townhouse inhabited by Carmen, an older sophisticated socialite, and sets out to blend into the community racially and socially. As the story unfolds, the reader learns that Carmen has as much to hide as Malik. Both have an uncanny ability to reinvent themselves to fit the mode of the minute. Both try to find their place in the universe by rejecting the life they were given for a life they create. Through their relationship, the author demonstrates that reality is relative and unique to the person experiencing it.

Jackson articulates the dichotomy experienced by wealthy blacks who are neither fully accepted by the elitist mainstream culture nor the larger, less wealthy, black community. Sandwiched between racism and classism, Malik embarks on a journey that proves more valuable than his most exotic travels. The story will be validating to some and educating to others. I found the plot enjoyable and the final twist makes the novel worth while. The writing is clear and the characters are interesting enough to keep you reading. A solid novel and meaningful read.

Believe None of What You See
You know the cliche sayings: "Don't judge a book by its cover ", "There is more than meets the eye", and "What is done in the dark will surely be brought to the light". Well all of these sayings and more apply to the two main characters in the Queen of Harlem.

Mason needs to reinvent himself. Prove that he is down with the brothers and the hood. Sans preppy clothes, groomed hair and private schooling persona; dons baggy pants, dreadlocks and a homeboy swagger and we have Malik, just another boy n' the hood instead of the rich kid on his way to Stanford Law School. Anxious to escape his privileged southern upbringing, Malik embraces all that Harlem has to offer including the Queen of Harlem, Carmen.

This mysterious lady gives an aura of a fading movie queen. Furs, evening gowns, name dropping, playboy boyfriends, she does it all and with class. She chooses Malik over other prospective renters because he appears needy. Malik is in like flint, makes new friends and he is enjoying the masquerade until the proverbial mess hits the fan. His days of exploring New York and loafing in cafes writing in his journal comes to an abrupt end when the lies start running together.

The characterizations and writing is superb with rich phrasing details, metaphors, and similes that won't quit, yet they are real and not contrived. There are even some old time sayings like 'stepping in high cotton'. Jackson places you in contemporary Harlem with glimpses of Marcus Garvey Park, the restaurants, and the people who inhabit there. On an APOOO scale this was a 4.5, rounded off to a 5 for review. A definite 2002 must read, this offering is sure to cause a buzz.

Dera Williams
APOOO Book Club

Bevis: The Story of a Boy
Published in Paperback by Viking Press (1984)
Authors: Richard Jefferies and Edited by Brian Jackson
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My Old french teacher gave me this book to read when i was about 14. He was of the opinion that reading helped improve concentration - he was right. The book, i do not think, would appeal to the average reader today, it is very long and heavey going - but not taking anything away from the writer - it is exquisitly written. However, there is a part in the book, i think it is a father telling a son a story, or something like that and it will go with me to my grave. It's about an adventurer who, once he has summeted one mountain, moves on to the next and when he has traversed one desert looks for another, and so on. He is never content unless he is moving, seeing new things and having new exoeriences, but then he runs out of mountains to climb and forrests to explore. I will not give anymore away except to say that i would read the book again - just for that one little story.

1882's Harry Potter
Shortly before Richard Jefferies first became ill he wrote two children's books, Wood Magic and Bevis, published in 1881 and 1882. The latter has been widely regarded as a classic boys' book and, based on Jefferies' own childhood at Coate, it follows the adventures of two boys, Bevis and Mark. They first 'discover' a large lake close to their home which they imagine to be a vast inland sea surrounded by a jungle inhabited by savages and wild beasts. After re-fighting the Battle of Pharsalia (between Julius Caesar and Pompey) with their friends, Bevis and Mark build a raft and cross to an island in the lake. Equipped with a few provisions and their own home-made shotgun, they live among nature for several days, learning the arts of survival and much about themselves in the process. Bevis is a celebration of the vigour and freedom of a childhood spent in the countryside, 'where there was magic in everything, blades of grass and stars, the sun and the stones upon the ground'.

The British Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years
Published in Hardcover by Random House (1997)
Authors: Brian Moynahan, Sarah Jackson, and Annabel Merullo
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Rule, Britannia...
If a picture can express a thousand words, then expressions of history and culture in "The British Century" are infinite and incalculable.

From the end of the British Empire to the beginning of the modern era, this volume hits every stop along the way. In addition to stirring pictures that document the lives of Britons over the last hundred years, "The British Century" contains historical perspectives that explain these events accurately and in detail. Although Moynahan usually writes about Russian and Soviet History, the book is well-edited and conveys a great deal of insight and understanding of the subjects at hand.

"The British Century" is a must-have for any reader who appreciates Britian or who values history.

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