Welcome to chapter 32 of the book column. Many of the books I have featured this year have been about niche interest groups, and this week's feature is no different.
“Fun Times” by Shaun Cain is a series of Jamaican and Reggae trivia books. These books are the followup to a longer previously published work by Cain, “Reggae Larger Than Life.”
The “Fun Times” series includes “Reggae Trivia Fun Time: The Ultimate Reggae Music Trivia Book" and “Dancehall Trivia Fun Time.”
These trivia books are not just about the the lead men, the singers. There's also insight into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating good reggae music that most people don't know about.
“We tend to pay very little attention to the people working hard in the background,” Cain said.
He said he has always been interested in playing music identification games with his friends. He would ask them to recall the name of a singer or song title when the music came on.
With this concept in mind, Cain looked to the market to see if there were any reggae music trivia books that already existed, but he said his is the first of its kind.
“My favorite part of the process was learning new things about the artists and the genre,” Cain said.
Cain said the large amount of research paid off, and he was able to fill the book with lots of information.
“My favorite part of the book is the detailed accounts of the artists' life stories,” Cain said.
Artists were very open with Cain throughout this process. They revealed intimate details about their life that fame normally asks them to hide away.
It is refreshing in non-fiction literature to get unbiased information about important figures in the topic of interest.
Students who are interested in reggae music should check out Cain’s books to learn detailed facts, but Cain also suggested the students broaden their listening horizons within the genre.
“Reggae was founded on happiness, peace, righteousness and respect," Cain said. "I encourage all students to seek out the songs that reinforce those key pillars."
Along with listening to the music and reading the books, Cain also encourages students to go to music festivals.
Reggae music enthusiasts can now be well-rounded by reading Cain’s books, listening to the music and putting it all together for the interactive experience of going to music festivals as a well-informed listener.
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.
More in Arts
Instructors are teaching via online live streaming.
The sessions are 1-2:30 p.m. April 16 and 23.
Tyler Combs will compete against 14 other U.S. college students for $100,000.