Terrific Books Coming in May, Beyond Adichie, and More!

Terrific New Books Coming in May

news-may-bookFormer U.S. Poet Laureate, Rita Dove will publish a collection of her poetry from the 30 year period, 1974 to 2004. There are also new novels from AALBC.com bestselling authors, Bernice McFadden and J.D. Mason, and from critically acclaimed authors Kalisha Buckhanon and Yvvette Edwards.

On the nonfiction side, look for Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues by Albert Murray, and The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir by D. Watkins. What a great year it has been so far in the world of Black literature; the variety and depth of what is available should keep you quite busy.

Beyond Adichie: Nigerian Writers Produce Great Literature

news-nigeriansChigozie Obioma has been called “…the heir to Chinua Achebe.” His novel The Fishermen won the NAACP Image Award for Debut Author, and was selected by the Go On Girl! Book Club for their 2016 reading list. Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s new novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, from Cassava Republic Press has already received a great deal of critical acclaim. As a novelist, Teju Cole has won many awards including the PEN/Hemingway Award and the New York City Book Award. His first book of essays, Known and Strange Things is eagerly anticipated. Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, and winner of the World Fantasy Award and Wole Soyinka prize.

Learn about these brilliant writers and many others of Nigerian descent including Ben Okri, Helen Oyeyemi, Chinelo Okparanta, Uzodinma Iweala, Uwem Akpan, and Chris Abani.

Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society — Reading List

news-folk-talesFolktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society has shared their reading list with AALBC.com. Shonda Rhimes book, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, makes their list and is a popular read among book clubs this year. Mat Johnson, Darryl Pinckney, Dr. Damon Tweedy, and Sister Souljah also made the cut and round out a nice selection of titles across genres. Let Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society and the other book clubs we follow help you discover your next great read.

NAACP Image Awards for Literature — Winners and Nominees

news-naacp-imageEach year 40 titles are nominated for NAACP Image Award in 8 different categories, Biography/Auto Biography, Children, Debut Author, Fiction, Instructional, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Youth/Teens. The 2016 Image Awards were presented on Feb. 5th.

AALBC.com is working to compile a list of all the nominees and winners since the award’s inception. We’ve already updated our website with the titles from the last 5 years and have information going back to 2005. If anyone knows when the NAACP Awards for Literature started please email me; troy@aalbc.com.

New Videos

Is Michael Eric Dyson Right? (Or Have Black Intellectuals Lost Their Minds?)

news-mike-on-obamaDr. Michael Eric Dyson was recorded in conversation with Dr. Khalil Muhammad on April 3, 2016, during the 13th National Black Writers Conference, which is run by the center for Black literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. Dyson discussed the Obama Presidency which is also the subject of his latest book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America. Dyson pulled no punches, as he took President Obama to task during this 90 minute conversation.

AALBC.com captured just a small portion of this biannual conference. In addition the conversation with Dr. Dyson, we videoed poetry readings by Rita Dove, Afaa Michael Weaver, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips.

If you enjoy any of these videos please support AALBC.com by sharing them with others and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Zane is a 213 Time AALBC.com Bestselling Author!

news-zaneWith 34 different titles, Zane has made AALBC.com’s bestsellers list an astounding 213 times—no other author comes close.

Here are the top 30 bestselling authors (89 counting ties) on AALBC.com over the past 18 years with links to those very popular books.

While Zane is our most prolific author, she did not write our all time bestselling book. That honor goes to another title… and you’ll probably never guess which one it is; click here to find out.

Shirley Gale Thinks Outside the Box to Promote Literacy

news-shirley“Literacy on the Go! If you spot my Armada (you really can’t miss it) and you can tell me the day, time, and location where I’m driving, you can be entered to win one of my awesome books for FREE! Just enter your email contact information on my website. It’s that easy! I will contact you when you win.

I’m going to be driving from Texas to Virginia to Washington D. C. starting late June 2016. I am also planning a road trip to Chicago to visit libraries, schools, and community centers in the Fall of 2016. Look for me. I’m coming to talk about literacy and the lack thereof (read more).”

Events Coming in May


There are several book festivals taking place this weekend including the; PEN World Voices Festival in New York City; Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad & Tobago; Greater St. Louis Book Fair in St. Louis, Missouri; Dallas Book Festival in Dallas, Texas; Yallwest Santa Monica Book Festival in Santa Monica, California; and Dayton Book Expo in Dayton, Ohio. Discover these and other great book festivals coming up the rest of the year.

Also, learn how easy it is to add our automatically updated, book festival calendar to your website or blog. Help promote and support these book festivals and provide great information for your website too.

A Great Deals to Promote Your Book on AALBC.com

news-large-coverOur Large Book Cover Advertisement (or ad banner) appears on virtually every AALBC.com webpage. Each author whose book is promoted also receives a free Author Profile.

Also consider Sponsoring our Monthly Newsletter. This is a great way to reach readers of Black literature. All of our mailings are permanently archived on our website.

Dear Reader,

news-aalbc-18In addition to hand picking all of the books that are placed on the site, we are collect, share, and archive information that even major corporations, with vastly greater resources choose not to. There simply is not enough revenue to justify the activity for these entities.

Fortunately revenue is not our sole motivator; we are a mission driven website and are motivated by sharing the wealth of stories by people of African descent. Will you help us do this? Please click this link to purchase your subscription to our newsletter. Your financial support is needed to help AALBC.com grow and become an even better source for information on these important books.

I also hope to see some of you at the 10th anniversary celebration of our Black Pack Party in Chicago #blackpackparty

As always, thanks for reading!

Peace & Love,
troy_signature_1_ (1)
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com

AALBC.com eNewsletter – April 29, 2016 – Issue #233

The 2016 Black Pack Party & BookExpo America

10th Anniversary Black Pack Partyblackpack2016a

We are hosting the 10th Anniversary Black Pack Party on the evening of Wednesday, May 11th. It is shaping up to be a wonderful celebration and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Venue: Norman’s Bistro
Address: 1001 E 43rd St., Chicago, IL 60653
Phone: (773) 966-5821

Date: May 11, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

More Info: http://aalbc.it/bpp2016
Hash Tag: #blackpackparty

The 2016 Black Pack Party co-sponsors are, AALBC.com, The African American Children’s Book Project, The Chicago DefenderLinda Duggins, Mosaic, Say It Loud! Readers & Writers, and Written Magazine.

BookExpo America (BEA)

bea-2016BEA is the leading book and author event for the North American publishing industry. It’s the best place to discover new titles and authors, conduct business and network, and learn the latest trends. BEA is the largest gathering of booksellers, librarians, retailers, publishers, rights, licensing, and book industry professionals in North America.

Panels of Note:

378 Excellent Books, 77 Important Events

Top 100+ Recommended Children’s Books


Children book authors, industry professionals, and avid readers contributed their favorite children’s books to this list. We know children and young readers will enjoy most, if not all, of these books, as they have already brought joy to countless children.

news-zetta-elliott-small“Who Will Write a Story for the Children of Eric Garner?” by Zetta Elliott

This question came to mind last February when I was invited to prepare a ten-minute talk for the PBS program Blackademics TV. Today, as I rage over the non-indictment of yet another murderous white police officer, I might ask, “Who will write a story for the sister of Tamir Rice?”

Elliott’s poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of twenty books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book Bird. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing.

100 Essential Black Books


All of these titles are compiled in the book Sacred Fire: The QBR 100 Essential Black Books, which was published by QBR: The Black Book Review magazine in 1999. The editors of QBR tapped a panel of leading scholars, historians, authors, and booksellers to reach a consensus on works having the most significant impact across the decades—the books that matter most. The resulting list of 100 books is an impressive collection of poetry, short fiction, novels, drama, autobiography, and history.

Our Favorite 100 Books of the 20th Century


15 Years ago, we completed the voting for our own list of Our Favorite 100 African American Novels of the 20th Century. A total of 3,861 votes were cast. This list was created as a direct result of our outrage at the lack of our presence of Black writers on the Modern Library’s Best Books of the Century list.

25 Recommended New Books by African Writers


Aaron Bady, who compiled this list, is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas, teaching African literature. Aaron’s list should serve as a great introduction to contemporary African writers. Some of the writers, like Nigerian writer Chris Abani, have already earned a great deal of acclaim in the United States, while others remain relatively obscure here. In any event, I’m confident you’ll discover a book you will really enjoy.

53 Excellent Reads Coming Out Soon


To find the best in soon to bet released books, check out our list. You find a curated list of books that will be published in the next few months. Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Eric Jerome Dickey, Elizabeth Nunez, Helen Oyeyemi, and Kwame Alexander are just a few of the brilliant writers with books coming out soon.

If you are looking for a new book, that you can read today, use our list of books published in the last two months. As with our soon to be released list of books, this is a handpicked list of books, across genres, which have been recommended by industry professionals, book clubs, booksellers and avid readers.

77 Book Events – Fairs, Festivals, and Conferences


This list should have the majority of major book festivals and fairs coming up the rest of this year in the United States and Caribbean. The list includes The Kingston Book Festival, which is one of the largest book festivals in the English speaking Caribbean. It comprises 30 events over 8 days with a combined audience of more than 6,000. I’ve been invited to attend this year, and I hope to see some of you there.

A Great Deals to Promote Your Book on AALBC.com


Book Clubs Lead The Way


“Thank you for providing an awesome service to fellow readers across the world. I have had the love of reading since I was about 11 years old. I can remember receiving a box of books from my mom’s friend as if it were yesterday, this one box would set me onto the path that I am on today. I have quite an obsession with books and all things books and have often had a hard time finding others who are like minded when it came to books and what I was reading. Your website will provide not only a place of information but it will also connect readers with others who share the same level of passion for books as they do.” —Yvonne Bailey, Book Pearls Book Club

Pictured from left to right are Candice Henderson, Kathiria Robinson, Yvonne Bailey and Raynetta Bailey. They are holding up the book Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

aalbc-youtube-subscriptio-button_1_Please take a few seconds to subscribe to AALBC.com’s YouTube channel. If you have a Gmail account, this will take about 2 seconds of your time. I need an additional 184 subscribers to enable paid content on our YouTube channel. Thanks!

Dear Reader,

news-troy-vidCheck out a video where I talk about some of the enhancements to the AALBC.com website that are under way.

Some may consider today the final day of Black History Month, but I’ve decided to celebrate Black History Month all year long! Look out for the daily Black History Month updates on our discussion forums and social media, as we celebrate “366 Days of Black History.”

A big THANK YOU goes to all the readers who started their third year supporting AALBC.com with a paid subscription to the AALBC.com eNewsletter!

Please link to AALBC.com from your website and share any content you find valuable on social media platforms, via word of mouth, or in any fashion that makes sense to you.

Troy, if you have not purchased your subscription to our eNewsletter. Simply click the “Subscribe” button above. Your support is what will help AALBC.com grow.

As always, thanks for reading!

Peace & Love,
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com