Tag Archives: book

September eNewsletter: Bestselling Books, 118 Book Events, and More

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July/August 2016 Bestselling Books

Titles on Go On Girl! Book Club’s reading list are prominent on our bestsellers list this period. This is good, because these books excellent reads, and commissions AALBC.com earns from their sales are contributed to Go On Girl! Book Club’s scholarship fund. Several novels, published by Brown Girls Books, made our fiction list because of the of the quaily of their literature and Brown Girls Books’ support of AALBC.com as an online bookseller. Readers, publishers, and authors all win in these scenarios.


118 Important Book Events, Fairs, Festivals, and Conferences

news-harlem-book-fairAALBC.com’s Events Calendar will track all of the important book festivals in North America (Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean). We currently have 118 terrific events, covering the next 12 months, and are actively expanding our calendar.

Also, use our free widget to add our Events Calendar to your website or Blog. Our widget is automatically updated, optimized for mobile, and works with websites that use https.


10 Black Writers Longlisted for National Book Awards

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“The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America.”

A total of 40 books are longlisted in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. On October 13, five finalists, in each category, will be announced. The winners will be celebrated at a wonderful awards ceremony on November 16, 2016. Check out our list of longlisted and winning writers, of African descent. The first award was presented to a Black writer in 1953; do you know who it was?


Black Classic Press Partners with ASALHnews-carter-g-woodson-books

“Our plan is to make these titles available as a complete collectors’ library and encourage readers to enjoy them and share them with future generations.”
—W. Paul Coates, publisher Black Classic Press.

news-paul-coates-1Black Classic Press, in partnership with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is pleased to announce the launch of The Woodson Series, which recognizes the pioneering efforts of Carter G. Woodson, The father of Black History Month, as a pub­lisher and institution builder. Dr. Woodson founded The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which became ASALH in 1915.

Enjoy a 30% discount, off the retail price, of all ASALH titles thru October 31.


Book Reviews

news-bibsyBibsy by Brenda Ross

Bibsy was a finalist (first fiction) for a 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award. Our reviewer, Carol Taylor, called Brenda Ross, “…a writer to watch, with a uniquely lyrical and assured voice and style.”

Bibsy gives keen insight into the complexity of the lives of African Americans during the construction of the bridge and the development of the land. It’s the end of a way of life for hundreds of poor displaced families. It’s a story not often told yet this type of displacement happened in widespread areas across the country. Read the complete review.


news9781634913560The Gem Connection by Michael R. Lane

The caper, The Gem Connection, penned by Michael R. Lane, features a private eye team. C.J. Cavanaugh and his partner, Renita Harris. Harris is a computer whiz. They are paired on the Windell slaying following a letter employing them with a hefty fee of $200,000 with the catch that the team must fly under the radar, without the knowledge of the Portland Police Department. However, Cavanaugh has the added pressure to keep all of the information from his long-time lover, Homicide Detective Destini Pendleton, who has been assigned to head the high-profile case. Read the complete review written by Robert Fleming.


Recommended Reads

news-black-man-in-a-white-coatBlack Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy

Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community (Picador, September 6, 2016).

Be sure to check out the book club discussion questions for Tweedy’s book; which was also selected by Folktales Black Women’s Literary Society for their reading list.


news-the-sell-outThe Sellout by Paul Beatty Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize

The Sellout was one of six novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction on September 13. This annually awarded literary prize is for the best original novel, written in English, and published in the UK. It is open to writers of any nationality. The winner of the 2016 Prize will be announced at a ceremony in London on Oct. 25. In addition to a prize of £50,000 (approximately $65,513), Beatty is one of two Americans to be honored this year.

The Sellout is a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. (Picador, March 1, 2016).


news-invisible-man-got-the-whole-worldInvisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education by Mychal Denzel Smith

How do you learn to be a black man in America?

Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren’t considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons that could have been and are still waiting. (Watch a Video of Smith Reading with Melissa Harris Perry).


news-southside_with_youSouthside With You – Film Review

The story unfolds in Chicago during the summer of 1989 when Michelle was already employed as an attorney and living back home with her parents. Barack had just finished his first year at Harvard law school and had landed an internship as her assistant at her prestigious, white-shoe firm.

Apparently, he was so instantly smitten with Michelle that he could barely contain himself. So, she had to politely remind him of the the office’s strict rule against fraternizing among associates. Nevertheless, when she refused to consider a romantic rendezvous, he pitched her on the idea of attending a business meeting with him… (read more).


Get a Free AALBC.com Author Profile ($249 Value)

news-s-pearl-sharp-profile-short-300w-1Buy a Large Book Cover or Horizontal Banner Advertisement and Get a Free Author Profile!

An Author Profile Profile is a permanent web presence on AALBC.com. It includes everything an author’s website should have including: your photo, biography, video, and pages for all of your books. Book pages can include a book trailer, description, excerpt, and buy links to all the major booksellers.

For an additional charge we can replace the books on the right hand side of your pages with customized widgets for you social media accounts, events calendar, video, blog and more. We can even associate your domain name to your pages if you don’t have a website. Check out elizabethnunez.com or christopherdburns.com for examples.

AALBC.com is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by or about people of African descent. There is no other website that reaches this group of readers more effectively.


Dear Reader,

news-aalbc-18-yearsI still need your support. Please consider purchasing your AALBC.com eNewsletter subscription. It is less than $1 per month.

AALBC.com thrives, in a large part, due to your financial support. Sure, I work very hard to keep AALBC.com growing, but I can’t succeed without your financial support. If you are currently a paid subscriber thank you so very much. If you have not yet purchased your subscription thanks in advance for the support.

By the way, our website upgrade is progressing very nicely. I still have thousands of pages to convert, or clean up, but I hope to have this done by the end of the year.

Thanks for reading and supporting Black Literature.

Peace & Love,
troy_signature_1_ (2)
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


You may receive messages like this directly in your email-box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version. Enjoy all of our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

AALBC.com eNewsletter – September 16, 2016 – Issue #237

Celebrating the Best in Black Literature (May 31, 2016 Newsletter)

Subscribe to AALBC.com’s eNewsletter

Books to be Published in JuneBooks to be published in June

Summer will heat up with some great new titles. Walter Mosley is back with his latest installment in the Easy Rawlins series, Charcoal Joe. Can you believe it has been 25 years since the first book in the series, Devil In A Blue Dress, was published?

We are also excited by the first novel, The Reactive, from Masande Ntshanga who is the winner of the 2013 PEN International New Voices Award, as well as a Finalist for the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Bobby Brown, with help from acclaimed author Nick Chiles, reveals intimate details of his marriage to Whitney Houston, speaks about losing his daughter Bobbi Kristina, and shares insights into his amazing career in his new memoir,Every Little Step: My Story.

Also look out for new books from other AALBC.com Bestselling authors including Kimberla Lawson Roby (A Sinful Calling) and Timothy George (The Dagger). To discover these and other great soon to be released books, visit our Books Coming Soon section.


AALBC.com Bestselling Books

The publishing company founded by authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray, Brown Girls Books, dominated our bestsellers list this period, claiming the top three fiction positions. Our #1 fiction bestseller, The Ex Chronicles is an anthology where 20 writers share relationship stories. At #2 we have The Perfect Find by Tia Williams and completing the trifecta is Dirt by Teffanie Thompson.

Congratulations to Brown Girls Books and all of the bestselling authors. Check out our full list bestselling titles for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s literature.


Beyond Phillis Wheatley — Important Firsts In Black Literature

Phillis Wheatley Most readers know Phillis Wheatley was the first published African-American female poet. Did you also know that George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883), was the only man to publish volumes of poetry while in bondage and the first African American to publish any book in the South? Were your familiar with Solomon Plaatje who was born October 9, 1876, and was the author of Mhudi which was published in 1930; making it the first novel by a black South Africa?

Jupiter Hammon, who was born on October 17, 1711, was perhaps the first Black person to be published, in 1761 before the United States was even formed.


The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

Langston Hughes“One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, “I want to be a poet—not a Negro poet,” meaning, I believe, “I want to write like a white poet;” meaning subconsciously, “I would like to be a white poet;” meaning behind that, “I would like to be white.” And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet. But this is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in America—this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible.“—Langston Hughes, Originally published in The Nation magazine, June 23, 1926

This ninety-year-old article could be been written yesterday; read it in its entirety.


The 2016 Black Pack Party: A Wonderful Celebration!A collage of the 2016 Black Pack party in Chicago

The 2016 Black Pack Party was a really wonderful celebration. Read my thoughts about the event. If you were able to join us in Chicago, please share your thoughts and photos in the article’s comments section.


Events Coming in June

BAM Anniversary

Summer is the busiest period for book festivals. In June the Go On Girl! Book Club will host their 25th Annual Awards Weekend. The international literary festival Calabash will kick off in Jamaica; Chris Abani, Paul Beatty, Teju Cole, Nicole Dennis-Benn, jessica Care moore, Marlon James and many other authors will be featured. The Sacramento Black Book Fair will celebrate their third year. And that is just the first week!

Also consider checking out the, AAMBC Literary Awards and the combined celebration honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement and the 20th Anniversary of Cave Canem (pictured above). Learn more about these events and all the others coming in June and the rest of the year.


A Great Deal to Promote Your Books on AALBC.com

Promote Your Books with Large Book Cover Advertisement and Horizontal Ad BannersOur Large Book Cover Advertisement and Horizontal Ad Banners appear on virtually every one of the several thousand AALBC.com web pages. Plus, each author whose book is promoted with this very prominent placement also receives a free Author Profile. If you already have an Author Profile, we’ll extend your campaign by two weeks.

With this deal, your AALBC.com Author Profile will give you a permanent, high profile web presence, which is great if your only presence is social media. Plus the highly visible placement of your advertisement will expose your book to over 100,000 avid readers of African American Literature. Learn more about this terrific deal.

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,

AALBC.com celebrates 18 years!Authors and publishers, here is a great way to support AALBC.com without spending a dime: Use our affiliate code when sending readers to Amazon to purchase your book.

The vast majority of the time when links to Amazon are shared with me, no affiliate code is a used. This means money is being left on the table. Why forego that revenue?

Here is the format for the link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1617737984/ref=nosim?tag=aalbccom-20
Simply replace you book’s ISBN10 or ASIN with the boldface number in the URL above. It is that easy!

As always, thanks for reading!

Peace & Love,
Troy Johnson


You may receive messages like this directly in your email-box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version.  Enjoy our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

AALBC.com eNewsletter – May 31, 2016 – Issue #234

Anita Hemmings, the First Black Student to Attend Vassar College

The-gilded-yearsKarin Tanabe’s gripping new historical novel, The Gilded Years (Washington Square Press, June 7, 2016) is based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar College. With “spot on” dialogue and “narration reminiscent of novels of the 1890s” (Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August), Tanabe has crafted a tonally masterful yet supremely relevant narrative on race, women’s rights, and the challenges of finding one’s place in the world.

Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend Vassar, the country’s most exclusive school for women. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: she is the only African-American student ever to attend the college. With her olive complexion and dark hair, she has successfully passed as white for three years, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.

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Anita Hemmings (Archives & Special Collections, Vassar College Library)

Pulled into Lottie’s elite world, Anita learns what it’s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman—the person everyone believes her to be—and even finds herself in a relationship with a moneyed Harvard man. With this closeness comes trouble, however, as Anita faces what it truly means to pass: the guilt of betraying her family, of lying to her friends, of cutting herself off from her community in exchange for an education. As Anita’s relationships with Lottie and her affluent classmates grow closer, she must make the near impossible decision of whether to choose the love of a man who can open doors she could not reach on her own, or to be true to her heritage and return home to her family after graduation, leaving the ease of white society behind in favor of a different sort of freedom.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal. The Gilded Years is a riveting account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life (Hemmings Photo Credit: Archives & Special Collections, Vassar College Library).


“An utterly captivating narrative that kept me turning pages late into the night.”–Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Kitchen House

“Karin Tanabe limns the tensions of a young woman’s desire to participate fully in a world in which she doesn’t dare reveal her full self…Most impressive are the characters’ emotional complexity; Tanabe understands that human relations are never so simple as black and white.”
–Christina Schwarz, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This engaging novel, set in a time of conflict between old money and new ideas, captures both the bravery and the heartbreak of Anita’s decision…Readers won’t soon forget Anita Hemmings or the choices she made.”
–BookPage

“In Anita’s captivating story, heightened by richly drawn characters, Tanabe insightfully grapples with complex and compelling issues.”
–Booklist

news-karin-tanabeKarin Tanabe is the author of the novels The List and The Price of Inheritance. The Gilded Years is her third novel. A former Politicoreporter and a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, her work has also appeared in publications including The Washington Post,The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald,Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer and in the anthology Crush: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.

Visit her web site: http://www.karintanabe.com


You may receive messages like this directly in your email-box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version.  Enjoy our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

Enjoy,
Troy Johnson
AALBC.com’s, Founder and Webmaster