AALBC’s Newsletter: Bestsellers, Novelist Stacey Abrams, Texas Book Festival Videos & More


Dear Troy,

I recently introduced a new feature to AALBC that will make it easier for visitors to discover books they will enjoy. Now readers are able to search our curated database of books by category. Looking for biographies or autobiography of women — no problem! We have categorized our books in more than 1,500 different categories; try out this new feature by using this page to find books by category.

AALBC has continued to grow and thrive because of your patronage and support. If you value what we do, please purchase your subscription to AALBC’s eNewsletter. If you have already done so, accept my personal thank you, and a thank you for the authors whose work you help support. Finally, when you discover something of value on AALBC be sure to share the information with others.

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

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Fiction: The Wolf Queen the first book in a series by Cerece Rennie Murphy was the bestselling fiction title.

Nonfiction: Tarkisha M. Wallace’s motivational & inspirational Little Girl Arise debuts at #1 on nonfiction list.

Children’s Books: The classic, The Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes and Illustrated by E. B. Lewis, is one of the most critically acclaimed children’s books on AALBC.

Poetry: There were not enough poetry book sales to create a bestsellers list this period. However, poetry is the 9th most popular category of books we showcase so take advantage of our offerings and discover a great book of poetry.


Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate, Stacey Yvonne Abrams is also a Prolific Novelist

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Selena Montgomery is the pen name of Stacey Yvonne Abrams who was the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017. She was born December 9, 1973. Abrams grew up in Southern Mississippi, with two incredible parents and five fascinating siblings. She is a graduate of Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and Yale Law School. She draws upon her interest in and experiences with social and economic policy, politics, and creative writing to fuel her novels.

Abrams is the first Black female major party gubernatorial nominee in the United States, for the Georgia Democratic Party — a true renaissance woman! Today, if she wins the election, it will make her the first Black woman Governor in the United States. Did you vote?


Video Coverage of the Texas Book Festival


The Texas Book Festival took place on October 27 and 28 in Austin, and it was great! The weather was spectacular and there was just so much to see and do. It was really exciting to discover so many talented writers and to meet authors I’ve always admired.

Critically acclaimed novelist, Tayari Jones teamed up with Pulitzer Prize winning author Luís Alberto Urrea for one of the most insightful panels I’ve attended in a long time. I discovered a wonderful local poetry publishing company, 310 Brown Street. I even ran into ladies from two of my favorite book clubs Maya Smart of Go On Girl! Book Club, Inc. and Peggy Terry from Folktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society. Check out all the videos from the Texas Book Festival here.


AALBC Highly Recommends


Black by Joan Vassar

“Joan Vassar’s Black is an immensely enjoyable and well-written historical novel about love — love of self and family, love of freedom and self-determination and the kind of sweet love that makes a man and woman understand exactly what’s worth fighting for. It’s a powerful ride through the eyes of a mighty people. Blackclimbs all up into your heart-space and never lets go — and you definitely won’t want him to.”
Linda Duggins, Booklover Warrior & Book Publicist

Listen to an excerpt from Black, and watch a video of Joan describing her work as a historical fiction novelist. Black is the first book in a three book series.


The World’s Oldest Black-owned Independent Publishing Company Publishes Ta-Nehisi Coates


Founded in 1949 by Alioune Diop, Présence Africaine is the world’s oldest Black-owned independent publishing company.

Présence Africaine is best known for being the first to publish many Frenching speaking African writers including Cheikh Anta DiopLéopold Sédar SenghorOusmane Sembène. They also published the French translations of Chinua AchebeWole SoyinkaNgũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and Kwame Nkrumah.

In 2018 Présence Africaine published the French translation of Ta-Nehisi Coates critically acclaimed book, We Were Eight Years in Power (Huit ans au pouvoir) exposing Coates’ book to a global audience of Francophone readers. Ta-Nehisi’s father, Paul Coates, founder of Black Classic Press and BCP Digital relates the significance of this publishing milestone in this video.


It is never too late to celebrate a genre of fiction which is enjoying growing popularity. Author Milton Davis expresses it best:

“It’s Black Speculative Fiction Month! This month we celebrate the Black Fantastic by supporting our creators and their events throughout the Diaspora! If you’ve never read a Sword and SoulSteamfunkAfrofuturism, Africanfuturism, African Fantasy, Science FictionParanormalUrban FantasyHorror book or graphic novel by a Black author, this is your month. I encourage all my friends to read, support an author by writing a review, attend a Black Speculative Fiction event, share a book, event, and/or an author with friends. This is our month, so let’s celebrate!”
Milton J. Davis


2014 Locus Awards Finalist, Nonfiction Category
In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art, Afrofuturism author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel DelanyOctavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book’s topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves


AALBC Online Book Club — November’s Selection


Participate in our Book Club’s Discussion, of Praise Song for the Butterflies, during the entire month of November 2018

Praise Song for the Butterflies is, American Book Award winner, Bernice L. McFadden’s latest novel which addresses “Trokosi,” the practice of sending girls to shrines as slaves to serve priests in order to protect their family from the Gods’ anger.

To participate you’ll need to sign up. Please visit this page: https://aalbc.com/tc/ click the “Sign Up” link on the top right hand side of the page; you’ll just need to enter valid email address (which will never be shared) and the name you would like to use. I’ll approve your account, and you can participate in the conversation taking place here this month.

Tony Lindsay and Doriel Larrier are the book club’s moderators. Also, check out our reading list for the remainder of the year.


Has your book been professionally edited? We can review your manuscript and help provide guidance on next steps. Learn about manuscript review service.


★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – November 6, 2018 – Issue #263


Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.