Category Archives: books

Book Club Picks – $10 Classics from HarperCollins – Plus More in AALBC’s eNewsletter

Olive editions by Harper Colins


Books a Few Book Clubs are Enjoying this Month

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieThe Tea’s October SelectionWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Watch a video of The Tea’s discussion.


The Fire Next Time by James BaldwinGo On Girl! Book Club’s October SelectionThe Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

▪ Voted #71 of the Top 100 Books of the 20th Century
▪ 1 Time AALBC.com Bestselling Book!
▪ Selected for 2 Book Clubs’s Reading Lists
▪ Honored by the National Book Awards in 1964
▪ A QBR 100 Essential Black Book

Originally published in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Sales of The Fire Next Time on AALBC.com helps support Go On Girl! Book Club’s scholarship fund.


The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues by Edward Kelsey MooreFolktales’ Black Women’s Literary Society’s October SelectionThe Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues by Edward Kelsey Moore

From the author of the bestselling The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues, an exuberant and poignant novel of passions, family, and forgiveness. When a late life love affair blooms between Mr. Forrest Payne, the owner of the Pink Slipper Gentleman’s Club, and Miss Beatrice Jordan, famous for stationing herself at the edge of the club’s parking lot and yelling warnings of eternal damnation at the departing patrons,…


Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu is Our #2 All-Time Bestselling Author
Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu is Our #2 All-Time Bestselling Author

Dr. Kunjufu has made AALBC.com bestsellers list an astonishing 85 times with 16 different books! His book focus on the subject educating Black boys.

“I’ve read The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys about five times over the last 25 years or so. Anybody who has a relationship with a black boy should read this book.”—Reginald Johnson


Would You Stop Buying Books from Amazon.com to Save the Book Industry?Would You Stop Buying Books from Amazon.com to Save the Book Industry?

As Amazon’s dominance approaches that of true monopoly, the influence of all other booksellers is virtually eliminated. As a result, the discoverability of books is driven by a revenue-maximizing-algorithm rather than curated by a caring human being who knows both books and their readers.

Boycotting Amazon’s bookstore might mean, at least initially, that you’ll have pay a little more for books, or you’ll wait a little longer to get them, but it will also mean you’ll be more likely to enjoy the books you do purchase. Review the results of our survey. Whether you are for or against a boycott of Amazon’s bookstore the comments will surprise you.


Recently Published Noteworthy BooksRecently Published Books of Note

Faces of Praise!: Photos and Gospel Inspirations to Encourage and Uplift by Carol Mackey: This full-color photo gift book that turns chart-topping contemporary gospel music into Bible-based devotions is a three-way blessing for readers: a perfect companion to favorite gospel recordings, an encouraging daily devotional and a unique photo collection.

Pelé: The King of Soccer by Eddy Simon: This graphic novel beautifully depicts Pele’s (widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time) rise from the slums of Brazil to the national stage.

100 Amazing Facts About the Negro by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Gates gives us a corrective yet loving homage to Joel Augustus Rogers’ work. Relying on the latest scholarship, Gates leads us on a romp through African, diasporic, and African-American history in question-and-answer format.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.Longlist for a 2017 National Book Award – Young People’s Literature

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina: In the first graphic novel for young readers to focus on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, as in Hamlet, the dead shall speak—and the living yield even more surprises.


Colin Kaepernick Signs a $1 Million+ Book DealColin Kaepernick Signs a $1 Million+ Book Deal

“Colin Kaepernick has inked a book deal worth just over $1 million with Random House imprint One World, Page Six has exclusively learned. One World’s headed by book world superstar Chris Jackson, who also publishes Jay-Z and Ta-Nehisi Coates. He launched One World last year.” —The New York Post (10/24/2017)

One World was founded in 1992 and was on the leading edge of imprints created to meet the demand of books telling stories written by and featuring African Americans, a period which only lasted about a decade. One World was relaunched after several years of inactivity. Jackson has been named Editor-in-Chief of the imprint, making him the most powerful Black man in mainstream publishing.


Help Fund Black Documents: Mosaic Literary ConferenceHelp Fund Black Documents: Mosaic Literary Conference

Help fund this year’s Black Documents: Mosaic Literary Conference and related exhibitions. They can’t reach their goal to support Black literature, education, and social causes without your support.

Black Documents: Mosaic Literary Conference will explore historical and contemporary presentations of black identity in literature, media, and photography; and how self-affirming imagery and text can counter negative stereotypes. To this end, the conference will also present photography exhibits Jamel Shabazz: Black Documents and Black Documents: Freedom.

To make it happen, they need your support. Go to their Kickstarter and give what you can. Rewards include exhibit catalogue, posters, book sets, totes and more.


“We Must Patronize Black-Owned Websites or Lose Them”We Must Patronize Black-Owned Websites or Lose Them

Part of AALBC.com’s mission to help promote and uplift independent websites created by, and for, people of African descent. The Top 50 Black Owned SItes represent the strongest of over 300 popular Black-owned websites

We can’t allow a few social media gatekeepers to be the only entities who control access to, and profit from, our culture on the web. Read some of the feedback for this project and why it was started.


New Mailing List for Authors and Publishers

We have creating a new mailing list just for authors, publishers, and people interested in using AALBC.com to market their products. If you would like to continue receiving resources and information relevant to that demographic, please click the “Join the Mailing List” button below.
Join Out Mailing List


Dear Reader,

In a world where we are losing Black-owned websites, of all types, and websites that cover Black books in particular, it is important to emphasize that AALBC.com exists as a result of your patronage and support—In fact, AALBC.com will thrive because of it!

I’d like to thank just a few of the recent newsletter subscribers who have supported AALBC at the Supporter Level or above; H. Cook, C. Smith, and M. Smart. Supporters at the Subscriber Level, while too numerous to mention here, are just as important, for every paid subscription matters.

If you value and believe in uplifting Black literature; please;

Again, your support, patronage, and engagement with the website is the only reason AALBC.com has lasted 20 years, enabling us to publish this, our 250th eNewsletter!

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


Our newsletter may be read on your Kindle ebook reader or read via RSS. Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

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AALBC.com eNewsletter – October 26, 2017 – Issue #250

Would You Stop Buying Books from Amazon.com to Save the Book Industry?

Boycotting Amazon’s bookstore might mean, at least initially, that you’ll have pay a little more for books, or you’ll wait a little longer to get them, but it will also mean you’ll be more likely to enjoy the books you do purchase.

Ban Amazon

As Amazon’s dominance approaches that of true monopoly, the influence of all other booksellers is virtually eliminated.  As a result, the discoverability of books is driven by a revenue-maximizing-algorithm rather than curated by a caring human being who knows both books and their readers.

Exploiting their monopolistic power Amazon has become 100% vertically integrated—controlling every aspect of a book’s  production all the way to its sale to the reader.  As a result, Amazon exerts enormous control over authors and publishers. This directly controls the books readers have available to them.  Increased pressure is placed upon every book’s profitability, and potentially great books are not produced as riskier books can not be supported under Amazon’s business model.

Amazon’s treatment of books as loss leader and exploiting 3rd party vendors who often sell remaindered, review, or even pirated or stolen copies of books allows readers to enjoy low priced books. It is unreasonable to assume that these discounts will continue once Amazon’s competition has been completely eliminated. Border is gone, B&N, is in decline, and sales by independent bookstores are paltry compared to total book sales. Amazon already owns the sale of books on the world wide web.  In fact, Amazon sells 43% if everything sold on the web!

Related Reading:
The problems are far more complex and profound that I have presented above.  Please consider reviewing these articles that touch on different aspects on why Amazon’s dominance is bad of all of us, not just for those of us who care about the importance of books.

Boycotting Amazon’s bookstore is one small way we can have an effect.  We can no longer wait for Amazon’s monopoly to be broken up by ur government.  Too much damage has been done already.

Would you consider helping to organize, or joining an effort, to a boycott the buying of books from Amazon to reverse their control of the book industry so they we can enjoy better books and more of the profit they generate?

Please fill out the form below and let us know what you think.

The survey is now over. You may review the results and comments here.

Bestselling Books, The Top 25 Black-Owned Sites, New Books, and More

eNewsletter September 2017

Bestselling Books July – August 2017

Fiction titles outsold all other genres this period, led by the strength of Sadeqa Johnson’s 2016 novel Second House from the Corner, which was the bestselling book of all. Nonfiction was the 2nd most popular genre, rebounding from weak sales in May and June of 2017. The bestselling nonfiction book was Ivan Van Sertima’s masterwork, They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America, which made our list for the 13th time since 1999! Children’s Book sales, continue to be strong with a nice mixture of new and classic titles with publication dates spanning a period of 50 years. Poetry sells each period for which we report, however sales were insufficient to compile a bestsellers for the genre.


Recommended Reads

We Were 8 Years in PowerWe Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

If you are in the DC area Join Sankofa Bookstore as they present: Ta-Nehisi Coates Washington, DC’s Book Launch, October 9th.


Yardie by Victor HeadleyYardie by Victor Headley

A literary sensation in England, and originally published by X Press, Yardie introduces us to D., a tough, streetwise man from Jamaica who, using a falsified passport, enters London to deliver a kilo of cocaine to the Spicers, the ruling operation in cocaine distribution. D., knowing it could be his only chance for a break, steals half a kilo and runs out into a city he is entirely unfamiliar with, having only vague contacts from the life he left behind.

Actor Idris Elba will make his directorial debut in 2018 with a film version of this novel.

“Yardie was that noir novel that everyone read …[I’m] making a charismatic film. Yardie is to me what Goodfellas was to Martin Scorsese.” –Idris Elba


Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Gordon C. JamesCrown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Gordon C. James

“A fresh cut makes boys fly.”

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

Check out more Children’s and YA literature coming out soon.


A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter by Nikki GiovanniA Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears and Laughter by Nikki Giovanni

As energetic and relevant as ever, Nikki now offers us an intimate, affecting, and illuminating look at her personal history and the mysteries of her own heart. Giovanni takes us into her confidence, describing the joy and peril of aging and recalling the violence that permeated her parents’ marriage and her early life. She pays homage to the people who have given her life meaning and joy: her grandparents, who took her in and saved her life; the poets and thinkers who have influenced her; and the students who have surrounded her.


Watch a Great Video of This Year’s Black Party

The video was created courtesy of The Tea, which is a terrific web series where books are the topic and women are the voice. The Tea joined us during our annual Black Pack Party this year and truly captured the spirit of our gathering. Check the Black Pack Party video. Learn more about The Tea at www.jointhetea.com


Children’s Africana Book Awards2017 Children’s Africana Book Awards

The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) are presented annually to the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa published or republished in the U.S. The awards were created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA) to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials about Africa. The awards are presented in two categories: Young Children and Older Readers.

Also check out The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) Festival.


The Top 25 Black-Owned Websites

The Top 25 Black-Owned Websites

I have made it part of AALBC.com’s mission to help promote and uplift independent websites created by, and for, people of African descent. The Top 25 Black Owned SItes represent the most popular of almost 300 popular Black-owned websites considered for inclusion on this list. Be sure to help spread the word about, and visit, some of these great websites.

We can’t allow a few social media gatekeepers to be the only entities who control access to, and profit from, our culture on the web.


A Couple Recent Topics From Our Discussion Forum:

Move Over Nicki Minaj Make Way for Cardi B!
Read the lyrics below and watch the video also. Are the lyrics saying anything? How are females represented? Is it truly representing female empowerment? What is the language telling us and our children? What is the visual telling us and our children? Do you see any connection or relevance to E2E’s “The N-Word’s Multi-Layered Power Structure” video we shared with you a few weeks ago? What role do record and radio company executives play in the music we listen to? What about the artists – what guides their decision (money or artistry)? What do we as consumers and parents allow? Should we be more aware? What do you think is the ultimate impact globally of these lyrics and the image/visual? (What do you think?) —Courtesy of Educate2Empower

Black Men And Trump
“This ‘bend-the-knee’ fall-out is a legitimate news story that doesn’t die because it is so relevant. It doesn’t have to be hyped because it automatically inspires attention by virtue of being about something near and dear to the hearts of most Americans. And the fact that everybody seems to have an opinion on it is an indication of how it strikes a nerve in the population.” (What do you think?) —Cynique

Let us know what you think or start your own conversation. Participate anonymously (if you chose) without fear of your privacy being invaded or your personal information being sold to marketers.


New Mailing List for Authors and Publishers

We have creating a new mailing list just for authors, publishers, and people interested in using AALBC.com to market their products. If you would like to continue receiving resources and information relevant to that demographic, please click the “Join the Mailing List” button below.Join the Mailing List

The following is the type of information you can expect in our new mailing list for authors and publishers:

Call for Literary Submissions for the 49th NAACP Image Awards
The official call for literary submission for the 49th NAACP Image Awards is now open. Visit the official Image Awards Submissions Portal to submit your book for consideration.


AALBC Prints Books!

AALBC Prints Books TeamWe provide book printing services to independent authors and publishers. We guarantee our results by providing a finished book for your review. Get a quote with our easy to use calculator for the most popular book sizes, including 5.5 x 8.5 and 6 x 9 paperback books.

We have teamed up with BCP Digital Printing, who like AALBC.com, have more than a two decades of experience. We also share their mission to provide you with friendly customer service, high quality results, expert advice, and competitive prices.

Edit 1st clients enjoy a 10% discount on top our already competitive prices and AALBC Prints Books’ customers get 15% off all AALBC.com’s services.


Let AALBC.com be your de facto official website

Authors are best served by maintaining their own websites. I have always assisted authors, as a courtesy, by serving as their de facto official website. Authors Martha Kennerson (marthakennerson.com) and Cavis Adams (cavisadams.com) have recently taken advantage of this free service by pointing their domains to their AALBC.com profile pages. If you are one of the more than 3,200 authors with a profile on AALBC.com and don’t have a website, just ask and we’ll take care of it. If you don’t have a profile on AALBC.com we can create one for you. Just follow the lead of accomplished writers like Elizabeth Nunez (elizabethnunez.com), as seen in the above graphic. Learn how to get started.


How a Book Goes from Writer to Reader in Traditional Publishing by Carol Taylor

  • How a Book Goes from Writer to Reader in Traditional Publishing by Carol TaylorThe writer writes a novel or a nonfiction book proposal.
  • The writer queries a literary agent with a query letter about his novel or his nonfiction book.
  • The agent expresses interest and asks to see the entire novel or the completed nonfiction book proposal.
  • The agent likes the work and agrees to represent the writer.

Read the rest of the article at Edit 1st.


Dear Reader,

Staring with our October eNewsletter, I’m going to remove information which is intended specifically for authors, publishers, or those interested in using AALBC.com to market their books.

The goal is to send readers newsletters more focused on books, authors, and related subjects. Troy, if there is something you’d like to see in our eNewsletter please email me directly.

As always, this website grows only because of your support. If you truly value and believe in supporting Black literature; please support AALBC.com by;

troy signature
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


Our newsletter may be read on your Kindle ebook reader or read via RSS. Consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

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AALBC.com eNewsletter – September 27, 2017 – Issue #249