Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan (Viking)
This sequel to McMillan's 1992 bestseller Waiting to Exhale revisits the four girlfriends from the book, now in their 50s. It's her first novel in five years (since 2005's The Interruption of Everything) and has already been optioned to the same team that brought Waiting to Exhale to the big screen in 1995.
Swallow by Sefi Atta (Interlink)
In this memorable tale of gender, class, and life in modern Nigeria, Atta tells the story of two young secretaries working in Lagos in the mid-1980s who turn to drug dealing to make a living.
Left for Undead: A Crimson Moon Novel by L.A. Banks (St. Martin's)
Sexy, violent and supernatural, Bank's Crimson Moon series continues with Sasha Trudeau investigating a series of vicious vampire slayings.
Natural Born Hustler by Nikki Turner (One World)
Turner, the queen of street/hip-hop lit, offers the story of her heroine, Desember, 18 years old, charming and a relentless hustler out to sell anything and everything—until her schemes get deadly and her mother reveals who her father really is.
Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat (Princeton Univ. Press)
National Book Award–winner Danticat, who is Haitian-American, offers a series of essays reflecting on the particular responsibilities of immigrant artists to bear witness to the sufferings of their native lands.
The Northside: African Americans and the Creation of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson (Plexus)
Written by the author of Boardwalk Empire, the book the hit TV show is based on, this book carefully documents the role of oppressed blacks in building Atlantic City and creating a haven for black life on its Northside.
African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston by Randy Weston, arranged by Willard Jenkins (Duke)
The 85-year-old Weston celebrates his birthday year with a wide-ranging autobiography covering his years playing in the vibrant 1950s New York jazz scene; his life in Morocco, where he opened a jazz club, and a musical life playing with the likes of Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many other great musicians.
Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius by Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber (Da Capo)
An exhaustive look at the life of Hendrix through hundreds of interviews with friends and family, accounts unpublished until now, as well as letters, transcripts, and photographs.
Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud by Cornel West with David Ritz (Smiley Books)
A memoir by the well-known Princeton academic that looks back on his life growing up in California, his love of music, and his life in academia and progressive politics.