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The Best Selection of Africa Books on the Web


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I selected the ten books on this Ferris wheel among Africa bestsellers at Amazon.com. For Amazon's latest Africa list, updated hourly, click here


This set includes a few classic books I highly recommend, as well as a few on my "to read sometime" list. And, just for variety, a CD of songs by Oliver Mtukudzi.

Page last updated Aug 29, 2008

About AfricaFocus Bookshop: Note from AfricaFocus Editor

July 2008

This AfricaFocus Bookshop is an experiment. If it works, it will both be useful to readers and provide a modest flow of revenue needed to support AfricaFocus. If it does prove to be useful, I will put more time into expanding it and maintaining it with regular updates. That depends on whether you like it, and whether you sometimes buy a book through these bookshop links. (see below on how you can also suggest additional books to be included).

What I have done to start, using the latest tools available from Amazon, is to put up a selection of books I think AfricaFocus readers might find of interest. Some are classics, some new releases. Some I strongly recommend to readers, some I included just because they look interesting enough to pick up and look inside.

For many of these books, you can actually look inside and browse without buying the book or leaving your computer. More and more publishers are using Amazon's "look inside the book" feature. You can check out the table of contents and sample pages, almost as if you were browsing in a physical bookstore.

Like many of you, I am also concerned about the survival of local independent bookstores, and I do visit - and buy books from - the ones in Washington, DC. But the fact is that few physical bookstores anywhere - in North America, Europe, or even in Africa - have a wide range of books on African topics. So I hope you will find this on-line bookshop useful enough to browse - and perhaps to buy.

If you buy through links to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, featured on this site, AfricaFocus will receive a small percentage of the list price as a "referral" fee. The same applies to the independent unionized bookstore Powell's Books, based in Portland, Oregon, and to Kalahari.net in South Africa. I haven't added on-line shops in other countries yet; about 50% of AfricaFocus website visitors are in the USA, UK, or South Africa, and the remaining 50% of visitors come from more than 190 other countries. But if you have a favorite on-line bookshop in another country to recommend, please let me know.

I have also included links to two key publishers and distributors of African Books, Africa World Press and African Books Collective, and of course to the website for my own recent co-edited book No Easy Victories.

Enjoy browsing and come back again!

— William Minter, Editor, AfricaFocus Bulletin

Suggest a set of books for AfricaFocus Bookshop

I don't expect to have time to change or add new "featured books" regularly. So for now I am reserving that place for ones that I strongly recommend to readers. But it is relatively easy to add an additional set of books for an Amazon carousel or Ferris wheel (assuming they are all on Amazon). The ones on there to start are my selections. I know many AfricaFocus readers are well informed about African issues, and I would like to include some from you as well. Feel free to suggest books on current African issues, fiction, or other topics of possible interest to AfricaFocus readers. To be included in an Amazon carousel, the book must be available on Amazon, with an image of the cover.

If you have a set of books you want to suggest, on a specific topic or country - a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 - just send me an e-mail listing the authors and titles, along with a suggested title for the set, your name, your institutional affiliation (if any), and where you live (city and country). Send me your suggestion at africafocus@igc.org. I'll let you know when I have been able to make your selection available in the AfricaFocus Bookshop. Unless you ask me not to, I'll credit the list to you, with your name, institutional affiliation, city, and country (your e-mail address will not appear on the site).