Rise Up

As vigils and protests swept the country after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by Minneapolis police, many sought out books that address systemic racism and how to combat it. Robin Diangelo’s White Fragility (2018) was the 11th-bestselling book in the country, selling four times as many print units as it had the week before. Several frontlist titles, too, caught readers’ attention, returning to our lists with their strongest sales in months.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
#8 Hardcover NF
Up 529%

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
#19 Hardcover NF
Up 314%

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
#9 Trade Paper
Up 407%

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
#14 Trade Paper
Up 546%

True Hollywood Story

Debuting at #9 in hardcover nonfiction, Hollywood Park is Mikel Jollett’s “arresting debut memoir,” our starred review said, in which the musician “writes of escaping a California cult named Synanon—where he lived in the 1970s until age five—with his mentally unstable mother and older brother.” Jollett begins his narrative from the perspective of himself as a young boy. “Writing this book gave that child a voice,” he says. “I had never acknowledged the neglect I’d suffered.” Promotions for the book have included a May 26 remote discussion with actor Josh Radnor, hosted by 92Y.

Waiting to Exhale

Breath by science journalist James Nestor lands at #12 in hardcover nonfiction. “While the process of breathing may seem like a no-brainer,” our review said, “Nestor’s fascinating treatise convincingly asserts that it’s easy to get wrong, and vital to get right.” In a May 27 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, the author explained breathing’s effects on overall health, including how exhalation helps with relaxation. “If you take a very slow inhale in, you’re going to feel your heart speed up,” he said. “As you exhale, you should be feeling your heart slow down. So exhaling relaxes the body.”


Nora Roberts
#1 Hardcover Fiction, #3 overall
“Fans of Roberts’s intense contemporary tales will enjoy this high-stakes love story,” our review said, in which “an early trauma shapes the course of a woman’s life.”

Natalie Jenner
#17 Hardcover Fiction
In what our review called a “delightful debut,” the people of post-WWII Chawton, England, come together to preserve the home and legacy of the beloved author of the title. The novel “is rich with references to Austen’s literature and carried along by the strong bonds formed by the characters based on their shared appreciation for her work.”