Following Marie Kondo’s blockbuster guide to decluttering, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, new books on home organization continue to draw sales—including Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by bestselling Christian author Ruth Soukup. Making a case for the spiritual benefits of minimalism, the book debuted at #4 on our Religion Nonfiction list for April. Unstuffed received coverage on both national Christian and mainstream media outlets, including Parade, Today’s Christian Woman, and The Huffington Post, and an Unstuffed 10-day Challenge email marketing campaign was promoted on Soukup’s own Web site, LivingWellSpendingLess, FaithGateway, and HarperCollins Christian Publishing channels. Sales were further driven by pre-order incentives, including a free 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life e-book.
Krista Tippett, the host of the popular podcast On Being, came in at #6 on the Nonfiction list with Becoming Wise. Pulling from over a decade of in-depth interviews with a wide variety of spiritual seekers, Tippett told PW that the book points “at real lives all around us that show how we can start to find comfort by reaching out to others.”
In advance of Mother’s Day, three editions of Sarah Young’s perennial bestseller Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace appear on the Religion Nonfiction list. The 2004 hardcover is #1, the 2015 deluxe imitation leather edition is #5, and the 2011 large print imitation leather edition of the devotional took #10. Inspired by her personal prayer journal, Young’s 12-year-old book features uplifting messages and passages from scripture for every day of the year.
On our Religion Fiction list, Wanda Brunstetter held on to the number 1 slot for the third month in a row— this time with the second installment of the Amish Millionaire Series: The Stubborn Father. The first book in the six-part series, The English Son, fell two spots to #3. Two other Amish romances, A Man of His Word by Kathleen Fuller and A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid, also made the April bestsellers chart, coming in at #2 and #7, respectively.
Francine Rivers’ 2005 edition of Redeeming Love came in at #9 on the Fiction chart. Alex Field, v-p and publisher at WaterBrook & Multnomah, told PW that all editions of the retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea have sold over one million copies since its original publication in 1997. While there hasn’t been any recent promotion of Redeeming Love, Christianity Today ran an article about Rivers in late April that could have driven sales. Last fall, PW caught up with Rivers, who had just won the 2015 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award. Reflecting on four decades of writing, Rivers said that the Christian market gave her greater freedom to move between genres. “I’ve done contemporary, historical, and biblical fiction, [as well as] novellas, children’s books, and [now] I’m working on a devotional,” she said.