Devotionals and Christmas-themed books are getting their usual boost this holiday shopping season, with both featuring prominently across PW’s Religion Fiction and Religion Nonfiction bestseller lists. Hardcover editions of Sarah Young's 365-day devotionals took the top two slots on the Religion Nonfiction chart—Jesus Always, Young’s latest release, maintained its #1 perch from October, while 2004's Jesus Always moved up three spots to #2.
A third devotional, The Heart of Christmas by Christian radio personality Hank Hanegraaff, also charted at #10. The 25-day devotional features Scripture readings, carols, and questions for meditation and discussion intended to inspire readers in the days leading up to Christmas.
Max Lucado's take on the meaning of Christmas, Because of Bethlehem, has been climbing the charts since its September publication and debuts on our Religion Nonfiction list at #6. Lucado toured to support the book and wrote op-eds for FoxNews.com and TheTODAYShow.com. Lucado also partnered with Faithgateway on a free online Bible study of Because of Bethlehem. Speaking to PW about the book in October, Lucado said, "I really wanted to see if I could answer the question 'What’s the big deal about Christmas?' and put it in a book that’s accessible to people who are very busy.”
Karen Kingsbury moved up one spot from October to #1 in Religion Fiction with A Baxter Family Christmas, which sold nearly 27K copies in November, according to Nielsen BookScan. The 24th book in the Baxter family series is set in Bloomington, Ind. on Christmas Eve. Five other Christmas-inspired novels also placed on the Religion Fiction chart, including Wanda Brunstetter’s The Christmas Secret, which moved up four places from October to #5.