Titles on finding hope and comfort, overcoming obstacles, and persevering despite hardship reign supreme on PW’s Religion Nonfiction bestsellers list for April amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. While Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head and Craig Groeschel’s Dangerous Prayers maintain their respective perches at #1 and #2, Sarah Young’s bestselling 365-day devotional Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence takes third place on the list. The book has sold over 30 million copies since its initial publication in 2004 in part because “it imparts words of peace and comfort,” Laura Minchew, senior v-p, children’s and gift group publisher of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, told PW during a recent interview.
John Meacham follows at #4 with The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross, which studies the words of Jesus recorded in the gospels. PW called the book “eloquent” and “comforting” in its review, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author promoted the book via media appearances on NPR, The New York Times, and more.
Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything takes #7 on the list. Author Katherine Wolf, who survived a near-fatal brainstem stroke at 26, writes of her recovery, frustrations, dreams, and victories, while her husband writes in alternating chapters of being a husband, father, and caregiver. The book comes with a free downloadable study guide, and media interviews included the Christian talk show 100 Huntley Street and FaithWire.
Finally, another title on the “hard” parts of life, The Gift of One Day: How to Find Hope When Life Gets Hard by Kerry Shook and Chris Shook, comes in at #8. The book describes the loss of the couple’s grandson after just one day of life and how it changed their lives. In addition to a sermon series, launch team promotions, and e-blasts to the publisher’s email programs, authors Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel, Mark Batterson, Steven Furtick, and more promoted it through blurbs.
In Fiction, Jonathan Cahn stayed #1 with The Oracle, while Francine Rivers moved up one spot from last month to #2 with her bestselling romance Redeeming Love. Making its debut, Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar takes #9 after receiving blurbs from authors such as Sharon Garlough Brown and positive reviews, including PW’s, which called it “Afshar’s strongest, most complex scripture-based story yet.”