Prayer and love—for yourself and others—dominated the June nonfiction bestseller list for religion titles. Readers reached for steady guidance as they were confronted with simultaneous national crises. Covid-19 infections surged in the South and West and millions joined protest marches against police violence and systemic racism following the death of George Floyd under an officer’s knee.
The latter prompted many to reflect more deeply on history and culture in their own religious lives and families. Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Zondervan) vaulted to #5 on the list and Jennifer Harvey’s Raising White Kids: Bringing up Children in a Racially Unjust America (Abingdon) was #7.
Michael Todd’s Relationship Goals: How to win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex, released in April by WaterBrook and the list leader in May, stayed #1, while its accompanying Relationship Goals Study Guide moved from #2 to #9. Todd’s focus is on the millennial audience, with an approach to the Bible and anecdotes “not usually said in books by Christian pastors,” Todd writes.
Moving up one notch to #2 was Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head. The accompanying study guide, focused on Philippians, was #8. With a massive social media following and a free book club kit with purchase, Allen drives a marketing success for WaterBrook. The Prayer Journal for Women by Shannon Roberts and Paige Tate (PCG) rose to the #3 spot. Rachel Hollis’ long-standing bestseller Girl Wash Your Face (Thomas Nelson) took #4.
Sarah Young’s offer of balm, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, which surpassed 30 million copies sold last year, continued as a fixture on the list, now in the #6 slot. And an updated, expanded version of Henry Cloud’s self-help series title Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life – perhaps an inviting idea in times that feel out of control – rounds the list at #10.
In fiction, there are few surprises as ever-popular authors continue holding sway in the top ten spots. Award-winning writer Francine Rivers’ best-known work, her 2005 title Redeeming Love (Multnomah), was #1. And she’s also posting at #5 with The Masterpiece and #9 with A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity (both from Tyndale). William P. Young’s The Shack, which hasn’t left the list since 2008, was #6. Likewise, C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, issued by HarperOne in 2015, was #7.
New-this-spring titles have blooming sales, too. Karen Kingsbury’s latest story of love, family, faith, and choices, Someone Like You (Atria), released in May, jumped to #2, followed by Lynn Austin’s exploration of sisterhood in wartime, If I Were You: A Novel (Tyndale) published in June, at #3 and Patti Callahan’s historical look at the romance between an American poet Joy Davidman, and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis, Becoming Mrs. Lewis (Thomas Nelson) was #8.