July’s hottest-selling books tell readers that even if they can’t solve the nation’s woes, they can look to God and to loved ones, face relationship problems and always find comfort and inspiration in faith. Michael Todd’s Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex has been #1 since May while Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head continues as #2. Both are from WaterBrook.
Laura Barker, v-p and publisher for WaterBrook and Multnomah says even before the pandemic, Allen had tapped into "a key concern for many people: the challenge of dealing in a healthy way with toxic, spiraling thoughts. The uncertainty and fear around COVID-19, and the turbulence of 2020 overall, has made that challenge even more evident.”
And Todd’s book, based on a sermon series observed by more than 53 million viewers, arrived at a time of heightened need. Barker says, “the quarantine, with its vast impact on our personal interactions, surfaced a hunger among readers to approach their relationships from a new perspective.”
The Random House imprint also has a new-to-the-top-ten title reflecting concern with one of the most challenging issues today, the search for racial justice and peace. Latasha Morrison’s Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Reconciliation is #6. Morrison, a diversity expert, trainer and speaker who calls herself a “unity champion,” has been focused in particular with Christian audiences through Be the Bridge, the organization she founded to train leaders and reconcile communities within the church.
Since Morrison’s book was released in October, the demand for its lessons in “faith-centric hope, healing and lasting change,” has intensified, sparking a significant jump in sales. Barker says, “Both within the church and beyond, we are hearing a renewed passion for justice in the wake of the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others.”
Lysa Terkeurst’s It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way — a title like a cry for help — came out nearly two years ago. But the book, from Thomas Nelson, returned to the religion nonfiction bestseller list in July. With its subtitle’s promise “Finding unexpected strength when disappointments leave you shattered,” the #4 book on the list rings a note of encouragement.
Jemar Tisby’s #10 title, The Color of Compromise: The Truth About The American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Zondervan) prompts readers to examine Christian institutional history from a Black perspective.
Favorites of long standing fill out the Top Ten: #3 The Prayer Journal for Women (PCG) by Shannon Roberts; #5 Jesus Calling (Thomas Nelson) by Sarah Young; #7 Rachel Hollis’ Girl Wash Your Face (Thomas Nelson); #8 The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan (IVP) and #9 Boundaries Updated and Expanded by Henry Cloud (Zondervan).
Authors of titles dating back a decade or more rule July’s fiction list. Just two 2020-published novels made inroads. At #5 is The Wartime Sisters (St. Martin’s) by Lynda Cohen Loigman. Released in March, the novel delves into secrets, pain and forgiveness in the lives of two sisters during World War II. Dani Pettrey brings her romantic suspense touch to #9, The Crushing Depths (Bethany), released in June.
Francine Rivers, as almost always, stands at #1 with Redeeming Love (Multnomah), #5 The Masterpiece and #10 A Lineage of Grace (both from Tyndale). William P. Young’s The Shack (Windblown Media) remains parked mid-list at #6 and C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce (HarperOne) is #7. Jonathan Cahn has two Top 10 spots with The Oracle at #3 and The Harbinger (both with Frontline) at #8. That book, Cahn’s first, was published in 2012 and propelled him onto bestseller lists with a mix of mystery and prophecy.