Titles promising encouragement, comfort, and biblical wisdom run throughout the top 10 list as always. But there’s one blast from the past — Eastern spirituality classic Be Here Now by the late Ram Das — amid the Christian titles. Standing at #6 on the list is a special 50th-anniversary edition of this title by Das, who melded psychology, psychedelics, and spirituality. It’s published by Harmony, a Random House imprint.
The hardcover edition of Lysa Terkeurst’s Forgiving What you Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again (Thomas Nelson), is #1, just as it was in December. And it’s also #8 in the paperback format. At #2, once more, is Shannon Roberts’ Prayer Journal for Women: 52 Week Scripture, Devotional & Guided Prayer Journal (PCG).
New reports on Christian retailing show that even though bookstores were hammered by pandemic lockdowns in 2020, the big sellers were Bibles and devotionals. That trend may have boosted data-driven publisher Rockridge Press into the #5 slot, up from #8 in December, with its first Bible-based book, The Bible in 52 Weeks: A Yearlong Bible Study for Women by Kimberly D. Moore.
Pandemic or no pandemic, some titles are nearly always on the list: Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) slipped from #3 to #4 since December while Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts (WaterBrook) moved up from #6 to #3.
Other titles that are frequently high among bestsellers earlier last year returned to the list, perhaps heralding that people want to pick up on faith-based self-help: Michael Todd’s Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating Marriage, and Sex (WaterBrook) was #7; Joel Osteen’s Empty Out the Negative; Make Room for More Joy; Greater Confidence, and New Levels of Influence (Faith Words) was #9, and Henry Cloud’s Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life (Zondervan) finished the top 10.
Readers hoping to escape into fiction during these tense times are staying with the authors they know best and titles that tie back to books they enjoyed in the past.
Frontline author Jonathan Cahn topped the list with The Harbinger II: The Return at #1 followed by, no surprise, Cahn’s original The Harbinger from 2012, which was #3 in December. And buyers reached back to his earlier titles as well so Cahn also anchored the top 10 list with his 2018 title The Mysteries at #9 and The Oracle: The Jubilean Mysteries Unveiled, from 2019 sat at #10 (replacing A Nefarious Carol).
The Brothers of Auschwitz (One More Chapter) by Israeli author Malka Adler, was #3 on the list (down from #2 in December), She drew on the true story of teenage brothers during the Holocaust and may have caught readers' attention leading up to the anniversary of the concentration camp’s liberation on January 27, 1945.
Francine Waters’ unstoppable hit, Redeeming Love, (Multnomah) was in the #4 spot, perhaps benefiting from advance publicity for the upcoming film version of the biblical tale set in the Gold Rush days, expected in March.
While holiday-themed titles fell off the top 10 list, perennial bestsellers filled their places in January: William Young’s The Shack at #5; C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce at #6, and two romances from Karen Kingsbury, Truly, Madly, Deeply, at #7 (dislodging Manchester Christmas) and Someone Like You at #8 (down from #6 in December)