The calendar flipped from May to June, as always, but one couldn’t tell that from the nonfiction religion bestseller list where the titles at #1, #2, and #3 held fast. What did change was overall volume: the June tally, stretching from May-30-to-July-3, sold fewer copies in more weeks. It was down to 271,638 copies sold from 313,268 in the four weeks of May.
The sales slide is almost entirely due to the top title The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today, by Shannon Bream (Broadside Books). It had sold 74,136 copies in the Mothers-Day-Month-of-May, but 34,969 copies in June. Even so it remained the top seller for the month, edging past Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts, by Jennie Allen (Waterbrook), which sold 34,835 copies in June, up from 20,181 in May. Voddie T. Baucham’s critique, Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe (Salem) rested in third with sales at 20,335 for June, up from 19,999 in May.
As the first bathing suit season rolls around since the pandemic‘s long months of housebound munching, many fear their mirror. So, it’s not surprising the one new-in-June title to make the top 10 list is Breaking Free from Body Shame: Dare to Reclaim What God has Named Good, by Jess Connolly (Zondervan) at #10. It is just below #9 Lysa TerKeurst’s spring title, Seeing Beautiful Again: 50 Devotions to Find Redemption in Every Part of Your Story (Thomas Nelson).
Soothing spiritual thoughts continue to sell: Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) at #4; Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again, by TerKeurst (Thomas Nelson) at #5; Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane C. Ortlund (Crossway) at #6.
The top 10 list also reflects readers’ urge for establishing some kind of control amid the chaos of wild weather, chaotic politics, and menacing virus variants. In addition to Allen’s book, there’s #7 Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table: It’s time to Win the Battle of Your Mind by Louie Giglio (Thomas Nelson) and #8 Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud (Zondervan).
Familiar Fiction Rules
Fiction readers followed the usual paths from May to June —with two new exceptions. Landing at #5 is Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin (Pantheon Books), the melancholy story of a marriage, aging, and Alzheimer’s, which has been widely lauded by reviewers including PW. It’s followed at #6 by Chasing Shadows (Tyndale), which also was released in June. The novel is by June Lynn Austin, author of more than 27 novels and winner of numerous Christy Awards.
The June top 10 list does include some shuffling within the ranks compared to May and Jonathan Cahn, for a change, has only one title included: The Harbinger II: The Return (Frontline) at #4, while the original in that series has slid out of the top 10 list. Also squeezed out were May’s #6, Aftermath, by Terri Blackstock (Thomas Nelson) and The Passenger, by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz (Metropolitan Books), who wrote the novel before World War II and died fleeing the Nazis.
Long loved books sold well last month, as usual: A Distant Shore by Karen Kingsbury (Atria) is still #1, with The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler (One More Chapter) still at #2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (Multnomah), after nearly 16 years on the list, slid off in May but returned in June at the #3 spot.
Rounding out the ranks: #7 The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis (HarperOne); #8 Truly, Madly, Deeply, by Kingsbury (Atria); #9 The Shack, by William P. Young (Windblown Media); and #10 The Robin’s Greeting: Volume 3: Amish Greenhouse Mysteries by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Shiloh Run Press).