Judging by May's bestsellers lists, religion book buyers are very anxious right now, reaching for titles that address their fears and for reassuring guides that offer biblical ways to find love, health, and peace of mind and soul.

Jonathan Cahn, whose prophecy novels are long-time bestsellers on the fiction list, is back with a nonfiction hit, as his September 2022 The Return of the Gods (Frontline) was #2 in May. He sees the insidious signs of ancient pagan gods using their powers today to threaten family and society with "woke-ism," the incursion of the occult, the breakdown of the family, and more. Israel-based Bible teacher Amir Tsarfati's end-times title, Has the Tribulation Begun?; Avoiding Confusion and Redeeming the Time in these Last Days (Harvest Prophecy) was released on May 5 and stands at #4 on the list.

Fear can actually be good — if it's a "holy fear," according to #8, The Awe of God: The Astounding Way a Healthy Fear of God Transforms Your Life (Thomas Nelson) by minister and author John Bevere. And Portland pastor John Mark Comer maps the road to peace and calm in his book promoting The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alife in the Chaos of the Modern World (WaterBrook). It's a 2019 title that rides 2023's nerve-wracking times to the #9 spot on the list.

Overall, the top 10 nonfiction list for the five-week period between April 30 and June 3 is filled with familiar, reassuring authors whose inspirational Christian living titles have perched on bestseller lists repeatedly. #1 was T. D. Jakes' Disruptive Thinking: A Daring Strategy to Change How We Live, Lead and Love (FaithWords). Fox News host Shannon Bream locks in three spots with her lessons from the Bible titles for Broadside Books: The Love Stories of the Bible Speak: Biblical Lessons on Romance, Friendship, and Faith (#3); The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women of the Bible (#5); The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak: Lessons on Faith from Nine Biblical Families (#10)

Bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst's #3 title, Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Loving Others Without Losing the Best of Who You Are (Thomas Nelson) has been in the top 10 since its release last November. And the HarperOne edition of C.S. Lewis' 1952 classic Mere Christianity currently #6, has been a list perennial for decades.

In fiction, famous names shape the list. Bestselling authors include Mitch Albom was #1 with The Stranger in the Lifeboat (Harper Paperbacks) and Francine Rivers who holds the #6 spot with Redeeming Love (Multnomah) and the #10 spot with A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity (Tyndale). Actress Reese Witherspoon's book club pick, a twisty psychological tale in 2022 that is now out in paperback, Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAlister (HarperCollins) was #2.

Collections and series that may feature a new title every few weeks are a popular vehicle for inspirational tales. Winnie Griggs' title, Her Amish Patchwork Family (Forever), the newest in her Hope's Haven series, was #3. Harlequin Books adds Rhonda Gibson's Wagon Train Baby (#4) to its Historical Collection and Laurie Winter's Safeguarding the Witness (#9) to its Protectors Collection.

The list almost always includes novels from Lewis and Cahn. Lewis's 1945 tale of heaven and hell, The Great Divorce, was reissued by HarperOne in 2015 and promptly landed in the top 10 where it is currently #7. Cahn's 2012 bestselling prophecy novel The Harbinger (Charisma House) follows at #8. The Greatest Salesman in the World (Bantam) by Og Mandino, lingers on the list at #5 in the wake of the Easter season.