Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence tops the January Religion Nonfiction list – again. Her 2004 work still resonates with readers, as does her 2016 book, Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in his Presence, now in the #4 spot.
Young’s devotionals are boosted by a podcast with 800,000 downloads, Jesus Calling video stories including one featuring Grammy winner Reba McEntire, and by a partnership with Dolly Parton tied to Parton’s new children’s CD, according to Laura Minchew, senior v-p and publisher of Tommy Nelson children’s books, gift books and new media at Thomas Nelson.
Books tied to Christmas have dropped away from the bestseller heights, replaced by familiar, prolific authors: Max Lucado, at #2 with Anxious for Nothing; Wendy Blight at #6 with I am Loved: Walking in the Fullness of God’s Love; Joel Osteen, at #7 with Blessed in the Darkness, and Proverbs 31 Ministries president Lysa TerKeurst at #3 with Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.
Nelson Books senior acquisitions editor, Jessica Wong said Uninvited “benefited from digital promotions, as well as seasonal promotions with partner retailers, all in continued support of a great book that already has momentum with word of mouth.” TerKeurst also pulls marketing power from social media with more than 645,000 followers between her Instagram (#UninvitedBook) and Twitter feeds.
100 Days to Brave author Annie F. Downs’ Instagram posts, steering shoppers to find the devotional at Target and Barnes Noble, helped push her book to the #9 nonfiction spot. It stands between Shauna Niequist’s Present over Perfect at #8 and Henry Cloud’s updated, expanded edition of Boundaries, at #10
One author, however, climbed to both the nonfiction and fiction lists last month. Jonathan Cahn’s new Bible studies book that was released in September, The Paradigm: The Ancient Blueprint That Holds the Mystery of Our Times, made it to #5 on the nonfiction list and may have made buyers curious about his other works. His 2016 novel, The Book of Mysteries, is #2 on the Religion Fiction list.
It rests there behind the perennial leader, The Shack. William Young’s original 2008 book, at #1, is not alone, however. A 2016 edition of The Shack is at #10.
Three January 2018 books went straight to the top 10. Karen Kingsbury’s Love Story is #3, while her fall 2017 book, In This Moment is #5. Amy Clipston’s Amish Sweethearts is #6 and Lynette Eason’s Oath of Honor is #9.
Andrea Doering, executive editor for Revell, credits Oath of Honor’s rapid rise to “Lynette’s amazing consistency in providing what romantic suspense readers love.”
Loyal fans of Kelly Irvin’s Amish of Bee County series pushed The Beekeeper’s Son to #4.
Books from the past that moved to the forefront in January include the 2015 paper edition of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, at #7, and Francine Rivers’ 2005 novel, Redeeming Love, at #8.