Autobiographies and books with political themes dominated both the hardcover and paperback non-fiction portions of the Power List, the quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African Americans, which was released Monday.
The one notable exception was a health-related book, “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 10 Days” by nutritionist and certified weight loss expert J.J. Smith, whose book was #1 among paperback non-fiction books for the quarter ending June 2014.
“Through my Facebook group, which has grown to about 100,000 people in 6 months,” says Smith, “I realized there were thousands of other people who were craving a simple and sustainable solution to lose weight and get healthy! This book was a labor of love written just for them.”
Other new non-fiction titles that performed well were the Toni Braxton memoir “Unbreak My Heart,” which debuted as the #1 hardcover book; “Mayor For Life,” the autobiography of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, which ranked #2; and “Things I Should Have Told My Daughter” by bestselling author Pearl Cleage, which debuted at #3.
Among fiction titles, Walter Mosley’s latest release, “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore,” was #1 in the hardcover category, followed by “A Wanted Woman” by Eric Jerome Dickey. Victoria Christopher Murray returns to the Power List with her latest release, “Forever An Ex,” which ranked #1 in paperback fiction.
Also notable about the Summer 2014 list was the inclusion of three authors who had more than one title on the list:
• Malcolm Gladwell’s books, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants,” and “Outliers: The Story of Success,” placed #6 in hardcover non-fiction and #2 in paperback non-fiction, respectively.
• Retired neurosurgeon and potential 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson’s books, “One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future,” and “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great,” placed #8 in hardcover non-fiction and #6 in paperback non-fiction, respectively.
• Fiction author Kimberla Lawson Roby also had two books included on the list, “The Prodigal Son,” which was #7 in hardcover fiction, and “The Perfect Marriage,” which was #4 in paperback fiction.
The Power List is compiled by collecting data from online booksellers, random samples on relevant Facebook pages, and a quarterly survey of 1,200 African-American book clubs. The list is released on the fourth Monday in the month following each calendar quarter, and is a joint project of AALBC.com, Cushcity.com and Mosaic Literary Magazine.
(The Summer 2014 lists may be viewed at the Power List web site: www.powerlist.info. Updates are included on the Power List Facebook and Twitter pages.)