Blog of’s Founder & Webmaster Celebrating our Literary Legacy #readingblack

2011African-AmericanAuthors You Should KnowBestsellersBook ReviewsbooksChildren's Books

Iyanla’s Vanzant’s Book Now a #1 New York Times Best Seller

In 1998, Iyanla Vanzant was’s first #1 best selling author.  Vanzant had three titles on our 1998 Best Sellers list including our #1 best selling book for the year, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Towards Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth.


Peace from Broken Pieces
Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through
by Iyanla Vanzant
(read an excerpt)

Iyanla also holds another distinction: she, along with Terry McMillan, and Maya Angelou are the only authors to appear on both our 1998 and 2010 Best Sellers lists.  Vanzant’s latest title, Peace from Broken Pieces, came in as the 10th best selling book on for 2010 — even though it was not released until the middle of November 2010.  Iyanla’s personal stories of triumph over tragedy resonate with many visitors.

Of course these stories are universal so it was no real surprise to learn that on March 13th, Ms. Vanzant’s, Peace from Broken Pieces, also reached the #1 position on the New York Times Best Seller’s list.  Congratulations to Iyanla and the extraordinary team at SmileyBooks.

This was simply going to be an article to congratulate Vanzant and her team’s accomplishment of reaching the #1 position on arguably the worlds most important best seller’s list.  But as I reflected on that achievement, it occurred to me I should point out the other Black authors on “The List”.

Below I’ve highlighted the Black author’s on The March 20, 2011 – New York Times Bestseller’s List. (“These lists are an expanded version of those appearing in the March 20, 2011 print edition of the Book Review, reflecting sales for the week ending March 5, 2011”). Clicking the name of the list will send you to the New York Times web site where you can find all the titles for that particular category.

Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction

I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to
I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to “The Blind Side” and Beyond
by Michael Oher
(read an review)

Hardcover Nonfiction

#8 – I BEAT THE ODDS, by Michael Oher with Don Yaeger.  (2 weeks on the List)
Michael Oher became famous a year ago when his inspirational story was made into a heartwarming Hollywood movie. That overcoming-the-odds sports saga recounted how a traumatized, black teenager went from homeless to National Football League star with the help of the a well-to-do family who rescued him from the streets of Memphis. Sandra Bullock even won an Oscar for her endearing portrayal of matriarch Leigh Anne Tuohy, a compassionate Christian who altruistically invited the gentle giant to move into her house.


#25 – OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown) (read an Review)
“This is a book about outliers, men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. I’m going to introduce you to one kind of outlier after another: to geniuses, business tycoons, rock stars, and software programmers. In examining the lives of the remarkable among us, I will argue that there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success…”





Paperback Mass-Market Fiction

The Other Wes Moore
What The Dog Saw
by Malcolm Gladwell

Paperback Nonfiction

#6 – WHAT THE DOG SAW, by Malcolm Gladwell (12 weeks on the List)
In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from TheNew Yorker over the same period.

#15 – THE TIPPING POINT, by Malcolm Gladwell. (335 weeks on the List)
In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly.

#16 – BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell (177 weeks on the List)
In his landmark bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant – in the blink of an eye – that actually aren’t as simple as they seem.

The Other Wes Moore
The Other Wes Moore
by Wes Moore
(read an review)

#19 – THE OTHER WES MOORE, by Wes Moore. (5 weeks on the List)
“This is the story of two boys living in Baltimore with similar histories and an identical name: Wes Moore. One of us is free and has experienced things that he never knew to dream about as a kid. The other will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and father of five dead.”

E-Book Fiction

E-Book Nonfiction

Hardcover Advice & Misc.

#5 – PEACE FROM BROKEN PIECES, by Iyanla Vanzant. (SmileyBooks, $24.95.)  (2 weeks on the List)
Vanzant recounts the last decade of her life and the spiritual lessons learned — from the price of success during her meteoric rise as a TV celebrity on Oprah, the Iyanla TV show (produced by Barbara Walters), to the dissolution of her marriage and her daughter’s 15 months of illness and death on Christmas day. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Iyanla shares why everything we need to learn is reflected in our relationships and the strength and wisdom she has gained by supporting others in their journeys to make sense out of the puzzle pieces of their lives.

The Other Wes Moore
Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man
by Steve Harvey

#8 – STRAIGHT TALK, NO CHASER, by Steve Harvey with Denene Millner. (11 weeks on the List)
Drawing on a lifetime of experience and the feedback women have shared with him in reaction to Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Harvey offers wisdom on a wealth of topics relevant to both sexes today.  Also check out a cool new website; North Paran co-founded by Denene Millner and her husband Nick Chiles

Paperback Advice & Misc.

Children’s Picture Books

#6 – OF THEE I SING, by Barack Obama. (16 weeks on the List)
The book, illustrated by Loren Long, is a tribute “to 13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation,” the publisher said, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackie Robinson and George Washington. The cover features an illustration of Mr. Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, as they stroll across a grassy lawn with the family dog, Bo, leading the way.


Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
by Barack Obama
(read an Review)

Children’s Chapter Books

Children’s Paperback Books

Children’s Series

Hardcover Graphic Books

Paperback Graphic Books


Combined Hardcover & Paperback Fiction

Combined Hardcover & Paperback Nonfiction



Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.