Power List of Best-Selling African-American Books – Fall 2014
Strong Sales Shown Among Hardcover Non-Fiction Titles in Fall Edition of the Power List of Best-Selling African-American Books
December 8, 2014
New York, NY
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Hardcover non-fiction titles released in the quarter ending September 2014 demonstrated strong sales among African-American readers, according to the compilers of the Power List of best-selling books written or read by African Americans. What I Know for Sure, the new release by media mogul Oprah Winfrey, topped that section of the Power List, and sales of the book were likely bolstered by the announcement of her eight-city, “The Life You Want” fall tour.
In second place among hardcover non-fiction titles was The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs. Although Hobbs is not African American, he was Peace’s college roommate and good friend, and deftly tells the story from the perspective of someone who thought he knew Peace well, but really did not.
Potential Republican presidential candidate and neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, released a new book which placed third. One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future provides Carson with a conversation piece for potential GOP primary voters as well as members of the media.
Among the best-selling titles is Cosby: His Life and Times by Mark Whitaker, which was in ninth place in hardcover non-fiction. The recent avalanche of accusations that Cosby sexually abused several women he encountered during his years in the television industry will either bolster sales, or have a chilling effect on them in the coming weeks.
Walter Mosley’s book, Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore, was first place in hardcover fiction on the Power List. Leading the pack among paperback fiction books was Americanah by Nigeria-native Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by J. J. Smith was number one in paperback non-fiction for the second quarter in a row, having topped that section of the Power List’s summer 2014 edition.
Also notable about the Fall 2014 list was the inclusion of several titles in paperback non-fiction that have ranked in the Power List’s top 10 books for the past eight consecutive calendar quarters. Those titles are:
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by civil rights advocate and litigator Michelle Alexander;
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by science writer Rebecca Skloot;
- Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by talk show and game show host Steve Harvey; and
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times reporter Isabel Wilkerson
The Power List is compiled by collecting data from online book sellers, random samples on relevant Facebook pages, and a quarterly survey of 1,200 African-American book clubs. The list is usually released on the fourth Monday in the month following each calendar quarter (the fall 2014 edition was delayed), and is a joint project of AALBC.com and Cushcity.com.
The Fall 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. For more information, contact either of the individuals listed above.
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