Book Reads from the "Power List"

40 Best-Selling African American Books from Summer 2015
by Troy Johnson and Gwen Richardson | Influence and Culture | Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Best Selling African American Books 2015


During a summer where both “Black Lives Matter” and New York billionaire Donald Trump were trending topics in the media, books with a political slant were among the top sellers on the Summer 2015 edition of the "Power List" of best-selling African American books. In fact, political topics were popular among both fiction and nonfiction titles.

Among non-fiction hardcover titles, the new release "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, tops the list and is described by New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani as, “Powerful and passionate…profoundly moving…a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”

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In the number two position is "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, a treatise on the inherent bias in America’s criminal justice system.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum is "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future" by GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. One Nation ranks at number seven and has sold well, particularly among Evangelical Christians and others on the political right who support limited government.


Other politically-oriented titles on the Summer 2015 edition of the Power List include:

Paperback Nonfiction

"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander (#2 on the summer list and included on all editions of the Power List since its launch in spring 2013).

"America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great" by Ben Carson (#9 on the summer list and included on all editions of the Power List since its launch in spring 2013).

Hardcover Fiction

"The Sellout" by Paul Beauty (#2) – A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.

mama's boy reshonda tae billingsley

Paperback Fiction

"Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (#1)

"Stand Your Ground" by Victoria Christopher Murray (#8)

"Mama’s Boy" by ReShonda Tate Billingsley (#9)


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, and is a joint project of AALBC.com and Cushcity.com.


Top 40 Best-Sellers 

Summer 2015 - Paperback (Non-Fiction)

#1 - "10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse" by JJ Smith

#2 - "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander

#3 - "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

#4 - "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore

#5 - "Bad Feminist: Essays" by Roxane Gay

#6 - "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration" by Isabel Wilkerson

#7 - "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment" by Steve Harvey & Denene Millner

#8 - "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina" by Misty Copeland

#9 - "America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great" by Ben Carson

#10 - "Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive" by T. D. Jakes


Summer 2015 - Hardcover (Non-Fiction)

#1 - "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

#2 - "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson

#3 - "The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League" by Jeff Hobbs

#4 - "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism" by Edward E. Baptist

#5 - "What I Know For Sure" by Oprah Winfrey

#6 - "Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches" by Steve Harvey

#7 - "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future" by Ben Carson

#8 - "Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything" by Iyanla Vanzant

#9 - "Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple" by Russell Simmons

#10 - "Fire Shut Up In My Bones" by Charles M. Blow


Summer 2015 - Paperback (Fiction)

#1 - "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

#2 - "The Cartel 5: La Bella Mafia" by Ashley and JaQuavis

#3 - "Ruby" by Cynthia Bond

#4 - "A Deeper Love Inside" by Sister Souljah

#5 - "The Cartel 4" by Ashley and JaQuavis

#6 - "The Cartel 3" by Ashley and JaQuavis

#7 - "Secrets of a Side Bitch" by Jessica N. Watkins

#8 - "Stand Your Ground: A Novel" by Victoria Christopher Murray

#9 - "Mama’s Boy" by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

#10 - "Jezebel’s Daughter" by Jacquelin Thomas


Summer 2015 - Hardcover (Fiction)

#1 - "God Help the Child: A Novel" by Toni Morrison

#2 - "The Sellout" by Paul Beatty

#3 - "The Ultimate Betrayal (A Reverend Curtis Black Novel)" by Kimberla Lawson Roby

#4 - "And Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid McGill Mystery (Leonid McGill Mysteries)" by Walter Mosley

#5 - "The Family Business 3" by Carl Weber & Treasure Hernandez

#6 - "Zane’s The Other Side of the Pillow: A Novel" by Zane

#7 - "One Night" by Eric Jerome Dickey

#8 - "The Turner House" by Angela Flournoy

#9 - "Rose Gold" by Walter Mosley

#10 - "A Wanted Woman" by Eric Jerome Dickey


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Image credits and caption: © The Power List Best-Selling Books List (www.powerlist.info) is compiled quarterly by AALBC.com and Cushcity.com. Book Store information provided by Huria Search.



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