2018’s Top Ten Adult Bestsellers at MahoganyBooks
#1 – Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service. The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her–from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it–in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations–and whose story inspires us to do the same.
#2 – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics by Donna Brazile
The four most powerful African American women in politics share the story of their friendship and how it has changed politics in America.
The lives of black women in American politics are remarkably absent from the shelves of bookstores and libraries. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics is a sweeping view of American history from the vantage points of four women who have lived and worked behind the scenes in politics for over thirty years–Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore–a group of women who call themselves The Colored Girls. Like many people who have spent their careers in public service, they view their lives in four-year waves where presidential campaigns and elections have been common threads. For most of the Colored Girls, their story starts with Jesse Jackson’s first campaign for president. From there, they went on to work on the presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
#3 – Under Fire by April Ryan
Veteran White House reporter April Ryan thought she had seen everything in her two decades as a White House correspondent. And then came the Trump administration.
In Under Fire, Ryan takes us inside the confusion and chaos of the Trump White House to understand how she and other reporters adjusted to the new normal. She takes us inside the policy debates, the revolving door of personnel appointments, and what it is like when she, as a reporter asking difficult questions, finds herself in the spotlight, becoming part of the story.
With the world on edge and a country grappling with a new controversy almost daily, Ryan gives readers a glimpse into current events from her perspective, not only from inside the briefing room but also as a target of those who want to avoid answering probing questions. After reading her new book, readers will have an unprecedented inside view of the Trump White House and what it is like to be a reporter Under Fire.
#4 – Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade–abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States.
In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.
#5 – Believe Bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels
Believe Bigger is about resilience, reclaiming your life, and how God uses rejection, hardship, and unexpected circumstances to awaken something greater within…if you’re willing to embrace disruption. You’ll see her go from heartbroken and hitting rock bottom financially, to building a multi-million dollar faith-centered enterprise, and finding something super sweet along the way. Calling. Marshawn shares what it takes to turn pain into purpose and your mess into a larger message and life mission.
Whether you are drowning in self-doubt and regret, feeling stuck, or sensing a shift but unable to discern what’s next, Marshawn’s Purpose Map outlining the 5 Stages of Divine Reinvention, will give you insight into your true gifts and calling–and the courage to pursue them. You’ll see that difficulties are not designed to devastate you, but to ignite the bigger dreams, life, love, and abundance you were destined for all along.
#6 – Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all–regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability–have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature. Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation.
As she has done with her book club-turned-online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.
#7 – The Power of Presence by Joy Thomas Moore
As the mother of Wes Moore, whose memoir about overcoming the obstacles that face a fatherless young black man was a huge bestseller, Joy is constantly asked: How did you do it? How can you be a good parent, have a career and stay healthy when you don’t have a partner to pick up the slack? How do you connect with a child when you can’t always be there? Joy’s answer is “presence.” Specifically, seven different ways of being a force in a child’s life, ensuring that they feel your influence. We can’t always be physically there for our children, but the power of presence can help us to be a voice in the back of their minds that guides them through difficult times.
In THE POWER OF PRESENCE, Moore explores seven pillars of presence–heart, faith, mind, courage, financial freedom, values, and connectedness–that all parents can use to positively influence their children. Using compelling stories from women who have been there and practical advice on everything from savings accounts to mindfulness, this book is a compassionate look at what it takes to raise great kids even in less than ideal circumstances.
#8 – An American Marriage by Tayori Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward–with hope and pain–into the future.
#9 – Black Girls Rock! by Beverly Bond
From the award-winning entrepreneur, culture leader, and creator of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! movement comes an inspiring and beautifully designed book that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of black women around the world.
Maxine Waters shares the personal fulfillment of service. Moguls Cathy Hughes, Suzanne Shank, and Serena Williams recount stories of steadfastness, determination, diligence, dedication and the will to win. Erykah Badu, Toshi Reagon, Mickalane Thomas, Solange Knowles-Ferguson, and Rihanna offer insights on creativity and how they use it to stay in tune with their magic. Pioneering writers Rebecca Walker, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Joan Morgan speak on modern-day black feminist thought. Lupita Nyong’o, Susan Taylor, and Bethann Hardison affirm the true essence of holistic beauty. And Iyanla Vanzant reinforces Black Girl Magic in her powerful pledge. Through these and dozens of other unforgettable testimonies, Black Girls Rock! is an ode to black girl ambition, self-love, empowerment, and healing.
Pairing inspirational essays and affirmations with lush, newly commissioned and classic photography, Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic and Rocking Our Truth is not only a one-of-a-kind celebration of the diversity, fortitude, and spirituality of black women but also a foundational text that will energize and empower every reader.
#10 – Black Fortunes by Shomari Wells
Immediately following Emancipation, there were 4,047 millionaires in the United States–and six of them were African American.
Between 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of industrious, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success.
Mary Ellen Pleasant used her Gold Rush wealth to further the cause of abolitionist John Brown. Robert Reed Church became the largest landowner in Tennessee. Hannah Elias, the mistress of a New York City millionaire, used the property her lover gave her to build an empire in Harlem. Orphan and self-taught chemist Annie Turnbo Malone developed the first national brand of hair care products. Mississippi schoolteacher O. W. Gurley developed a piece of Tulsa, Oklahoma, into a “town” for wealthy black professionals and craftsmen that would become known as “Black Wall Street.” Although Madam C. J. Walker was given the title of America’s first female black millionaire, she was not. She was the first, however, to flaunt and openly claim her wealth–a dangerous and revolutionary act.
Nearly all the unforgettable personalities in this amazing collection were often attacked, demonized, or swindled out of their wealth. Black Fortunes illuminates as never before the birth of the black business titan.