MahoganyBooks Adult Bestsellers | July 2021

The MahoganyBooks Adult Bestsellers list is more than just a look at the Top Five books purchased over the past month from our store and website. It’s a list that takes into account the interests and concerns of African American readers/shoppers regardless of publisher, recency of publication, or book promotions geared at manufacturing sales.

Quite simply, our bestsellers list is a representation of the kinds of literary content that matters to them. #BlackBooksMatter

So without further ado, we present our…

July 2021 | MahoganyBooks Adult Bestsellers


#1 – While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps is a gripping, complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together–excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn–the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases–has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court–a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.

As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chess like sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth. While Justice Sleeps is a cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey Abrams shows herself to be not only a force for good in politics and voter fairness but also a major new talent in suspense fiction.


#2 – Today I Affirm: A Journal That Nurtures Self-Care by Alexandra Elle

“Elle, who’s known in social media self care circle as a top voice in wellness–particularly among women of color–has been transforming lives with her positive words for years. Now, she’s making it easier than ever for you to do the same–for yourself.” –Vibe.com

From Alex Elle, celebrated poet and author of Neon Soul and Words from a Wanderer, comes Today I Affirm–a journal and guide to reading and writing daily affirmations. 

Writing serves as a form of meditation. When we slow down and settle into ourselves, affirmations can assist us in self-awareness, introspection, and understanding. Today I Affirm helps walk readers through the ins and outs of cultivating positive self-talk in a way that is stress-free and easy to understand. This innovative book includes affirmations written by the author, short bits of inspiration, charts to fill in, as well as journal pages all with the focus on self-care.

Alexandra Elle is a writer and creative living in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and two daughters. In her pre-teen years, writing came into her life by way of therapy and the exploration of healing. Many years later, Alex’s voice and words are being shared poetically in the form of self-love and self-care. Her passion for storytelling, poetry, and narrative writing are infused with life lessons, self-celebration, and building community through reading, writing, and language.


#3 – Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power–which groups have it and which do not.”

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. 

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people–including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others–she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. 

Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.


#4 – Nothing Personal by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s critique of American society at the height of the civil rights movement brings his prescient thoughts on social isolation, race, and police brutality to a new generation of readers.

Available for the first time in a stand-alone edition, Nothing Personal is Baldwin’s deep probe into the American condition. Considering the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 – which were met with tear gas and rubber bullets the same year white supremacists entered the US Capitol with little resistance, openly toting flags of the Confederacy – Baldwin’s documentation of his own troubled times cuts to the core of where we find ourselves today. 

Baldwin’s thoughts move through an interconnected range of questions, from America’s fixation on eternal youth, to its refusal to recognize the past, its addiction to consumerism, and the lovelessness that fuels it in its cities and popular culture. He recounts his own encounter with police in a scene disturbingly similar to those we see today documented with ever increasing immediacy. This edition also includes a new foreword from interdisciplinary scholar Imani Perry and an afterword from noted Baldwin scholar Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Both explore and situate the essay within the broader context of Baldwin’s work, the Movement for Black Lives, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the presidency of Donald Trump. 

Nothing Personal is both a eulogy and a declaration of will. In bringing this work into the twenty-first century, readers new and old will take away fundamental and recurring truths about life in the US. It is both a call to action, and an appeal to love and to life.


#5 – Life After Death by Sister Souljah

INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER

The long-anticipated sequel to Sister Souljah’s million copy New York Times bestseller The Coldest Winter Ever.

Winter Santiaga hit time served. Still stunning, still pretty, still bold, still loves her father more than any man in the world, still got her hustle and high fashion flow. She’s eager to pay back her enemies, rebuild her father’s empire, reset his crown, and ultimately to snatch Midnight back into her life no matter which bitch had him while she was locked up. But Winter is not the only one with revenge on her mind. Simone, Winter’s young business partner and friend, is locked and loaded and Winter is her target. Will she blow Winter’s head off? Can Winter dodge the bullets? Or will at least one bullet blast Winter into another world? Either way Winter is fearless. Hell is the same as any hood and certainly the Brooklyn hood she grew up in. That’s what Winter thinks.

A heartwarming, heart-burning, passionate, sexual, comical, and completely original adventure is about to happen in real time–raw, shocking, soulful, and shameless. True fans won’t let Winter travel alone on this amazing journey.

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MahoganyBooks is an online bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship. We take a leadership role in the African American community promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve communities as well as enrich the lives of motivated individuals.

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