A statue of Christopher Columbus was found beheaded yesterday in Boston's North End. Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Authors and publishers eagerly await each Wednesday's advance look at the weekly New York Times bestseller list. The list for June 21, which dropped yesterday, is a vivid new snapshot of an America where race is suddenly at the center of the conversation.

Why it matters: Amid a pandemic where African Americans are suffering disproportionately, and a global eruption following the death of George Floyd, the culture is now alive with fresh voices.

Check out the top 10 entries on the Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction list:

  1. "White Fragility," by Robin DiAngelo.
  2. "So You Want to Talk About Race," by Ijeoma Oluo.
  3. "How to Be an Antiracist," by Ibram X. Kendi.
  4. "Me and White Supremacy," by Layla F. Saad.
  5. "The New Jim Crow," by Michelle Alexander.
  6. "The Color of Law," by Richard Rothstein.
  7. "Between the World and Me," by Ta-Nehisi Coates: "A meditation on race in America."
  8. "Untamed," by Glennon Doyle: "The activist and public speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice."
  9. "Stamped from the Beginning," by Ibram X. Kendi: "[A]nti-black racist ideas and their effect on the course of American history."
  10. "Just Mercy," by Bryan Stevenson: "[D]ecades of work to free innocent people condemned to death."
  • And at No. 11: "Becoming," by Michelle Obama.

The Times' Paperback Nonfiction list opens with six of the titles above, then picks up with:

  • 7. "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Tatum: "The president emerita of Spelman College examines whether self-segregation is a problem or a coping strategy."
  • 8. "Born a Crime," by Trevor Noah: "A memoir about growing up biracial in apartheid South Africa by the host of 'The Daily Show.'"
  • 9. "Raising White Kids," by Jennifer Harvey.
  • 10. "White Rage," by Carol Anderson.

Topping the Hardcover Fiction list in its debut week is "The Vanishing Half," by Brit Bennett:

  • "The lives of twin sisters who run away from a Southern black community at age 16 diverge as one returns and the other takes on a different racial identity but their fates intertwine."

And No. 1 on the Young Adult Hardcover list:

  • "The Hate U Give," by Angie Thomas: "A 16-year-old girl sees a police officer kill her friend" — on the list for 171 weeks.
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."