Three Cheers for the Top 10 Best Sellers from Outskirts Press!

Each month, Outskirts Press analyzes its overall book sales in order to identify and celebrate those works which have really connected with readers. In recent weeks, the ten books listed below have collectively sold more than 7,250 copies in total, representing a number of genres and formats.

Follow the links on each author’s book title to learn more about these impressive works, or visit the Outskirts Press Bookstore to browse thousands of high-quality books.

Tough Street: From Osage to London to Lehigh, the Remarkable Life of Gerald Germ Leeman by James Drew

With sterling reviews from Bill Nelson (three-time NCAA champion and 1948 Olympian), Kirk Pendleton (1963 NCAA champion), Donald Rumsfeld (former Princeton wrestling team captain and United States Secretary of Defense), and Mike Caruso (three-time NCAA champion), this book is an absolute must-read.

Gerald Grant Leeman emerged from a life of poverty and addiction to become one of the greatest wrestlers and most beloved coaches in American history. Nicknamed “Germ” due to his small stature, Gerald and his nine siblings lived hardscrabble childhoods, but their Osage, Iowa, roots grew deep and served them well. In Germ’s case, those humble beginnings taught lessons that led to three state high school wrestling titles; serving as a Naval carrier pilot; an NCAA championship during which he was named Most Outstanding Wrestler; an Olympic silver medal; and a storied coaching career at Lehigh University. The son of an alcoholic father, Gerald battled the disease later in life with grace and dignity, and became a glowing example of the power of recovery and redemption. Tough Street illuminates Germ’s expansive impact on his siblings, teammates, children, and, most poignantly, his wrestlers at Lehigh, where famed Grace Hall’s arena bears his name. Gerald Leeman lived the American Dream.

Our Final Hour: A Vision of the Future by Richard Sotelo Berlanga

Richard Sotelo Berlanga was born in King City, California, in 1946. At the age of 30, he was second-in-command of one of the largest crime families in the state. The Sotelo/Berlanga crime family controlled enormous swathes of the heroin and cocaine trade throughout the western United States. But three decades ago, Berlanga faced a literal “come-to-Jesus” experience that altered his life trajectory. Having been given a vision of his family’s impending incarceration–a vision that came to pass–Berlanga was then given an additional vision, one of a catastrophe that looms over us all. A harrowing and inspiring read all at once, “Our Final Hour” offers a way forward.

Jump on the Love Train: Many Hearts Await You by Rae Lewis

After a challenging Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu in 1985, Rae Lewis returned six months later to Cusco to understand more about the deeper emotional connection she felt while on that trek. In no time she was surrounded by the street children who accompanied her on walks, and happily taught her bad words in Spanish. These were not the best times in Peru for a solo woman and these wise ragamuffins she realized were looking out for her. They began to share their raw and dangerous reality.

So begins the long and compelling story of Rae Lewis, who wasn’t just content to witness some of the challenges facing young girls the world over, but who went and did something extraordinary in order to help. She launched the Chicuchas Wasi, a nonprofit organization, and then wrote this book to chronicle the experience and, hopefully, inspire readers to join her in her lifelong project. In an additional act of goodwill, all proceeds from this book’s sales go to Chicuchas Wasi.

Hitler’s Last Christmas: The Day the Entire Mighty 8th Air Force Entered the Battle of the Bulge by Donald F. Kilburg, Jr.

The events of Hitler’s Last Christmas in some ways speak for themselves, but this is also one of history’s most overlooked military engagements. Kilburg revisits the Second World War and what happened on Sunday, December 24, 1944, when the 8th Air Force launched the largest air armada in the history of warfare. As Kilburg describes it, this was a desperate effort by the Allies to support the troops hopelessly hunkered down in the frigid weather of the Battle of the Bulge. The eventual success of those beleaguered troops was to some great measure due to the success of that Christmas Eve air mission. Unfortunately for history lovers everywhere, the details of the 8th Air Force mission #760 were misfiled shortly after the war and the magnitude of that day in December 1944 overlooked-until now. Hitler’s Last Christmas shares the accounts of the event both from the Air Force Archives and the memories of those brave flyers who participated in it. A worthy read for all history buffs!

Tavern Talk: Old Taverns and Tales in Springfield Illinois by Bobby & Sandy Orr

Not everyone has had the chance to visit Springfield, Illinois, in order to take part in its rich history of locally owned and family operated neighborhood taverns. With this book in hand, however, readers all over the world can get a taste of the area’s tapestry of flavor. As authors Bobby and Sandy Orr put it, the tavern business was an honorable one; husband and wife worked it together and everyone respected them. People worked, worshiped and socialized together, their kids went to church and school together, and the friendships and stories generated were lasting and passed down for generations. There are local families who have been and still are in the tavern business in Springfield for over 75 years! Some of the most honest hard-working people around are the patrons of the neighborhood taverns. In an effort to document these neighbors’ tales, the Orrs set out to capture their voices and preserve each tavern’s unique contribution to the town and to the overall legacy of “tavern talk” — something you don’t have to be from Springfield in order to appreciate!

What She Feels by Chidozie E. Osuwa

Dealing with love is never easy or straightforward, especially when it comes to prose and poetry, but Chidozie Osuwa handles this subject with a light touch and all of the grace of an artist sensitive to the complexities of experience. Hers is the heart of experience, and her language reflects the maturity of thought and wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of inquiry, exploration, and yes-the scars of heartbreak. Osuwa’s collection of poems avoids clichés and seizes upon fresh images, captivating readers everywhere and keeping this book in the Top 10 for yet another month.

Because She Was by Shelley Brouwer

When her third child was born with disabilities and cognitive delays, author Shelley Brouwer had more questions than answers, and was thrust into an uncertain world. With equal parts fear and determination, she set out to help her family and her daughter thrive. Navigating the murky waters of an undiagnosed disability and a rare medical disorder, Shelley learned as she went, and discovered along the way, her young daughter was her greatest teacher. After her daughter’s unspeakably tragic death at age 22, Brouwer found a way to navigate her grief–with words. In this heartbreaking but powerful memoir, Brouwer offers readers the opportunity to share the emotional struggles her family sometimes faced, and the small triumphs (seemingly huge) her daughter achieved. Brouwer wrote to fill a void on bookstore shelves, creating a one-of-a-kind book for those needing equal parts reality, guidance, and encouragement in the face of hardship.

Capitol Hill’s Criminal Underground by Richard Lawless

A timely and no-holds-barred exploration of government corruption, this non-fiction account investigates the theft of trillions of U.S. dollars. If that’s not enough to make you sit up and pay close attention, this book keeps providing more and more reasons. It takes on the ratings agencies, the banks, the politicians, the FBI, the U.S. Attorneys Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and more–all in pursuit of the truth. Where did that money go, and what can we do to prevent such theft from happening again?

Mind Boss by Mike Gillette

We can all do with a good dose of positive psychology! In Mind Boss, Mike Gillette provides an action plan for unconditional achievement in any area readers choose. After proposing some new techniques combined with centuries-old secrets and Mike’s personal observations of some of the world’s most successful business leaders, Mind Boss teaches specific lessons on how to direct one’s thoughts, focus one’s intention and attain the outcomes one most needs out of life. Described as a “fluff-free field-manual for no-excuses living,” this is a necessary addition to any bookshelf.

The Core of Four by Tim Page-Bottorff

In another sterling addition to the self-help canon of literature, The Core of Four proposes that building a strong foundation for human performance is crucial to achieving one’s ultimate goal of personal success. In it, author Tim Page-Bottorf offers insights for those looking to build up their workplaces and personal lives with sustainability and resilience, and for those who are done with tough, convoluted approaches to boosting performance. In a book that is both delightfully straightforward and totally unexpected, Page-Bottorf walks readers through the one easy question he proposes for altering one’s whole life trajectory: “Have you M.A.P.P.E.D. out your day?”

Outskirts Press congratulates these ten highly successful authors for their skill and for the hard work they have invested in these amazing books, both in respect to the art of crafting a compelling sentence and the science of crafting a compelling marketing campaign.

These titles and many others are available from major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Books-A-Million and elsewhere, as well as through the Outskirts Press Bookstore at a considerable discount. To learn more about our products and services, as well as upcoming and current promotions, visit us online at!

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