For immediate release
Contact:
Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Ave
Columbia, SC 29205
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The best in southern literature, from the people who would know . . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers

The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize(Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize.

"What a delicious gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour. I loved all of these books for the sole reason that they tell the world in colorful, rich and diverse language just what it so special and, yes, crazy about the American South." – Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg, SC

Formerly the “SIBA Book Award,” the newly reborn Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers. Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. The nine winners chosen from a field of nearly forty finalists. Together, they represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

My Sunshine Away Above the Waterfall Bull Mountain The Bone Tree
Soul Food Love Dispatches from Pluto Jacksonland
Mosquitoland
Serafina and the Black Cloak

The Great Santini Fiction Prize Winner: 
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“This debut author spins a tale that will grab you from the first page and keep you turning pages until the last.”– Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Prince of Tides Literary Prize Winner: 
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)

“Beautiful language, I could not put this book down.  Read it in one day.” – Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans, LA

The Beach Music Mystery Prize Winner: 
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“ Reads like a twisty, dark TV series you can't help but binge-watch.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize Winner: 
The Bone Tree by Greg Isles (William Morrow & Company)

“Iles has written an intense, tightly plotted narrative with more than one shocking turn of events that will have readers racing to finish, but then pining away for the third installment of this massive and electrifying trilogy.” – Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize Winner: 
Soul Food Love by Alice Randall (Clarkson Potter Publishers)

I really appreciate the goal of this cookbook - to make Soul food quick, inexpensive, tasty and healthy! The family history part of the cookbook was very interesting and I appreciated the honesty of the authors. I loved the pictures of the family & the finished product of the recipes.” – Joe’s Place, Greenville, SC

The Death of Santini NonFiction Prize Winner: 
Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (Simon & Schuster)

"In Dispatches From Pluto, Richard Grant brings clarity, insight, and wit through his outsider's observations of a small and forgotten community in the Mississippi Delta. The situations he writes of and the people he comes to know as friends are brought warmly and enrichingly to life as he settles his family in a rotting and dilapidated plantation home in Pluto, Mississippi." – Pass  Books, Pass Christian, MS

The Water is Wide History & Life Stories Prize Winner: 
Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep (Penguin Press

“Great history! Loved the book, very well written”  – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC

Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize Winner: 
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)

“Mim's voice in this amazing amalgam of a love story, a road trip novel, and a coming-of-age story, will stay with you long after you finish .” – Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Poppy's Pants Youngster's Prize Winner: 
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)

“A wonderfully thrilling mystery for young readers that is as much a celebration of being "different" as it is pitch-perfect creepiness.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Nine great books for your Southern reading list. But remember that they come from a "gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour" to quote one Southern bookseller. To round out your literary diet, be sure to look at the full list of Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists.

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature, http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

 

[Booksellers: The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners could win you $1000!
Once again, SIBA will host the SIBA Book Award Display Contest at the upcoming SIBA Discovery Show September 16-18 in Savannah, Georgia. Create a table top display for one, more, or all of the Winners and recreate it on site at the show.  Industry peers will vote for their favorites, and the store with the winning display will receive $1000.  This display contest is open to SIBA’s Core Members only.  So display the books, get familiar and get your creative juices going!]

 

(Columbia, SC) – The heat is on and Southern Indie booksellers are cooking up a sizzling plate of summer Okra Picks! The 2016 Summer Okra Picks have just been selected–a hearty helping of great summer reading that will make your beach book bag look a little more nutritious. They're a baker’s dozen of great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know–Southern independent booksellers. 

All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publishing between July and September 2016, and all have fans among Southern booksellers: the people always on the lookout for the next great writer who belongs in your to-be-read stack. So on your next Southern Indie bookstore visit, expect to hear “You’ve got to read this!” and find one of these titles in your hands. Great books are always good for you!

The 2016 Summer Okra Picks   

The Cantaloupe Thief The Promis of Jessie Woods Underground Airlines Let the Devil Out

The Cantaloupe Thief 
by Deb Richardson-Moore
Lion Fiction, July 2016   
Fiction, 9781782641926

The Promise of Jesse Woods
by Chris Fabry
Tyndale House Publishers, July 2016
Fiction, 9781414387772

Underground Airlines
by Ben Winters
Mulholland Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780316261241

Let the Devil Out: A Maureen Coughlin Novel
by Bill Loehfelm
Sarah Crichton Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780374298579

Lowcountry Bookcllub Ninety-nine stories of God The Heavenly Table Cotton

Lowcountry Book Club
by Susan M. Boyer
Henery Press, July 2016
Fiction, 9781635110456

Ninety-Nine Stories of God
by Joy Williams
Tin House Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9781941040355

The Heavenly Table
by Donald Ray Pollock
Doubleday Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780385541299

Cotton 
by Paul Heald
Yucca Publishing, July 2016
Fiction, 9781631580864

The Fire This Time The Risen Perfume River Nine Island Darktown

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
by Jesmyn Ward
Scribner Book Company, August 2016
Nonfiction, 9781501126345

The Risen
by Ron Rash
Ecco Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9780062436313

Perfume River
by Robert Olen Butler
Atlantic Monthly Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9780802125750

Nine Island
by Jane Alison
Catapult, September 2016
Fiction, 9781936787128

Darktown
by Thomas Mullen
Atria, September 2016
Fiction, 9781501133862

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit authorsroundthesouth.com/okra.

SIBA CREATES PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS, SPONSORED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is pleased to announce the creation of The Pat Conroy Scholarships in honor of the late author whose lifetime achievements have meant so much to Southern booksellers.  The scholarships, which will be bestowed to two booksellers annually in each of the next four years, are made possible by Penguin Random House, whose Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, and Random House Audio imprints publish Mr. Conroy’s works in hardcover, paperback, and audio editions respectively.

These scholarships are designated specifically for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show, held in September, in keeping with the Penguin Random House’s fifteen-year tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event.  The scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the winner’s travel, hotel, and meal expenses for the Discovery Show first-timers.  To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity.

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell said, “We believe that nurturing the next generation of career booksellers is one of the best things we can do to advance the future of bookselling.  These scholarships Penguin Random House is endowing, which deepen and expands this mutual commitment to foster education at the Discovery Show, are forward-looking, and will mean a lot to every SIBA bookseller.  How appropriate that these awards honor Pat Conroy, who was so kind and generous with all of us, and in particular, to those new to our industry.”

“Pat Conroy is a beloved Penguin Random House author,” said Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House, “and it is a privilege for us to honor his legacy in a manner that benefits new booksellers.  Pat deeply loved books and the men and women who sell them and would be made very happy and proud to have an opportunity to enhance their professional education.” 

Pat Conroy’s A LOW COUNTRY HEART: Reflections on a Writing Life, a new nonfiction collection of pieces spanning the author’s long literary career, has been announced for posthumous hardcover and e-book publication by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on October 25, one day before his 71st birthday.

To be considered for a Pat Conroy Scholarship, booksellers can self-nominate, or be nominated by other booksellers or sales reps. Owners and managers are strongly encouraged to nominate frontline booksellers who are interested in bookselling as a career. The deadline for nominations for the 2016 Pat Conroy Scholarships is July 15, 2016.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.

The 2016 SIBA Discovery show will be held September 16-18 at the Hilton DeSoto in Savannah, Georgia.

To apply, the nominated bookseller should fill out the information below, and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • YES! I have never been to SIBA and I would love to go.
  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail address
  • Bookstore: where do you work? How long have you worked there and what is your current role?
  • Make Pat Conroy proud! Please write a short (two paragraphs is ideal) description of why you love being a bookseller and what you hope to get out of SIBA.

The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists Announced

(Columbia, SC) – The votes are in! Southern indie booksellers have chosen the finalists for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly known as the SIBA Book Award, the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories – adding Mystery, Thriller, Literary, and History & Life Stories to the traditional categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Cooking, Children’s and Young Adult.

Finalists were chosen by southern independent booksellers from the long list ballot. The finalist titles will be sent to juried panels of booksellers, who will then decide on the winners in each category. Winners will be announced on July 4, “Independents Day.”

2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists

Go Set a Watchman Soil My Sunshine Away The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

The Great Santini Fiction Prize
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (Harper, 9780062409850)
Soil by Jamie Kornegay (Simon & Schuster, 9781476750811)
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399169526)
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton (Grand Central Publishing, 9781455551927)

Miss Julia Lays Down the Law A Pattern of Lies Bull Mountain Don't Go Home Lowcountry Boneyard

The Beach Music Mystery Prize
Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross (Viking, 9780525427094)
A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd (William Morrow & Company, 9780062386243)
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399173967)
Don't Go Home by Carolyn Hart (Berkley Books, 9780425276549)
Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer (Henery Press, 9781941962473)

Where All the Light Tends to Go The Bone Tree Descent Rogue Lawyer The Scribe

The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize
Where All the Light Tends to Go by David Joy (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399172779)
The Bone Tree
 by Greg Iles (William Morrow & Company, 9780062311115)
Descent
 by Tim Johnston (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 9781616204778)
Rogue Lawyer
 by John Grisham (Doubleday Books, 9780385539432)
The Scribe
 by Matthew Guinn (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393239294)

Above the Waterfall Welcome to Braggsville New and Improved Romie Futch Calloustown

The Prince of Tides Literary Prize
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco Press, 9780062349316)
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson (William Morrow & Company, 9780062302120)
New and Improved Romie Futch
 by Julia Elliott (Tin House Books, 9781941040157)
Calloustown
 by George Singleton (Dzanc Books, 9781938103162) 

Dispatches from Pluto Leaving Orbit My Southern Journey Our Only World The World is on Fire

The Death of Santini Nonfiction Prize
Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant (Simon & Schuster, 9781476709642)
Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean (Graywolf Press, 9781555977092)
My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South by Rick Bragg (Oxmoor House, 9780848746391)
Our Only World: Ten Essays by Wendell Berry (Counterpoint LLC, 9781619024885)
The World Is On Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse by Joni Tevis (Milkweed Editions, 9781571313478)

Barefoot to Avalon Jacksonland Don't Suck, Don't Die Sam Phillips The World's Largest Man

The Water is Wide History & Life Stories Prize
Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother’s Story by David Payne (Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802123541)
Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab by Steve Inskeep (Penguin Press, 9781594205569)
Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chestnutt by Kristin Hersh (University of Texas Press, 9780292759473)
Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll by Peter Guralnick (Little Brown and Company, 9780316042741)
The World's Largest Man: A Memoir by Harrison Scott Key (Harper, 9780062351494)

Foster The Southerner's Cookbook Sunday Dinner Go SeThe Jemima Codet a Watchman Soulfood Love

The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize
Foster's Market Favorites: 25th Anniversary Collection by Sara Foster (Story Farm, 9780990520573)
The Southerner's Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories by the editors of Garden & Gun (Harper Wave, 9780062242419)
Sunday Dinner: A Savor the South Cookbook by Bridgette A. Lacy (University of North Carolina Press, 9781469622453)
The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin (University of Texas Press, 9780292745483)
Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall (Clarkson Potter Publishers, 9780804137935)

Hamster Princess Serafina and the Black Cloak Yard War Seeds of Freedom

The Poppy’s Pants, Jr. Youngsters Prize
Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic by Ursula Vernon (Dial Books, 9780803739840)
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion, 9781484709016)
Yard War by Taylor Kitchings (Wendy Lamb Books, 9780553507539)
Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama
 by Hester Bass (Candlewick, 9780763669195)

Anything Could Happen The Odds of Getting Even Mosquitoland The Wrath and the Dawn

The Poppy’s Pants Young Adult Prize
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton (Push, 9780545709545)
The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage (Kathy Dawson Books, 9780803739611)
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780451470775)
The Wrath and the Dawn
 by Renee Ahdieh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399171611)

For more information about the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, visit
http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

Okra PicksA basket full of Spring 2016 Okra Picks!

(Columbia, SC) – Spring may be the time to plant, but Southern indie booksellers are already harvesting a new crop of Okra Picks. The 2016 Spring Okra Picks have just been selected–a basketful of a dozen great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know–Southern independent booksellers. 

All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publishing between April and June, 2016, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, expect someone to hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!” Read them before they hit the bestseller lists and impress your friends with your impeccable taste and literary savvy!

The 2016 Spring Okra Picks   

Lies and Other Acts of Love Chasing the North Star Raymie Nightingale The Other Widow

Lies and Other Acts of Love 
by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Berkley Books, April 2016          
Fiction, 9781101987063

Chasing the North Star
by Robert Morgan
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, April 2016
Fiction, 9781565126275

Raymie Nightingale
by Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press, April 2016
Juvenile Fiction, 9780763681173

The Other Widow
by Susan Crawford
William Morrow & Company, April 2016
Fiction, 9780062362889

Julia Reed's South Over the Plain Houses Redemption Road Lily and Dunkin

Julia Reed's South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long
by Julia Reed
Rizzoli International Publications, April 2016
Cooking, 9780847848287

Over the Plain Houses
by Julia Franks
Hub City Press, May 2016
Fiction, 9781938235214

Redemption Road
by John Hart
Thomas Dunne Books, May 2016
Fiction, 9780312380366

Lily and Dunkin
by Donna Gephart
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, May 2016
Juvenile Fiction, 9780553536744

Highly Illogical Behavior Last Ride to Graceland Field of Graves A Thousand Miles to Nowhere

Highly Illogical Behavior
by John Corey Whaley
Dial Books, May 2016
Juvenile Fiction, 9780525428183

Last Ride to Graceland
by Kim Wright
Gallery Books, May 2016
Fiction, 9781501100789

Field of Graves
by J.T. Ellison
Mira Books, June 2016
Fiction, 9780778318927

A Thousand Miles from Nowhere
by John Gregory Brown
Lee Boudreaux Books, June 2016
Fiction, 9780316302807

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit sibaweb.com/okra.