2009 SIBA Book Award
#SIBA19 • Spartanburg SC • September 13-15, 2019


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2009 SIBA Book Award Nominations Are Now Closed

The final list of books nominated by SIBA Booksellers and their customers as the best in Southern Literature for the year.

2009 SIBA Book Award Nominations!

Download a spreadsheet (xls)

Title Author What booksellers are saying...


Almost Invisible: Black Patriots of the American Revolution Kate Salley Palmer Kate Salley Palmer is a SC treasure and she continues her great series of children's books about the American Revolution with her latest, Almost Invisible.
Beyond the Long-Eared Mountains David Hume
If Animals Kissed Goodnight Ann Paul, illustrated by David Walker
The White Bear Ellie Kirby A touching retelling of the Appalachian legend of Whitebear Whittington, an enchanted prince who is under a spell that can only be broken by true devotion. Kirby is also a talented artist, self-illustrating the book in soft, beautiful watercolors. A must for any collection of children's books.
Two Bobbies Kirby Larson
Zach's Tracks Juliana Morgan


At Home Café Helen Defrance
BBQ Joints: Stories and Secret Recipes from the Barbeque Belt David Gelin
Bon Appetite, Y'all Virginia Willis
Bottega Favorita Frank Stitt
Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans Bienvenu, Marcelle An amazing and little known side to the story of Katrina. After the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, "The Times-Picayune" of New Orleans became a post-hurricane swapping place for old recipes that were washed away in the storm. This compilation features 250 of these delicious authentic recipes along with the stories about how they came to be.
Grazing Along the Crooked Road Libby Bondurant and Betty Skeens A unique and often humorous collection of anecdotes, recipes, and photographs collected from along the "Crooked Road," the 253-mile route of Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Perfect for Southern cooks and Appalachian culture buffs.
Great Southern Food Festival Cookbook Mindy Henderson
Holy smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue John Shelton Reed & Dale Volberg Reed Part cookbook, part elegy for a passing way of life, part treasure trove of secret recipes. This is the best barbecue book for anyone east of the Appalachians.
My First Cook Book Paula Deen
Provencal Cooking Mary Ann Caws
Screen Doors & Sweet Tea Martha Hall Foose
You Are Where You Eat Elsa Hahne


A Hundred Years of Happiness Nicole Seitz  
Armageddon Conspiracy John Thompson Armageddon Conspiracy is an exciting read that brings all the excitement I had reading John Grisham for the first time.
Atomic Lobster Tim Dorsey The best of Florida Hysterical Fiction. For Serge Storm fans, you will enjoy this disfunctional family reunion of a number of "charaters" from Tim's previous novels.
Bible Salesman Clyde Edgerton "Henry is a bible salesman. Clearwater is a car thief. Henry needs a ride.Clearwater needs an assistant." And so begins the pitch for Clyde Edgerton's new novel that is full of the southern charm and side-splitting humor that only Edgerton can provide.
Cain's Version Frank Durham
Charlemagne Pursuit Steve Berry
City of Refuge Tom Piazza
Cotton in Augusta
Shirley Proctor Twiss
Deep Dish Mary Kay Andrews Fun from beginning to end!!
Fresh Frozen Darden North
Gossip of Starlings Nina de Gramont
In the Shadow of Chimney Rock Rose Senehi
Iodine Haven Kimmel
Legal Limit Martin Clark If every book was this good, I'd never get anything done!
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen Susan Gregg Gilmore Catherine Grace Cline, the protagonist of this clever coming-of-age novel, teaches us that there can be deep meaning in a simple message
Mermaids In The Basement Michael Lee West This novel takes me to lots of my favorite places in the South on a little mini-vacation -- and the characters are a hoot!
Mudbound Hilary Jordan A rich book full of controversy and thought. Set in post-WWII Mississippi, tensions between black and white tenant farmers constantly at odds over race and place in society come to a head when their sons return from battle and find common ground. Beautiful prose, deep text, very emotional.
Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill N.M.Kelby Wise, witty and beautifully written, this critically acclaimed book makes you laugh (don't we need to laugh these days) and think...not many books do that.
Pelican Road Howard Bahr
Serena Ron Rash ron rash eloquently writes about something near and dear to so many of us in the south cherish , our autonomy. The takeover of our southern woodlands by the federal government is just another instance of some difficulties our southern fathers had to endure for the good of all . He tells this almost forgotten piece of history as though he were there.
Sugar Queen Sarah Addison Allen
The Fifth Skull Terrell Garren This is a wonderful historical fiction novel by noted Civil War historian, Terrell Garren of North Carolina.
The Front Porch Prophet Raymond Atkins The book is extremely well written and hilarious. Great theme: the family of people. Broad appeal. Wonderful spectrum of characters. Quintessentially Southern, yet universal. Humane tone. Unique style. Great satire in the vein of Mark Twain. Atkins is the new Twain.
The House on Tradd Street Karen White Karen is a regional favorite and The House on Tradd Street has been on of her strongest sellers to date.
The Mercy Oak Kathryn R. Wall Kathy Wall's "Bay Tanner" mysteries are, by far, the most popular local books here. And for good reason..."The Mercy Oak" is No. 8 (they come out once a year in April) and soooo entertaining to read! Everyone love the local setting. Many visitors to Hilton Head come straight to the book store to pick up her latest. Wonderfully entertaining reading!
The Wedding Machine Beth Webb Hart A Southern yarn with a light Christian touch suitable for women of any age.
The Well and the Mine Gin Phillips
The Wettest County in the World Matt Bondurant fantastic. It has guns. It has war. It has moonshine. What more could you want?
Time is a River Mary Alice Monroe


Belle Weather Celia Rivenbark
Belonging bell hooks
Family Bible Melissa Delbridge
Georgia Gardeners Q&A Walter Reeves
Gone to the Swamp: Raw Materials for the Good Life in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta Robert Leslie Smith An excellent regional history is "Gone to the Swamp: Raw Materials for the Good life in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta." Robert Leslie Smith has gathered together oral and written histories from 150 years of farming, fishing, hunting and timber-harvesting in the second-largest river delta in the United States. (The Mobile Delta is approximately 20,323 acres of water just north of Mobile Bay, second only to the Mississippi River Delta in size.) Rich in detail and well-illustrated with black-and-white photos, it's a great introduction to a little-know ecological jewel. Fire Ant Books/ University of Alabama Press. $29.95
Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table Sarah Roahen
Holy Roller Diane Wilson I want to be Diane Wilson when I grow up!
Letter to My Daughter Maya Anagelou
Life is a Verb Patti Digh
Prince of Frogtown Rick Bragg
Remarkable Trees of Virginia Nancy Ross Hugo, Jeff Kirwan, Robert Llewellyn Remarkable Trees is a beautiful photographic journey highlighting the biggest, oldest, most unusual, and most striking trees in Virginia. An excellent coffee table book.
Something For the Pain Paul Austin
Something to Write Home about: Memories from a Presidential Diarist Janis F. Kearney
Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea Noah Trudeau
Suck Your Stomach In Shellie Tomlinson
The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir Patricia Harman I knew nothing about midwifery before reading this piece of non-fiction. It was eye opening - the issues of malpractice insurance, women struggling through all kinds of tragedies, but surviving and thriving ultimately. A story of re-birth and hope.
The Courage to Lead Howard Lee
The House on First Street Julia Reed Julia Reed's memoir of post-Katrina New Orleans, "The House on First Street," chronicles the noted author's move to New Orleans a scant four weeks prior to the disaster. She deftly tells of the recovery and reconstruction of her home as well as the re-establishment of neighborhood restaurants and stores, populated by a parade of local characters. Ecco/HarperCollins. $23.95
Where's Your Jesus Now Karen Spears Zacharias
Without Precedent Anna Hayes
World the Made New Orleans Ned Sublette, Lawrence Hill


Birds of Djakarta Jean Jones
Burning Heaven Jim Minick
Capturing the Dead Daniel Nathan Terry
Dear Darkness Kevin Young
Hearsay from Heaven and Hades: New Orleans Secrets of Sinners and Saints T.J. Fisher
Jealous Witness Andrei Codrescu
More Than Friends: Poems from Him and Her Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf
Score!: 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire Charles Ghigna A poetry book for boys who love sports?! It's a slam-dunk!
Signals Ed Madden
Some Identity Problems Corey Mesler This is my husband's first full-length poetry collection and it is the culmination of decades of work. It is stunning.

Young Adult

Aloha Crossing Pamela Bauer
Beanball Gene Fehler Beanball is a lightning fast read for reluctant YA boys. They won't even realize they're reading poetry.
Bitsy and the Mystery of Hilton Head Island Vonda Skelton Wonderful mystery for 3rd - 7th graden. Vonda is from Simpsonville, SC
Cemetery Street Brenda Seabrooke
Chancey of the Maury River Gigi Amateau
Graceling kirstin cashore well written fantasy for any age, male or female.
Jesse's Mountain Kerry Madden Jesse's Mountain is the third book in the trilogy of a family in Western NC during the 60's. Livvy 2 discovers her mother's journal from her own youth. Livvy finds her mother's as a girl, innermost thoughts and begins her own journey into adulthood.
Lament Maggie Stiefvater
Lock and Key Sarah Dessen
Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey Trenton Lee Stewart
Native Tongue Shannon Greenland The Specialist series is the Best Teen Adventure Read of 2008! Great forgirls and boys. Several of our Middle and High School libraries havepurchased the Specialist series and the kids are begging for more. Ihave read all 4 books and can't wait for more.
Not Anything Carmen Rodrigues
Nothing Pink Mark Hardy
Secret of Laurel Oaks Lois Ruby
Shooting the Moon Frances O'Roark Dowell
Something Wicked Alan Gratz
Stella Stands Alone A. LaFaye
Tennyson Lesley N M Bloom
The Adventuruous Deeds of Deadwood Jones Helen Hemphill This book is getting middle school boys reading! The adventurous of the story carries away kids (and kids-at-heart!)
The Winning Element Shannon Greenland The Specialist series is the Best Teen Adventure Read of 2008! Great forgirls and boys. Several of our Middle and High School libraries havepurchased the Specialist series and the kids are begging for more. Ihave read all 4 books and can't wait for more.


About the SIBA Book Award:

Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite hand-sell books of the year. These are the Southern books they have most enjoyed selling to customers; the ones that they couldn't stop talking about; the ones most often pushed into a customer’s hands with the words “You have got to read this!” The SIBA Book Award was created to recognize great books of Southern origin, as determined by people whose business it is to know great books—the independent booksellers of the South.

Books are nominated in six categories, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, cooking young adult and children's. For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, and it must have been originally published within the 2008 calendar year. Only SIBA-member booksellers can submit nominations and vote on the selection of finalists. Winners will be chosen from the list of finalists by a jury of SIBA booksellers.

The 2008 Book Award Toolkit

Nomination period: November 1 - February 15
Nomination form

Archive of previous winners

For more information about the award, please visit SIBA’s website for southern literature: www.authorsroundthesouth.com, or contact Executive Director Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.