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

Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2018 Southern Book Prize.

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” and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

2018 Southern Book Prize Winners

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric DysonMy Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott KingFlame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehTumble and Blue by Cassie BeasleyBefore We Were Yours by Lisa WingateGradle Bird by J C SasserThe Last Ballad by Wiley CashYoung Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

FICTION

Women & Family –
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)

“Zevin uses her unique voice to tell this sometimes hilarious and witty story in three points of view.  Strong, smart women! A joy to read, and quite meaningful.” – Jean Lewis, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

Literary -
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash (William Morrow & Company)

“We need more women (and men) like Ella Mae Wiggins in this world. Someone who is willing to stand up for a better world no matter the cost. This is her story, and we are all better for having come to know it."” – George Williams, MoonPie General Store, Pigeon Forge, TN

Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense -
Gradle Bird by J. C. Sasser (Koehler Books)

“This story is the epitome of Southern Fiction, with its wild cast of characters and small-town setting.” – Bess Long, My Sister’s Books, Pawley’s Island, SC

Southern Fiction -
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Ballantine Books)

“Lisa Wingate is a master storyteller, and I am particularly attached to her historical fiction. Each time I read one of the books, I learn of a part of our southern past that is mostly forgotten.” – Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Juvenile Fiction -
Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley (Dial Books)

“Sweet, magical, and wholly enjoyable—a little bit of magic, a grandparent in trouble, insurmountable obstacles, and selfless acts of friendship and love. Adorable, well-written, and sweet as fresh swamp water.”  – Mary Ruthless, Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh (G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)

“A fantastical tale woven like fine silk, Flame in the Mist transports readers to feudal Japan where we meet Mariko, and follow her on a quest that’s conclusion will have her questioning everything she thinks she knows about family, honor, and love.” – Star Lowe, Star Line Books, Chatttanooga, TN

NONFICTION

Biography & History -
Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
(Picador USA)

 “I'm glad the first chapter is "We Don't Have Time to Cry" because it, and Mrs. King, give strength and honesty if we are to face what our country is (and because I sure had a hard time stopping crying at times). Beautiful straight talking.” – Angie Fleming, Givens Books, Lynchburg, VA

Nonfiction -
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
(St. Martin's Press)

"Michael Eric Dyson is an urgent and impassioned cry for racial justice— justice that will not be reached without a reckoning by white Americans' acknowledgment of its passivity and complicity to its addiction to power." – Caroline Green Christopoulos, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

Okra PickSummer is the season for Okra. . .Picks! Southern Indie Booksellers have chosen their favorite Southern books of the summer, a literary harvest of forthcoming hand sell hot picks and future bestsellers.

All the Okra Picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between July and September, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers. Eighteen forthcoming titles—including fiction, nonfiction, young adult and children’s literature—have been picked by booksellers as the Southern books they are most excited about. The answer to every reader’s favorite question – What should I read next? – can be found here.

JULY

Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son by Mary Carter BishopWilla of the Wood  by Robert BeattySmack Dab in the Middle of Maybe  by Jo HacklThe New Inheritors by Kent WascomThe Lost Country by William GayThe Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons

Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son  by Mary Carter Bishop
Harper | 9780062400734 | 27.99 | July 2018

Willa of the Wood  by Robert Beatty
Disney-Hyperion | 9781368005845 | 16.99 | July 2018

Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe  by Jo Hackl
Random House Books for Young Readers | 9780399557385 | 16.99 | July 2018

The New Inheritors by Kent Wascom
Grove Press | 9780802128171 | 26.00 | July 2018

The Lost Country by William Gay
Dzanc Books | 9781945814525 | 26.95 | July 2018

The Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons
Little Brown and Company | 9780316516211 | 26.00 | July 2018

AUGUST

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America  by Beth MacyWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia OwensSurviving Adam Mede by Shannon KlareThe Line That Held Us by David JoyRush by Lisa PattonOne Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy  by Carol Anderson

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | 9780316551243 | August 2018

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
G.P. Putnam's Sons | 9780735219090 | 26.00 | August 2018

Surviving Adam Mede by Shannon Klare
Swoon Reads | 9781250154378 | 16.99 | August 2018

The Line That Held Us by David Joy
G.P. Putnam's Sons | 9780399574221 | 27.00 | August 2018

Rush by Lisa Patton
St. Martin’s Press | 9781250020666 | 26.99 | August 2018

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival  by Terry Roberts
Turner | 9781684421633 | 16.99 | August 2018

SEPTEMBER

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy  by Carol AndersonSouthernmostMerci Suárez Changes Gears  by Meg MedinaThe Law of Finders Keepers  Wake by Sheila TurnageDrive by Joyce Moyer HostetterOur Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy  by Nicole Seitz (editor)Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist  by Eli Saslow

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy  by Carol Anderson
Bloomsbury Publishing | 9781635571370 | 27.00 | September 2018

Merci Suárez Changes Gears  by Meg Medina
Candlewick Press | 9780763690496 | 16.99 | September 2018

The Law of Finders Keepers  Wake by Sheila Turnage
Kathy Dawson Books | 9780803739628 | 16.99 | September 2018

Drive by Joyce Moyer Hostetter
Calkins Creek Books | 9781629798653 | $18.95 | September 2018

Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy  by Nicole Seitz (editor) and Jonathan Haupt (editor)
University of Georgia Press | 9780820354484 | $29.95 | September 2018

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist  by Eli Saslow
Doubleday Books | 9780385542869 | $26.95 | September 2018

Find more information about the Okra Picks at AuthorsRoundtheSouth.com/okra

Southern indie booksellers: We grow good books!

BOOKSELLER REVIVAL AT THE COUNTRY BOOKSHOP

Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop: Improving Margins while Offering Original Content to your Customers

 

Mark your calendar and join us for a Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop, hosted by owner & SIBA Board member Kimberly Daniels Taws. Josh Floyd of IngramSpark will give an overview of how bookstores are utilizing their services in various ways, including producing store-branded journals. Kimberly will share how her team works with local authors, and their approach to publishing with IngramSpark. The afternoon will include time for brainstorming, and addressing questions booksellers might have regarding how they can use what they've learned and adapt for their stores. Lunch provided courtesy of IngramSpark. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

When: Friday, July 20, 10am-3pm

Where: The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387

RSVP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Applications Open for the 2018 PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS, sponsored by PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) invites booksellers to apply for the 2018 Pat Conroy Scholarships. The scholarships honor the late author whose lifetime achievements have meant so much to Southern booksellers. They 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 for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show, in keeping with Penguin Random House’s tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event. The scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the recipient’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 mean so much to the booksellers chosen. They benefit from new educational opportunities, and connect with other booksellers, authors, and publishers. They also bring a refreshing and inspiring energy to the show, which is so gratifying to witness. 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 beloved by his readers, his publisher, Penguin Random House, and by SIBA. So, it is with great devotion for our author and enormous respect for the members of SIBA, whom he ardently supported, that we endow this next generation of bookseller-education scholarships for them in his honor,” added Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House.

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 2018 Pat Conroy Scholarships is July 15, 2018.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.

The #2018 SIBA Discovery show will be held September 13-15 at the Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.

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.:

  • 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.

Okra PickSouthern Indie Booksellers have brought in their Spring crop of Okra Picks: a season's worth of delicious reading with a Southern flavor.

All the Okra Picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between April and June, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers. Nineteen forthcoming titles—including fiction, nonfiction, young adult and children's literature—have been chosen by booksellers as the Southern books they are most excited to hand sell. There is something for every kind of reader, and every book has that "You've got to read this!" quality that makes readers push them into the hands of everyone they know.

APRIL

In the Shadow of 10,000 HillsVarinaThe Secret to Southern CharmThe OverstoryDread NationThe Country DarkGhost Boys

In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt
Central Avenue Publishing | 9781771681339 | 15.95 | April 2018

Varina by Charles Frazier
Ecco Press | 9780062405982 | 27.99 | April 2018

The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Gallery Books | 9781501195242 | 16.00 | April 2018

The Overstory by Richard Powers
W. W. Norton & Company | 9780393635522 | 27.95 | April 2018

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen | 9780062570604 | 17.99 | April 2018

Country Dark by Chris Offutt
Grove Press | 9780802127792 | 24.00 | April 2018

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | 9780316262286 | 16.99 | April 2018

MAY

How Sweet the SoundThe High Tide ClubGirl Made of StarsBest Beach EverI Fest a Funeral in My Brain

How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace by Carole Boston Weatherford
Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 9781481472067 | 17.99 | May 2018

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin's Press | 9781250126061 | 27.99 | May 2018

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Houghton Mifflin | 9781328778239 | 17.99 | May 2018

Best Beach Ever by Wendy Wax
Berkley Books | 9780399584411 | 16.00 | May 2018

I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton
Push | 9780545709569 | 17.99 | May 2018

JUNE

The View from HereSouthernmostNeverworld WakeFloridaRisingBearskinThe Darkest Time of Night

The View from Here by Lynne Hinton
NewSouth Books | 9781588383471 | 25.95 | June 2018

Southernmost by Silas House
Algonquin Books | 9781616206253 | 26.95 | June 2018

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Delacorte Press | 9780399553929 | 18.99 | June 2018

Florida by Lauren Groff
Riverhead Books | 9781594634512 | $24.99 | June 2018

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
Milkweed Editions | 9781571313676 | $26.00 | June 2018

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin
Ecco Press | 9780062742797 | $26.99 | June 2018

The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley
St. Martin's Press | 9781250147301 | $26.99 | June 2018