It’s a southern story. . .

“It’s a Countdown, a reckoning, to a future that is Burning Bright,” he said. Pete the Cat is Checking Out all the Angles of Approach.” We nodded, obediently.  Dave the Potter is Leaving Gees Bend with Zora and Me for some time On Folly Beach and you just have to listen when he gets like this. It’s been Blueberry Years since we’ve been there. “You won’t find a Mockingbird Living Above the Frost Line,” he tells us. (Like we didn’t know that). “Don’t build your House of Branches, and Don’t Quit Your Day Job,” he calls out as he leaves, yelling over his shoulder “Remember The Fall of the House of Zeus!” (Zeus lived down the road and never could hammer a nail straight.) “But Dave, I hollered after him, “Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide?

“You think a doublewide will be Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt?” he roared back. “You think that’s Bloodroot she picked to Eat from Your Yard?” There was Food, Folklore and Art to his Lowcountry Cooking and Lowcountry preaching, we all knew. T’were like the Crooked Letter, Crooked Letters on The Circus Poems writ up on the billboards along Route 54. Dave’s an artist. “Creative is a Verb,” he tells us and then adds, “it’s Southern, My Way.” So it is.

(Columbia, SC)—The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 SIBA Book Awards. These are the books from last year that Southern Indie Booksellers especially loved, the ones they most enjoyed putting into the hands of their customers with the earnest, heartfelt and ever hopeful words “You’ve got to read this.”

Twenty-four titles were chosen by bookseller vote out of a nominee list of over 100 books, in the categories of Children’s, Young Adult, Poetry, Nonfiction, Fiction, and Cooking. The finalists represent what Southern Indie Booksellers feel to be the best in southern literature of the year. And let’s face it—they are the people who would know!

The SIBA Book Awards were created, not just to recognize great Southern books, but to give southern readers an enviable list of books to enjoy, read, buy, and give as gifts.  As of this time, the SIBA Book Award remains one of the most far-reaching and high-profile awards for Southern literature.

Finalists will be judged by a jury of SIBA booksellers. Winners will be announced in July during the week of Independence Day.  In September, in Charleston, SC at the annual SIBA Trade Show, the winners and finalists will be recognized at a special Wacky, Wordy, Wedding version of our popular Writers’ Block Auction. That’s right—SIBA wants booksellers and authors to get hitched, and what more beautiful place to do so than Charleston? The Writers’ Block Auction raises money to promote the Awards and raise awareness of the importance of independent booksellers to the literary community.

For more information, visit

2011 Finalists:


Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (Puffin Books)
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
by Eric Litwin and James Dean (Harper)

Young Adult

Countdown by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic)
Leaving Gees Bend by Irene Latham (Putnam)
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond & TR Simon (Candlewick)


The Blueberry Years by Jim Minick (Thomas Dunne Books)
Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh (Skirt!)
Don't Quit Your Day Job by Sonny Brewer (MP Publishing)
The Fall of the House of Zeus
by Curtis Wilkes (Crown)
Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? by
Karen Zacharias (Zondervan)


Bloodroot by Amy Greene (Vintage Books)
Burning Bright
by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
by Tom Franklin (William Morrow)
On Folly Beach by Karen White (New American Library)
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
by Beth Hoffman (Penguin)


Angles of Approach by Holly Iglesias (White Pine Press)
Checking Out by Tim Peeler (Hub City Press)
The Circus Poems by Alex Grant (Lorimer Press)
House of Branches by Janisse Ray (Wind Publications)
Living Above the Frost Line by Nancy Simpson (Carolina Wren Press)


Eat Your Yard by Nan Chase (Gibbs Smith Publishers)
The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking
by Joseph Earl Dabney (Cumberland House Publishing)
Southern My Way by Gena Knox (Gena Knox Media, LLC)

Category: SIBA News