Okra PicksMake a New Year’s Resolution to read more Okra! Southern Independent booksellers have chosen the 2019 Winter Okra Picks – a collection of the best forthcoming Southern books of the season. Each of the 18 books selected have a couple things in common: They are Southern in nature, they are coming out sometime in the next three months (January, February, March), and they have a following among Southern indie booksellers, who can’t wait to introduce them to new readers.

Add a bit of tasty reading to your literary diet. Serve yourself a helping of Okra Picks.

Meet Miss FancySugar RunThe Elephant in the RoomThe Gilded Wolves

Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham ; John Holyfield
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers | Hardcover | 9780399546686 | 01/08/2019 | $17.99

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
Algonquin Books | Hardcover | 9781616206215 | 01/08/2019 | $26.95

The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America by Tommy Tomlinson
Simon & Schuster | Hardcover | 9781501111617 | 01/15/2019 | $27.00

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Wednesday Books | Hardcover | 9781250144546 | 01/15/2019 | $18.99

The CurrentMiraculumParkland SpeaksWe Cast a Shadow

The Current by Tim Johnston
Algonquin Books | Hardcover | 9781616206772 | 01/22/2019 | $27.95

Miraculum by Steph Post
Polis Books | Hardcover | 9781947993419 | 01/22/2019 | $26.00

Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories by Sarah Lerner
Crown Books for Young Readers | Paperback | 9781984849991 | 01/22/2019 | $17.99

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
One World | Hardcover | 9780525509066 | 01/29/2019 | $27.00

American PopThe Atlas of Reds and BluesLost Children ArchiveA-List

American Pop by Snowden Wright
William Morrow & Company | Hardcover | 9780062697745 | 02/05/2019 | $26.99

The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar
Counterpoint LLC | Hardcover | 9781640091535 | 02/05/2019 | $25.00

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Knopf Publishing Group | Hardcover | 9780525520610 | 02/12/2019 | $27.95

A-List by D. P. Lyle
Oceanview Publishing | Paperback | 9781608093335 | 02/19/2019 | $16.00

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry GirlsRayne & Delilah's Midnite MatineeA Friend is a Gift You Give YourselfSoltary

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
Berkley Books | Hardcover | 9781984802439 | 02/19/2019 | $26.00

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers | Hardcover | 9781524720209 | 02/26/2019 | $17.99

A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself by William Boyle
Pegasus Books | Hardcover | 9781643130583 | 03/05/2019 | $25.95

Solitary by Albert Woodfox
Grove Press | Hardcover | 9780802129086 | 03/05/2019 | $26.00

The Good DetectivePoetree

The Good Detective by John McMahon
G.P. Putnam's Sons | Hardcover | 9780525535539 | 03/19/2019 | $27.00

Poetree by Shauna Lavoy Reynolds ; Shahrzad Maydani
Dial Books | Hardcover | 9780399539121 | 03/19/2019 | $17.99

Find more information about the Okra Picks at

Southern indie booksellers: We grow good books!

The Southern Book PrizeThe Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize, the best books of Southern origin of the year, chosen by the people who would know – Southern independent booksellers.

All the finalists are published in the current calendar year and are Southern in nature – either about the South, or by a Southern author, or both. Over one hundred titles were nominated to this year’s Prize, and finalists were chosen according to the number of nominations they received.

The announcement of the 2019 finalists represents a change in the timing of the Southern Book Prize, which in past years has occurred in the spring. “We have heard from many of our members that they want more opportunities to promote Southern Book Prize titles during the holiday shopping season,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “so we moved the timeline of the Prize forward to the fall.”

Another change is in how the winners will be selected from the list of finalists: Winners will be chosen by popular vote, and Southern indie bookstores will be encouraged to involve their customers in the voting process by creating in-store displays of the finalist titles as part of their holiday promotions. Each store will be provided postage-paid postcard ballots to hand out to booksellers and customers. An online ballot will also be available on November 10th. Returned ballots will be entered into a raffle to win a complete set of the finalist titles.

In-store voting will begin the week of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge, November 10-16, building on the momentum of the grassroots campaign to encourage book buying at local bookstores and giving store customers chances to win more prizes. Voting will run from November 10 through February 1, 2019.

Southern Book Prize winners will be announced on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists


2019 Southern Book Award Fiction Finalists

A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown (St. Martin’s Press)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press)
The Line that Held Us by David Joy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


2019 Southern Book Award Nonfiction Finalists

The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Company)
One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark (Touchstone)

Children's & Young Adult

2019 Southern Book Award Childrens & YA Finalists

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BYR)
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)
Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux BYR)
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BYR)

Honorable Mentions
Books which did not receive quite enough nominations to be finalists, but whose nominations were especially enthusiastic.

Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Treeborne by Caleb Johnson (Picador)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)