2008 SIBA Book Award Finalists Announced

Have You Read These Books?
The best of Southern Literature, as chosen by the people who would know—Southern Independent Booksellers.

The votes are in! The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has released the finalists for the 2008 SIBA Book Award. The finalists are. . .



1. Aurora County All Stars by Deborah Wiles (Harcourt)
2. Br’er Rabbit Captured by Jean Cassels (Walker)
3. Chicken Dance, Jacques Couvillon (Bloomsbury)
4. Deep in the Swamp
by Donna Bateman (Charlesbridge)
5. Louisiana’s Song
Kerry Madden (Viking)
6. Something Rotten Alan Gratz (Dial Books)


1. A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson (William Morrow)
2. In Praise of Pecans by June Jackson (Bright Sky Press)
3. Soby’s New South Cuisine
by Freidank, Sobocinski, Williams, & Peck (Soby’s)


1.Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead (Algonquin)
2. Down River by John Hart (Thomas Dunne)
3. Garden Spells by Sara Addison Allen (Bantam)
4. Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCraig (St. Martin’s Press)
5. Thistle & Twigg by Mary Saums (St. Martin’s Minotaur)


1. Animal Vegetable Miracleby Barbara Kingsolver (HarperCollins)
2. Boone by Robert Morgan (Shannon Ravenel Books)
3. Somebody’s Going to Die if Lilly Beth Doesn’t Catch that Bouquet by Gayden Metcalfe & Charlotte Hays (Hyperion)


1.House on Boulevard Street by David Kirby (LSU Press)
2. Out of the Garden by Kathryn Kirkpatrick (Mayapple Press)
3. Whatever Remembers Us
by Walker & Chambers (Negative Capability)


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 five categories, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, cooking and children's. For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, and it must have been published within the calendar year. Only SIBA-member booksellers can submit nominations and vote on the selection of finalists. In 2008, for the first time, winners will be chosen from the list of finalists by a jury of SIBA booksellers, instead of by popular vote.

Taking the SIBA Book Award to a New Level:

2008 is a landmark year for the SIBA Book Award, marking its transition to a new level of visibility and public awareness. Since it was first begun in 1999, the SIBA Book Award has become one of the most successful initiatives of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Today, nearly ten years later, the list of award-winners represents some of the finest examples of Southern literature, and the award has become a fully entrenched respected entity among Southern booksellers and publishers. Beginning in 2008, the SIBA Book Awards Ceremony will be held as part of the Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day Weekend in Decatur, GA. The festival, which attracts upwards of 60,000 attendees each year, is open to the public and promises to garner increased exposure for the awards and the award-winning books and authors. SIBA will have a presence at the Decatur Book Festival with as many independents booksellers as can participate. The Decatur Book Festival will host a private reception for the authors and SIBA’s core members before the public awards ceremony, and the awards themselves will be included in the general festival publicity.

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..