SIBA News

The 2017 Summer Okra Picks have been selected: a flavor-filled collection of new Southern books hand-picked by Southern indie booksellers–people with impeccable taste in books... 

All Summer Okra picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between July and September, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers: the people who are always looking out for the next great writer to fill your reading plate. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore and someone says, "You've got to read this!" and hands you one of these tasty titles, dig in and ask for a second helping. Great books are always good for you!

The Devil's Muse by Bill LoehfelmThe Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan HenryThe Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm
Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374279776, 272pp.
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
Berkley Books, Paperback, 9780399583117, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780062105714, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Refugee by Alan GratzShadow of the Lions by Christopher SwannBlight by Alexandra Duncan

Refugee by Alan Gratz
Scholastic Press, Hardcover, 9780545880831, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205003, 368pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Blight by Alexandra Duncan
Greenwillow Books, Hardcover, 9780062396990, 400pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah WeissA Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson SextonYoung Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
Sourcebooks, Paperback, 9781492647454, 320pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Counterpoint LLC, Hardcover, 9781619029224, 256pp.
Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205041, 320pp.
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia WilliamsThe Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren WangSing , Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn WardThe Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams
Dey Street Books, Hardcover, 9780062407306, 240pp.
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9781250122353, 320pp.
Publication Date: August 29, 2017

Sing , Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781501126062, 304pp.
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780735214316, 400pp.
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Exciting Changes at SIBA!: SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell heads west and Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe’s General Manager Linda-Marie Barrett joins SIBA as Assistant Executive Director.

Wanda JewellSIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell will relocate in 2018 to San Francisco, Ca. to be near family. She wants to spend time with her granddaughter and “any future grands to come!” Of her decision to relocate out of the territory, she writes, “I believe this will be good for SIBA. I’ll have access to a whole new culture of bookselling. I’ll research new products, concepts, and ideas at work and bring them to SIBA booksellers. I’m investigating the possibility of sharing resources with NCIBA, as well as contacting new vendors.” Even after she relocates, Jewell will keep east coast hours to be available to SIBA members. “As my signature says, call anytime for any reason!”

Linda-Marie BarrettAs part of the transition, Linda-Marie Barrett, longtime General Manager and former co-owner of Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC leaves Malaprop’s to join SIBA as Assistant Executive Director. Her initial focus will be as a Rep on the Road Liaison to SIBA booksellers, expanding on outreach she’d already begun as a SIBA Board member. She will accelerate participation in SIBA’s Frindies (Author Friends) program, and be the east coast SIBA representative beginning in early 2018. “Malaprop’s has been my heart for almost 29 years, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to work with Wanda Jewell, someone I admire tremendously. Traveling the territory, meeting indie booksellers, and exploring what’s working and what needs attention is a perfect match for my passion to build connections, find solutions, and offer practical assistance. I’m so looking forward to getting started!”

Barrett resigned her position on the SIBA Board at their last board meeting on May 30. She officially stepped into the position of SIBA Assistant Executive Director on June 5, and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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