The 2017 Spring 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 Spring Okra picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between April and June, 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 Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9781594206559, 384pp.
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Skin Again by bell hooks, Chris Raschka (illus)
Jump at the Sun, Hardcover, 9781484799239, 40pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763690342, 272pp.
Publication Date: April 25, 2017

Sunshine State: Essays by Sarah Gerard
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062434876, 384pp.
Publication Date: April 11, 2017

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780425284681, 352pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Flight Path A Search for Roots Beneath the World's Busiest Airport by Hannah Palmer
Hub City Press, Paperback, 9781938235283
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Echolocation by Mark Powell
Tyrus Books, Hardcover, 9781507203385, 384pp.
Publication Date: June 2, 2017

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780062472984, 384pp.
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250118455, 336pp.
Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Thunder in the Mountains Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393239416, 640pp.
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Gradle Bird by J.C. Sasser
Koehler Books, Paperback, 9781633932630, 288pp.
Publication Date: June 15, 2017

He Calls Me by Lightning The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty by S. Jonathan Bass
Liveright Publishing Corporation, Hardcover, 9781631492372, 432pp.
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin
Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781632867049, 336pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017


(Columbia, SC) In an effort to expand exposure to its bookstore members and their customers to books by people of color, starting February 1 SIBA is offering a 35% discount to publishers who wish to promote authors and illustrators of color for 2017.  Any book that has been written or illustrated by a person of color is eligible for the discount, which applies to all SIBA promotions with the exception of its annual Holiday Catalog, a shared revenue product.

“We had a strong call from our members to increase diversity in SIBA programming,” said Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “and to work with stores to increase the demand for diverse books,” adding that SIBA has already made an internal commitment to promote diverse authors and books in its consumer-targeted programs, such as the Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter.

“But it is an all-hands-on-deck process,” she added, “our booksellers are deeply committed to diversity, and we want publishers to see our membership as an enthusiastic and profitable audience for their divese writers.”

By offering the discount on SIBA promotional programs, Jewell hopes that publishers will not only send more diverse authors to SIBA territory, but also that they will see the benefit of committing more promotional dollars to their books as a whole.

For more information, contact: Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.