Announcing the Finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize
In response to input from bookseller members, SIBA revamped the Southern Book Prize to streamline the selection process and encourage more bookseller and customer engagement, with a goal towards increasing excitement and sales around the holiday season.
Alongside the usual website nomination process, nominations to the prize were expanded to include SIBA bookseller member reviews submitted to Edelweiss for books that met the Southern Book Prize criteria – titles Southern in nature or by a Southern author (or both) and published in the 2018 calendar year. The expanded nomination list included more than 100 titles. The 2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists below were selected according to the number of nominations and/or reviews they received.
Winners will be chosen by popular vote, and SIBA stores 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. 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.
“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.” She noted that by including titles which received strong bookseller reviews on Edelweiss, the Southern Book Prize is drawing on books that have deep bookseller support and enthusiasm.
Southern Book Prize winners will be announced on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
2019 Southern Book Prize 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)
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)
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)
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)