News

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

Fiction

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)

Nonfiction

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)

Okra Picks2018 Fall Okra Picks

The end of summer and beginning of fall brings with it a new harvest of Okra (Picks). Southern indie booksellers have chosen a bushel of the best Southern books of the upcoming season, October to December.  Each of the 18 books on the list was hand-picked by an enthusiastic Southern bookseller as something they are especially looking forward to. Okra Picks are the “You’ve Got to Read This!” list for the upcoming holidays.

Becoming Mrs. LewisBook of the Just: Book  Three of the Bohemian TrilogyThe Dream DaughterSouthern Discomfort: A  MemoirLouisiana's Way HomeScribe

Okra Picks2018 Fall Okra Picks

The end of summer and beginning of fall brings with it a new harvest of Okra (Picks). Southern indie booksellers have chosen a bushel of the best Southern books of the upcoming season, October to December.  Each of the 18 books on the list was hand-picked by an enthusiastic Southern bookseller as something they are especially looking forward to. Okra Picks are the “You’ve Got to Read This!” list for the upcoming holidays.

Becoming Mrs. LewisBook of the Just: Book  Three of the Bohemian TrilogyThe Dream DaughterSouthern Discomfort: A  MemoirLouisiana's Way HomeScribe

For Immediate Release   

SIBA announces Rick Bragg as the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Recipient!

Rick BraggRick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and author of two bestselling memoirs and numerous other books, has been selected as the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Recipient. Created in honor of the example set by the beloved Southern author Pat Conroy, the Conroy Legacy Award recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community, demonstrated support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general, written work that focuses significantly on their home place, and supported other writers, especially new and emerging writers. Serendipitously, Rick Bragg is a contributor to Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy edited by by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, published by University of Georgia Press and releasing this September. 

When informed of the award, Rick Bragg shared, “I heard Pat Conroy read his work aloud and it will almost make you abandon this craft for good and take up something like brick laying. The elegance and beauty of it always, across decades, made me think ‘Oh, so this is what it is supposed to sound like, be, linger in the mind.’ The fact he once said good things about my own work made me walk on air. I mean it, my step was lighter somehow. To be presented his award by people who have been with me since the beginning of my writing life, in his name, is as fine a thing as I can ever expect.”

Suzanne Lucey of Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC praised this year’s award winner, “Rick Bragg is the whole package. Intelligent, to the point, hilarious and beyond generous with his time and storytelling. A true man's man and momma's boy who makes us cry with laughter. He embraces his Southern Roots and contributes to the overall reason we all love the South.”

SIBA will make a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and to the Margaret Bragg Scholarship for first generation college students at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama in the name of Rick Bragg.

For Immediate Release   

SIBA announces Rick Bragg as the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Recipient!

Rick BraggRick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and author of two bestselling memoirs and numerous other books, has been selected as the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Recipient. Created in honor of the example set by the beloved Southern author Pat Conroy, the Conroy Legacy Award recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community, demonstrated support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general, written work that focuses significantly on their home place, and supported other writers, especially new and emerging writers. Serendipitously, Rick Bragg is a contributor to Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy edited by by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, published by University of Georgia Press and releasing this September. 

When informed of the award, Rick Bragg shared, “I heard Pat Conroy read his work aloud and it will almost make you abandon this craft for good and take up something like brick laying. The elegance and beauty of it always, across decades, made me think ‘Oh, so this is what it is supposed to sound like, be, linger in the mind.’ The fact he once said good things about my own work made me walk on air. I mean it, my step was lighter somehow. To be presented his award by people who have been with me since the beginning of my writing life, in his name, is as fine a thing as I can ever expect.”

Suzanne Lucey of Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC praised this year’s award winner, “Rick Bragg is the whole package. Intelligent, to the point, hilarious and beyond generous with his time and storytelling. A true man's man and momma's boy who makes us cry with laughter. He embraces his Southern Roots and contributes to the overall reason we all love the South.”

SIBA will make a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and to the Margaret Bragg Scholarship for first generation college students at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama in the name of Rick Bragg.