• A Sizzling Hot Season of 2016 Summer Okra Picks!

    (Columbia, SC) – The heat is on and Southern Indie booksellers are cooking up a sizzling plate of summer Okra Picks! The 2016 Summer Okra Picks have just been selected–a hearty helping of great summer reading that will make your beach book bag look a little more nutritious. They're a baker’s dozen of great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know–Southern independent booksellers. 

    All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publishing between July and September 2016, and all have fans among Southern booksellers: the people always on the lookout for the next great writer who belongs in your to-be-read stack. So on your next Southern Indie bookstore visit, expect to hear “You’ve got to read this!” and find one of these titles in your hands. Great books are always good for you!

    The 2016 Summer Okra Picks   

    The Cantaloupe Thief The Promis of Jessie Woods Underground Airlines Let the Devil Out

    The Cantaloupe Thief 
    by Deb Richardson-Moore
    Lion Fiction, July 2016   
    Fiction, 9781782641926

    The Promise of Jesse Woods
    by Chris Fabry
    Tyndale House Publishers, July 2016
    Fiction, 9781414387772

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters
    Mulholland Books, July 2016
    Fiction, 9780316261241

    Let the Devil Out: A Maureen Coughlin Novel
    by Bill Loehfelm
    Sarah Crichton Books, July 2016
    Fiction, 9780374298579

    Lowcountry Bookcllub Ninety-nine stories of God The Heavenly Table Cotton

    Lowcountry Book Club
    by Susan M. Boyer
    Henery Press, July 2016
    Fiction, 9781635110456

    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    Tin House Books, July 2016
    Fiction, 9781941040355

    The Heavenly Table
    by Donald Ray Pollock
    Doubleday Books, July 2016
    Fiction, 9780385541299

    Cotton 
    by Paul Heald
    Yucca Publishing, July 2016
    Fiction, 9781631580864

    The Fire This Time The Risen Perfume River Nine Island Darktown

    The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
    by Jesmyn Ward
    Scribner Book Company, August 2016
    Nonfiction, 9781501126345

    The Risen
    by Ron Rash
    Ecco Press, September 2016
    Fiction, 9780062436313

    Perfume River
    by Robert Olen Butler
    Atlantic Monthly Press, September 2016
    Fiction, 9780802125750

    Nine Island
    by Jane Alison
    Catapult, September 2016
    Fiction, 9781936787128

    Darktown
    by Thomas Mullen
    Atria, September 2016
    Fiction, 9781501133862

    Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit authorsroundthesouth.com/okra.

  • Ann Patchett named as one of Time's most influential people

    via

    Ann PatchettLiterary novelist Ann Patchett's fight to save independent bookshops, which has seen her open her own shop in Tennessee and champion the importance of bookselling on American television, has led to her nomination as one of Time magazine's most influential people in the world.

  • Celebrate Independents! SIBA’s 2015 Book Award Winners

    The best in southern literature, from the people who would know 

    . . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers

    2015 SIBA Book Award Winners (Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2015 SIBA Book Awards

    Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

    • Fiction Winner: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)
    • Nonfiction Winner:  Factory Man by Beth Macy (Little Brown and Company)
    • Cooking Winner: Heritageby Sean Brock  (Artisan Publishers)
    • Children’s Winner: Brown Girl Dreamingby Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
    • Young Adult Winner: League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist (illustrator) (Starscape Books)



    The Invention of WingsFiction Winner: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)
    “We recommend this book to everyone!”– Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC

     

    Factory ManNonfiction Winner:  Factory Man by Beth Macy (Little Brown and Company)
    “A book that excels at bringing, this time recent, history to narrative life. Macy's book has characters who are difficult to sympathize with, but she overcomes this by placing them in extraordinarily important, world-changing circumstances. Macy does a remarkable job of bringing potentially dull material (furniture-making details, factory time clocks, mundane family squabbles) and raising it to consequential and dramatic literature.” – Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC

     

    HeritageCooking Winner: Heritageby Sean Brock (Artisan Publishers)
    Loved all the recipes I cooked. I’d never had ‘hoppin john’ and now I know how to make it. It was great!!” – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC

     

    Brown Girl DreamingChildren’s Winner: Brown Girl Dreamingby Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
    “I love the originality of a memoir written in free verse, and the lessons and viewpoint this book has to offer are extremely important, especially with the racial issues that present themselves in today's society.” – Tubby and Coo’s, New Orleans, LA

     

     

    League of SevenYoung Adult Winner: League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist (illustrator) (Starscape Books)
    Alan Gratz has masterfully created an alternate history that masterfully grabs the attention of anyone interested in steampunk, Edison, lost civilizations, unusually large monsters, heads in jars or just plain adventure.” – The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

    For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature, http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

  • Dalton College Celebrates Literary Arts At Third Annual Book Festival

    via

    The literary arts will be celebrated with presentations by five regional author/editor/writers and special events including a search of Civil War ancestors and a food tasting at Dalton State College’s third annual book festival scheduled Monday through Thursday, April 9-12.

    “Home Grown: A Literary Celebration of Northwest Georgia” is hosted by Dalton State’s Roberts Library; all events are free and open to the public and will be held in the Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall except the ancestor search which will take place in the Library.

    “We are very excited about having our Third Annual Dalton State Book Festival,” said Library Director Lydia Knight. “It is scheduled during National Library Week to celebrate books and libraries, and we schedule authors and speakers from the surrounding tri-state area. Read more

  • Harry Crews, (June 7, 1935 – March 28, 2012

    “He told me ‘I want to get off this train,' ” Sally said. “He said he wanted to die at home.” Harry Crews dead at 76

    " Crews made Hemingway look like a weenie." Harry Crews, RIP

    We don’t really talk about “Midwestern literature” post-Sherwood Anderson (or maybe Saul Bellow). “New England literature” sends us all the way back to Emerson and Thoreau. Yet you still hear “Southern Literature” all the time. It resounds like the drone-string of a banjo every time one of these old white rebel novelists dies. Harry Crews and the Death of Southern Literature
  • Kate DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale Named 2016 National Book Award Finalist

    Congratulations to Kate DiCamillo, whose novel Raymie Nightingale was named a National Book Award Finalist in Young People's Literature.

    DiCamillo's book was also selected as a Spring 2016 Okra Pick.

  • NC Bookstores request repeal of HB2

     

    April 14, 2016

    To The Honorable Governor Pat McCrory and members of the North Carolina General Assembly,

    As the owners and managers of independent bookstores, part of our mission is to provide that “third place”, an additional public space other than home or work where folks can gather to discuss issues important to our community. Ray Oldenburg, in his book, The Great Good Place, “argues that "third places… are the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy.”   As independent bookstores providing that third place in communities across our state, we believe it is essential to be non-discriminatory, inclusive and tolerant, to promote freedom of speech and equality, and to guard against censorship and unfair treatment.

    Another part of our mission is to be profitable; to allow ourselves and our employees to earn a respectable living. What both of these mission statements share is the need for people to visit our stores and become customers. Authors have already started to cancel appearances at North Carolina bookstores over what the ACLU describes
    as “the most extreme anti-LGBT measure in the country.” This can and will have a real negative impact on our businesses. It doesn’t make sense, financially or otherwise, to choose discrimination over inclusion. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what lawmakers have done by passing HB2.

    Company after company is withdrawing from doing business in NC until this legislation is repealed. Retailers and others are already feeling the economic impact of this legislation and we are sure, because of the momentum behind more businesses, conferences, artists, rock stars, authors, and ordinary citizens choosing places other than North Carolina to spend their vacations, the worst financial impact is yet to come.

    Small Business Majority’s polling found 67 percent of North Carolina’s entrepreneurs believe North Carolina should have a law prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBT people. Nationally, two-thirds of small businesses say business owners shouldn’t be able to deny goods or services to LGBT individuals. (more info on this polling is here:http://smallbusinessmajority.com/small-business-research/non-discrimination/index.php)

     

    For North Carolina, the choice between small businesses and discrimination should be clear. We hope our lawmakers make the right decision and repeal HB2.

     

    All Booked Up, Apex
    Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville
    Bookmarks, Winston-Salem
    Books to be Red, Ocracoke
    Books Unlimited, Fayetteville
    Buxton Village Books, Buxton
    C. Clayton Thompson – Booksellers, Boone
    City Lights Bookstore, Sylva
    Downtown Books, Manteo
    Ducks Cottage Coffee & Books, Duck
    Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill
    Letters Bookshop, Durham
    Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe, Asheville
    McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro
    Novels & Novelties Bookstore, Hendersonville
    Page 158 Books, Wake Forest
    Pomegranate Books, Wilmington
    Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh
    Quarter Moon Bookstore, Topsail Beach
    Regulator Bookshop, Durham
    Scuppernong Books, Greensboro
    Scuttlebutt Nautical Books & Bounty, Beaufort
    Spellbound Children's Bookshop, Asheville
    Sunrise Books, High Point
    The Book Shelf, Tryon
    The Coffeehound Bookshop, Louisburg
    The Dollar Book Exchange, Raleigh
    The Island Bookstore, Corolla
    The Island Bookstore, Duck
    The Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk
    The Red Door, Saxapahaw
    Uprising Coffee and Books, Eden

    Supporting publishers:

    Algonquin Books, a division of Workman Publishing, Chapel Hill & NYC
    Eno Publishers, Hillsborough
    John F. Blair Publisher, Winston-Salem

     

  • Read Your Okra! A Fall Harvest of Okra

    Columbia, SC – The harvest is in for the Fall Okra Picks! Southern independent booksellers have a bushel of books representing the best in southern lit, fresh off the vine. All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publish between October and December, 2015, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!”

    The 2015 Fall Okra Picks

    Bottle Cap Boys on Royal Street by Rita Williams-Garcia
    9781603490306 | Marimba Books | 10/1/2015| $16.95

    Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain
    9781250010742 | St. Martin’s Press | 10/06/2015 | $26.99

    My Sweet Vidalia by Deborah Mantella
    9781630269623 | Turner Publishing | 10/06/2015 | $27.95

    Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
    9781932841916 | Agate Bolden | 10/13/2015 | $24.95

  • Read Your Okra! Announcing the 2015 Summer Okra Picks

    Read Your Okra! Announcing the 2015 Summer Okra Picks

    Columbia, SC – Summer is the time for picking okra, and the Southern Independent Booksellers have just picked a fresh crop -- the 2015 Summer Okra Picks have just been chosen. A bushel of books that represent the best in southern lit, fresh off the vine. All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are published between July and September, 2015, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!”

    The 2015 Summer Okra Picks

    Bloody Royal PrintsThe Flying CircusBull MountainSerafina and the Black Cloak

    Bloody Royal Prints by Reba White Williams
    9781440585456 | Tyrus Books | 07/03/2015 | $16.99

    The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall
    9781476772141 | Gallery Books | 07/07/2015 | $26.00

    Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich
    9780399173967 | G.P. Putnam's Sons | 07/07/2015 | $26.95

    Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
    9781484709016 | Disney-Hyperion Press | 07/14/2015 | $16.99

    RuthlessMiss EmilyGo Set a WatchmanYard War

    Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
    9781481422628 | Simon Pulse | 07/14/2015 | $17.99

    Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor
    9780143126751 | Penguin Books | 07/14/2015 | $16.00

    Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
    9780062409850 | Harpercollins | 07/14/2015 | $27.99

    Yard War by Taylor Kitchings
    9780553507539 | Wendy Lamb Books | 08/18/2015 | $16.99

    The Gates of EvangelineThe Sea Keeper's DaughtersThe Drunken Spelunker's Guide to PlatoA Free State

    The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
    9780399174001 | G.P. Putnam's Sons | 09/01/2015| $26.95

    The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate
    9781414386904 | Tyndale House | 09/08/2015 | $19.99

    The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato by Kathy Giuffre
    9780895876515 | John F. Blair Publisher | 09/08/2015 | $26.95

    A Free State by Tom Piazza 
    9780062284129 | Harper | 09/15/2015 | $25.99

    Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit sibaweb.com/okra.

  • Southern Indies Recommend: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

    George Saunders's first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, has Southern indie booksellers swooning. The author of widely acclaimed story collections (Tenth of December) and essays (The Braindead Megaphone), Saunders ventures into novelistic territory with his richly imagined story of a grieving Abraham Lincoln surrounded by a vivid cast of historical and invented characters. Part historical fiction, part ghost story, part fantasy, part philosophical musing, and wholly original, Lincoln in the Bardo is by turns hilarious, terrifying, and deeply moving, and tailor-made for Southern readers.

    Read what some indie booksellers have to say below, and check out the author appearance links to see if Saunders is visiting a bookstore near you.

    From Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC:

    Sarah: It isn't every day--OK, it's actually never happened before--that on the same day, an hour apart, two of our staff climbed the stairs to tell me they just finished the best book they have read in years and that they bawled like babies while reading it. George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House $28) went on sale yesterday and we have a limited number of signed copies available. The audio version ($35) is also extraordinary, with a 166 person cast featuring writers, actors, and musicians including David Sedaris, Lena Dunham and Don Cheadle.

    Matt: Thanks to my old friend David Bowie I was familiar with the concept of the bardo, and I was already a fan of George Saunders. So I was already curious - but slightly nervous - on my approach to Lincoln in the Bardo. This novel outstrips all worries and expectations! It's a pure triumph on every level. Encompassing religious thought, actual-and-subtly-revised historical fact, horror, science fiction and magical fiction tropes, family drama, and sheer creative force of will, Lincoln in the Bardo made me consider my own life on new terms, and the experience was effortless, pleasurable, eye-opening, refreshing. Don't let the visibly odd format, similar to an oral history, put you off. Dive right in and see the wonderful world we live in. Dream of a new one. High-concept, low stress, this is a total keeper I'll read often.

    Mamie: I want everyone in the world to read this book. It is the most beautiful book I’ve read in ages―ever? It took me a few pages to grasp what was going on, but once I did, the language, the characters, the historical data, and the setting all combined to keep me in my seat until I’d read every heart-wrenching page. According to Tibetan tradition, the bardo is the place where we go after our death until we are born into our next life. It is in the bardo that a chorus of characters in the Greek tradition observes Abraham Lincoln mourn the death of his son, Willie. Every book club, every high school and college student of literature, everyone who appreciates exquisite writing and deep emotion will fall in love with Lincoln in the Bardo. (The book is the March selection for the Signed First Editions Club.)

    From Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC:

    Erica: What a remarkable novel. One oughtn't feel the need to compare but what the hell: here is Margaret Atwood's fearlessness, Cormac McCarthy's grandeur, Allan Gurganus's joie de vivre. How is it that something this new, this startling, this BIG can also be heartmattermoving (just to riff a little on the novel--meant in the best way possible.) I'm the only human being on the planet earth who didn't swoon over Tenth of December, but I'm swooning, now, boy. This novel is one of the Great Civil War novels but I wish I hadn't written that because the basket of literary deplorables might could pigeonhole it and if they do, they're headed to the Bardo, bigtime. I finished it last night and today I'm going to read it all over again. Thanks, George Saunders.

     

    George Saunders | Southern Indie Reading & Signing Schedule


    Sun Feb 19 4:00pm

    BOOKS AND BOOKS
    Coral Gables, FL
    _________

    Tue Feb 21 5:00pm
    ALABAMA BOOKSMITH
    Homewood, AL
    _________

    Wed Feb 22 5:00pm
    SQUARE BOOKS
    Oxford, MS
    _________

    Thu Feb 23 5:00pm
    LEMURIA BOOKS
    Jackson, MS
    _________

    Fri Feb 24 6:30pm
    PARNASSUS BOOKS
    Nashville, TN

  • Southern literature conference to examine 'The Help'

    via

    Books and movies including “The Help” and “Deliverance” will be topics at the three-day biannual conference of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature in Nashville.

    “The Help” will be evaluated as a fair representation of the civil rights experience. “Deliverance” will be discussed within the framework of whether Burt Reynolds is “the last Southern man.”

    Topics also will include Southern music, Southern food in Southern literature, Tennessee poets, new Southern women, country music and the legacies of Robert Penn Warren.

    The conference, Thursday through Saturday, meets at the Scarritt-Bennett Center and Vanderbilt University’s Buttrick Hall.

  • Spring 2017 Okra Picks: Fresh from Southern Indies

    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


    Small Treasons by Mark Powell
    Gallery 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

  • The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Short List

    The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists Announced

    (Columbia, SC) – The votes are in! Southern indie booksellers have chosen the finalists for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly known as the SIBA Book Award, the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories – adding Mystery, Thriller, Literary, and History & Life Stories to the traditional categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Cooking, Children’s and Young Adult.

    Finalists were chosen by southern independent booksellers from the long list ballot. The finalist titles will be sent to juried panels of booksellers, who will then decide on the winners in each category. Winners will be announced on July 4, “Independents Day.”


    2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists

    Go Set a Watchman Soil My Sunshine Away The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

    GO SET A WATCHMAN | Harper Lee | Harper | 9780062409850
    SOIL | Jamie Kornegay | Simon & Schuster | 9781476750811
    MY SUNSHINE AWAY | M. O. Walsh | G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399169526
    THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH | Christopher Scotton | Grand Central Publishing | 9781455551927

    Miss Julia Lays Down the Law A Pattern of Lies Bull Mountain Don't Go Home Lowcountry Boneyard
    MISS JULIA LAYS DOWN THE LAW | Ann B. Ross | Viking | 9780525427094
    A PATTERN OF LIES | Charles Todd | William Morrow & Company | 9780062386243
    BULL MOUNTAIN | Brian Panowich | G.P. Putnam’s Sons | 9780399173967
    DON’T GO HOME | Carolyn Hart | Berkley Books | 9780425276549
    LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD | Susan M. Boyer | Henery Press | 9781941962473

    Where All the Light Tends to Go The Bone Tree Descent Rogue Lawyer The Scribe
    WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO | David Joy | G.P. Putnam’s Sons | 9780399172779
    THE BONE TREE | Greg Iles | William Morrow & Company | 9780062311115
    DESCENT | Tim Johnston | Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill | 9781616204778
    ROGUE LAWYER | John Grisham | Doubleday Books | 9780385539432
    THE SCRIBE | Matthew Guinn | W.W. Norton & Company | 9780393239294

    Above the Waterfall Welcome to Braggsville New and Improved Romie Futch Calloustown
    ABOVE THE WATERFALL | Ron Rash | Ecco Press | 9780062349316
    WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE | T. Geronimo Johnson | William Morrow & Company | 9780062302120
    THE NEW & IMPROVED ROMIE FUTCH | Julia Elliott | Tin House Books | 9781941040157
    CALLOUSTOWN | George Singleton | Dzanc Books | 9781938103162

    Dispatches from Pluto Leaving Orbit My Southern Journey Our Only World The World is on Fire
    DISPATCHES FROM PLUTO: LOST AND FOUND IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA | Richard Grant | Simon & Schuster | 9781476709642
    LEAVING ORBIT: NOTES FROM THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN SPACEFLIGHT | Margaret Lazarus Dean | Graywolf Press | 9781555977092
    MY SOUTHERN JOURNEY: TRUE STORIES FROM THE HEART OF THE SOUTH | Rick Bragg | Oxmoor House | 9780848746391
    OUR ONLY WORLD: TEN ESSAYS | Wendell Berry | Counterpoint LLC | 9781619024885
    THE WORLD IS ON FIRE: SCRAP, TREASURE, AND SONGS OF APOCALYPSE | Joni Tevis | Milkweed Editions | 9781571313478

    Barefoot to Avalon Jacksonland Don't Suck, Don't Die Sam Phillips The World's Largest Man
    BAREFOOT TO AVALON: A BROTHER'S STORY | David Payne | Atlantic Monthly Press | 9780802123541
    JACKSONLAND: PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON, CHEROKEE JOHN ROSS, AND A GREAT AMERICAN LAND GRAB | Steve Inskeep | Penguin Press | 9781594205569
    DON’T SUCK, DON’T DIE: GIVING UP VIC CHESNUTT | Kristin Hersh | University of Texas Press | 9780292759473
    SAM PHILLIPS: THE MAN WHO INVENTED ROCK ‘N’ ROLL | Peter Guralnick | Little Brown and Company | 9780316042741
    THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN: A MEMOIR | Harrison Scott Key | Harper | 9780062351494

    Foster The Southerner's Cookbook Sunday Dinner Go SeThe Jemima Codet a Watchman Soulfood Love
    FOSTER’S MARKET FAVORITES: 25th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION | Sara Foster | Story Farm | 9780990520573
    THE SOUTHERNER’S COOKBOOK: RECIPES, WISDOM, AND STORIES | the editors of Garden & Gun | Harper Wave | 9780062242419
    SUNDAY DINNER: A SAVOR THE SOUTH COOKBOOK | Bridgette A. Lacy | University of North Carolina Press | 9781469622453
    THE JEMIMA CODE: TWO CENTURIES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COOKBOOKS | Toni Tipton-Martin | University of Texas Press | 9780292745483
    SOUL FOOD LOVE: HEALTHY RECIPES INSPIRED BY ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF COOKING IN A BLACK FAMILY | Alice Randall | Clarkson Potter Publishers | 9780804137935

    Hamster Princess Serafina and the Black Cloak Yard War Seeds of Freedom
    HAMSTER PRINCESS: OF MICE AND MAGIC | Ursula Vernon | Dial Books | 9780803739840
    SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK | ROBERT BEATTY | DISNEY-HYPERION | 9781484709016
    YARD WAR | Taylor Kitchings | Wendy Lamb Books | 9780553507539
    SEEDS OF FREEDOM: THE PEACEFUL INTEGRATION OF HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA | Hester Bass | Candlewick | 9780763669195

    Anything Could Happen The Odds of Getting Even Mosquitoland The Wrath and the Dawn
    ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN | Will Walton | Push | 9780545709545
    THE ODDS OF GETTING EVEN | Sheila Turnage | Kathy Dawson Books | 9780803739611
    MOSQUITOLAND | David Arnold | Viking Books for Young Readers | 9780451470775
    THE WRATH AND THE DAWN | Renee Ahdieh | G.P. Putnam’s Sons | 9780399171611


    For more information about the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize,
    visit http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

  • The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

    The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

    Katherine Clark’s The Headmaster’s Darlings Wins
    The 2015 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

    Sarah Addison Allen Given Special Recognition


    The Headmaster's DarlingsThe 2015 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has been won by Katherine Clark for her The Headmaster’s Darlings. The novel, Clark’s first, is the initial installment of a quartet of books set in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Reba White Williams, sponsor of the award, praised The Headmaster’s Darlingsfor “its originality, Southerness, and uplifting message, all requisite qualities for the Willie Morris Award.”

    Sarah Addison Allen was recognized for her six novels published over the past eight years, beginning with Garden Spells (2007) and more recently First Frost (2015). Allen’s novels are noted for their appealing characters, some appearing in more than one book, and the magical realism that infuses people, places and things. Allen sums up her style as “Southern-fried magic realism.” Her Special Recognition is the first-ever for the Willie Morris Award.

    The Headmaster’s Darlings is the ninth Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, which is given annually. For more information, see https://williemorrisaward.org/.

  • Winter 2016 Okra Picks!

    Serving up a helping of the Winter 2016 Okra Picks!

    Okra PicksPreachers and pornographers, prisoners and protesters, conspirators and country shop keepers. . .these are just some of the cast of characters you’ll find in yet another season of fantastically varied and nutritional southern literature. The 2016 Winter Okra Picks have just been selected by southern independent booksellers – a spicy and seasoned helping of thirteen great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know.

    All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publish between January and March, 2016, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!” Read them before they hit the bestseller lists and impress your friends with your impeccable taste and literary savvy!

    The 2016 Winter Okra Picks

    The Third Reconstruction Fallen Land A Mysterious Life & Calling The Feathered Bone

    The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement
    by Reverend William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
    Beacon Press, January 2016
    Nonfiction, 9780807083604

    Fallen Land
    by Taylor Brown
    St. Martin’s Press, January 2016
    Fiction, 9781250077974

    A Mysterious Life & Calling: From Slavery to Ministry in South Carolina
    by Rev. Charlotte S. Riley, edited by Crystal Lucky
    University of Wisconsin Press, January 2016
    Nonfiction, 9780299306748 

    The Feathered Bone
    by Julie Cantrell
    Thomas Nelson, January 2016
    Fiction, 9780718037628

  • Winter Okra Picks: An Easy-to-Keep Reading Resolution for 2017

    The 2017 Winter 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 Winter Okra picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between January and March, 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 Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis
    Hogarth, Hardcover, 9780451495648, 368pp.
    Publication Date: March 7, 2017

    The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
    HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780062433381, 368pp. 
    Publication Date: January 24, 2017

    Eveningland: Stories by Michael Knight
    Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802125972, 304pp. 
    Publication Date: March 7, 2017


    Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell; Shadra Strickland (illus.)
    Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9781452125909, 260pp. 
    Publication Date: January 31, 2017

    Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata
    St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250064349, 272pp. 
    Publication Date: March 21, 2017

    My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
    Henry Holt & Company, Hardcover, 9781627795982, 368pp. 
    Publication Date: January 17, 2017


    One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain
    University of South Carolina Press, Hardcover, 9781611177466, 280pp. 
    Publication Date: February 14, 2017

    Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit and Whiskey by Troy Ball
    Dey Street Books, Hardcover, 9780062458971, 288pp. 
    Publication Date: February 7, 2017

    The River of Kings by Taylor Brown
    St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250111753, 336pp. 
    Publication Date: March 21, 2017


    The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
    Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205812, 272pp. 
    Publication Date: January 10, 2017

    Signals: New and Selected Stories by Tim Gautreaux
    Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780451493040, 384pp. 
    Publication Date: January 17, 2017

    Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
    St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250135995, 240pp. 
    Publication Date: January 17, 2017