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{The ultimate southern lit reading list.}

In which the historic bridge to Hobba (and Mr. Faulkner's liquor) is coming down, southern booksellers offer a long, long, looonnng reading list, and Mr. John T. Edge explains why Korean barbecue is definitely Southern barbecue.

March 1, 2015

Dearest Readers,

This week the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance posted what it calls it's 2015 SIBA Book Award Long, Long, Loooonnng List. It's a list of every title nominated for the 2015 SIBA Book Award -- over a hundred books in all. It's a kind of "Ultimate Southern List Reading list."

And of course, many of the books will be familiar to you. But many will not, and that is what is most exciting about the very very long list. And rather than overwhelm her readers with the entire thing, her ladyship, the editor has added a section below for the SIBA Book Award, where she will put the list in bite-sized chunks for easier digestion.

Note, however, that when it comes to food of a literary nature, her ladyship, the editor's eyes may be larger than the average reader's stomach.

Read Independently! And shop local.

her ladyship, the editor

Lady Banks' Pick of the Week

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.

Season of FearHe marched through the orange grove in quick, angry steps, crushing the litter of fruit that sweetened the night with a citrus perfume.

The sandy soil, still damp from the afternoon rain, modeled the design of the hard rubber treads on his boots. He made no effort to hide his trail. In the days ahead, they would follow his footprints back to where he had parked the stolen pick-up truck. They would take photographs and make casts and review dozens of brands of footwear. They would tell the world that he bought Herman Survivors at Wal-Mart, like thousands of other hunters. They would find the GMC Sierra abandoned in the parking lot of a Sonny's Real Pit Var-B-Q in Haines City, and the truck would lead them to the garage of a 1950s-era rambler half a mile from the Gulf coast in Indian Rocks Beach. The owner, a snowbird from Wisconsin, woud be unaware that the truck was missing.

None of it would make any difference at all.

They would never find him.

--Brian Freeman, Season of Fear

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SIBA Book Award

The best in Southern Literature from the people who would know: Southern Indie Booksellers

The Children's Books on the Long List

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, Scholastic, 9780545552707
Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Little Pickle Press, 9781939775054
Brown Girl Dreamingby Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399252518
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage, Kathy Dawson Books, 9780803736719
Hostie by Kate Sally Palmer, Warbranch Press, 9780966711493
The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan, Little Brown, 9780316240772
Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin, Little Brown, 9780316322447

A Snicker of MagicBird on Water StreetBrown Girl DreamingThe Ghosts of Tupelo LandingHostieThe Map to EverywhereNuts: Bedtime at the Nut House

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Book & Author Gossip

John T. Edge on why Korean Barbecue is now Southern Barbecue.

Southern Foodways AllianceWe realized over the course of that trip that we were both exploring Southern identity. We both see a South in transition and a South where, when you define the region, you factor in Korean food in exurban Atlanta. It's part of the Southern story now. If you're going to understand Southern food in 2015, you need to understand Korean barbecue as much as traditional Southern pit-smoked shoulder from Old Clinton BBQ [near Macon]. 9780820332758

Welcome to Braggsville

When was the last time you were shocked by a turn in a novel? Not merely surprised or astonished but actually stunned? T. Geronimo Johnson makes it happen twice in his second novel, "Welcome to Braggsville" — first, about a third of the way in and, again, toward the end of the book.

What could possibly go wrong?

Welcome to BraggsvilleThe basic story line of T. Geronimo Johnson’s novel “Welcome to Braggsville” (William Morrow) is straightforward and intriguing.  Take four young, liberal-minded students at the University of California at Berkeley. Then send them on a class project that includes a fake lynching to be sprung during a Civil War re-enactment in a small Georgia town. What possibly could go wrong?



Dog of the South: A road trip with a few detours

Dog of the SouthRay Midge is on a mission to track down his wife, her lover and the blue Ford Torino and credit card they nicked from him. But it’s a toss-up whether this earnest bookworm will complete his quest, during a road trip deep to the heart of Eccentric-Ville, which takes him from Little Rock, Ark., to Texas, through Mexico, and on to the wilds of British Honduras (Belize).  The more pertinent matter is whether Book-It Repertory Theatre can wrestle a rollicking play out of cult yarn “The Dog of the South,” by the novelist Charles Portis. 9781585679317

Warren St. John wins Clarence Cason Award

Rammer Jammer Yellow HammerThis month, Warren St. John joined the ranks of Alabama’s acclaimed nonfiction writers in receiving the prestigious Clarence Cason Award from The University of Alabama’s journalism department. This award has highlighted Alabama’s most talented writers since 1998 and is usually given to an author who has some relation to the state. “Even though the award stipulates books, most of the people who have won it have some kind of literary life beyond books, usually journalism. Most of us worked for a newspaper,” said Rick Bragg, a journalism professor and past recipient of the award. “Nonfiction stories in my experience tend to resonate with people and linger longer. To be recognized for nonfiction is the first thing that is appreciated. Then the fact that it’s from The University of Alabama, a flagship university in the author’s home state, means the world.” 9780609807132

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

Secret Wisdom of the EarthScotton is a natural storyteller with a terrific knack for visiting trouble upon his characters and pushing them into confrontation. He is not afraid to play a scene out to violent ends, and because Kevin and others go through fire, they change and grow. Not a page goes by without a threat, a promise, an action or a reckoning.

The run to the Hobba

A piece of Mississippi history that enabled William Faulkner and thousands of Ole Miss students to purchase illegal whiskey and also facilitated the movement of Federal troops in securing the enrollment of James Meredith at Ole Miss will soon be no more. The bridge holds rich memories for a generation of students and Lafayette County residents who drove across it to the Marshall County line to purchase illegal alcohol at Johnnie’s to well known watering holes like the Hobba Grill or Hole In The Wall located in Holly Springs.

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Lady Banks {Book} Trailer Park


Compulsion"I came looking for answers. I didn't doubt I'd find them. Finding things is the Watson gift." 

The first in a spellbinding new trilogy. After the death of her mother, Barrie Watson moves to her aunt's South Carolina plantation and learns that an ancient spirit had cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions. Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. 9781481411226

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Read This! Recommended Reading from Southern Booksellers

Okra Picks

From the Okra Picks

Season of Fear
by Brian Freeman

Season of FearInternational Thriller Writers award-winner and bestselling author Brian Freeman has established himself as a master of psychological thrillers. In his latest, A Season of Fear, Freeman returns to the sun-drenched beaches of Naples, Florida and the idiosyncratic world of Detective Cab Bolton.

Attractive and popular politician Diane Fairmont is running for the Florida governorship, but a chill is cast over the campaign when she receives an anonymous note announcing the return of the assassin who killed her husband ten years earlier. Because of complicated ties between Fairmont and his mother, movie actress Tarla Bolton, Detective Bolton is assigned to the case.

As Bolton struggles to penetrate the veil of secrecy surrounding the Fairmont campaign, he begins to realize that the death threat is not the only danger faced by the campaign staff. A desperate race against the clock ensues as Bolton tries to unlock the secrets of a poisonous conspiracy before nature provides the perfect cover for a long-dormant killer to strike again.

Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

More Okra Picks!

Recommended on the April Indie Next List


Orhan's Inheritance#1 Pick:Orhan’s Inheritance: A Novel, by Aline Ohanesian

(Algonquin Books, 9781616203740, $25.95)

“Debut author Ohanesian’s historical novel relives the nearly forgotten tragedy of the Armenian Genocide during and after WWI. Through deportations, massacres, and executions of Christian and Jewish Armenians, the Ottoman Empire and its successors eliminated 1.5 million citizens. Ohanesian’s beautifully written book shares a tale of passionate love, unspeakable horror, incredible strength, and the hidden stories that haunt a family. Highly recommended.” —Doug Robinson, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA

The Harder They ComeThe Harder They Come: A Novel, by T.C. Boyle

(Ecco, 9780062349378, $27.99)

“If you were up all night reading Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, take a nap before starting T.C. Boyle’s new book, The Harder They Come. The novel addresses two difficult and timely topics: gun violence and society’s treatment of the mentally ill. Parents Sten and Carolee Stenson are faced with balancing their love for their unstable adult son, Adam, and the safety of others as his behavior becomes increasingly erratic and threatening. Boyle is a masterful storyteller and this is his best book yet.” —Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

SisSo You've Been Publicly ShamedSo You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson

(Riverhead, 9781594487132, $27.95)

“This book both fascinated and terrified me with its insights into the increasing outrage to be found on social media and how careers and even lives can be quickly ruined by public forums. Ronson takes the concept further, exploring the history of public shaming, the nature of crowd ‘madness,’ why some people are unaffected by the process while others are devastated, and how Google searches make it hard to recover from the trauma. Not only will I recommend this book, but I will also ask people to come back and tell me what they think about the questions that are raised. This is a dialogue that needs to happen!” —Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC

The Last Days of VideoThe Last Days of Video: A Novel, by Jeremy Hawkins

(Soft Skull Press, 9781619024854, trade paper, $15.95)

“For film geeks and lovers of all things going out of style, reading this book feels like sharing an inside joke with the author. Each quirky character fights in their own way to save the independent store they love — Star Video — from both the Blockbuster moving into the neighborhood and a town eager for change. This book hilariously takes on today’s culture, both embracing and mocking its often conflicting ideals of nostalgia and progress.” —Rebekah Arwood, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

More bookseller recommendations

Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending February 22, 2014. Books on the Southern Indie Bestseller List that are southern in nature or have been recently recommended by southern indie booksellers.

- A STARS Author | Okra Pick! - A SIBA Okra Pick 
Titles in red are SIBA Book Award winners and finalists!
Printable versions: Hardcover | Paperback | Children.


1. The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins, Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594633669
2. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
3. A Spool of Blue Thread
Anne Tyler, Knopf, $25.95, 9781101874271
4. The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9780312577223
5. Trigger Warning
Neil Gaiman, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062330260
6. The Whites
Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt, Holt, $28, 9780805093995
okra7. The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd, Viking, $27.95, 9780670024780

8. The Boston Girl
Anita Diamant, Scribner, $26, 9781439199350
okra9. My Sunshine Away
M.O. Walsh, Putnam Adult, $26.95, 9780399169526

10. Shark Skin Suite
Tim Dorsey, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062240019
11. Gray Mountain
John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385537148
12. Redeployment
Phil Klay, Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594204999
13. The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt, Little Brown, $30, 9780316055437
14. Descent
Tim Johnston, Algonquin, $25.95, 9781616203047
15. The Marauders
Tom Cooper, Crown, $26, 9780804140560


1. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 9781607747307
3. The Motivation Manifesto
Brendon Burchard, Hay House, $19.99, 9781401948078
4. Killing Patton
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $30, 9780805096682
5. Yes Please
Amy Poehler, Dey Street, $28.99, 9780062268341
6. Leaving Before the Rains Come
Alexandra Fuller, Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594205866
7. Believer
David Axelrod, Penguin Press, $35, 9781594205873
8. H Is for Hawk
Helen MacDonald, Grove Press, $26, 9780802123411
9. The Innovators
Walter Isaacson, S&S, $35, 9781476708690
okra 10. Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story
Rick Bragg, Harper, $27.99, 9780062078223

11. The Mockingbird Next Door
Marja Mills, Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594205194
12. Screening Room: Family Pictures
Alan Lightman, Pantheon, $25.95, 9780307379399
13. Buy, Hold, and Sell!
Ken Moraif, Wiley, $27.95, 9781118951491
14. Guinness World Records 2015
Guinness World Records, $28.95, 9781908843630
15. Make It Ahead
Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter, $35, 9780307464880


1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Gabrielle Zevin, Algonquin, $14.95, 9781616204518
2. Orphan Train
Christina Baker Kline, Morrow, $14.99, 9780061950728
3. The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion, S&S, $15.99, 9781476729091
4. The Martian
Andy Weir, Broadway, $15, 9780553418026
5. Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn, Broadway, $15, 9780553418361
6. The Light Between Oceans
M.L. Stedman, Scribner, $16, 9781451681758
7. The Paris Architect
Charles Belfoure, Sourcebooks Landmark, $14.99, 9781402294150
8. Fifty Shades of Grey
E.L. James, Vintage, $15.95, 9780804172073
9. Me Before You
Jojo Moyes, Penguin, $16, 9780143124542
10. The Son
Jo Nesbo, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345807243
11. My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante, Europa Editions, $17, 9781609450786
12. The Lowland
Jhumpa Lahiri, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307278265
13. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman, Morrow, $14.99, 9780062255662
14. Fifty Shades Darker
E.L. James, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345803498
15. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Maria Semple, Back Bay, $14.99, 9780316204262


1. The Boys in the Boat
Daniel James Brown, Penguin, $17, 9780143125471
2. American Sniper
Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Morrow, $15.99, 9780062376336
3. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $16, 9780812987119
4. Wild
Cheryl Strayed, Vintage, $15.95, 9781101873441
5. The Heart of Everything That Is
Bob Drury, Tom Clavin, S&S, $17, 9781451654684
okra6. The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son
Pat Conroy, Dial Press, $16, 9780385343527

7. The Sixth Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert, Picador USA, $16, 9781250062185
8. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
Matt Kepnes, Perigee, $15, 9780399173288
9. We Should All Be Feminists
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Anchor, $7.95, 9781101911761
10. A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking, Bantam, $18, 9780553380163
11. Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith, Perigee, $15, 9780399161940
12. Bossypants
Tina Fey, Reagan Arthur Books, $16, 9780316056878
13. Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas
Rebecca Solnit, Rebecca Snedeker, University of California Press, $29.95, 9780520274044
14. Brain on Fire
Susannah Cahalan, S&S, $16, 9781451621389
15. Alan Turing: The Enigma
Andrew Hodges, Princeton University Press, $16.95, 9780691164724


1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Grand Central, $8.99, 9780446310789
2. American Sniper
Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Harper, $9.99, 9780062376572
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou, Ballantine, $6.99, 9780345514400
4. A Dance With Dragons
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553582017
5. Lord of the Flies
William Golding, Perigee, $9.99, 9780399501487
6. Animal Farm
George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451526342
7. A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553390568
8. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780345535429
9. A Raisin in the Sun
Lorraine Hansberry, Vintage, $7.5, 9780679755333
10. Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn, Broadway, $9.99, 9780553418354


1. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
2. The Day the Crayons Quit
Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.), Philomel, $17.99, 9780399255373
3. Little Blue Truck
Alice Schertle, Jill McElmurry (Illus.), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $6.99, 9780547248288
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle, Putnam, $13.62, 9780399226908
5. Paddington
Michael Bond, R.W. Alley (Illus.), Harper, $17.99, 9780062317193
6. Pat the Bunny
Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden, $9.99, 9780307120007
7. Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illus.), Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763662295
8. Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
Richard Scarry, Golden, $15.99, 9780307157850
9. The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams Bianco, William Nicholson (Illus.), Doubleday, $13.95, 9780385077255
10. Good Night, Gorilla
Peggy Rathmann, Putnam, $7.99, 9780399230035


1. I Was Here
Gayle Forman, Viking, $18.99, 9780451471475
2. Looking for Alaska (Special 10th Anniversary Edition)
John Green, Dutton, $19.99, 9780525428022
3. Minecraft: Construction Handbook
Scholastic, $7.99, 9780545685177
4. If I Stay
Gayle Forman, Speak, $10.99, 9780147514530
5. The BFG
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illus.), Puffin, $7.99, 9780142410387
6. The Giver
Lois Lowry, Harcourt, $9.99, 9780544340688
7. Zodiac
Romina Russell, Razorbill, $17.99, 9781595147400
8. Brown Girl Dreaming
Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Paulsen Books, $16.99, 9780399252518
9. Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard, HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062310637
10. Three Times Lucky
Sheila Turnage, Puffin, $7.99, 9780142426050


1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419711893
2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $10.99, 9781594746031
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810994737
4. The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, Book 2)
James Dashner, Ember, $9.99, 9780385738767
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419711329
6. The 5th Wave
Rick Yancey, Speak, $10.99, 9780142425831
7. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $12.99, 9780545586177
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810993136
9. Fairest: Levana's Story (The Lunar Chronicles)
Marissa Meyer, Feiwel & Friends, $17.99, 9781250060556
10. The Maze Runner
James Dashner, Delacorte, $10.99, 9780385385206

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In This Issue

Special to the Southern List

Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore! See the full Southern Indie Bestseller list here.

The Invention of Wings
My Sunshine Away
Shark Skin Suite
The Marauders
The Innovators
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story
The Mockingbird Next Door
Screening Room: Family Pictures
Buy, Hold, and Sell!
Guinness World Records 2015
Make It Ahead
The Light Between Oceans
The Paris Architect
Me Before You
The Lowland
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
A Brief History of Time
Wreck This Journal
Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas
Alan Turing: The Enigma
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
A Dance With Dragons
Lord of the Flies
Animal Farm
A Feast for Crows
A Clash of Kings
A Raisin in the Sun
Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Giver
Red Queen
Three Times Lucky


Events at Southern Indie Bookstores

First Friday Art Walk Book Signing with Angie Steele  (author appearance)
Angie Steele
03/06/2015, 05:00 pm
Page After Page Bookstore
Elizabeth City

Little Writers Workshop  (writers group)
03/07/2015, 10:30 am

Poetry Local/Mic  (other event)
03/08/2015, 02:00 pm

Elsie's Barista Book Club  (book club)
M.L. Stedman
03/10/2015, 09:00 am

Jamie Kornegay book launch for Soil  (author appearance)
Jamie Kornegay
03/10/2015, 05:30 pm
Turnrow Books
Greenwood, MS

David Joy discusses his novel Where All Light Tends to Go  (author appearance)
David Joy
03/11/2015, 07:00 pm
Flyleaf Books
Chapel Hill, NC

Attention all Civil War Enthusiasts  (author appearance)
Jeff Stayton
03/13/2015, 11:00 am
Horton's Books & Gifts
Carrollton, GA

Author Appearance  (author appearance)
Abassador Christopher Hill
03/17/2015, 06:00 pm
Bookstore 1 Sarasota
Sarasota, FL

Author Luncheon  (author appearance)
03/18/2015, 11:30 am
Bookstore 1 Sarasota
Sarasota, FL

Boarding Pass to Murder  (book club)
Manuel Vazquez Montalban
03/19/2015, 05:00 pm

Author Appearance  (author appearance)
Ambassador Christopher Hill
03/19/2015, 06:00 pm

Author Appearance  (author appearance)
Randy Wayne White
03/28/2015, 07:00 pm

Prose Local/Mic  (author appearance)
Kurt Landefeld
03/29/2015, 02:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk Book Signing with Karen Yankosky  (author appearance)
Karen Yankosky
04/03/2015, 05:00 pm
Page After Page Bookstore
Elizabeth City

Little Writer's Workshop  (other event)
04/04/2015, 10:30 am
Bookstore 1 Sarasota
Sarasota, FL

Poetry Book Club  (book club)
Billy Collins
04/07/2015, 07:00 pm
Bookstore 1 Sarasota
Sarasota, FL

Book Your Lunch with Cheryl and Griffith Day  (author appearance)
Cheryl and Griffith Day
04/08/2015, 12:00 pm
Fiction Addiction at Soby's
Greenville, SC

Poetry Local/Mic  (author appearance)
04/12/2015, 02:00 pm

Ann B. Ross Talk and Signing  (author appearance)
Ann B. Ross
04/14/2015, 02:00 pm
Fiction Addiction
Greenville, SC

Boarding Pass to Murder  (book club)
Ian Hamilton
04/15/2015, 05:00 pm

Authors Round the South

Lady Banks is sponsored by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South.
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