The 2015 SIBA Book Award Winners and Finalists

Honoring Great Books of Southern Origin

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The SIBA Book Awards honor works of Southern origin. SIBA

The SIBA Book Awards were created by Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance to recognize great books of Southern origin.

About the SIBA Book Awards

The SIBA Award-nominated books typically represent a broad range of subjects and interests. The publishers of the nominated books range from the big five publishers to regional or Southern university presses. To nominate and choose the finalists of the annual SIBA Book Award, each year hundreds of independent booksellers across the South vote on the books that were their own and their customers' favorite reads, the books they love to talk about, and to "handsell" to readers.


What books are eligible for nomination?

For a book to be eligible for a SIBA Book Award, it must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern (preferably both). Importantly, the title under consideration must have been published within the previous calendar year (for example, 2015 nominees must have been published in 2014).

Who can nominate a book?

Books can be nominated by SIBA-member booksellers. Member bookstores may also submit nominations on behalf of the their customers (that is, customers can request their local SIBA-member bookstore to nominate titles of their favorite books on their behalf). These nominated titles form the "long list" of nominees. In 2015 there were more than 100 nominated titles on the long list.

How are the finalists chosen?

From the list of nominees, member independent booksellers vote on their favorites and the list of finalists are selected.

How are the winners chosen? When are they announced?

The winners of the SIBA Book Awards are chosen from a juried panel and are announced each year on July 4 — which SIBA refers to as "Independents Day."  After they are chosen, winners are indicated here in bold with an asterisk.*

2015 SIBA Book Award Winners* and Finalists

The 2015 SIBA Book Award Finalists were announced on April 13, 2015.


  • This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (William Morrow & Company)
  • Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (William Morrow & Company)
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)*
  • Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash (Ecco)
  • Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (Pamela Dorman Books)
  • Long Man by Amy Greene (Knopf Publishing Group)


  • Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg (HarperCollins)
  • Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott (HarperCollins)
  • Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne (Scribner)
  • Factory Man by Beth Macy, Back Bay (Hachette)*
  • Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by Fiona Ritchie (University of North Carolina Press)


  • The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region by Marcie Cohen Ferris (University of North Carolina Press)
  • Heritage by Sean Brock (Artisan)*
  • Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen by Francine Bryson (Clarkson Potter)
  • Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook by Perre Coleman Magness (St. Martin's)


  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)*
  • The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (Scholastic)

Young Adult

  • Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)
  • League of Seven by Alan Gratz (Starscape / Tor / Macmillan)*
  • Revolution by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic)

About SIBA

The Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance (SIBA) is one of the book industry trade associations that represent independent booksellers.  SIBA represents over 300 independent bookstores and thousands of booksellers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi.

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