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Announcing: The Okra Picks Challenge

October 1, 2010

Since I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the hospitality of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance at their last two trade shows, I know just how passionate those folks are about books.  Each season, SIBA selects a crop of Southern books to handsell and those books are called Okra Picks.   Okra Picks authors are given a sash to wear at the trade show, and believe me when I tell you those sashes are worn with pride!  Since I love Southern books, I thought it would be fun to host an Okra Picks challenge.  The picks this season are:


A Perfect Love Song by Patti Callahan Henry

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

I Still Dream About You
by Fannie Flagg

Love, Charleston
by Beth Webb Hart

My Only Sunshine
by Lou Dischler

by Kathy Reichs

Zora and Me
by Victoria Bond
and T.R. Simon

The Typist
by Michael Knight


Carry the Rock
by Jay Jennings

Greek Revival
by Patricia Moore-Pastides

My Reading Life
by Pat Conroy

Southern Plate
by Christy Jordan

They Came to Nashville
by Marshall Chapman

To make this challenge fun for everyone, I’m going to include four different levels:

1-3 Books:  Goober
4-6 Books:   Tater
7-9 Books:  Peach
10-13 Books: Okra


The Okra Picks Challenge will run from October 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.  To join this challenge, all you have to do is pick your level of participation (you can always go up levels, but not down.)  Then after you read any of the books,  write a review to share your thoughts with others!

Sign Up:

You can join this challenge at any time.  Just  grab the Okra Picks logo at the top of this page and write a post announcing your intention to participate in the challenge — remember you don’t need to pick the specific books, just your level. Once you have posted your Okra Picks challenge post, come back to this post and click on Mr. Linky. Please leave your name and link directly to your introductory post (not just to your blog’s home page.) If you don’t have a blog, no worries — you can just leave a comment on this post telling me you want to participate.

In the next few days I will add an Okra Picks Challenge tab to the top of my blog. When you click on the tab, you will see a list of all the participants as well as a place to link your reviews.

I haven’t worked out all of the details yet, but I promise that there will be some prizes. I do know that your chances of winning will increase with each review you write. In other words, your name will be thrown in the hat each time you post a review.

I’m really hoping some of these books will interest you, so that you’ll decide to join me for some fun Southern reading!  I’m committing to the Peach level.

39 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2010 5:34 am

    Great challenge but i think i’ll pass. maybe next time =)

  2. October 1, 2010 7:13 am

    I have four of these books that I picked up last weekend, so I really should do this. But I promised myself no more challenges! I will have to think about this…

  3. October 1, 2010 7:24 am

    Good luck with the challenge. I won’t join as I struggle to get hold of Southern books over here and I think I am challenged out, but I still get excited when I see a new one.

  4. October 1, 2010 8:03 am

    Well I will definitely join! I can certainly participate at the Goober level (although I feel funny saying that.) I think I have four of the books already so there’s a good chance I might move up a level but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  5. October 1, 2010 8:08 am

    I think I could try for the goober level 🙂 I’m traveling now but will get a post up soon and come back to sign up on Mr. Linky.

  6. October 1, 2010 8:37 am

    I have a bunch of these books, so I will be participating unofficially. That way, if I have to bow out, I won’t be disappointing anyone! This is a great challenge, Kathy, and the books are just wonderful!

  7. Cynthia permalink
    October 1, 2010 9:01 am

    Have to get busy with some stuff at home, will write my post tonight … committing to the Peach Level

  8. October 1, 2010 11:34 am

    I have one of these already on my list to read in the next few months, so I will probably join up sometime soon.

  9. October 1, 2010 11:51 am

    I have a review of Crooked Letter Crooked Letter already scheduled, so I guess I could join, but do I want to be a Goober?!!

  10. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 1, 2010 12:10 pm

    I would love to join, but can’t put any more pressure on myself 🙂

  11. October 1, 2010 2:54 pm

    I said I wouldn’t join anymore challenges, but I am really intrigued! I look forward to reading reviews and trying out the books that interest me!

  12. October 1, 2010 4:40 pm

    Ok, I linked up my challenge post. I’d love to add the challenge button to my sidebar. Can you share the code?

  13. October 1, 2010 5:48 pm

    While I don’t participate in challenges anymore I will be watching and cheering all of you on from the sidelines!

  14. October 1, 2010 5:58 pm

    Oh, I would have traded places with you in a NY minute or should I say in a Alabama moment. Get it???/

  15. October 1, 2010 8:13 pm

    What a fun challenge!! I love the name of it too…have a great time reading your way through this one 😀

  16. October 1, 2010 8:15 pm

    I’m trying to resist challenges (for my sanity), but let me tell you, it’s hard to turn down okra!

  17. Cynthia permalink
    October 1, 2010 11:24 pm

    post is up, looking forward to reading … and also to practice writing reviews. Not my favorite thing. LOL! Mainly because I am just not practiced in it. this will be a double challenge for me.

  18. October 2, 2010 8:04 am

    I’m signed up and just posted on my blog!! I’m not experienced with writing reviews either, so that will be a challenge for me too!!

  19. stilettostorytime permalink
    October 2, 2010 11:27 pm

    This sounds too fun! You know I love my Southern Lit!!


  20. stilettostorytime permalink
    October 2, 2010 11:38 pm

    Okay forgot to put my level…I am going for Tater…maybe more! =)

  21. October 3, 2010 4:58 am

    Hi Kathy, I want to participate in this! I’m going for Tater and I have identified the four books I’d be reading for this challenge. Thanks for hosting it! I’d be posting my specific link in Mister Linky soon!

  22. October 4, 2010 8:23 am

    I’ll likely be signing up at the Goober level. I’ll put together a post in the next week.

  23. October 4, 2010 12:13 pm

    This sounds fun…. I am pretty sure I am a Goober. 🙂 I will have to check out the books I want to read…. wheeeee!! 🙂

  24. October 4, 2010 12:29 pm

    If only I had enough time to read for another challenge! Have fun!

  25. October 6, 2010 11:24 am

    Thanks for creating this challenge! I’m all signed up.

  26. October 14, 2010 4:13 pm

    I’m so excited about the challenge. I love southern fiction. I just linked my blog to the challenge and I’m committing to becoming a Peach (though I loved to be Okra).

    I have to add I’m so excited about the new Fannie Flagg book I’m practically jumping up and down clapping my hands. But I’ll have to wait for Christmas because I know my daughter wants to get it for me. She’s so sweet.

    Thanks for the challenge.

  27. October 15, 2010 1:15 pm

    I already have too many challenges going on, but I really love the names of the levels…Goober! hilarious.

  28. October 20, 2010 9:52 am

    Eeek, Kathy! Another challenge? Me? Since it’s only a few weeks into it, and I have two of the books already, I’m in. I’ll decide on a level by the time I get my post up this weekend. This will be fun.

  29. October 22, 2010 3:24 pm

    I would like to be a “goober”. How do we know which authors are available to read. Thanks I am on facebook and twitter and leave titles and comments there. I am on blogspot too. But I am really dumb at this so I just left a commet. Thanks

  30. October 24, 2010 4:30 pm

    I would not be a true Mississippi gal if I passed this one up. I already have several of these books so I’m going to commit to the Tater level…but will secretly be shooting for peach or maybe even Okra level! 🙂 Thanks so much for hosting this!

  31. October 25, 2010 11:31 am

    This is wonderful! I am so pleased to have happened upon this by great event.

  32. Erin permalink
    October 29, 2010 2:26 pm

    I’m a blog virgin so not sure of the ins and outs but I would love to participate in this challenge as a Tater. Thanks for setting this up!

  33. November 2, 2010 1:21 pm

    I’m late to the party, but it sounds great, count me in!

  34. November 5, 2010 2:27 pm

    I decided to join in on the challenge. It will give me a great excuse to buy Fannie Flagg’s new book. I can hardly wait. I saw a cookbook listed that may also be calling my name! Thanks for hosting the challenge Kathy. This looks like it will be fun!

  35. November 23, 2010 2:31 am

    Oh, Honey, I am ready to read! I’m a Carolina girl who considers herself Southern, although my daughter has recently moved to Lousiana and now informs me that I’m “hardly Southern,” and may be nearly considered a Yankee!!!
    I’m off to work this into my bookish blog and will be back tomorrow with details!
    Good luck to all!

    Your Bookish Dame/Deborah

  36. November 23, 2010 3:21 am

    I posted my book choices on my blog and have signed up with you.
    Choices are:
    Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, A Reading Life,
    They Came to Nashville, Virals, and My Only Sunshine.

    Thanks for the fun!

    Your Bookish Dame/Deb

  37. Erin Cook permalink
    November 23, 2010 9:00 am

    Juggling Zora & Me and They Came to Nashville. Both have grabbed me from page 1 (especially Zora & Me). Starting Wednesday night, I’ll have 4 days of almost uninterrupted reading time. I’m currently a Tater but might be a Peach before Christmas. Happy Turkey Day everyone!

  38. Cynthia permalink
    January 1, 2011 10:56 pm

    Still reading … so glad the challenge goes through the end of march.

  39. January 2, 2011 10:27 pm

    I just got my act together and signed up for this challenge. Great idea! I already own Southern Plate. I’m not a cook, but I love looking through this cookbook and trying my hand at some things!

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