Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


Events and Pre-orders

Fri. – Sun., Mar. 4 – 6 — Cookbook Kiosk at Culinary Village, Charleston Wine and Food Fest

Wed., Mar. 30 — Derek Baxter, In Pursuit of Jefferson

Wed., Apr. 20 — Mary Laura Philpott, Bomb Shelter

Thurs., Apr. 21 — Carla Lalli Music, That Sounds So Good

Tues., May 10 — Kim Michele Richardson, The Book Woman’s Daughter (Virtual event)

Sat., June 4Piccolo Fiction

Sat., June 11 — Chris Lamb, Stolen Dreams

Mon., June 13Mary Alice Monroe, The Islanders: Search for Treasure, SC Aquarium

Sat., June 25 Angela May, The Islanders: Search for Treasure, Bees Ferry West Ashley Library

 

 



Piccolo Fiction — Sat., June 4, 5 pm

Sat., June 4, 5 pm, Piccolo Fiction presented by Blue Bicycle Books.

Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street. Free and open to the public. 843-722-2666.

The festival’s longest-running event exclusively devoted to fiction, Piccolo Fiction presents local and South Carolina authors reading brief short stories. This year’s reading will be in the courtyard beside the bookstore, and, following tradition, each story will begin with the words “I ducked into the alley…”

Since 2000, Piccolo Fiction has featured dozens of S.C. writers, with stories broadcast by S.C. Public Radio and published in the Charleston City Paper.

Featured authors:

 

Paul Bowers is a writer, devoted trophy husband, and father of three living in North Charleston. A former reporter for The Post and Courier and Charleston City Paper, he now writes a weekly newsletter on education policy, class warfare, and Brutalist architecture, available at brutalsouth.substack.com.

 

Melissa Falcon Field was born in Hartford, Conn. A former Teach for America instructor and curriculum writer, she is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington has an MFA from Texas State University, where she received the Katherine Anne Porter Writer-in-Residence Award. She is the author of What Burns Away (Sourcebooks, 2015).

 

Jonathan Sanchez is the owner of Blue Bicycle Books and the director of YALLFest, Charleston’s young adult book festival. He also leads a popular summer writing camp. Recent publications include Mockingbird and State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love.

 

 

Sean A. Scapellato is a writer of fiction and essays, a former creative writing teacher at Charleston County School of the Arts, and now a lawyer in Charleston. He is an adviser to the South Carolina Writers Association board of directors.



Chris Lamb, Stolen Dreams, Sat., June 11, 1 pm

 

Join journalist and historian Chris Lamb Sat. June 11 at 1 pm for a signing of his newest book, Stolen Dreams: The 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars and Little League Baseball’s Civil War (University of Nebraska, hb, 392 pp., $34.95).

About the book:

Stolen Dreams by Dr. Chris Lamb is the story of how a seemingly mild act of protest became part of a much bigger struggle for racial equality during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement. The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars was South Carolina’s first Black Little League team, its charter approved in 1953. To the young boys in the league it meant they could play on a real field, with real uniforms and equipment. But it meant more than that to the team’s founder, Robert Morrison. He dreamed that the team could become a vehicle for change–if youth baseball could be integrated, so could other institutions.

When the 11- and 12-year-olds registered for a tournament in July 1955, it became clear just how hard that change might come. White teams refused to take the field with the Cannon Street team. Segregationists denied the boys their dream of playing in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Cannon Street all-stars spent decades trying to forget that day. It would not be clear to them until they were middle-aged men that they were part of something much larger.

Although the core of this book is about that team and the discovery of their heartbreaking story, the book also offers a broader examination of how the Civil Rights Movement began in South Carolina, about the centuries of bigotry in the South and how it shaped the city of Charleston and its people, from its horrific roots in the 1600s to the murders at Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2015.

About the author:

Chris Lamb is chair of the Journalism and Public Relations department at Indiana University-Indianapolis. He’s an author, historian, lecturer, satirist, and columnist. Lamb is the author of 11 books, including two that were published in 2020 (The Art of the Political Putdown: The Greatest Comebacks, Ripostes, and Retorts in History and Sports Journalism: A History of Glory, Fame, and Technology. He’s written extensively on sports, race, and media. Before becoming a college professor, he worked for newspapers and magazines. Since becoming a professor, he’s written about 250 articles and columns for such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, ESPN.com, and Christian Science Monitor.

 



Carla Lalli Music, That Sounds So Good, Thurs. Apr. 21, 5:30 pm

Join chef, cookbook author, and YouTube personality, Carla Lalli Music, Thurs., Apr. 21 at 5:30 pm for a talk and signing for That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week (Clarkson Potter, 288 pp., $35). She’ll be in conversation with Charleston writer Merritt Watts.

About the book:

Great food is an achievable part of every day, no matter how busy you are; the key is to have go-to recipes for every situation and for whatever you have on hand. The recipes in That Sounds So Good are split between weekday and weekend cooking. When time is short, turn to quick stovetop suppers, one-pot meals, and dinner salads. And for the weekend, lean into lazy lunches, simmered stews, and hands-off roasts.

Carla’s dishes are as inviting and get-your-attention-good as ever. All the recipes—such as Fat Noodles with Pan-Roasted Mushrooms and Crushed Herb Sauce or Chicken Legs with Warm Spices—come with multiple ingredient swaps and suggestions, so you can make each one your own. That Sounds So Good shows Carla at her effortless best, and shows how you can be, too.

About the author:

Carla Lalli Music is the James Beard Award-winning author of Where Cooking Begins (a national bestseller) and the host of Carla’s Cooking Show on Patreon. The former food director at Bon Appétit, Carla is known for anchoring the hit YouTube series, “Back to Back Chef,” and has appeared in many BA test kitchen videos. Her second cookbook, That Sounds So Good, was published in October 2021. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, children, and backyard wood-burning oven.



Dr. Benjamin Gilmer, The Other Dr. Gilmer, Sat., Mar. 26, 1 pm

Join Asheville physician Benjamin Gilmer, Sat., Mar. 26, 1 pm, author of The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice (Ballantine, 304 pp., hb., $28). A true story about a shocking crime and a mysterious illness that will change your notions of how we punish and how we heal, The Other Dr. Gilmer expands on the popular This American Life episode produced with journalist Sarah Koenig (Serial).

Fresh out of residency, Dr. Benjamin Gilmer joined a rural North Carolina clinic only to find that its previous doctor shared his last name. Dr. Vince Gilmer was loved and respected by the community—right up until he strangled his ailing father and then returned to the clinic for a regular week of work. Vince’s arrest for murder shocked his patients. How could their beloved doctor be capable of such violence? The deeper Benjamin looked into Vince’s case, the more he became obsessed with discovering what pushed a good man toward darkness.

When Benjamin visited Vince in prison, he met a man who appeared to be fighting his own mind, constantly twitching and veering into nonsensical tangents. Sentenced to life in prison, Vince had been branded a cold-blooded killer and a “malingerer”—a person who fakes an illness. But it was obvious to Benjamin that Vince needed help. Alongside This American Life Benjamin resolved to understand what had happened to his predecessor.

About the author: Benjamin Gilmer is a family medicine physician in Fletcher, N.C. He is an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for Life and associate professor in the department of family medicine at UNC and at the Mountain Area Health Education Center. A former neurobiologist turned rural family practitioner, Dr. Gilmer has lectured across the country about medical ethics, rural health, and the intersection of medicine and criminal justice reform. He lives with his wife, Deirdre; their two children, Kai and Luya; and their dog, Prince Peanut Butter, in Asheville.



Derek Baxter, In Pursuit of Jefferson, Wed., Mar. 30, 5:30 pm

Join historian Derek Baxter, on Wed., Mar. 30, 5:30 pm for a presentation on his new book, In Pursuit of Jefferson: Traveling through Europe with the Most Perplexing Founding Father (Sourcebooks, 416 pp., hb., $27.99).

About the book:

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson was a broken man. Reeling from the loss of his wife and stung from a political scandal during the Revolutionary war, he needed to remake himself. To do that, he traveled. Wandering through Europe, Jefferson saw and learned as much as he could, ultimately bringing his knowledge home to a young America. There, he would rise to power and shape a nation.

More than two hundred years later, Derek Baxter, a devotee of American history, stumbles on an obscure travel guide written by Jefferson―Hints for Americans Traveling Through Europe―as he’s going through his own personal crisis. Who better to offer advice than a founding father himself? Using Hints as his roadmap, Baxter follows Jefferson through six countries and countless lessons. But what Baxter learns isn’t always what Jefferson had in mind, and as he comes to understand Jefferson better, he doesn’t always like what he finds.

About the author:

Derek Baxter graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in history. He wrote a book about his experience following the route through Europe that Jefferson set out in Hints to Americans. After years of research, Derek made nine separate trips abroad on Jefferson’s trail.



Author Luncheon with Mary Laura Philpott, Bomb Shelter, Wed., Apr. 20, 12 pm

Join best-selling author, Mary Laura Phillpott (I Miss You When I Blink) for a lunch and launch of her new memoir Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and Other Explosives, Wed. Apr. 20, 12 pm at Halls Signature Events, 5 Faber St., downtown Charleston.

Tickets are $39 for the three-course lunch, or $66 with a signed copy of Bomb Shelter (Atria, hb., 288 pp). Click here to buy tickets!

Doors open at 11:30 am, lunch served promptly at noon, with talk to follow.

Books provided by Blue Bicycle Books.

Can’t make it? Order a signed copy here.

About Bomb Shelter:

A lifelong worrier, Mary Laura Philpott always kept an eye out for danger, a habit that only intensified when she became a parent. But she looked on the bright side, too, believing that as long as she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe.

Then, in the dark of one quiet, pre-dawn morning, she woke abruptly to a terrible sound—and found her teenage son unconscious on the floor. In the aftermath of a crisis that darkened her signature sunny spirit, she wondered: If this happened, what else could happen? And how do any of us keep going when we can’t know for sure what’s coming next?

Leave it to the writer whose critically acclaimed debut had us “laughing and crying on the same page” (NPR) to illuminate what it means to move through life with a soul made of equal parts anxiety and optimism (and while she’s at it, to ponder the mysteries of backyard turtles and the challenges of spatchcocking a turkey).

Hailed by The Washington Post as “Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin all rolled into one,” Philpott returns in her distinctive voice to explore our protective instincts, the ways we continue to grow up long after we’re grown, and the limits—both tragic and hilarious—of the human body and mind.

About the Author:

Mary Laura Philpott’s first book was the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink. Her essays that examine the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life ad have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Real Simple, and more. A former bookseller at Nashville’s Parnassus Books and a Davidson grad, she is a life-long visitor to the Charleston area. She lives in Nashville with her family.

“a writer of singular spark and delight” — Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

 



Brad Taylor, End of Days, Fri., Jan. 21, 7:00 pm

 

Join New York Times best selling novelist Brad Taylor on Fri., Jan. 21 at 7:00 pm, for an evening celebrating the release of his newest novel, End of Days (William Morrow, 448 pp., hb., $28.99).  This event will take place at Halls Signature Events, at 5 Faber Street.

About the book:

When a paragliding trip over the picturesque mountains of Switzerland results in the brutal murder of the former head of Israeli intelligence, Mossad brings in terrorist hunters Aaron and Shoshana to investigate. But they’ll need help to find out who was behind the attack and what they’re planning next. Luckily, Aaron and Shoshana know exactly who to call.

Taskforce operators Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill have been trapped in Charleston, South Carolina during COVID-19, so when Aaron and Shoshana show up on their doorstep with Israeli passports and a new mission, they jump at the chance to assist their friends. Some suspect that Keta’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded militia group operating in Iraq, might be responsible for the “accidental” deaths of key members of the American and Israeli governments. But something isn’t adding up, and Pike, Jennifer, and the two Mossad operators are determined to find the real assassins before more people are cut down.

As they stumble upon the trail of a serial killer loose on the streets of Rome connected to the deaths and follow evidence leading to the exalted Knights of Malta, they must wade deep into the contentious religious and political fractures of Israel and the greater Middle East. It’s a dangerous world where fanatics and legitimate organizations exist side by side, and it’s up to the Taskforce to determine who is really pulling the strings. What they find could have disastrous consequences not only for them, but for the entire world…

About the author:

Brad Taylor was born on Okinawa, Japan, but grew up on 40-acres in rural Texas. Graduating from the University of Texas, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry. Brad served for more than 21 years, retiring as a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel. During that time he held numerous Infantry and Special Forces positions, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta where he commanded multiple troops and a squadron. He has conducted operations in support of US national interests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other classified locations.

His final assignment was as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He holds a Master’s of Science in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, with a concentration in Irregular Warfare. In 2011, Brad published his debut novel, One Rough Man, which was an immediate success and launched the Pike Logan series. Now with more than 15 installments and more than 3 million copies sold, the series has consistently hit the New York Times bestseller list. When not writing, he serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies. He lives in Charleston, SC with his wife and two daughters.

 



Andrew Lawler, Under Jerusalem, Thurs., Dec. 9, 5:30 pm

 

Join historian and journalist Andrew Lawler on Thurs., December 9 at 5:30 pm for a an evening of discussion about his new book, Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City (Doubleday, 464 pp., hb., $32.50).

About the book:

In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem’s storied past.

In the century and a half since the Frenchman broke ground, Jerusalem has drawn a global cast of fortune seekers and missionaries, archaeologists and zealots, all of them eager to extract the biblical past from beneath the city’s streets and shrines. Their efforts have had profound effects, not only on our understanding of Jerusalem’s history, but on its hotly disputed present. The quest to retrieve ancient Jewish heritage has sparked bloody riots and thwarted international peace agreements. It has served as a cudgel, a way to stake a claim to the most contested city on the planet. Today, the earth below Jerusalem remains a battleground in the struggle to control the city above.

Under Jerusalem takes readers into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City. It brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. With clarity and verve, acclaimed journalist Andrew Lawler reveals how their pursuit has not only defined the conflict over modern Jerusalem, but could provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.

About the author:

Andrew Lawler is author of the bestselling The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and the acclaimed Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Smithsonian. He is a contributing writer for Science and a contributing editor for Archaeology. Lawler’s work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing.



Georgann Eubanks, Saving the Wild South — Tues., Dec. 14, 5:30 pm

Join Georgann Eubanks on Tues., December 14 at 5:30 pm to celebrate the release of her new book, Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction (University of North Carolina, 272 pp., pb., $25). 

About the book:

The American South is famous for its astonishingly rich biodiversity. In this book, Georgann Eubanks takes a wondrous trek from Alabama to North Carolina to search out native plants that are endangered and wavering on the edge of erasure. Even as she reveals the intricate beauty and biology of the South’s plant life, she also shows how local development and global climate change are threatening many species, some of which have been graduated to the federal list of endangered species.

Why should we care, Eubanks asks, about North Carolina’s Yadkin River goldenrod, found only in one place on earth? Or the Alabama canebrake pitcher plant, a carnivorous marvel being decimated by criminal poaching and a booming black market? These plants, she argues, are important not only to the natural environment but also to southern identity, and she finds her inspiration in talking with the heroes—the botanists, advocates, and conservationists young and old—on a quest to save these green gifts of the South for future generations. These passionate plant lovers caution all of us not to take for granted the sensitive ecosystems that contribute to the region’s long-standing appeal, beauty, and character.

About the author:

Georgann Eubanks is a writer and Emmy-winning documentarian. Her most recent book is The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year. She is director of the Table Rock Writers Workshop, was a founder of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and is past chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council. She lives in Carrboro, N.C.



Kevin Mitchell and David Shields — Taste the State — Sat., Dec. 4, 1 pm

Join Kevin Mitchell and David Shields on Sat., December 4 at 1 pm to celebrate the release of of their new cookbook, Taste the State: South Carolina’s Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories (University of South Carolina, 248 pp., hb., $34.99). 

About the book:

Taste the State presents the cultural histories of native ingredients and showcases the evolution of the dishes and the variety of preparations that have emerged. This is true Carolina cooking in all of its cultural depth, historical vividness, and sumptuous splendor—from the simple home cooking of sweet potato pone to Lady Baltimore cake worthy of a Charleston society banquet.

About the authors:

Kevin Mitchell is the first African American chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston in South Carolina. He has culinary arts degrees in occupational studies and management from the Culinary Institute of America and a master’s degree in southern studies from the University of Mississippi, where he studied Southern foodways, the preservation of Southern ingredients, and the history of African Americans in the culinary arts. In 2020 Mitchell was named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

David S. Shields is Carolina Distinguished Professor of the English Language and Literature Department at the University of South Carolina and the chair of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine and The Culinarians: Lives and Careers from the First Age of American Fine Dining, and the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award.