Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Events and Signings

Sun., April 23 Charlamagne Tha God, Black Privilege 

Wed., May 10 Sheryl Sandberg, Option B

Thurs., May 18  Patricia Altschul, The Art of Southern Charm 

Fri., May 19Dorothea Benton Frank, Same Beach, Next Year

Sat., May 20 — Deno Trakas, Messenger to Mystery

Sat., June 3Piccolo Fiction

Mon., June 5 Roseann Sdoia, Perfect Strangers

Thurs., June 8Lisa Wingate, Before We Were Yours

Sat., June 10 Barbara Lynch, Out of Line

Sat., June 10 Kat Kinsman, Hi, Anxiety

Tue., June 20Mary Alice Monroe, Beach House for Rent

Thurs., June 22 — Gina Kolata with Amanda Baxley Kalinsky, Mercies in Disguise

Fri., June 23 Cate Lineberry, Be Free or Die

Thurs., July 13 — Patti Callahan Henry, The Bookshop at Water’s End

2017 Write of Summer Dates!

Piccolo Fiction – Charleston Music Hall – Sat., June 3, 5 pm

Piccolo Fiction presented by Blue Bicycle Books, Sat., June 3, 5 pm, Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St. Free and open to the public.

The festival’s longest-running event exclusively devoted to fiction, Piccolo Fiction invites local authors to write and share original  short stories. This year’s reading will be in the historic Charleston Music Hall, and, following recent 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:

Julia Elliott’s writing has appeared on, in Tin House, The Georgia Review, Conjunctions, The New York Times, and other publications. She has won a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and her stories have been anthologized in Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses and Best American Short Stories. Her debut story collec­tion, The Wilds, was chosen by Kirkus, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, and Electric Literature as one of the Best Books of 2014 and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her first novel, The New and Improved Romie Futch, arrived in October 2015.

Cinelle Barnes writes memoirs and personal essays on trauma, growing up in Manila, Philippines, and being a mother and immigrant in America. In 2014, she was nominated for the AWP Journal Intro Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She has an MFA from Converse College and teaches writing workshops throughout the year, including Poses and Prose, a yoga + writing workshop. Her debut memoir, Monsoon Mansion, will be released by Little A publishing in Spring 2018.

Benjamin Brandenburg is a former Columbia University graduate student and current bookstore clerk living in Charleston. His stories are sometimes published online, most recently at Hobart and Monkeybicycle.

Born in Raleigh, N.C., Aaron Wood and his wife moved to Charleston in 2013 to escape the winters of Appalachia. His fiction has been published in Charleston City Paper. A sous chef for a local caterer, when he’s not working on a collection of short stories, he spends time with his wife and dog or fishing the local waters.

Hi, Anxiety with Kat Kinsman, Sat., June 10, 5 pm

Join us Sat., June 10, 5 pm as celebrated food writer Kat Kinsman discusses her new memoir Hi, Anxiety (Dey Street Books, hb., 240 pp., $26). Kat will be in conversation with James Beard Award Winner Barbara Lynch and Angel Postell of Home Team PR.

In Hi, Anxiety, beloved food writer, editor, and commentator Kat Kinsman expands on the high profile pieces she wrote for about depression, and its wicked cousin, anxiety. As Kat found when she started to write about her struggles, she is not alone in feeling like the simple act of leaving the house can be crippling. And though periodic medication, counseling, a successful career and a happy marriage have brought her relief, the illness remains.

Exploring how millions are affected by anxiety, Hi, Anxiety is a clarion call for everyone—but especially women—struggling with this condition. Though she is a strong advocate for seeking medical intervention, Kinsman implores those suffering to come out of the shadows—to talk about their battle openly and honestly. With humor, bravery, and writing that brings bestsellers like Laurie Notaro and Jenny Lawson to mind, Hi, Anxiety tackles a difficult subject with grace.

Kat Kinsman is senior food and drinks editor at Time Inc.’s Extra Crispy and former editor at large and editor in chief of Tasting Table. She is a frequent public speaker on the topics of food and mental health, and addresses their connection on her website Chefs with Issues. She is a former writer and editor for, where she was nominated for the James Beard Broadcast Award in the TV Segment category and won the 2011 EPPY Best Food Website for CNN’s Eatocracy. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and various animals.

Author Luncheon with Cate Lineberry, Be Free or Die, Fri., June 23, 12 pm

Join us Fri., June 23, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Cate Lineberry discusses and signs her new book Be Free or Die (St. Martin’s, hb., 288 pp., $26). Cate will be in conversation with Michael Boulware Moore, who is the great, great grandson of Robert Smalls and the CEO of the International African American Museum.

Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $57 including a signed copy of the book. Get tickets here.

Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls’ amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country’s first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.

Be Free or Die is Cate’s second book. She is also the author of The Secret Rescue, a #1 Wall Street Journal e-book bestseller and a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony Awards. She was previously a staff writer and editor for National Geographic Magazine and the web editor for Smithsonian Magazine. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times.

Mercies in Disguise with Gina Kolata, Thur., June 22, 5 pm

Join us Thur., June 22, 5 pm as New York Times reporter Gina Kolata discusses her new book Mercies in Disguise (St. Martin’s, hb., 272 pp., $26).

In Mercies in Disguise, Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution―not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma―fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process.

A work of narrative nonfiction, Mercies in Disguise is the story of a family that took matters into its own hands when the medical world abandoned them. It’s a story of a family that had to deal with unspeakable tragedy and yet did not allow it to tear them apart. And it is the story of a young woman―Amanda Baxley―who faced the future head on, determined to find a way to disrupt her family’s destiny.

Gina Kolata is a senior medical writer for the New York Times and the author of nine books and editor of three. She has won numerous prizes and was a Pulitzer finalist twice.

Perfect Strangers with Roseann Sdoia, Mon., June 5, 5 pm

Join us Mon., June 5, 5 pm as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia discusses her new book Perfect Strangers (PublicAffairs, hb., 256 pp., $26).

As Roseann Sdoia waited to watch her friend cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, she had no idea her life was about to change-that in a matter of minutes she would look up from the sidewalk, burned and deaf, staring at her detached foot, screaming for help amid the smoke and blood.

In the chaos that followed, three people would enter Roseann’s life and change it forever. The first was Shores Salter, a college student who instinctively ran into the smoke while his friends ran away. He found Roseann lying on the sidewalk and, using a belt as a tourniquet, literally saved her life that day. Then, Boston police officer Shana Cottone arrived on the scene and began screaming desperately at passing ambulances, all full, before finally commandeering an empty paddy wagon. Just then a giant appeared, in the form of Boston firefighter Mike Materia, who carried Roseann and held her burned hand all the way to the hospital. Since that day, he hasn’t left her side, and today they are planning their life together.

Perfect Strangers is about recovery, about choosing joy and human connection over anger and resentment, and most of all, it’s about an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston’s worst day.


Author Luncheon with Lisa Wingate, Before We Were Yours, Thur., June 8, 12 pm

Join us Thur., June 8, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Lisa Wingate discusses and signs her new book Before We Were Yours (Ballantine Books, hb., 352 pp., $26). Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $57 including a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals–in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country–Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Wingate lives in the Ouachita Mountains of southwest Arkansas.

Author Luncheon with Dorothea Benton Frank, Same Beach, Next Year, Fri., May 19, 12 pm

Join us Fri., May 19, 12 pm for lunch at Stars Rooftop and Grill Room (495 King St.), as Dottie Frank will talk about and sign her new book Same Beach, Next Year (William Morrow, hb., 384pp., $28). Tickets are $62 for the buffet luncheon plus a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the intangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

The novel begins with a chance meeting on the Isle of Palms that brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy, while striking up a deep friendship and an unexpected attraction of their own. Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl grow closer over time, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak.

Dottie is the author of 18 novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina. She was born and raised on Sullivan’s Island, attended Bishop England High School and graduated from General William Moultrie High School in 1969. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bloomfield College. An avid cook who also enjoys fly-fishing, reading, and travel, Dottie now divides her time between South Carolina and New Jersey.


Author Luncheon with Mary Alice Monroe, Beach House for Rent, Tue., June 20, 12 pm

Join us Tue., June 20, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Mary Alice Monroe discusses and signs her new book Beach House for Rent (Gallery Books, pb., 416 pp., $26). Tickets are $57 for the three-course luncheon and a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

In Beach House for Rent, two women from different generations are bound together by a beloved beach house. Cara Rutledge, 50, rents her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt, 26, for the summer. Heather’s anxiety keeps her indoors with her caged canaries until the shorebirds–and a man who rescues them–lure her out to the beach. As the summer progresses and Heather’s heart opens to the rhythms of the island, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy. When their worlds shift like the sand under their feet, these two very different women come together to discover their common bonds and unique strengths.

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. She has received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Book Award for Green Fiction. An active conservationist, she lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Out of Line with James Beard Award Winner Barbara Lynch, Sat., June 10, 5 pm

Join us Sat., June 10, 5 pm as world-renowned chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef judge Barbara Lynch discusses her new memoir Out of Line (Atria Books, hb., 240 pp., $26). Barbara will be in conversation with Kat Kinsman from Extra Crispy and Angel Postell of Home Team PR.

Celebrated chef Barbara Lynch credits the defiant spirit of her upbringing in tough, poor “Southie,” a neighborhood ruled by the notorious Whitey Bulger gang, with helping her bluff her way into her first professional cooking jobs; develop a distinct culinary style through instinct and sheer moxie; then dare to found an empire of restaurants ranging from a casual but elegant “clam shack” to Boston’s epitome of modern haute cuisine.

Out of Line describes Lynch’s remarkable process of self-invention, including her encounters with colorful characters of the food world, and vividly evokes the magic of creation in the kitchen. Through her story, Lynch explores how the past—both what we strive to escape from and what we remain true to—can strengthen and expand who we are.

Barbara Lynch has won multiple James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur (only the second woman to win), an Amelia Earhart award for success as a woman in a male-dominated field, and the Relais & Château designation of Grand Chef (one of only six in North America). She is the owner of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which encompasses seven celebrated restaurants, including No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, Drink, Sportello, and Menton. In 2017, she was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.


Kat Kinsman is senior food and drinks editor at Time Inc.’s Extra Crispy and former editor at large and editor in chief of Tasting Table. She is a frequent public speaker on the topics of food and mental health, and addresses their connection on her website Chefs with Issues. She is a former writer and editor for, where she was nominated for the James Beard Broadcast Award in the TV Segment category and won the 2011 EPPY Best Food Website for CNN’s Eatocracy. After she published a personal essay on her struggles with anxiety for CNN Living, people came out of the woodwork to share their own experiences and it felt like the beginning of a conversation that needed to happen. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and various animals.