Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


Events and Signings

Sat., Feb. 2 — Mickey Dubrow, American Judas

Tues., Feb. 5 — Alexandra Bracken, The Last Life of Prince Alastor

Wed., Feb. 6 — James Scott, Rampage at CCPL

Fri., Feb. 15Adam Parker and Cleveland Sellers Jr., Outside Agitator

Sat., Feb. 23 — Vani Hari, Feeding You Lies

Fri., Feb. 28David AvRutick, Glimpses of Charleston

Sat., Mar 2 Megan Griswold, Book of Help

Wed., Mar. 6 – Sun., March 10 — Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Fri., Mar. 8 Scott Huler, A Delicious Country 

Mon., Mar. 11 — Michael Mewshaw, The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy 

Thur., Mar. 21Jennie Fant, Sojourns in Charleston

Wed., Mar. 27 — Greg Pizzoli, The Book Hog 

Fri., Mar. 29 George Brewington, The Monster Catchers

Sat., Mar. 30 George Singleton, Staff Picks

Thur., Apr. 4 — Bridge Run Reading

Tues., Apr. 23 David Sedaris, Calypso

Fri., May 17 — Richard Gergel, Unexampled Courage

Mon., May 20 — Elizabeth Cobbs, The Tubman Command 

Sat., June 1 — Piccolo Fiction

Mon., June 3 — Dorothea Benton Frank, Queen Bee

Thur., June 6 — Frye Gaillard, A Hard Rain

Mon., June 10 — Mary Alice Monroe, The Summer Guests 

Tues., June 11 — Jennifer Berry Hawes, Grace Will Lead Us Home 

Thurs., June 13 — Deb Spera, Call Your Daughter Home 

Fri., July 27 — Harrison Scott Key, Congratulations, Who Are You Again?



Sojourns in Charleston with Jennie Holton Fant, Thurs., Mar. 21, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., Mar. 21, 5:30 pm as Jennie Holton Fant will be here to discuss Sojourns in Charleston: South Carolina 1865-1947 (University of South Carolina Press, hb., 384 pp., $35).

Charleston is one of the most intriguing of American cities, a unique combination of quaint streets, historic architecture, picturesque gardens, and age-old tradition, embroidered with a vivid cultural, literary, and social history. It is a city of contrasts and controversy as well. To trace a documentary history of Charleston from the postbellum era into the twentieth century is to encounter an ever-shifting but consistently alluring landscape. In this collection, ranging from 1865 to 1947, correspondents, travelers, tourists, and other visitors describe all aspects of the city as they encounter it.

Sojourns in Charleston begins after the Civil War, when northern journalists flocked south to report on the “city of desolation” and ruin, continues through Reconstruction, and then moves into the era when national magazine writers began to promote the region as a paradise. From there twentieth-century accounts document a wide range of topics, from the living conditions of African Americans to the creation of cultural institutions that supported preservation and tourism. The most recognizable of the writers include author Owen Wister, novelist William Dean Howells, artist Norman Rockwell, Boston poet Amy Lowell, novelist and Zionist leader Ludwig Lewisohn, poet May Sarton, novelist Glenway Wescott on British author Somerset Maugham in the lowcountry, and French philosopher and writer Simone de Beauvoir. Their varied viewpoints help weave a beautiful tapestry of narratives that reveal the fascinating and evocative history that make Charleston the captivating city it is today.

Jennie Holton Fant is a writer, editor, and librarian who lived in Charleston before working for a decade at Duke University Libraries. She is the editor of The Travelers’ Charleston: Accounts of Charleston and the Lowcountry, South Carolina, 1666-1861.

 



Feeding You Lies Book Talk with Vani Hari, Sat. Feb. 23, 3 pm

Join us Sat., Feb. 23, 3 pm as Vani Hari will be here to discuss her new book Feeding You Lies (Hay House, hb., 328 pp., $28).

There’s so much confusion about what to eat. Are you jumping from diet to diet and nothing seems to work? Are you sick of seeing contradictory health advice from experts? Just like the tobacco industry lied to us about the dangers of cigarettes, the same untruths, cover-ups, and deceptive practices are occurring in the food industry. Vani Hari, aka The Food Babe, blows the lid off the lies we’ve been fed about the food we eat–lies about its nutrient value, effects on our health, label information, and even the very science we base our food choices on. A blueprint for living your life without preservatives, artificial sweeteners, additives, food dyes, or fillers, eating foods that truly nourish you and support your health, Feeding You Lies is the first step on a new path of truth in eating–and a journey to your best health ever.



Staff Picks with George Singleton, Sat., Mar. 30, 6:30 pm

Join us Sat., Mar. 30, 6:30 pm as acclaimed storyteller George Singleton will read from his new collection Staff Picks (LSU Press, pb., 216 pp., $22.50).

It’s Father’s Day 1972 and a young boy’s dad takes him to visit a string of unimpressive ex-girlfriends that could have been his mother; the unconventional detective work of a koan-speaking, Kung Fu–loving uncle solves a case of arson during a pancake breakfast; and a former geology professor, recovering from addiction, finds himself sharing a taxicab with specters from a Jim Crow–era lynching. Set in and around the fictional town of Steepleburg, South Carolina, the loosely tied stories in George Singleton’s Staff Picks place sympathetic, oddball characters in absurd, borderline surreal situations that slowly reveal the angst of southern history with humor and bite.

In the tradition of Donald Barthelme, T. C. Boyle, Flannery O’Connor, and Raymond Carver, Singleton creates lingering, darkly comedic tales by drawing from those places where familiarity and alienation coexist. A remarkable and distinct effort from an acclaimed chronicler of the South, Staff Picks reaffirms Singleton’s gift for crafting short story collections that both deliver individual gems and shine as a whole.

George Singleton is the author of two novels and eight collections of short fiction. He is a former Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of the Hillsdale Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. George grew up in Greenwood, South Carolina and currently lives in Spartanburg, where he teaches fiction at Wofford College. His stories have appeared in magazines like The Atlantic, the Kenyon Review, the Oxford American, and One Story, just to name a few.



A Delicious Country Local Launch Party and Discussion with Scott Huler, Fri., Mar. 8, 6 pm

Join us Fri., Mar. 8, 6 pm as journalist Scott Huler will be here to talk about his new book A Delicious Country (UNC Press, hb., 264 pp., $28).

In 1700, a young man named John Lawson left London and landed in Charleston, South Carolina, hoping to make a name for himself. For reasons unknown, he soon undertook a two-month journey through the still-mysterious Carolina backcountry. His travels yielded A New Voyage to Carolina in 1709, one of the most significant early American travel narratives, rich with observations about the region’s environment and Indigenous people.

In 2014, Scott Huler made a surprising decision: to leave home and family for his own journey by foot and canoe, faithfully retracing Lawson’s route through the Carolinas. This is the chronicle of that unlikely voyage, revealing what it’s like to rediscover your own home. Combining a traveler’s curiosity, a naturalist’s keen observation, and a writer’s wit, Huler draws our attention to people and places we might pass regularly but never really see. What he finds are surprising parallels between Lawson’s time and our own, with the locals and their world poised along a knife-edge of change between a past they can’t forget and a future they can’t quite envision.

The author of seven books of nonfiction, Scott Huler has written on everything from the death penalty to bikini waxing, from NASCAR racing to the stealth bomber, for such newspapers as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times and such magazines as Backpacker, Fortune, and ESPN. His award-winning radio work has been heard on “All Things Considered” and “Day to Day” on National Public Radio and on “Marketplace” and “Splendid Table” on American Public Media. He has been a staff writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Raleigh News & Observer and a staff reporter and producer for Nashville Public Radio. He was the founding and managing editor of the Nashville City Paper. His books have been translated into five languages.



Book of Help with Megan Griswold, Sat., Mar. 2, 3 pm

Join us Sat., Mar. 2, 3 pm as Megan Griswold will be here to talk about The Book of Help (Rodale Books, hb., 348 pp., $26).

The Book of Help traces one woman’s life-long quest for love, connection, and peace of mind. A heartbreakingly vulnerable and tragically funny memoir-in-remedies, Megan Griswold’s narrative spans four decades and six continents–from the glaciers of Patagonia and the psycho-tropics of Brazil, to academia, the Ivy League, and the study of Eastern medicine.

Megan was born into a family who enthusiastically embraced the offerings of New Age California culture–at seven she asked Santa for her first mantra and by twelve she was taking weekend workshops on personal growth. But later, when her newly-wedded husband calls in the middle of the night to say he’s landed in jail, Megan must accept that her many certificates, degrees and licenses had not been the finish line she’d once imagined them to be, but instead the preliminary training for what would prove to be the wildest, most growth-insisting journey of her life.

Megan went to Barnard College, received an MA from Yale, and went on to earn a licentiate degree from the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture. She has trained and received certifications as a doula, shiatsu practitioner, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and in wilderness medicine, among others. She has worked as a mountain instructor, a Classical Five Element acupuncturist, a freelance reporter, an NPR All Things Considered commentator and an off-the grid interior designer. She resides (mostly) in a yurt in Kelly, Wyoming.



Glimpses of Charleston Book Launch Party with David AvRutick, Thurs., Feb. 28, 5 pm

Join us Thurs., Feb. 28, 5 pm as David AvRutick will be here to celebrate the release of his new book Glimpses of Charleston (Globe Pequot Press, hb., 160 pp., $20).

Charleston is one of the most historically significant cities in the United States. One of the prime attractions of Charleston is the spectacular array of historic buildings spanning a wide variety of architectural styles. From simple pre-Revolutionary–era dwellings to spectacular Italianate, Greek Revival, and Victorian homes, to colonial government buildings, to some of the oldest and most beautiful churches, Charleston’s architectural splendor is unparalleled in the United States. Glimpses of Charleston will appeal to travelers and armchair tourists alike, whether you are planning your next trip or looking for a memento to remember your last visit.

While originally from “off” the Charleston peninsula, David R. AvRutick has been a full-time resident of downtown Charleston for almost twenty years, having been a part-time resident for the previous ten. As the founding president of the American College of the Building Arts–the only college of its kind in the United States–David led the creation of this unique Charleston institution which educates those who now help restore, maintain, and create lasting beauty in the structures of Charleston, the nation, and beyond. When not taking photographs, David is a serial entrepreneur (check out what Alice’s Clubhouse is doing for families suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia) and lives two blocks from the Battery in downtown Charleston with his wife, two children, and their cats Max and Lola.



Outside Agitator Discussion with Adam Parker and Cleveland Sellers Jr., Fri., Feb. 15, 5 pm

Join us Fri., Feb. 15, 5 pm as Adam Parker  and Cleveland Sellers Jr. will be here to discuss the book Outside Agitator (Hub City Press, pb., 240 pp., $18).

In 1968 state troopers gunned down black students protesting the segregation of a South Carolina bowling alley, killing three and injuring 28. The Orangeburg Massacre was one of the most violent moments of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, and only one person served prison time in its aftermath: a young black man by the name of Cleveland Sellers Jr. Many years later, the state would recognize that Sellers was a scapegoat in that college campus tragedy and would issue a full pardon.

Outside Agitator is the story of a Sellers’ early activism: organizing a lunch counter sit-in as a 15-year-old in the tiny South Carolina town of Denmark, registering voters in Alabama and Mississippi, refusing the Vietnam War draft, serving as national program director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and working alongside 1960s civil rights icons Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King Jr., H. Rap Brown and Malcolm X. It’s also the story of his lifelong struggle to overcome the Orangeburg incident and his slow crawl to justice. Adam Parker’s incisive biography is about a proud black man who refuses to be defeated, whose tumultuous life story personifies America’s continuing civil rights struggle.

Adam Parker earned degrees in music, then spent a decade in the business world before going back to school to earn a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University. He taught journalism as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston and soon landed a job at The Post and Courier. At the newspaper, he worked as a copy editor, metro editor, general assignment reporter, restaurant critic and religion reporter, arts writer and more. A long-time student of the civil rights movement and race in America, he has written extensively about the African-American experience. Outside Agitator is his first book.

 

 



The Monster Catchers Release Party with George Brewington, Fri., Mar. 29, 4 pm

All the kids who are out of school for Spring Break should join us Fri., Mar. 29, 4 pm as local author George Brewington will read from his new middle-grade novel The Monster Catchers (Henry Holt, hb., 288 pp., $17).

The Monster Catchers are Bailey Buckleby and his dad. They can rid your home of whatever monster is troubling you—for the right price. But when Bailey discovers that his dad has been lying to him, he begins to question the family business. A criminal mastermind puts everyone and everything he loves in peril. Only Bailey and his friends can set things right.

George Brewington has written fantasy for years, publishing short stories in a variety of magazines and anthologies. The Monster Catchers is his debut middle-grade novel.



American Judas with Mickey Dubrow, Sat., Feb. 2, 5 pm

 

Join us Sat., Feb. 2, 5 pm as Mickey Dubrow will be here to discuss his new novel American Judas (SFK Press, pb., 344 pp., $17).

American Judas is a dystopian tale about a young couple’s life after opportunistic U.S. politicians abolish the wall of separation between Church and State. Seth and Maggie Ginsberg do their best to navigate an oppressive theocracy where fundamental Christianity is the only legal religion, and abortion, homosexuality, and adultery are outlawed. When a co-worker outs Seth as a Jew, Seth escapes to Mexico, while Maggie is sent to a Savior Camp. American Judas mixes political satire, suspense, and family drama.

Mickey Dubrow is passionate about telling stories with fresh, entertaining perspectives. He wants readers to feel excitement, sympathy, amusement, joy, and maybe even a little anxiety when they read his novels. In American Judas, he explores, among other possibilities, lost faith in America and what this might mean for the freedoms we cherish so much. As a freelance writer and producer for television, Mickey’s clients include CNN, Cartoon Network Marketing, and SRA/McGraw Hill.



Author Luncheon with Tommy Tomlinson, The Elephant in the Room, Fri., Jan. 25, 12 pm

Join us Fri., Jan. 25, 12 pm for lunch at Halls Signature Events (5 Faber St.), as Tommy Tomlinson discusses his memoir The Elephant in the Room (Simon and Schuster, hb., 256 pp., $27).

Tickets are $32 for the three-course luncheon, or $64 to add a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

When he was almost fifty years old, Tommy Tomlinson weighed an astonishing—and dangerous—460 pounds, at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, unable to climb a flight of stairs without having to catch his breath, or travel on an airplane without buying two seats. Raised in a family that loved food, he had been aware of the problem for years, seeing doctors and trying diets from the time he was a preteen. He was only one of millions of Americans struggling with weight, body image, and a relationship with food that puts them at major risk.

Intimate and insightful, The Elephant in the Room is Tomlinson’s chronicle of meeting those people, taking the first steps towards health, and trying to understand how, as a nation, we got to this point. He brings us along on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery that is a candid and sometimes brutal look at the everyday experience of being constantly aware of your size. Over the course of the book, he confronts these issues head on and chronicles the practical steps he has to take—big and small—to lose weight by the end.

Tommy Tomlinson has written for publications including EsquireESPN the MagazineSports IllustratedForbesGarden & Gun, and many others. He spent twenty-three years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte.