Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


Events and Signings

Tues., July 9 Joshua Becker, The Minimalist Home

Wed., July 31 Megan Miranda, The Last House Guest

Thurs., Aug. 1 Fiona Davis, The Chelsea Girls

Thurs., Aug. 8 — Ladson Mills, Abandoned Shipmate

Tues., Aug. 13 — Tupelo Hassman, gods with a little g

Thurs., Aug. 15 — Katie Sullivan-Masalin, Rocks, Paper, Flowers

Thurs., Aug. 29 — David Slucki, Sing This at My Funeral

Fri., Sept. 6 — Ken Woodley, The Road to Healing

Tues., Sept. 17 — Corrie Wang, City of Beasts

Tues., Sept. 17 — Jennifer Berry Hawes, Grace Will Lead Us Home

Fri., Sept. 20 — Colin Egglesfield, The Agile Artist

Wed., Oct. 2 — Derrick White, Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Fri., Oct. 4 — Peter Zheutlin, The Dog Went Over the Mountain

 



The Chelsea Girls Charleston Release Party with Fiona Davis, Thurs., Aug. 1, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., Aug. 1, 5:30 pm as bestselling author Fiona Davis will be celebrating the release of her brand-new novel The Chelsea Girls (Dutton, hb., 368 pp., $27).

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.

Fiona Davis is the nationally bestselling author of The DollhouseThe Address, and The Masterpiece. She lives in New York City and is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the Columbia Journalism School.



Daniel Brook at Grace Church Cathedral Okra Soup Meeting, Tues., June 25, 5 pm

Tues., June 25, at 5 pm, historian and journalist Daniel Brook will be at Grace Church Cathedral (98 Wentworth St.) to give a talk about his fascinating new book The Accident of Color (W.W. Norton, hb., 336 pp., $28).

Grace Church and Mt. Zion AME host Okra Soup jointly in Hanahan Hall at Grace. Soup will be served and all are welcome. Five dollar donations are requested for dinner.

In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.

Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.

The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation’s singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.

Daniel Brook’s writing has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, and The Nation. His last book, A History of Future Cities, was longlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize and selected as one of the ten “Favorite Books of 2013” by the Washington Post. Born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, and educated at Yale, Brook lives in New Orleans.



The Minimalist Home Book Talk with Joshua Becker, Tues., July 9, 5:30 pm

Join us Tues., July 9, 5:30 pm as Joshua Becker, editor and founder of Becoming Minimalist, will be here to talk about his new book The Minimalist Home (Waterbrook, hb., 256 pp., $20).

In The Minimalist Home, one of today’s most influential minimalist advocates takes us on a decluttering tour of our own houses and apartments, showing us how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. He both offers practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It’s also to turn our life’s HQ–our home–into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.

Joshua Becker is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author of The Minimalist Home, The More of Less, Clutterfree with Kids and Simplify. He is the founder of Becoming Minimalist, a website dedicated to intentional living visited by over 1 million readers every month with a social media following of over 1.5 million. He is also the Founder of The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization changing how the world cares for orphans. Currently, he lives in Peoria, AZ with his wife and two young kids.



Running Against the Tide with Captain Lee, Tues., June 4, 6 pm

Join us Tues., June 4, 6 pm as Captain Lee from Bravo’s hit reality show Below Deck will be here to talk about his new memoir Running Against the Tide (Gallery Books, hb., 256 pp., $26).

From the star of Bravo’s hit reality show Below Deck, comes Running Against the Tide, the “Stud of the Sea’s” first-ever memoir recounting his journey from landlocked Saginaw, Michigan to the high seas, where he has spent more than twenty-five years as a superyacht captain.

The cast members of Below Deck are known for their catfights, scheming, personal attacks, and long-held grudges, but what keeps viewers coming back week after week is resident hero Captain Lee, the only cast member to appear in all five seasons.

But you don’t have to be one of Below Deck’s 1.5 million weekly viewers to appreciate Captain Lee’s story, which offers a glimpse behind-the-scenes at the luxury yachting industry and one of Bravo’s biggest franchises. From having to reclaim his drunk captain’s lost papers in the Dominican Republic to unwittingly crewing a drug boat out of Turks and Caicos to navigating the outrageous demands of the super-rich in New York City, Captain Lee’s tales from the high seas run the gamut, proving time and time again why he’s a fan favorite: he’s occasionally profane, he’s often surprising, but he’s never dull and, for the first time, he’s here to tell all.



Live Taping of Free Cookies Podcast with special guest Jen Pastiloff, Wed., June 12, 7 pm

Wed., June 12, 7 pm, we’re closing the store early and trying something new. Our friends Kathryn Budig and Kate Fagan will be taping an episode of their Free Cookies podcast in front of a live audience. Their guest will be Jennifer Pastiloff, author of the new book On Being Human (Dutton, hb., 336 pp., $27).

The show is free and open to the public, but come early to get a good seat.

Centered on the touchstone stories Jen tells in her popular workshops, On Being Human is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be all along by battling the demons within and winning.

Jen did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given the opportunity to host her own retreats, she left her thirteen-year waitressing job and said “yes,” despite crippling fears of her inexperience and her own potential. After years of feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless, in a life that seemed to have no escape, she healed her own heart by caring for others. She has learned to fiercely listen despite being nearly deaf, to banish shame attached to a body mass index, and to rebuild a family after the debilitating loss of her father when she was eight. Through her journey, Jen conveys the experience most of us are missing in our lives: being heard and being told, “I got you.”

Exuberant, triumphantly messy, and brave, On Being Human is a celebration of happiness and self-realization over darkness and doubt. Her complicated yet imperfectly perfect life path is an inspiration to live outside the box and to reject the all-too-common belief of “I am not enough.” Jen will help readers find, accept, and embrace their own vulnerability, bravery, and humanness.

Jen is a frequent contributor to SHAPE Magazine, including SHAPE Escape at Miraval Resort and the Women Run the World initiative. She has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, CBS News, and others for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world. Jen is also the guest speaker at Canyon Ranch, and she leads Writing and The Body workshops with author Lidia Yuknavitch, as well as retreats with Emily Rapp Black. Founder of the online magazine The Manifest-Station, when Jen is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles with her husband and son and a cup of coffee.



Luncheon with Dorothea Benton Frank at Halls Signature Events (5 Faber Street), Mon., June 3, 12 pm

Join us Mon., June 3, 12 pm for lunch at Halls Signature Events (5 Faber Street) as Dorothea Benton Frank will talk about her new novel Queen Bee (William Morrow, hb., 432 pp., $28).

Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivan’s Island, tending her hives and working at the local island library. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she’s a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware that she’s quite ill but that doesn’t stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.

Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what’s happening in their neighbor’s home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they’ll give her a solution to all the chaos. Maybe they will.

In her twentieth novel, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us back to her beloved island with an unforgettable story where the Lowcountry magic of the natural world collides with the beat of the human heart.

Dottie is the author of twenty 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.

 



A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s with Frye Gaillard, Thurs., June 6, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., June 6, 5:30 pm as Frye Gaillard will be here to discuss his new book A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope, Possibility, and Innocence Lost (NewSouth Books, hb., 704 pp., $35).

Frye Gaillard has given us a deeply personal history, bringing his keen storyteller’s eye to this pivotal time in American life. He explores the competing story arcs of tragedy and hope through the political and social movements of the times―civil rights, black power, women’s liberation, the War in Vietnam, and the protests against it. He also examines the cultural manifestations of change―music, literature, art, religion, and science―and so we meet not only the Brothers Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, but also Gloria Steinem, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Harper Lee, Mister Rogers, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, Andy Warhol, Billy Graham, Thomas Merton, George Wallace, Richard Nixon, Angela Davis, Barry Goldwater, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Berrigan Brothers.

Frye Gaillard has written extensively on Southern race relations, politics and culture. He is former Southern Editor at The Charlotte Observer, where he covered Charlotte’s landmark school desegregation controversy, the ill-fated ministry of televangelist Jim Bakker, the funeral of Elvis Presley, and the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Gaillard has written or edited more than twenty-five books. He now lives on the Alabama Gulf Coast with his wife Nancy.



On the Edge: from Combahee to Winyah with J. Henry Fair, Wed., May 29, 5:30 pm

Join us Wed., May 29, 5:30 pm as photographer J. Henry Fair and the Coastal Conservation League will be here to discuss the new book On the Edge: Combahee to Winyah (Papadakis, hb., $50).

On the Edge is the first of the coastline series, which is a portrait of our coastlines with an eye toward climate change preparedness and adaptation. Ocean rise will cause major changes in our coastline habitation and utilization. This book, done in cooperation with the Coastal Conservation League, is an in-depth look at the South Carolina coast that also examines the relationship of rice and slavery (which had such a formative role on this coastline and the entire country).

J. Henry Fair uses pictures to tell stories about people and things that affect people. He is based in New York City and Berlin, but travels constantly. His recent book, Industrial Scars: The Hidden Costs of Consumption, sold out the first printing. Roberta Smith, chief art critic of The New York Times, said the “vivid color photographs of J. Henry Fair lead an uneasy double life as potent records of environmental pollution and as ersatz evocations of abstract painting… information and form work together, to devastating effect.”

 

 

 



Piccolo Fiction — Sat., June 1, 5 pm

Sat., June 1, 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:

Jennifer Hope Choi is the recipient of the Carson McCullers Center’s Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship, the BuzzFeed Emerging Writer Fellowship, and a 2019 Pushcart Prize Special Mention. Her writing has appeared in Best American Travel Writing 2018, Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, The American Scholar, Bon Appétit, Lucky Peach, BuzzFeed Reader, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is the eat & drink editor for Charleston magazine, and is currently working on a memoir.

Tupelo Hassman‘s debut novel, Girlchild, was the recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, the Portland Review, Imaginary Oklahoma, and Zyzzyva, among others. Tupelo’s second novel, gods with a little g, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Jonathan Rabb is the author of the novels Among the Living (Townsend Fiction Prize Finalist), The Second Son, Shadow and Light, Rosa (Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Prize for fiction), The Book of Q and The Overseer. He has published short fiction and non-fiction in a number of magazines and journals, including The Oxford American, The Strand, Opera News and the Journal for Interdisciplinary History. He has taught at NYU, Columbia and currently at SCAD.

Emma Stough will graduate from College of Charleston with an MFA in Creative Writing in May 2019. She is a Midwestern fiction writer who enjoys speculative fiction, photography, and Italian food. She has work forthcoming in Third Coast.



The Tubman Command with Elizabeth Cobbs, Mon., May 20, 5:30 pm

Join us Mon., May 20, 5:30 pm as Elizabeth Cobbs will be here to discuss her new historical novel The Tubman Command (Arcade Books, hb., 336 pp., $26).

The Tubman Command tells the story of Harriet Tubman at the height of her powers, when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War. In Beaufort, South Carolina, Tubman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, she plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people.

General David Hunter places Tubman in charge of a team of black scouts, even though he is skeptical of what one woman can accomplish. For her gamble to succeed, “Moses” must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River. Men stand in her way at every turn–though one reminds her that love shouldn’t have to be the price of freedom.