Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Events and Signings

Thurs., Apr. 5 The Bridge Run Show: Annual Staff Reading

Tues., May 1 Cinelle Barnes, Monsoon Mansion at the Charleston Library Society

Fri., May 4 — Author Luncheon with Holly Herrick, New Charleston Chef’s Table

Fri., May 4 – 5 — YALLWEST Young Adult Book Festival in Santa Monica, Calif.

Tues., May 15 — Author Luncheon with Dorothea Benton Frank, By Invitation Only

Sun., May 20 Panel on School Integration: Then and Now — Rachel Devlin, A Girl Stands at the Door and Pamela Grundy, Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle Over Education Equality

Mon., May 21 Margaret Thornton, A Theory of Love

Sun., May 27 Piccolo Fiction

Tues., Jun. 5 Rachel May, An American Quilt

Thurs., Jun. 7 — Karen White, Dreams of Falling

Fri., Jun. 8 — Ethan Kytle and Blaine Roberts, Denmark Vesey’s Garden

Thurs., Jun. 14 — Ali Rosen, Bring It

Fri., Jun. 15 — Mary Alice Monroe, Beach House Reunion


A Theory of Love — Margaret Bradham Thornton, Mon., May 21, 5 pm

Join us at the bookstore, Mon., May 21, 5 pm  as Margaret Bradham Thornton will sign her new novel A Theory of Love (Ecco, hb., 288 pp., $28). 

About A Theory of Love: Helen Gibbs, a British journalist on assignment on the west coast of Mexico, meets Christopher Delavaux, an intriguing half-French, half-American lawyer-turned-financier who has come alone to surf. Living lives that never stop moving, from their first encounter in Bermeja to marriage in London and travels to such places as Saint-Tropez, Tangier, and Santa Clara, Helen and Christopher must decide how much they exist for themselves and how much they exist for each other.

About the Author: Margaret Bradham Thornton is also the author of Charleston: A Novel, which has become a Blue Bicycle Books mainstay since its debut in 2014. She is the editor of Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, for which she received the Bronze ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in autobiography/memoir and the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship published in 2006, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. She was born and raised in Charleston, is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Florida.

An American Quilt by Rachel May, Tues., June 5, 5 pm

Join us Tues., June 5, 5 pm as Rachel May will be here to talk about her new book An American Quilt (Pegasus Books, hb., 426 pp., $28).

Following the trail left by an unfinished quilt, this illuminating saga examines slavery from the cotton fields of the South to the textile mills of New England―and the humanity behind it. May brilliantly stitches together the often-silenced legacy of slavery by revealing the lives of these urban enslaved women and their world. Beautifully written and richly imagined, An American Quilt is a luminous historical examination and an appreciation of a craft that provides such a tactile connection to the past.

Rachel May, PhD, MFA, is the author of The BenedictinesThe Experiments: A Legend in Pictures and Words, and Quilting with a Modern Slant, which was named a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal & Her embroidered illustrations accompany two novellas published by Jaded Ibis Press and have been shown in galleries in the midwest. She’s been a resident and fellow at The Vermont Studio Center, the VCCA, and The Millay Colony, and is an Assistant Professor of English at Northern Michigan University.

Rachel Devlin and Pamela Grundy, Sun., May 20, 4 pm

Join us Sun., May 20, 4 pm as Rachel Devlin will be here to discuss her new book A Girl Stands at the Door (Basic Books, hb., 384 pp., $20). Devlin will be in discussion with historian and activist Pamela Grundy.

In A Girl Stands at the Door, historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. Highlighting the extraordinary bravery of young black women, this bold revisionist account illuminates today’s ongoing struggles for equality.

Rachel Devlin is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where she teaches course on women, gender, sexuality and childhood. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including from the American Academy of Learned Societies and a Fletcher Fellowship from the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University.

Pamela Grundy is a North Carolina native and is a historian, author, and activist.  She currently lives in Charlotte, where she pursues a variety of writing, teaching, and museum projects. She also wrote the award-winning Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina.

Pamela Grundy and Rachel Devlin, Sun., May 20, 4 pm

Join us Sun., May 20, 4 pm as Pamela Grundy will be here to discuss her new book Color & Character (UNC Press, hb., 248 pp., $26). Grundy will be in discussion with Rachel Devlin, a professor at Rutgers University.

Color and Character tells the story of West Charlotte High School which illuminates the possibilities and challenges of using racial and economic desegregation to foster educational equality. Drawing on nearly two decades of interviews with students, educators, and alumni, Pamela Grundy uses the history of a community’s beloved school to tell a broader American story of education, community, democracy, and race—all while raising questions about present-day strategies for school reform.

Pamela Grundy is a North Carolina native and is a historian, author, and activist.  She currently lives in Charlotte, where she pursues a variety of writing, teaching, and museum projects. She also wrote the award-winning Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina.

Rachel Devlin is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where she teaches course on women, gender, sexuality and childhood. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including from the American Academy of Learned Societies and a Fletcher Fellowship from the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University.

EVENT CANCELLED – More Glass Onion Classics Book Release Party, Thurs., Apr. 26, 5 pm

Join us Thurs., Apr. 26, 5 pm as Chris and Suzanne Stewart from the Glass Onion will be here to discuss their new cookbook.

If you were to ask a local in Charleston to name their favorite eatery for lunch, dinner, or brunch, chances are they will send you enthusiastically to the Glass Onion. Since opening in 2008, Glass Onion has consistently served up southern regional classics to a devoted following. Chef Chris Stewart, an Alabama native turned Lowcountry transplant, helms the kitchen and maintains strict standards for sourcing all-natural, local ingredients. His wife Suzanne Stewart cranks out delectable desserts such as bread pudding with whiskey sauce, buttermilk custard with lemon curd, boozy pecan pie, and vanilla-spiked rice pudding using heirloom Carolina Gold rice. Together the husband-and-wife team have created a relaxed, warm, unpretentious, delicious destination that locals swear by.

This cookbook celebrates Glass Onion’s tenth anniversary and features 75 recipes in full color, interspersed with photos of the area farms from whom they source. If you think of Southern food as heavy, salty, overcooked, or unhealthy, think again! Glass Onion demonstrates how to make classic Southern dishes using all-natural ingredients and unhurried techniques to produce the most flavor. So if you’re looking for that perfect biscuit drizzled with sinfully good sausage gravy, or a super fresh and unusual salad to bring to a summertime gathering, or how to wow your guests with crispy fried quail over slow-simmered Sea Island red peas, or how to make chicken and rice that your kids will fight over, this book is full of approachable ideas for your next meal.

Author Luncheon with Dorothea Benton Frank,By Invitation Only, Tues., May 15, 12 pm

Join us Tues., May 15, 12 pm for lunch at  Halls Signature Events (5 Faber St.)., as Dottie Frank will talk about and sign her new book By Invitation Only (William Morrow, hb., 400 pp., $28). Tickets are $62 for the buffet luncheon plus a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a party thrown by Diane English Stiftel and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. The bride’s father is a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, while the mother of the bride dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal.

By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard-working Southern peach farmers.

Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds—of limousines and pickup trucks, caviars and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray—filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the life they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?

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.


Monsoon Mansion Book Launch Party with Cinelle Barnes, Tues., May 1, 6 pm

Join us at the Charleston Library Society (164 King Street) on Tues., May 1, 6 pm as local author Cinelle Barnes will be joined in conversation with Jeanette Guinn, the Host of S.C. Public Radio Arts Daily, to discuss her incredible memoir, Monsoon Mansion (Little A, hb., 252 pp., $25).

To RSVP, please call 843-723-9912 or email [email protected]

Cinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately ten-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins, Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined. Formerly a home worthy of magazines and lavish parties, Mansion Royale becomes a dangerous shell of the splendid palace it had once been.

Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it.

Cinelle Barnes is an essayist, memoirist, and educator with a BA in media studies in journalism from Hunter College and a master of fine arts in creative writing from Converse College. She is a fellow of the Kundiman Creative Nonfiction Intensive at Fordham University and the Voices of the Nations Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, a founding member of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference, and a presenter-member for the Creative Writing Studies Organization. Her writing has appeared in Literary Hub, Skirt, Hub City Press’s online anthology, and TAYO Literary Magazine, among others.

What Matters Most at Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park, Sun., Apr. 15, 1-4 pm

Sun., Apr. 15, 1 pm, at Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park, Kerry Egan will share what she’s learned about “what matters most” from her time at the bedside as a hospice chaplain.

There will also be:

  • Interactive crafts, games & activities for all ages
  • Musical Guests (to be announced)
  • Share Your Story Station via Life Chronicles
  • Photo Booth courtesy of Little White Box
  • MUSC Pet Therapy Dogs
  • Food Trucks
  • Free Ice Cream for the kids (& a playground beside the festival)
  • Abundant parking, ample seating, indoor facility, & outdoor tent for comfort & convenience whatever the weather

Bring kids, bring parents, bring your friends! This event is appropriate for all ages and is free and open to the public.

The Surprising Place by Malinda McCollum, Wed., Apr. 4, 5 pm

Join us Wed., Apr. 4, 5 pm as Malinda McCollum will be here to talk about her new short story collection The Surprising Place (UMass Press, pb., 224 pp., $20).

In The Surprising Place, people adrift in the American Midwest struggle to find their way with few signposts for guidance. A synchronized swimming coach pops pills during practice, a bagpiper cold-cocks a hawk, and an orphan puts her fist through a window, discovering in the engine noise of a jet passing overhead, the perfect witness to her inner pain. In prose as lean and unflinching as an Iowa winter, these stories offer confrontation and consolation in equal measure.

Malinda McCollum’s stories have appeared in The Paris Reviewwhich awarded her the Plimpton Prize–McSweeney’s, ZYZZYVA, Epoch, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught at the University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins University, and Stanford University. She grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and now lives with her family in Charleston, where she teaches writing at the College of Charleston.