Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


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.



The Last House Guest with Megan Miranda, Wed., July 31, 5:30 pm

Join us Wed., July 31, 5:30 pm as Megan Miranda will be here to discuss her new thriller The Last House Guest (Simon and Schuster, hb., 352 pp., $27).

Another thrilling novel from the bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda’s The Last House Guest is a smart, twisty read with a strong female protagonist determined to make her own way in the world.

Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl—but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and Littleport resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls. She has also written several books for young adults, including FractureHysteriaVengeanceSoulprint, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.



Author Luncheon with Judge Richard Gergel, Unexampled Courage, Fri., May 17, 12 pm

 

Join us Fri., May 17, 12 pm for lunch at Halls Signature Events (5 Faber St.), as Judge Richard Gergel discusses his new book Unexampled Courage (Macmillan, hb., 336 pp., $27).

Tickets are $32 for the three-course luncheon. Get tickets here.

On February 12, 1946, Sergeant Isaac Woodard, a returning, decorated African American veteran, was removed from a Greyhound bus in Batesburg, South Carolina, after he challenged the bus driver’s disrespectful treatment of him. Woodard, in uniform, was arrested by the local police chief, Lynwood Shull, and beaten and blinded while in custody.

An all-white South Carolina jury acquitted Shull, but the presiding judge, J. Waties Waring, was conscience-stricken by the failure of the court system to do justice by the soldier. Waring described the trial as his “baptism of fire,” and began issuing major civil rights decisions from his Charleston courtroom, including his 1951 dissent in Briggs v. Elliott declaring public school segregation per se unconstitutional. Three years later, the Supreme Court adopted Waring’s language and reasoning in Brown v. Board of Education. Richard Gergel’s Unexampled Courage details the impact of the blinding of Sergeant Woodard on the course of America’s civil rights history.

Richard Gergel is a United States district judge who presides in the same courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina, where Judge Waring once served. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Judge Gergel earned undergraduate and law degrees from Duke University. With his wife, Dr. Belinda Gergel, he is the author of In Pursuit of the Tree of Life: A History of the Early Jews of Columbia, South Carolina.



I Miss You When I Blink Book Talk with Mary Laura Philpott, Thurs., May 30, 6 pm

Join us Thurs., May 30, 6 pm as Mary Laura Philpott will be here to discuss her new collection of essays I Miss You When I Blink (Atria Book, hb., 288 pp., $26). The discussion will be moderated by Amanda Heckert from Garden & Gun.

Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Mary Laura takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Mary Laura has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.

Mary Laura Philpott’s writing has been featured by The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Los Angeles TimesMcSweeney’sThe Paris Review, and other publications. She lives in Nashville with her family.



FSU’s Sons of the Sixties with John Crowe and Dale McCullers, Fri., May 3, 5 pm

Join us Fri., May 3, 5 pm as John Crowe and Dale McCullers will be here to discuss their new book FSU’s Sons of the Sixties (Atlantic Publishing, pb., 214 pp., $20).

Set in the volatile decade of the 1960s, FSU’s Sons of the Sixties provides a peek into the work, sweat, tears, challenges, and joy of being a college athlete at Florida State University. This book is not just a nostalgic trip down college football’s memory lane; it is a compilation of gridiron stories about a group of stellar defensive athletes and coaches who helped define a decade of success for the Seminoles of Florida State.

While making their case for the defense, co-authors John Crowe and Dale McCullers, two former Seminole teammates, highlight the experiences of 12 FSU Hall of Fame defensive players and Sons of the Sixties. Their individual rise as star athletes and their relationships with their college coaches is woven into a tapestry of intriguing insights while the critical–and often overlooked–role that defensive football plays in building an elite college football program is explored through the perspective of those who experienced it firsthand.