Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

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.


Jennifer Palmieri, author of Dear Madam President, Tues., May 14, 5:30 pm, presented by Monoc Roberts Attorneys at Law

Monoc Roberts Attorneys at Law and Blue Bicycle Books are proud to welcome Jennifer Palmieri, former Communications Director for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Tues., May 14, 5:30 pm. She’ll be in our courtyard to discuss her best-selling book Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World (Grand Central, hb., 192 pp., $20).

Free and open to the public. 420 King St., downtown Charleston.  Wine and refreshments provided. Please call 843-722-2666 for more information.


Framed as an empowering letter to the first woman president, and by extension, to all women working to succeed in any field, Dear Madam President is filled with forward-thinking, practical advice for all women who are determined to seize control of their lives–from boardroom to living room.

As a country, we haven’t wrapped our heads around what it should look like for a woman to be in the job of President. Our only models are men. While wildly disappointed by the outcome of the 2016 election, Palmieri argues that our feelings–confusion, love, hate, acceptance–can now open the country up to reimagining women in leadership roles. And that is what Palmieri takes on in this book–redefining expectations for women looking to lead and creating a blueprint for women candidates and leaders to follow. Dear Madam President will turn the results of the 2016 election into something incredibly empowering for graduates, future female leaders, and independent thinkers everywhere.

Jennifer Palmieri was the Director of Communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to that position, she served as the White House Communications Director for President Barack Obama. She has also been the National Press Secretary for the 2004 John Edwards presidential campaign and for the Democratic Party in 2002. She is currently President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and she frequently appears on television and radio outlets.

Ripple Effect Book Party with Carol Bass, Thurs., Apr. 25, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., Apr. 25, 5:30 pm as Carol Bass, Marjory Wentworth, and others will be here to read from the new anthology Ripple Effect (Maine Authors Publishing, pb., 262 pp., $33).

Born from her childhood connection to the Edisto, Carol’s passion for rivers and all things water are mirrored in Ripple Effect. This book, filled with writing and art from across the country, began as a plea to the state of South Carolina to protect its many rivers, not to squander the waters to out–of–state industrial farms and sell its rivers to Wall Street entities, but to respect its citizens rights and its God-given resources.

This confluence of prose and art brings together paintings, poetry, photographs, and essays to stir imagination and inspire action. Rivers connect us. They provide a sense of place. No matter where we are, be it a blackwater floodplain, headwater trickle, or powerful cataract, flowing water provides a sense of place, of belonging. Ripple Effect beckons us to honor our connections to these national treasures, to take actions that ensure they will remain vibrant today and in the future.

Carol paints large abstracts and constructs giant wall pieces of vivid color. Her activism for environmental injustice was the reason for this book. She lives in South Carolina and Maine.

Let Me Out Here with Emily Pease, Wed., Apr. 17, 6 pm

Join us Wed., Apr. 17, 6 pm as Emily W. Pease will be here to sign her new short-story collection Let Me Out Here (Hub City, pb., 232 pp., $16).

Let Me Out Here is the 2018 winner of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize. Spread over varied landscapes of the South and offering surprising moments of raw revelation, the characters here find themselves at crossroads or alone on an empty street at night. With Let Me Out Here, Pease joins the ranks of Mary Gaitskill, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Kelly Link, and adds to their tradition a deft, singular style and a voice as darkly funny as it is exacting.

Emily W. Pease’s stories have appeared in Witness, the Missouri Review (Editors Prize in Fiction), the Georgia ReviewShenandoah (including the Bevel Summers Prize), Crazyhorse (Crazyshorts! Prize), the Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative. After teaching for many years at the College of William & Mary, she now teaches writing to veterans through the Armed Services Arts Partnership, where she also serves as a member of their arts council. She is currently beginning a novel about logging the last forests of West Virginia. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

20th Annual Bridge Run Reading, Thurs., April 4, 6 pm

Cautiously venturing out from the safe confines of their book-selling counter, it’s the annual Blue Bicycle Books staff reading!
Thurs., Apr. 4, 6 pm, the 20th Annual Bridge Run Reading features original works by Charleston writers/BBB staffers Ben Adams, Sara Peck and Jonathan Sanchez.
Beer and wine will flow, readings are short and fun, and there is no running involved, of any distance.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information please call 843-722-2666.
The Bridge Run Reading is one of Charleston’s longest-running literary events. The series started in 1999 in a Broad Street living room, moved to the old Cafe Lana on Cumberland, and bounced around various venues before finding a home at Blue Bicycle Books for the last decade.

A Man’s World Book Discussion with Steve Oney, Wed., Apr. 10, 6 pm


Join us Wed., Apr. 10, 6 pm as Steve Oney will be here to discuss his provocatively titled book A Man’s World (UGA Press, pb., 340 pp., $23).

A Man’s World is a collection of twenty profiles of fascinating men. Written over a 40-year period for publications including Esquire, Premiere, GQ, Time, Los Angeles, and The Atlanta Journal & Constitution Magazine, the stories bring to life the famous (Harrison Ford), the brilliant (Robert Penn Warren), the tortured (Gregg Allman), and the unknown (Chris Leon, a 20-year-old Marine Corps corporal killed in the Iraq war).

Although Oney has written about many other subjects during his career (his first book, And the Dead Shall Rise, is an epic exploration of an infamous criminal case), he realized early that he was interested in how men face challenges and cope with success and failure. He was drawn to fighters, creators, actors, and desperadoes, seeing in their struggles something of his own. His agent, an ardent feminist, urged him to collect the best of his articles in a book. A Man’s World is the result.

Steve Oney is the author of And the Dead Shall Rise, winner of the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, and the National Jewish Book Award. He was educated at the University of Georgia and at Harvard, where he was a Nieman Fellow. He now lives in Los Angeles.

Events and Signings

Sat., June 1 Piccolo Fiction

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

Tues., June 4 Captain Lee, Running Against the Tide

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

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

Tues., June 11Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw, Songs of America

Wed., June 12 Jennifer Pastiloff, On Being Human

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

Tues., June 25 Daniel Brook, The Accident of Color at Grace Church Cathedral

Tues., July 9 Joshua Becker, The Minimalist Home

Wed., July 17 Deborah Burns, Saturday’s Child

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

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

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