Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Pat Conroy and Catherine Seltzer Talk and Signing, Sat., May. 9

Join us, Sat., May. 9, 1 pm, as Pat Conroy and Catherine Seltzer discuss and sign copies of Seltzer’s book, Understanding Pat Conroy (USC Press, hb., 160 pp., $40). Tickets are $55 and include a hardback copy signed by Conroy and Seltzer.

Buy tickets here.

This fun and lively discussion of the autobiographical and creative impulses that drive Conroy’s writing life will take place at the Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., downtown Charleston.  A book signing at nearby Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., will follow the talk. 

Can’t make it? Pre-order signed copies of Understanding Pat Conroy plus all of Pat’s books here.


About the book: A must-have for all Conroy collectors, this is the first book of criticism written on the leading figure of late-twentieth-century Southern literature. Understanding Pat Conroy editor Catherine Seltzer engages in an in-depth consideration of Conroy and his work, employing his biography to illuminate many of the themes and characters that define both his work and the Southern literary tradition he helped build. Conroy has written eleven books: novels, memoirs, an essay collection, a cookbook; but Seltzer’s is the first in-depth study of his life and work. 

“Pat Conroy is the only writer I know who is as passionate about rage as he is about tenderness, and that is what Catherine Seltzer’s profoundly insightful book tells us.”—Terry Kay

Understanding Pat Conroy is full of intelligence and insights that will deepen any reader’s comprehension and appreciation of Conroy’s works.”—Katherine Clark


Catherine Seltzer is an associate professor of English and women’s studies at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, is the author of Elizabeth Spencer’s Complicated Cartographies: Reimagining Home, the South, and Southern Literary Production.


How will the signing work?

Before the event, all ticket holders will also receive, via e-mail, a signing ticket with your group number on it. Groups will be determined based on order of purchase (i.e. tickets purchased in March are in first groups). Groups will be admitted to the signing every hour. You must have a ticket to atttend the signing.

Can I get my copy of Understanding Pat Conroy inscribed?


Can I buy other Conroy books to be signed?

Hardback copies of all of Conroy’s books as well as additional copies of Understanding Pat Conroy will be available for purchase.

Can I bring my own Pat Conroy book?

You may bring one (1) total outside book total for Pat to sign.

I don’t want to wait in line, can I still get a signed book?

Yes, you can pre-order signed copies here. We are unable to make personal inscriptions for pre-ordered books.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Yes, plus the email with your signing grouping.




Charleston Insider’s Weekend, Mary Alice Monroe & Margaret Thornton, Fri. May 1

Come meet Charleston authors Mary Alice Monroe (The Summer Girls) and Margaret Thornton (Charleston) at a special book signing and champagne and Holy City Beers tasting as a part of the Charleston Insider’s Weekend.charlestoninsiderweekend


Margaret Thornton -- author photoCharleston a novel by Thornton -- jacket cover

Margaret Bradham Thornton is the editor of Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, for which she received the Bronze ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award for Autobiography/Memoir and the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Paris Review, World Literature Today, The Seattle Review, Theatre History Studies, and The Times Literary Supplement. She is a native of Charleston, a graduate of Princeton University, and currently resides in Florida.

mary alice monroe 2014 for webthesummersend

Mary Alice Monroe is the author of nearly two dozen novels, several non-fiction titles, and children’s books. Her body of work reflects her commitment to the natural world through literature.  Monroe has served on the faculty of numerous writer’s conferences and retreats.  She is a featured speaker at events, both literary and conservation.  Known for her intimate portrayals of women’s lives, Mary Alice Monroe’s writing gained added purpose and depth with her books set in the Lowcountry.  An active environmentalist, Monroe draws themes for her novels from nature and the parallels with human nature, thus drawing attention to various endangered species and the human connection to the natural world.

Kwame Alexander, The Crossover. Newbery Medal Celebration, Tues., May 5.

Join us, Tues., May 5, at 5 pm as we celebrate Kwame Alexander, winner of the Newbery Medal for The Crossover (HMH, hb., 240 pp., $17).



“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering, ” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Kwame Alexander is a poet and author of eighteen books. His other works include the award-winning children’s picture book Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, recently optioned as a children’s television show, and the Junior Library Selection, “He Said She Said,” a YA novel. Alexander believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his Book-in-a-Day literacy program which has created more than 3,000 student authors at 69 schools. Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded. 

James Scott, Target Tokyo, April 16th, pre-order now!

Pre-order your copy of local author James Scott’s Target Tokyo (WW Norton, hb, 672 pp, $35) now! 


Based on scores of never-before-published records drawn from archives across four continents as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order: a harrowing adventure story that also serves as a pivotal reexamination of one of America’s most daring military operations.

In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of daredevil pilot Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way mission to pummel the enemy’s factories, refineries, and dockyardsand then escape to Free China. For Roosevelt, the raid was a propaganda victory, a potent salve to heal a wounded nation. In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians—including children—military leaders launched an ill-fated attempt to seize Midway that would turn the tide of the war. But it was the Chinese who suffered the worst, victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives and saw families drowned in wells, entire towns burned, and communities devastated by bacteriological warfare.james_scott

James Scott is an award-winning writer and former reporter and investigative journalist with The Post and CourierScott is a recipient of the McClatchy Company President’s Award and was named the 2003 Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association. Wofford College honored Scott as its 2005 Young Alumnus of the Year. From 2006-2007 he was a Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University. In additon to Target Tokyo, Scott is the author of The Attack on the Liberty,  which won the prestigious 2010 Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Excellence in Naval Literature, and The War Below, both with Simon & Schuster. He is at work on a fourth book on the February 1945 Battle for Manila.  Scott lives with his wife and two children in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Clay Rice returns to BBB April 2!

Renowned silhouette artist Clay Rice will be back at Blue Bicycle Books Thurs., April. 2, 3–6 pm.  He will be cutting silhouettes and signing his books, The Lonely Shadow (hb., $17.95), The Stick (hb,. $16.95), Mama Let’s Make a Moon (hb, $16.95).

Clay Rice -- silhouette artist -- with Kid
Clay Rice with kid for rite aidTaught by his grandfather, Carew Rice, Clay is a 21st century folk artist and Lowcountry treasure. Just watching him cut a child’s silhouette in under five minutes is a performance in itself. You’ll be amazed when he captures a recognizable profile of your squirming two-year-old in less time than it takes to get her shoes on. His national touring schedule keeps him on the road often, cutting more than 10,000 children’s silhouettes a year, so events back home in Charleston are rare!

clayricesillPersonal silhouettes start at $42 for two copies. We expect slots to fill up quickly; to book an appointment, please call us at 843.722.2666. 

Bill Thompson, Art & Craft. Thurs., Apr. 23.

Join us, Thurs., Apr. 23, 5-7 p.m. as Bill Thompson, signs copies of his new book, Art and Craft. (USC, pb., 304 pp $25). 



Art and Craft presents the hand-picked fruit of Bill Thompson’s three decades covering writers and writing as book review editor of the Post and Courier. Beginning with a foreword by Charleston novelist Josephine Humphreys, this collection is a compendium of interviews featuring some of the most distinguished novelists and nonfiction writers in America and abroad, including Tom Wolfe, Pat Conroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Bragg, and Anthony Bourdain, as well as many South Carolinians. With ten thematic sections ranging from the Southern Renaissance, literature, biography, and travel writing to crime fiction and Civil War history, Art and Craft also includes a sampling of Thompson’s reviews.


Bill Thompson was a book review editor, film critic and columnist, arts writer, and travel writer for the Post and Courier from 1980 to 2012. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former sportswriter in Virginia and Florida, he has won numerous awards for his writing. In his retirement Thompson frequently reviews and writes for Kirkus Reviews, the Post and Courier, and Charleston Style and Design. He lives in Charleston.

Sara Peck, Here You Are & 17th Annual Bridge Run Show. Thurs., Mar. 26th

The 17th Annual Bridge Run Show is back Thurs., March 26, 7:30 pm. Every year, just before the big race, author and store proprietor Jonathan Sanchez reads a sometimes-running-themed story.

 jon reading hand moving jerry camera sara07

And this year we’re very excited to also be celebrating the release of store manager Sara Peck’s 2nd volume of poetry Here You Are (Horseless Press, pb, $14), co-written with Jared Joseph. Check it out here
This book presents a clutch of lyric contacts, tenderness leaping like a spark across synapses to nest in in a thread of phrases. Here affinity, separateness, loneliness, compatibility, and the sense of being attuned to another send up a quiet array of small-scale yet endearing effects. A playful duet for the End of Time, or for Miller Time.   –Joyelle McSweeney
sara07 (2)You all know Sara, but just in case. Sara Peck lives in Charleston. She is the store manager here at Blue Bicycle Books, a teacher, tutor, poet, and all around rad human being. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago. Her other book of poetry, Yr Lad, Bob is also available for purchase.

Bernie Schein, Famous All Over Town. Thurs., Mar. 19.

Join us, Thurs., Mar. 19, 5-7 pm as Bernie Schein, signs copies of his new book, Famous All Over Town. (USC, hb., 320 pp $30). 


Novelist Walker Percy once said that the only remaining unexplored territory in Southern literature was the Jewish southerner. Famous all over Town, the first novel from Southern storyteller Bernie Schein, stakes a claim on Percy’s unexplored terrain with a comically candid multi-generational account of two Jews, a lowcountry native and a Northern transplant, at the epicenter of momentous events in the sleepy southern coastal hamlet of Somerset, a fictitious stand-in for Schein’s native Beaufort.

Schein’s diverse and memorable cast includes Southern Jewish lawyer Murray Gold and his foil, displaced New York psychiatrist Bert Levy; emotionally scarred USMC drill sergeant Jack McGowan and his alluring and unconventional wife, Mary Beth; corrupt and adulterous sheriff Hoke Cooley, his deeply conservative wife, Regina, and their violent son, Boonie; African American madam and later city councilwoman Lila Trulove (also Hoke’s mistress), her brilliant daughter, Elizabeth, and her conflicted Harvard-bound son, Driver; fallen Southern belle turned voice of a generation Arlanne Palmer; remorseful Vietnam veteran and flamboyant transvestite Royal Cunningham; and inspirational schoolteacher Pat Conroy. Famous all over Town also uses its web of interconnected storylines to make its setting, the town itself, a central character with a personality and an arc as complete as that of any other member of the deftly rendered cast.


Bernie Schein is the author of If Holden Caulfield Were in My Classroom: Inspiring Love, Creativity, and Intelligence in Middle School Kids and, with his wife, Martha Schein, coauthor of Open Classrooms in the Middle School. He holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University with an emphasis in educational psychology. A forty-year veteran of middle school instruction and administration, Schein has served as the principal of schools in Mississippi and South Carolina and helped found the independent Paideia School in Atlanta, where he was honored as Atlanta’s District Teacher of the Year in 1978. His stories and essays have appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Weekly, the Beaufort Gazette, Creative Loafing, Lowcountry Weekly, and the Mississippi Educational Advance, and he has been interviewed on National Public Radio.

Chef Jennifer Booker, Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent. Sun., Mar. 8.

Join us, Sun., Mar. 8, 3-5 pm as Chef Jennifer Booker, signs copies of her new book, Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent. (Pelican, hb., 192 pp $27). 

Layout 1

Focusing on farm-to-table ingredients, proper techniques, and pristine presentation, Chef Booker serves up a heaping helping of Southern cooking with class. Combining her Mississippi roots and French culinary training, Booker pays homage to her family’s favorite dishes by giving them a sophisticated twist. Inspired by her childhood memories, Booker creates a comforting blend of nostalgia and modernity. The stories that accompany the 135 recipes in this book will transport you to the farmhouse of Booker’s youth-amid the garden, lush with produce. Dishes such as tender Braised Short Ribs, decadent Venison Stew, and elegant Caramel Cake are sure to satisfy your family 


Booker, Chef Jennifer

Chef Jennifer Booker earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Organizational Communication from The University of Tulsa and immediately enrolled in Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee’s Culinary Arts program. There she graduated first in her class with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science-Culinary Arts. After working several years in the culinary industry Chef Jennifer was afforded the unique opportunity to earn a Cuisine de Base Certificate from Le Cordon Bleu-Paris, once again receiving top honors in her graduating class. She also volunteers her time and resources for the Africa’s Children Fund Annual Fundraiser.

Tom Turner, Palm Beach Nasty. Thurs., Feb. 19.

Join us, Thurs., Feb. 19, 5-7 pm as author Tom Turner, signs copies of his new book, Palm Beach Nasty. (Permanent Press, hb., 304 pp $30). 

Palm Beach Nastycover

Credit:Lon Kirschner

Burned out New York homicide cop, Charlie Crawford, goes south to take it slow and ends up in steamy Palm Beach, Florida. But after six months of pink and green collar crime, he’s bored out of his mind, desperate for a face-down stiff with a little rigor setting in. Palm Beach has plenty of glitz, glam and hedonism, but murder– not one in the last ten years.

Finally one Halloween night, Crawford is first on scene and finds a twenty year old male swinging from a stately banyan tree. That sets in motion colliding plots involving a billionaire with a thing for young girls, a far-reaching art scam with Crawford’s girlfriend playing a starring role and a ruthless hustler passing himself off as the long lost son of one of the richest men in town. Add to the mix, a sultry real estate broker who knows where all the bodies are buried, a gorgeous forensic cop usually one step ahead of Crawford, a Mutt and Jeff combo of stone cold killers and you’ve got Palm Beach Nasty.

Fast-paced, funny, slightly off-kilter and everything you ever wanted to know about the most scandalous town in America and its larger-than-life citizens.


Tom Turner ran a bar in Vermont after college, then moved to New York and spent time as an award-winning copywriter at several Manhattan advertising agencies. After years of post-Mad Men life, he made a radical change and got a job in commercial real estate. A few years later he ended up in Palm Beach, buying, renovating and selling houses. On the side, he wrote Palm Beach Nasty, its sequel, Palm Beach Poison, and a screenplay, Underwater. While at a wedding, he fell for the charm of Charleston and moved there. He recently completed his third novel entitled, Killing Time in Charleston.