Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Holy Spirits! Happy Hour with Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell, Fri., July 13, 5:30 pm

Join us Fri., July 13, 5:30 pm as Charleston’s own Cocktail Bandits, Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell, will be here to launch their new book Holy Spirits! (Evening Post Books, hb., 176 pp., $35).

Holy Spirits! is the debut publication from popular beverage and hospitality bloggers Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell. The book provides readers with an overview of Charleston cocktail culture from a unique, urban perspective. Starting with the Gullah Geechee Corridor and their famous rice wine, the book segues to the current cocktail landscape of the Holy City and interviews with key members of the beverage community. Complete with signature recipes and entertaining tips, Holy Spirits! is a must-have for any libations lover.

Cocktail Bandits educate and entertain their growing audience through original cocktail recipes, promoting the craftsmanship of other bar professionals, and sharing coverage of food and beverage events around the world. Since launching in 2013, Caldwell and Reaves have hosted sold-out events at Charleston Food & Wine Festival, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and Euphoria Greenville Food, Wine & Music Festival. Listed among Imbibe Magazine’s 75 People to Watch in 2018, they have nearly 30,000 followers on social media.

They have participated as expert judges in the American Craft Spirit Competition, First Annual Fried Chicken Challenge, and Charleston Fashion Week’s Top Cocktail Competition. Cocktail Bandits have also been featured in press outlets such as Sirius XM Radio online, NBC BLK online, Metro UK online, Style Me Pretty Online, Cuisine Noir MagazineBlack Southern Belle Magazine, National PBS’ “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking TV,” ESSENCE Magazine, and several other regional publications.


The Millennial’s Guide to Changing the World with Allison Sher, Thurs., July 12, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., July 12, 5:30 pm as journalist and blogger Alison Sher will be here to discuss her new book The Millennial’s Guide to Changing the World (Skyhorse, pb., 288 pp., $15).

The Millennial’s Guide to Changing the World is a one-of-a-kind ethnographic study on the spotlighted millennial generation, as told by millennials―the largest generation in U.S. history that is now transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. As millennials embark on a young adult quest during a frightening time, how can they enlist the idealism, values, and resistance politics they are so well-known for to discover a sense of self and purpose?

With intimate stories, ethnographic research, and practical tips, The Millennial’s Guide to Changing the World will inspire every young person, showing them how to optimize their coming-of-age potential in a world that desperately needs it.

Alison Lea Sher is a journalist, biographer, creative writer, and millennial expert. She collaborates with companies across the U.S. to pioneer socially-minded startups and nonprofits by aligning their initiatives with millennial perspectives. She is the editor-in-chief of Best Chefs America, and her articles can be found in places like The Huffington Post and the City Paper. In her spare time, Alison records avant-garde poetry albums about life, death, and preservation and the pursuit for political, interpersonal, and psychological liberation.


Events and Signings

Tues., Sept. 18 — Reese Witherspoon at the Gaillard

Fri., Sept. 21Author Luncheon for Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Celebrate Pat Conroy

Sat., Sept. 22 — Archive: SC Poetry Since 2005

Fri., Sept. 28 Author Luncheon with Gigi Wilson, Fun and Simple Gourmet

Sat., Sept. 29 F. Rutledge Hammes, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings

Fri., Oct. 5 Author Luncheon with Diane Chamberlain, The Dream Daughter

Mon., Oct. 8 Elin Hilderbrand, Winter in Paradise

Thurs., Oct. 11 Jason Ryan, Race to Hawaii at Charleston County Public Library

Sat., Oct. 20Busy Philipps, This Will Only Hurt a Little , Charleston Museum

Wed., Oct. 24 Jacqueline Friedland, Trouble the Waters

Thurs., Oct. 25 Nina Collins, What Would Virginia Woolf Do?

Fri., Oct. 26 GennaRose Nethercott, The Lumberjack’s Dove

Sat., Oct. 27 — Author Luncheon with Patti Callahan, Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Sat., Oct. 27 Tim Pakron, Mississippi Vegan 

Tue., Oct. 30 Joseph Kelly, Marooned: Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America’s Origin

Fri. & Sat., Nov. 9-10 YALLFest!

Secrets of the Southern Table with Virginia Willis, Fri., June 22 6 pm

Join us Fri., June 22, 6 pm as chef Virginia Willis, winner of a James Beard Award, will be here to discuss her new cookbook Secrets of the Southern Table (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pb., 336 pp., $30).

In Secrets of the Southern Table, award-winning chef and cookbook author Virginia Willis takes you on a tour of today’s South—a region rich in history and cultural diversity. With her signature charm and wit, Virginia shares many well-known Southern recipes like Pimento Cheese Tomato Herb Pie and “Cathead” Biscuits, but also some surprising revelations drawn from the area’s many global influences, like Catfish Tacos with Avocado Crema, Mississippi-Style Char Siu Pork Tenderloin, and Greek Okra and Tomatoes. In addition to the recipes, Virginia profiles some of the diverse chefs, farmers, and other culinary influencers who are shaping contemporary Southern cuisine. Together, these stories and the delicious recipes that accompany them celebrate the rich and ever-evolving heritage of Southern cooking.

A popular Southern food authority and writer, Virginia is the author of six cookbooks, including the James Beard Award-winning Lighten Up, Y’all. She’s an editor-at-large for Southern Living and writes the regular column “Cooking with Virginia” for, focusing on fresh and seasonal food. She has also been featured in Country LivingHouse Beautiful, and USA Today. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Perfect Day with Cokie Berenyi, Wed., June 20, 5:30 pm — CANCELLED

Join us Wed., June 20, 5:30 pm as Charleston local Cokie Berenyi, the founder and CEO of Alphavest, will be here to discuss her new book Perfect Day (Morgan James Publishing, pb., 214 pp., $17).

From work with her clients over the past decade as a financial advisor, Cokie Berenyi has developed a system that is the surefire cure to Lifestyle Deficit Disorder. Her simple-to-follow plan outlined in Perfect Day provides the framework you need to create more Perfect Days. In warm, accessible language and engaging anecdotes, Cokie Berenyi takes you on a journey of self-actualization, helping you design your Perfect Day Pyramid, uncover and avoid your “wobble” and build a life-centered business, not a business-centered life.

Perfect Days are not hard–let Cokie teach you how to craft and simply execute more Perfect Days.

Cokie Berenyi has been in financial services and serving the needs of individual and institutional clients and entrepreneurs since 1996. Founder of Alphavest, an industry pioneer that is right-sizing Wall Street one client at a time, Cokie inspires investors and entrepreneurs at-large with her vision and storytelling of her many experiences leading clients through the financial and work-life-balance maze. Author of the Liberated Investor (, a 40 under 40 recipient and Woman CEO of the Year 2012, Cokie is currently climbing the 7 Summits of the world and beat Stephen Colbert in the Charleston to Bermuda race in 2011.

Author Luncheon with Rick Bragg, The Best Cook in the World, Mon., June 25, 12 pm

Join us Mon., June 25, 12 pm for lunch at Halls Signature Events (5 Faber St.), as Rick Bragg discusses and signs his new book The Best Cook in the World (Deckle Edge, hb., 512 pp., $29). Tickets are $62 for the three-course luncheon and a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

About the book: Margaret Bragg does not own a single cookbook. She measures in “dabs” and “smidgens” and “tads” and “you know, hon, just some.” But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes, corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, chicken and dressing, biscuits and butter rolls. Many of her recipes, recorded here for the first time, pre-date the Civil War, handed down skillet by skillet, from one generation of Braggs to the next. In The Best Cook in the World, Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother’s cooking and education, from childhood into old age. Because good food always has a good story, and a recipe, writes Bragg, is a story like anything else.

About the author: Rick Bragg is the author of seven books, including the best-selling All Over but the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man. He is also a regular contributor to Garden & Gun magazine. He lives in Alabama.

Bring It! Book Launch Party with Ali Rosen, Sat., June 16, 12 pm

Join us Sat., June 16, 12 pm as we throw the local launch party for Ali Rosen‘s new cookbook Bring It! (Running Press, hp., 240 pp., $25).

The word “potluck” may inspire memories of church dinners and mystery covered dishes. But today’s potlucks are essentially outsourced dinner parties, which make gathering around a shared table a cinch. Inside Bring It!, you will find dozens of impressive-looking recipes that come together easily, and are perfect for carrying to any occasion.

Each of Ali’s recipe includes a note called “How to Bring It,” for make-ahead, reheating, and transport instructions. Flavors are designed for maximum impact, but won’t take hours to cook, or require special ingredients. Have dinner with the neighbors, sit down to a picnic in the park, or bring a dish to the school luncheon. They come together easily, hold well, and travel beautifully. They’ll have you rethinking the potluck.

Ali is the founder and host of Potluck with Ali Rosen, a television show and website dedicated to sharing the best and brightest in food. Potluck airs on NYC Life and its videos have appeared on HuffPost, Edible, and People. Ali was chosen for the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 for Food & Drink. She has written for Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Fodor’s, and Refinery 29. Originally from Charleston, she now lives in New York City.

Author Luncheon with Mary Alice Monroe, Beach House Reunion, Fri., June 15, 12 pm

Join us Fri., June 15, 12 pm for lunch at Halls Signature Events (5 Faber St.), as Mary Alice Monroe discusses and signs her new book Beach House Reunion (Gallery Books, hb., 400 pp., $26). Tickets are $32 for the three-course luncheon, or $58 to add a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

In Beach House Reunion, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family’s enduring love. Three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. She has received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Book Award for Green Fiction. An active conservationist, she lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

School Integration: Past and Present, Sun., May 20, 4 pm

Sun, May, 20, 4 pm, Blue Bicycle Books presents a special mini-symposium on School Integration: Past and Present. Join us for a look at five decades of integration, from groundbreaking heroes of the 60s, through busing in the 70s and 80s, to present-day schools like James Simons and Charlotte’s Shamrock Gardens.

420 King St, downtown Charleston. Free and open to the public. For more information please call 843.722.2666.

Featured speakers:

Pamela Grundy, author of Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Education Equality.

Rachel Devlin, author of A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women who Desegregated America’s Schools.

Millicent Brown, professor at Claflin University, who as a young woman desegregated Rivers High School on Upper King Street, featured in A Girl Stands in the Door.

Color and Character (UNC Press, hb., 248 pp., $26) tells the story of West Charlotte High School. The historically black school was integrated through Charlotte’s busing program in the early seventies, when white students from some of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods were reassigned. For two decades, West Charlotte was a national model for integration, excelling in academics, arts, debate and athletics. 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 historian, author, and activist. She is also the author of the award-winning Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina. She blogs about her children’s experience at Shamrock Gardens Elementary, one of the many high-poverty, high-minority schools created as Charlotte dismantled its celebrated busing program, at

In A Girl Stands at the Door (Basic Books, hb., 384 pp., $20) 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, where she teaches courses on women, gender, sexuality, and childhood. She is the recipient of numerous grants, from the American Academy of Learned Societies and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute among others.

Dr. Millicent Brown is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor of History in the Department of History and Sociology at Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC)., and serves as Principal Investigator for the “Somebody Had to Do It” Project. She has a B.A. from the College of Charleston, a Master’s of Education from The Citadel and a Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History from Florida State University, but credits a transformative year as a Ph.D. student at Howard University for cementing her academic attachment to issues of race, gender and class struggle.




Piccolo Spoleto Event with Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts, Denmark Vesey’s Garden, Fri., June 8, 5 pm

Join us Fri., June 8, 5 pm as Professors Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts will be here to discuss their new book Denmark Vesey’s Garden (The New Press, hb., 464 pp., $29).

A book that strikes at the source of the recent flare-ups over Confederate symbols in Charlottesville, New Orleans, and elsewhere, Denmark Vesey’s Garden reveals the deep roots of these controversies and traces them to the capital of slavery in the United States: Charleston, South Carolina, where almost half of the slaves brought to the U.S. stepped onto our shores, where the first shot at Fort Sumter began the Civil War, and where Dylann Roof murdered nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, which was co-founded by Denmark Vesey, a black revolutionary who plotted a massive slave insurrection in 1822.

As early as 1865, former slaveholders and their descendants began working to construct a romanticized memory of the antebellum South. In contrast, former slaves, their descendants, and some white allies have worked to preserve an honest, unvarnished account of slavery as the cruel system it was.

Examining public rituals, controversial monuments, and competing musical traditions, Denmark Vesey’s Garden tracks these two rival memories from the Civil War to recent decades—when a segregated tourism industry reflecting these opposing visions of the past took hold in the popular vacation destination. Denmark Vesey’s Garden exposes a hidden dimension of America’s deep racial divide, joining the small bookshelf of major, paradigm-shifting interpretations of slavery’s enduring legacy in the United States.

Ethan J. Kytle is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno. The co-author, with Blain Roberts, of Denmark Vesey’s Garden (The New Press) and the author of Romantic Reformers and the Antislavery Struggle in the Civil War Era, he lives in Fresno, California.

Blain Roberts is a professor of history at California State University, Fresno. The co-author, with Ethan J. Kytle, of Denmark Vesey’s Garden (The New Press) and the author of Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women, she lives in Fresno, California.