Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Author Luncheon with Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Pastor Stat, Fri., Sept. 15, 12 pm

Join us Fri., Sept. 15, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Arthur Ravenel, Jr. discusses his novel Pastor Stat (Evening Post Books, hb., 240 pp., $29). Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $60 including a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

About the book: A sermon to preach, a blockade to breach and an unlikely crew to get him there. Pastor Stat chronicles the journey of Vedder Oberstat, a Huguenot pastor en route to Charleston, ready to take his place at the pulpit. But nobody said it was going to be easy. Set at the start of the Civil War, the colorful cast of characters is taken on a death-defying ride as the budding tensions between North and South manifest.

About the author: Arthur Ravenel, Jr. was born in Charleston, S.C. in 1927. Raised in St. Andrews Parish, he attended schools there and then the College of Charleston on the GI bill after service in the Marine Corps. Graduating in 1950, he worked for WestVaco before starting a home improvement firm which led him into real estate, construction and agriculture.

Always interested in politics, he has served 32 years as an elected official including both houses of the S.C. General Assembly, the U.S. Congress and a term on the Charleston County School Board which, he claims, was his toughest job.

For many years, he has been active in the revitalization of the Huguenot Church. He wrote Pastor Stat in 1982 for his own amusement but never pursued its publication until now.

Invictus Release Party with Ryan Graudin, Tues., Sept. 26, 5 pm

Join us Tues., Sept. 26, 5 pm as we celebrate the release of Invictus, the latest novel by Ryan Graudin, a very popular young adult novelist and Charleston native.

Invictus introduces us to a time-travelling bandit named Farway Gaius McCarthy. The son of a time traveler from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in ancient Rome, Far’s very existence defies the laws of nature. All he’s ever wanted was to explore history for himself. But after failing his entrance exam into the government program, Far will have to settle for a position on the black market, captaining a crew to steal valuables from the past.
During a routine heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl named Eliot who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Eliot has secrets–big ones–that will affect Far’s life from beginning to end. Armed with the knowledge that history is not as steady as it seems, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to set things right before the clock runs out.

Click here to pre-order a signed copy of Invictus.

Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, SC with a severe case of wanderlust. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy photographing weddings, writing, and spending time with her husband and wolf-dog. She is the author of The Walled City, Wolf by Wolf, Blood for Blood, and Invictus.

Bliss at Blue Bicycle Books, Thurs., Sept. 7, 5 pm

Coming up on Thurs., Sept. 7, at 5 pm we will be joined by two authors from the Bliss Spiritual Coop in Mount Pleasant.  Kristy Dominiak and Christina Ann Sullivan will be here to talk about and sign their books.

On the outside, Kristy Dominiak appeared to have a seemingly perfect life—a devoted husband, three healthy children, financial stability, recognition in the community, and a beautiful, lakeside home with the proverbial white picket fence. But inside, she was falling apart. Inside, she was waging war against personal demons that were looking to take everything she held precious away from her. When a decision of poor judgment shook her from her moral pedestal, Kristy began to question her entire existence and spiraled uncontrollably into the darkest parts of her psyche. The Shaken Snow Globe documents Kristy’s courageous journey to rediscover her life’s purpose, recognize her true identity, salvage her soul, and, ultimately, answer the question, “Who am I?”

Christina Ann Sullivan is passionate about being of service. She feels she has lived many lives within this one lifetime, and that those wide-ranging experiences—including childhood abuse, substance abuse, and dysfunctional relationships—allow her to be compassionate, relatable, and knowledgeable while remaining non-judgmental. Christina is a Denise Linn Certified Soul Coach, Reiki Master, Certified Medicinal Aromatherapist, Spiritual Mentor, Author, and Speaker. She believes her mission is to help her clients access their souls and deepen their relationship with God while exploring a relationship with Jesus through the awakening of their Christ Consciousness and transform their lives on all levels—mind, body, and spirit.

Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, film screening at Charleston Music Hall, Tues., Oct. 3, 6:30 pm

Tues., Oct. 3, at 6:30 pm, the Charleston Music Hall, Lowcountry Local First, Grow Food Carolina, Lowcountry Street Grocery & Blue Bicycle Books are excited to present a film screening of Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. Marcus Amaker, the City of Charleston’s first Poet Laureate, will open the evening with a spoken word performance. Tickets are only $5.

Get tickets here.

Wendell Berry, writer, poet, teacher, farmer, and outspoken citizen of an endangered world, gives us a compelling vision of the good and true life. Passionate, eloquent, and painfully articulate, in more than fifty works – novels, short stories, poems and essays — he celebrates a life lived in close communion with neighbors and the earth while addressing many of our most urgent cultural problems.

With Look & See, Berry tells the stories of several residents of Henry County, Kentucky who each face difficult choices that will dramatically reshape their relationship with the land and their community. Rather than train the lens on Berry himself, as would be an expected and more typical approach, Look & See allows Berry, in a sense, to point the camera toward the stories and landscapes he would have us regard: the stories of small generational farmers in Henry County as a way to better understand the struggles, hopes and vital importance of rural land-based communities.

The Best of Us with Joyce Maynard, Wed., Sept. 6, 8:45 am

Join us bright and early on Wed., Sept. 6, at 8:45 am, as journalist and popular fiction writer Joyce Maynard discusses her new memoir The Best of Us (Bloomsbury, hb., 448 pp., $27). You can skip breakfast, because we’ll be bringing coffee and pastries to help pep everyone up.
In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple–to be a true partner and to have one.
Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce’s return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.
Joyce Maynard is the author of sixteen books including the novels To Die For and Labor Day (both adapted for film) and the bestselling memoir At Home in the World, translated into seventeen languages. Her essays and stories have appeared in dozens of publications and numerous collections. She has been a frequent performer with The Moth, a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and founder of the Lake Atitlan Writers’ Workshop. She makes her home in Lafayette, California.

BevCon Author Reading Party, Thurs., Aug. 24, 7 pm

Join us Thurs. Aug. 24, 7 pm at Leon’s Oyster Shop (688 King St.), for an entertaining evening with some of the country’s top beverage writers as they share excerpts from their most recent or upcoming work. The inimitable Gary Crunkleton will serve as MC and drinks will be flowing. Books by the authors will also be available for sale.
 Featured Readers:
  • Brad Thomas Parsons
  • David Wondrich
  • Hanna Raskin
  • Jon Bonne
  • Kara Newman
  • Megan Krigbaum
  • Matt Lee
  • Paul Clarke
  • Robert Simonson
  • Talia Baiocchi
  • Wayne Curtis

The Cage-maker, with Nicole Seitz, Tues., Aug. 15, 5 pm

Join us Tues., Aug. 15, 5 pm as Nicole Seitz discusses and signs her new novel The Cage-maker (Story River Books, hb., 248 pp., $28).

Bringing the New Orleans of the late 1800s and early 1900s vividly to life, Nicole’s novel unfolds as a series of letters, journal entries, and newspaper articles discovered in the secret compartment of an enormous and exquisitely detailed birdcage that Trish, a twenty-first-century blogger, has inherited from a heretofore unknown relative. As she peruses the documents, Trish finds herself irresistibly drawn into the history of her family―a tale that is, as one letter puts it, “part love story and part horror and madness.”

The Cage-maker is based on stories Nicole unearthed while researching her own family’s history in New Orleans. Featuring illustrations by the author, this engrossing epistolary novel offers fresh twists on the Southern Gothic genre. It reveals much about criminal justice, about early-twentieth-century notions of care for the mentally ill, and, most important, about the many ways in which the weight of history hangs over the present from one generation to the next.

Nicole Seitz is the author of six previous novels, including, most recently, Beyond Molasses Creek and The Inheritance of Beauty. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.F.A. in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives in Charleston, where she teaches art and summer workshops for creative writing and illustration.

Author Luncheon with Kate Fagan, What Made Maddy Run, Fri., Aug. 18, 12 pm

Join us Fri., Aug. 18, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Kate Fagan discusses her new book What Made Maddy Run (Little, Brown, 320 pp., $27). Kate will be in conversation with well-known health writer and yoga teacher Kathryn Budig. Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $58 including a signed copy of the book.

Tickets on sale here.

From noted on-air commentator and sports journalist Kate Fagan comes the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Maddy Holleran, whose suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today.

What Made Maddy Run began as a piece that Kate wrote for espnW. What started as a profile of a successful young athlete whose life ended in suicide became so much larger as Kate heard from other college athletes also grappling with mental illness. This is the story of Maddy Holleran and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressure young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for espnW, and ESPN The Magazine. She is a regular panelist on Around the Horn and can also be seen on Outside the LinesFirst Take and His & Hers. She is the author of a memoir, The Reappearing Act, and co-host of the espnW podcast, Free Cookies.  A former varsity basketball player at the University of Colorado, she gave the 2017 commencement address at her alma mater. Kate lives in Brooklyn with her girlfriend Kathryn Budig, and their two dogs.


Kathryn Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and author known for her accessibility, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, “aim true.” She is a warrior for self-acceptance, honesty, and helping her students and readers find true balance. The Kansas native graduated from the University of Virginia with a double degree in English and Drama before moving to Los Angeles, where she trained under the tutelage of Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller. She now lives in Brooklyn, with Kate.


Gumbo Love with Lucy Buffett, Thurs., July 20, 5 pm

Join us Thurs., July 20, 5 pm as Lucy Buffett tells the stories behind the recipes in her new cookbook Gumbo Love (Grand Central, hb., 336 pp., $30).

Since she was a young girl, Lucy has believed in the power of gumbo–the stirring, the transformation of the roux, the simple ingredients cooking up into something much better than just the sum of its parts. It’s only fitting that she signs her name with “Gumbo Love.” Her new cookbook is a labor of love that includes recipes from all over the Gulf Coast. The dishes incorporate Caribbean, Cajun, Cuban, Mexican, Old Florida, and Creole influences. Through her collection of recipes Lucy proves that the Gulf Coast has its own distinct flavors and traditions that make it a treasured culinary destination in its own right.
Incorporating stories from Lucy’s childhood growing up in Mobile, Alabama, adventures traveling the seas as a cook, time spent working as a chef in New Orleans, and her philosophy of relaxation, gratitude, and seizing the day, this cookbook entertains and inspires as it serves up recipe after recipe, each tastier than the last.

The Lowcountry Coloring Book, with Melissa Conroy, Thurs., July 27, 5 pm

Join us Thurs., July 27, 5 pm as Melissa Conroy will talk about and sign copies of The Lowcountry Coloring Book (Algonquin, pb., 96 pp., $12).

Melissa Conroy immerses readers in the graceful, haunting beauty of the South, from the stately mansions and intricate gardens of Charleston and Savannah to spots farther off the beaten path, such as the forest where the ruins of Old Sheldon Church stand, ancient and crumbling among the greenery; and the seashore, where shrimp boats find anchorage and the vanishing islands are home to sharks, alligators, monkeys, and egrets, but also to houses on stilts, half torn away by the tides and time. She also introduces local history and folklore, whether it’s in the Haint Blue Houses, painted a bright shade to keep away bad spirits, or the Waving Girl of Savannah statue, a tribute to the child who waved to all of the ships that sailed from the harbor.

As an added bonus, Melissa has created a technique wherein the drawings can be placed in a four-square pattern to create one larger piece of art. So, four 8-inch-by-8-inch drawings can be removed from the book and framed together to form a larger artwork measuring 16 inches by 16 inches.

Melissa Conroy grew up in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and every summer she returns with sketchbook in hand. She has MAs from the University of Georgia and Philadelphia University, in painting and textile design, and a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently she lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and son. She is a part-time faculty member in the Textile Design Department at Philadelphia University.

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