Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

For posterity — February newsletter

For posterity (March issue coming soon)

Welcome to the February issue of Yes, It’s a Real Cat

the newsletter of Blue Bicycle Books, Used, Rare and Local. 420 King Street , Charleston

In this issue:

  1. Story time with Marjory Wentworth – Sat. 2/21
  2. Authors’ luncheon recap
  3. Recent acquisitions
  4. Summer camp dates are set
  5. On the inaugural poem
  6. Happy hour booksigning – Wed. 2/18


Kids’ story hour this Saturday morning

Marjory Wentworth, S.C. poet laureate, and Leslie Pratt-Thomas, illustrator, will sign copies of their children’s book, Shackles, Sat., Feb. 21, 11 am to 1 pm. Join us on the carpet at 11:30 for a story time reading with juice boxes, snacks and a raffle to win a free copy of the book.

Countless enslaved Africans were quarantined on Sullivan’s Island after the Middle Passage. Shackles is a true story of Marjory’s sons digging up manacles in their backyard. It’s an uplifting and poignant vignette of growing up in a beach town where history is as permeating as the sea air and sounds. (And we personally think it’s going to become a local classic.)


Authors’ luncheon

Anne Rivers Siddons and Nicole Seitz kicked off our authors’ luncheon series with a sell-out crowd at Fish Restaurant on Feb. 6. Nicole spoke about her father’s experience in Vietnam , the inspiration for her third novel A Hundred Years of Happiness. Anne, who paved the way for a lot of modern Southern women writers, read from Off Season (her 17th novel) and said she was well into her career when her mother told her “You know, you could still get your teaching certificate.”


Recent acquisitions:

1. Speaking of these sorts of talks, we recently came across a transcript of “Recent Southern Fiction: A Panel Discussion,” moderated by Louis Rubin. On the panel: Katherine Anne Porter and Flannery O’Connor. (1960, pb., 16 pp. Very rare. One online sells for $200. Our price: $95.) (Sold)

2. The Boo by Pat Conroy. First edition, first printing. No dust jacket. Citadel-blue cloth-covered boards. $995.

3. A number of children’s picture books from diverse cultures, including Egyptian, Irish, Chinese and Cambodian versions of the Cinderella story. ($7 – $20)

4. All Known Metal Bands, compiled and edited by Dan Nelson. A cousin to Maya Lin’s wall, this black-paged book lists more than 50,000 rock groups in the metal genre, from …Aaaarrghh to ZZ Bottom. (McSweeney’s, hb. $22.)

Number of bands that start with or are the word “Frozen:” 56. A few include Frozen Doberman, Frozen Within Flames, and Frozn.

Bands named Redrum: 7

Notable omission: American Heritage. Their drummer is my brother’s boss.


Summer Writing Camp

Speaking of lists, we often warm up at camp by writing lists. These hobo names were inspired by John Hodgman’s The Area of My Expertise.

Pancake Face

Pickle Jar Face

Joe Lies Low

Danny the Dot

Walter Without Water

Carl Cool-Footed

Baked Bean Bill

Yellow-toothed Yuri

Duct Tape Davey

Chocolate Toes Juan

Write of Summer is back for a sixth year in the Charleston area. Find info and registration forms at All of last year’s sessions were full to capacity, so act with all due haste. And feel free to call or write me with any questions.


My response to the inaugural poem? It’s at


Come join us at Fish Restaurant, 442 King, 6:30 Wed. night. (Feb. 18), as Danny Crooks signs and discusses his book, On the Eve of the Charleston Renaissance: The George W. Johnson Photographs, which captures black Americana and Charleston a half-century after the Civil War.


Until next time, I am yours,

Chocolate Toes Juan

Jonathan Sanchez

Write of Summer — a camp for kids in Charleston and Orlando

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