Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


Events and Pre-orders

Tues., Sept 14 — Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche — with the Pat Conroy Literary Center

Tues., Sept 14 — Antoni Porowski, Let’s Do DinnerVirtual Release Party

Thurs., Sept 30 — Tabitha Brown, Feeding the Soul

Sun., Oct. 3 — Katie Crouch, Embassy Wife, Gervais Hagerty, In Polite Company and Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group

Wed., Oct. 20Peter Zheutlin, Spin

Tues., Oct. 26Renee Erickson, Getaway

Fri., Oct. 29 Elin Hilderbrand, Golden Girl

Sun., Oct. 31Jeff Kinney, Big Shot: Diary of a Wimpy Kid # 16 — James Island Library

Tues., Nov 2 — Hitha Palepu, We’re Speaking

Wed., Nov. 3 Carrie Morey, Hot Little Suppers

Fri., Nov. 12 & Sat., Nov. 13 YALLFest Charleston

Sat., Dec. 4Kevin Mitchell and David Sheilds, Taste the State

Thurs., Dec. 9Andrew Lawler, Under Jerusalem

Tues., Dec. 14 Georgann Eubanks, Saving the Wild South



Andrew Lawler, Under Jerusalem, Thurs., Dec. 9, 5:30 pm

 

Join historian and journalist Andrew Lawler on Thurs., December 9 at 5:30 pm for a an evening of discussion about his new book, Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City (Doubleday, 464 pp., hb., $32.50).

About the book:

In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem’s storied past.

In the century and a half since the Frenchman broke ground, Jerusalem has drawn a global cast of fortune seekers and missionaries, archaeologists and zealots, all of them eager to extract the biblical past from beneath the city’s streets and shrines. Their efforts have had profound effects, not only on our understanding of Jerusalem’s history, but on its hotly disputed present. The quest to retrieve ancient Jewish heritage has sparked bloody riots and thwarted international peace agreements. It has served as a cudgel, a way to stake a claim to the most contested city on the planet. Today, the earth below Jerusalem remains a battleground in the struggle to control the city above.

Under Jerusalem takes readers into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City. It brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. With clarity and verve, acclaimed journalist Andrew Lawler reveals how their pursuit has not only defined the conflict over modern Jerusalem, but could provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.

About the author:

Andrew Lawler is author of the bestselling The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and the acclaimed Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Smithsonian. He is a contributing writer for Science and a contributing editor for Archaeology. Lawler’s work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing.



Georgann Eubanks, Saving the Wild South — Tues., Dec. 14, 5:30 pm

Join Georgann Eubanks on Tues., December 14 at 5:30 pm to celebrate the release of her new book, Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction (University of North Carolina, 272 pp., pb., $25). 

About the book:

The American South is famous for its astonishingly rich biodiversity. In this book, Georgann Eubanks takes a wondrous trek from Alabama to North Carolina to search out native plants that are endangered and wavering on the edge of erasure. Even as she reveals the intricate beauty and biology of the South’s plant life, she also shows how local development and global climate change are threatening many species, some of which have been graduated to the federal list of endangered species.

Why should we care, Eubanks asks, about North Carolina’s Yadkin River goldenrod, found only in one place on earth? Or the Alabama canebrake pitcher plant, a carnivorous marvel being decimated by criminal poaching and a booming black market? These plants, she argues, are important not only to the natural environment but also to southern identity, and she finds her inspiration in talking with the heroes—the botanists, advocates, and conservationists young and old—on a quest to save these green gifts of the South for future generations. These passionate plant lovers caution all of us not to take for granted the sensitive ecosystems that contribute to the region’s long-standing appeal, beauty, and character.

About the author:

Georgann Eubanks is a writer and Emmy-winning documentarian. Her most recent book is The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year. She is director of the Table Rock Writers Workshop, was a founder of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and is past chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council. She lives in Carrboro, N.C.



Kevin Mitchell and David Shields — Taste the State — Sat., Dec. 4, 1 pm

Join Kevin Mitchell and David Shields on Sat., December 4 at 1 pm to celebrate the release of of their new cookbook, Taste the State: South Carolina’s Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories (University of South Carolina, 248 pp., hb., $34.99). 

About the book:

Taste the State presents the cultural histories of native ingredients and showcases the evolution of the dishes and the variety of preparations that have emerged. This is true Carolina cooking in all of its cultural depth, historical vividness, and sumptuous splendor—from the simple home cooking of sweet potato pone to Lady Baltimore cake worthy of a Charleston society banquet.

About the authors:

Kevin Mitchell is the first African American chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston in South Carolina. He has culinary arts degrees in occupational studies and management from the Culinary Institute of America and a master’s degree in southern studies from the University of Mississippi, where he studied Southern foodways, the preservation of Southern ingredients, and the history of African Americans in the culinary arts. In 2020 Mitchell was named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

David S. Shields is Carolina Distinguished Professor of the English Language and Literature Department at the University of South Carolina and the chair of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, including Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine and The Culinarians: Lives and Careers from the First Age of American Fine Dining, and the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award.



Hitha Palepu — We’re Speaking — Tues., Nov. 2, 5:30 pm

Join CEO and entrepreneur Hitha Palepu, Tues., Nov. 2, 2021, 5:30 pm for her new book, We’re Speaking: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris (Little, Brown Spark, 256 pp., hb., $22). Ms. Palepu will be joined in conversation by Charleston native model, and creative director of The Aspen Agency, Venita Aspen.

About the book:

Kamala Harris is one of our country’s most awe-inspiring political figures, dawning on a new age as the first—but not last—Black and Asian-American female Vice President. Having spent her entire career smashing glass ceilings and influencing the next generation of young women, Harris has completely redefined what it means to be a woman in politics.

About the author:

Hitha Palepu is the founder of Hitha On The Go. She grew up all over the world, but claims Philadelphia as her hometown (and her sports allegiance). In addition to running this platform, Hitha is the CEO of Rho Pharmaceuticals, which aims to deliver highly effective, affordable treatment for the leading causes of death in the United States.

Hitha is an active angel investor and advisor. Her investments include MM.LaFleur, Werk, and Rebecca Allen. Hitha also serves as an advisor to Shiffon Co and an ambassador to Heymama. She serves on the board of Sundara, a nonprofit that combines sustainability and hygiene while empowering women in India.

Hitha lives in the Upper West Side with her husband and son. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, reading, and exploring the world with her family. She cheers on the Philadelphia Eagles every Sunday in the fall and crochets while watching female-driven shows and movies, usually while wearing a face mask.

 

 



Release Party for Carrie Morey — Hot Little Suppers — Wed., Nov 3, 5 pm

Join Carrie Morey, entrepreneur behind Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and star of How She Rolls, for a biscuits, beverages and books launch of her new cookbook, Hot Little Suppers (Harper Horizon, 288 pp., hb., $35), Wed., Nov. 3, 2021, 5 pm. Carrie will be in conversation with Matt Lee co-author of Hotbox and The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, in the Blue Bicycle Books courtyard, 420 King St., downtown Charleston. Book signing to follow.

Can’t make it? Order a SIGNED Copy Here. 

Hot Little Suppers isn’t simply a book about cooking for families — it’s a guide for cooking with families. And nobody is better equipped to tackle the subject of incorporating family into the process than Carrie Morey, who grew up cooking with her mother and whose daughters have worked side-by-side with her in her kitchen and business.

Structured by seasons, the 120 recipes are divided into easy-to-prepare weeknight meals and slightly-more-involved weekend dishes. From a tangy Thai chicken salad on a summer weeknight to a savory pork ragu with pappardelle for a cozy winter weekend meal, Carrie incorporates beautiful, bright flavors from a range of culinary traditions.

Carrie Morey founded her handmade biscuit business in 2005, with the goal of making the tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits of her mother accessible across the country. Over 15 years later, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is widely recognized as an iconic Southern brand with national retail exposure, four grab-and-go eateries in Charleston, Atlanta, and Charlotte, a food truck, and a cult-like following. Carrie is the author of two cookbooks, Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions and Hot Little Suppers, and is currently starring in a PBS culinary docuseries, How She Rolls, about biscuits, business, and balance in her life as an entrepreneur. She lives in Charleston with her husband and three daughters.

 

 



Peter Zheutlin, Spin — Weds., Oct 20

Join us Weds., Oct 20 at 6 pm in the Blue Bicycle Books courtyard for an evening with author and journalist Peter Zheutlin, author of Spin (Pegasus Books, hb., 287 pp, $26).

About the book:

“Spin is a thrilling story that will keep the reader breathless until the end. This mostly true story begins with a bored housewife and mother in the 1890’s who takes a wager to circle the world on a bicycle. The reader gets to ride along with Annie as she meets the most famous people of the day and finds love and adventure in every long mile. This tale will stay with you long after Annie’s last ride.” — The Southern Bookseller Review

About the author:

Peter Zheutlin is a freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. Mr. Zheutlin has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, AARP Magazine and numerous other publications in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs and a Million Miles on the Lost Hope Highway (Sourcebooks, 2015) and Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride (Citadel Press, 2007) and the co-author, with Thomas B. Graboys, M.D., of Life in the Balance: A Physician’s Memoir of Life, Love and Loss with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia (Union Square Press, 2008).



Elin Hilderbrand — Fri., Oct 29, 5 – 7 pm

Join Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times author of Golden Girl (Little, Brown and Co., hb., 384 pp., $19) and many other books, Friday, Oct. 29, 5 – 7 pm here at the store for a book signing. This event is free and open to the public! For more information please call us at 843-722-2666.

About Golden Girl: On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her. With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.

Elin Hilderbrand is the proud mother of three, a dedicated Peloton rider, an aspiring book influencer, and an enthusiastic at-home cook (follow her @elinhilderbrand to watch her Cringe Cooking Show). She is also a grateful seven-year breast cancer survivor. Golden Girl is her 27th novel. She is also a contributor to Reunion Beach: Stories Inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank (William Morrow, hb., 416 pp., $28)

 



Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid # 16 — Oct. 31, 2 pm

 

Don’t miss your BIG SHOT to meet BIG SHOT Jeff Kinney, Sun. Oct. 31, Baxter-Patrick Public Library, 1858 S. Grimball Rd., James Island, at the drive-thru book signing for Big Shot: Diary of Wimpy Kid #16 (Abrams, hb., 224 pp., $15)

All tickets include a signed book, photo with the author, and a trip though the the multi-stationed, sports-themed, drive-thru extravaganza in the  library parking lot.

Get tickets and more info here

Grab the whole family and Wimpify your car so it’s ready to roll through The Big Shot Drive-Thru! Decorations and signs are highly encouraged. The family with the best-decorated car will win a boxed set of Awesome Friendly books.

Jeff Kinney is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a six-time Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner for Favorite Book for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Jeff has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is also the creator of Poptropica, one of Time’s 50 Best Websites. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Massachusetts, where they own the bookstore An Unlikely Story. For more about Wimpy Kid visit wimpykid.com



Katie Crouch, Grady Hendrix, and Gervais Hagerty, Sun. Oct 3, 4 pm

Come hassle them, they’re local!

Join Katie Crouch, Embassy Wife (FSG, 368 pp., hb., $27), Gervais Hagerty, In Polite Company (Morrow, pb., 368, pp., $17).  and Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group (Berkley, 352 pp., hb., $26) in the Blue Bicycle Books courtyard for a reception, talk and signing Sunday, Oct. 3 at 4 pm

Can’t make it? Order signed copies to be shipped: The Embassy WifeThe Final Girl Support Group, and In Polite Company.

About Embassy Wife:

Persephone Wilder is a displaced genius posing as the wife of an American diplomat in Namibia. She takes her job as a representative of her country seriously, and comes up with an intricate set of rules to survive such problems as: how to dress in hundred-degree weather without showing too much skin, how not to look drunk at embassy functions, and how to eat roasted oryx with grace. She also suspects her husband is not actually the ambassador’s general counsel, but a secret agent in the CIA. Ever the embassy wife, she takes Amanda Evans, under her wing.

Amanda Evans has just arrived in Namibia, mere weeks after giving up her Silicon Valley job, as her husband, Mark, has accepted a Fulbright. But once they arrive in the sub-Saharan desert, it becomes clear that Mark, who lived in Namibia two decades earlier, had other reasons for returning. Their marriage, which seemed solid in the safety of home, feels tenuous in the glaring heat of the Kalahari. When Amanda’s daughter becomes involved an international conflict, lines are drawn in the sand.

About The Final Girl Support Group:

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

About In Polite Company:

Tourists think they see the real Charleston, but Simons Smythe knows there’s more to her hometown than sweet tea and Southern hospitality. Behind the walled gardens, inside the fabled historic homes, live Charleston’s elite. Simons was born into this powerful aristocracy that has quietly ruled the city for centuries.

Simons’s family has a banner year ahead; Her older sister will give birth to her second child, and her younger sister will make her debut—a series of cocktail parties and balls to introduce her to society. And in one year, Simons plans to marry Trip. She hopes that’s enough time to fall back in love.

Simons produces the news at a local TV station, a job that increasingly tests her loyalty to her family and friends. On her days off, Simons surfs the waves of Folly Beach, crabs the salty rivers of Edisto Island, and follows her wayward heart to King Street bars. The one touchstone in this confusing time is her elegant and secretive grandmother, Laudie, who—repeatedly and mysteriously—urges Simons to “be brave”.

In this sparkling novel, Simons unlocks riddles from the past, flirts with a new future, and discovers that some rules are made to be broken.

About the authors: 

Charleston native Katie Crouch is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Girls in TrucksMen and Dogs and Abroad. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe GuardianMcSweeney’sTin HouseSlate, and Salon. A MacDowell Fellow, she teaches at Dartmouth College and lives in Vermont.

Grady Hendrix has written about the confederate flag for Playboy magazine, covered machine gun collector conventions, and scripted award shows for Chinese television. His novels include Horrorstör about a haunted IKEA, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is basically “Beaches” meets “The Exorcist”, and We Sold Our Souls, a heavy metal horror epic out now from Quirk Books. He’s also the author of Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom of the Seventies and Eighties, and the movie Mohawk, a horror flick about the War of 1812, and the upcoming film, Satanic Panic. You can discover more ridiculous facts about him at www.gradyhendrix.com.

Gervais Hagerty grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned her B.A. in psychology from Vanderbilt University. After a post-college stint in Southern California, she returned to the East Coast, where she worked as a news reporter and producer for both radio and television broadcasts. In 2013, she earned her M.B.A. from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and soon after became a professor teaching Leadership Communications. She lives in Charleston with her husband and daughters. In Polite Company is her first novel.




Katie Crouch and Grady Hendrix: High school friends publish on the same day

Friends Grady Hendrix and Katie Crouch were named “Wittiest” in the class of 1991 at Charleston’s Porter-Gaud High School. Thirty years later they have novels released the same day!

Order signed copies here:

Katie Crouch, Embassy Wife (FSG, 368 pp. hb., $27)

Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group (Berkley, 352 pp., hb., $26)

*****

Praise from BBB staff:

Traveling in a Fried-Out Combi

Embassy Wife would already be a rarity — a smart, observant social novel about smart Southern women — the type who grew up in Charleston and Virginia in the 80s and “share a complex lexicon of Laura Ashley, white guilt, Dave Matthews…and the kind of sex that happens in a car during a church picnic.

But its Namibian setting makes it truly unique. Katie Crouch spent two years there and her insight shines without looking like someone trying to show off research. It almost reads like an African mash-up of Gatsby: Ivy League athletes, car crashes, smuggling, a much-too-late quest for lost love, and lots of drinking. Crouch sets the wheels in motion and all the elements come hurtling together like a combi minibus coming at you in the passing lane.

— Jonathan Sanchez, West Charlotte H.S. ’91

 

Final Answer

In the slasher genre, a “final girl” is the one character left at the end to confront the killer — think Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. Grady Hendrix’s novel The Final Girl Support Group takes six survivors of horror-film-inspiring traumas and puts them in a group therapy session.

We see the dark and conspiratorial precautions that are taken once surviving a fight to the death. We see the security, the backup plans, the backup to the backup plans. All with good reason, considering that someone starts killing off the six girls. The final battle / killer-reveal scene could not get any more 70s slasher — an all-out brawl at a summer camp. I often find myself wondering why it is that horror captivates me. Hendrix has given me an answer.

— Judith Arendall, not alive yet in ’91