Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


Michael Harriot, Black AF History, Mon. Sep. 25, 6:30 pm

Blue Bicycle Books welcomes Michael Harriot Mon., Sept. 25, 6:30 pm as he discusses Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America (Morrow., 432 pp., $32.50).

About the book:

In Black AF History, Harriot removes the white sugar coating from the American story, placing Black people squarely at the center. Harriot speaks hilarious truth to oppressive power, subverting conventional historical narratives with little-known stories about the experiences of Black Americans, from the African Americans who arrived before 1619 to the un-conquerable bandit who inspired America’s first police force. With chapters on “The Church Fight That Started Slavery,” “Construction,” and “The Race War III: The Conspiracy Theory That Was True,” Black AF History tells the stories of influential Black Americans with the comedic energy of Richard Pryor and the critical eye of Howard Zinn, revealing the rebellions and revolts standard American “history” doesn’t want you to know about.

About the author:

Michael Harriot is a columnist at theGrio.com where he covers the intersection of race, politics, and culture. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, NBC, BET, and on his mother’s refrigerator. He is a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN and has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists for commentary, digital commentary, and TV news writing. His college course “Race: An Economic Construct” was adapted by university economics departments across the country as a model for teaching the combination of history, economics, politics, and class structures. 

 



Dan “Grossy” Pelosi, Let’s Eat, Wed. Oct. 4, 6 pm

Join cookbook author and food personality Dan “Grossy” Pelosi on Wed., Oct. 4 at 6 pm for an event celebrating the release of his first cookbook, Let’s Eat: 101 Recipes to Fill Your Heart and Home (Union Square, 288 pp.,  hb., $30).

This event is free and open to the public.

About the book:

In his debut cookbook, larger-than-life personality Dan Pelosi offers up a warm hug of home cooking, sharing both comfort food and connection with 101 of his nearest and dearest Italian American recipes. Some have been passed down through his family, and others have been cooked up from scratch—but all are made with love and accompanied by fun, meaningful stories to warm your heart while filling your belly.

About the author:

Dan Pelosi is the Italian-American meatball behind GrossyPelosi, the popular Instagram favorite for all things comfort and food. He hosts The Secret Sauce for Food52 and appears regularly on Good Morning America. He lives in Brooklyn, but you can find him online at @grossypelosi.

 



Michelle Wildgen, Wine People, Thurs. Oct. 19, 6 pm

Come have a glass of wine with Michelle WildgenThurs., Oct. 19, 6 pm as she talks about her newest novel, Wine People (Zibby Books, hb., $28). She’ll be joined in conversation by Charleston novelist Victoria Benton Frank (My Magnolia Summer).

Can’t make it? Order a copy here.

About the book:

What happens when two ambitious young women, opposite in every way, join forces in a competitive male-dominated industry?

Wren and Thessaly collide when they land coveted jobs at a glamorous New York City boutique wine importer. Hardworking, by-the-book Wren comes from a modest background and has everything to prove while Thessaly hails from a family of prestigious California growers—but she is plagued by self-doubt. Thrown together at work, where they’re expected to have exquisite palates, endless tolerance for alcohol and socializing, and the ability to sell, sell, sell, they regard each other with suspicion.

It’s only on an important European business trip—with everything on the line for both of them—that they unexpectedly forge an alliance that will change the course of their careers and personal lives.

With mouth-watering descriptions of food and wine, Wine People takes readers from France, Germany, and Italy to the Midwest and California Wine Country. An utterly entertaining page-turner that explores how close friends can both misjudge and uplift each other.

About the author:

Michelle Wildgen is the author of the novels You’re Not You, adapted into a feature film starring Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum, But Not For Long, and Bread and Butter. She is editor of the anthology Food & Booze. Wildgen’s award-winning reviews, essays, and stories have appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the “Modern Love” column, O, the Oprah Magazine, RealSimple.com, Salon.com, Best Food Writing, Best New American Voices, Triquarterly, Storyquarterly, and elsewhere. Formerly executive editor of Tin House, Wildgen is now a freelance editor and cofounder with novelist Susanna Daniel, of the Madison Writers’ Studio.

About Victoria Benton Frank:

Victoria Benton Frank was born in New York City, raised in Montclair, New Jersey, but considers herself to have dual residency in the Lowcountry. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and the French Culinary Institute. Victoria worked in restaurants in New York before returning to Charleston, which she considers home, with her husband, two kids, and a giant mutt. When she isn’t writing, she is reading, cooking, or chasing her children.

 



Piccolo Fiction — Sat., June 3, 5 pm

Sat., June 3, 5 pm, Piccolo Fiction presented by Blue Bicycle Books.

Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street. Free and open to the public. 843-722-2666.

The festival’s longest-running event exclusively devoted to fiction, Piccolo Fiction presents local and South Carolina authors reading brief short stories. This year’s reading will be in the courtyard beside the bookstore, and, following tradition, each story will begin with the words “I ducked into the alley…”

Since 2000, Piccolo Fiction has featured dozens of S.C. writers, with stories broadcast by S.C. Public Radio and published in the Charleston City Paper.

Featured authors:

Brittany Butler is a former CIA targeting officer who recruited spies and dismantled terrorist networks abroad. Brittany has worked to promote the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls and to resettle Afghan refugees. Her first novel is The Syndicate Spy, telling the story of how female intelligence officers use their intellect and skills to bring peace to this war-torn region.

Gervais Hagerty grew up in Charleston, graduated from Vanderbilt University and went on to report and produce news for local radio and TV. After earning her MBA at The Citadel, she taught communications to cadets. In 2020, she finally caved to a strong and bizarre urge to write books. HarperCollins published her first novel, In Polite Company in 2021.

Y-Danair Niehrah grew up writing fantasy and horror but shifted to historical fiction in high school, focusing on the stories of the Degar people—the indigenous tribes of Vietnam. He studied creative writing at the College of Charleston before pursuing an MFA at Queens University of Charlotte studying under writers like Fred Leebron, Naeem Murr, and Jonathan Dee.

Sara Peck is the author of three books of poetry. She grew up in Greenville, attended the College of Charleston, received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago, and teaches writing at the University School of the Lowcountry, where she was named SCISA High School Teacher of the Year for 2020-21. She was recently selected to develop a novel manuscript as part of the Tin House Winter Workshop in Portland.



Anjali Tamang and Sarah Symons, Standing in the Way: from Trafficking to Survival, Tues., Apr. 20, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., April 20, 5:30 pm, for a special reception and talk with activists Anjali Tamang and Sarah Symons, co-authors of Standing in the Way (pb., $15), hosted by Her Future Coalition, an international non-profit organization fighting human trafficking and other severe forms of gender violence.

Over the past 15 years, Her Future Coalition has provided shelter, education, employment, and healing to over 5,000 women and children in India, Nepal, Cambodia, and Thailand, enabling them to recover from trauma and build safe, independent and successful lives. Recently, Her Future was selected for a collaboration with Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance to highlight the importance of educating vulnerable girls.

To donate, click here.

About the book: Standing in the Way: From Trafficking to Survival, the compelling memoir from Anjali Tamang and Sarah Symons, shares Anjali’s incredible story of being trafficked at age twelve from her village in Nepal to the red light areas of Kolkata, India. Despite enduring the worst abuse imaginable, today Anjal works to combat trafficking and protect the next generation of girls in her community. The stories of the courageous people who freed her and aided in her recovery are woven into the book alongside her own personal insights.

Anjali and Sarah explore the root causes of human trafficking and the factors that made her vulnerable, describing her journey to India as a child, and the large complex network of traffickers and brothel owners involved in selling, transporting, and exploiting her. Anjali was eventually rescued, and the book not only portrays this from both the perspective of the rescuers and Anjali herself, but also describes the subsequent counseling and care she received.

Following her recovery, Anjali was able to return to Nepal and make up the many lost years of education. Now in college, she is planning to go back to her village and open a school and anti-trafficking charity to prevent other girls in her village from having to suffer as she did.

Anjali’s experiences have given her a unique perspective. While child sex trafficking is a difficult subject, the book is ultimately a story of survival and hope.

 



F.T. Lukens, Spell Bound, Tues., Apr. 4, 5:30 pm

Join us on Tues., Apr. 4, 5:30 pm to celebrate the release day of the newest YA novel by F.T. LukensSpell Bound! (Margaret K. McElderry, hb., 336 pp., $19.99) Lukens will be joined in conversation by Corrie Wang, Charleston-based YA author of City of Beasts and The Takedown.

About Spell Bound:

Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.

Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, Rook minds less and less.

But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.

About the author:

F.T. Lukens is a New York Times bestselling author of YA speculative fiction including the novels So This Is Ever After, In Deeper Waters, and the forthcoming Spell Bound as well as other science-fiction and fantasy works. Their contemporary fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic was a 2017 Cybils Award finalist in YA Speculative Fiction, the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner for YA fiction and won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. F.T. resides in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.



Events

Wed., Feb. 21Danny Caine, How to Resist Amazon and Why

Sat., Mar. 2Beto O’Rourke, We’ve Got to Try

Fri. – Sun., Mar. 8 – 10 — Pop-up at Charleston Wine and Food

Fri., Apr. 5Maggie Stiefvater book signing

Fri., Apr. 19 — Shovels & Rope, C’mon Utah!

Thurs., May 9 Marcia Zug, You’ll Do

Fri., May 17 Tommy Tomlinson, Dogland

Wed., May 29 Charlamagne tha God, Get Honest or Die Lying

Sat., June 1Piccolo Fiction in the Courtyard

Thurs., Jul. 11 — Laurie Devore, The Villain Edit

Fri. & Sat., Nov. 15 & 16YALLFest XV



Ralph C. Muldrow, Charleston Renaissance Man, Tues., Dec. 13, 5:30 pm

Tues. Dec. 13, 5:30 pm, College of Charleston Professor (and longtime Boomer’s/BBB patron) Ralph C. Muldrow will be here to discuss his new book Charleston Renaissance Man: The Architectural Legacy of Albert Simons in the Holy City (USC Press, hb, $50).

With over 100 color and b/w photos, this gorgeous, thorough examination of the most influential architect in Charleston history is sure to become a local classic.

About the book:
A study of the life, work, and extraordinary influence of an innovative architect. Albert Simons came of age during the vibrant years of the Charleston Renaissance in the early twentieth century. His influential social circle included artists, musicians, writers, historians, and preservationists, many supporting the cultural revival that was reshaping the city. Through his architectural design and passion for preservation, Simons contributed tremendously to the cultural environment of the Charleston Renaissance. His work helped to mold the cityscape and set a course that would both preserve the historic South Carolina city and carry it forward, allowing it to become the thriving urban center it is today.

Simons brought both a sense of history and place, born of his deep roots in Charleston, as well as a cosmopolitanism developed during his years of training at the University of Pennsylvania and travels on the European continent. The melding of those sensibilities was a perfect match for the age and made him a true Charleston Renaissance Man. While he preferred the more traditional Beaux-Arts, Classical, and Colonial Revival styles, Simons had the unique ability to balance traditional and modern styles. He believed preservation in Charleston was about retaining the city’s architectural heritage but doing so in a way that allowed the city to grow and progress—to be a living city. Looking forward and simultaneously looking back is quintessentially Charleston and a hallmark of Simons’s life and work.

Featuring more than 100 color and black and white photographs and illustrations alongside author Ralph Muldrow’s compelling storytelling, this fascinating book reveals the deep connection between Simons and the Charleston cityscape. With a foreword by Witold Rybczynski, the award-winning author of numerous books including Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Ideas in the Holy City, Muldrow’s Charleston Renaissance Man is a celebration of Charleston’s unique architectural character and the architect who embodied the Charleston Renaissance.

About the author:
Ralph C. Muldrow is the former Simons Professor of Architecture and Preservation and current associate professor of art and architectural history at the College of Charleston.



Carolyn Prusa, None of This Would Have Happened If Prince Were Alive, Thurs., Dec. 8, 5:30 pm

 

Thurs., Dec. 8, 5:30 pm, have a glass of wine with Savannah’s Carolyn Prusa, author of None of This Would Have Happened If Prince Were Alive (Atria, hb., 336 pp., $27).

Come celebrate the end (hopefully) of hurricane season with this emotional, fun and lively debut!

This in-store event is free and open to the public. For more information call Blue Bicycle Books, 843-722-2666.

Can’t make it? Order a signed copy here (Release date Nov. 22, 2022)

About the book:

Ramona’s got an obnoxious boss, a toddler teetering through toilet training, a critical mom who doesn’t mind sharing her observations, and oops—turns out her husband has been unfaithful. That’s how a Category 4 hurricane bearing down on her life in Savannah becomes just another item on her to-do list. In the next forty-eight hours, she’ll add a neighbor child and a class guinea pig named Clarence Thomas to her entourage as they evacuate town. Attempting to ignore the persistent glow of her minivan’s check engine light, Ramona navigates police checkpoints, bathroom emergencies, instructions from her boss, and torrential downpours while fielding calls and apology texts from her cheating husband and longing for the days when her life was like a Prince song, full of sexy creativity and joy.

About the author:

Carolyn Prusa has written all sorts of things, from essays to articles to product descriptions of zebra print ponchos, which have appeared in the Charlotte Observer, Greensboro News and Record, Go Triad, Savannah Magazine, South Magazine, and Savannah News and Record. None of This Would Happened is her technically her third novel.

She is delighted by Southern women, giant pandas, awkward conversations, Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, pies with graham cracker crust, insulting greeting cards, lip balm, Stacy Abrams, the em dash, Mike’s Hot Honey, and many, many other things.

She lives in Savannah, Georgia, with her two sons, husband, and enormous wookie rescue pup, Dale. So, surrounded by dudes.



Kardea Brown, The Way Home, Thurs. Oct. 27, 5:30 pm

Join Food Network star Kardea Brown, Thurs., Oct. 27 at 5:30 pm for a release party for her brand-new cookbook, The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family with Over 100 Recipes (Amistad, hb., 300 pp, $35).

NOTES:

  1. No outside copies of The Way Home allowed. (It comes out two days before this event.)
  2. Blue Bicycle Books will have books for sale — but we highly recommend you reserve a copy by clicking here and selecting In-Store Pickup.
  3. This event is free and open to the public. No ticket required.

Click here to order a signed copy of The Way Home.

About the book:

The breakout star of Food Network’s hit show Delicious Miss Brown celebrates the Gullah/Geechee culinary traditions of her family in this spectacular cookbook featuring 125 original mouthwatering recipes and gorgeous four-color photos.

In The Way Home, her first cookbook, Kardea shares her multi-generational “passed down” recipes and innovative takes on Gullah classics with home cooks everywhere. “Gullah” and “GeeChee” refer to a distinct group of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia who have preserved much of their West African language, culture, and cuisine. The Way Home is an unabashed love letter to her family’s roots, packed with dishes that combine West African herbs, spices, and grains with traditional Southern cooking. “Gullah people laid the foundation for Southern cooking. Before farm-to-table was a fad, it was what Gullah people did,” Kardea explains. “I want to show the world that soul food is not monolithic. It’s so much more than fried chicken and vegetables cooked in pork. It’s seasonal, fresh and delicious! ”

About the author:

In April 2015, Kardea Brown made a leap of faith, quitting her job as a social worker in New Jersey to pursue a career in the food industry. She opened the New Gullah Supper Club, a restaurant and social destination centered around the food she grew up eating at her grandmother’s house on South Carolina’s Wadmalaw Island. After an appearance on Food Network, Kardea caught the attention of executives at the cooking channel and over the course of nearly four hardworking years became a star—sparring with chefs on hit shows like Beat Bobby Flay and hosting Cupcake Championship. Viewers fell in love with her Southern warmth, love of family, and awe-inspiring New Gullah meals, and Kardea quickly landed her own show, the top-rated Delicious Miss Brown.