Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More

By Mallika Chopra. A fully illustrated go-to meditation guide, written by Deepak Chopra’s wellness-expert daughter, counsels children ages 8-12 on how to use breathing techniques and guided meditations for stress management, better sleep, self-confidence and improved focus.

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Terri-Lynne DeFino brings us The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses)

Join us Tuesday September 25th at 7:00pm for a very special night with Connecticut author Terri-Lynne DeFino as she discusses and signs her latest book, The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses). For more information, or to purchase the book, click HERE.

About the book:

After famous author Alfonse Carducci goes to a retirement home, he finds that he suffers from writer’s block, but he forms a friendship with a woman who was severely crippled in an accident and finds a muse who inspires him to write again.

“DeFino’s latest novel is a tale that emphasizes that second chances, artistic redemption and true love — in all its forms — can come at any time and any age. DeFino has a unique gift for language that captures the nostalgia and still-sharp wit of her aging artists perfectly.”– RT Book Reviews

“Rediscover the sheer joy of writing…intriguing characters help keep the reader engaged.”– Booklist

About the author: 

Terri-Lynne DeFino was born and raised in New Jersey, but escaped to the wilds of Connecticut, where she still lives with her husband and her cats. She spends most days in her loft, in her woodland cabin along the river, writing about people she’s never met. Other days, she can be found slaying monsters with her grandchildren. If you knock on her door, she’ll most likely be wearing a tiara. She’ll also invite you in and feed you, because you can take the Italian girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey Italian out of the girl.

Vox

By Christina Dalcher. Marginalized in a near-future America where the government limits women to no more than 100 spoken words daily before outlawing women’s education and employment altogether, a former doctor resolves to be heard for the sake of her daughter.

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Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Unleash Your Inner Artisit

By Irene Smit and Astrid Van Der Hulst.

It’s not always easy to be creative—to give our minds space to roam while ignoring our inner critic, to stare down a blank page and make the leap from nothing to anything. It takes courage.
Finding the courage to create is something the editors of Flow know a lot about. Creativity is a central value of the Flowmission, evident in every issue that bursts with the wild imaginations of its artists, writers, and editors. In Creativity Takes Courage, Flow brings together inspiration, hands-on projects, boundary-pushing activities, and special paper goodies to show readers how to unleash their inner artists.
Organized around a series of twelve “dares”—including Dare to Fail, Dare to Be a Kid, Dare to Be Bored, Dare to Go Offline, Dare to Collaborate—Creativity Takes Courageencourages the reader to be fully present . . . and spend idle time staring out the window. To leave your comfort zone and start a project, without hesitation . . . and nourish yourself with museum visits and reading time. Each dare includes fill-in pages and prompts to go deeper into what motivates us or hinders us, like mindful questions to identify fears of failure, or a Dare to Commit notebook for recording both daily and weekly projects.
It’s the illustrated and fully interactive gift of how to live more creatively and enjoy every minute of the process, no matter what the result.

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A Beatrix Potter Afternoon Saturday October 13th at 1:30 & 2:00pm

Join us on Saturday October 13th for a special afternoon for children and adults who love Beatrix Potter. Meredith McClung will read to children at 1:30pm, then will discuss Beatrix Potter’s gardening with the adults at 2:00pm. We will serve tea (at 2:00pm) and have select Beatrix Potter books on special that day. Please do not miss this very special afternoon. To save a spot for the gardening talk, click HERE.

 

About the presenter in her own words:

“I’m a native of Connecticut and lived here all my life.  A pre-school teacher for a number of years, currently Director of Children’s Ministries at Christ Church Parish in Redding Ridge,  I live in Fairfield with husband Tim. We have two sons (a high school English teacher and a veterinarian).  Like Beatrix Potter, I spent most of my school days in the art room, kept a menagerie of pets as a child and still do, which probably explains why I enjoy Potter’s books so much.  I’ve been a member of The Beatrix Potter Society for some years now; I am one of many Society members who, free of charge, offer Readings and Introductions on behalf of the Society.”

Gail Carson Levine launches Ogre Enchanted at Byrd’s Books!

Please join us for a very special launch of Gail Carson Levine’s Ogre Enchanted on Tuesday October 16th at 5:00pm. To save a book for signing, please click HERE.

About the book:

Set in the world of the Newbery Honor-winning Ella Enchanted, this tale by beloved author Gail Carson Levine stars a clever heroine who is determined to defy expectations—and outwit a fairy’s curse.

Evie is happiest when she is healing people, diagnosing symptoms and prescribing medications, with the help of her devoted friend (and test subject) Wormy. So when Wormy unexpectedly proposes to her, she kindly turns him down; she has far too much to do to be marrying anyone. And besides, she simply isn’t in love with him.

But a certain meddling fairy named Lucinda has been listening in, and she doesn’t approve of Evie’s rejection. Suddenly, Evie finds herself transformed from a girl into a hideous, hungry ogre!

Stuck in this new and confusing form, Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever.

“Longtime fans and new readers alike will devour this.”–Kirkus Reviews

About the author: 

Gail Carson Levine’s first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine’s other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The WishThe Two Princesses of BamarreA Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan. A deluxe illustrated gift edition of the internationally best-selling first entry in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series features lavish artwork by the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor-winning Blackout.

After learning that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea, Percy Jackson is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, and becomes involved in a quest to prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Book signing with Anne O’Brien Carelli

We welcome Anne O’Brien Carelli to Byrd’s Books for a signing and discussion of her new book, Skylark and Wallcreeper on Saturday October 20th at 1:00pm. To pre-order a book for signing, click HERE.

About the book:

Carelli alternates contemporary and historical fiction in this novel about 12-year-old Lily and her 80-year-old, French-born maternal grandmother, Collette. The contemporary story, told by Lily, takes place in New York City over nine days in fall 2012, during Hurricane Sandy. The historical narrative offers a third-person retelling of Collette’s undertakings as a 12-year-old member of the French Resistance during WWII, lasting from winter through late summer 1944 in the South of France. Lily and Collette have always been close, and when Sandy forces evacuation of the Queens nursing home where Collette lives, Lily is by her side, helping to move and resettle residents. (Lily’s anxious mother, stuck in Manhattan, communicates worriedly via cellphone.) Interspersed with the sometimes frightening challenges of the relocation are stories of Collette’s dangerous wartime work with another young woman. When Lily loses Collette’s antique fountain pen, mysteriously precious to her grandmother, she embarks on a hunt for a replacement, which serendipitously takes Lily on an adventure in which she learns the details of her grandmother’s wartime history. While the novel doesn’t quite succeed in building suspense, and the heartwarming ending strains credibility, Carelli realistically depicts the warm, complex relationships between daughter, mother, and grandmother. Ages 8–12.

About the author:

Anne O’Brien Carelli is the author of adult nonfiction and the picture book Amina’s New Friends. She has always been fascinated by the French Resistance, and studied history at Case Western Reserve University. For her PhD, Anne researched psychology of the gifted. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Anne lives in the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York. This is her debut middle grade novel.

Review quotes:

Kirkus: “A quick-moving two-in-one success.”
“The wholesome contemporary survival tale combines surprisingly well with a spy thriller packed with invisible ink, an exploding cigarette case, and all kinds of secret gadgets.”
Publishers Weekly: Skylark and Wallcreeper takes 12-year-old Lily “on an adventure in which she learns the details of her grandmother’s wartime history”
“Realistically depicts the warm, complex relationships between daughter, mother, and grandmother.”

The Kiss of the Sweet Scottish Rain on Wednesday October 24th at 7pm

Join us for a very special author event with Robert McWilliams as he discusses his new book, The Kiss of the Sweet Scottish Rain: A Walk from Cape Wrath to the Solway Firth.

About the book;

From Cape Wrath in the lonely northwest to a muddy estuary overlooking England, The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain takes the reader on a walk across Scotland. For Rob McWilliams-Scots-born but exiled since childhood-the walk is an obstinate ambition, and the start of a new direction in life.

McWilliams crosses wild and beautiful landscapes, meets an ever-changing cast of companions, and passes through communities from remote hamlets to the smiling, but rough-edged, city of Glasgow. Around every corner, he explores Scotland’s turbulent history and unique cultural and natural heritage, from the Gaelic language, to the fearsome Highland midge, and how the Stone of Destiny-an ancient coronation symbol – could now reside in an unassuming Glasgow pub.

Struggling with terrain, injury, atrocious weather, and above all his own fragile confidence, McWilliams weaves into his narrative the threads of his life that led to the journey, and discovers that the rewards of adventure are rarely those that were anticipated.

The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain informs and entertains. As well as a ben or a castle, there is usually a joke just around the next turn in the trail.

About the author: 

Robert McWilliams was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but moved with his journalist father’s job to the south of England at the age of three. Rob graduated from Wadham College, Oxford, with a BA Hons. in Modern History. After university, he worked as a tour guide and English teacher in France and Spain, before joining Reuters news agency in London. Rob spent 16 years at Reuters as a business manager in Hong Kong, Japan, the US, Venezuela and Brazil.

For nearly 20 years, Rob has lived in Connecticut with his wife and daughters, and is now a US citizen. Tired of corporate life, he quit his job to fulfill a stubborn ambition to walk the length of Scotland. He has contributed the Taking a Hike column to local newspapers every month for five years. Taking a Hike placed second in the general column category of the 2017 Connecticut Press Club awards. Rob has also written for A.T. Journeys, the official magazine of the Appalachian Trail, and Ctvisit.com. The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain is his first book.

Rob enjoys hiking, and travel off the beaten track. He does consulting work on information privacy, and volunteers with the Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Trail and other outdoor causes.

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