Book Group

Our Book Groups (regular and history) at Byrd’s Books meet on Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. each month (see calendar). These are open Book Groups, you are welcome to come if you would like to join us for discussions. For information call: 203-730-2973. We make every effort to have the book available in paper for the Book Groups and choose a hardcover only rarely.

Any cancellations due to weather will be posted on our website and our Facebook page.  Some of us meet at 6:30 for take-out. Please email Alice (alice@byrdsbooks.com) to join in for the meal before the discussion!

 

September 14th (History Book Group): The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot. This group is led by Sandi Forman.

 

September 21: Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Fortysomething Ted and his 12-year-old dachshund Lily live a quiet life in Los Angeles. Ted hasn’t had a boyfriend in years, but he and Lily watch movies, play board games, and talk about guys together. Everything is going along smoothly until the appearance of the octopus, Ted’s name for the tumor that appears on Lily’s head. Because of her age and prior medical history, Lily’s treatment options are limited. Still, Ted is determined to save the life of his best friend. The fight gets more serious as Lily loses her sight and the octopus begins to talk to Ted. Ted reminisces about his and Lily’s life together as he devises increasingly outlandish tactics in his war with this eight-armed invader. A long and almost mythic sojourn aboard a rented trawler leads Ted and Lily to the climax of their battle with the implacable enemy. VERDICT This funny and heartbreaking first novel will appeal to dog lovers, especially those who have had to face the harder aspects of giving their love to a creature who will return that adoration perfectly but for a far too brief time.

October 12 (History Book group): Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters. This book group is lead by Sandi Forman.

October 19: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The lives of three women converge at the Ravensbrèuck concentration camp as one resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, one becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and one takes a German government medical position.

“Inspired by actual events and real people, Martha Hall Kelly has woven together the stories of three women during World War II that reveal the bravery, cowardice, and cruelty of those days. This is a part of history—women’s history—that should never be forgotten.”Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of China Dolls

November 16: Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know—like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.

 

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