Our Book Group at Byrd’s Books meets each month on a Thursday from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. each month (see calendar). For information call: 203-730-2973. Any cancellations due to weather will be posted on our website and our Facebook page.
November 20th Book group pick: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.
A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.
This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real…
For a video discussion of the book for Book Clubs, watch here.
December 18th Book Group pick: Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamont
What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what’s sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable?
These questions lie at the heart of “Stitches,” Lamott’s profound follow-up to her “New York Times”-bestselling “Help, Thanks, Wow.” In this book Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.
It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.
January 15th Book Group pick: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A faded sign hangs above the porch of the Victorian cottage that is home to Island Books. It bears the adage”NO MAN IS AN ISLAND; EVERY BOOK IS A WORLD.”A. J. Fikry, the bookstore s irascible owner, is about to discover what that means.” ‘The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry’ reminds us of what saves us all from a life of loneliness and isolation: our sense of empathy; our ability to love and be loved; our willingness to care and be cared for.” ~ Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain”
February 19th Book group pick: the Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
About the book:
Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn’t really believe in. Ultimately he can’t resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces–behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe–detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.
Written by an expert whose knowledge imbues every page, this story becomes more gripping with every life the architect tries to save.
About the book:
The servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to “Pride and Prejudice.” While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When a new footman arrives at Longbourn under mysterious circumstances, the carefully choreographed world she has known all her life threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen’s classic, here Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England and, in doing so, uncovers the real world of the novel that has captivated readers’ hearts around the world for generations. A “New York Times Book Review” Notable Book, a “Seattle Times” Best Title, a “Christian Science Monitor “Best Fiction Book, a “Miami Herald “Favorite Book, and a “Kirkus “Best Book of the Year