Book Group

Our Book Group at Byrd’s Books meets once a 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.  Some of us meet at 6:30 for take-out and to discuss a book we have all already read, the “Dinner Book”. Please email Alice (alice@byrdsbooks.com) to join in.

March 19 Book Group pick: Longbourne by Jo Baker

About the book: 

LongbournThe 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.”

Some of us meet to discuss a book over take-out from 6:30-7:30. Our “Dinner Book” for March is “The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Let me know if you would like to join us: Alice@Byrdsbooks.com

April  16 Book Group pick: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

About the book:

Orphan TrainOrphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

May 21 Book Group pick: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

About the book: 

This is the story

Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments–to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband–creating a resonant portrait of a life in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.

As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

June 18 Book Group pick: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

About the book:

AlltheLightFrom the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

July 16th Book Group pick: TBA

August 20th Book Group pick: TBA

September 17th Book Group pick: To Kill a Mockingbird & Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird: Regarded as a masterpiece of American literature, this timeless story of growing up in the South became an instant bestseller when first published in 1960 and later was made into a classic film.

Go Set a Watchman

(July 17, 2015 release, you may pre-order this title from us here)

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic,To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America,Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

Harper Lee: Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended Huntingdon College and studied law at the University of Alabama. She has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Pulitzer Prize, and many other accolades.

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