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. We are committed to having the book available in paper for Book Group 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 and to discuss a book we have all already read, the “Dinner Book”. Please email Alice (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join in.
January 21st Book Group pick: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production ofKing Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.
Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
February 18th Book Group pick: Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks
Catherine Lemay, a young archeologist surveying a Montana canyon in the 1950s ahead of the planned construction of a major dam, meets a former mounted cavalryman who shows her the beauty in the stark landscape around her.
March 17th Book Group pick: Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.
April 21st Book Group Pick: H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald
An award-winning best-seller from the UK recounts how the author, an experienced falconer grieving the sudden death of her father, endeavored to train for the first time a dangerous goshawk predator as part of her personal recovery.
May 19th Book Group pick: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’sthis close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret. Her perfect life is a perfect lie.
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and ruin everything. The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it, at long last, set Ani free?
With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive is “completely unputdownable…until its final pages” (Entertainment Weekly).
June 16th Book group pick: Euphoria by Lily King
Inspired by an event in the life of Margaret Mead, this novel tells the story of three young anthropologists in 1930s New Guinea. Professional superstar Nell Stone and her Australian husband, Fen, flee one tribe, and, with the help of English anthropologist Andrew Bankson, settle with the Tam, an unusual, female-dominated tribe. A love triangle soon develops among the three. The attraction Bankson feels for Nell saves him from loneliness and suicide, but it heightens tensions between Nell and Fen, ultimately exploding in violence. This three-way relationship is complex and involving, but even more fascinating is the depiction of three anthropologists with three entirely diverse ways of studying another culture. They disagree on the extent to which it is possible and even necessary to intrude on a culture in order to understand it. These differences, along with professional jealousy and sexual tension, propel the story toward its inevitable conclusion. VERDICT Recommended for fans of novels about exploration as myth and about cultural clashes, from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
July 21st Book Group pick: Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.
August 18th Book Group pick: Good Omens: the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The world is going to end next Saturday, just before dinner, but it turns out there are a few problems–the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the representatives from heaven and hell decide that they like the human race, in a new edition of the classic novel, featuring a new afterword from the authors.
September 15th Book Group pick: House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure
When his son racks up an impossible gambling debt to a notorious gang in 19th-century New York, John Cross uses his inside knowledge of high-society mansions and museums to craft a perfect heist. By the author of The Paris Architect.
October 20th Book Group pick: Being Mortal, Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atule Gawande
A prominent surgeon argues against modern medical practices that extend life at the expense of quality of life while isolating the dying, outlining suggestions for freer, more fulfilling approaches to death that enable more dignified and comfortable choices.
November 17th Book Group pick: The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways. Discussion guide available online. By the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Firefly Lane.