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 make every effort to have 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 (email@example.com) to join in.
April 20: News of the World by Paulette Jiles
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
May 18: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicatediscoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.
After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.
Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard
June 15th: Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression by David Leite
The winner of multiple James Beard awards, Leite grew up in a blue-collar Portuguese home in Fall River, MA, longing for middle-class stability and struggling with bipolar disorder, which was not diagnosed until his mid-thirties. Meanwhile, he threw himself into cooking.
NOTE: The author is joining us for this book discussion!
July 20: Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline
What’s a poor couple to do? They can’t conceive, he’s the infertile one, she becomes pregnant with a donor’s sperm—and then they discover that the donor has been arrested for a series of blood-chilling murders.
Mystery & Thriller
August 17: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (2017 Newbery Award Winner)
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
The acclaimed author of The Witch’s Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic. (This is an adult discussion of a book written for ages 9-11, I might add a student discussion for the daytime hours)
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.