Sharon Struth Brings us the Sweet Life

Want some romance? Want it in Tuscany? Join us for a very special afternoon on Saturday September 23rd at 2:00pm  as Sharon Struth returns to Byrd’s Books with the launch of her new book, “The Sweet Life”. To register and purchase a book, click HERE.

About the book:
In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.

But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.

As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours . . .

“A great plot, and it’s very well written. It comes with a strong recommendation and is worth picking up for a nice treat.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Praise for Sharon Struth

“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.” —Library Journal

“Struth is an author to watch!” –Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winner The Sweet Spot

“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.” –Eye on Romance

“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.” —Fresh Fiction

About the author:

Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best first Book, and her Blue Moon Lake Novels include the bestseller, Share the Moon.

When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com.

 

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Byrd’s Books welcomes Chris Kukk for a discussion of his new book, “Compassionate Achiever”

Please join us for an evening of discussion with WCSU professor, Chris Kukk, as we explore his new book, “The Compassionate Achiever: How Helping Others Fuels Success” on Tuesday September 26th at 7:00pm. (note date change)

To register and buy a book, click HERE.

About the book:

A powerful, practical guide for cultivating compassion—the scientifically proven foundation for personal achievement and success at work, at home, and in the community.

For decades, we’ve been told the key to prosperity is to look out for number one. But recent science shows that to achieve durable success, we need to be more than just achievers; we need to be compassionate achievers.

New research in biology, neuroscience, and economics have found that compassion—recognizing a problem or caring about another’s pain and making a commitment to help—not only improves others’ lives; it can transform our own. Based on the most recent studies from a wide range of fields, The Compassionate Achiever reveals the profound benefits of practicing compassion including more constructive relationships, improved intelligence, and increased resiliency. To help us achieve these benefits, Christopher L. Kukk, the founding Director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, shares his unique 4-step program for cultivating compassion.

Kukk makes clear that practicing compassion isn’t about being a martyr or a paragon of virtue; it’s about rejecting rage and indifference and choosing instead to be a thoughtful, caring problem-solver. He identifies the skills every compassionate achiever should master—listening, understanding, connecting, and acting—and outlines how to develop each, with clear explanations, easy-to-implement strategies, actionable exercises, and real-world examples.

With the The Compassionate Achiever everyone wins—we can each achieve success in our own lives and create more productive workplaces, and healthier, less violent communities.

About the author:

Christopher L. Kukk, Ph.D., is a professor of political science and social science at Western Connecticut State University; founding director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation; and faculty advisor for the University and City of Compassion initiatives. He is also cofounder and CEO of InnovOwl LLC, a research and consulting start-up for solving micro and macro problems through innovative education. He was an international security fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a counterintelligence agent for the United States Army, and a research associate for Cambridge Energy Research Associates. He lives in Brookfield, Connecticut.

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Cooking With Picasso at LaZingara on Wednesday October 4th at 6:30

Please join us for a special evening on Wednesday October 4th at LaZingara with Camille Aubray, author of “Cooking For Picasso”. The $50.00 fee includes the book, a farm-fresh meal, tax and gratuity. Cash bar. This is a registration only event, to register, click HERE.

About the book:

In 1936, Céline’s grandmother Ondine Belange was a beautiful 17-year-old girl living in a tiny village in the south of France. The daughter of café owners, Ondine is sent to cook for a mysterious man who has rented a villa in Juan-les-Pins. When the temperamental 54-year-old turns out to be Pablo Picasso, known to have intense love affairs, Ondine’s life (and ultimately Céline’s) is changed forever, especially once she begins posing for him. In the modern day, Céline has come to France under the guise of taking a cooking class to search for the painting that her mother has told her Picasso gave her grandmother. She enlists the help of a celebrity chef, Gil Halliwell, to look for the painting that she is sure holds the key not only to her past but her future. The novel alternates between Ondine’s encounters with Picasso and the repercussions of that brief affair, and Céline’s adventures with cooking, love, and history along the Mediterranean. Both plot lines include a romance—one too sensationalized and one that climaxes without enough buildup. The real meat in this novel is the details (both real and imagined) of Picasso’s fascinating life. For readers of Paula McLain, Nancy Horan, and Melanie Benjamin, this captivating novel is inspired by a little-known interlude in the artist’s life.

About the author:

Camille Aubray is an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellowship winner. A writer-in-residence at the Karolyi Foundation in the South of France, she was a finalist for the Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. She studied writing at the University of London with David Hare, Tom Stoppard, and Fay Weldon; and with her mentor Margaret Atwood at the Humber College School of Creative Writing Workshop in Toronto. Aubray has been a staff writer for the daytime dramasOne Life to Live and Capitol, has taught writing at New York University, and has written and produced for ABC News, PBS, and A&E. The author divides her time between Connecticut and the South of France.

 

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Celebrate Morningstar: Growing Up With Books with Ann Hood

Join us Sunday afternoon October 29th at 3:00p.m. for a very special author talk with Ann Hood, author of Morningstar: Growing Up With Books. To register and save a spot, click HERE.

About the book:

In her admired works of fiction, including the recent The Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature. Now, with warmth and honesty, Hood reveals the personal story behind these beloved novels.

Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn’t foster a love of literature, Hood discovered nonetheless the transformative power of books. She learned to channel her imagination, ambitions, and curiosity by devouring ever-growing stacks. In Morningstar, Hood recollects how The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and The Outsiders influenced her teen psyche and introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality, and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrath dramatically influenced her political thinking, while the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings became headline news and classics such as Dr. Zhivago and Les Miserables stoked her ambitions to travel the world. With characteristic insight and charm, Hood showcases the ways in which books gave her life and can transform–even save–our own lives.

About the author: 

Ann Hood is the author of the best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, The Obituary Writer, and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Review Quotes:

Morningstar is a love letter to the very act of reading and the power of books to light the way. I can think of no better guide than Ann Hood, whose generosity of spirit, courage, humor, gumption, and grace are a powerful reminder that language and story have the capacity to heal, to instruct, and to change our lives. What a mighty little book, so full of heart. –Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion and Slow Motion

From Alice: I have read and loved this book dearly. Maybe I am just the right age to remember just how books defined certain periods of my life, but this book hit all the right makes for me. Read it, you will remember your own past and the books that resonated then.

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Summer Thursdays in the Downtown

We celebrate summer in Bethel by staying open until 7:00pm on Thursdays and offering specials in six stores from 5:00-7:00pm: 20% of your choice of a book. Just mention the program when you check out.

Byrd’s Books, English Apothecary, Gift Cottage, John Fulton Jewelers, Silver Touch and the Toy Room are the participants.

 

Byrd’s Books offers 20% off your purchase (5-7:00pm).

Writing Workshops

Judith Marks-White will continue into the spring of 2017 with her great writing workshops. They fill up quickly so register here early!

The classes will function as workshops where you will be introduced to style, technique, tricks of the trade, and critiques of your work as you create a publishable piece of writing targeted to the current markets.
We work from provided prompts and write for 20 minutes, share each other’s work then comment to help improve the writer’s material. Although many of our attendees ahem been published, this workshop serves beginner and advanced writer, alike.

The dates and times: All Sunday afternoons from 3:00-5:00pm

The last date of the summer series is August 13th. This is an optional date due to construction on the main room of the bookstore. Follow the Facebook post to stay tuned!

You may register for one, or all of them- just call the store to save a spot (203) 730-2973. The fee for each workshop is $20.00, which is passed directly to the instructor.

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Story Time for Little ones Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Story TimeByrd’s Books host a Story Time for little ones at 10 on Wednesday mornings. No registration is required. For weather or holiday cancelations, please check the website and/or our Facebook page.

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