Postcards from the Highway of Life on Saturday September 12th at 4:00pm

Postcards_Cover_FinalPlease join us as we welcome Garrison Leykam as he discusses and signs his new book, Postcards from the Highway of Life on Saturday September 12th at 4:00p.m.

About the book:

Just like vintage postcards capture and share in pictures the memories of a favorite road trip, Postcards from the Highway of Life captures in words the people and places and things that have influenced author Garrison Leykam on the experiential highway of his life. Whether it’s contemplating how to handle life’s stresses through his musings about a malted milk, lamenting the lost art of letter writing or humorously recalling the potential for pressure cookers to take Sunday dinners airborne, Leykam’s Postcards from the Highway of Life is both a rich essay about baby boomer values as well as a wake-up call to preserve an entire generation’s identity. Leykam returns readers to the memory of one’s favorite diner booth where he serves a menu of life essays that will satiate even the greatest hunger for a return to basic values in today’s chaotic world. Postcards From The Highway Of Life is simple, profound wisdom served in heaping portions of nostalgia, memories and and the very stuff of what makes life meaningful.

About the author:

Garrison Leykam is an AARP card-carrying, motorcycle riding baby boomer, producer, author, stand-up comic and TV and radio host. He has been often referred to as the “the reinventor” as he lives his life in true George Plimpton-ian fashion, namely, upholding his philosophy that life should be a participatory adventure, not a spectator sport. His website is his online diner. And, like most classic roadside eateries, you never know who you might be sitting next to at the counter. On the menu are entertaining and informative podcasts, articles and profiles served-up by noted celebrities, experts and just plain everyday folks. Garrison’s online radio show, Those Diner and Motorcycle Guys, has eclipsed two million listens.

To register for this event and pre-order a copy of the book, click here.

“Garrison Leykam in his wonderful and erudite Postcards from the Highway of Life has done a beautiful capturing of America the Beautiful. His work demonstrates how this country at that time produced the Greatest Generation….”

—Ed Asner, Actor and winner of seven Emmy Awards

“Garrison Leykam sets his sights on real life, and in the process illumi- nates the process (and wonder) of living itself.”

—Christine Ohlman, the “The Beehive Queen”/Vocalist, member of the The Saturday Night Live Band

“Garrison Leykam’s essays provide windows to the past, present and fu- ture. His ‘postcards’ are a reminder that each of us is on a journey and make some interesting stops along the way. It’s equal parts parenting guide, existential call to arms, travelogue and autobiography infused with Americana, nostalgia, wisdom, and wit.”

—Dr. Ramani Durvasula, Professor of Psychology, California State University and contributor to CNN, HLN, E! Network, Bravo

“Coffee and pondering a great question in an old diner. A place where many such problems have been considered over the years. I just know that I am in good company.”

—Craig Vetter, American designer and inventor


Celebrate the paperback release of “Lincoln’s Gamble” by Todd Brewster on Wednesday September 16th at 7pm

Lincolns GamblePlease join us at Byrd’s Books on Wednesday September 16th at 7:00p.m. for an author talk and book signing of “Lincoln’s Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months That Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War” with Connecticut author Todd Brewster.

About the book:

On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln spoke for the first time of his intention to free the slaves. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, doing precisely that. In between, however, was a tumultuous six months, an episode during which the sixteenth president fought bitterly with his generals, disappointed his cabinet, and sank into painful bouts of clinical depression. Most surprising, the man who would be remembered as “The Great Emancipator” did not hold firm to his belief in emancipation. He agonized over the decision and was wracked by private doubts almost to the moment when he inked the decree that would change a nation. It was a great gamble, with the future of the Union, of slavery, and of the presidency itself hanging in the balance.
In this compelling narrative, Todd Brewster focuses on this crucial time period to ask: was it through will or by accident, intention or coincidence, personal achievement or historical determinism that he freed the slaves? “Brewster brings elegant clarity to the tangle of conflicting ideologies, loyalties, and practicalities that pushed the proclamation forward” (“Publishers Weekly”), portraying the president as an imperfect man with an unshakable determination to save a country he believed in, even as the course of the Civil War remained unknown.

“A masterful psychological portrait” (George Stephanopoulos) of the most critical six months in Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and changed the course of the Civil War.

About the author:

Todd Brewster has served as Don E. Ackerman Director of Oral History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and is a longtime journalist who has worked as an editor for Time and Life and as senior producer for ABC News. He has written for Vanity FairTimeLifeThe Huffington PostThe Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and is the coauthor with the late Peter Jennings of the bestselling books The CenturyThe Century for Young People, and In Search of America. He lives with his wife and two sons in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Lincoln’s Gamble is his first book.

To register for this event click here.

“Connecticut Beer: A History of Nutmeg State Brewing” at Putnam House on September 23rd!

Connecticut BeerByrd’s Books is proud to host author Will Siss on 9/23 for an author talk at the Putnam House Restaurant and Tap Room- with a  slide show of the history of Connecticut beer, a beer tasting, a meal and the signed book, “Connecticut Beer: A History of Nutmeg State Brewing”.

The package fee is $50.00. It includes a seasonal dinner on the patio (tax and gratuity included), a signed copy of the book, a slide show and presentation on the history of Connecticut brewing, and a brewery or two that will be pouring beer! (more details to follow).

About the book:

The history of the frothy beverage in Connecticut dates back to early colonists, who used it to quench their thirst in the absence of clean drinking water. So integral was beer to daily life in the colony that government officials and militiamen congregated in taverns like the General Wolfe to talk laws and business over pints of ale. Over the next two centuries, the number of breweries rose and then declined, especially after Prohibition. It was not until the 1980s that homebrewers brought this vital Nutmeg State tradition back to life, hatching the likes of New England and Cottrell Brewing Companies, as well as brewpubs including City Steam and Southport Brewing. More recently, small operations with one or two people, such as Relic and Beer’d, are changing the landscape again. Connecticut beer writer Will Siss introduces readers to the hardworking people who keep the breweries and beer bars inviting and the hoppy history alive.

About the author:

Will Siss is a Connecticut local who has been writing the “Beer Snob” column for the Waterbury Republican-American since 2005. Will earned a BA in English from Gettysburg College and an MS from the Columbia School of Journalism. When he is not writing about beer he is leading beer-tasting presentations, writing humor pieces and playing in a band. To learn more visit

About the Putnam House Restaurant:

Header Putnam HouseThe restaurant was originally called Dickson’s then La Plume, Papa Gallo’s, Mackenzie’s Old Ale House, Monetti’s and is currently The Putnam House Restaurant and Tap Room. Successfully run since 1998, the restaurant and building are currently owned by Daniel J. Mottola. The Restaurant consists of an elegant dining room, a tap room, bar, seasonal outdoor patio & 3 private dining rooms. The Bethel Chamber of Commerce named Putnam House Restaurant of the Year 2015.

This event is registration ONLY. You can register here, or by calling the store to pre-pay and save a spot.

Byrd’s Books welcomes Nan Rossiter as she joins us for a book discussion of “Nantucket” on Thursday September 24th at 7:00pm

NantucketPlease join us with New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter for a book discussion of her new book , “Nantucket” on Thursday September 24th at 7:00p.m

 About the book:

Over twenty-five years ago, Liam Tate and Acadia McCormick Knox fell in love. It was summer on Nantucket, and seventeen-year-old Liam knew that wealthy, college-bound Cadie was way out of league for a local boy who restored boats for a living. Yet the two became inseparable, seizing every chance to slip away in Liam’s runabout to secluded spots, far from the world that was trying to keep them apart. 

After Cadie returned home to New York and discovered she was pregnant, her parents crushed any hope of communicating with the boy she’d left behind. Unanswered letters and calls couldn’t change Liam’s heart, but over the years he’s settled into a simple, solitary life in his rambling beachfront house. Now he’s learned that Cadie is returning to Nantucket for the opening of her son’s art show. Over a weekend of revelations and poignant memories, Cadie and Liam have an opportunity to confront the difference time can make, the truths that never alter, and the bittersweet second chances that arrive just in time to steer a heart back home…

To save a spot and/or order a book, click here.

Come listen to the poetry of Sydney Eddison on October 4th at 2:00p.m.

We all know Sydney Eddison from Newtown. What you may not know is that she has written a beautiful book of poetry. Join us  to hear her read from her new book, “Where We Walk: poems rooted in the soil of New England”

where3Sydney Eddison has written six other books on gardening. She has been honored by National Garden Clubs Inc. with their Award of Excellence for 2010. For her work as a writer, gardener, and lecturer, she has also received the Connecticut Horticultural Society’s Gustav A. L. Melquist Award in 2002; the New England Wild Flower Society’s Kathryn S. Taylor Award in 2005; and in 2006, The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s Bronze Medal. Her garden has been featured in magazines and on television. A former scene designer and drama teacher, Eddison lectures widely and is a frequent contributor to Fine Gardening magazine and other publications. Sydney Eddison lives with her Jack Russell Terrier, Phoebe, in a yellow farmhouse surrounded by a 2-1/2-acre garden of her own creation in Newtown, Connecticut. Her articles have appeared in such publications as FINE GARDENING and HORTICULTURE, and she is the award-winning author of seven books on gardening, including GARDENING FOR A LIFETIME, A PASSION FOR DAYLILIES, and A PATCHWORK GARDEN. She was Grand Marshall in the Newtown Labor Day Parade in 2014. This is her first book of poetry.