Amy Kundrat’s “Fairfield County Chef’s Table” & LaZingara Ristorante

Byrd’s Books enjoyed a very special evening with Amy Kundrat at LaZingara for a discussion of her new book, “Fairfield County Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Connecticut’s Gold Coast”. The evening included farm-inspired fare from LaZingara, a signed copy of Amy’s book and a recipe to go!

About the book:

Fairfield County stakes a claim to some of Connecticut’s most diverse terrain, an enviable proximity to New York City, and a discerning community of food lovers driving the demand for a vibrant dining scene. The Gold Coast boasts some of the country’s toniest neighborhoods, such as Greenwich and Southport, as well as the state’s largest cities, including the historic port city of Norwalk, the corporate-minded Stamford, and the diverse Bridgeport. Fine dining, dense downtown dining districts, and neighborhood bodegas are equally at home along this dense and diverse corridor. Along Fairfield County’s suburban center are such towns as Ridgefield, New Canaan, and Westport, whose historic Main Streets and cultural landmarks draw a family-oriented population. As a result, reclaimed taverns, farmers’ markets, and upscale dining districts scattered with family-friendly options abound. At the landlocked northern fringes, quiet enclaves such as Easton, Wilton, and Newtown have large swaths of protected and undeveloped land, as well as bountiful farmland and a handful of farm-to-table restaurants.With recipes for the home cook from over fifty of the area’s most celebrated restaurants and showcasing over 200 full-color photos featuring mouth-watering dishes, famous chefs, and lots of local flavor, “Fairfield County Chef’s Table” is the ultimate gift and keepsake cookbook for both tourists and locals. LaZingara Ristorante has a recipe in Amy’s book!!

About the author:  

Amy Kundrat is the executive editor of CTbites, the award-winning website devoted to chronicling great food in Connecticut, especially her home in Fairfield County. A communications specialist with a concentration in new media, Amy’s career leading external communications teams has taken her from world-class art museums, to technology start-ups, and academic institutions. She currently works in New Haven at Yale University, where she indulges in the city’s vibrant food-truck scene. Amy is from Bethel.

About LaZingara: 

Imagine being in a tiny Italian village in Tuscany and walking into a beautiful restaurant on the town square. To your delight, you discover that the restaurant grows it’s own food and is THE place locals go to have dinner, celebrate events, enjoy their business lunches and share a glass of wine after work.

 That is the feeling when you first arrive at La Zingara in Bethel, CT., an intimate farm to table, and very local Italian restaurant.

Grown in nearby gardens and on local farms, La Zingara’s food is meticulously, deliciously prepared by one of Connecticut’s most celebrated kitchens and served by a knowledgeable, friendly staff who know what the specials are and which of our many great wines will enhance your enjoyment of each of them.

Praised by the food media, applauded on social media and truly beloved by its many dedicated customers, La Zingara is one of Connecticut’s great restaurants. It’s also home to a sibling, ECCO Rooftop Eatery and Bar, a more casual bistro up the stairs in back. A casual, glassy bistro, the whole place basks in the sunlight and glows in the moonlight.

We look forward to having another event like this one in the future. Byrd’s books keeps signed copies of Amy’s book at the store.

 

Join us for Sharon Struth’s book launch party for “Share the Moon” on August 23rd at 4:00p.m.

Bethel author Sharon Struth has a new book, “Share the Moon” which is out in print in August. Since this is the first in the series don’t miss it!!ShareTheMoon600x900

About the book:
Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out ot sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.

Writing Workshops With Judith Marks-White

Judith Marks-White returns to teach a series of workshops, “Tickling Your Funny Bone: The Art and Marketing of the Humorous and Reflective Essay”  Cover Seducing HarryJudith M-W

 “Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.” – Thomas Berger
 Learn to “put it there” in your own inimitable style. Discover your unique voice and talent as you create essays that will bring to life both the funny and serious person that you are.
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.

Once again, join Judith Marks-White at Byrd’s Books and learn how to release your “inner writer” by creating marketable essays by the person who knows you best: yourself.

The dates and times: You may register for one, or all of them (see registration button below). The fee for each workshop is $20.00, which is passed directly to the instructor.

Saturday September 13th, 4:00p.m.
Tuesday September 30th, 7:00p.m.
Tuesday October 7th, 7:00p.m.
Saturday October 11th, 4:00p.m.

About the author:

Award-winning Westport News columnist and novelist, Ms. Marks-White has been involved in the design and instruction of creative writing programs in Connecticut, and has taught writing for many years. She was an adjunct Professor of English/Writing at Norwalk Community College for many years where she won Teacher of the Year Award for 2005 “for imparting wisdom with contagious enthusiasm” and where she continues to teach a course in the Art and Marketing of Humor Writing. 

Ms. Marks-White turned her attention to novel writing.  ”Seducing Harry” was her debut novel.  Her second novel, is “Bachelor Degree”. Both are published by Random House/Ballantine.  She is presently working on her third novel. Ms. Marks-White lives in Connecticut.

To register for the workshops click here. You can come to one- or all of them!!

 

Bestselling author Vanessa Manko makes a surprise visit Wednesday September at 4:00-ish.

Invention of ExileOn a sweep of Connecticut bookstores in one day, Vanessa Manko is ending up at Byrd’s Books on Wednesday September 17th at (around) 4:00p.m. to sign books and chat it up! Formerly from Brookfield, we feel Vanessa is “coming home” to Byrd’s Book!

Please join us for this very special event.

About the book:

“Austin Voronkov is many things. He is an engineer, an inventor, an immigrant from Russia to Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1913, where he gets a job at a rifle factory. At the house where he rents a room, he falls in love with a woman named Julia, who becomes his wife and the mother to his two children. When Austin is wrongly accused of attending anarchist gatherings his limited grasp of English condemns him to his fate as a deportee; retreating with his family to his home in Russia, they become embroiled in the civil war and must flee once again, to Mexico. While Julia and the children are eventually able to return to the United States, Austin becomes indefinitely stranded in Mexico City because of the black mark on his record. He keeps a daily correspondence with Julia as they each exchange their hopes and fears for the future and as they struggle to remain a family across a distance of two countries. Austin becomes convinced that his engineering designs will be awarded patents, thereby paving the way for the government to approve his return and award his long sought-after American citizenship. At the same time he becomes convinced that an FBI agent working for the House Committee for Un-American Activities is monitoring his every move, with the intent of blocking any possible return to the United States. Austin’s and Julia’s struggles build to crisis and heartrending resolution in this dazzling, sweeping debut. The novel is based in part on Vanessa Manko’s family history and a trove of hidden letters that serve as a kind of inheritance-letters from a grandfather she never knew. Manko uses this history as a jumping-off point for the novel, which deals with themes of exile and invention and explores how loss reshapes and transforms lives. It is a profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home”–

About the author:

Vanessa Manko earned her MFA in creative writing from Hunter College. She has taught writing at NYU and SUNY Purchase. An excerpt of her novel was published in “Granta”‘s winter 2012 issue. Originally from Brookfield, Connecticut, Manko now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise for “The Invention of Exile”:

Salman Rushdie, author of “Joseph Anton” and “Midnight’s Children” 
“Vanessa Manko’s beautifully written and deeply affecting first novel is the story of a man stranded by history in a strange land, torn away by politics and paranoia from the people he loves, exiled and trapped behind an invisible frontier he dares not cross. Manko ranges expertly between Russia, the USA and Mexico to weave her absorbing tale of emigration, deportation, desperation, paranoia, and finally, improbably, love. The novel reminds one, at times, of Kafka, Ondaatje, and even, in its powerful evocation of marooned isolation, Robinson Crusoe. A brilliant debut.”
Colum McCann, author of “Transatlantic” and “Let the Great World Spin” 
“Vanessa Manko is a voice for the years to come. Her first novel, “The Invention of Exile,” is an ambitious tale of a Russian emigre in Mexico City. It is an unflinching portrait of how our lives are structured around the complications of geography, beauty and chance, and, at its core, it is a story about those who live in the double shadows of home and history.”

Nan Rossiter joins us to discuss her book, “Under a Summer Sky”.

Connecticut author Nan Rossiter will join us for Book Group Thursday September 18th at 7:30p.m. to discuss her book “Under a Summer Sky”!

About the book:

New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter transports readers to Cape Cod with a warm, compelling story of family, new beginnings, and finding the courage to love honestly and well

The old Cape Cod house that Laney Coleman shares with her minister husband Noah and their five boys is usually brimming with cheerful chaos. There’s nothing fancy about the ancient kitchen or the wooden floors scuffed by the constant parade of activity and the clicking claws of their two Labrador retrievers. It’s a place to savor the sea breeze wafting through the windows, or sip coffee on the porch before another hectic day begins. This summer, life promises to be even busier than usual, because Noah’s younger brother, Micah, wants to hold his upcoming wedding on their property.

Under a Summer

Though thrilled that Micah has found happiness after past heartache, Laney is apprehensive about having her home turned upside down. She has other concerns too her youngest son is being bullied at school, and Noah’s father is not the robust patriarch he once was, in mind or body. As the bride and groom’s large, close-knit families gather, there will be joyful celebration but also unexpected sorrows and revelations, and a chance to store up a lifetime of memories during the fleeting, precious days of summer.

About the author:

Nan Parson Rossiter is the author / illustrator of several award-winning books for children including Rugby & Rosie, The Way Home, and Sugar on Snow. She lives in rural Connecticut with her husband, two handsome sons, and a yellow re triever named Mul ligan. When not working, she enjoys hiking with her family and vacationing on Cape Cod.

Garbanzofest IV is September 20th!!

Please join us for a day of poetry, music and mayhem! Saturday September 20th marks Garbanzofest IV. lead the way by Marc Moorash and Ava Dawn Heydt.

About the day:   garbanzo

Bethel Connecticut’s Seraphemera Books and their Garbanzo Literary Journal, in conjunction with independent bookseller Byrd’s Books are excited to announce Garbanzofest 4 – A Celebration of Words – a community and family friendly party for the release of Garbanzo Literary Journal (book four).
Taking place on Saturday September 20th, 2014 journeying from 12pm (noon) until 4pm-ish, at Byrd’s Books at 126 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel CT, the event will feature live readings of stories and poems from a number of the authors published in Garbanzo, a number of authors reading their works via pre-recorded video or audio, and an open-mic for anybody who would like to read their work.  With music to round out the day- it will be THE place to be.
And LOTS of Hummus…
This is a free, all-ages invited event, open to all interested in continuing the traditions of storytelling (which means both telling a tale as well as being the ears interested in listening – as all stories need an audience), anybody who is interested in hearing good local music that both moves the soul and the body (c’mon everybody, it is time to dance – just follow the children who have no qualms about dancing to these artists), and anybody looking for a unique and creative event that is entirely put together by local artists and creators who are looking to increase the artistic and imaginative culture in Bethel, CT.
For additional information about the event, interviews, book information and more, please contact Marc Moorash at 832 515 9539

 

Mark Allen Baker tells the stories of “Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut”

Spies? In Connecticut? Yes…..there were “Spies In Revolutionary Connecticut”! and author Mark Allen Baker is here to tell the tale!

About the book: Spies of Rev. CT

Covert intelligence played a critical role in the American Revolution. Connecticut produced an extraordinary number of spies on both sides of the conflict, from the infamous traitor and Norwich-born Benedict Arnold to Patriot Nathan Hale, executed by the British for espionage. Spying during the Revolution entailed coded messages, early submarines with the first exploding torpedoes and the penalty of death for those caught in the act. Despite the risk, some spies even played both sides as double agents, such as Edward Bancroft, who was never caught. With stories of Silas Deane, Ethan Allen, Thomas Knowlton, the Culper Spy Ring and others, author Mark Allen Baker navigates the intrigues, dangers and double crosses of Connecticut’s most legendary Revolutionary spies.

About the author:

Mark Allen Baker is a resident of Hebron, Connecticut and is a former business executive of General Electric/Genigraphics Corporation, author, historian and writer. Baker is a graduate of the State University of New York, with postgraduate work at M.I.T., R.I.T. and George Washington University. He is currently the editor of The Pen & Quill, a worldwide book and manuscript journal serving the needs of historians, archivists and major auction houses.

 

Byrd’s Books takes authors on the road!

Byrd’s Books will host an author signing table at the 1st Congregational Church Fair in Danbury (164 Deer Hill Ave.) on Saturday September 27th from 10-4. Please come and meet our wonderful Connecticut authors, who would love to sign and discuss their wonderful books with you.

The schedule, so far includes:

10:00 a.m.: Susan L.Schulman, “Backstage Pass to Broadway”, Gary Kriss, “Zodiac Deception”, & Phillip Lu, “Fragments of Memory: A Bilingual Poetry Collection In English and Chinese”.

11:00 a.am: Sharon Struth, “The Hourglass” and “Share the Moon” & Ellen Lindell, “Decoding Your Dog”

12:00 p.m.: David K. Leff, “Finding the Last Hungry Heart”, Karen Romano Young, “Doodlebug” & “Stuck In the Middle”, Jennifer Thermes, “There Are No Moose on This Island” & “Helen Keller’s Best Friend Belle”.

1:00p.m.: David Leff, Amy Nawrocki, “Four Blue Eggs”, Eric Lehman, “Afoot in Connecticut: Journeys in Natural History” & ”Literary Connecticut”(both Amy and Eric)”

2:00p.m.: Janet Ettele, “How Patience Works: The Quiet Mind to Benefit Others”, Donna Marie Merritt, :Her House and Other Poems”

3:00p.m.: Cindy Eastman, “Flip-Flops After Fifty: And Other Thoughts on Aging I Remembered to Write Down”

BACKSTAGE Cover by FRAVER  ShareTheMoon600x900DecodingYourDog-hiFinding the LastStuck in the MiddleFlip Flops
Literary Connecticut
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Fragments of Memory

Zodiac DeceptionHer_House_Front_CoverHowPatienceWorks-cvr-thumbHelen Keller

Laura Volpintesta talks fashion – and her new book!

Meet fashion designer/author/educator Laura Volpintesta to discuss her new book, “The Language of Fashion Design: 26 Principles Every Fashion Designer Should Know”, on Sunday September 28th at 2:00 p.m.

languageFashionDesignWe will discover how to recognize some of the fundamental elements of great fashion design. She will explore some of her favorite designs and designers from the book, and the elements that set great fashion design apart. Join us for the chance to learn some new ideas and celebrate the success of this talented Bethel author!

A link to Laura’s fashion illustration course.

L.Todd Wood joins us for an author talk and book signing on his latest book, “Delta”

DeltaTalk about art imitation life! L.Todd Wood joins us for a discussion of his new release, “Delta”, a wonderful historical fiction novel with Russia and the Ukraine as backdrops.. We will gather Sunday October 19th at 4:00p.m.

About the book:

Rafe Savaryn is happy. He’s in Venice writing a novel on the Renaissance, enjoying being alone after a devastating divorce. He’s trying to answer the question, what makes societies fail? Then a stunningly beautiful woman walks into his life and leads him on a horrifying journey back to the Dark Ages where the answer to his question is revealed. He is shocked as he must make a choice no one should have to make. I won’t give away any more of the plot but I will say, “Fasten your seat belt! It’s a roller coaster ride of history, suspense, and thrills!” The answer to the question is right in front of you.

About the author: L.Todd Wood

Born in Georgia and raised in Savannah,  Todd spent his early summers in Carp Lake, Michigan listening to the vivid stories of his grandparents recalling their youth in the northern wilderness.  Ever since his earliest days, he loved story telling.

Todd left Savannah in 1982 to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO where he studied aeronautical engineering.  Upon graduation in 1986, he immediately left the Academy for flight school.  His initial assignment was flying Combat Search and Rescue helicopters at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska.

Todd is a contributor to Fox Business News, NY Post, The Moscow Times, Armed Forces Journal, Newmax Money News, National Review, Zero-Hedge, and others.

For more of his astonishing bio, click here.

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