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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The Least Among Us: Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable

By Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. The outspoken Connecticut congresswoman’s impassioned defense of America’s safety net in the time of Trump

Cynical politicians like Paul Ryan and Donald Trump argue that the people of the United States would be better off without food stamps, Obamacare, and workplace protections. Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro knows these folks are just plain wrong.

Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, DeLauro saw firsthand how vulnerable hard-working people are in the face of corporate indifference and government neglect. From fatal industrial fires to devastating childhood poverty, DeLauro witnessed it all—and emerged convinced that social programs are worth going to the mat for, again and again. Worker protections, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance lift up all Americans; they fulfill this country’s promise of opportunity for everyone, and are essential for our country’s health.

For twenty-five years, DeLauro has been fighting for everyday Americans, earning a reputation as the most impassioned defender of our social safety net. The Least Among Us tells the story of a quarter century of deal-making on behalf of people too often overlooked, told by a woman as fearless as she is opinionated. Part House of Cards, part progressive manifesto, The Least Among Us shares lessons about power—how it’s gained and how to wield it for everyone’s benefit.

Erik Ofgang shares the story of Gillette Castle on Thursday July 27 at 7pm

Erik Ofgang returns to Byrd’s Books with his new book, “Gillette Castle: A History” on Thursday July 27th at 7:00pm. To save a spot, click HERE.

About the book:

During his career as an actor, William Gillette portrayed world-renowned character Sherlock Holmes in more than 1,300 performances. His career as a playwright and actor afforded him the opportunity to purchase a 184-acre estate, where he also built a twenty-four-room medieval-style castle. Overlooking the Connecticut River, Gillette’s castle was complete with spy mirrors, sliding furniture, hidden rooms and a three-mile quarter-scale railroad. Since becoming a state park in 1943, it has evolved into one of Connecticut’s most popular tourist attractions. Writer and award-winning journalist Erik Ofgang examines the history of an iconic structure and Gillette’s life and role in the evolution of Sherlock Holmes.

About the author:

Erik Ofgang is an award-winning writer, musician and magician whose work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers throughout the country, including the Associated Press, the Hartford Courant and Connecticut Magazine, where he is a senior writer. His debut book, Buzzed: Beers, Booze & Coffee Brews, Where to Enjoy the Best Craft Beverages in New England, was released in 2016. He teaches writing and journalism at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA writing program and at Mercy College. When he’s not writing, he can be found playing bass with the Celtic roots band MacTalla Mor. He lives in western Connecticut with his wife, Corinne, and their Labradoodle, Iris.

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David Leite’s New memoir is “Notes On a Banana”

Please join us when David returns for a book discussion of this book on Thursday June 15th with our Book Group.

Byrd’s Books welcomed back author David Leite in celebration of his memoir, “Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression”. For those of us who were fortunate enough to attend David’s author talk on his last book, “The New Portuguese Table” we got a preview of this new, wonderful book.

Released by Harper Collins April 11th: 

The stunning and long-awaited memoir from the beloved founder of the James Beard Award-winning website Leite s Culinaria a candid, courageous, and at times laugh-out-loud funny story of family, food, mental illness, and sexual identity.

Born into a family of Azorean immigrants, David Leite grew up in the 1960s in a devoutly Catholic, blue-collar, food-crazed Portuguese home in Fall River, Massachusetts. A clever and determined dreamer with a vivid imagination and a flair for the dramatic, “Banana” as his mother endearingly called him, obsessed over proper hair care, yearned to live in a middle-class house with a swinging kitchen door like the ones on television, and fell in love with everything French, thanks to his Portuguese and French-Canadian godmother. But David also struggled with the emotional devastation of bipolar disorder. Until he was diagnosed in his mid-thirties, David found relief from his wild mood swings in cooking, Julia Child, and a Viking stove he named “Thor.”

Notes on a Banana is his heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, yet tender memoir of growing up, accepting himself, and turning his love of food into an award-winning career. Reminiscing about the people and events that shaped him, David looks back at the highs and lows of his life: from his rejection of being gay and his attempt to “turn straight” through Aesthetic Realism, a cult in downtown Manhattan, to becoming a writer, cookbook author, and web publisher, to his twenty-three-year relationship with Alan, known to millions of David s readers as “The One,” which began with (what else?) food. Woven throughout these stories are the dishes David loves the tastes that led him to happiness, health, and success.

A blend of Kay Redfield Jamison s An Unquiet Mind, the food memoirsof Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain, and Gabrielle Hamilton, and the character-rich storytelling of Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, and Jenny Lawson, Notes on a Banana is a feast that dazzles, delights, and, ultimately, heals.

About the author:

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.

My review of the book on Goodreads:

In a beautifully written memoir of self-discovery, David Leite takes us on a journey of finding the true balance in his heritage, his sexual orientation, his bi-polar disorder and his deep and abiding love of food. With the anchor of strong family and culture, the author mines the depths of mental illness and the aching journey of diagnosis to find balance and, ultimately, happiness. From the author of the James Beard Award-winning website Leite’s Culinaria, David Leite has given us a feast of a journey to devour in this piercing memoir.

Would like a signed book? Click HERE, and pick it up at the store.

Would you like a signed book mailed to you or a friend? Click HERE.

 

An Afternoon of Poetry

In celebration of April’s National Poetry Month, please join us for a very special afternoon of poetry on Sunday April 2nd at 3:00pm. We have lined up Gail Carson Levine, David K. Leff, Lisa Schwartz, Sydney Eddison, Brian Clements with WCSU MFA alumna Kateri Kosek and WCSU MFA student Ben Chase. Light refreshments will be served.

To save a spot, click HERE.

 

The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World

By Abigail Tucker. Discusses the natural history of domesticated felines and how they achieved global domination, despite offering humans no practical benefits, through visiting researchers who discovered feline bones in the first human settlements and searching for house cats on the loose in Florida.

Bookmark Contest Winners

We are so happy for the winners of our bookmark contest! We have added their designs below. One of the entries, in the adult category, neglected to name the book the bookmark was designed for and received an Honorable Mention. All of the designs are being used for the summer bookmarks at Byrd’s Books! The winners each get a $25 Gift certificate to the store as well as their 25 bookmarks to share with others. Nicely done folks!!

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Join the celebration of Karen Romano Young’s new book, “Hundred Percent”

Hundred percentJoin us for a very special afternoon on Saturday August 27th at 4:00pm as we celebrate the release of Karen Romano Young’s newest book, “Hundred Percent”. We will celebrate with readings from her book performed by middle schoolers. Light refreshments will be served. All ages welcome!

About the book:

The last year of elementary school is big for every kid. In this utterly honest, equal parts funny and crushing, novel perfect for boys and girls alike, Christine Gouda faces change at every turn, starting with her own nickname—Tink—which just doesn’t fit anymore. Readers will relate to this strong female protagonist whose voice rings with profound authenticity and absolute novelty, and her year’s cringingly painful trials in normalcy—uncomfortable Halloween costumes, premature sleepover parties, crushed crushes, and changing friendships. Throughout all this, Tink learns, what you call yourself, and how you do it, has alot to do with who you are. 
This book marks beloved author Karen Romano Young’s masterful return to children’s literature: a heartbreakingly honest account of what it means to be between girl and woman, elementary and middle school, inside and out—and just what you name that in-between self.

A little about Karen:

“My husband, children, dog, cat, guinea pigs, and I have a small, noisy, weird house in the Connecticut woods. Our lives are full of books, and we all read every chance we get. I write everyplace: in the kitchen, in the car, in the barn, in the school parking lot, in the Reading Room at the New York Public Library, at the beach. I write and write and write….”

Reviews:

“Hundred Percent is a brilliant and irresistible book about the sharp pains and joys of real life. Karen Romano Young is a writer like no other. She always finds the truest, most interesting paths to the heart.”-Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me

“Karen Romano Young must be twelve. There’s no other way she can possibly know what she knows about sixth grade in all its weirdness and glory. Seen and felt and conveyed with unbelievable freshness and acuity, Hundred Percent handily performs the almost-impossible feat of offering its readers a mirror to their lives without gloom or condescension.”-Annie Barrows, New York Times bestselling author of the Ivy & Bean series

“Karen Romano Young has an unerring feel for the shifting alliances and uncomfortable intrigues of sixth graders. The voices are unique and the dialogue sparkles. Your heart will crack open as the cast of characters tries on one personality after the other, hoping to find the one that fits.” -Ellen Wittlinger, Printz Honor-winning author of Hard Love

“A lovely, lovely tale full of warmth, humor, and intelligence.”-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

To register and save a spot, click HERE.

Join us for an evening with Peter Selgin on Saturday June 4th at 6:30pm

the InventorsWelcome home Bethel native Peter Selgin as he joins us to reveal his new book, The Inventors: A Memoir on Saturday June 4th at 6:30p.m.

About the book:

“This book is mainly about two men who were very important to me.

“The first was there at my conception; the second came along 13 years later. Both men shaped my personality . . .

“The first man was my father, Paul Selgin, who, it so happens, was an inventor. The second was my eighth grade English teacher.”

Both Selgin’s father and the man he calls the teacher” led remarkable lives. Among other things, Paul Selgin invented the first dollar billchanging-machine and helped design the so-called proximity fuse, which hastened the end of World War II. As for the teacher, he became a forceful advocate for human rights and diversity, championing the cause of indigenous peoples and refuges from Southeast Asia, while insisting that they not forget their history ironically, since the teacher did everything he could to obliterate his own. As Selgin discovers only after their deaths, for very different reasons both men felt compelled to reinvent themselves.

The Inventors is the story of how these two charismatic men shaped the author’s life. It’s also the story of a relationship between a boy and his teacher, a relationship that was equal parts inspiring and destructive.

About the author:

Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the Flannery O Connor Award for Fiction, a novel, two books on fiction writing, and several children s books. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, his memoir-in-essays, was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize. His novel, The Water Master, won the Wisdom/Faulkner Society Prize for Best Novel. His essays have won many awards and honors, including six citations and two selections for the Best American anthologies, in which the title essay of his collection appears.
Selgin’s drama, A God in the House, based on Dr. Kevorkian and his suicide machine, was staged at the Eugene O Neill National Playwright s Conference in 1991. Other plays of his have won the Charlotte Repertory New Play Festival Competition, the Mill Mountain New Plays Competition, and the Stage 3 Theater Festival of New Plays. His paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, Gourmet, Outside, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal, and exhibited nationally.
Selgin is the prose editor of Alimentum: The Literature of Food, and nonfiction editor and art director of Arts & Letters. He is Assistant Professor of English at Georgia College and an associate faculty member of Antioch University s Creative Writing MFA program in Los Angeles.

To register to save a spot and pre-order the book at a discounted price, click HERE.

Share the Love with Sharon Struth’s new book!

Bethel author Sharon Struth has a new book out! Check out her latest title!

About Sharon Struth:

Harvest MoonBestselling 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. Her follow-up release, SHARE THE MOON-Book one in the Blue Moon Lake Novel Series-is published by Kensington Books and a Barnes & Noble romance bestseller. The series also includes Twelve Nights (11/15), Harvest Moon (12/15) and Bella Luna (2016).

She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companion. 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.
Books will be available at the store for signing.
We also carry Connecticut author Terri-Lynne’s latest!
About Terri-Lynne DeFino:
Seeking CarolinaWriter, cat-wrantler, sparklequeen. My first fantasy novel, Finder, was published by Hadley Rille Books in October, 2010, followed by: A Time Never Lived in 2012, and Beyond the Gate in 2013. October 2015 will see the release of Seeking Carolina (first in the Bitterly Suite Series) from Lyrical, an imprint of Kensington Publishing, and my first attempt at romantic women’s fiction.

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