Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and the Greatest Show on Earth

Big Top BurningPlease join us Friday June 5th at 7:00p.m. for an exciting evening of history, pictures and discussion with Laura Woollett for the Book Launch of “Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and the Greatest Show on Earth” all about the 1944 Hartford Circus Fire. The book is written for ages 10+, but the talk and slide show is geared to ALL ages, including adults.
About the book:
Big Top Burning investigates the 1944 Hartford circus fire and invites readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence

The fire broke out at 2:40 p.m. Thousands of men, women, and children were crowded under Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s big top watching the Flying Wallendas begin their death-defying high-wire act. Suddenly someone screamed “Fire!” and the panic began. By 2:50 the tent had burned to the ground. Not everyone had made it out alive.

With primary source documents and survivor interviews, Big Top Burning recounts the true story of the 1944 Hartford circus fire—one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history. Its remarkable characters include: Robert Segee, the 15-year-old circus roustabout and known pyromaniac; and the Cook children, Donald, Eleanor, and Edward, who were in the audience when the circus tent caught fire. Guiding readers through the investigations of the mysteries that make this moment in history so fascinating, this book asks: Was the unidentified body of a little girl nicknamed “Little Miss 1565” Eleanor Cook? Was the fire itself an act of arson—and did Robert Segee set it? Big Top Burning combines a gripping disaster story, an ongoing detective and forensics saga, and World War II–era American history, inviting middle-grades readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence and draw their own conclusions.

To save a spot, click here.

Writing Workshops With Judith Marks-White

writing workshop graphic2Judith Marks-White has been conducting a great series of writing workshops at the store, so here we have scheduled several more! 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.

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.

The dates in this series of workshops: Sunday are at 3:00 pm.

Sunday June 7th
Sunday June 28th
Sunday July 12th

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!!

 

Hannah McKinnon brings us The Lake Season on Friday June 19th

Lake SeasonByrd’s Books welcomes Hannah McKinnon on Friday June 19th at 7:00p.m. as she shares the stories behind her new book, “The Lake Season”.

About the book:

Set in the weeks leading up to an idyllic New England wedding, this “enticing and refreshing” (Nancy Thayer, “New York Times” bestselling author) novel sparkles with wry wit, sweet romance, and long-kept family secrets.
Iris Standish has always been the responsible older sibling: the one with the steady marriage, loving family, and sensible job. But all of a sudden, as her carefully-constructed life spins out of her control, a cryptic postcard from her estranged sister Leah arrives at the perfect time: Please Come. Iris seizes her chance to escape to her childhood lakeside home, where Leah is planning her summer wedding to a man their New Hampshire clan has never met.
Against a backdrop of dress fittings, floral arrangements, and rehearsal dinners, Leah hides secrets of her own. And while her sister faces a past that has finally caught up to her, Iris prepares to say good-bye to a future that is suddenly far from certain. As new love beckons and Hampstead Lake shimmers in the background, Iris must decide when to wade in cautiously and when to dive–and, ultimately, how to ferry herself to safe harbors in this enticing novel of second chances and the ties that bind.

About the author:

Hannah McKinnon graduated from Connecticut College and the University of South Australia. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with her family, a flock of chickens, and two rescue dogs.

Poetry with Marilyn Nelson Saturday June 20th at 4p.m.

We are honored to host former Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut Marilyn Nelson on Saturday June 20th at 4:00p.m. for a poetry reading at the bookstore. Marilyn_Nelson

Faster than lightHer latest book, Faster Than Light is described as conjuring numerous voices and characters across oceans and centuries explores widely disparate experiences through the lens of traditional poetic forms.

Her book for a younger audience, How I Discovered Poetry, The National Book Award, Newbery Honor and multiple Coretta Scott King Honor-winning poet reflects on her childhood in the 1950s and her development as an artist and young woman through 50 illuminating poems that consider such influences as the Civil Rights Movement, the “Red Scare” atomic bomb era and the Feminist Movement. How i discovered

From her bio:

Marilyn Nelson, born in Cleveland, Ohio, is the daughter of a member of the last graduating class of Tuskegee Airmen. Her mother was a teacher. She is the author or translator of over twenty-four books. Marilyn’s latest collection of poems is Faster Than Light(2012), winner of the 2013 Milton Kessler Poetry Award. The Homeplace (1990) was a finalist for the National Book Award. The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997) won the 1998 Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. The Cachoiera Tales and Other Poems (2005) won the L.E. Phillabaum Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Her numerous young adult books include Carver: A Life in Poems (2001), which received the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, was a National Book Award finalist and was designated both a Newbery Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Another of her young adult booksA Wreath For Emmett Till, also won the 2005 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and was designated a 2006 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a 2006 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a 2006 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book.

Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship and a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, was founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001 to 2006. She is currently Poet-in-Residence of The Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Also, her forthcoming books are Seneca Village (Namelos) and American Ace (Penguin/Dial).

Marilyn was awarded the 2012 Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America’s most prestigious award, for “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.” In January 2013 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. Her latest collection for young adults is How I Discovered Poetry (Dial, 2014), a memoir in verse with illustrations by Hadley Hooper.

The author will be introduced by her friend and Byrd’s Books Connecticut author, Donna Marie Merritt, who will read a poem from her book, Her House and Other Poems. Donna Marie Merritt is the author of four poetry books, including Her House and Other Poems(Stairwell Books, 2013) and What’s Wrong with Ordinary? Poems to Celebrate Life (Avalon Press, 2012). Her work has been included in a number of anthologies, most recently, Garbanzo Literary Journal, vol. 5. Forthcoming poems will be published in National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry (Oct. 2015) and, for younger readers, Little, Brown’s One Minute Till Bedtime (Spring 2016).

 

 

Come listen to the poetry of Phillip Lu on Saturday July 11th at 4:00p.m.

COVERPlease join us for a special chance to hear and discuss the poetry of Phillip Lu on Saturday July 11th at 4:00p.m.. This fifth book of poetry from Phillip Lu, An Alternate Anticipation, is written in both English and Chinese. Lovely and lyrical, this poetry reading is an afternoon not to be missed.

About the author:

Born in China in a peasant family, left home at the age of 12 to find work, then joined Artillery Youth Training Regiment. During the civil war, he drifted in southeast China from places to places with the regiment and eventually settled in Taiwan.

He came to America more than 50 years ago to pursue graduate studies and received his MA degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT., and Ph.D. in astronomy from Columbia University in New York City. He did the pre- or post-graduate researches at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, then taught and conducted research in astronomy at Western Connecticut State University nearly 30 years. During his tenure as Chairman and Distinguished Professor of Astronomy, he received numerous grants and awards from the National Science Foundation and other agencies. He has published nearly 100 research papers in Astronomical and Astrophysical Journals, compiled a two volumes of Yale Zone Star Catalogs, edited conference proceedings, “The Gravitational Force Perpendicular to the Galactic Plane” with D. Philip “the New Age of Exploration: Next 500 Years”.

PhillipLuHe and Hong-Yee Chiu have jointly translated the late Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” (Taiwan Yuanliou Books), received the late President of Acdimia Sinica, Dr. Da-Yu Wu’s Science Writer Prize, 2006 and the naming of the Minor Planet 175450 Phillipklu (2006QN58) on Oct. 09, 2014 by the IAU (International Astronomical Union) Small-Body Data Center.

After his retirement from teaching, he rejoined the Astronomy Department, Yale University to continue his research for few more years. He then began his passion of listening to classical music, writing poetry and reading classical essays, biographies, and joining a Creative Writing group to enrich his writing skills.

Gregg Mangan: On This Day in Connecticut History

On this Day CT histGregg Mangan gave an author talk and sign copies of his new book, “On This Day in Connecticut History” on Saturday May 9th at 4:00p.m.

About the book:

Connecticut’s character runs much deeper than breathtaking fall foliage and quaint coastal towns. One day at a time, author Gregg Mangan chronicles fascinating episodes in state history, from the earliest European settlements to the modern era. After a lengthy debate, the state senate voted in favor of “Yankee Doodle” as the official state song on March 16, 1978. Bridgeport’s General Electric Company completed work on the bazooka on June 14, 1942. On the morning of December 4, 1891, the only four-train collision in American history occurred at the railroad station in East Thompson. Each date on the calendar holds a nugget of knowledge in this celebration of Constitution State history.

Marina Marchese of Red Bee Honey comes back to Byrd’s Books for honey tasting on Wednesday July 15th at 7:00 p.m.

IMG_0382Byrd’s Books welcomes Marina Marchese back to the store for a honey tasting on Wednesday July 15th at 7:00p.m. If you have not been here for this special event, you are in for a treat!

A leading authority in the world of honey tasting, Marina Marchese has dedicated her life to honeybees and to educating chefs, foodies and beekeepers across the country about the culinary delights of single-origin honey. Marina has shared her inspirational journey as a beekeeper in her international best selling book “HONEYBEE Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper” and now the groundbreaking concept of terroir and tasting and pairing honey in her recent book “The Honey Connoisseur”

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“Game of My Life New York Mets” author event with Danbury’s Michael Garry on Thursday March 5th

Game of My Life “Game of My Life New York Mets: Memorable Stories of Mets Baseball” (release date: March 3rd) by Michael Garry.

About the book:

This new addition to the Game of My Life series takes a personal look inside some of the biggest moments of the Mets’ greatest and most beloved players, from journeymen to superstars, as the Mets morphed from a dismal expansion team in 1962 to World Series Champions in 1969 and 1986 and then back to basement dwellers before meeting the Yankees in the 2000 Subway Series. Fan favorite Ron Swoboda recounts making “The Catch.” Infielder Wally Backman relives the many highs of playing on the ’86 Mets as they marched to a championship. All-Star Edgardo Alfonzo describes going six-for-six, including three home runs, in one of the most dominating offensive games in baseball history. Right-hander Bobby Jones relates his thoughts on pitching the most dominating postseason game in Mets’ history, when he threw a one-hit shutout to clinch the 2000 National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants. Current infielder Daniel Murphy shares his thoughts on his young career with the Mets and the difficulties of playing in New York, as well as describing the best game of his young career. Author Michael Garry, a longtime Mets fan, also includes anecdotes on Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, and David Wright, amongst others.

About the author:

Michael Garry is a business, technology, and environmental writer and editor with a thirty-year track record. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of MIT with a degree in political science, he has a passion for sports, music, writing, and politics. He lives in Danbury, Connecticut, with his wife, Maureen, and his son, Ethan. His greatest moment as a Mets fan was watching Mookie’s grounder elude Buckner in the ’86 World Series.

To order the book, click here.

Melanie Barnum’s latest book, “Psychic Abilities for Beginners: Awaken Your Intuitive Senses”

Psychic AbilitiesWe were thrilled to have Melanie Barnum return with her latest book, “Psychic Abilities for Beginners: Awaken Your Intuitive Senses” on Thursday January 22nd at 6:30.

About the book:

There’s more to this lifetime than the naked eye can see, and “Psychic Abilities for Beginners” is the perfect guide to this unseen knowledge. When you develop your psychic skills, you will increase your confidence, stimulate your potential, and expose the magnificence that is already inside you. With true stories of actual psychic events and tips and techniques for starting your intuitive journey, author Melanie Barnum will help you: Discover your psychic senses with hands-on exercises Identify your unique psychic strengths Use your intuitive abilities to manifest abundance Enhance your relationships, career, and financial situation Overcome challenges and create a life you’ll love.

About the author:

MelanieBarnumMelanie Barnum (Bethel, CT) is a psychic medium, intuitive counselor, life coach, and hypnotist who has been practicing professionally for more than fifteen years. She was a VIP Reader at Psych Out, a gathering of the nation’s foremost psychics, organized by Court TV. Barnum is also an Angelspeake Facilitator, a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), and the International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT).

“Art Young’s Types of the Old Home Town” is a part of Bethel’s history!

Art Young COVER

“Types of the Old Home Town” is a fond memory of small-town America, through illustrations and writings about characters or “types” such as The Lamp Lighter, The Village Grouch, Our Oldest Inhabitant, The Village Belle, The Retired Farmer, and more. Many of these images first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in the 1920s. If you are a fan of local history, storytelling, or Americana, this book is for you.

Local storyteller Marc Moorash (who made the film about the Stony Hill Inn – And the Swans Still Swim) will gave a presentation at Byrd’s Books with unreleased images, tales about some of the characters in the book, a little history on Art Young’s years in Bethel, and stories into how the manuscript was discovered and brought to print.

“Types of the Old Home Town” is published by the Bethel Historical Society in conjunction with the Art Young Gallery and Seraphemera Books. The book is an artistic piece to properly give homage to Art Young’s legacy – there is a numbered and limited first edition of 333 books. They are all handmade and hand-stitched, hard-covered and dust-jacketed books. Further, three random books in the run will have authentic Art Young autographs inserted into them as an added collector’s treasure!

The book is available at Byrd’s Books. The book can be ordered here, or by calling the store (203) 730-2973.

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