Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big MagicBy Elizabeth Gilbert

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love, the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the strange jewels that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.


FiregirlBy Connecticut author Tony Abbott

“This novel may be brief, but it leaves a big impact.” —Publishers Weekly

From the moment Jessica arrives, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica was in a fire and was badly burned, and will be attending St. Catherine’s while getting medical treatments.

The Golden Vendetta

GoldenVendettaThird in the Copernicus Legacy series
By Connecticut author Tony Abbott

Evil never takes a vacation.

It’s been two months since the Kaplan family hunted down the Serpens relic, and the malicious, conniving Galina Krause seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. But it’s only the calm before another terrible storm. She and her lackey Ebner von Braun suddenly and violently reappear in the South of France, stealing a rare sixteenth-century astronomy book that will lead the villainous Order to the next Copernicus relic.

Wade, Darrell, Lily, and Becca have no choice but to get back in the game and square off against Galina in a desperate search for an artifact said to be crafted by Leonardo da Vinci himself perhaps the strangest Guardian of all. The dangerous chase leads the Kaplans from Morocco to Monte Carlo, but along the way they uncover another layer to Galina’s sinister endgame… and there might not be enough time to stop it.

Filled with pulse-pounding action and cryptic codes, The Golden Vendetta is the third engrossing book in bestselling author Tony Abbott’s cloak-and-dagger series for young readers.

By Mouse & Frog

By Mouse and FrogBy Deborah Freedman – a Connecticut author!

A spritely read-aloud about the challenges and joys of collaboration.

Fastidious Mouse has one idea about how to tell a story. Free-spirited Frog has another. What happens when Frog crashes into Mouse’s story with some wild ideas? Chaos!…followed by the discovery that working together means being willing to compromise and that listening to one another can lead to the most beautiful stories of all.

In her best book yet, the visionary creator of Blue Chicken and The Story of Fish and Snail has crafted another subtle, clever book-about-books that’s also a delightfully entertaining story featuring adorable characters who will win readers’ hearts.

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

NantucketNan Rossiter has come out with her latest book, and we love it!

 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…

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 October 11, 3:00pm

Sunday October 25, 3:00pm

Sunday November 8, 3:00pm

Sunday December 6, 3:00pm

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!!


Murder, She Wrote: The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher with Donald Bain and Renee Paley-Bain

Murder, She WroteI love this series, and we are so lucky to have the authors right in the area! Donald Bain and Renee Paley-Bain are coming to Byrd’s Books on Wednesday October 14th at 7:00p.m. to tell us about this new book and the others in the series that have become part of the mystery vernacular! Join us for this exciting evening of mystery and story-telling.

About the book: The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher

An ailing Cliff Cooper says he’s dying and insists upon dictating his last will and testament to Jessica Fletcher:  Real estate agent Eve Simpson is to sell his house and give the proceeds to Cliff’s grandson who lives in Alaska.  Sounds simple enough, but as always, nothing goes according to plan. While Eve is stuck with trying to market a white elephant of a house, chock full of thousands of books and suspected of being haunted, Seth Hazlitt, Jessica’s good friend and Cabot Cove’s favorite physician, suspects foul play in Cliff’s demise.  Jessica is caught between the two and has to juggle their competing needs while an ambitious medium and a pair of pixilated twins pull the tale in different directions, much to the confusion of Sheriff Mort Metzger.

About the authors: 

Donald Bain

Donald Bain is the author/ghostwriter of over 120 books, including the best-selling “Murder, She Wrote” series of 45 murder mysteries, Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series, and “Coffee, Tea or Me?” which sold more 5-million copies worldwide. His autobiography, Murder HE Wrote: A Successful Writer’s Life, was published in 2006 (Purdue University Press). He was the first recipient of the John Seigenthaler Legends Award at Killer Nashville 2014, received the first Grand Master Scribe Award in 2007 from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, and was named one of Purdue University’s Distinguished Alumni in 2003.

Renée Paley-Bain

Renée Paley-Bain has been collaborating with her husband Donald Bain on the “Murder, She Wrote” series of original mysteries for 15 years. This year, for the first time, the books will carry her byline as well as that of the fictional Jessica Fletcher, and the real-life Donald Bain. Renée has also worked as a public relations professional, freelance business writer, and–way back when–a newspaper editor and reporter, and speech writer. She is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and the Authors Guild.

Click here to register and save a spot (and pre-order the book!)


Timothy Kenny brings us “Far Country: Stories From Abroad and Other Places” on Sunday October 18th at 3:00p.m.

FAR COUNTRY COVERJoin us for an afternoon with Timothy Kenny, author of “Far Country: Stories From Abroad and Other Places” on Sunday October 18th at 3:00 p.m. Listen to the journeys to places all over the world.

About the book:

“Timothy Kenny’s Far Country moves from Kabul to Detroit, Azerbaijan to Kosovo, and the connecting thread is not the obvious adventure but human relationships. Each essay is a story we fall into, story after story connected through relationship and observation, from darkness to the next darkness. Kenny’s essays are not just reports from the front but a fascinating set of hard-won observations on any front, any complex of situations, that any of us might encounter.”
Trish Harris, editor Pea River Journal

About the author:

Timothy Kenny is a former USA Today foreign editor, non-profit foundation executive, Fulbright scholar and associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut. TimKenny

In 2002-03 Kenny lived for a year in Kosovo, working as a senior media advisor and trainer for professional journalists. He established two Kosovo journalism associations, taught broadcast writing and helped develop a local Internet wire service. Kenny was director of research and news history at the Newseum, the world’s only interactive museum of news, based in Washington, D.C., and worked for 23 years as a newsman, the last 12 at USA Today.

As the national daily’s foreign editor Kenny traveled widely in Central and Eastern Europe from 1989-93, reporting from Russia and throughout the region, including Bosnia and Croatia during the early stages of the conflicts there. Kenny has filed stories from more than 40 countries, including Northern Ireland, Israel, Nicaragua, Panama, Afghanistan, the Caucasus and throughout Central Asia. He has also worked as a legislative and political reporter for United Press International and was an editor and reporter at daily and weekly newspapers in Oregon and Michigan.

Kenny taught journalism as a Fulbright Scholar in 1991-92 at the University of Bucharest, Romania, where he established the first student newspaper. He was selected by the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) as one of two international scholars in journalism for 2010-2011, working with the faculty at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He also taught journalism during two, short-term Specialist Fulbrights, the first to Romania in summer 2005, and to Baku, Azerbaijan, in November- December 2013.

In addition to USA Today, his reporting and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Toronto Star, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal/Europe, the Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Hartford Courant, the Providence Journal,, The American Editor, Quill, Global Journalist and the British Journalism Review, among other publications. He has co-authored scholarly magazines articles as well as a book chapter about Central Asian journalism that appears in “After the Czars and Commissars: The Press in Central Asia after Independence.”

Kenny’s narrative nonfiction has appeared in several literary magazines, including the Kenyon Review Online, The Louisville Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Green Mountains Review, Irish Pages, The Pea River Journal, The Common, The Galway Review and elsewhere. His first book, a collection of creative nonfiction entitled Far Country: Stories from Abroad and Other Places, was published in May 2015.

To save a spot, or pre-order the book, click here.

“Poor Man’s Feast” by Elissa Altman at LaZingara on Wednesday October 28th at 6:30p.m.!

Poor mansByrd’s Books brings New York Times bestselling author Elissa Altman to a very special author event at LaZingara Ristorante on Wednesday October 28th at 6:30p.m. The cost for the evening is $50.00 per person, which includes a farm fresh meal from LaZingara, an author talk from Elissa Altman, a signed copy of the newly released paperback edition of “Poor Man’s Feast” and a recipe card from the book to take with you. Beverage is a cash bar. This is a registration only event so be sure to save a spot early by clicking here.

About the book:

“Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking”, which includes twenty-six delicious recipes—is tender and often hilarious; a story of finding sustenance and peace in a world with unlimited excess and inauthenticity. It is about finding one’s true self as our family’s influence and the relationships we build with people throughout our lives intersect with the food we put on our table. Elissa Altman’s relationship with Susan changed her relationship with food forever and shows us how all of our stories are inextricably bound up with what, and how, we feed ourselves and those we love.

“Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious, this is one of the finest food memoirs of recent years.”

–New York Times Book Review

About the author:

Elissa Altman was born and raised in New York to a food-phobic mother and a food fanatical father who taught her that fancy cuisine is always best. While her mother avoided and distrusted food, her father filled her childhood with dinners at every upscale culinary establishment in town, from Le Pavillion to Le Grenoille. Elissa devoted her life to all things gastronomical, even serving rare game birds at elaborate dinner parties. She learned that taller food was always fancier and better, and created towering culinary masterpieces.

Elissa Altman writes, winner of the 2012 James Beard Award for Individual Food Blog. A food and cookbook editor as well as writer, her work has appeared in Saveur and the New York Times, on Gilt Taste and the Huffington Post, and has five times been selected for inclusion in Best Food Writing. Her work will be included in Best Food Writing 2015. She is also the author of the Washington Post column, “Feeding My Mother”. She lives in Connecticut with Susan Turner and a small herd of animals.

About LaZingara Ristorante:

lazingara_with_painted_LADYImagine 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.



Becca and the Prisoner’s Cross

Becca-Tony AbbottA follow-up to Wade and the Scorpion’s Claw finds studious language expert Becca suffering from mysterious blackouts that allow her to see the time of Copernicus, where she receives coded messages about a next relic.