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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Llewellyn’s Little Book of Psychic Development with Melanie Barnum

Have you ever been to one of Melanie’s author events? No? Well, you are in for a fun evening! Please join us Wednesday August 16th at 7:00pm to celebrate the release of Melanie’s newest book, “Llewellyn’s Little Book of Psychic Development”.

About the book:

Your psychic gifts are just waiting to be explored, and this pocket-size guide makes it easy! Discover how to tune in to your intuition, deepen your spirituality, and improve your relationships with simple techniques for developing your psychic senses.

Fill your life with abundance and positivity by engaging in your psychic birthright. This little book is packed with ways to help you, from hands-on exercises and journaling prompts to true stories from Melanie Barnum’s clients and personal experiences. If you want to feel more connected to your spirit, make changes in your career, or receive help when making decisions in every area of your life, this is the right book for you!

About the author:

Melanie 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). Visit her online at MelanieBarnum.com.

To save a spot for this fun event, click HERE.

 

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)

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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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.

 

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.

Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but Also My Mom’s, Which I Know Sounds Weird)

Navel GazingThe New York Times best-selling author (and Connecticut author!) and stand-up comedian, in a candid and humorous memoir, reexamines his life as a middle-aged guy and confronts his genetic legacy as he enters his 40s.

Maple Syrup Talk & Taste with David K. Leff

Maple SugaringOn Friday February 26th at 7:00pm, joined us for an evening of Maple Syrup! Connecticut author David K. Leff will walk us through the differences in maple syrups as we taste the different grades of sweet syrup on waffle pieces! Ever wonder what the differences in “grade” mean? How easy is it to make your own syrup? What time of year is the best for maple syrup?

 

Healing Without Hurting with Jenn Kozek on March 1st at 7:00pm

Byrd’s Books welcomed Jenn Kozek on Tuesday March 1st at 7:00pm as she discussed her new book, “Healing Without Hurting:  Treating ADHD, Apraxia and Autism Spectrum Disorders Naturally and Effectively Without Harmful Medications”.

About the book:

CoverUsing her candid parenting experiences with her son as a backdrop, Giustra-Kozek provides others with a practical reference guide for naturally treating ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and their co-morbid conditions such as sleep issues, depression, impulsivity, and anxiety. As both a parent and mental health professional, Giustra-Kozek examines the mistakes some conventional physicians make when it comes to treating these disorders. “Healing Without Hurting” provides a methodical approach to understanding the underlying causes and offers non-pharmaceutical solutions that work.

About the author:

Jenn KozekJennifer Kozek has a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Criminal Justice from Western Connecticut State University. She is an accomplished licensed psychotherapist in private practice. She has over 15 years of clinical experience treating clients with an array of health disorders including Asperger’s, depression, anxiety, OCD and ADHD.

Connecticut author Melanie Barnum and Psychic Vision

Psychic visionMelanie Barnum’s new book, “Psychic Vision: Developing Your Clairvoyant and Remote Viewing Skills” is a must-read.

About the book:
Imagine being able to see people, landmarks, or objects in a far away location without physically going there! Offering a unique combination of intuitive and analytical guidance, Psychic Vision includes everything you need to know about using clairvoyance and remote viewing to enhance your life. With chapter-by-chapter exercises created specifically to take you on a clairvoyant journey–as well as instructions for the exact protocols used by government intelligence agencies–Psychic Vision is an indispensible guide to developing your psychic sight. Sharing true stories of actual remote viewing events, this book provides practical applications for clairvoyance and introduces you to an extraordinary and inspiring spiritual awareness.

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). Visit her online at MelanieBarnum.com.

The Magical World of Strega Nona: A Treasury

Magical World of Strega NonaThe Magical World of Strega Nona: A Treasury
Written & illustrated by Connecticut author Tomie dePaola!

Enter the marvelous, magical world of Strega Nona!

This wonderful treasury features six favorite stories about Strega Nona and her sidekick, the bumbling Big Anthony including the original Strega Nona, as well as Strega Nona Meets Her Match, Strega Nona: Her Story, Strega Nona Takes a Vacation, Strega Nona s Harvest, and Strega Nona’s Gift. Tomie s brand-new introductions to each story take readers behind the scenes to see how Strega Nona s world has developed through the years. Also including an original lullaby with sheet music and a CD a map of Strega Nona s town, and some fun recipes, this collection will give readers and music lovers much to savor.

Strega Nona, Tomie dePaola’s beloved grandmother witch, has been enchanting readers since the publication of the Caldecott Honor Award winning Strega Nona in 1975. Strega Nona’s gentle humor, irrepressible spirit, and matter-of-fact approach to life have won her legions of fans young and old, and the American Library Association called her an enduring character who has charmed generations of children.

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