Garbanzofest III is Back!!

Please join us for a day of poetry, music and mayhem! Saturday February 22nd marks Garbanzofest III. lead the way by Marc Moorash and Ava Dawn Heydt.

About the day:   garbanzofest3prFINAL

Bethel Connecticut’s Seraphemera Books and their Garbanzo Literary Journal, in conjunction with independent bookseller Byrd’s Books are excited to announce Garbanzofest 3 – A Celebration of Words – a community and family friendly party for the release of Garbanzo Literary Journal (book three).
Taking place on Saturday February 22nd, 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, an open-mic for anybody who would like to read their work, a writing workshop whose goal is to create a piece of writing that will allow each participant to be a part of (and have their name published with) a piece of writing that will appear in Garbanzo Literary Journal (book four), all topped off with the musical talents of local guitarist/singer/songwriter/banjo-player/all-around artist Lys Guillorn (
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


Amy Nawrocki returns to Byrd’s Books! Saturday March 1st at 7:00 p.m.

Some of you may remember Amy when she joined us for our “History of Connecticut Food” and “History of Connecticut Wine” slide show and food/wine event. Well, we heard Amy was coming out with a new poetry book and we wanted her to come to Byrd’s Books to share it with you!! We love Amy’s poetry, and we know you will too.

Advance praise for Amy’s book:


From poet Leslie McGrath:

Amy Nawrocki’s poems celebrate preservation and renewal in New England landscapes. Births, deaths, and the whimsical appearance of the mysterious—all are welcomed as the poet invites us to “light the light that will unblind us.” Nawrocki is a deft observer of the beauty of work, be it pickling or pulling a quahog from the muck. The weathered and the wasting, too, are treated with wonder by this poet who describes a bygone farm in which pumpkins in a field are “sitting like children watching a magic show.”

Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World

Letters from Sandy HookEdited by Suzanne Davenport

A deeply heartfelt collection of original letters written by members of the Sandy Hook-Newtown community, giving the world a simple and honest view into their lives. The Sandy Hook-Newtown community is a wonderful, typical New England community. This book is a compilation of letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown residents who are old and new. A tragic, horrible event happened in this community on December 14, 2012. With the world, this community cherishes the lives lost and grieves the senseless act of violence. But December 14th does not define this community. This is not just a book about that day it is a book about who the people and community of Sandy Hook-Newtown are on any given day. Since the tragic event on December 14, 2012, this community has been shown a tremendous amount of love and compassion from all over the world in so many different forms. Letters from Sandy Hook-Newtown to the World is a small offering from the people of Sandy Hook-Newtown, letting you know who they are and have always been. The book contains nearly 100 letters, presented in both original handwritten and typed forms. They are further organized into loose groupings that the editor felt were appropriate in the sense that they seemed to echo a common theme or feeling. Additionally, the book is beautifully illustrated with nearly 100 photographs from Sandy Hook-Newtown, giving you a visual feel for this beautiful community and its surroundings.

Please join us for an evening of poetry: “Her House and Other Poems” by Donna Marie Merritt on Friday April 25th at 7:00 p.m.

Please join us for an evening of poetry with Donna Marie Merrit as she shares her book,”Her House and Other Poems” at 7:00 p.m. on Friday April 25th.

About the book:


Her House is a culmination of fine observation. Donna Marie Merritt reflects on those details that so often pass by undetected, yet play an enormous part in our lives. Along the way we examine our fragile bargain with nature—and how close we are to chaos when nature reminds us just who is in charge. Long countryside walks, a good glass of wine, family and friends, growing older… all these Merritt celebrates with gratitude, prompting us to truly see what surrounds us, reminding us that memory is precious and sweet.

To see the video click here.

About the author:

Merritt3Donna Marie Merritt is the author of Her House and Other Poems (2013, Stairwell Books). She is also the author of the Poetry for Tough Times series: What’s Wrong with Ordinary? Poems to Celebrate Life (2012), Cancer, A Caregiver’s View (2011), and Job Loss, A Journey in Poetry (2010), all from Avalon Press. Donna’s work has appeared in magazines, school reading programs, and American Library Association’s Book Links. Her poems have been included in several anthologies: Caduceus, volumes 9 and 10, by the Yale Medical Group (2012, 2013); Olives, Now and Then: poems in honor of Donald Hall by the Connecticut Poetry Society (2011); and Dear One: A Tribute to Lee Bennett Hopkins by the National Council of Teachers of English (2009). In addition, Donna is the author of 15 math and science books for children.

Flip-Flops After 50 comes to Byrd’s Books on May 2nd with Cindy Eastman!

Join us at Flip-Flop Night at Byrd’s Books! Celebrate Spring, wear your favorite flip-flops and join us as we laugh and discuss Cindy Eastman’s new book, “Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts On Aging I Remembered to Write Down.”

About the book: Flip Flops

“Flip-flops After 50 “will amuse, enlighten, and provoke readers to think about the topics that affect all of us. Who hasn’t dealt with the emotions from family events, stress from lousy jobs, or the bittersweet feelings when the kids leave home? Not to mention body image, high school reunions, and parenting. Eastman’s conversational style and easy humor tackle the sublime and the ridiculous, the sacred and the profane. After a certain age–and it’s no secret that it’s 50–Eastman argues that attitudes change for the better. Making decisions gets easier, although there’s no guarantee that life does. Even so, her writing allows us to take a look at our own issues with the reassuring handholding of a confidante. (April 8 release)

Advance praise:

“Cindy Eastman’s Flip-Flops After Fifty: And Other Thoughts on Aging I Remembered to Write Down is as funny, warm, and inviting as its title. Filled with the kind of everyday humor that made Erma Bombeck everybody’s favorite columnist, Eastman’s wit and generosity reach out to embrace the reader. With every laugh, there’s a moment of recognition and a sense of camaraderie.

—Dr. Gina Barreca, professor of English and feminist theory and author of It’s Not That I’m Bitter

About the author:

Cindy Eastman’s work is informed by her ability to be an observer as well as a participant in her life. With her dry sense of humor, she is able to address a variety of topical subjects and deliver an insightful analysis that’s both provocative and amusing. Currently she coordinates a supervised visitation service with her husband in his counseling practice and facilitates diversity and anti-bullying trainings for the Anti-Defamation League. She also teaches a writing course for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Waterbury campus of UConn. Eastman makes her home in Connecticut with her husband, Angelo, and their cat. She is working on a second book when not babysitting her grandson.


Meet the Author & Honey Tasting with Marina Marchese on May 3rd at 5:00p.m.

Byrd’s Books welcomes Marina Marchese for a fun evening of honey tasting! Marina

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” (co-written with Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine). Honey will be served and available for purchase.   



Meatless All Day: Recipes For Inspired Vegetarian Meals by Dina Cheney

Byrd’s Books is thrilled to host Dina Cheney on Saturday May 3rd at 2:00 p.m. as she discusses her new book from Connecticut publisher Taunton Press!

About the book:  Meatless All Day Cover

The 85 vegetarian—including more than 10 vegan!—recipes included in MEATLESS ALL DAY all wield high-impact ingredients like caramelized onions, black bean sauce, nuts, beans and lentils, tempeh, mushrooms, and more that add “meaty” flavor and texture to dishes of all kinds. With these ingredients as the foundation, dishes are hearty, flavorful, and super-satisfying.

Peppered throughout with cooking tips, serving suggestions, and ideas for turning vegetarian dishes into vegan fare, MEATLESS ALL DAY will become a staple in every kitchen.

About the Author:

Dina Cheney, a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, is the author of Year-Round Slow Cooker, Tasting Club, and Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads.  She also develops recipes for several magazines, including Fine Cooking, writes monthly columns for Everyday with Rachael Ray, and contributes to many other food and lifestyle publications. Dina lives in Connecticut.  Follow her at, on Facebook (dinacheney) and on Twitter @DinaCheney.

Marcie Cuff felts with families on Thursday May 8th at 7:30p.m.

We are so happy to spend a family-friendly evening with Marcie Cuff, author of “This Book Was a Tree” on Thursday May 8th at 7:30. From Marcie: “I’ve been imagining my event at Byrd’s to be a sort of book signing and “crafty night out” for grownups.” We think that sounds great!!!

From the author:

This Book Was a Tree is sort of a self-help book for adults on how to slow down and reconnect with the outside world. Though the writing is fun and quirky, and the projects within it are simple and green, it covers the science behind formidable local and global environmental issues. Its audience is the practical, educated middle-aged person making responsible purchases and favoring ethical products. Although the projects within it are very family-friendly and collaborative, but the text is not written as a children’s book.”This book was a tree

About the book:

At no time in human history have we been more disconnected with what lies outside our front doors. Within just a century, our relationship with our surroundings has transformed from one of exploration to one of disassociation. In This Book Was a Tree, science teacher Marcie Cuff issues a call for a new era of pioneers–not leathery, backwoods deerskin-wearing salt pork and hominy pioneers, but strong-minded, clever, crafty, mudpie-making, fort-building individuals committed to examining the natural world and deciphering nature’s perplexing puzzles.
Within each chapter, readers will discover a principle for reconnecting with the natural world around them, from learning to be still to discovering the importance of giving back. With a mix of science and hands-on crafts and activities, readers will be encouraged to brainstorm, imagine, and understand the world as inventive scientists–to touch, collect, document, sketch, decode, analyze, experiment, unravel, interpret, compare, and reflect. (April 1 release)

About the author:

Marcie Cuff has an academic background in studio art, evolutionary biology and animal behavior, and an MA in Secondary Science teaching. Now a nature columnist for a regional newspaper, The Hudson Independent, she has written professionally for most of her life, and runs Mossy, a blog highlighting innovative family projects, hands-on parenting commentary, and related photography, and listed as one of Babble’s top 50 Mom Craft Blogs of 2011. She works as a garden coordinator at a local elementary school, and organizes and maintains a community-based vegetable garden.

We welcome Nan Rossiter back to Byrd’s Books to sign her latest book, “Under a Summer Sky” on Saturday May 10th at 2:00 p.m.

Byrd’s Books welcomes back Nan Rossiter as she signs her new book, “Under a Summer Sky” on Saturday May 10th at 2:00 p.m.- just in time for Mother’s Day!!

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.

We Are Water

We Are WaterBy Connecticut author Wally Lamb

We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True.

After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh – wife, mother, outsider artist – has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets – dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives.

We Are Water is a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs – nonconformist, Anna; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest. It is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.

With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.