The Kiss of the Sweet Scottish Rain on Wednesday October 24th at 7pm

Join us for a very special author event with Robert McWilliams as he discusses his new book, The Kiss of the Sweet Scottish Rain: A Walk from Cape Wrath to the Solway Firth.

To save a spot, or buy the book, click HERE.

About the book;

From Cape Wrath in the lonely northwest to a muddy estuary overlooking England, The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain takes the reader on a walk across Scotland. For Rob McWilliams-Scots-born but exiled since childhood-the walk is an obstinate ambition, and the start of a new direction in life.

McWilliams crosses wild and beautiful landscapes, meets an ever-changing cast of companions, and passes through communities from remote hamlets to the smiling, but rough-edged, city of Glasgow. Around every corner, he explores Scotland’s turbulent history and unique cultural and natural heritage, from the Gaelic language, to the fearsome Highland midge, and how the Stone of Destiny-an ancient coronation symbol – could now reside in an unassuming Glasgow pub.

Struggling with terrain, injury, atrocious weather, and above all his own fragile confidence, McWilliams weaves into his narrative the threads of his life that led to the journey, and discovers that the rewards of adventure are rarely those that were anticipated.

The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain informs and entertains. As well as a ben or a castle, there is usually a joke just around the next turn in the trail.

About the author: 

Robert McWilliams was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but moved with his journalist father’s job to the south of England at the age of three. Rob graduated from Wadham College, Oxford, with a BA Hons. in Modern History. After university, he worked as a tour guide and English teacher in France and Spain, before joining Reuters news agency in London. Rob spent 16 years at Reuters as a business manager in Hong Kong, Japan, the US, Venezuela and Brazil.

For nearly 20 years, Rob has lived in Connecticut with his wife and daughters, and is now a US citizen. Tired of corporate life, he quit his job to fulfill a stubborn ambition to walk the length of Scotland. He has contributed the Taking a Hike column to local newspapers every month for five years. Taking a Hike placed second in the general column category of the 2017 Connecticut Press Club awards. Rob has also written for A.T. Journeys, the official magazine of the Appalachian Trail, and Ctvisit.com. The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain is his first book.

Rob enjoys hiking, and travel off the beaten track. He does consulting work on information privacy, and volunteers with the Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Trail and other outdoor causes.

Our Holiday Baking Event with Rose Beranbaum!

Please join us for an afternoon of birthday fun on Sunday December 9th at 2:00pm. as we celebrate Byrd’s Books 7th birthday! Author Rose Levy Beranbaum (The Baking Bible, The Cake Bible) will join us to discuss her book, Rose’s Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, with More Than 600 Step-By-Step Photos.

If you choose to bake for the event from the book, you will receive a $20.00 gift certificate to Byrd’s Books when you bring your goodie to the event. The author will get the chance to sample your efforts, as will the rest of the group!

Boxes will be available for taking home the fruits of your baking efforts. It’s the holidays!! Boxes can be purchased for a $10 fee, which will be directly donated to DAWS, our local no-kill shelter.

The event is free, but registration is strongly suggested. We reserve the right to limit attendance due to space. Save a spot and register HERE.

Writing Workshops

Writing Workshops at Byrd’s Books

We have two to choose from: Sundays with Judith Marks-White or Tuesdays with Linda Chiara!

SUNDAY AFTERNOONS from 3:30-5:30pm: This workshop is with Judith Mark-White. This is a very casual, all-skills-level prompt-writing workshop that is a lot of fun for all. Monthly on Sunday afternoons at 3:30, the group gathers to write from a choice of provided prompts, shares their work and their feedback. This workshop is a great way to break a writer’s block, jump-start your writing or see if writing is something you would like to try. All skill levels are welcome, please bring something to write or type on. Each session is $15.00, with a minimum of 6 participants. Dates: September 16th, October14th, November 4th, and December 12th. See Judith’s bio below. To sign up click HERE, or call the store (203) 730-2973.

TUESDAY EVENINGS from 6-7:30: This workshop is with Linda Chiara and is structured so the participants each bring a body of work in progress- three typed, double-spaced sheets to share with the rest of the group (6 copies). Each person reads their work and discussion follows. The intention of this workshop is to improve and refine work headed to publication. Further instruction is available with Linda, privately. Each session is $15.00, with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 participants. Dates: September 18th, October 2nd and 23rd, November TBA, December 4th and 18th. To sign up, click HERE, or call the store (203) 730-2973.

 

Judith Marks-White     

Addicted to black and white composition notebooks, Judith Marks-White began writing as soon as she could hold a pen in her hand.   Prior to becoming an independent free-lance writer, she was employed at Time Inc.Time-Life Books.   Her work soon evolved into humorous writing when, in 1985, she joined the staff of the Westport News in Connecticut where her column. The Light Touch (now under the heading: In Other Words) has appeared for the past twenty-eight years.  It here that her humorous and reflective voice takes hold as she views life through her own “funny glasses.’  Her articles and feature stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the country.

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 is the recipient of numerous writing awards from the Connecticut Press Club, Matrix: Women in Communications, and the New England Press Association (NEPA).  She received a first place award for Best Humorous Personal Column from the National Federation of Press Women and continues to receive award recognition for her columns from the Connecticut Press Club.   In March of 2003, she was honored as one of the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Outstanding Women in Connecticut celebrating her achievement and dedication to public service through the art of column writing.  She considers her awards special as it emphasizes her love of the satirical essay as she entertains her audience with her take on the human condition and the small foibles we all experience in our daily lives.  She continues to carry the theme of humor into her novels.  

            In November 2009, ELLE magazine featured Bachelor Degree as a Reader’s Prize Book

Ms. Marks-White along with authors, Judith Viorst and Colette Dowling was a keynote speaker for “Perspectives: A Woman’s Viewpoint” sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League and Redbook magazine. Her talk: “Help, I’m Turning into my Mother” is just one of the humorous topics on which she has spoken to many groups and organizations.   She is a member of The National Federation of Press Women, Pen America, National Association of Pen Women, The Connecticut Press Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Among her many published works include her speech: “The Marketing and Writing of Humor” which appeared in Press Women Magazine.  Her feature articles and humorous essays have appeared in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies.  She lectures widely on the subject of humor and how it impacts the lives of women today.

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 is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and other anthologies.  Her latest essay: Ghosts of Husbands Past is included in the Anthology: Wedding Cake for Breakfast.  Each story addresses the first year of marriage as seen through the eyes of 23-authors.

(203) 247-0373 (203) 227-7761, www.judithmarks-white.com, joodth@snet.net

TESTIMONIAL: “Judith Marks-White is an excellent and supportive writing workshop leader. She is very helpful in suggesting everything from major changes in your manuscript to interesting venues for its publication. In our workshops, she used writing prompts, giving us one long prompt (from a list she creates for each session) and one very brief one (from visual cues, in this case, reproductions of New Yorker covers from the 1920s on). Then everyone reads what he or she has written, and praise and criticism are offered by all participants, including Judith. She specializes in producing an egoless, conflict-free, and cooperative atmosphere that is generous both to emerging and to experienced writers.” ~ Wendy Wipprecht

 

Linda Chiara

I am an award-winning columnist and seasoned freelance writer with over 25 years experience in both fiction and nonfiction, including short stories, essays, humor, how-to’s, and parenting issues. I also write for children ranging in age from five through teens.

My work for adults has appeared in Readers’ Digest, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Woman’s World, Ladies Home Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Christian Home and School and Baby TalkIn addition I write frequently for parenting magazines around the nation, including Connecticut County Kids, Connecticut Parent, Pittsburgh Parent, Atlanta Parent, L A Parent, Chicago Parent, etc.

My true passion, however, is writing for children. My essays for middle school children have been in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love and Friendship and  Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up: Stories about Growing UpMeeting Challenges, and Learning from Life.

Oddey the Owl is my first children’s book and tells the true story of Oddey, a special needs owl, who was found on a barn floor after being tossed out of his nest by his siblings. Oddey was not like any other barn owl. Other owls catch mice for dinner. Oddey was afraid of mice! He was also afraid of the dark, so he had to sleep with a night light on!

Other stories and articles of mine have appeared in Boys’ Life and for many state standardized testing books, including Measuring Up to the New York State Learning Standards, Measuring Up to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, among others.

Another passion of mine is helping aspiring writers see their own work get published. To that end, I teach private classes, one-on-one sessions and through my local continuing education program.

TESTIMONIAL: 

I’ve been a professional writer and editor for the past twenty years, published in newspapers and magazines including the New York Times and the New Republic. I can tell you that I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of support and feedback from Linda’s group. I first showed up in November 2016 with a few pages of a novel I had just started writing. Despite my professional experience, novel writing was new territory for me, and I was unsure of myself. Linda and the other members of the group were so encouraging that I kept going. I’m on the verge of completing a draft of that novel, and the support of the Writers Group has been instrumental in that effort. I’ve even begun meeting on my own with a couple other writers to whom I was introduced  through Linda’s group. Every week that Linda’s group doesn’t meet, we gather in a small meeting room we reserve at the library to chart each other’s progress.

There’s always a waiting list for the Writers Group. That’s because Linda has created an environment where writers of all skill levels–from those who’ve never written creatively before, to those of us who’ve been widely published–can feel comfortable, yet also come away with ideas for how to improve. Some people, like me, return month after month. Others come and go as their schedules and desires permit. Linda possesses the rare ability to meet each of us where we are at–and on the fly, because, given the format of the group, she has to react to each participant’s writing on the spot. People have shown up with rhyming love poetry, western-themed fantasy novels, family memoirs, comic pieces, murder mysteries, and short stories about domestic violence. Linda takes all comers, and offers feedback that is free of judgment and often accompanied by a dose of humor. She only seeks to help the writer effectively achieve whatever he/she is trying to do. 

The written worksheets that Linda hands out at the beginning of every class–each a warm essay she has written for the group that is chockfull of piquant insights–could at this point comprise a small book of their own. I’ve seen other writers, many of them novices when they joined the group, flourish under Linda’s tutelage. She has personally reached out to me between group meetings more than once to offer encouragement and advice…” ~Sarah Courteau 

 

Please call the store if you have questions or would like to sign up (203) 730-2973

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The President is Missing

By Bill Clinton and James Patterson. As enemies plan an unprecedented attack on American soil, Washington is gripped by uncertainty and fear as rumors spread of a traitor in the cabinet and the president himself comes under suspicion, before he goes missing.

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The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

By Elaine Weiss. An account of the 1920 ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted voting rights to women traces the culmination of seven decades of legal battles and cites the pivotal contributions of famous suffragists and political leaders.

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Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders. New to paper. Traces a night of solitary mourning and reflection as experienced by the sixteenth president after the death of his eleven-year-old son at the dawn of the Civil War.

A Piece of the World: A Novel

By Christina Baker Kline. Imagines the life story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World,” describing the simple life she led on a remote Maine farm, her complicated relationship with her family, and the illness that incapacitated her.

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How to Stop Time

By Matt Haig. A man with a secret rare condition that has enabled him to survive for centuries moves to London to become a high-school history teacher and considers defying his protective guardians’ rule against falling in love when he becomes entranced by a captivating colleague. By the best-selling author of Reasons to Stay Alive.

 

The Great Alone: A Novel

By Kristin Hannah. When her volatile, former POW father impulsively moves the family to mid-1970s Alaska to live off the land, young Leni and her mother are forced to confront the dangers of their lack of preparedness in the wake of a dangerous winter season. By the best-selling author of The Nightingale.

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4 3 2 1: A Novel

By Paul Auster. (new to paper)

* * * Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize * * *

New York Times Bestseller, Los Angeles Times Bestseller, Boston Globe Bestseller, National Indiebound Bestseller

The Millions’s “Most Anticipated”; Vulture’s “Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017”; The Washington Post’s Books to Read in 2017; Chicago Tribune’s “Books We’re Excited About in 2017”;
Town & Country‘s “5 Books to Start Off 2017 the Right Way”; Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017

“An epic bildungsroman . . . . Original and complex . . . . monumental assemblage of competing and complementary fictions, a novel that contains multitudes.”—Tom PerrottaThe New York Times Book Review

“A stunningly ambitious novel, and a pleasure to read. . . . An incredibly moving, true journey.”—NPR

Paul Auster’s greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel—a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself.

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

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