A Conversation with Elissa Altman about her new book “Treyf” – Wednesday September 28th at 7:00pm

TreyfByrd’s Books welcomes back bestselling author Elissa Atman for an evening of conversation as she shares her new book, Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw, with us. The event will be catered at the bookstore by Michael Bick of Some Thing’s Fishy Catering. Assorted beverages will be served. To register, please click HERE.

About the book:

From the “Washington Post” columnist and James Beard Award-winning author of “Poor Man’s Feast “comes a story of seeking truth, acceptance, and self in a world of contradiction…
“Treyf” According to Leviticus, ” unkosher and prohibited,” like lobster, shrimp, pork, fish without scales, the mixing of meat and dairy. Also, “imperfect, intolerable, offensive, undesirable, unclean, improper, broken, forbidden, illicit.”
Fans of Augusten Burroughs and Jo Ann Beard will enjoy this kaleidoscopic, universal memoir in which Elissa Altman explores the tradition, religion, family expectations, and the forbidden that were the fixed points in her Queens, New York, childhood. Every part of Altman’s youth was laced with contradiction and hope, betrayal and the yearning for acceptance: synagogue on Saturday and Chinese pork ribs on Sunday; bat mitzvahs followed by shrimp-in-lobster-sauce luncheons; her old-country grandparents, whose kindness and love were tied to unspoken rage, and her bell-bottomed neighbors, whose adoring affection hid dark secrets.
While the suburban promise of “The Brady Bunch” blared on television, Altman searched for peace and meaning in a world teeming with faith, violence, sex, and paradox. Spanning from 1940s wartime Brooklyn to 1970s Queens to present-day rural New England, “Treyf” captures the collision of youthful cravings and grown-up identities. It is a vivid tale of what it means to come to yourself both in spite and in honor to your past.

About the author:

Elissa Altman is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Poor Man’s Feast “and the James Beard Award winning blog of the same name. She writes the “Washington Post column,” Feeding My Mother, and her work has appeared everywhere from OnBeing.org and “O, The Oprah Magazine” to “Tin House, “the” New York Times” and the TEDx stage, and has been anthologized for five consecutive years in “Best Food Writing.”

Registration is required, due to space limitations- please click HERE.

Maggie Smith: A Biography

Maggie SmithAn intimate portrait of a truly remarkable performer—known most recently for her star turn in Downton Abbey—whose stage and screen career spans 60 years is written with her blessing and drawn from her personal archives as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends.

Between the World and Me

BetweenThe author presents a history of racial discrimination in the United States and a narrative of his own personal experiences of contemporary race relations, offering possible resolutions for the future. Told through the author’s own evolving understanding of the subject over the course of his life comes a bold and personal investigation into America’s racial history and its contemporary echoes.

The Theft of Memory

TyphoidIn a riveting biography that reads like a crime novel, a Sibert Medalist and Newbery-Honor winner uncovers the true story of Mary Mallon, a.k.a. Typhoid Mary, one of the most notorious and misunderstood women in American history. (yes, it is a book for 9-11 year olds, but it is awesome!)

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation

Empire of DeceptionDocuments the multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme of charismatic lawyer Leo Koretz in Roaring Twenties Chicago, the subsequent international manhunt by an ambitious state attorney, and Leo’s mysterious death in prison.

Unbroken (Young Readers’ Edition)

UnbrokenUnbroken
By Laura Hillenbrand

The #1 New York Times bestseller, which is also a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie, has now been adapted by the author for young adults. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this riveting biography includes more than 100 black-and-white photos, as well as exclusive content, In Conversation, with Laura Hillenbrand and Louie Zamperini.

“Every young person should have the chance to read this book. It’s easy to think, growing up, that bravery is for other people, who are simply born heroic. But nothing about Louis marked him out for greatness. He started out as a misfit and troublemaker, but became a great man because of his choices. His story shows that everyone has the potential to rise above obstacles. It is not where you start out in life that counts the most, it is how you choose to face it.” —Angelina Jolie

On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.

In this captivating young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a man’s breathtaking odyssey and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome. Lavishly illustrated with more than one hundred photographs and featuring an exclusive interview with Zamperini, Unbroken will introduce a new generation to one of history’s most thrilling survival epics.

I was published in the New York Times!

New York TimesAs part of our Writer’s Workshops with Judith Marks-White, we were asked to write from a selection of prompts. I wrote a “Dear Santa” letter and submitted it, at Judith’s suggestion, to the Metropolitan Diary section of the New York Times. It was printed on December 23, 2014 and the comments that followed are as wonderful as seeing my name in print.

Here it is:

Dear Diary:

Dear Santa,

I would really like you to keep the New York of my youth. You know, the one without all the crowds of people.

I want the New York when my grandparents took me downstairs from their apartment to get ice cream at Schrafft’s.

I want the New York when my mom took me to the Plaza’s Palm Court for my birthday because I loved Eloise so much.

I want the Rockefeller Center where I run into my college buddies — no matter how often and when I visit.

I want the Pan Am Building back.

I want the New York where my other grandmother, thinking I would like opera, took me to “The Barber of Seville” before there were subtitles.

I want the New York where I can walk right up to Saint Patrick’s without a line and find peace in the quiet back chapel where the old ladies pray to Mary — even though I am not a Catholic.

So, knowing that my old New York is faded, could you please take care of the horses that pull the carriages until I get the chance to fulfill my dream to get a ride through Central Park?

I still believe,

Alice

P.S. Thank you for not letting them wreck the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal and for keeping the Metropolitan Museum.

Not My Father’s Son

Not My Father's SonA memoir by Alan Cumming

In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

A beloved star of stage, television, and film–“one of the most fun people in show business” (Time magazine)–Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father–a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.

When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father’s Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.

The Pilot and the Little Prince

PilotLittlePrinceThe Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Written & illustrated by Peter Sis

Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born in France in 1900, when airplanes were just being invented. Antoine dreamed of flying and grew up to be a pilot–and that was when his adventures began. He found a job delivering mail by plane, which had never been done before. He and his fellow pilots traveled to faraway places and discovered new ways of getting from one place to the next. Antoine flew over mountains and deserts. He battled winds and storms. He tried to break aviation records, and sometimes he even crashed. From his plane, Antoine looked down on the earth and was inspired to write about his life and his pilot-hero friends in memoirs and in fiction. Peter Sis’s remarkable biography celebrates the author of The Little Prince, one of the most beloved books in the world.

A Boy and a Jaguar

Boy & JaguarAs a child, Alan Rabinowitz stuttered uncontrollably–except when he spoke to animals, then he was fluent. Follow the world-renowned wild cat conservationist Dr. Rabinowitz’s remarkable life as he finds a voice to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. (biography, nature, special needs, ages 8-12)

wwd