Maple Sugaring: Keeping It Real in New England by David K. Leff

Maple SugaringWe celebrate David Leff’s new book, “Maple Sugaring: Keeping It Real in New England”.

About the book:

Maple Sugaring gives readers an intimate look at the art and science of America’s favorite sweet. These stories, told by real-life sugarmakers, reveal how this ancient industry has continued into the twenty-first century. Thanks to the newest technology, and patience, New England sugarmakers are still keeping it real. A former maple sugarmaker and board member of the Maple Syrup Producers’ Association of Connecticut, David Leff takes us on a journey into the very heart of New England’s character. Along the way he talks with the sugar gurus, who share their expertise, insights, and anecdotes about their experiences in the business. What makes maple sugaring such a beloved tradition? Is it marketing savvy, family tradition, or something deeper–and harder to tap? This book is for anyone with a sweet tooth who is curious about the science, or who simply enjoys a good story. Maple Sugaring is full of wisdom, quirky characters, and recipes.

About the author: David K. Leff

Leff, author of numerous essays and stories for the Hartford Courant and other periodicals, is former Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He has served as chairman of the Collinsville Historic District Commission, and as a volunteer firefighter, among other civic activities.

Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers

Sally AllenSally Allen brought us “Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers” on November 21st.

About the book:

Award-winning writer and teacher Sally Allen knows that good books don’t just draw us in; they talk to us, shape us, and transport us to times, places, and minds different from our own. In Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, Allen deftly weaves personal stories with fifteen thematized, annotated, and illustrated reading lists for what to read next. By sharing some of the treasures in her library and the secret lives they reveal, she gives us permission to embrace the shameless book lover inside each of us. Unlocking Worlds is a testament to how reading passionately-and compassionately-can unlock the world beyond our back yard. Celebrating books and those who read them, Allen shows how the solitary act of reading can be a powerful thread that creates community and connection. Thought-provoking and eloquent, Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers is a must-have for anyone who can’t leave the house without a book in hand.

About the author: Unlocking W

Sally Allen is an award-winning writer and teacher. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University in English Education, with an emphasis in writing and rhetoric, and a M.A. in English Language and Literature. The founder and editor of Books, Ink at HamletHub, she leads book group discussions and teaches writing and communication. About the Illustrator Ha Pham is a designer and illustrator. Since graduating from Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts in Vietnam, she has worked as a freelancer for authors around the world.

To read an interview click here.

Small Business Saturday at Byrd’s Books

DigitalBannerDon’t just Shop Small for our books, gifts & greeting cards. Shop Small for your community. When you Shop Small this Nov 28, you #ShopSmallForAll.

Byrd’s Books will have authors in the store throughout the day. They will be here to discuss their books- and any other book you might like to ask them about!
The schedule, so far:
Sally Allen @ 10:30 (Unlocking Worlds)
Karen Romano Young @ 12 (Doodlebug, Try This!, Sea Turtle Rescue)

Janet Ettele @ 12 (How Generosity Works)
Andrea Zimmermann @ 1 (The Great Danbury State Fair)
Cindy Eastman @ 2 (Flipflops After Fifty)
Donna Marie Merritt @ 2 (We Walk Together)
Amy Kundrat @ 3 (Fairfield County Chef’s Table)

Elissa Altman @3 (Poor Man’s Feast)

Sally Allen


Adobe Photoshop PDF

How Generosity WorksFlip Flops


Fairfield County

Poor mans









DAWS (Danbury Animal Welfare Society) will wrap your purchases for tips from 11am to 4pm

Byrd’s Books welcomes Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson with their new book, “The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow”

Secret FilesOn Wednesday December 2nd at 6:30pm, Byrd’s Books welcomes Connecticut authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson for an author talk on their debut novel for Middle Grades, “The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow”.

Fans of the classic detective/spy story as well as the popular THE SECRET SERIES will adore this highly illustrated debut middle-grade adventure featuring three young sleuths!

Fear Not the Unexpected.
About the book:
Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom.
As if leaving New York City and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad (DMS), weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past.
Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that takes the members of the Detective Mystery Squad on an amazing adventure. December 1 release, Delacorte Pr / Random House Childrens Books.

About the authors:

Jessica Haight is a true New Englander, with a deep desire to be near the ocean and a love of the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. She easily floats away in the pages of a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts. Jessica lives in Connecticut with her charming fiance, James; their dog, Jack; their cat, Bill; and a very entitled bunny named Alice.
Stephanie Robinson lives with her husband in a quiet town, though it is not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. One of the many benefits of her job is that she learns something new every day. When Stephanie isn’t working, she spends her time creating stories, getting lost in books, and traveling to new places.
Visit to learn more.”

The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast

Portuguese TabeA book talk with food and wine, “A Greeting, Reading & Feeding”!! Don’t miss this exciting evening Friday December 4th at 7:00pm with David Leite- Byrd’s Books hosts the author talk with a bit of wine- the author will bring the food!! (To register, click here)
About the book:
Winner of the IACP 2010 Julia Child Award for First Book!
A culinary journey of Portugal spanning thirteen different historical regions, the nation’s food and culture, and including recipes for dishes like Slowly Simmered White Beans and Sausage and Olive Oil-Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce.Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, Portugal is today’s hot-spot vacation destination, and world travelers are enthralled by the unique yet familiar cuisine of this country. The New Portuguese Table takes you on a culinary journey into the soul of this fascinating nation and looks at its 11 surprisingly different historical regions, as well as the island of Madeira and the Azores, and their food culture, typical dishes, and wines. This book also showcases Portugal’s pantry of go-to ingredients, such as smoked sausages, peppers, cilantro, seafood, olive oil, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and bay leaves — all beloved by Americans and now combined in innovative ways.In The New Portuguese Table, David Leite provides a contemporary look at the flavorful food of this gastronomic region, sharing both the beloved classics he remembers from cooking at his grandmother’s side, such as Slowly Simmered White Beans and Sausage, as well as modern dishes defining the country today, like Olive Oil–Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce. With nearly 100 full-color photographs and a contemporary perspective, The New Portuguese Table is the handbook to the exciting cuisine of Portugal.
Read some great reviews here.
About the author:

David Leite is a food writer, author, memoirist, and web publisher. He founded Leite’s Culinaria in 1999. In 2006, he had the distinction of being the first winner ever of a James Beard Award for a website, a feat he repeated in 2007.

He has written about everything from chocolate chip cookies to fried clams, from the foods of Portugal to tribulations of being a super taster—for print, radio, and television. His first book, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, explored the food of his heritage and won the 2010 IACP First Book/Julia Child Award. He’s also written for the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Men’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, among others.

Besides being a writer, David is a correspondent on public radio’s The Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. He’s also been a frequent guest and host on Martha Stewart Living Radio programs, including “Cooking Today,” as well as a guest on Lucinda Scala Quinn’s program, “Mad Hungry Monday.” He’s been heard on NPR’s “All Thing Considered” and has appeared on History Channel 2’s “United Stuff of America,” Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” The Today Show, “Radical Sabbatical,” and is a regular guest on WTNH-TV.

David won the 2008 James Beard Award for Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes for his article “In a ’64 T-Bird, Chasing a Date with a Clam” and was nominated for the same award the following year for his article “Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret,” both from the New York Times. He was a 2006 winner of the Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism. In 2014, he was nominated for both Best Blog and Best Podcast Series by the IACP. His work has appeared in the Best Food Writing series a total of 14 times, from 2001 to 2015, a record.

Currently, David’s at work on his memoir Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression to be published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

To save a spot for this special event, click here.

Byrd’s Books turns 4 years old on December 11th!

Book cakeHappy Birthday Byrd’s Books!  We have hit the 4-year mark and have you to thank for it!

We will be open from 10-6 with in-store specials throughout the day…..and birthday cake, of course. Where you purchase your books is a choice, so we thank you for choosing us as your local independent bookstore.

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…

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.

Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and the Greatest Show on Earth

Big Top BurningOn Friday June 5th we hosted an exciting evening of history, pictures and discussion with Laura Woollett for the Book Launch of “Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and the Greatest Show on Earth” all about the 1944 Hartford Circus Fire. The book is written for ages 10+, but the talk and slide show was geared to ALL ages, including adults.
About the book:
Big Top Burning investigates the 1944 Hartford circus fire and invites readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence

The fire broke out at 2:40 p.m. Thousands of men, women, and children were crowded under Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s big top watching the Flying Wallendas begin their death-defying high-wire act. Suddenly someone screamed “Fire!” and the panic began. By 2:50 the tent had burned to the ground. Not everyone had made it out alive.

With primary source documents and survivor interviews, Big Top Burning recounts the true story of the 1944 Hartford circus fire—one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history. Its remarkable characters include: Robert Segee, the 15-year-old circus roustabout and known pyromaniac; and the Cook children, Donald, Eleanor, and Edward, who were in the audience when the circus tent caught fire. Guiding readers through the investigations of the mysteries that make this moment in history so fascinating, this book asks: Was the unidentified body of a little girl nicknamed “Little Miss 1565” Eleanor Cook? Was the fire itself an act of arson—and did Robert Segee set it? Big Top Burning combines a gripping disaster story, an ongoing detective and forensics saga, and World War II–era American history, inviting middle-grades readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence and draw their own conclusions.

We have signed copies at the store.

Gregg Mangan: On This Day in Connecticut History

On this Day CT histGregg Mangan gave an author talk and sign copies of his new book, “On This Day in Connecticut History” on Saturday May 9th at 4:00p.m.

About the book:

Connecticut’s character runs much deeper than breathtaking fall foliage and quaint coastal towns. One day at a time, author Gregg Mangan chronicles fascinating episodes in state history, from the earliest European settlements to the modern era. After a lengthy debate, the state senate voted in favor of “Yankee Doodle” as the official state song on March 16, 1978. Bridgeport’s General Electric Company completed work on the bazooka on June 14, 1942. On the morning of December 4, 1891, the only four-train collision in American history occurred at the railroad station in East Thompson. Each date on the calendar holds a nugget of knowledge in this celebration of Constitution State history.