“Buzzed: Beers, Booze, & Coffee Brews” with Erik Ofgang on October 29th at 4pm

Join us at Byrd’s Books as we host Erik Ofgang as he discusses his latest book, “Buzzed: Beers, Booze, & Coffee Brews” on Saturday October 29th at 4:p.m.

About the book:

buzzed-cover-hrBuzzed taps into New England’s burgeoning craft beer industry, longtime coffeehouse culture, and the up-and-coming world of craft distilling. With an everyman perspective and sharp wit, award- winning food and travel writer Erik Ofgang takes readers on a rollicking tour of New England’s booming craft beverage scene. Focusing on craft beverage clusters (areas where breweries, distilleries, and coffeehouses can be found in close proximity to one another), Buzzed tells readers all they need to know about visiting a particular drinking establishment. This travel guide is packed with inside information gathered directly from brewers and distillers, as well as bar trivia facts, historical tidbits, and Ofgang’s smart, humorous observations. Ofgang also suggests side trips, which include must-see museums, walking trails, and the standout attractions that make New England such a vibrant vacation destination.

About the author:

erikofgangwebErik Ofgang is an award-winning writer, musician, and magician whose work regularly
appears in dozens of magazines and news-papers throughout the country, including The
Associated Press, The Hartford Courant, and Connecticut Magazine, where he works as a
staff writer and content curator. He teaches writing at Western Connecticut State
University and is the founding editor of Poor Yorick, a literary journal published by the
university’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing program. Early praise for Buzzed calls the unique travel guide lively, detailed, and enthusiastic. “If your goal is to keep your finger on the pulse of all that is New England craft beer, Erik is your lifeblood,” wrote Kevin Mardorf of beerfests. com and CTBeer.com. When Erik is not writing, teaching, or conducting intensive field “research” at breweries or distilleries, he can be found playing bass with the Celtic roots band, MacTalla Mor. He lives in Western Connecticut with his wife and designated driver, Corinne. Although he’s an expert in alcoholic beverages, he prides himself in never having experienced the pain of a hangover. Yet.

To register for this event, and save a spot, click HERE.

Brian Meehl brings us “Blowback ’07” on Saturday Nov. 12 at 4pm

Byrd’s Books is thrilled to bring back author Brian Meehl for his latest novel for young people, “Blowback ’07” on Saturday November 12th at 4:00pm  (book: grades 7-12, author talk- all ages!!).

When was football almost abolished?

When was the forward pass against the rules?

Why was the first football helmet something you grew?
Hear the answers and much more about how football was saved and transformed into the game we know today by a scrappy team of Indians from the Carlisle Indian School.

To save a spot, click HERE.

About the book:

blowbackClashing teenage twins Arky and Iris have one thing in common: an ancient musical instrument left to them by their mother. When Iris plays the strangely curved woodwind, the trouble begins; Arky’s friend, Matt, the school’s star quarterback, disappears.

Transported to 1907 and the Carlisle Indian School, Matt is forced to play football for Coach Pop Warner as the Carlisle “Redmen” revolutionize Ivy League football. Matt’s struggle to “play his way home” is complicated when he falls in love with an Indian girl.

Meanwhile, Arky and Iris discover a cache of secrets that might bring Matt back, and lead to the ultimate rescue: their mother, trapped in the past.

Blowback ’07 launches a century-spanning trilogy to be continued in Blowback ’63 and Blowback ’94. Books two and three propel Arky and Iris to the illuminating past, and transform them in ways they never imagined. After all, as their mother once cautioned, “Every road to the future winds through the past.”

About the author:

Brian Meehl is the award-winning author of five novels, including the vampire comedies, Suck It Up and Suck It Up and Die. He enjoyed a successful career writing for television, winning three Emmys, and performing Muppets on “Sesame Street” and in Jim Henson films, including “The Dark Crystal.” While he’s currently finishing up the next two books in his Blowback trilogy, Brian welcomes visitors to his websites, blowbacktrilogy.com and brianmeehl.com.

Bobbi Wolverton Shares Her Story of “Black Empress: Rescuing a Puppy from Iran” on Friday December 2nd at 7pm

Wolverton - Black Empress cover RGB (3)Please join us Friday December 2nd at 7:00p.m. for an author talk like no other- saving a puppy while working in Iran. In this inspiring memoir, Bobbi Wolverton tells the story of rescuing her beloved dog from Iran. Her bond with the puppy brought untold happiness and important meaning throughout her life.

In 1972, at the age of 29, Bobbi Wolverton became a secretary at the Iran Safaris Company. Working in a foreign country was challenging and rewarding. Saving a throw-away puppy contributed to those challenges, ones that were both threatening and frightening.

From the moment of her arrival in Iran, she bonded with the runt puppy that was destined to be killed as the dog held no value to the fishing and hunting company.

To save the puppy, Wolverton defied her host and employer, as well as the Muslim culture. She survived dreadful incidents of river crossings, police interrogations and attempted rape and yet witnessed caring individuals who helped her save the puppy, the Black Empress. Join us to hear this thrilling true story.

Light refreshments will be served.

About the author:

Bobbi Phelps Wolverton grew up in Darien Connecticut, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and joined an international airline company in 1965. She worked as a flight attendant for six years, flying into Vietnam, bringing troops in and out of the warzone. During her world travels, she landed in Cairo just as the infamous Six-Day War erupted and was one of 567 rescued by the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

In 1975 she created the Angler’s Calendar Company. Her business won Exporter of the Year for the State of Idaho.

Her accomplishments include: 

  • Arnold Gingrich Writing Award
  • President of the Authors Guild of Tennessee.
  • Twenty-year member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
  • Nine-year board member of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho.
  • Founding member with Dr. Marty Becker (Dr. Oz Show Veterinarian) of the Hound Pound, a Twin Falls, Idaho, animal shelter.

Join the celebration of Karen Romano Young’s new book, “Hundred Percent”

Hundred percentJoin us for a very special afternoon on Saturday August 27th at 4:00pm as we celebrate the release of Karen Romano Young’s newest book, “Hundred Percent”. We will celebrate with readings from her book performed by middle schoolers. Light refreshments will be served. All ages welcome!

About the book:

The last year of elementary school is big for every kid. In this utterly honest, equal parts funny and crushing, novel perfect for boys and girls alike, Christine Gouda faces change at every turn, starting with her own nickname—Tink—which just doesn’t fit anymore. Readers will relate to this strong female protagonist whose voice rings with profound authenticity and absolute novelty, and her year’s cringingly painful trials in normalcy—uncomfortable Halloween costumes, premature sleepover parties, crushed crushes, and changing friendships. Throughout all this, Tink learns, what you call yourself, and how you do it, has alot to do with who you are. 
This book marks beloved author Karen Romano Young’s masterful return to children’s literature: a heartbreakingly honest account of what it means to be between girl and woman, elementary and middle school, inside and out—and just what you name that in-between self.

A little about Karen:

“My husband, children, dog, cat, guinea pigs, and I have a small, noisy, weird house in the Connecticut woods. Our lives are full of books, and we all read every chance we get. I write everyplace: in the kitchen, in the car, in the barn, in the school parking lot, in the Reading Room at the New York Public Library, at the beach. I write and write and write….”


“Hundred Percent is a brilliant and irresistible book about the sharp pains and joys of real life. Karen Romano Young is a writer like no other. She always finds the truest, most interesting paths to the heart.”-Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me

“Karen Romano Young must be twelve. There’s no other way she can possibly know what she knows about sixth grade in all its weirdness and glory. Seen and felt and conveyed with unbelievable freshness and acuity, Hundred Percent handily performs the almost-impossible feat of offering its readers a mirror to their lives without gloom or condescension.”-Annie Barrows, New York Times bestselling author of the Ivy & Bean series

“Karen Romano Young has an unerring feel for the shifting alliances and uncomfortable intrigues of sixth graders. The voices are unique and the dialogue sparkles. Your heart will crack open as the cast of characters tries on one personality after the other, hoping to find the one that fits.” -Ellen Wittlinger, Printz Honor-winning author of Hard Love

“A lovely, lovely tale full of warmth, humor, and intelligence.”-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

To register and save a spot, click HERE.

Join us for an evening with Peter Selgin on Saturday June 4th at 6:30pm

the InventorsWelcome home Bethel native Peter Selgin as he joins us to reveal his new book, The Inventors: A Memoir on Saturday June 4th at 6:30p.m.

About the book:

“This book is mainly about two men who were very important to me.

“The first was there at my conception; the second came along 13 years later. Both men shaped my personality . . .

“The first man was my father, Paul Selgin, who, it so happens, was an inventor. The second was my eighth grade English teacher.”

Both Selgin’s father and the man he calls the teacher” led remarkable lives. Among other things, Paul Selgin invented the first dollar billchanging-machine and helped design the so-called proximity fuse, which hastened the end of World War II. As for the teacher, he became a forceful advocate for human rights and diversity, championing the cause of indigenous peoples and refuges from Southeast Asia, while insisting that they not forget their history ironically, since the teacher did everything he could to obliterate his own. As Selgin discovers only after their deaths, for very different reasons both men felt compelled to reinvent themselves.

The Inventors is the story of how these two charismatic men shaped the author’s life. It’s also the story of a relationship between a boy and his teacher, a relationship that was equal parts inspiring and destructive.

About the author:

Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the Flannery O Connor Award for Fiction, a novel, two books on fiction writing, and several children s books. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, his memoir-in-essays, was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize. His novel, The Water Master, won the Wisdom/Faulkner Society Prize for Best Novel. His essays have won many awards and honors, including six citations and two selections for the Best American anthologies, in which the title essay of his collection appears.
Selgin’s drama, A God in the House, based on Dr. Kevorkian and his suicide machine, was staged at the Eugene O Neill National Playwright s Conference in 1991. Other plays of his have won the Charlotte Repertory New Play Festival Competition, the Mill Mountain New Plays Competition, and the Stage 3 Theater Festival of New Plays. His paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, Gourmet, Outside, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal, and exhibited nationally.
Selgin is the prose editor of Alimentum: The Literature of Food, and nonfiction editor and art director of Arts & Letters. He is Assistant Professor of English at Georgia College and an associate faculty member of Antioch University s Creative Writing MFA program in Los Angeles.

To register to save a spot and pre-order the book at a discounted price, click HERE.

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.

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.

Marilyn Nelson has a new book, “My Seneca Village”

My Seneca VillageWe had the pleasure of hearing Marilyn Nelson as she read from her latest book, “My Seneca Village”. The book takes us back to a place we now call Central Park in New York City. It was once a village.

From the publisher:
“Poetry illustrated in the poet’s own words–with brief prose descriptions of what she sees inside her work–this … collection takes readers back in time and deep into the mind’s eye of Marilyn Nelson … [who] draws upon history, and her … imagination, to revive the long lost community of Seneca Village”
About the author:Marilyn_Nelson
Marilyn Nelson is the author of “Carver: A Life in Poems” and “Fields of Praise”. She has won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, a Newbery Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. Marilyn lives in Storrs, Connecticut, where she is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

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.

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.