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….”

Reviews:

“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.

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.

October “Poetry & Readings Volume 1” Saturday October 8th at 5:00pm

We are so happy to welcome back Marilyn Nelson, Amy Nawrocki and Eric Lehman for the first of two evenings of poetry and readings in October. Please see the details of  “Volume 1” below! Light refreshments will be served.

“Poetry & Readings Volume 1” is on Saturday October 8th at 5:00 p.m. and we will follow with “Poetry & Readings Volume 2” on October 21st at 7:00pm.

meeting-houseIn The Meeting House, Marilyn Nelson has focused not only on the history of the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme, Connecticut, but also on slavery and bigotry in a presumably enlightened part of the Union. Her dismay is leavened by generosity of spirit, the same qualities revealed in her earlier books, about which readers and critics have been enthusiastic. Concerning My Seneca Village (2015), Kirkus Reviews has this praise: “Artfully crafted, an engrossing and important collection of memories and moments from a pivotal time in American history.” And this from Booklist: “An American saga so well suited to Nelson’s poetic touch is a gift meant to be gently unwrapped to be read with an intellectually curious spirit ready for an awakening.” Concerning The Homeplace (1990), Christian Wiman has written, “The sheer range of [Nelson’s] voice is one of the book’s greatest strengths, varying not only from poem to poem, but within individual poems as well.” Suzanne Gardinier’s Parnassus review reads thus: “[Nelson’s poetry] reaches back through generations hemmed in on all sides by slavery and its antecedents; all along the way she finds sweetness, and humor, and more complicated truth than its disguises have revealed.”  And Arthur Sze writes, “Marilyn Nelson’s poetry is remarkable for its sheer range of voice and style, for its historical roots, and for its lyrical narratives that, replete with luminous details, unfold with an emotional force that, ultimately, becomes praise . . . . She is a vital ambassador of poetry.”

About Marilyn Nelson:

nelson-picMarilyn Nelson is the author or translator of eighteen poetry books, including several verse-histories, a biography in poems, a verse memoir, and a novel in verse. Her collection The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems won the 1998 Poets’ Prize; Carver: A Life In Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award; Fortune’s Bones was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. Nelson’s honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Poetry Society’s Frost Medal for distinguished achievement in poetry. Currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets as well as Poet-in-Residence of the Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, she was the Poet Laureate of Connecticut from 2001-2006, and for ten years opened her home to young poets as “Soul Mountain Retreat.”

 

shadows-of-parisEric’s latest books is, “Shadows of Paris”. About the book: “When William Byrnes takes a teaching job at a private school in the Marais, he thinks he’s escaping his sins. He sentences himself to winter afternoons under the vaulted ceilings of Notre Dame and to rice for dinner, while the City of Light goes unnoticed. Then the pretentious Monsieur Cygne gives him a list of French literature and the address of a bookstore, where he finds fellow expat Lucy Navarre, with the gray eyes of a goddess, a cheating husband, and a mysterious past. Can the two exiles find redemption in the shadows of Paris? Or will they miss their chance?”

About Eric Lehman:

Eric is a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. His fiction, travel stories, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of online and print journals and magazines. He is the author of several books, including The Insider s Guide to Connecticut and Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.”

reconnaissance“Reconnaissance” In her latest collection, Amy Nawrocki plays voyeur and thief, surveying canvases and investigating bookshelves, searching for creativity’s origins and exploring the nature of inspiration. The poems in Reconnaissance uncover muses between the frayed pages of Byron and Shelley, in Chagall’s stained glass, at Oscar Wilde’s grave, past the deep bogs of Glencoe, and in the far away snow caps of Mount Fuji. In these insightful and elegant poems, Nawrocki invites us to believe in “the authenticity of first sight.” Open the paint box and learn how to stare.

About Amy Nawrocki:

Amy Nawrocki teaches English and Creative Writing at University of Bridgeport. She earned her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.F.A. from University of Arkansas. Amy is the author of three chapbooks: Potato Eaters (Finishing Line Press, 2008), Nomad’s End (Finishing Line Press, 2010), and Lune de Miel (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She has also authored two poetry collections: Four Blue Eggs (Homebound Publications, 2014), and Reconnaissance (Homebound Publications, 2015).  Dick Allen – former Poet Laureate of CT – referred to Reconnaissance as “a warm, rich, valuable and important collection.  I most highly recommend it for … reading and rereading.”

To register and save a spot click HERE.

 

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.

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.

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