Why Bob Dylan Matters

By Richard F. Thomas. A Harvard classics professor and expert on Bob Dylan expands on his popular seminar in a meditative examination of the musician’s enduring influence, sharing insights into Dylan’s formative experiences against a backdrop of western and classical literature.

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Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

By Caroline Fraser. A comprehensive historical portrait of Laura Ingalls Wilder draws on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and official records to fill in the gaps in Wilder’s official story, sharing details about her pioneer experiences.

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A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot & Virginia Woolf

By Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney. Draws on letters and diaries to reveal the friendships of female literary masters, from the influence of feminist Mary Taylor on Charlotte Brontèe’s writings to the erotically charged, love-hate associations between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield.

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The Revenge of Analog

By David Sax. Collects success stories of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and big corporations that explore unreported trends in analog consumerism and reveal a renewal of interest in tangible goods.

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The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism

By John U. Bacon. A gripping account of the world’s largest man-made explosion before the atomic bomb describes the events that led to the catastrophic igniting of the French freighter Mont-Blanc in 1917 Halifax, killing and wounding thousands while leading to advances inmedicine and weapons science.

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The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice

By Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt. This unique photography book depicts images of the suffering and successes of long-oppressed groups in the United States, including women, African Americans, Native Americans, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, LGBTQ and the disabled, along with guest essays from representatives of each group.

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Reactions

By Theodore Gray. In a follow-up to The Elements and Molecules, a internationally best-selling author and app creator demonstrates how the focus of his first two books combine to create chemical reactions including combustion, photosynthesis, respiration and oxidation.

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Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory

By Michael Korda.

“Combining epic history with rich family stories, Michael Korda chronicles the outbreak of World War II and the great events that led to Dunkirk. In an absorbing work peopled with world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides ofWorld War II, Alone brings to resounding life perhaps the most critical year of twentieth-century history. For, indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other, as the German war machine blazed into France while the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in an astonishing political drama as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast historical canvas, Michael Korda relates what happened and why, and also tells his own story, that of a six-year-old boy in a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. Alone is a work that seamlessly weaves a family memoir into an unforgettable account of a political and military disaster redeemed by the evacuation of more than 300,000 men in four days–surely one of the most heroic episodes of the war. “The incredible, almost miraculous story of what happened at Dunkirk in the year 1940–and why–is unfolded in Alone with great narrative skill and superb delineation of a highly interesting cast of characters, including, importantly, the author himself and his own remarkable family.” — David McCullough

National Geographic Atlas of Beer: A Globe-Trotting Journey Through the World of Beer

By Nancy Hoalst-Pullen and Mark W. Patterson. Presents a guide to beer and breweries in fifteen countries around the world, describing the history of beer, favorite destinations in each country, beer festivals, and unusual breweries,

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Erik Ofgang shares the story of Gillette Castle on Thursday July 27 at 7pm

Erik Ofgang returns to Byrd’s Books with his new book, “Gillette Castle: A History” on Thursday July 27th at 7:00pm. To save a spot, click HERE.

About the book:

During his career as an actor, William Gillette portrayed world-renowned character Sherlock Holmes in more than 1,300 performances. His career as a playwright and actor afforded him the opportunity to purchase a 184-acre estate, where he also built a twenty-four-room medieval-style castle. Overlooking the Connecticut River, Gillette’s castle was complete with spy mirrors, sliding furniture, hidden rooms and a three-mile quarter-scale railroad. Since becoming a state park in 1943, it has evolved into one of Connecticut’s most popular tourist attractions. Writer and award-winning journalist Erik Ofgang examines the history of an iconic structure and Gillette’s life and role in the evolution of Sherlock Holmes.

About the author:

Erik Ofgang is an award-winning writer, musician and magician whose work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers throughout the country, including the Associated Press, the Hartford Courant and Connecticut Magazine, where he is a senior writer. His debut book, Buzzed: Beers, Booze & Coffee Brews, Where to Enjoy the Best Craft Beverages in New England, was released in 2016. He teaches writing and journalism at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA writing program and at Mercy College. When he’s not writing, he can be found playing bass with the Celtic roots band MacTalla Mor. He lives in western Connecticut with his wife, Corinne, and their Labradoodle, Iris.

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