A Soldier’s Sketchbook

By Joseph FarrisA Soldier's Sketchbook cover

An illustrated memoir from a World War II soldier is drawn from the letters, sketches, snapshots, and mementos of Pvt. Farris, who left his home of Danbury, Connecticut, and set off to war aboard the U.S.S. “General Gordon” in October 1944, bound for France as part of Company M, 398th Infantry.

 

 

This watercolor shows one of the most dangerous moments in our battle for the Maginot Line. The Germans had bracketed our position, and we anxiously feared the next shell would zero in on us. p. 120

This is an illustration by Joseph Farris from his powerful memoir A Soldier’s Sketchbook.

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of the “A SOLDIER’S SKETCHBOOK” dated 2011 and exclusively in conjunction thereof. No copying, distribution or archiving permitted. Sublicensing, sale or resale is prohibited.

REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as shown in this metadata, and must be accompanied by a caption which makes reference to the “A SOLDIER’S SKETCHBOOK.” Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing the “A SOLDIER’S SKETCHBOOK” are subject to paid licensing.

 

Surprise visit by author Sean Pidgeon on Saturday March 9th at 5:30!

Byrd’s Books is thrilled to host author Sean Pidgeon in a SURPRISE visit to our store on Saturday March 9th at 5:30! Please join us to meet the author, discuss his wonderful book, “Finding Camlann” and get a signed copy.  Finding Camlann

About the book:

“This is a new and gripping look at the history and landscape of Britain and the legend of King Arthur. A linguist and an archeologist search for the truth behind the myth, as they climb foggy hills and glean new meanings from a mysterious poem. We follow them in the throes of love and dread, through long-lost battles and modern feuds, as they look with fascination at the secrets and natural beauty of an ancient land that lives anew. Finding Camlann will please both scholars and poets and will intrigue historians and lovers of romance.” —Daniel Butler, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

About the author:

Sean Pidgeon was born in Reading, England, and studied physics and astrophysics at the University of Manchester. He subsequently began a career in science publishing as a book editor, working at Oxford University Press and Macmillan. He moved to the United States in 1990 and is currently vice-president and publisher at John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken, New Jersey. He lives in New Jersey with his family. Visit him online at www.seanpidgeon.com or on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter @pidgeonwriter.

The Black Count

Black CountThe Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.

Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave – who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.

Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East – until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.

The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.

The Black Count is currently a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.

Song of the Vikings

Song of the VikingsSong of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths by Nancy Marie Brown

Much like Greek and Roman mythology, Norse myths are still with us. Famous storytellers from J.R.R. Tolkien to Neil Gaiman have drawn their inspiration from the long-haired, mead-drinking, marauding and pillaging Vikings. Their creator is a thirteenth-century Icelandic chieftain by the name of Snorri Sturluson. Like Homer, Snorri was a bard, writing down and embellishing the folklore and pagan legends of medieval Scandinavia. Unlike Homer, Snorri was a man of the world – a wily political power player, one of the richest men in Iceland who came close to ruling it, and even closer to betraying it… In Song of the Vikings, award-winning author Nancy Marie Brown brings Snorri Sturluson’s story to life in a richly textured narrative that draws on newly available sources.

The Last Lion

By William Manchester and Paul Reid

Spanning the years of 1940-1965, The Last Lion picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister – when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill conjured up by William Manchester and Paul Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action. The Last Lion brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation’s military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America’s beleaguered cousins, and personified the “never surrender” ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States.

More than twenty years in the making, The Last Lion presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring.

This books is an ideal holiday gift for the World War II buff or any fan of historic biography.

Dear Miss Breed

By Joanne Oppenheim

Dear Miss Breed,

I was overjoyed to hear from you and that lovely book you sent me. Thank you very much. When I saw the books it left me speechless with gladness and I cannot find words to express my feeling…I certainly hope this war is going to be over soon, so that we can all go back into our old mode of living. When we come back to San Diego we shall be sure to look you up because you are one person no one could forget. You have a heart of gold and you believe in making other people happy.

Please write me soon because I shall always be waiting to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Hisako Watanabe

In the early 1940’s, Clara Breed was the children’s librarian at the San Diego Public Library. But she was also friend to dozens of Japanese American children and teens when war broke out in December of 1941. The story of what happened to these American citizens is movingly told through letters that her young friends wrote to Miss Breed during their internment. This remarkable librarian and humanitarian served as a lifeline to these imprisoned young people, and was brave enough to speak out against a shameful chapter in American history.

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

By Robert Burleigh

Illustrated by Connecticut’s Wendell Minor

Amelia Earhart is a legend in the field of aviation, and no accomplishment of hers is more acclaimed than her unparalleled 1932 solo flight across the Atlantic. Award-winning author Burleigh captures every nuance of her remarkable journey in this picture book filled with vivid illustrations by Minor.

Byrd’s Book’s copies have a special commemorative bookplate honoring the Anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s flight- signed by both the author and the illustrator.

 

The Greatest Brigade

The Greatest Brigade coverThe Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the American Civil War

By Thomas J. Craughwell

“The Irish Brigade played an important role in many key clashes of the Civil War, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Petersburg. Craughwell (“Stealing Lincoln’s Body”) recounts both the larger picture of each engagement and its significance to the war as a whole and the particular role played by the Irish Brigade. He also intersperses personal stories that reflect the challenges faced by Irish Catholics in their new country, which was in many ways xenophobic and anti-Catholic. VERDICT: This engrossing book will appeal both to Civil War buffs and to those interested in the Irish American experience.” –Library Journal

Women Heroes of World War II

Women Heroes of World War II coverBy Kathryn J. Atwood

These twenty-six suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, Great Britain, the United States, and more, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls’ refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history.

1616: The World in Motion

By Thomas Christensen

Thomas Christensen illuminates the extravagant age of the early 17th century by focusing on a single riotous year. Woven with color images and artwork from the period, “1616” tells the surprising tales of the men and women who set the world on its tumultuous course toward modernity.

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