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.

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 A comprehensive historical portrait of Laura Ingalls Wilder draws on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and official records to fill in the gaps in Wilder’s official story, sharing details about her pioneer experiences.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

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.

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.

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,

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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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

By Thomas E. Ricks. A dual portrait of Winston Churchill and George Orwell focuses on the pivotal years from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, describing how both suffered nearly fatal injuries before their vision and campaigns inspired action to preserve democracy throughout the world.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

By Kate Moore.

The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand for

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States–winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others–that reminds us of fundamental American principles.
Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.

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