The Island of Sea Women

By Lisa See.  A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island. Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story–one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them–The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.

Closed due to weather

We are closing early Tuesday February 12th at 3:00pm due to weather conditions. We hope you have plenty of books to read on your snow day!! Our website is open 24/7 for special orders, or you may call the store and leave a message. Remember, our audiobook service Libro.fm has audiobooks that work on all devices, no matter what the weather!

See you on Wednesday when we open regular hours.

Love Poetry February 15th at 7:00pm

Come to Byrd’s Books for Read a Love Poem Night! We will gather Friday February 15th at 7:00pm to read poetry that celebrates love: love of another, love of the Earth, love of a pet…any love. Pick a poem or two by ANY poet that you would like to share and we will read them out loud. If lots of folks attend, each person reads one poem. If only a few show up, we will each read 2-3 poems. We love poetry.

Light refreshments- Literary tea (Simpson & Vail) and cookies.

Registering helps me put out enough chairs, but doesn’t commit you to reading…:-)

Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits on March 7th

We welcome James Herbert Smith for a discussion and signing of his book, Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits on Thursday March 7th at 7:00pm. Joining Jim will be three women profiled in the book, Linda Tuccio-Koonz, Jacky Smith and Jane Stern. To save a spot or pre-order a book click HERE.

About the book:

Newspaper columns by women journalists published in Connecticut newspapers from the 1950s to the present day (including a flashback to 1828) cover a spectrum of topics, including art, fashion, nature, open government, politics, health care, sports and high society events. Each is a singular voice. Collectively, the voices glimmer with facets of recent history, revealed with clarity, honesty, humor and vision.

 

 

 

About the women from the book attending the author event:

Linda Tuccio-Koonz, photo taken April 30, 2009 by Carol Kaliff

Linda Tuccio-Koonz followed her father into journalism. As a cub reporter in Maine in 1984, she helped the FBI solve a coed’s murder. In 2013, she was part of the writing team that captured a national award for a narrative on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Much of her career was at The News-Times in Danbury, where she served as the longtime features editor. She now writes entertainment features for Hearst Connecticut Media based in Norwalk. Her writing also has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Newsday, as well as in “Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul.” She and her husband, Brian Koonz, have two sons. She feels lucky to have had the chance to record and reflect on some of their early shenanigans in a series of parenting columns.

 

Jacqueline (Jacky) Smith, Danbury News-Times managing editor
April 30, 2010

Jacqueline Smith, Hearst Connecticut Media editorial page editor of The News-Times in Danbury and The Norwalk Hour, began her journalism career as a part-time Hartford Courant correspondent with a high school education. Mid-career she earned a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University, summa cum laude; and a master’s degree in writing with honors from Wesleyan University. She has taught Journalism at the University of Hartford and SCSU. Her first full-time reporting position was with The Day of New London, where she won first place in the New England AP News Executive Association for her investigations into wrongdoing in the management of the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp. in Groton. Jacky was a business writer and columnist for the New Haven Register. As a reporter at the Record-Journal in Meriden, her investigation into the dearth of minority teachers in the Wallingford School district, outlining how officials skipped over black and Latino candidates, earned her first place in the National Education Writers annual competition. She also served as city editor and assistant managing editor at the Record-Journal, managing editor of The News-Times and editor of the New Milford Spectrum. Her columns and editorials have won several first, second and third place awards from CT SPJ and from New England journalism organizations. She and her husband, James (the editor of this book), have four daughters.

 

Jane Grossman Stern specializes in books about travel, food, and popular culture. She writes a regular column for Hearst CT Media. With her former husband Michael Stern, they are best known for their Roadfood books, website, and magazine columns, in which they find road food restaurants serving classic American regional specialties and review them. Starting their hunt for regional American food in the early 1970s they were the first food writers to recognize that this food was as worthy to report as was the haute cuisine of other nations. Their book Square Meals (Knopf 1985) put comfort foods like mac and cheese, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes on the culinary map. Jane grew up in New York City where she attended the Walden School and received a BFA in graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Jane earned an MFA in painting from Yale. In addition to their food writing, the Sterns have written books on American popular culture, including The New York Times bestselling Elvis World (1987) and The Encyclopaedia of Bad Taste (1990). In all, they have written over 30 books. They were staff writers for Gourmet magazine for 18 years. They are regular guests on American Public Media’s public radio program, The Splendid Table. They have won numerous awards, including James Beard awards. The couple divorced in 2008. Jane Stern now lives in Ridgefield. They still write as a team. In 2011 they published The Lexicon of Real American Food and Jane Stern published a book on her little known but long-standing career as a tarot card reader. cuisine of other nations. Their book Square Meals (Knopf 1985) put comfort foods like mac and cheese, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes on the culinary map. Jane grew up in New York City where she attended the Walden School and received a BFA in graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Jane earned an MFA in painting from Yale. In addition to their food writing, the Sterns have written books on American popular culture, including The New York Times bestselling Elvis World (1987) and The Encyclopaedia of Bad Taste (1990). In all, they have written over 30 books. They were staff writers for Gourmet magazine for 18 years. They are regular guests on American Public Media’s public radio program, The Splendid Table. They have won numerous awards, including James Beard awards. The couple divorced in 2008. Jane Stern now lives in Ridgefield. They still write as a team. In 2011 they published The Lexicon of Real American Food and Jane Stern published a book on her little known but long-standing career as a tarot card reader.

 

 

Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry

By Neil deGrasse Tyson. From the basics of physics to big questions about the nature of space and time, celebrated astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the mysteries of the cosmos into bite-sized pieces. Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry describes the fundamental rules and unknowns of our universe clearly—and with Tyson’s characteristic wit, there’s a lot of fun thrown in, too.This adaptation by Gregory Mone includes full-color photos, infographics, and extra explanations to make even the trickiest concepts accessible. Building on the wonder inspired by outer space, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry introduces an exciting field and the principles of scientific inquiry to young readers.

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays

By Esmé Weijun Wang

Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

By Marion James. Hired to find a mysterious boy who disappeared three years before, Tracker joins a search party that is quickly targeted by deadly creatures, in the first novel of a trilogy from the author of A Brief History of Seven Killings.

On the Come Up

By Angie Thomas. This is the highly anticipated second novel by Angie Thomas, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning The Hate U Give.

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it–she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

Spring Poetry Series at Byrd’s Books

Byrd’s Books celebrates poetry with three opportunities to hear poets read their own work. The dates are Friday March 15th at 7:00pm, Friday April 12th at 7:00pm and Sunday May 19th at 2:00pm.

For March we have: Phillip Lu, Jack Powers, Jerry Brooker, David K. Leff, Jen Sage-Robison and Catherine D’Andrea.

Series Poets include: Bethel’s Poet Laureate Cortney Davis, Newtown’s Poet Laureate Lisa Schwartz, Norwalk’s Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson, poet-in-residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) David K. Leff, Van Hartmann, Newbery Honor winner Gail Carson Levine, Jerry Brooker, Jen Sage-Robison, Donna Marie Merritt, Phillip Lu, Jack Powers, Jonathan Anderson, Sydney Eddison and Catherine D’Andrea. (Scheduled line-up subject to change)

Light refreshments will be served and the poet’s books will be available for sale (when available).

Attracting Birds By Season

Have you ever wondered what to plant to keep birds coming back to your garden? Did you ever wonder what is their favorite food to plant? Kate Pratt from The Audubon Center at Bent of the River with share with us the secret of favorite bird plantings!
Open to all, please register.

wwd