Book Group

Our Book Groups (regular and history) at Byrd’s Books meet on Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. each month (see calendar). These are open Book Groups, you are welcome to come if you would like to join us for discussions. For information call: 203-730-2973. We make every effort to have the book available in paper for the Book Groups and choose a hardcover only rarely.

The History Book Group meets the second Thursday of the month and the general Book Group meets the third Thursday of the month (changed for holiday conflicts)

Any cancellations due to weather will be posted on our website and our Facebook page.  Some of us meet at 6:30 for take-out. Please email Alice ( to join in for the meal before the discussion. 

May 16th Book Group: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Living with his grandparents and toddler sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his mother’s addictions and his grandmother’s terminal cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip. National Book Award winner.





June 13th History Book Group: The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan by Sam Kleiner

The thrilling story behind the American pilots who were secretly recruited to defend the nation’s desperate Chinese allies before Pearl Harbor and ended up on the front lines of the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.



June 20th Book Group: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

When, in 1922, [Count Alexander Rostov] is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, [he’s] sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.



July 11th History Book Group: The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.


July 18th Book Group: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Ng follows up the uber-best-booked, New York Times best-selling Everything I Never Told You with a story set in classy Shaker Heights, OH, where the diamond-perfect Richardson family are upended by the arrival of single-mom artist Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, to whom they rent a house. When friends attempt to adopt a Chinese American baby, all hell breaks lose.



August 8th History Book Group– taking a break for the month of August

August 15th Book Group: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by  Karina Yan Glaser

NOTE: Our book group has started a tradition of reading a great children’s book in August. The author is expected to join us for this book group!

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home. (ages 7-10)

September 12th History Book Group: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell

Gertrude Bell was at one time the most powerful woman in the British Empire and was the driving force behind the creation of modern-day Iraq. This work is a richly compelling portrait of a woman who transcended the restrictions of her class and times and created a remarkable and enduring legacy.



September 19th Book Group: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

October 10th History Book Group: Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island’s destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all — in view of today’s new political climate — the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.

October 17th Book group: Circe by Madeline Miller

Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.




November 14th History Book Group: The Battle of Fredericksburg: We Cannot Escape History by James K. Bryant II

The Battle of Fredericksburg is known as the most disastrous defeat the Federal Army of the Potomac experienced in the American Civil War. The futile assaults by Federal soldiers against the Confederate defensive positions on Marye’s Heights and behind the infamous stone wall along the Sunken Road” solidified Ambrose Burnside’s reputation as an inept army commander and reinforced Robert E. Lee’s undefeatable image. Follow historian James Bryant behind the lines of confrontation to discover the strategies and blunders that contributed to one of the most memorable battles of the Civil War.”


November 21st Book Group: TBA

December History Book Group: A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment Stephane Henaut

The origins of the most legendary French foods and wines–from Roquefort and cognac to croissants and Calvados, from absinthe and oysters to Camembert and champagne–also reveal the social and political trends that propelled France’s rise upon the world stage. As told by a Franco-American couple (Stéphane is a cheesemonger, Jeni is an academic) this is an “impressive book that intertwines stories of gastronomy, culture, war, and revolution. . . . It’s a roller coaster ride, and when you’re done you’ll wish you could come back for more”



Most recently read:

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Churchill and Orwell: the Fight For Freedom by Thomas Ricks

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The One-in-a Million Boy by Monica Wood

The Lost World of the Old Ones: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest by David Roberts

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Isaac’s Storm by Eric Larson

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

Forty Autumns by Nina Willner

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barhill

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

Notes On a Banana by David Leite