Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday April 27th!

Byrd’s Books is thrilled to participate in the 5th annual Independent Bookstore Day!

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April.  Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. But in addition to authors, refreshments, kids events, contests, and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before. Not after. Not online.


Some of the exclusive Independent BookstoreDay merchandise:









SIGNINGS: James Smith will be at the store from 1:00-2:30pm to sign his book, “Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits”. Sharon Struth will be here from 2:30-4:00pm to sign her chapter of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Dog: 101 Tales of Family, Friendship & Fun”


SPECIAL ITEMS: On Saturday April 27th, all day, we will have special merchandise and store specials throughout the day in celebration of Independent Bookstore Day.

FREE LISTENING: Also, will be giving away FREE digital audiobooks to folks who visit us during the day- wow!! Learn more by asking at the store.

CT BOOK CRAWL: In addition, Connecticut Bookstores have a scavenger hunt that could get you a total of $850 in gift certificates to Connecticut’s bookstores! Visit all 17 stores in two days to get qualified!! (see details below).

Connecticut Book Crawl RULES AND PRIZES:

• This event takes place over IBD weekend (Saturday, April 27th, and Sunday, April 28th) during each bookstore’s business hours.

  • Participants can pick up a passport at any of the 17 bookstores on Independent Bookstore Day.
  • Participants must visit ALL bookstores to qualify for the passport prize and gain entry to win a Grand Prize.
  • No purchase is required to participate.
  • Each participating bookstore will issue an original stamp/sticker in the passport during your visit.
  • Upon completion of the passport, a bookseller at the final stop will review the stamps and confirm your eligibility to win. You will be asked to fill out a form with your contact information, which will be used to mail Passport Prizes and for entry into the Grand Prize.

• Participants can finish their passport at ANY of the stores and are welcome to keep their passports.

Passport Prize: A coupon from each of the 17 participating stores for 20% off a purchase on a future visit (some exclusions apply). Awarded to everyone who completes the passport by visiting ALL 17 participating bookstores!

Grand Prize: One $50 gift certicate to each of the 17 participating bookstores (a $850 value), awarded to five, randomly-drawn Passport Prize winners.

Click HERE for the passport and have two days of fun!







Byrd’s Books brings Irish Whiskey Tasting with author Tim Herlihy to J. Lawrence

Join Byrd’s Books on Tuesday April 30th for a ticketed event at J. Lawrence Downtown in Bethel as we welcome author Tim Herlihy, co-author of From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland.

This is a registration-only event. Your $40.00 ticket will include a hardcover copy of the book for signing and a flight of Irish whiskey for sampling during the guided Tasting. The author is providing tasting matts so you can record your observations and preferences. J. Lawrence will have specially-priced appetizers and a full bar available for the evening. The event is hosted by Byrd’s Books and J. Lawrence Downtown.

The doors will open at 6:00pm for the 7:00pm author talk, so you can check-in, find a seat and place orders for food in advance.

We will feature information on Western Connecticut State University’s MFA Program in Creative and Professional Writing -who will be introducing it’s fall residency in Dublin. Brochures will be available at the check-in table.

About the book:

This comprehensive field guide to Ireland’s robust and growing whiskey scene is the ultimate itinerary for whiskey beginners and connoisseurs, alike.

An Irish whiskey guru, two bartender behemoths, and an adept writer combine forces to create this comprehensive guide to Irish whiskey. The book begins with an in-depth introduction to whiskey and its history in Ireland, including what makes each style of Irish whiskey unique. What follows is a detailed tour, including photographs, around the four Irish provinces, and of the 26 different distilleries and the unique Irish whiskeys each produces, as well as a discussion of the booming present and promising future for Irish whiskey producers. Each province also highlights the best of Ireland’s 50 iconic bars and pubs, linking past to present and providing the ultimate whiskey tourist itinerary. The fun really begins when the masterminds behind 2015’s “World’s Best Bar,” Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, share 15 original mixed-drink recipes tailor-made for Irish spirits.

About the authors:

Tim Herlihy, drinks historian and U.S. ambassador for Tullamore Dew whiskey, was born and raised in County Louth, Ireland. Tim has traveled to numerous distilleries across Ireland, Scotland, the U.S., and beyond, studying the history of Irish whiskey and the entire production process from malting to maturation. In his role as Tullamore Dew Ambassador, Tim is a foremost presenter at whiskey shows and cocktail weeks, discussing Irish whiskey history, cocktails, and one of his favorite topics, the Irish pub.

International barman Sean Muldoon is most renowned for the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in Lower Manhattan, which he opened and manages with his business partner, Jack McGarry (both proud sons of Belfast). The bar has won eight Spirited Awards from Tales of the Cocktail, including “World’s Best Bar” and “World’s Best Cocktail Menu.” In 2016, the Dead Rabbit garnered the top spot on the coveted World’s 50 Best Bars list and has the largest selection of Irish whiskey in New York.

Conor Kelly is from a talky Irish family where storytelling is a competitive and, occasionally, full-contact sport.

J. Lawrence Downtown 

Located in the heart of downtown Bethel Connecticut in the historic opera house building, J. Lawrence Downtown is where friends, family, and community come together.  From our relaxed and casual atmosphere–which is a stylish mix of rustic New England charm and modern, suburban chic–to our inventive, but unpretentious food and beverage offerings, we provide our guests with an exceptional experience.


This is a 21-and-over event. Only books purchased at Byrd’s Books will be permitted at the event.

Byrd’s Books Summer Bookmark Contest- May 1st-31st

Design a bookmark inspired by your favorite book! You could win a Gift Certificate for $25.00 and 25 of your bookmarks in print for you to give to friends and WE will pass out the five winning designs all summer! The contest runs the month of May and will be judged by Bethel Arts.

ONE winning bookmark will be produced from EACH of the following 5 categories:

Pre-K – 3rd Grades, 4th – 5th Grades6th -8th Grades, 9th -12th Grades and an Adult category!

Note- the size of the space for the bookmark is actually 2 inches wide by 6 inches high.

Click HERE for form.

Artwork and completed entry forms must be returned to Byrd’s Books by Friday May 31st at end of day.






Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose at Byrd’s Books

In Celebration of National Nurses’ Week, join us at Byrd’s Books for a reading from a new anthology “Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose” on May 10, 2019  7 p.m.

What is it like to be a student nurse? What are the joys, the stresses, the transcendent moments, the fall-off-your-bed laughing moments, and the terrors that have to be faced and stared down?  And how might nurses, looking back, relate these experiences in ways that bring these memories to life again, demonstrating how nursing education has changed and yet remained the same?

Join these nurse-writers as they read from their work in this one-of-a-kind anthology from Kent State University Press:

Amanda Anderson, MSN, MPA, RN, Associate Director of Care Transitions, Mount Sinai Health System and Contributing Editor for the American Journal of Nursing.

Cortney Davis, MA., APRN, Poet Laureate of Bethel; Editor and Annotator for the NYU Literature and Medicine Database.

Jeanne LeVasseur, APRN, PhD, Professor of Nursing at Quinnipiac University, CT.

Frances Smalkowski, CSFN, PMHCNS-BC-retired; BCC, Director of Pastoral Care at St. John Paul II Center in Danbury, Ct.



Tony Abbott brings The Great Jeff to Byrd’s Books May 11th at 3:00pm

Byrd’s Books welcomes Tony Abbot on Sunday May 11th back to Byrd’s Books to talk about and sign copies of his new book, The Great Jeff.

About the book:

Perfect for fans of Gary D. Schmidt comes the companion to the modern classic Firegirl from acclaimed writer Tony Abbott.

Life hasn’t been great for Jeff Hicks. After years at his beloved St. Catherine’s, he’s forced to spend eighth grade in the public middle school, which he hates. He’s no longer speaking to his former best friend, Tom Bender, because of “that burned girl” Jessica Feeney. But worst of all, his family is changing, and it’s not for the better.When his mom comes home announcing that she’s lost her job, Jeff begins to worry about things far beyond his years: How will they pay the rent? Will his absentee dad step up and save the day? Is his mom drinking too much? And ultimately, where will they live?The Great Jeff is a powerful look at the life of a troubled boy who finds his life spiraling out of control. (ages 8-12)

The Great Jeff has received:

Publisher’s Weekly “Noteworthy Novel Sequels March 2019”

A star given to books of special distinction by the The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Goodreads reviews, Kirkus review, Review, and review.

About the author:

Tony Abbott is the author of over a hundred books for young readers, including the bestselling series the Secrets of Droon and the Copernicus Legacy and the novel, Firegirl. Tony has worked in libraries, bookstores, and a publishing company, and has taught creative writing. He has two grown daughters and lives in Connecticut with his wife and two dogs.

Note: One of Byrd’s Books staff pick favorites is Denis Ever After by Tony Abbott!

Spring Poetry Series at Byrd’s Books- Vol. III

Byrd’s Books celebrates poetry with opportunities to hear poets read their own work. The last date in the series is  Sunday May 19th at 2:00pm.

We will host Donna Marie Merritt, Tony Abbott, Jen Sage-Robison, Gail Carson Levine, Catherine D’Andrea and Sydney Eddison.

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


Writing Workshops

Writing Workshops at Byrd’s Books

We host Sundays at 3:30pm with Judith Marks-White once a month

SUNDAY AFTERNOONS from 3:30-5:30pm: This workshop is with Judith Mark-White. This is a very casual, all-skills-level prompt-writing workshop that is a lot of fun for all. Monthly on Sunday afternoons at 3:30, the group gathers to write from a choice of provided prompts, shares their work and their feedback. This workshop is a great way to break a writer’s block, jump-start your writing or see if writing is something you would like to try. All skill levels are welcome, please bring something to write or type on. Each session is $15.00, with a minimum of 6 participants. Dates: 1/13, 2/10, 3/10, 4/14 and 5/5.

See Judith’s bio below. To sign up call the store (203) 730-2973.

Judith Marks-White     

Addicted to black and white composition notebooks, Judith Marks-White began writing as soon as she could hold a pen in her hand.   Prior to becoming an independent free-lance writer, she was employed at Time Inc.Time-Life Books.   Her work soon evolved into humorous writing when, in 1985, she joined the staff of the Westport News in Connecticut where her column. The Light Touch (now under the heading: In Other Words) has appeared for the past twenty-eight years.  It here that her humorous and reflective voice takes hold as she views life through her own “funny glasses.’  Her articles and feature stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the country.

Ms. Marks-White has been involved in the design and instruction of creative writing programs in Connecticut, and has taught writing for many years. She was an adjunct Professor of English/Writing at Norwalk Community College for many years where she won Teacher of the Year Award for 2005 “for imparting wisdom with contagious enthusiasm” and where she continues to teach a course in the Art and Marketing of Humor Writing.

Ms. Marks-White is the recipient of numerous writing awards from the Connecticut Press Club, Matrix: Women in Communications, and the New England Press Association (NEPA).  She received a first place award for Best Humorous Personal Column from the National Federation of Press Women and continues to receive award recognition for her columns from the Connecticut Press Club.   In March of 2003, she was honored as one of the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Outstanding Women in Connecticut celebrating her achievement and dedication to public service through the art of column writing.  She considers her awards special as it emphasizes her love of the satirical essay as she entertains her audience with her take on the human condition and the small foibles we all experience in our daily lives.  She continues to carry the theme of humor into her novels.  

            In November 2009, ELLE magazine featured Bachelor Degree as a Reader’s Prize Book

Ms. Marks-White along with authors, Judith Viorst and Colette Dowling was a keynote speaker for “Perspectives: A Woman’s Viewpoint” sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League and Redbook magazine. Her talk: “Help, I’m Turning into my Mother” is just one of the humorous topics on which she has spoken to many groups and organizations.   She is a member of The National Federation of Press Women, Pen America, National Association of Pen Women, The Connecticut Press Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Among her many published works include her speech: “The Marketing and Writing of Humor” which appeared in Press Women Magazine.  Her feature articles and humorous essays have appeared in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies.  She lectures widely on the subject of humor and how it impacts the lives of women today.

Ms. Marks-White turned her attention to novel writing.  Seducing Harry was her debut novel.  Her second novel, is Bachelor Degree. Both are published by Random House/Ballantine.  She is presently working on her third novel.

Ms. Marks-White is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and other anthologies.  Her latest essay: Ghosts of Husbands Past is included in the Anthology: Wedding Cake for Breakfast.  Each story addresses the first year of marriage as seen through the eyes of 23-authors.

(203) 247-0373 (203) 227-7761,,

TESTIMONIAL: “Judith Marks-White is an excellent and supportive writing workshop leader. She is very helpful in suggesting everything from major changes in your manuscript to interesting venues for its publication. In our workshops, she used writing prompts, giving us one long prompt (from a list she creates for each session) and one very brief one (from visual cues, in this case, reproductions of New Yorker covers from the 1920s on). Then everyone reads what he or she has written, and praise and criticism are offered by all participants, including Judith. She specializes in producing an egoless, conflict-free, and cooperative atmosphere that is generous both to emerging and to experienced writers.” ~ Wendy Wipprecht







Story Time for little ones Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Story TimeByrd’s Books host a Story Time for little ones at 10 on Wednesday mornings. No registration is required. For weather or holiday cancelations, please check the website and/or our Facebook page.