On Thursday, September 20 @ 6:00 PM
at Books on Beechwood

Join us for the launch of award-winning author Paul Carlucci’s critically acclaimed new story collection, The High Rise in Fort Fierce. Featuring special guest (writer, editor, reviewer, critic, publisher) rob mclennan!

Come meet the author of the collection Quill & Quire calls “Darkly majestic but notably grim … The nine linked pieces in this latest collection command attention.”

ABOUT PAUL CARLUCCI 
Paul Carlucci’s first collection of short fiction, The Secret Life of Fission, won the 2013 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His second collection, A Plea for Constant Motion, was published to critical acclaim in 2017. His stories have also been published in numerous magazines and journals, including the Malahat Review, subTerrain, the Fiddlehead, and the New Quarterly. He lives in Ottawa.

Learn more about The High-Rise in Fort Fierce here.

ABOUT ROB MCLENNAN
Ottawa’s rob mclennan is a Canadian writer, critic, and publisher. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour, is the recipient of two Senior Canada Council grants, and his literary archives are held at the University of Calgary. Find him online at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com 

Books will be available for purchase.

Thursday, September 20 @ 6:00 PM
Books on Beechwood
35 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, ON

FREE | All are welcome to attend!

For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

September 2018 Newsletter

August Bestsellers

1. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
2. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
3. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
4. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
5. Circe by Madeline Miller
6. Dog Man #5: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey
7. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
8. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
9. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellory Adams
10. First Snow, Last Light by Wayne Johnston


Greetings Book Lovers!

The nights are finally cooler, the days are shorter, and the strange but alluring scent of freshly sharpened pencils and loose leaf paper is hanging in the air once more. Oh, how we love September! Although we don’t take a summer break here at the store and aren’t making our way back to work after an extended holiday, leaving the last days of August behind still feels like a new beginning of sorts – a time for new adventures, new friends, and lots of lovely new books!

Like a faucet being turned on full blast, our fall books have started pouring in so fast that it feels a bit like our shelves have shrunk and our square-footage has decreased in recent days! Thankfully, there’s no such thing as too many books and there are few things we love more than discovering new stories to read and recommend. One of our top picks this month is the historical novel, The Lost Queen by Signe Pike. Set in Scotland amidst the roots of the Arthurian legends, this story casts a light on Languoreth, an oft-forgotten sixth-century Scottish Queen and twin sister of the man who would later be immortalized as the Druid Merlin. As her homeland is being torn apart by religious conflict and her future is being decided by the men around her, this brave, strong, and passionate woman suddenly finds herself facing the enemy head on in order to save herself, her family, and the Old Ways she knows and loves. For anyone who loved The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley or Mary Stewart‘s The Crystal Cave, this new book definitely deserves a spot on your reading pile! Debut author Christina Dalcher has given us an intense, thoughtful, and eerily plausible plot-line in her new novel Vox. With echoes of Margaret Atwood‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, this story transports readers to a United States of America in which women have been limited to using just one hundred words a day. Where one oppressive law is passed, others quickly follow, and for Dr. Jean McClellan, these restrictions are a call to action. With equal parts disbelief and determination, Jean launches herself into a battle she must win – for herself, her daughters, and women everywhere – no matter the cost.

Although there are countless different types of books on offer these days, we all tend to create a bit of a reading comfort zone. Sometimes taking a chance on a book that sounds a little different can be enough to open your eyes to a whole new genre that you never imagined you would like! Our last major leap of faith was a little over a year ago when we read and loved (surprisingly) the spider horror story The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone. It was creepy, thrilling, and even kind of funny despite the horrifying subject matter. Because of our experience with that book, we were immediately intrigued by David Wong‘s John Dies At the End. With This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It and What the Hell Did I Just Read quickly joining the series, these quasi-thriller/horror stories are full of quirky situations, odd characters, and a healthy dose of black-humour. Wong‘s unique writing style and suspicious narrator will no doubt appeal to the curious reader who loves being surprised (and slightly scared) by their books, page after page. For yet more spine-tingling thrill rides (we are heading into fall, after all), The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles is a great example of the “English Country House Thriller” genre. Combine one vanished parent with an old, drafty house, a worrisome housekeeper, and a nine-year-old boy trying to figure out who’s telling the truth, and you have the perfect recipe for the ideal autumn evening read! Just make sure you have lots of lights on…and maybe don’t read right before you go to sleep!

In a world full of beautiful turns of phrase and countless lyrical languages, English is undoubtedly one of the more complicated and least romantic of them all. One benefit of this is that it makes great fodder for the books about language that we love so much! The Stories of Slang by Jonathon Green and Vulgar Tongues by Max Decharne are two fascinating new books that look at some of the funny, intriguing, and downright insulting slang terms that have come and gone over the years. Considered the most alive vocabulary around today, slang is constantly evolving with new terms cropping up daily and old ones being reworked to fit modern society. Both Decharne and Green have succeeded in giving us fascinating (and slightly cheeky) studies that are sure to delight and entertain all language fans. Given how much we love our peculiar English language, it’s always maddening when we hear or see words being used incorrectly. Ross and Kathryn Petras evidently feel the same way as they’ve put together a wonderfully comprehensive book called That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means in which they gather the 150 most commonly misused English words together and present them to us along with examples of their misuse from print, radio, and television. With the addition of a witty exploration of the words’ origins and their correct usage, language lovers will enjoy the reading itself as much as the learning, and may find comfort in knowing that even the most well-educated among us can get words wrong sometimes.

For anyone who has ever wanted to spend their days searching for antiquities and digging for ancient relics, Douglas Hunter‘s new book should be at the top of your reading list. In Beardmore: The Viking Hoax that Rewrote History, we are treated to a fascinating, highly readable account of the 1936 discovery of a Viking grave near Thunder Bay – a discovery that, in advance of the excavation of L’Anse aux Meadows, changed everything scholars believed about the Vikings’ movements. After spending twenty years as a major museum exhibit and being called into question by a number of skeptics, it came to light that the whole discover was in fact a hoax. Told with a detective-like attention to detail, this book thrilled and educated us in equal measure. While walking in the footsteps of the ancients through archaeology is probably out of reach for most of us, exploring the world through the lives of our favourite fictional characters is much more attainable. A true travel guide with a twist, Sherlock Homes’s London by Rose Shepherd is the ideal companion to have while you’re gadding about town in this great British capital! Whether you’re a fan of the books, the films, or the countless television adaptations, this wonderful little book full of photographs, maps, and top tips about some of the great detective’s favourite haunts is sure to bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step as you adjust your deerstalker and head out onto the cobbled streets in search of mystery and adventure!

It always amazes us, when we have a chance to stop and think about it, how much children’s literature has changed over the last two decades. Where once, young people seemed to transition straight from picture books to classic literature, there are now so many incredible stories being written that it’s impossible not to get excited about them! Kristin Cashore, of Gracelingfame, has gifted teens with a pseudo-choose-your-own-adventure-type book that combines multiple genres like they were born to be together. When Jane, Unlimited‘s titular character is invited to a glamorous and mysterious island mansion called Tu Reviens, not only would she be satisfying her own curiosity by accepting, but she would also fulfilling a promise she made to her late aunt Magnolia. Little does Jane know, that accepting this invitation will not only plunge her into a strange house with its own agenda, but that the choices she makes therein have the power to change the course of her life forever. Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram is a charming, heartfelt debut novel about Darius, a young man who’s never felt like he’s quite fit in anywhere until he goes on his first trip to Iran to visit his grandparents. It’s in this place where he thought he’d stick out like a sore thumb, that he discovers surprising new things about himself and learns that sometimes all it takes feel at home is meeting that one person who truly gets you. A beautiful story of friendship and belonging, this book is a must for teens and adults alike!

As book lovers, we are always fascinated by books and stories whose roots run deep in the literary world – whether they’re books about books, books about authors, or books re-imagining some of our favourite fictional characters! Catherynne M. Valente‘s new book, The Glass Town Game, is a lovely adventure story for middle-grade readers that invites us into the world of the Bronte siblings through the game they invented and played together as children, The Glass Town. As the harsh reality of Emily and Charlotte being sent away to boarding school looms large, all four children suddenly find themselves whisked away to their own game with a few changes…their Napoleon isn’t supposed to ride into battle on a fire-breathing porcelain rooster! Making use of just their wits and their proprietary knowledge, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Bramwell must navigate the dangers of The Glass Town in order to stay alive and keep their family together.

If we someday have room for an author shrine here in the store, it could only ever be dedicated to the works of our favourite children’s author, Dusti Bowling – for obvious reasons, it would also have to be cactus-shaped! After falling completely in love with Aven in last year’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a CactusBowling has stolen our hearts yet again with her new book 24 Hours in Nowhere. Nowhere, Arizona is not the kind of place anyone would choose to live, nor is it an easy place to get out of. For 13-year old Gus, his only wish is to make it through the rest of his bully-plagued adolescence and escape “the least livable town in the United States” to attend college. When a close call with the biggest, baddest bully in town and a particularly prickly cactus result in the loss of a prized dirt bike on the eve of the most important race in town, Gus finds himself promising to enter a dangerous abandoned gold mine in order to make good. Along with his three very unlikely companions, Gus marches headlong into the deepest dark he’s ever experienced and ends up finding more bright spots than he ever thought he would. Full of heart, humour, and a bit of haunting mystery, this is our ultimate, top shelf, five star pick of the season! We guarantee that you will laugh, cry, and immediately want to read it all over again as soon as you finish the last page!

Never to be left out, even the smallest readers deserve to have sweet, beautiful, and fun new books to enjoy into the fall season. Here are a few that have just come into the store that we think will be instant hits no matter when or where you read them. Polly Faber‘s Picking Pickle is an adorable story narrated by Pickle, the longest-standing resident of the dog adoption centre. As he introduces us to all the dogs up for adoption, it might just turn out that the perfect dog is actually Pickle himself! Team Steve by Kelly Collier, the follow up to A Horse Named Steve, finds us once again in the company of our favourite steed as he learns lessons in sharing, friendship, and good sportsmanship. With a different illustration style on each page, The Big Book of Adventure by Emily Ford and Tim Warnes celebrates how books can take us on great adventures to distant lands and are always best when shared with a friend. Mike Wu, an illustrator at Pixar Animation Studios, has given us a wonderfully imaginative story in Henri’s Hats. While visiting his grandfather, Henri discovers a chest full of hats with which he can pretend to be a ship’s captain, a star pilot, and a race car driver. It’s not until he hears his grandfather’s real stories behind all the hats that he begins to dream about what his own future might be.

As always, we find it hard to limit ourselves once we start telling you about all our favourite books. So here are a few more that have recently come in that we quite like, and even more to watch out for over the coming weeks: The Forest Queen by Betsy CornwellHow Do We Look by Mary Beard, The Mystery of Three Quarters a by Sophie HannahThe Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman, Washington Black by Esi EdugyanMachine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys,  Starlight by Richard WagameseBeirut Hellfire Society by Rawi HageThe Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig DavidsonYorkshire a by Richard MorrisYour Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle GiordanoThings I Don’t Want to Know: A Living Autobiography by Deborah LevyInkling by Kenneth Oppel (September 11Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade(September 18), Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (September 18), The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre (September 18), The Secret History of Soldiers by Tim Cook (September 18), The Burning Stone by Jack Whyte (September 25), In Other Words by Anna Porter (September 25), Son of a Critch by Mark Critch (October 2), The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (October 9).

We really can’t express how happy we are now that the cooler weather has arrived. Summer is great and everything, but nothing compares to getting back into the routines of autumn in preparation for the long, cold months ahead. As we never know what kind of fall and winter we’re going to get, you’d best all start stock-piling books now, just in case. With so many diverse paper confections on our shelves just waiting to entertain and entice you with new adventures and fascinating stories, we are the perfect place to come next time you’re looking to get lost in a good book!

Happy Reading!

-The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 20
6:00-7:30pm

Award-winning author Paul Carlucci will be in the store to launch his critically acclaimed new story collection, The High Rise in Fort Fierce. Joining him will be special guest (writer, editor, reviewer, critic, publisher) Rob McLennan.

ABOUT THE BOOK: “Darkly majestic but notably grim … The nine linked pieces in this latest collection command attention.” – Quill & Quire
Read the full review here: https://quillandquire.com/review/the-high-rise-in-fort-fierce/

Saturday, September 22
1:00-3:00pm

Local author Annette Isaac will be in the store to sign copies of her new bookMissing the Cues: Tales of a Newcomer’s Life in Canada, an exploration of “the often unspoken and unwritten codes that newcomers encounter in Canada, from the perspective of a woman of colour with Caribbean roots.”


Hilary’s Shelf

What I’m Reading: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

“Someone told me recently that Penelope Fitzgerald was nominated for the Man Booker Prize three separate times, and now that I’m finally reading one of her novels, I understand why.
Though it’s not what you can call a happy story, this ode to the brick-and-mortar bookstore is a beautiful read full of love, determination, and bravery in the face of condescension and subterfuge. Florence Green is a wonderful character and it’s not hard to feel a kinship with her, even if you don’t run an independent bookshop.”

Annette Isaac Signing

Local author Annette Isaac will be in the store on Saturday, September 22 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to sign copies of her new book Missing the Cues: Tales of a Newcomer’s Life in Canada.

About the book:

Missing the Cues: Tales of a Newcomer’s Life in Canada explores the often unspoken and unwritten codes that newcomers encounter in Canada, from the perspective of a woman of colour with Caribbean roots. Whether they have come out of choice or necessity, newcomers gradually expect to fully enjoy the social, political, and economic good times in Canada. And yet, tips about unlocking the doors to the full potential of the good times can elude many new immigrants. This book is a valuable and entertaining read for all newcomers about the subtle cues, gestures and unwritten traditions that can both enhance and frustrate the immigrant dream.”

August 2018 Newsletter


July Bestsellers

1. Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlan
2. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
3. Calypso by David Sedaris
4. My Twenty-Five Years in Provence by Peter Mayle
5. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
6. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
7. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
8. A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
9. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
10. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz


Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to the home stretch! It doesn’t seem like too long ago we were celebrating the arrival of summer, and now here we are getting ready to say goodbye to it. Well, maybe not quite yet – it is only the beginning of the month, after all – but with the cicadas humming and that steamy summer haze hanging in the air, it’s not hard to tell what month we’re in. Despite the fact that all the signs are indicating that the end of the sunny season is fast approaching, we’re here to assure you that there’s still time to get some of that all-important summer reading done!

After the great excitement of big-name spring releases, this time of year tends to be slightly quieter for us. Because of this, there’s no better time to take a soothing stroll through the stacks to search out new authors and discover some of the hidden gems that we’ve got tucked away on our shelves. Holly Ringland is a debut Australian author who, in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, tells the beautiful coming-of-age story of, believe it or not, Alice Hart. Faced with a family tragedy at the tender age of nine, Alice is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to go live with her grandmother on a flower farm. Spanning two decades, this novel shows us different sides of Alice as she makes her way through life searching for meaning, love, and belonging amidst the jumble of her past, present, and future. Another debut author that we’re quite excited about is Rachel Heng. As our society still seems to be fascinated by prolonged lifespans and superfood “health” regimes, Suicide Club could not have been released at a more appropriate time. Set in near future New York City where the average human life now lasts three hundred years, humanity is still striving for the ultimate prize: immortality. Lea Kirino’s genetic makeup ticks all the necessary boxes and puts her within easy reach of her immortality goal, provided she follows all the right rules and regimes, that is. But when a chance encounter with her estranged father introduces Lea to the Suicide Club, a group of rebels who reject society’s quest for never-ending life, she must decide which life is the one for her – the clean-cut immortal one or the bittersweet whirlwind with the only bit of family she has left. The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard is a first novel that marks the beginning of what will no doubt be a prestigious writing career. The Ribkins are a family with some slightly odd, and not overly useful, talents – seeing colours that no one else can, being able to breathe fire, climbing perfectly flat walls sans equipment, and being able to produce a detailed map of any space without ever having been there. Though these skills failed to be useful in helping the civil rights movement, they did prove to be indispensable in the Rbikin family’s life of crime. Stealing from the wrong person though, can have deadly consequences, and now John Ribkin finds himself traveling from coast to coast in a unique and humorous attempt to pay off his boss, save his own skin, and protect his family.

Aside from the debut authors we keep discovering around the store, there are a few repeat authors that we’re pretty excited to be hearing from again. We’re very happy to have another offering from Emma Hooper whose debut novel from a few years ago, Etta and Otto and Russell and James was one of our favourites! Set in Newfoundland, Our Homesick Songs is a beautiful story about the importance of love and family when the livelihood your people have known for generations is taken away from you. Merilyn Simonds, a Kingston author who has astounded us again and again with her fascinating works of non-fiction and her touching novels, has delivered a timely tale in her new novel, Refuge. Dealing with the moral questions surrounding immigration and refugees, this book will warm your heart, break it, and build it back up again. Elizabeth Hay calls it “a silk scarf of a novel.” Since reading her very first novel, we’ve been hooked on the genius of Anne Tyler‘s writing. Far from disappointing, her new novel, Clock Dance, carries readers through five decades of Willa Drake’s life, grieving, loving, hoping, and smiling alongside her through all the ups, downs, and unexpected surprises that come her way.

Have you ever wanted your vocabulary to have a bit more of a je ne sais quoi kind of feeling? Or perhaps you want to get a bit better at presenting a laissez-faire attitude to the world. Well, not only can Laura Lee help you with that, but she can guide you through that whole tricky world of foreign phrases and cliches. Savoir Faire is a neat pocket guide to everything you need to know to add a bit of spice to your vocabulary and to become a member of the intelligentsia! With phrases ranging from Japanese to German to French, this book is a perfect resource for linguists, word nerds, or anyone who’s ever been frustrated by the works of Umberto Eco! It’s always a very exciting day for us when we find a true story in the store that is so well crafted, it reads like a novel. One such day came to pass when we picked up a copy of The Victorian and the Romantic by Nell Stevens. Telling parallel stories about two pairs of writers, novelist Elizabeth Gaskell and writer and critic Charles Eliot Norton, and Stevens herself (as a PhD student) and a budding screenwriter named Max, this book explores themes of love (lost and found), friendship, and the joys of writing. At once funny, intriguing, and surprising, this book, much like A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa, is a book about books for anyone who loves storytelling and the art of the written word.

Although they’re the ones who will actually be going back to school come September, your teens still have a bit of time to indulge in a few more books before they hit the wall known as “required reading.” The extra studious among them might take this last month of holiday time as an opportunity to get a head start on their new assignments – there’s never a bad time to read Jane Eyre, after all – but a few will probably want to relish that last little bit of freedom by reading something completely different. As usual, we’ve got you covered! Described as “a story that will stay with you, like a summer you’ll never forget,” The Thief of Happy Endings by Kristen Chandler is a heartfelt story about a girl trying to pick up the pieces of her life while dealing with the everyday challenges of living on a horse ranch when it’s the very last place she ever expected (or wanted) to be. Debut author Caroline Leech carries readers back in time to experience life on a Scottish farm during WWII through the eyes of teenager Lorna Anderson. Wait for Me explores themes of love, hatred, forgiveness, and sacrifice as Lorna suddenly finds herself working alongside Paul, a German POW and a man who represents everything she’s been told her brothers and friends are fighting against. Set in a divided Germany, The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker is a riveting historical story in which a young girl sets out to find her missing uncle, all without any outside help – when there are spies everywhere and you don’t know who you can trust, the only person you can rely upon is yourself. In the wake of all the Shakespeare retellings that we saw with the Hogarth Shakespeare Series for adults, it’s inevitable that we’ll find a few for kids and teens as well. Lucy Christopher‘s Storm-Wake reflects a dark version of The Tempest back at us in this story about Moss, a young girl living on a magical island, whose feelings for her father and her home are thrown into doubt as strangers begin arriving on their shores.

Some of the new and forthcoming books we’re excited about need no introduction at all, and others we simply don’t have to space to praise as we’d like. So, here is a little list of some of the other titles we think you should check out: The Quiet Side of Passion by Alexander McCall SmithThe Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas JonassonAn Unwanted Guest by Shari LapenaRoughneck by Jeff LemireHope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer, Up From Freedom by Wayne Grady, Starlight by Richard Wagamese, Women Talking by Miriam Toews, America, The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (August 28), Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (September 4), Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys (September 4).

Summer might be winding down, but your reading doesn’t have to. We’ll be observing normal hours at the store throughout the month of August, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to pop by and pick up the perfect book for the lazy, hazy days ahead. We look forward to seeing you!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Shelf
What I’m Reading: The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones
“When a confused teen is thrown from a car on a deserted stretch of highway in the middle of the night, he has no idea what has led him to this moment. He does, however, have a niggling feeling that he’s been running away from something…or someone. So begins this harrowing and mystifying read that will hook you in on the first page. With a bit of mystery, a healthy dose of intrigue, a thrilling plot, and more than one unanswered question, this young adult novel is nothing short of a masterpiece!”

Fall 2018 Book Club Lineup

September: A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre

Date: Wednesday, September 26 at 7:30pm

The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years
Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience for its justifications.

Interweaving past and present so that each tells its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters, old and new.

October: The Boat People by Sharon Bala

Date: Wednesday, October 31 at 7:30pm

By the winner of The Journey Prize, and inspired by a real incident, The Boat People is a gripping and morally complex novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage to reach Canada – only to face the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism in their new land.

When the rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees reaches the shores of British Columbia, the young father is overcome with relief: he and his six-year-old son can finally put Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war behind them and begin new lives. Instead, the group is thrown into prison, with government officials and news headlines speculating that hidden among the “boat people” are members of a terrorist militia. As suspicion swirls and interrogation mounts, Mahindan fears the desperate actions he took to survive and escape Sri Lanka now jeopardize his and his son’s chances for asylum.

Told through the alternating perspectives of Mahindan; his lawyer Priya, who reluctantly represents the migrants; and Grace, a third-generation Japanese-Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan’s fate, The Boat People is a high-stakes novel that offers a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis. Inspired by real events, with vivid scenes that move between the eerie beauty of northern Sri Lanka and combative refugee hearings in Vancouver, where life and death decisions are made, Sharon Bala’s stunning debut is an unforgettable and necessary story for our times.

November: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Date: Wednesday, November 28 at 7:30pm

“In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street…”

She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.”

Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

More Special Hours

Books on Beechwood is going to the movies!! Well, technically they’re coming to us. On Sunday, August 5, a local film crew will be using the store to film a scene for an upcoming movie.

As such, we will be opening a little later than normal. Business hours on Sunday will be from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

We apologize for any inconvenience.
See you Sunday afternoon!

Joan Sparling Migwans Signing

Debut author, and retired teacher, Joan Sparling Migwans will be in the store on Saturday, July 28 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her new book, Uprooted.

About the book:

“Overcoming the anguish of becoming a widow with four young children, Joan is determined to offer them the ultimate field trip. Accepting a teaching position at an international school, she takes her children to live in Aleppo, Syria in August 2005. Uprooted from the ease of their Canadian home to live and travel in a world totally outside their comfort zone, they are challenged with different languages, religious customs, monetary systems, climate, and general world view.”

Through Joan’s wonderful retelling, join her and her children as they travel around the Middle East and Europe, searching out new experiences, making new friends, and growing every day under the influence of the vibrant new world around them.

July 2018 Newsletter


June Bestsellers

1. Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin
2. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
3. Building on River by Jean Van Loon
4. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
5. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
6. The President is Missing by J. Patterson & B. Clinton
7. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
8. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
9. Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
10. Master of Persuasion by Fen Osler Hampson


Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, we all wished for summer…we’re not sure that sweltering heat waves are quite what we had in mind though. At least it’s not snowing. That does seem like a small comfort when you find yourself sweating before nine o’clock in the morning, just by standing still outside. Thankfully, we can think of at least one activity that we can all do in this type of weather without completely doing ourselves in…reading! Not only can you do it while lying in front of a fan or in a shady spot beside the pool, but the energy it takes to turn the pages is negligible! Luckily, the worst of the heat seems to have passed (for now), but it’s always good to be prepared for these things. So, be sure to pop in to see us (the store in air-conditioned) and stock up on great reads to get you through any forthcoming summer heat waves!

Although we love reading anytime of year, there’s nothing quite like finding that perfect summer read! No matter where you’re spending your hot, sunny days, the most important thing is not who you spend it with, but which books you bring with you! So, in an effort to facilitate your choosing and help you reach ultimate summer reading enjoyment, here are some of our top picks from among the most recent releases. Swimming with Bridgeport Girls by Anthony Tambakis is a funny, wacky, and slightly insane story about the lengths one man will go to to win back the woman he loves. With a warrant out for his arrest, his ex-wife shacking up with a bookie who wants to kill him, and the sudden appearance of an inheritance from his long-lost father, Ray Parisi has had more than his share of unusual experiences recently. Add to that a hair-brained scheme to win his wife back and you get a hilarious, dysfunctional love story that will keep you laughing from start to finish! With a whiff of Agatha Christie’s Poirot and a splash of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Rachel McMillan‘s Murder at the Flamingo is a fun, sparkly murder mystery with just a hint of seedy underbelly. Featuring Hamish DeLuca and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, two unlikely sleuths fleeing the lives their high society parents have lined up for them, this 1930s set mystery takes readers through the glittering doors of the swanky nightclub The Flamingo, where all is not as it seems and a killer must be stopped before the encroaching darkness overshadows them all!

After hitting all the right notes in her previous novel The Party, Robyn Harding is back with another, even more chilling story, perfect for fans of Shari Lapena, Paula Hawkins, Cynthia Swanson, and Ruth WareHer Pretty Face is the ultimate psychological thriller in which readers find themselves on unsteady ground from start to finish! As you try to weave your way through the mire of disingenuous characters, uncomfortably obsessive love, and endless twists and turns, you very well might start to anticipate a horrible outcome while simultaneously hoping we’re wrong. When you don’t know what’s real and what’s not, which characters to take at their word and which to completely disregard, you know you’re in for an emotion-laden rollercoaster ride of a book! After loving Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave and The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan so, so much, picking up AJ Pearce‘s new novel, Dear Mrs. Bird, was one of the easiest decisions we had to make this month! Set in London during WWII, this book introduces us to Emmeline Lake who, in an attempt to do her bit for the war effort, answers a job advertisement in the paper with dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. But when a series of misunderstandings dash her high hopes and land her typing letters for a renowned advice columnist, Emmeline must find her own way to help the women searching for answers in a time of incredible uncertainty and upheaval. Writing with wit, charm, and emotion, Pearce is a very welcome addition to our bookshelves – at home and here at the store!

Since summertime often means packing a bag and traveling to foreign shores or jumping in the car to discover unexplored nooks and crannies a little closer to home, what better time than now to read a fascinating travel memoir? The late, great, and wonderfully prolific Peter Mayle has gifted us this month with a new (and final) volume of writing about his years living in Provence. Our overseas journey with Peter, which began over two decades ago with the publication of A Year in Provence, comes to an end with My Twenty-Five Years in Provence – a heartfelt love letter to a beautiful place that welcomed him and became his forever home. Full of musings on his culinary, cultural, and countryside explorations over the years, new and long-time Mayle fans alike will fall in love with the man himself as well as the place, as they make their way through this witty and charming volume. In our minds, nothing could fall further from reading about the lavender fields of France than a book about the great American road trip. Though not strictly an American pastime, it was the arrival of the first interstates in the U.S. that paved the way for the golden age of the family car trip – a golden age that Richard Ratay explores in his new National Lampoon-esque book Don’t Make Me Pull Over. Before portable technology like iPods and in-car DVD players changed the game, the only things you needed to worry about out on the black top were having enough pillows for the number of kids in the back seat and how long everyone could last between bathroom stops! Told in a light-hearted and nostalgic way, Ratay‘s book reminds us of a time when family outings were king (no matter how much the kids protested) and the journey was always more important than the destination.

As usual, there are so many great new books out there, but only so much space in our small newsletter. So, here are some of the recent and forthcoming releases that we’re most looking forward to dipping into: The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-JonesThe Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren JamesGeraldine by Elizabeth LillyClock Dance by Anne TylerThe Winners’ Circle a by Gail BowenAll Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover (July 17), Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine (July 24), The Quiet Side of Passion by Alexander McCall Smith (July 31), The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams (July 31), Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin (August 7), Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (August 7), and 101 Things To Do With a Retired Man by Gabrielle Mander (August 7).

Finally, to help you all celebrate this season of swimming, sailing, and sun-tanning (and to indulge our love of alliteration), we have some summer sales happening in the store this month! If your kids are looking for something to occupy their time this summer, why not get them to join Camp Penguin? From now until Saturday, July 28, a selection of books for middle-grade reader featured in our front window will be 10% off! Not only are your kiddies bound to be endlessly entertained in the coming weeks by these great reads, but they also get to track how many books they’ve read with special Camp Penguin stickers in their complimentary copy of the Ultimate Summer Reading Guide. Interactive, intriguing, and on sale! Click here to find out what books are included in the Camp Penguin promotion, or visit us in the store to check out our Camp Penguin display! Also on the docket this month is our Summer is an Open Book promotion featuring brand new paperback releases of great Canadian adult fiction and non-fiction titles from Penguin Random House of Canada! From perennial favourites like Linden MacIntyre and Salman Rushdie to newer authors like Sarah Faber and Kate Taylor, you’re bound to find your perfect summer love among these great reads! Check out the full list of featured titles here or come and visit our book display in store! Our Summer is an Open Book books will be on sale for 15% off from Sunday, July 22 to Saturday, August 11, though they are available in store now at regular price if you find that you can’t wait until the 22nd to pick one up and dive right in!

No matter where life takes you this summer, it’s always important to be prepared. So, when you’re picking up your car keys and sliding your passport into your pocket on your way out the door, be sure to double check your bag for its most important items – all the books you plan on reading! They may take up some valuable real estate and weigh a little more than you’d like, but remember, they aren’t as heavy as shampoo and they’ll never ruin everything else in your suitcase by leaking! Clean, self-contained, and good for more than one read! So come visit us to stock up – we’ll be more than happy to help you pick and choose!

Wishing you all a safe and fun summertime, no matter where your plans take you!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Special Store Hours

We will be CLOSED until 2:00pm on Monday, July 30 for staff training. The store will be open in the afternoon from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
We apologize for any inconvenience.


 

Christmas in July…and August

From July 17 to August 31, we’ll be celebrating our favourite winter holiday four months early by putting all our Christmas cards on sale!

  • All Christmas cards marked with a red slash will be 50% off!
  • For every five cards you buy, get one of equal or lesser value for free!
  • Buy four or more copies of one design, and get an additional 5% off!

On My Shelf

Staff Member: Hilary

What I’m Reading: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

“In the huge stack of books that is my ‘to read’ pile, this intriguing thriller caught my attention and has yet to lose it! Far from your average ‘if you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this’ kind of book, this story of murder, friendship, dark secrets, and semi-truths is a chilling and riveting read.
The jury’s still out on the ending, of course (I haven’t gotten there yet), but with its disturbing and unique premise, and face-paced narrative, I can’t imagine it’ll take me long to get there!”


 

“Calypso” by David Sedaris

David Sedaris has been writing ingeniously funny stories for over twenty years. He has done this from England, where he lives, as well as an apartment he keeps in Paris and a beach house on the Carolina coast in the United States, which he calls the Sea Section.

Three of the titles of his collections are: Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. They are hilarious and misanthropic at the same time. In Calypso, Sedaris tackles middle age and mortality. He is as funny as ever but the hilarity darkens as he realizes that life is made up of more past than future at a certain stage. Critics call this book simultaneously Sedaris’ darkest and warmest book yet and possibly his very best. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall