Titles@Table40 with Whit Fraser

Renowned reporter Whit Fraser spent 25 years living in Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) reporting on Canada’s Arctic for CBC. Now living in Ottawa, he will be joining us for an evening of good friends, wonderful food, and amazing stories, as he talks to us about his book True North Rising.

Date: Sunday, December 2, 2018
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Table 40, 7 Springfield Road

How it works:
The evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $60.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening.

The Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance.

Call or visit us to purchase your tickets today!
Books on Beechwood
35 Beechwood Avenue
613-742-5030

Titles@Table40 with Tim Cook

We’re so excited to once again have our favourite Canadian war historian Tim Cook joining us for one of our dinner events this coming November! He will be discussing his brand new book, The Secret History of Soldiers – a book that delves deep in to our country’s military history to discover what daily life was really like for our young soldiers at the front when they weren’t going over the top.

Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Table 40, 7 Springfield Road

How it works:
The evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $60.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening.

The Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance.

Call (613-742-5030) or visit (35 Beechwood Avenue) us to buy your tickets today!

John Owens Book Launch

Join us on Saturday, October 20 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm for the launch of local mystery author John Owens‘ new book Connecdead!

“The first book in the Jake Lydon mystery series, ‘Connecdead’ has been called ‘Chandler-like, if Raymond Chandler were a bit more cynical.’ Come out and meet John and decide for yourself if he bears any resemblance to his Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, chain-smoking, curmudgeon-on-a-good-day, anti-hero.”

October 2018 Newsletter

September Bestsellers

1. Fear by Bob Woodward
2. All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay
3. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
4. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
5. French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
6. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
7. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
8. Educated by Tara Westover
9. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
10. The Secret History of Soldiers by Tim Cook


Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, there’s no denying it now – it’s officially fall! There are crunchy leaves on the ground, sweaters and jackets have made their way back into our wardrobes, and we’ve already heard the word “Christmas” crop up in the store a few times! Though we’re a little ways away from our first snow fall (we hope), you can never start feathering your winter nest too early. Plus, we hear that warm apple cider tastes even better when enjoyed while reading!

With the arrival of autumn, and the inevitable lead up to Christmas, things have been busy around the shop recently. There are new books coming in by the minute, event requests flooding our inbox, and lots of new gift items to find shelf space for…somewhere. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like things are going to be slowing down any time soon! As we announced a few weeks ago, one of the things we’re most excited about this fall is the return of our Titles@Table40 series! We’re proudly going local this year with two wonderful Ottawa authors to kick off our 2018 season. Elizabeth Hay will be joining us on Sunday, October 14 to discuss her new memoir All Things Consoled, and Tim Cook will be paying us a visit on Sunday, November 4 to tell us about his brand new release, The Secret History of Soldiers. Though we have already sold out our October dinner with Elizabeth, we do have a waiting list started and you never know what the coming days will bring. So, if you’re very keen on that event in particular, it may still be worth putting yourself on our wait-list. There are still seats available for our evening with Tim, though they’re going fast, so if your’e interested, the sooner you buy your tickets, the better! Scroll down to the bottom of our newsletter for more details and a quick refresher on how our Titles@Table40 events work.

In addition to our dinner events, we do have a number of in-store events coming up that we’re excited to share with you. On Friday, October 12 we are planning a fun evening for mystery lovers, mystery readers, and mystery authors! British Columbia author Iona Whishaw and Ottawa authors Brenda Chapman and Barbara Fradkin will all be here in the store to launch their new books, A Sorrowful Sanctuary,  Bleeding Darkness, and Prisoners of Hope, respectively. There will be readings, a Q&A, book signings, and snacks and refreshments to enjoy over the course of the evening. We’ll even have another local mystery author, Linda Wiken, here to moderate the proceedings and keep us all on the straight and narrow! It’s bound to be a fun night, so don’t forget to mark it on your calendar! Right before we head off to our Elizabeth Hay dinner event on Sunday, October 14, we will be welcoming local historian David McGee into the store from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to launch his new book Lost Ottawa: Book 2. Gathered from his ever-popular Facebook page, Lost Ottawa, and following hot on the heels of his first collection of National Capital nostalgia, Lost Ottawa: Book 2 is a treat for Ottawa residents old and new! Filling your October with just a little more mystery, local author John Owens will be here on Saturday, October 20 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to launch his new Jake Lydon Mystery, Connecdead. A slightly different kind of sleuth – Hawaiian shirt and long hair, anyone? – Jake’s laissez-faire attitude takes a hit when a former boss of his is found dead under mysterious circumstances. With the help of his homicide detective daughter, his neighbour cum drinking buddy, and a genius computer hacker, Jake sets off on a wild quest to discover the truth…in his own unique way.

Taking a quick peek into November, prize-winning French novelist Erwan Larher will be here in the store on Thursday, November 1 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm to promote his new book, The Book I Didn’t Want to Write. A slight departure from Larher’s previous works, this real-life account of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks is a deeply moving memoir that explores not only what those attacks meant to him as a victim and as a French citizen, but also what they meant to the thousands of others who lived through that terrifying experience, their loved ones, the millions who followed the events through social media, and event the attackers themselves. Multi-layered, heartfelt, literary, and immensely readable, this is not a book about terrorism or death, but an ode to the sometimes precarious balance between human fragility and our strength of spirit.

With the arrival of fall’s cooler breezes and early darkness, it’s not hard to convince ourselves to do more reading in warm, cozy places. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that there are also so many wonderful books to tempt us into relaxing in said cozy places this time of year. A fitting read for the lead up to Halloween, Dracul by Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker is presented to readers as a prequel to Bram Stoker‘s iconic Dracula and explores the origins of both this celebrated author and the infamous vampire he introduced us to. Inspired by notes and texts left by Bram, and co-written by his great grand-nephew and a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award, this tale full of blood, mystery, darkness, and death is sure to ensorcel and beguile you from the very first page! If one gothic novel per season is not quite enough for you, the next book on your list should definitely be Chris Womersley‘s City of Crows. Set in the seventeenth century, this story introduces readers to Charlotte, a young woman who travels from her country home to the dirty, dangerous cobbled streets of Paris in search of her lost son. It is only when the slippery, silver-tongued former prisoner Adam Lesage hitches his wagon to hers that the real adventure begins! Full of thrills, chills, humour, and magic, this novel is positively dripping with atmosphere and is sure to please anyone who enjoyed By Gaslight by Steven Price or The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton!

If history has proved nothing else it’s that sometimes the greatest discoveries can come out of the strangest circumstances. This month, we find one such scenario in Harriet Paige‘s debut novel, Man With a Seagull on His Head. Ray Eccles is not an interesting man – he even knows this himself – but on the morning of his fortieth birthday, while taking a walk on the beach, it seems like The Fates have a plan for him after all. At the precise moment that a dying seagull falls from the sky, hitting Ray squarely in the head, a woman in the distance turns towards him, becoming the last thing he sees before losing consciousness. No one would ever suspect that this strange shared moment would mark Ray’s transition from uninteresting man to the darling of the art world, but that is exactly what happens! The transformation is fascinating to read and the eventual meeting of Ray and his unwitting muse treats readers to a truly moving snapshot of human connection. Beautifully written and masterfully told, this novel is a must read! With just a bit more fantasy to take us through the magical month of October, Sonia Faruqi invites us to the bottom of the sea in The Oyster Thief. When her brother falls ill due to an oil spill, mermaid Coralline sets out on a journey to find a legendary elixir that could save his life. When she comes across Izar, a human man who has been transformed into a merman against his will, it seems to make sense that they continue their quests together. Drawn to each other by more than just the ocean’s currents, their blossoming rapport is soon threatened by dangerous secrets, worlds at odds, and the ever-present threat of toxic pollution. A far cry from the story of The Little Mermaid as Disney would have us know it, this entertaining deep sea adventure is a wonderful fantasy story with just a hint of environmentalism!

Whether it’s a conscious thing or something we do everyday without even thinking about it, it’s pretty safe to say that all humans are at least a little bit superstitious. From not walking under ladders to always entering and leaving a building through the same door to never uttering the name of The Scottish Play inside a theatre, the acts we associate with bad luck are seemingly infinite. Exploring the origins of luck around the world, and whether or not it actually exists at all, Jeffrey S. Rosenthal‘s Knock on Wood: Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything is a great read for believers and non-believers alike. While some superstitions can be explained away as pure common sense – it’s just a dangerous thing to do – others, like four-leaf clovers, rabbit feet, and “lucky” pennies as signs of good fortune are a little harder to explain away. With humour, science, and a bit of a tongue-in-cheek attitude this University of Toronto statistics professor is sure to entertain and inform you in equal measure! In our experience, there’s nothing that brings history lovers quite as much joy as a really intriguing social history, especially when it’s been written by a master of the genre. Having written about the Great Fire of London, 17th Century pirates in the Mediterranean, life in the 20th Century English country house, and The Royal Society among other things, celebrated historian Adrian Tinniswood has now turned his lens to all the people it takes to support a monarch in his new book Behind the Throne. Spanning the years from the Middle Ages through to Queen Elizabeth II, this study of the age-old relationship between upstairs and downstairs is an interesting look at how many aspects of society have changed and how some things are still very much the same. In certain situations, it definitely takes a village!

For some reason, the fall always seems to be the time of year when big biographies start hitting our shelves, and we certainly do have a lot right now. The memoirs of two legendary entertainers have caught our interest this month and they will undoubtedly make you laugh as much through reading as they have through their years of acting. Best known, of course, for his time as part of the ground-breaking comedy group Monty Python, Eric Idle is a name that few people are not familiar with. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – the title itself a nod to the classic Monty Python song from their movie Life of Brian – is a story-filled romp through not only Idle’s time with his Python cohorts and other big names of the 1960s and ’70s – Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Steve Martin – but through his whole life, from a childhood spent in a strict boarding school to the present day. Branded “A Sortabiography” this book is the perfect read for anyone who has ever met an Enchanter named Tim, had a confrontation over a potentially dead parrot, or been charged to fetch a shrubbery for a group of strange forest-dwelling knights. It might also be a good book to pick up if you just love a good laugh! Newfoundland born comedian Mark Critch has also set out to tickle our funny bones in his new memoir, Son of a Critch. Having spent many years entertaining us from CBC’s flagship comedy show This Hours Has 22 Minutes, Mark now invites us to take a walk down memory lane with him as he revisits his childhood growing up in 1980’s Newfoundland. Full of the same humour and puckishness we’ve come to know and love in his comedy today, this new book is just as charming and heart-warming as it is funny!

One of the rare treats of working in a retail store like ours is not just getting to see all the new blockbuster books upon arrival, but getting the chance to uncover the lesser-known tomes that capture our hearts and, perhaps, wouldn’t get noticed right away without a champion. With that in mind, one of the most intriguing teen books we’ve run across recently is Christelle Dabos‘ A Winter’s Promise. Originally written in French and just recently translated, this epic tale of fantasy and adventure features a strong heroine, travels to vastly different lands, and magical abilities that will capture readers’ imaginations. Set to be the first of four books in The Mirror Visitor Quartet, we’re excited to know that there’s much more to come from this wonderful author! It would make a perfect read for fans of V.E. Schwab‘s Shades of Magic series, Margaret Rogerson‘s An Enchantment of Ravens, and the Airborn series by Kenneth Oppel. Full of ancient demons, blood sacrifices, and chilling secrets, Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko is a dark fantasy that is sure to appease anyone who loves reading stories that will give them goosebumps and make the hairs on the back of their neck stand on end – or anyone who’s ever read a Kelley Armstrong book! Roan Harken has always considered herself to be a typical teenager…well, mostly. After being saved from sharing her parents’ deadly fate by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan suddenly finds herself thrust onto an ancient battlefield where she might have to sacrifice more than she bargained for in order to maintain the world’s precarious balance of good and evil. The Realms of Ancient series continues in the newly released second volume, Children of the Bloodlands.

Just as readers must often wait for their favourite authors to come out with a new book, so too do some books have to wait a while before we pick them up to read them. You really have to be in the right mood in order to read and enjoy certain titles. Because of this, it wasn’t until last year that we finally picked up David Levithan‘s Every Day after having it on our to-read pile for a good long time. Though we let it mature for a while, it was definitely worth waiting for! Centred around an amorphous character named A who wakes up in a different body each day, we had never read a young adult book that made us think quite so much. Needless to say that we quickly devoured Another Day, the follow up to A’s story, and are now extremely excited to get our hands on the newest book in the series, Someday. Delving deep into questions about the soul and what really makes us human, Levithan has once again given us a fascinating, thoughtful read that will not only intrigue you, but will satisfy you in a way that other books seldom do.

As usual, so many books, so little space! Here are some more recent and forthcoming releases that we wanted to shine a light on: Potato Pants by Laurie KellerThe Waiter by Matias FaldbakkenGiraffe Problems by Jory JohnCraic Baby: Dispatches from a Rising Language by Darach O SeaghdhaAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonI Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide CaliA Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem by Christopher HealyThere’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor by Wade BradfordSkylark and Wallcreeper by Anne O’Brien Carelli, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, Half Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay (October 16), Erebus by Michael Palin (October 16), The Winters by Lisa Gabriele (October 16), Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver (October 23), Careless Love by Peter Robinson (October 23), Born Into It by Jay Baruchel (October 30), The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay (October 30), A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss (November 6), Born To Be Posthumous by Mark Dery (November 6).

Now, before we let you get back to whichever book you’re currently reading, we wanted to share a quick, yet very exciting, announcement with you! Earlier this month we became a partner store of the digital audiobook retailer, Libro.fm!! Don’t panic – nothing about our physical store is changing. This new partnership just means that our customers can now buy audiobooks online while still supporting their independent bookstore! We’ve listed more details about Libro.fm below, but if you’re already interested and want to check out our new online presence you can visit our Libro.fm store here: https://libro.fm/beechwood.

With the magical month of October well underway now, the urge to start snuggling with our books is almost irresistible! Unfortunately, leaving the coziness of our blankets every now and then is a necessity – if nothing else you’ll need to feed and water yourself! So, on one of these forays from your den of tea, cookies, books, and wool, be sure to swing by and see us for the latest on new releases, our favourite reads, and to hash out what just happened to your favourite character – sometimes you just need to talk it out! We’re here for all of that and more, and we look forward the autumn breezes blowing you in through our front door!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Titles@Table40: Fall 2018

An Evening with Tim Cook

Date: Sunday, November 4
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Table 40 Restaurant

How Our Titles@Table40 Events Work
The evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $60.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening.

The Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance.
Call us at 613-742-5030 or visit us to book your tickets today!


Shop with us on Libro.fm!!!

Our store: https://libro.fm/beechwood

Libro.fm is an independent audiobook company that makes it possible for us to sell digital audiobooks to our customers. You can listen to these audiobooks on your iPhone, Android device, or your computer. All sales are conducted through our Libro.fm store (link above) and support the continued survival of your local independent bookseller.

You can buy audiobooks through our Libro.fm site either by signing up for a membership or by simply buying audiobooks as the mood strikes you. You don’t even have to have the Libro.fm app on your phone or device in order to buy, download, and listen!

While we will always be champions of the print book, audiobooks can be a great way to enjoy more books while you’re traveling, exercising, or relaxing!
Be sure to check out our site to see if audiobooks are for you!


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife

“After visiting The Tower of London for the first time this past spring, there was never any question of my not reading this book. The Tower Ravens stole my heart in person and have now done it again with paper and ink. Unabashedly enamoured of his feathered charges, the Ravenmaster has gifted us with a candid, humorous, and unique look at life within The Tower, his own path to the position of Ravenmaster, and the daily lives of the majestic, powerful, and unapologetic corvids on whose shoulders rest the fate of a nation.”

 


“The Quite Side of Passion” by Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith must be one of the best-selling storytellers alive today.

He is the author of the beloved No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels and a number of other series as well as stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and are best-sellers throughout the world. This new one is the twelfth in the Isabel Dalhousie series.

It tells the story of this Edinburgh lady who has money of her own and spends her time editing articles for The Review of Applied Ethics. Or that is how she would like to spend her time. She is married, however, to Jamie, a successful bassoonist with an orchestra in Edinburgh. They have two little boys, the second one still a baby, whom they like to be with.

In this book, they agree to get help, with both the children and the editing. These young women have emotional problems of their own and this book tells us how Isabel’s kindness and keen intelligence get her involved, even as she wonders whether an employer should ever inject herself into her employees’ affairs. McCall Smith has an intimate knowledge of Edinburgh and this book, like all his others, gives a wonderful picture of that very special city.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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“The Written World” by Martin Puchner

Martin Puchner is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. His prize-winning books range from philosophy to the arts. He is best-known for his six-volume Norton Anthology of World Literature which brings four thousand years of literature to students everywhere

In The Written World, he outlines what people have written and read over the last 1,000 years. It makes for an ingenious history of civilization. To do this, Puchner travelled across continents “from Mesopotamia, Nineveh, clay tablets, cuneiform and Gilgamesh.”

The Apollo 8 read from Genesis using an alphabet that had been created in Greece. He wrote the lines on paper, a convenient material that originated in China and came to Europe and America via the Arabic world. He used the Bible bound as a book, a useful Roman invention. The pages were printed, a Chinese invention that had been further developed in northern Europe.

Puchner’s main point is showing us that it was only when storytelling intersected with writing that literature was born. Before that, storytelling had existed in oral cultures, with different rules and purposes. Puchner puts his focus therefore on the evolution of creative technologies, such as the alphabet, the book and print.

He sees the larger story of literature unfolding in four stages: the first dominated by small groups of scribes who alone had mastered the difficult writing systems, such as the Hebrew Bible, and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; the second by charismatic teachers such as the Buddha, Socrates, and Jesus. In the third stage of literature individual authors emerged, such as Cervantes in Spain; finally, in the fourth stage, the widespread use of paper print brought in mass production as we know it.

Puchner shows how stories and literature have created the world we have today.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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“Vi” by Kim Thuy

The author of this new book, entitled Vi, was born in Saigon in 1968, and left Vietnam with the boat people at the age of ten to settle with her family in Quebec.

She has done a great many successful things, including studying and practicing law, as well as working as an interpreter, restaurant owner, and commentator on radio and television. She has published an earlier book, Ru, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

In Vi she uses her own experience to describe the life of four children of which Vi is the youngest, and the only daughter. They escape the Vietnam war, but her father, who was rich and spoiled, stayed behind, leaving the family to make a new life for themselves in Canada. Vi turns out to have a lot of courage. Apart from life in Montreal, she headed to Boston, and later was present at the fall of the Berlin Wall. This book gives an intriguing picture of one woman’s enterprise and shows us again what those Vietnamese people had to go through.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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“My Twenty-Five Years in Provence” by Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle was a well-known English journalist who worked in London and New York and wrote fifteen books, including trips he had made abroad, mostly to southern France.

His favorite spot, to which he and his wife Jennie kept returning, was Provence, in the south of France. They found the three hundred days of sunshine, as well as the fine countryside, historic old building, special food and a world-famous variety of the Wine, Rose.

They finally took the plunge and decided to leave England permanently and move to Provence. This book tells of their experience in finding an agent who finally turns up a beautiful house on the northern side of the Luberon Mountains in the village of Gordes, which had a wonderful peaceful view. We learn of some of the problems of settling in, learning the language (instead of sticking to English only and remaining with the group who never really entered French life). What they thoroughly enjoyed was the ebb and flow of village life, especially joining in to the group dropping in to the cafes for meals. They learned how to grow their own truffles, which was difficult, and got help in caring for their small vineyard.

Mayle is candid about the difficulty of leaving one’s own country forever – – made somewhat easier by the fact they had no children, only two dogs, who seemed happy with the move. His happiness is infectious, however, and the book is written with all his usual charm.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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