- All purchases are now being processed by phone and through our online store using credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).
- Customer orders are being shipped out using Purolator. Shipping for a single item order is $13, with an extra $1 tacked on for each additional item ordered.
- Contact-free store pick-ups are available from Monday to Friday between the hours of 10:00am and 5:00pm or Saturday from 11:00am to 3:00pm.
- Contact-free delivery is also available to those with mailboxes and front porches living in the New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea and Manor Park neighbourhoods.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Grab your laptop and watch Katie, live from her kitchen, alongside her bartender husband, Andy, for a fun-filled evening with friends, words, music, nibblies, cocktails & mocktails, as well as special guest appearances by the talented Vivi and Grace, @grassfed.kitty, @joshmcfarlanemusic, @lingy3000, @booksonbeechwood, and @harpercollinsCA.
Register at: https://bit.ly/2zlCFEP
1. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
2. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
3. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
4. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
5. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
7. Normal People by Sally Rooney
8. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
9. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
10. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Greetings Book Lovers!
Happy Victoria Day! I can’t believe it’s already mid-May! With time moving so strangely these days, it’s hard to know which way is up, never mind what day it is. Thankfully the appearance of buds on the trees and early blooms in our gardens must mean that summer is on the way! Although this summer will be unlike any other because of all the cancelled festivals, indefinitely postponed travel plans, and lack of summer camps, there are still ways to enjoy this sunny season while staying safe and healthy. In much the same way as everyone was baking bread in April, it sounds like the action has now moved out into the garden, with new plants taking root, weeds being pulled, and sunny patches being stalked by patio furniture. And really, what better way to enjoy the garden once your work is done, than with a good book?
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of our newsletter (though it may be more like beef jerky and potato chips this month), I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your orders, messages, and requests. It’s been tough keeping the store going on my own, but you’ve all been so amazing and I know that with customers like you, our little bookstore will pull through this unprecedented ordeal just fine. Given the incredible response we’ve gotten, I’ve been finding it hard to stay on top of answering everyone’s orders, e-mails, and messages – what is normally done by eight people is now being done by one – so, it may take me a while to get back to you, but I will. If your request or question is time-sensitive, your best course is to call the store. You may not get me on the phone right away, but you’ll get an answer faster that way than any other.
Despite our Premier’s announcement last week that retail stores with doors opening onto the street will be allowed to open as of Tuesday, May 19, we will not be opening our doors that day, or even that week. Given that our current set up has been working pretty well, I’ve decided that it’s safest to continue in that vein for now, and take our time figuring out what reopening will look like for us. Whether it will mean fewer people in the store at once, masks and gloves required, shorter hours of operation, or some new way of shopping that doesn’t require as much product-touching, I don’t know. Whatever solution we come up with, it will be based on the continued health, safety, and security of our staff and customers – browsing in a bookshop should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and we want to get back to that place just as much as you all do, but we have to make sure we get there in the right way.
So, for now, we will continue our online operations and contact-free pick ups, free neighbourhood delivery, and shipping will still be available. If possible, we ask that you do your shopping through our online store or by phone (613-742-5030) as they are the most effective ordering avenues. If this time has taught me anything, it’s that although e-mail is a handy form of communication, it’s definitely far from efficient – especially when you receive so many! So, if you could avoid using our e-mail address to order things, that would be greatly appreciated. This whole experience has truly been a whirlwind. Like everyone else, I’ve had ups and downs, good days and some very bad ones, and, although my concentration has gotten better over the last few weeks, finding it impossible to sit and read (one of my great comforts in life) at the outset of this pandemic just seemed too cruel. With summer just around the corner though, and our region’s confirmed cases of the virus on the decline, it seems like brighter days are ahead. We hope you’re all hanging in there and we can’t wait to see you again. Thank you so much for keeping us around! We are truly blessed with the best customers ever!
Although it makes me feel a bit like I’m cheating, I don’t have quite as many new titles to tell you about this month. Since a few of our suppliers have shut down their warehouses either completely or partially during this time, there definitely aren’t as many new releases making their way into the store these days; there are still a lot, but not as many as normal. That being said, I do have a running list of things that I’m looking forward to unpacking in the coming weeks. Here are some recent and forthcoming releases that might just peak your interest: All Adults Here by Emma Straub, Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope, The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson, A Song From Faraway by Deni Ellis Bechard, A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes, Who Ate the First Oyster? by Cody Cassidy, The Museum of Whales You Will Never See by A. Kendra Greene, Three by Stephen Michael King, A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski, The Old Drift by Namwali Serpel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (May 19), Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by Sarah Mlynowski (May 19), Love in the Blitz by Eileen Alexander (May 26), The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson (May 26), The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (May 26), The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman (June 2). Keep an eye on our social media accounts for our most recent updates, book releases, and new favourites. I’m also working on a kind of virtual bookstore tour so you can visit the store without actually being inside, so that should make an appearance soon too.
On one non-book note (though demand seems to have dropped a bit) I wanted to give you all a jigsaw puzzle update. The puzzle publishers are still playing catch up when it comes to filling all the orders they’ve received over the last couple of months, and my orders have gotten caught up in the backlog too. Although a few designs have arrived in dribs and drabs over the last few of weeks, I still have a couple of larger orders outstanding. Both Ravensburger and The New York Puzzle Company should be shipping to us at some point soon, though neither could say when, and there will be another Pomegranate order showing up sometime towards the end of next week, hopefully. As new jigsaws are arriving, they’re getting uploaded right into our online store, so that’s the place to check to see if anything new has arrived. I’ll also post on social media when new orders do show up to try to keep you all up to date on the puzzle comings and goings.
Even though this COVID-19 crisis hasn’t completely passed yet, it looks like the worst might be over and we can finally see a bit of light at the end of this very long, unprecedented tunnel. With brighter days ahead, it’s good to be optimistic, but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re not out of the woods quite yet, but we’re getting there. In the meantime, if you’re feeling the need to escape and can’t find a Netflix show that you haven’t already watched, why not travel by book? The destinations are varied, you don’t need a passport, and best of all, you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
Wishing you all the very best!
— Hilary for The Staff of Books on Beechwood
What I’m Reading: If Only by Kate Eberlen
“Far from a typical summer romance, Alf and Violet find their way to each other slowly and cautiously. Being the only two British students in their Italian class in Rome certainly helps though. From waltzing around a piazza to exploring ancient ruins, Alf and Violet’s romance is picture perfect until someone from the past unexpectedly breaks into their present, shattering their newfound love to pieces. Can they find each other again, defeat their ghosts, and move forward? If only it were that simple.”
Well, I think it’s safe to say that this is, hands down, the strangest newsletter I’ve ever written. Like most of you, I’ve never experienced anything like this current crisis before and can’t quite wrap my head around it all. While tuning into our Prime Minister’s broadcast has become a daily ritual, I’m trying to limit my news-watching by keeping myself occupied reading books, doing puzzles, and playing games with my family. Although it’s sometimes hard to focus and settling into routines so different to what we’re used to is tough, we have to remind ourselves that the best thing we can do right now is stay at home, practice social-distancing if we do have to go out, and wash our hands thoroughly and often. Like Queen Elizabeth II said in her broadcast this afternoon, “we should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” In the meantime, we need to simply take each day as it comes, look after each other, keep our minds and bodies active, and follow government recommendations to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.
We may not be in a position to help you with most of the things we’ve all been asked to do (and not do) during this crisis, but we can definitely provide you with the tools to keep yourselves and your families occupied while you’re at home. Whether you want to read, play games, do puzzles, or maybe try your hand at writing the next great Canadian novel, we’ve got you covered! Our doors might be shut, but we’re still committed to keeping you all supplied with the things you need to get through these uncertain times. This means that from Monday to Friday, we’ll be in the store from 10:00am to 4:00pm to take your calls, answer your e-mails, fill your orders, and keep things running smoothly in preparation for the day when we can welcome you back through our doors. We’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as possible, but there are a few special things you should know.
1. All purchases are now being processed by phone and through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/) using credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).
2. Customer orders are being shipped out using Purolator. Shipping for a single item order is $13, with an extra $1 tacked on for each additional item ordered.
3. Contact-free store pick-ups using our vestibule are available from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm. Pick-up times are set up one-on-one with individual customers.
4. Contact-free delivery is also available to those with mailboxes and front porches living in the New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea, and Manor Park neighbourhoods.
5. We’ll be completely closed on Friday, April 10 for Good Friday.
Since the store is being run by a team of one right now, it might take a day or two for us to respond to your messages, so please don’t despair! Your queries will all get answered! Thank you for being so patient with us as we try to find our footing on this somewhat shaky ground.
As of right now, the wheels of the publishing world are turning normally, and we’re still ordering books and receiving new publications. Although some big releases like Tim Cook‘s forthcoming book The Fight for History and the highly anticipated Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney have had their publication dates moved from the spring to the fall, and a couple of smaller publishers have shut down their warehouses temporarily, we’re not seeing too many changes or interruptions to the normal way of things. If things do change in the coming days, weeks, and (dare we say it) months, we’ll be sure to send out an update and post messages on all our social media pages. In the meantime, we’ll be using those same mediums to let you know about great new releases, neat spring arrivals, and staff picks!
One thing we have noticed over the last few weeks is an uptick in puzzle sales. It looks like the jigsaw puzzle is back in a big way and we’re happy to say that while our stock has really been whittled down, we have a few new shipments of puzzles on the way! We’ll get them uploaded into our online store as quickly as possible, but if you live near us and happen to be out for a walk (while observing proper social-distancing), be sure to take a glance at our window to see what designs are up for grabs. If puzzles aren’t really your thing, we also have a good selection of memory games, boardgames, and card games that are sure to keep all age groups in your house riveted for hours!
This may not be our typical kind of newsletter, but we can’t let this moment pass without telling you about at least some of the new books we’ve received over the last couple of weeks and the forthcoming ones we’re looking forward to. Here are a few of the standouts: The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, Open House by Jane Christmas, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane, Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley, Hike by Pete Oswald, We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian, 24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling, If Only by Kate Eberlen (April 7), The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan (April 7), Miss Austen by Gill Hornby (April 7), The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (April 7), Aran by Flora Shedden (April 7), Lovable Felted Animals by Yucoco Cafe (April 7), Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon (April 14), The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey (April 14), Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst (April 21), The Villa of Mysteries by David Hewson (April 17), Keep ‘Er Lit by Van Morrison (April 24), Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers (April 28).
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for the outpouring of support you’ve given us since we closed up shop on March 19. It’s really incredible how you’ve all rallied around us and our fellow independent shops to keep us going through these strange and uncertain times. While we don’t know what the future holds, we’re going to do our best to hang on through this crisis so we can continue to do this job we love for years to come, and hopefully, we’ll be welcoming you all back into the store before too long!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay healthy.
— Hilary for The Staff at Books on Beechwood
Our doors are shut, but we’re still ordering books, shipping out orders, orchestrating contact-free pick ups, and delivering packages. Here’s a breakdown of how things are working right now.
Shipping: we’re shipping all parcels via Purolator at a rate of $13 for single item orders with $1 tacked on for each additional item (i.e. shipping for two items would be $14). We can’t do any shipping outside of Canada at this time.
Contact-free Pick-ups: we’re using our vestibule as a contact-free pick-up location for any customers who would like to come by and collect their orders in person. Pick-ups are available from Tuesday to Friday between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Specific pick-up times will be scheduled with customers on a one-on-one basis. If you’re coming to pick up a package, please observe proper social-distancing practices and refrain from entering the vestibule if there is already someone inside.
Delivery: contact-free delivery is available to customers who live near the store in the neighbourhoods of New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea, and Manor Park. Deliveries can’t be made to condo or apartment buildings.
Downloadable Audiobooks: If you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
Don’t forget that a lot of our neighbours and friends are still in operation to some capacity too! We’ll all need a little help if we’re going to pull through this.
Mood Moss Flowers * Muckleston & Brockwell * Jacobson’s * Nature’s Buzz * Fraser Cafe * Red Door Provisions * Second Cup * So Good * Bibi’s * Ola Cocina * Pet Valu * Epicuria * Bread & Roses * Quelque Chose Patisserie * Idriss Mediterranean * Perfect Books * Octopus Books * Singing Pebble Books
If you missed hearing our Manager, Hilary, on CBC’s The Next Chapter on Saturday, March 28, click here to listen.
What I’m Reading: The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan
“In tough times, we all tend to gravitate towards the things that comfort us. For me, that’s always been books and stories about witches, magic, and fantasy worlds. This new Louisa Morgan book definitively ticks two of those boxes. Set in Gilded Age New York and London, this novel is every escapist’s dream as it invites you into a magical adventure full of love, deceit, power, and the age-old battle between dark and light magic. Beautifully written and engrossing, I could live in this book forever!”
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Dear Friends, Readers, and Book Lovers,
Today we had to make a tough choice – the choice between staying open and closing our doors during this ongoing crisis. We chose the latter. Not only for the safety of our staff, but for the safety of all our customers as well. While we’re not sure how long our closure will last, we all have to do what we can to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and we feel like this is our bit.
That being said, we have a skeleton staff all set up to keep things up and running behind the scenes in preparation for the day when we can once again welcome you back into the store. What that means is we’ll still be accepting book requests and orders, receiving shipments from publishers, and shipping books out to customers. You can also expect to see new posts on our social media accounts and our regular monthly newsletters will still be arriving in your inbox as usual. In other words, we’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as we possibly can.
On the shipping side of things, all customer orders will go out using Purolator or Canada Post at a flat rate of $13 for the first item and an extra $1 for each additional item. Purchases can be processed over the phone (613-742-5030) or you can place orders through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/). Requests can also be made by e-mail (email@example.com). Contact-free pick ups at the store can be arranged on request as well. And if you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
Since we don’t know how long we’ll be closed for, until further notice all bookstore events have been postponed. We plan to revisit them once the situation stabilizes and hopefully will be able to reschedule them. Anyone who has purchased a ticket to our Titles@Table40 event with Chris Waddell that was due to take place on March 29 will be entitled to a full refund or store credit. There’s no time-limit on this refund/credit. We are planning on rescheduling this event, so if any of you would rather hang on to your tickets until we have a new date, that’s fine too.
We might be closing our doors for now, but we’re committed to continuing to serve you all as best we can through this difficult time. There are no doubt many more strange, uncertain days ahead of us, but we figure as long as we all follow the recommendations and instructions put out by Ottawa Public Health, wash our hands thoroughly and regularly, and keep ourselves nice and busy at home, we should pull through. Just remember that we’re still here and happy help in any way we can.
Thank you so much for your continued support! We wouldn’t be here without you!
–The Staff at Books on Beechwood
So, we have another update for you.
1. Yes, we are still open, but we’ve adjusted our hours. We will now be open as follows:
Monday to Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 3:00pm
We’re not sure if we’ll make it to the weekend as things are changing so quickly, but we’ll do our best to keep you updated via our social media accounts, our website, and our newsletter should things change.
2. We’re still diligently cleaning all surfaces here at the store and have decided to no longer accept cash payments. We’re also encouraging all our customers to pay using the tap feature on their debit or credit cards to limit the number of shared surfaces in the store – for your protection as well as ours.
3. Just another reminder that if you’re self-isolating, in quarantine, or are nervous about going out, we’re happy to deliver or ship things to you. We will try to continue this service even if our storefront closes. Purchases can be processed over the phone (613-742-5030) or you can place orders through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/). Requests can also be made by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can even purchase downloadable audiobooks through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
4. Once again, we ask that if you’ve traveled outside the country recently, have been in contact with someone who has, or if you’re not feeling 100%, please stay home – for your own well-being as well as ours. We’re trying to limit the number of people in the store at a time as much as we can, and while we normally love watching you all enjoy a good browse of our store shelves, if you’re just looking to while away some time and aren’t in mind to make a purchase, we’d rather you take pleasure in a nice long stroll in the fresh air instead. You can never have too much fresh air!
Hopefully these measures won’t last for long, and while we’re open for now, we do think that the point will come when we do have to close down. We’re taking things a day at a time and are doing our best to make decisions based on the well-being of both our staff and customers. These are uncertain times and we should all take every precaution and do our best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and each other safe and healthy.
Stay safe out there!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to post a quick update on how we’re handling things here in the store.
1. As of right now, we are still open for business (regular hours) and plan to be for the foreseeable future, unless the situation worsens or the government regulates store closures. We will keep you updated via our social media accounts, our website, and our newsletter should things change.
2. Although cleaning store surfaces is a regular part of our daily routine, we have become more vigilant in recent days and are doing our best to keep both you and our staff safe.
3. If you’re self-isolating or in quarantine, we’re happy to deliver or ship things to you. Purchases can be processed over the phone or you can place orders through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/). You can also purchase downloadable audiobooks through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
4. Finally, we ask that if you’ve traveled outside the country recently or if you’re not feeling 100%, please stay home – for your own well-being as well as ours. If you’re desperate to make a purchase, just contact us by phone (613-742-5030), e-mail (email@example.com), or through one of our social media accounts and we’ll be sure to get your purchase to you.
We’re hopeful that the COVID-19 outbreak will be under control soon, but in the meantime, we should all take every precaution and do our best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and each other safe and healthy.
Stay safe out there!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
1. Successful Aging by Daniel Levitin
2. We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
3. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
4. All Things Being Equal by John Mighton
5. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
6. Voyage of the Yacht, Dal by Andrzej Bohomolec
7. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
8. Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin
9. A Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker
10. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Greetings Book Lovers!
Welcome to March! The days are just flying by here, but that’s not something we can bring ourselves to be too sad about. Especially since we’re gaining minutes of sunlight and degrees of warmth every day as we get closer and closer to spring. For us, not only does the warmer weather mean that winter’s on the way out, but it also heralds the arrival of interesting events, fun new gifts, and plenty more great books! After all, what else is there to do on spring’s forthcoming rainy days but read?
Despite the joy we feel in the arrival of the warmer weather, this March also finds us cradling heavy hearts as we say goodbye to one of the staples of the Ottawa independent business community. The wonderful toy store, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s, will be closing down it’s last remaining location at the end of this month after serving our city for over four decades. Not only are we heartbroken to witness the demise of yet another locally-owned indie shop, but having shopped in their stores for many years ourselves, it feels like we’re losing a childhood friend. From Playmobil to LEGO, Brio to boardgames, stickers to stuffed animals, this beautiful toy store had it all, and we can’t count the number of times we’ve told our own customers to “try Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s” when they’d come looking for a specific item that we don’t carry. Where will we send them now? Where will we make our own toy purchases from here on out? We’re not sure. All we know is that we’re losing a magical, imaginative, inspiring place that children have explored with wonder since 1977. Our city won’t be the same without it.
Even with our sadness over Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s and the uncertainty we’re feeling given recent world events, our march towards spring continues and with it come a few neat events that we’d like to tell you about. First off, we’re very excited about the fact that we’ve just announced another Titles@Table40event! Local author (and loyal bookstore customer) Chris Waddell will be joining us on Sunday, March 29 to talk about his new book, The End of the CBC? As a professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, Waddell has a good deal of insider insight into the often rough waters that our public broadcaster is trying to navigate. Given the failure of successive governments to put an end to CBC’s struggles and the emergence of a plethora of new online news platforms, CBC’s future is far from secure. But Waddell, along with his co-author David Taras, have come up with a plan – one that could spell a way forward for our beloved public broadcaster. As huge CBC fans, we can’t wait to hear what our visiting author has to say and hope that you’ll all be able to join us. Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to call or visit us soon to get yours!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with our Titles@Table40 dinner series or if you’ve just forgotten the way it all goes down, here’s 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 $70.00 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 Café can accommodate all special dietary needs if we’re informed at the bookstore in advance.
In addition to our dinner series, we’ve also got a couple of in-store events to tell you about this month. Coming up this Sunday (March 15), local mystery author Essie Lang (a.k.a Linda Wiken and Erica Chase) will be here to launch her new Castle Bookshop Mystery Series. Come by this store between 2:00pm and 4:00pm to get your hands on a copy of the first two books in the series, Trouble on the Books and Death on the Page, and then settle in to be entertained like never before! Set in the beautiful Thousand Islands region of New York, this delightful series follows former literary editor and new bookstore owner, Shelby Cox as she tries to learn the ins and outs of a new business and settle back into life in her hometown. Just as she’s finding her feet though, she’s plunged into a real murder mystery when a local volunteer is found dead. Determined to help, Shelby soon butts heads with local investigators as she tries her hand at catching a killer. Peopled with a colourful cast of characters, this series is perfect for fans of Vicki Delany, Eva Gates, and Carlene O’Connor. Refreshments and snacks will be served. Former teacher and local author Kalli Dakos will be here in the store on Saturday, March 21 for a very special children’s reading and signing event. Having taught in Inuvik for many years, Dakos‘ newest children’s book, Recess in the Dark, is inspired by the children she used to teach. Featuring beautiful illustrations, charming poems, and fun facts about the North, this book would make a wonderful addition to any library. Be sure to stop by the store between 11:00am and 1:00pm to meet Kalli and listen to her read from this lovely collection.
Given recent events around the world – and in our own city – finding activities to occupy your kids over this year’s extended March Break is going to be even trickier than normal. Hopefully the weather will be nice so that we can see a return to playing outside, but in the event that you’re looking for a nice low-tech indoor activity, we’ve got you covered! Not only do we have a lot of fun puzzles and games to keep the kids occupied, but we also have a huge number of new books for kids and teens that might just peak their interest. Rin Chupeco‘s new novel, Wicked As You Wish, is a hilarious, rollicking, alternate history, fairy tale-inspired, fantasy story that marks the beginning of another great series. After the magical kingdom of Avalon is left desolate by the evil Snow Queen, former citizens find themselves refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. As the sole surviving member of the royal family, Prince Alexei is determined to win back his kingdom, but doesn’t see a good way to do that from his hiding place in the most boring place ever…Arizona. With the help of his friend Tala, one of the few who knows his true identity, he wiles away the days trying to plan his return home – a venture that makes great gains when a legendary creature of Avalon, The Firebird, makes its first appearance in decades! Funny and endlessly entertaining, this book is a must for the teen readers in your life!
We’ve always loved the idea that there are magical places hidden within our very non-magical world – close enough to touch, but invisible to the naked eye – so it’s little wonder that we’re so taken with Havenfall by Sara Holland! The Inn at Havenfall is a sanctuary – a safe place that connects all the ancient worlds and has strict no-nonsense rules in place to keep the peace. Maddie Morrow has spent too many summers at the inn to count and not only does it provide her with an escape from her sad reality at home, but it’s also been great training for when she inherits the inn from her beloved uncle. But when murder invades the inn’s peaceful rooms, Maddie gets a bit more responsibility than she bargained for. Desperate to restore the inn’s reputation, Maddie joins forces with alluring new staffer Taya to track down a killer and bring peace back to Havenfall. Lynette Noni‘s Akarnae is the first book in a brand new fantasy adventure series perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare. Sixteen-year-old Alex is dreading her first day at a new school, but she certainly hadn’t planned on escaping to a magical world in order to avoid it! Doors can be mysterious things and when one transports Alex to Medora, she immediately sets out to find a way back home. But when her search takes her to Akarnae Academy, a school for teens with extraordinary gifts, she soon finds herself settling into a world she’s suddenly not quite so desperate to leave. It’s not until strange things start happening that Alex is faced with a choice – stay and help save the Medorans, or turn her back on this magical place she’s come to love in order to return to her own world?
In addition to all the great teen books coming out, there are lots of wonderful new reads for the younger set too. Perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Ursula Le Guin, and Colin Meloy‘s Wildwood series, Sylvia V. Linsteadt‘s new book is destined to become a classic! The Wild Folk brings together Tin, an orphan City boy, and Comfrey, a curious Country girl in an epic quest to save the world. Faced with a series of seemingly impossible challenges set by the mystical (and tricky) Wild Folk, Comfrey and Tin must learn to work together if they’re going to successfully navigate this magical world and save both the city and the country. Set in the author’s home province of New Brunswick, The Copycat by Wendy McLeod MacKnight finds Ali Sloane starting classes at a new school in yet another new town. Having long since learned that being a bit of a copycat is a good way to fit into a new school, actually being able to physically change your appearance to copy someone else’s is not exactly what Ali had in mind. Though she thinks this strange Sloane family inheritance is going to take new friendships completely off the table, not only do her new classmates surprise her, but they help her accept this new aspect of her life and come to the realization that there’s no better person to be than herself. Inspired by Agatha Christie and her famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyne is the first in a series that will no doubt become a favourite for fans of Lemony Snicket and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Living in a small coastal English town, Aggie hasn’t had much to occupy her since her father died, so meeting 12-year-old Hector Perot couldn’t have happened at a better time! On top of that, she discovers a body on the floor of the local dance hall! Now, armed with a new friend and a long list of suspects, Aggie sets out to catch a killer before this murder tears her town apart!
Making the transition from writing for teens to writing for adults can be tough, but Sarah J. Maas has done just that with aplomb. Her new novel, House of Earth and Blood, is the first volume in what will be the Crescent City series – a wonderfully magical, high-fantasy series with the perfect amount of urban grit thrown in! Clocking in at just over 800 pages, this novel is a bit of a commitment, but one that fantasy lovers will have no trouble making. Centred around a series of demonic murders, readers will adore following our heroine, Bryce, through all the ups and downs of an otherworldly investigation and a romantic liaison with a Fallen Angel who really puts the “bad” in bad boy! Incredibly crafted and full of unexpected twists, this is bound to be the fantasy pick of the season! Unquestionably one of the top historical fiction writers of all time, Sharon Kay Penman has quit the shores of merry England and instead traveled to the Kingdom of Jerusalem in her new novel, The Land Beyond the Sea. Featuring some historical heavy-hitters, this epic tale shines a light on King Baldwin IV, a young king struggling to keep control of his volatile kingdom in the face of a royal court rife with deception and the ever-present, ever-threatening Muslim army led by Saladin. Fighting battles on all sides, there are few people Baldwin can trust and even fewer he can truly rely on. Perhaps, if there is to be peace during his reign, there must first be war. Epic on a scale Penman has achieved in book after book, this novel is perfect for fans of Jack Whyte, Bernard Cornwell, and Hilary Mantel.
While browsing our shelves, it’s not hard to tell that we are partial to the odd British-themed book, be it a travel memoir, a humorous book of quotations, or a grand historical novel, so it would be surprising to many if we didn’t at least mention Peter Fiennes‘ new book, Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers. Following in the footsteps of famous writers such as Enid Blyton, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Dickens, Fiennes crosses miles and centuries as he explores his homeland anew and imagines the way these great thinkers may have perceived and experienced the very same lands he’s traversing. Part travel memoir, part philosophical exploration, and part historical retelling, this fascinating book is a treat to be savoured and revisited again and again! Another of our great loves here at the store are quirky books about language. Since we got so much enjoyment out of 2018’s That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means by Ross and Kathryn Petras, it took no convincing at all for us to pick up their new book, Awkword Moments. We’re faced with them everyday – words that we use without thinking, but that we maybe aren’t exactly sure the meaning of. Covering 100 words and terms that have become commonplace but that are rarely directly defined, this handy little book will help you avoid flat-footedness forever as it clearly explains words that we slightly, maybe, don’t really know the meaning of. With their usual humour and style, readers will find that this small volume is so much more than just a slightly quirky dictionary!
Despite everything that’s going on in the world right now, the wheels of the publishing industry just keep on turning. With so many new books hitting our shelves every day, it’s virtually impossible to stay on top of them. Here are some other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited to get our hands on: Tips From a Publisher by Scott Pack, In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, Firewatching by Russ Thomas, Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn, The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide by Jen Gale, Patchwork Society by Sharon Johnston, The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter, Actressby Anne Enright, Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle by Laura Purdie Salas, The Moon Keeper by Zosienka, Oraculi by Athena M. Kaiman, The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub, The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham, The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel, Violet Shrink by Christine Baldacchino, The Truth About Wind by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert, Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman, The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben (March 17), The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri(March 17), The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (March 24), The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin (March 24), Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey by Lori Mortensen (March 24), A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purcell (March 24), A Silent Death by Peter May (March 31), Cave Dada by Brandon Reese (March 31).
With all the news flying around out there these days, it’s hard to know which end is up.The best we can all do is follow the recommendations and instructions put out by Ottawa Public Health, wash our hands thoroughly, and try not get ahead of ourselves. They may be cancelling events and closing cultural centres left, right, and centre, but one thing we can assure you of is our commitment to keeping you stocked with books, games, and puzzles for the foreseeable future. So, whether you’re planning ahead for March Break, preparing for potential self-isolation, or just trying to keep your routine as close to normal as possible, your friendly, neighbourhood bookstore will be here, ready to serve, with a smile and a book recommendation in hand!
Happy Reading and Take Care!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
Just a reminder that we’re happy to deliver or ship books to you if you’re not able to come to us. We accept book orders by phone (613-742-5030), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), and online (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/?q=h)
What I’m Reading: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
“The very first book I bought when I started working at Books on Beechwood was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – a teen novel that introduced me to the dark, magical world of the Shadowhunters. Now, about twelve books (and years) later, delving back into that world once again was just as exciting as the first time. I can’t wait to see what adventures await this new group of demon hunters as they navigate the dark alleyways, cobblestone streets, and mist-shrouded squares of turn of the century London.”
We have a special treat for you all this month! Local author (and loyal bookstore customer) Chris Waddell will be joining us for our second Titles@Table40 dinner event of the year!
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020 *POSTPONED*
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 $70.00 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
1. Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
3. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
4. The Cockroach by Ian McEwan
5. Agent Jack by Robert Hutton
6. Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey
7. Not Mentioned in Dispatches by RHOMA
8. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
9. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
10. The Innocents by Michael Crummey
Greetings Book Lovers!
Happy Valentine’s Day! It might still be cold and wintry outside, but we’re toasty warm in the store here, surrounded by the love of our lives – books! We may have said this once or twice before, but one of the things we love most about books is that they can take you to any place and any time. That’s especially useful this time of year when the winter seems interminable and current world issues are getting a little overwhelming. So, why not take a little break from reality by delving into some of the great new reads that have landed on our shelves over the last few weeks?
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of some of 2020’s greatest books so far, we wanted to remind you about our first Titles@Table40 event of the season. Some of you may have seen our notice go out a week and a bit ago, but for those who didn’t, we’re going to be kicking off our ever-popular dinner series on Sunday, February 23 with former CBC reporter Carol Bishop-Gwyn. She has written a wonderful (unauthorized) biography of two of our country’s most esteemed artists, who were also, at one time, a couple. Art and Rivalry details the marriage of Mary and Christopher Pratt, the highs and lows of their life together, their respective art careers, and the eventual implosion of their marriage. Filled with fascinating details, heart-breaking realities, and the beautiful art that came out of what was a very emotionally-fraught situation makes for an undeniably compelling read. Armed with a photograph-filled power-point presentation, Carol Bishop-Gwyn will be giving us not only a glimpse into the lives of two very talented people, but will also be dazzling us with some of our country’s most well-known pieces of art.
For those of you who have never been to one of our Titles@Table40 events at Fraser Cafe, or who need a little refresher on what’s what, here’s how it all 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 $70.00 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. Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance. Tickets are on sale at the bookstore now, so be sure to get yours soon. This evening of timeless Canadian art, wonderful food, and fascinating stories is not to be missed!
Since this is the day that’s been chosen to celebrate love, what better moment than now to dive into our book picks from the last few weeks – all of which, coincidentally, we can safely say that we love! For anyone who’s been in the store anytime over the last year and a bit, we’re sure you’ve heard someone here talking about how much they loved Madeline Miller‘s 2018 novel, Circe. A sweeping historical novel that takes readers into the ancient world of Greek deities, nymphs, monsters, heroes, and demi-gods, it introduces us to the formidable character Circe, a daughter of Helios who is recognized as the first ever witch. If you haven’t read it, you definitely should, but if you have, we would highly recommend you pick up The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave next. Set in the furthest reaches of Norway in the early 17th century, this heart-stopping novel opens with a tragic reminder of the power of the sea and the fragility of human life. When the menfolk in the small town of Vardo are wiped out in an incredible, almost otherworldly storm, twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter and her fellow wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers must adapt to their harsh new reality and learn to fend for themselves. Left to their own devices for a few seasons, the appointment and arrival of a new commissioner for their tiny town, a Scottish-born witch hunter named Absolom Cornet, is welcomed by some and spells doom for others. Inspired by true events, this is a story filled with love, stoicism, fanaticism, and heart-break – a novel to be read, absorbed, and placed among other favourites in your collection.
Though the title implies a historical setting, Andrew David MacDonald‘s When We Were Vikings has its feet firmly planted in the present. Zelda is twenty-one-years-old and lives with her older brother Gert. She loves vikings and knows everything there is to know about Valhalla, Beowulf, and how a viking warrior can become the hero of their own legend. She also likes to have sets of rules in place so she can keep the things around her in order, has trouble dealing with conflict, and suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. So, when she finds out that her brother has acted dishonourably by dropping out of college, lying to her about it, and falling in with some very bad people, she’s determined to help him by setting out on her very own viking quest to defeat the grendels that are plaguing their family. Things get serious quickly though, and Zelda soon finds herself in a situation where saving the people she loves means being stronger than she’s ever been before. Touching, inspiring, and built around a core of sibling love, this sweet, funny story will touch your heart and keep you engaged long after you’ve closed the cover for the final time. Eoin Colfer has long delighted us with his wonderfully funny, ever delightful Artemis Fowl series and now he’s gifted us an equally lovable book for adults. Highfire is, in a word, unparalleled. Hilarious, ridiculous, action-packed, and piloted by two very unlikely heroes, be prepared to read this one in a single sitting! The last of his kind, Vern lives in the Louisiana bayou, swigging vodka, smoking Marlboros, and spending the majority of his time in his Lay-Z-Boy recliner decked out in his favourite Flashdance t-shirt. The thing is, Vern used to be known as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie, and is the world’s last dragon. Enter a crooked cop and a young swamp rat playing an epic game of cat and mouse, and Vern is not only forced out of his comfy recliner, but he’s set on a path that just might lead him back to his glory days…or it could see the extinction of his species. Told in trademark Colfer style, you will laugh yourself silly from beginning to end!
Our undying love of books and stories is matched only by our love of language and writing, so we always get pretty excited when a new book about words arrives in the store. Don’t Believe a Word by David Shariatmadari is just that kind of book. Delving into the science of language, this book challenges us to forget everything we thought we knew about words, their true meanings, and how they evolve. Prepare to have your mind blown as Shariatmadari shatters nine commonly held beliefs about language and introduces us to some new ground-breaking ideas about one of humanity’s greatest (and most changeable) inventions. Understanding the wheres and whys of language is one thing, but learning how to use it properly can be a very different matter. Long-time teacher and writer, Roy Peter Clark brings his writing knowledge to the masses in his new book Murder Your Darlings. Along with his own know-how, this book also contains some of the top writing tips from masters of the genre such as Anne Lamott, Stephen King, and even Aristotle! No longer will aspiring writers have to stand in front of the “Language and Linguistics” section of their local bookstore wondering which writing guide to choose. Instead they can simply pick up Clark‘s book and receive not only his own advice, but the top 100 tips from fifty of the top writing books of all time! After all, who could argue with an essential guide born of essential guides?
Here in the store, our children’s section gets just as much (if not more) love from our staff than the rest of the store does. There’s just something about a good coming-of-age story that still appeals to us all. Much like Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy did a few years ago, Jo Cotterill‘s new book, Jelly, has completely captured our hearts. At school, Angelica puts on a good show – she’s great at impressions, makes everyone laugh, and doesn’t mind throwing her weight around – but the truth is, that’s not the real her. Lacking the confidence to be herself, Jelly saves all her innermost thoughts and feelings for her special notebook. It’s not until her mother’s new boyfriend comes on the scene and recognizes Jelly’s behaviour as an act that this shy young girl realizes that sometimes putting yourself out there and trusting others to accept you as you really are is where real confidence comes from! There are moments in life when people can surprise you and true friendships can come from some pretty unexpected places. These are lessons that Norris Kaplan has yet to learn in The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe. As a Black French Canadian, the prospect of moving to Austin, Texas doesn’t strike Norris as a very good idea – he can tell that much just from watching American sitcoms. This leads him to believe that keeping his new high school classmates at a safe distance by compartmentalizing them seems like the perfect plan. Fortunately for him, life rarely abides by our plans and before he knows it, his safely-labeled peers are causing cracks to appear in his armour and proving that they might actually make for good, trustworthy friends. It all goes pear-shaped on prom night though, and Norris must decide whether to come out from behind the walls he’s built between himself and the world, or stay in the safety and comfort of his own self-imposed isolation. Funny, realistic, and full of all the joys of adolescence, this novel for teens is at once charming and heart-warming.
While we could stay here forever talking about all the books we’ve loved over the last few weeks, time is not infinite, so here are a few other recently released and forthcoming titles that we’re excited to bring to your attention: Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek, Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, The Mitford Scandal by Jessica Fellowes, St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin, Bloom by Kenneth Oppel, The Second Midnight by Andrew Taylor, A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd, Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong, A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers, The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (February 25), Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (February 25), Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (March 3), Actress by Anne Enright (March 3), Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (March 3), Awkword Moments by Ross and Kathryn Petras (March 10).
Love is a funny thing – we can feel it for other people, inanimate objects, animals, and ourselves and it can sometimes be subtle, overwhelming, unpredictable, epic, and electric…ideally not all at the same time. Like any great love affair, the love of books will take you on a journey – there will be highs and lows, danger and adventure, sadness and loss, and you never know where your journey will take you until you get there. Books are really the ultimate companions – steadfast, dedicated, comforting – and the best part is, they’ll never yell at you for putting your feet up on the coffee table!
Lots of love from us to you on this Valentine’s Day weekend!
— The Staff of Books on Beechwood
We will be CLOSED on Monday, February 17 for Family Day. Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, February 18.
Titles@Table40 with Carol Bishop-Gwyn
Date: Sunday, February 23
Place: Table40 Restaurant, 7 Springfield Road
Tickets for this event are on sale now. Be sure to pop by the store, call or e-mail us to get yours today!
What I’m Reading: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
“Victorian London seems to have a strange sort of appeal to me, as I find myself reading yet another book that’s set there. Starring a lady detective named Bridie Devine, this book has taken me through the sooty streets of London in search of a kidnapped girl rumoured to have the kind of powers that make her appealing to some collection-obsessed Victorians. Also featuring an enamoured ghostly sidekick, I can’t wait to see what awaits me around the next cobblestone corner!”