The Twelve Days of Penguin Random House Christmas

It’s Twelve Days of Penguin Random House Christmas time again!

Starting on Wednesday, December 13 and carrying us through to Sunday, December 24, we will be featuring one Penguin Random House title each day at 30% off!

Here’s this year’s list:

Wednesday, December 13: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
Thursday, December 14: Lost in September by Kathleen Winter
Friday, December 15: All We Leave Behind by Carol Off
Saturday, December 16: Feast by Lindsay Anderson
Sunday, December 17: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Monday, December 18: A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
Tuesday, December 19: Vimy by Tim Cook
Wednesday, December 20: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Thursday, December 21: Artemis by Andy Weir
Friday, December 22: Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi
Saturday, December 23: Munich by Robert Harris
Sunday, December 24: Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

December 2017 Newsletter

The Books on Beechwood
Top Ten Books of 2017
1. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher
An ABC of Ottawa by Miriam Bloom
Alice MacKenzie by Mark Curfoot-Mollington
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Greetings Book Lovers!

The weather outside may not quite be frightful, but the inside of the store is looking delightful! Our shelves are packed tight with books, games, mugs, toys, CDs, puzzles, and seasonal goodies for all your shopping needs, and our staff are all geared up to help you – and all the Santas out there – find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

As we announced in our mini newsletter last week, we will soon be celebrating the season in classic book style with our Twelve Days of Penguin Random House Christmas! Starting on Wednesday, December 13, we will be featuring one Penguin Random House title at 30% off per day until Christmas Eve. Hitting some of this year’s book publishing highlights, our Twelve Days has a little something for everyone on your shopping list – the history buff, the fantasy lover, the spymaster, the baker, the YA fan, and the one who loves all things Christmas! Scroll down for a full list of titles and mark your calendars for this coming Wednesday when we’ll be kicking things off with The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman!

With so many books to choose from, it’s always hard to find that perfect read for the ones we love – or ourselves, for that matter. Luckily, there’s nothing we enjoy more, here at the store, than helping our customers find exactly what they’re looking for! So we thought we would highlight one top holiday pick each here, to give you all some inspiration before making your way down to the store.

Antoinette’s Pick:
Brother by David Chariandy
This is the story of two brothers growing up in Scarborough, Ontario where a wrong choice or move with local police can change many lives. It’s at once tender, heartbreaking, and poetic.

Bridget’s Pick:
Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba
This book is a rich, insightful and fascinating look at the lives of women during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Some we know – Coco Chanel, Elizabeth de Rothschild, Jeanne Lanvin – and many will be revealed in all their complexity. Sebba rejects depicting the occupation as a black and white situation but a time of constant moral ambiguity. This is popular social history at its best.

David’s Pick:
Dark Run by Mike Brooks
Reminiscent of Firefly, this is a quick read in the classic space opera style. It features a maverick captain and his assorted crew and their adventures across space.

Hilary’s Pick:
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (ages 8-12)
This is perfection in book form! Funny, strong, charming, and sweet, Aven will steal your heart even as she makes you laugh till your sides split. This is easily my favourite book of the year!

Jill’s Pick:
Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister by E.J. Clery
Janites and non-Janites alike will enjoy reading about the relationship between Jane and her banker brother, Henry, who supported and encouraged his sister in her determination to become a published author.

Stephanie’s Pick:
Three Pleasures by Terry Watada
It’s the 1940’s in Vancouver, the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbour, and racial tensions are building. This is an intimate and passionate novel concerning a painful period in Canadian history.

Dickon’s Pick:
Dog Bingo
No, it’s not a book, but Dickon really isn’t much of a reader. He played this at a friend’s cottage over the summer and loved it. You match dog breeds (with pictures and descriptions) rather than numbers and letters. It’s a perfect family present and he begrudgingly thinks you should know that there are Cat, Bird, Bug, and Royal Family editions too.

Once you’ve finished your holiday shopping, if the thought of then sitting down and wrapping all your gifts has got you down, never fear! We can help you there too! As in previous years, we will be offering free Christmas wrapping for your bookstore purchases from now until Christmas Eve. Choose between festive wrapping papers and holiday themed gift bags for all your seasonal goodies! The availability of this service will depend on how busy our staff are at the time, but you can always leave your purchases with us and we will be happy to have them wrapped for you by the following day. On the other hand, if you’re like some of our staff and can’t think of anything you’d enjoy more than wrapping and decorating presents, don’t forget that we have some lovely rolls of gift wrap for sale in the store as well!

Even at this time of year, there are still new titles arriving every day and we’re busily sending out orders to keep our shelves stocked with all the highlights of the season, plus our staff favourites, of course! The deadlines for our final Christmas orders are fast approaching, so be sure to get your requests in soon so your special gift is safely wrapped and sitting under the tree come Christmas morning.

To further enhance your shopping experience, we’ll be observing some slight changes in our hours over the next two weekends. On Saturday, December 16 and 23, we’ll be open from 9:30am to 6:00pm and on Sunday, December 17, we’ll be open from 11:00am to 6:00pm. On Christmas Eve, we’ll be opening our doors at 9:00am and will be on site to help with any of your last-minute gift buying until 3:00pm.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached December already! As the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! And there’s no denying that we have a lot of fun at the store every day! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful support you’ve given us over the last year. It’s only with loyal customers like you that independent businesses like ours can survive, and we can’t thank you enough for continuing to make our store a part of your daily life

From our bookstore family to yours, we wish you all a very merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous new year!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

The Twelve Days of Penguin Random House Christmas

Wednesday, December 13: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
Thursday, December 14: Lost in September by Kathleen Winter
Friday, December 15: All We Leave Behind by Carol Off
Saturday, December 16: Feast by Lindsay Anderson
Sunday, December 17: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Monday, December 18: A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
Tuesday, December 19: Vimy by Tim Cook
Wednesday, December 20: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Thursday, December 21: Artemis by Andy Weir
Friday, December 22: Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi
Saturday, December 23: Munich by Robert Harris
Sunday, December 24: Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

On My Shelf

Staff Member: Hilary
What I’m Reading: Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi
With Christmas fast approaching, I’m sure I’m not the only one with baking on the brain! Always on the hunt for new recipes, I found this book a real treat to browse and bake from. Full of elegant and tasty recipes, this newest offering from the incredible Yotam Ottolenghi gets this baker’s two thumbs up! Look out Chocolate and Peanut Butter S’mores, here I come!”

Francois Mai Book Launch

Local author Francois Mai will be in the store on Thursday, November 30 from 6:00-8:00pm to launch his new novel Father, Unknown.

About the book:

Father, Unknown is a beautifully crafted novel of a family struggling to survive before, during, and after the French revolution. It is a story of courage, devotion, mystery, and betrayal, set against the dramatic backdrop of the harrowing and violent days that accompanied the creation of the Republic under Maximillien Robespierre. Through Francois Mai’s powerful gift of description, one almost feels the bite of the guillotine, along with the tragic consequences of the revolution on the French people.”

Be sure to come by the store to meet Francois, have a chat, enjoy some yummy snacks, and buy a book or two!

Bob Plamondon Signing

Local author, consultant, and historian, Bob Plamondon will be in the store on Sunday, November 26 from 2:00-4:00pm to sign copies of his new book about Jean Chretien, The Shawinigan Fox. Uncovering some of the truths and misconceptions about this often controversial Prime Minister, this new political biography is a must-add for your Christmas wish list!

About the book:
“Jean Chrétien’s critics have said he was a man with no vision and a short attention span — a small-town hick who stumbled his way to become Canada’s 20th prime minister. Whatever credit the Chrétien government deserved was often given to Paul Martin, the heir apparent who was touted to be the brains behind the operation.

But while Chretien was the subject of ridicule, he was quietly giving his competitors — both inside and outside of the Liberal party — a master class in politics, leadership, and nation-building.

Until now, the story of Chretien’s time as prime minister has been largely misunderstood. Plamondon sets the record straight and provides compelling lessons about political leadership and problem-solving from a critical chapter in Canadian history.”

Claire Smith Launch

Join us on Sunday, December 3 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to meet former local Olympian, Claire Smith. She has written a memoir entitled Falling Into Now: Memories of Sport, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Education which tells the story of her recovery from a brain injury sustained when she fell from her horse at an international competition.

Claire’s memoir captivates readers with its heart-wrenching description of her life during the first three years of her recovery. When she realized she had no choice but to relinquish her equestrian identity, her journey became one of reinvention. She eventually went on to compete in triathlons and ran several half marathons, before losing her power to run and ride because of Dystonia.

Claire’s compelling story is one of loss intermingled with achievement, and is sure to engage and inspire readers of all ages.

For more information, visit Claire’s website:

Dog-Eared Books Event

On Saturday, November 25, we have a very special treat planned for you! Two authors from the newly-minted Ottawa publishing house, Dog-Eared Books will be in the store to promote their newest releases. Be sure to come by to meet Tanis Browning-Shelp and Larry McCloskey who will be signing their new teen novels. Copies of their fellow writer, Susan Prosser‘s newest non-fiction release will be available as well, though Susan is unable to join us in person.

It’s going to be a great event, so we hope to see you here!

Dog-Eared Books is an independent Ottawa book publisher whose mission is to make books with good stories, strong characters, and positive themes. The publishing house has released three new titles this fall:

Crushed by Tanis Browning-Shelp
Second in the Maryn O’Brien Series, teen mountain biking sensation Maryn O’Brien is going all out as she closes in on her goal of racing in the Olympics. But then love enters her life and she finds herself at a crossroads.

The Dog Who Cried Snake by Larry McCloskey
Life is never easy on the street, especially during the coldest week of a cold winter, in one of the coldest capitals in the world. Mickey, a feisty old woman, and her dog Max get by on the street, determined to solve the mysterious death of a friend and save their pals.

Growing Home by Susan Prosser
Growing Home is a self help book designed to encourage readers to live their lives in self awareness, self love and self compassion so that they can grow to become their best and truest selves in order to live healthier lives and extend their compassion and goodwill to others.

Mark Curfoot-Mollington Launch

Local favourite, Mark Curfoot-Mollington is back with a second novel for us all to enjoy! Be sure to come to the store on Saturday, October 28 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to meet Mark and hear all about his new heroine (and book of the same name), Alice MacKenzie.

Growing up, every child has at least one teacher during their school career whom they secretly think is a spy. For Alice MacKenzie’s students, that assumption turns out to actually be the truth. When a cartel with roots in terrorism and white supremacy crops up on NATO’s radar, Alice is once again drawn into a world of danger, violence, and usnpeakable acts. Along with a retired colonel, a young Pakistani-Canadian girl, and an elderly British woman, Alice must come to grips with her past and face this new threat head-on if any of them are going to have a future.

Set in a world of secrets, spies, and cartels, Alice MacKenzie is a thrill ride not to be missed!

“Lost Ottawa” Book Launch

The popular facebook page Lost Ottawa now has a book! Officially launching on Sunday, October 22 from 12:00-2:00pm, Lost Ottawa has been flying off our shelves!

Put together by local archivist and historian, David McGee, Lost Ottawa is a wonderful book full of old photographs and fascinating historical notes – a real treat for any local history buff!

We hope to see you this weekend! Snacks and refreshments will be served!

“Railroad of Courage” Book Launch

Join us on Saturday, October 21 from 1:00-3:00pm to celebrate the launch of Dan Rubenstein and Nancy Dyson‘s new book for young readers, Railroad of Courage.

Set in during the time of the Underground Railroad, this story follows the journey of twelve-year-old Rebecca and her family as they try to escape slavery on a cotton plantation to start new, free lives in Canada. With a brave and courageous character that children will instantly warm to, Railroad of Courage relays the store of the Underground Railroad to a brand new crop of readers!

About the authors:
DAN RUBENSTEIN‘s interest in runaway slaves began when he attended a school in an old house which had been part of the Underground Railroad. Dan is a geographer, environmentalist and writer. NANCY DYSON studied international development at Vassar College and was deeply concerned about issues of inequality. Later she became an early childhood educator with a special interest in children’s literature. Nancy and Dan make their home in Gloucester, Ontario. Visit