Diane Bethune (1935-2024)

It was with very heavy hearts that we said goodbye this past week to our beloved friend, Di Bethune. She passed away peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday, March 13 and will be missed terribly.

Di was a lifelong booklover, a passionate reader, and an irreplaceable member of our bookstore family. She was incredibly kind and caring, exhibiting a sharp, quick wit, often when you were least expecting it. She adored dogs and always delighted in visits from our canine customers, even following some human customers out onto the sidewalk so she could greet their four-legged companions with lots of love and a biscuit. Bookstore dogs, Tika and Dickon, of course also received many Di pats and cookies over the years. Both felt quite at home curled up on Di’s lap and were always quick to stake their claim whenever she sat down.

Children’s literature was another of Di’s great passions. She loved reading all the newest children’s books and was an expert at putting the right book in the right child’s hands. Her expertise certainly didn’t end there, though. Di was also a voracious reader of mysteries, fiction, and non-fiction and was a master at hand-selling her favourite reads. Here at the store, we always had to make sure we stocked up on whatever Di’s latest pick was as she would undoubtedly continue hand-selling it long after she had left work for the day. A book with Di’s stamp of approval was always guaranteed to become a Books on Beechwood bestseller! This talent extended beyond our store, of course, and was always in evidence during her many years volunteering with the Rockcliffe Park Library Book Sale and the Rockcliffe Park Public School Book Fair, her time working at The Bookery, a children’s bookshop on Sussex Drive, and while running no fewer than two second-hand bookstores of her own with her husband, Don.

Working with Di was always such a joy! Whether you were sorting books at the library sale, discovering rare treasures in among book donations at Book Fair, or learning the ins and outs of working retail, she always led with kindness and had an infinite amount of patience with those just finding their footing. Her knowledge of all things book-related was extensive, and she was always so happy to share what she knew with others. Despite all her teaching, though, there were times when all her colleagues wanted to do was stand back and watch Di at work. Witnessing the way she handled a store full of eager customers was truly incredible! Even more so when bookstore co-founder, Jean Barton was by her side – the two of them together made the perfect team!

We’ve all enjoyed so many wonderful moments with Di over the years. From chance meetings around the neighbourhood to volunteering together at a book sale, playing games at staff Christmas parties to simply working alongside her in the store. Every moment was special and we’re all so grateful for the time we got to spend with her. There was work, of course, and some serious moments, but there was also lots of laughter and fun. Di was a wonderful bookseller, a great colleague, and a very special friend. We are all better people for having known her, and we will miss her everyday.

Sending all our love to the Bethune family at this difficult time, and our heartfelt thanks to Di’s children, Margot and Andrew, for sharing their lovely Mum with us for so many years.

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Memorial service arrangements and Di’s obituary can be found here.

Oliver Dyment Signing

Join us on Saturday, March 23 for an afternoon book signing with local author, Oliver Dyment. He will be here from noon to 2:00pm to sign copies of his new fantasy novel, The Ninth Forsvar.

About the book:
“War cannot describe the ravages of the Umman Manda. When these monsters descend from the mountains, the people of Estrickt have their own word for what follows: Forsvar.

The scars left by the eight Forsvar run deep. Time passes, seasons turn, walls find their strength anew. Still, terror hold fresh in the mind of every Estrian. In a society molded to fight these vicious beasts, true recovery is a distant dream.

A new empress is crowned, a new hope rises. But already, signs tell of horrors swelling in the land beyond the mountains.

The ninth Forsvar is on its way.”

Emily Murray Book Signing

Join us on Saturday, March 9 between 11:00am and 1:00pm as we host local author Emily Murray in the store! She will be here signing copies of her debut novel, Alixandria Fire: Dani and Danny, a winter-themed romance set in small-town Ontario.
About the book:
“Christmas season in Alixandria is magical, the snowy air is festive with twinkling lights, holiday parties and mistletoe.
Kindergarten teacher Dani Campbell is still settling into her new town. She just needs a break from the chaos of her old life. Finally she can breathe, focus on herself and spend quality time with her dog, Sage.
One morning she accidentally picks up a café mocha meant for Danny.
Born and raised in Alixandria, fire fighter Danny Stewart is tired of being the hot topic of small town gossip. Focused on fixing up his grandparents’ home, he’s taking a long pause from dating.
One morning he receives a plain black coffee meant for Dani.
Will sparks fly between Dani and Danny or will they go up in flames?”
About Emily:
“I am from a small town in Eastern Ontario, Canada. At age 10 I declared that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. It may have taken me thirty more years, but I finally did it.
With an educational background in psychology, sociology and criminology, my favourite characters are people you could bump into on the street, sit next to on the bus or smile at in passing: people who deal with the realities of life, with a little bit of sweetness mixed in.
Currently I am working on the Alixandria Fire series of stand alone books. The first one, out now, centers around Dani and Danny. The next, tentatively set for Spring 2024, will be about Sarah and Taylor. The third, potentially for Summer 2025, will focus on Brodie and Claire.
When I’m not writing I’m wrangling my young children, my husband and two dogs.”

January 2024 Newsletter

December Bestsellers

1. Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons by Charlotte Gray
2. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
3. Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein
4. 5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver
5. The Wager by David Grann
6. Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
7. The Fraud by Zadie Smith
8. The Duel by John Ibbitson
9. The Road Years by Rick Mercer
10. Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year!! Welcome to the first month of 2024! It’s certainly been a snowy one so far! While we love everything about the holiday season – the joy, the lights, the snacks, the books – there is something nice about getting back into the swing of things come January. Despite the snow and nippy air outside, it’s hard not to feel at least a little bit optimistic about what the weeks and months ahead can bring. So, here’s to a year filled with light, love, laughter, and piles and piles of great books!

As a slightly underappreciated month, we’re so happy to that we can show January a bit of extra love and attention by having it play host to two of our biggest sales of the year – our long-standing Annual Inventory Sale and our second annual Puzzle Month Sale! Both of these great sales are now in effect, doing their bit in our never ending quest to scan as few items as possible during our yearly inventory count. This year’s Inventory Sale features a store-wide discount of 25% off on all books, gifts, games, and stationery. Exceptions include magazines, CDs, DVDs, the Globe and Mail, and special order items. You can take advantage of our sale both in person here in the store, or through our online store. When shopping online, be sure to enter the promo code INVENTORY as you’re checking out to ensure that the discount is applied to all items in your cart that qualify. Our Inventory Sale will run from now until the end of the day on Saturday, January 20. Following our sale, we will be doing our inventory count on Sunday, January 21. We know we’re usually closed on Sundays, so if you happen to be walking by our windows that day and catch sight of some wayward booksellers wandering around the shop, don’t panic! It will just be us, making sure that every single item in the store gets scanned and counted so we can start the year with a nice clean slate!

Although January can traditionally be a very snowy, gray, and cold few weeks, it’s also National Puzzle Month! To celebrate this fact, we thought it would be fitting to have a special Puzzle Month Sale! So, from now until Wednesday, January 31, all our in-stock jigsaw puzzles will be 25% off! As an added bonus, if you shop on Monday, January 29National Puzzle Day – you can enjoy an extra 5% discount! Whether you enjoy a comforting 300 piece puzzle, a challenging 1000 piece puzzle, or something even a little more difficult, we’ve got you covered! With all kinds of different designs from a wide variety of companies including Ravensburger (On the Water 1000pc puzzle), Pomegranate (Seventeen Cats 300pc puzzle), Cavallini & Co. (Bees & Honey 1000pc puzzle), Cobble Hill (Busy as a Bee 500pc puzzle) New York Puzzle Company (Summer Painting 1000pc puzzle), The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild (Shakespearean Insults 1000pc puzzle), Piatnik, Heye (Lighthouse 1000pc panorama puzzle), Workman (Gopher Baroque 500pc puzzle), Janet Hill Studios (Ladybird 100pc mini puzzle), Laurence King Publishing (The World of Agatha Christie 1000pc puzzle), and Eeboo (Still Life with Flowers 500pc round puzzle), there’s a little something for everyone!

While our January has quickly been taken over by inventory concerns and the planning of two big sales, there are still lots of other fun things to pay attention to – like all the great new books that are arriving, despite the year being very young. Although January is often a slow retail month, that doesn’t mean that the publishing industry slows down any. We’re still receiving boxes of exciting new books on a daily basis and we can’t wait for you to come by to see them. There are lots of great new publications to look forward to in the coming weeks too! Here are just some of the recent and forthcoming titles we’re most excited about: Deadly Game by Michael Caine, How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix, Midnight by Amy McCulloch, Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Weird Sisters by Olga Wojtas, How to Be a Renaissance Woman by Jill Burke, Oh Miriam! by Miriam Margolyes, Maud Horton’s Glorious Revenge by Lizzie Pook, The Fury by Alex Michaelides, An Irish Country Courtship by Patrick Taylor, Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O’Connor (January 23), Unraveling by Peggy Orenstein (January 23), Everyone On This Train is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson (January 30), Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin (January 30), The Women by Kristin Hannah (February 6), The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by C.L Miller (February 6), A Meditation on Murder by Susan Juby (February 6), One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery (February 9), The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang (February 13), Walk the Blue Fields by Claire Keegan (February 13), The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo (February 13).

We know the last few years have been a bit on the challenging side, and it’s unlikely that this new year will be without its own set of ups and downs, but January always seems to bring with it a strange sense of hope – hope that the coming year will be filled with health, happiness, light, and love. That it will be rejuvenating, relaxing, and enriching, and, of course, that it will be filled with wonderful reads to make us laugh, touch our hearts, lift our spirits, and feed our souls. As your local booksellers, we promise to try to make the store and our stacks of books tick as many of those new year’s boxes as possible!

Wishing you all the best in 2024!
Happy Reading!

– The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Wake-Up Call by Beth O’Leary

“Since I first read The Flatshare, I have been a dedicated fan of Beth O’Leary’s sweet, funny novels about love, friendship, and the awkward spaces between the two. Her characters are quirky and endearing, and you can’t help but root or them!
Set in a run-down hotel in the lead up to the holidays, this story of Izzy and Lucas’ relationship is at once maddening and captivating. We guarantee that you’ll fall in love with them as quickly and easily as we did.”


December 2023 Newsletter

Top 10 Books on 2023

1. Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons by Charlotte Gray
2. Eleanor’s Moon by Maggie Knaus
3. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
4. Private Power, Public Purpose by Thomas d’Aquino
5. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
6. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
7. Best Hikes: Ottawa-Gatineau by Vickie Lanthier
8. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
9. Snow Road Station by Elizabeth Hay
10. Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy December! Can you believe it’s the last month of the year already? Time has certainly been flying by! Although the weather has been a bit up and down recently, we can no longer deny that winter is here to stay. With the ice and snow piling up outside, and that nippy air starting to throw its weight around, there’s nothing we’d rather do than curl up at home with a good book! Before we can do that though, we do still have a few pre-holiday tasks to accomplish. Read on to find out what will be happening in and around the store between now and December 24th!

With Christmas fast approaching, our shelves are full to bursting with great reads, fun games, neat puzzles, and beautiful gift items of all shapes and sizes – in other words, lots of goodies for everyone on your holiday gift list! Whether your shopping M.O. involves detailed lists of gift ideas or casual browsing until something special catches your eye, our bookstore elves will be in-store and on-hand to help with all your shopping needs!

As we’re just over a week away from Christmas, most of our order deadlines for “guaranteed Christmas delivery” have now passed, but there are still a couple of suppliers who will be able to get books to us in time for the big day! So, if there is a certain special book you’d really like to have wrapped and under the tree this year, please don’t hesitate to ask us about it! There is still a chance we may be able to get it for you. Please note that our final “in time for Christmas” orders will be going out this coming Thursday (December 15), so be sure to contact us before then if there’s a certain title you’d like to order. If the book you’re looking for happens to be one we don’t have and can’t order, we’re always happy to see if one of our fellow independent stores might have it – just one of the perks of sharing a database with your other go-to Ottawa bookstores! Even though our order deadlines have mostly passed, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be getting anymore books between now and December 24. We’ve been busily placing orders daily with all our suppliers over the last few weeks, so there are lots of great titles and gifty goodies still winging their way to us. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media pages to get the latest on all our newest arrivals!

In other holiday news, our special 12 Days of Christmas promo is back for another year! Starting on Wednesday, December 13, we will be counting down the days to Christmas by featuring one great book each day at 25% off! This year’s countdown will include the likes of store favourite Charlotte Gray, fantasy superstar Rebecca Yarros, and Canadian sport hero Donovan Bailey, among many others. This promo will be available in store and online, and each book will only be discounted on its specific day. Keep your eyes on this space and our social media pages for daily announcements on when each book is stepping into the spotlight! (Please note that since we will be closed on Sunday, December 17th, that day’s promo will be available online only.)

While we have you here, we also wanted to let you know what our store hours will be like over the next ten days. We will be maintaining our regular hours of operation (Monday to Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm) in these last days leading up to December 24, and while we will remain closed on Sundays, we will be open from 10:00am to 3:00pm. on Sunday, December 24. After all the hubbub of holiday shopping is over, we will once again be closing up shop for a week to give our staff a much-deserved rest. The store will be shut from Monday, December 25 through to Monday, January 1. Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2023.

While we love being in the store all year round, there’s just something extra special about the holidays. From the fascinating books arriving everyday to the seemingly endless “Best of” lists, the copious gift items filling our shelves to the many literary prize winners, there’s just an extra little frisson of excitement in the air. If we had to pick our very favourite thing about the store though, no matter the time of year, it would of course be all of you. While our bookstore itself is made up of bricks and mortar, and staffed by happy booksellers, it’s all our lovely customers that really breathe life into it. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we love and “the little bookstore that could” wouldn’t be the community hub that it’s become. Thank you so much for your continued support of our little shop. It really means the world to us, especially after facing some unprecedented events over the last few years. We’ve encountered a number of bumps in the road since first opening our doors in the fall of 1994, but now as we approach our 30th anniversary, we know that no matter what we face going forward, we have the kindest and most supportive customers to help us along the way.

From the bottom of our book-loving hearts, we want to thank you for all that you do, and wish you and yours a lovely holiday season filled with peace, joy, and laughter! And maybe a few books too!

Happy Reading!
Take good care,
The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Anna Blauveldt Signing

Join us on Saturday, December 9 for a book signing with local author, Anna Blauveldt. She will be here between 1:00pm and 3:00pm to sign copies of her new novel, The Leavetaking, and her children’s book, Kat and the Meanies.
About the books:
The Leavetaking is about a terminally ill woman, about betrayal and forgiveness, courage and compassion – but most of all, it is about forging one’s own path to serenity and helping others to find theirs.
Find your path – find your way – find your peace.”
Kat and the Meanies:
“Kat’s Mom and Dad have lots of rules for her to follow…SO many, in fact, she’s sure they belong to a Meany Club!
What’s a girl to do? Kat dreams of slipping away to find fun in all sorts of places…
Who knows where her journeys will take her?”

We look forward to seeing you here!

October/November 2023 Newsletter

September Bestsellers

1. Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons by Charlotte Gray
2. Tom Lake by Anne Patchett
3. Snow Road Station by Elizabeth Hay
4. The Fraud by Zadie Smith
5. Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves
6. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
7. Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
8. A New Season by Terry Fallis
9. A Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein
10. Murder Most Royal by S. J. Bennett

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy Halloween! Our favourite holiday of the year is officially here – the crunchy leaves, the witchy reads, the chilly air – we love it all! A little part of us actually wishes that Halloween (and its host-month of October) could come twice a year! Whether you’re an autumn fan or someone who deeply feels the loss of those sunny summer days, there’s no denying that this time of year is perfectly designed for cozying up with a great read! After all, what could be better than snuggling under a blanket with a warm beverage and a new book while the world around us prepares for the long dark?

When walking around the store these days, it’s not hard to tell that we’ve left the beach read days behind in favour of exciting new fall and winter tomes. Our shelves and tables are packed and stacked with great biographies, fascinating histories, famously-penned novels, and highly-anticipated kids books! Not to mention all the award nominees! Things are certainly shaping up to be a wonderful fall season! From Chris Hadfield to Naomi Klein, Walter Isaacson to Micheal Crummey, Richard Osman to Michael Palin, Jann Arden to Barbra Streisand, there’s a little something for everyone here this fall!

Before we get too carried away talking about all our new arrivals, we want to take a minute to let you know about some exciting book events we have on our schedule in the coming weeks. The biggest event news we have to share with you this fall is the return of our ever popular author dinners! Renamed, reborn, and ready to treat you to unforgettable evenings with wonderful authors, the Books on Beechwood Author Dinner series has started with a bang with two very special local authors, Roy MacGregor and Charlotte Gray! After hosting a very appropriate forty Titles@Table40 dinners over the years with our friends at Fraser Cafe, rebooting our dinner series wasn’t just a question of picking up where we left off – it meant searching out a whole new venue willing to host us. In our ongoing quest to find a new permanent home for our dinners, we’ve chosen two different restaurants for our first two author dinners of the year. Our first dinner took place last week at The Bridge Public House at the Rideau Sports Centre where Roy MacGregor talked to us about his new memoir, Paper Trails: From the Backwoods to the Front Page. It was a truly wonderful evening and a lovely time was had by all – author, diners, and booksellers alike. For our second dinner, the incomparable Charlotte Gray will be giving a presentation on her new book, Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons, on Monday, November 6 at 6:00pm. This special evening will be taking place at Dhruvees Restaurant right on the corner of Beechwood and Charlevoix. Tickets cost $62 and cover your meal (a set menu served family style), the tax, and the tip. Dhruvees is happy to accommodate any special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore ahead of time. Though our Roy MacGregor dinner has now passed, you still have a chance to attend our dinner with Charlotte Gray. Tickets are very close to being gone, so be sure to call, visit, or e-mail us to get yours soon! If you do happen to miss out, you can always put yourself on our waiting list in event that we have a cancellation.

In addition to our Author Dinner series, we also have a number of in-store events to tell you about. On Wednesday, November 1 (tomorrow) between 5:00pm and 7:00pm, we hope you will join us in celebrating the publication of Maggie Knaus‘ debut picture book Eleanor’s Moon! Beautifully written and illustrated by Maggie, this charming picture book explores our relationships with our loved ones and how we can stay connected even when we’re far apart. Saturday, November 4 sees the return of our longtime friend, Rick Houle to the store. He will be here from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to sign copies of his newest mystery novel, Cordial Venues. This new book is the fourth in Rick’s Vicky Veston series and we’ll be sure to have copies of the previous three books, Affable Scavengers, Violet Shoal, and Vicky Veston Inc., on hand for those who want to start reading from the beginning! Looking further into November, Ottawa mystery mavens, Barbara Fradkin and Mary Jane Maffini will be paying us a visit for a joint signing on Saturday, November 25 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. Barbara and Mary Jane will be signing copies of their newest releases, Wreck Bay and You Light Up My Death, respectively, as well as a selection of their earlier titles. Be sure to mark all these great events on your calendar so you don’t miss a minute of the fun!

Although the darker days and cooler nights mean that winter is on its way, there’s still lots to enjoy about autumn before we get to that seemingly endless long dark. For one thing, what better way is there to relish the beauty, mystery, and spookiness of the season than to read books with all those qualities? In the first ever authorized return to Shirley Jackson‘s The Haunting of Hill House, Elizabeth Hand has delivered a chilly, eerie, and entirely delightful story in A Haunting on the Hill. When it looks like Holly is finally going to get her big break as a playright, all that’s left for her to do is find somewhere to rehearse her play, Witching Night. Stumbling upon Hill House, Holly thinks she’s found the perfect place! Sure, it’s pretty dark and dingy… and, yes, it creaks quite a bit… and it’s definitely what one would call drafty… but it will serve Holly’s purposes perfectly! Once her best friend and company of actors join her though, the house (and its spectral residents) begins to express itself in ever creepier and more frightening ways! Following on the same theme, from the critically acclaimed author of Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow, comes a brand new creepy mansion story called Starling House. Set in a small Kentucky town and featuring a mysterious old house once owned by a reclusive 19th Century author, this spooky novel will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end! A perfect read for fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Shirley Jackson, and chilling reads for dark, stormy nights!

More eerie, magical thrills await in Beth Revis and Sarah Raasch‘s new collaboration, Night of the Witch! This adventure-filled young adult novel introduces readers to Fritzi, a witch who narrowly escapes a brutal attack on her coven, only to set off immediately in search of vengeance against the ruthless perpetrators. Dogging her every step are the hexenjagers, an elite group of witch hunters who are not only responsible for her family’s demise, but are determined to obliterate the world of all witches. However, unbeknownst to Fritzi, Otto, the hexenjager captain hot on her trail, has a secret not even his commanding officers are aware of – his position as a witch hunter is a cover for his own quest for vengeance. As witch and hunter trade barbs and backstories, an uneasy (and unlikely) alliance is formed. Can their fragile relationship survive the epic, magical battle that is to come? Perfect for fans of Kelley Armstrong, P.C. Cast, and Cassandra Clare, this is the ideal enemies-to-lovers historical fantasy to keep you company on a cold, fall night. If you’re a fan of Naomi Novik‘s The Scholomance series or other books in the Dark Academia genre, be sure to put Pascale Lacelle‘s new book, Curious Tides, on your reading pile. Emory’s magical abilities have never been very remarkable, but all that changes after the devastating events she witnesses one night in the sea caves near Aldryn College. Now possessed of innumerable strange abilities and dark, troubling magic, Emory enlists the help of a classmate in an effort to understand (and gain control over) these new powers coursing through her veins. Despite her efforts, her unusual new abilities remain unchecked and begin to attract some very unsavoury attention from dangerous quarters. Suddenly, the mystery of what happened in the sea caves begins to morph into a much more sinister and twisted plot than she ever expected! Full of twists and turns, magic and mystery, this debut novel by an Ottawa author is one that should not be missed!

Although murder, mystery, and mayhem is often thought to exist mostly within the pages of the novels we love so much, there is more to find than you might think within your own flower plots and hedgerows! Evolutionary biologist Noah Whiteman takes readers deep into the uses, abuses, and origins of some of the most commonly used (but also deadly) plants in existence in his book, Most Delicious Poison. From the caffeine-riddled coffee bean to the deliciously crunchy poppy seed, the colourful mushroom cap to the humble apple seed, Whiteman outlines how although most of these items have innocent, everyday uses, in certain combinations and quantities, the consequences of consumption can be fatal! Fascinating and frightening, this book is most definitely worth a deep dive! The very real impacts of some of the world’s most toxic plants can indeed be troubling, but also, as Marta McDowell tells us, inspiring. In her new book, Gardening Can Be Murder, McDowell (an avid gardener herself) illustrates how the garden and all its contents have inspired some of the world’s most famous mystery writers – from classic authors like Agatha Christie and Edgar Allan Poe to more contemporary ones like Colin Dexter. Whether your detective has a penchant for all things horticultural, the manor you’re visiting employs a very shady groundskeeper, or your civilized tea time devolves into a shocking murder scene, there’s really no end to the connections between our beloved mysteries and the lush, green, shadow-filled gardens we find all around us. Guaranteed to appeal to gardeners and mystery lovers alike, this book is an ideal read for the long, dark, garden-less season ahead of us.

Though the height of autumn is pretty much behind us now, there’s still lots of time to enjoy the crisp, cool air, the carpets of golden leaves, and the deliciously haunting reads before the seasons officially turn again. And if you’re ever at a loss for a book to keep you company, be sure to pop by the store where one of our on-site book experts will be happy to help you find the perfect literary world to disappear into.

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Meet, greet, and eat with Charlotte Gray!

Date: Monday, November 6
Time: 6:00pm (seating available as of 5:30pm)
Place: Dhruvees Restaurant (18 Beechwood Avenue)

Contact the bookstore for more details and to purchase tickets.



Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Scandalous Confession of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub

“I couldn’t believe my luck when I came across this title that perfectly combines my love of witches with my love of Jane Austen! Narrated in the first person, Lydia Bennet recounts the events of Austen’s famous novel directly to the reader with lots of sly comments and snarky asides. Though not every beloved character in the book has magical qualities, you may be surprised at the ones who do… and what they use said qualities for. Funny and charming, this book is proving to be endlessly entertaining! And it may even cause me to like Lydia Bennet just a bit more than I did before.”


Maggie Knaus Book Launch

Join us on Wednesday, November 1 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm for the launch of Maggie Knaus‘ beautiful children’s book, Eleanor’s Moon.

About the book:

A girl and her grandfather’s shared love for the moon brings them comfort and keeps them close even when they’re apart

Eleanor is born during a brilliant harvest moon. Moments after her birth, while she lies safely in her grandfather’s arms, he tells her, “No matter where we are, we will always share the moon.”

And they do. As Eleanor grows, her grandpa teaches her to love the moon. Together they observe it in all its permutations as it waxes and wanes. Soon, Eleanor sees the moon in everything, and when she and her parents move away, these moon sightings give her comfort and make her feel like her grandfather is close by.

A debut picture book from author/illustrator Maggie Knaus, Eleanor’s Moon is a charming and cozy story that assures children a loved one can always be connected to them, even when they’re apart.”

Author Dinner with Charlotte Gray

Our second Books on Beechwood Author Dinner of the year will not only feature another beloved Ottawa author, but will also take us to another great local restaurant!

For this Books on Beechwood Author Dinner, we will be joined by the incomparable Charlotte Gray as she treats us to a presentation on her brand new book, “Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons.” Our dinner will take place at Dhruvees Restaurant right here on Beechwood Avenue on Monday, November 6.

Whether you were a regular attendee at our beloved Titles@Table40 events, or are new to the author dinner bandwagon, just scroll down to find out all the details of this new Books on Beechwood Author Dinner series!

How it Works

The evening starts at 6:00pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $62.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu served family style), tax, and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening.

Dhruvees Restaurant can accommodate any special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance.

Tickets for this exciting dinner event are on sale now, so be sure to call, visit or e-mail us to book yours today!

About the book:

A captivating dual biography of two famous women whose sons would change the course of the 20th century—by award-winning historian Charlotte Gray.

Born into upper-class America in the same year, 1854, Sara Delano (later to become the mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Jennie Jerome (later to become the mother of Winston Churchill) refused to settle into predictable, sheltered lives as little-known wives to prominent men. Instead, both women concentrated their energies on enabling their sons to reach the epicentre of political power on two continents.

In the mid-19th century, the British Empire was at its height, France’s Second Empire flourished, and the industrial vigor of the United States of America was catapulting the republic towards the Gilded Age. Sara and Jennie, raised with privilege but subject to the constraints of women’s roles at the time, learned how to take control of their destinies—Sara in the prosperous Hudson Valley, and Jennie in the glittering world of Imperial London.

Yet their personalities and choices were dramatically different. A vivacious extrovert, Jennie married Lord Randolph Churchill, a rising politician and scion of a noble British family. Her deft social and political maneuverings helped not only her mercurial husband but, once she was widowed, her ambitious son, Winston. By contrast, deeply conventional Sara Delano married a man as old as her father. But once widowed, she made Franklin, her only child, the focus of her existence. Thanks in large part to her financial support and to her guidance, Franklin acquired the skills he needed to become a successful politician.

Set against one hundred years of history, Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons is a study in loyalty and resilience. Gray argues that Jennie and Sara are too often presented as lesser figures in the backdrop of history rather than as two remarkable individuals who were key in shaping the characters of the sons who adored them and in preparing them for leadership on the world stage.

Impeccably researched and filled with intriguing social insights, Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons breathes new life into Sara and Jennie, offering a fascinating and fulsome portrait of how leaders are not just born but made.”