“The Year of Lear” by James Shapiro

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

James Shapiro, Professor of English at Columbia University, is one of the world’s leading scholars on Shakespeare with numerous books and prizes to his credit.  In The Year of Lear, he takes a look at a particular year (1606) when Shakespeare produced three plays at a time of great turmoil in England.

For one thing, a great plague attacked the country, with countless people losing their lives. King James of Scotland had taken over the throne of England, after the death of Queen Elizabeth. The result was great conflict between the Protestants and Catholics. On the Fifth of November a group of disaffected Catholic gentry plotted to blow up Parliament, kill the king and roll back the Protestant Reformation. They did not succeed, but the reverberations went on endlessly.

Shakespeare was a well-known playwright by this time and had written and acted in many of his most famous works. These were done under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, however. In 1606, he turned to the Scottish regime. In both King Lear and Macbeth, the influence of Scotland can be felt. This book tells the intriguing story of how politics affected Shakespeare – though it never stopped his audience from packing his shows.

Order a copy now!

Tim Cook at Table 40 on November 8

fightfinishLocal author and historian Tim Cook will be the guest author at our next Titles@Table40 event!

When: Sunday, November 8 @ 5:30pm

Where: Table 40, 7 Springfield Road

He will be speaking about his brand new book, Fight to the Finish, the second volume of a two volume series about Canadians in WWII.

The evening will start at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Attendees must reserve their spot at the bookstore with a non-refundable deposit of $20.00 which will go towards the cost of the meal (set menu with vegetarian option). The total cost of the meal is $40.00, not including refreshments, tax, and 18% gratuity.

Tickets for this event are going fast!

Visit us or give us a call (613-742-5030) to reserve your seat today!

Margaret Virany Signing Kathleen’s Cariole Ride on Saturday, October 31

kathleenscariolerideMargaret Virany will be in the store on Saturday, October 31 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to sign copies of her memoir Kathleen’s Cariole Ride.

About the book:

“A spark ignited in World War I develops into a lasting love in the snowy expanses and frozen lakes of the northern Manitoba bush inhabited by the Swampy Cree. They were an unlikely pair. She was a city councilor’s daughter from Portsmouth, England and he was a farmer’s son from Cookstown, Ontario. They met in 1917 when her father, a Sunday school teacher, invited some colonial servicemen home for tea. The courtship is conducted on onion skin stationery over 5,000 miles between fog and bog. The writing recounts serving with the Canadian Navy in the North Sea, flying from London to Paris in 1927, crossing the Atlantic, canoeing up the fur trade route, and trekking in winter on a cariole toboggan to get to the hospital for a baby to be born. Day-to-day life of aboriginals is observed, and the positive role of missionaries in that era. More than just a northern adventure story, it is the hard journey of two souls seeking to create a better world after the trauma of the war. The love story is presented by the author but written in Kathleen and Jack’s own words.”

Find out more about Margaret and her book at https://cozybookbasics.wordpress.com/

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday!

Randall Denley Signing on Saturday, October 31

thesituationLocal author and newspaper columnist, Randall Denley will be in the store on Saturday, October 31 to sign copies of his new book The Situation from 11:00am to 1:00pm.

About the book:

“When the financial crash of 2008 hit, Ottawa hedge fund manager Tom Atwater was swept up like a guppy in a tsunami. Once the storm is over, he and his wife Sarah find themselves nearly destitute and struggling to keep their marriage and family together. In desperation, they are forced to move in with Tom’s 88 year old father, a crusty former judge who finds Tom and his brood about as welcome as a litter of incontinent puppies. The Situation is the story of how the Atwaters fight to keep their self-respect, and rediscover what life is really all about.”

For more information about Randall and his book, check out www.randalldenley.com

Erika Chase Signing on Saturday, October 24

lawauthorchaseLocal mystery author Erika Chase will be in the store on Saturday, October 24 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her new Ashton Corners Book Club mystery, Law and Author.

To learn more about Erika and the Ashton Corners Book Club series, check out her website: http://erikachase.com/

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Janice Dickson Signing “Herbert Peppard” on Saturday, October 24

janicedicksonJanice Dickson will be in the store on Saturday, October 24 from 1:00-3:00pm to sign copies of her new book Herbert Peppard:The Eternal Man.

About the book:

Herbert Peppard: The Eternal Man tells the true story of a 95-year-old WWII veteran who was a member of the First Special Service Force, which is also known as the Devil’s Brigade.

Peppard grew up during the Great Depression in Truro, Nova Scotia. Unable to afford books for school, he dropped out at age 16 to work at the lumberyard. But with Hitler and the Nazis terrorizing Europe, he felt the call to join the army to help in the war effort.

While Peppard fought for his country and became a decorated soldier, he had a rebellious side. Peppard went AWOL – a serious offence in the army – five times while on duty. But during a prohibited vacation home, he met a beautiful woman named Greta MacPhee.

Critical moments of battle are interwoven with letters, written by Peppard to his family and to Greta, the woman he vowed to return to and marry. Many letters were written from his hospital bed in Naples, where he spent six months recovering after being shot.

The story follows Peppard after the war when he returned home to Nova Scotia to start a family. But soon after his return, Greta, his beautiful new bride, is diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

Peppard is living in Truro in the very home where he was born. He writes columns in the local paper, walks a mile every day and continues to inspire others.”

“Circling the Sun” by Paula McLain

circlingsunPaula McLain made her name as a writer of historical fiction with her earlier book, The Paris Wife, which became a huge best-seller.

In this new one, she continues her sharp, sympathetic writing, this time in the early days of British colonial Kenya. She concentrates on the daughter of a couple who left England in 1904 to set up a farming estate in the British African Protectorate. The father was an experienced horseman and planned to train horses for racing. The mother very soon found the life too grim and returned to England with her son, abandoning her young daughter, Beryl.

This girl grew up with her father and a native tribe who lived on the estate. She was independent and fearless, to a degree, and very soon discovered she too had the ability to ride and train horses, which she did to the amazement of the British colony.

She broke all the rules socially, with a disastrous marriage and a love affair in a triangle involving the famous writer, Isak Dinesen who wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa. McLain’s book is filled with descriptions of the beauty of Kenya as a backdrop to the decadent set of expats who had come to enjoy it but broke all social rules while doing so. Circling the Sun brings the 1920’s to life and reads at a suitably fast pace.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

Another Super Signing Saturday!

On Saturday, October 3, we will have two great authors in our store to sign their new books.


gallowsgemprallynKicking us off at 11:00am, local author Murray Ault will be here signing copies of his new book View from the Deck.

Then, at 1:00pm, Ian McKinley will be in the store to sign copies of his new fantasy novel The Gallows Gem of Prallyn.

We hope to see you here!