Claudia Howard Signing “The Holy Crap Cookbook”

holycrapcookbookBe sure to stop by on Sunday, October 30 to meet Claudia Howard, the co-author of The Holy Crap Cookbook (Douglas & McIntyre, $22.95; written with Corin Mullins). She will be here from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign books, give out bags of her famous Holy Crap cereal, and entice us all to enter a prize draw for a special Holy Crap gift basket!

About Holy Crap:
“When Corin and Brian Mullins started their company, HapiFoods, in 2009 with just $129, they had no idea that in less than a decade they would be shipping millions of bags of cereals around the world. They just wanted to make a nourishing product that would both taste good and be compatible with Brian’s food allergies and perhaps sell it locally for a bit of extra retirement income. After much experimentation, Corin came across the tiny black chia seed – a complete protein, rich in omega 3 fatty acids as well as minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Corin blended chia with nutrient-rich buckwheat and hulled hemp seeds and, inspired by an enthusiastic comment from one of their first customers, she and Brian decided to label their first creation “Holy Crap, the World’s Most Amazing Cereal.” Thanks in part to an appearance on the hit CBC show Dragons’ Den, their products gained the attention of Canadian consumers, many of whom became loyal customers.

Starting with HapiFoods’ cereals and adding other healthy ingredients, this inspirational cookbook emphasizes a plant-based, gluten-free diet and includes over 60 simple-to-prepare but simply awesome recipes that harness the power of superfoods. From protein-packed breakfast fare like refreshing smoothies and perfect pancakes, to satisfying savory dishes and decadent desserts that don’t sacrifice nutrition for flavour, all the recipes in The Holy Crap Cookbook are in keeping with the Holy Crap philosophy: what you eat should be good for you and taste great.”

Claudia Howard is a communications professional who lives in Gibsons, BC. She loves experimenting with local ingredients and adapting recipes to healthier versions.

Saturday Signings: Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon and Huguette Young

More super signing events coming up this weekend!

shadowdoubtolandBe sure to stop by on Saturday, October 29 to meet Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon. She will be here from 11:00am to 1:00pm signing copies of her new book Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland.

About the book:

“On July 6, 2011, Richard Oland, scion of the Moosehead brewing family, was murdered in his office. The brutal killing stunned the city of Saint John, and news of the crime reverberated across the country. In a shocking turn, and after a two-and-half-year police investigation, Oland’s only son, Dennis, was arrested for second-degree murder.

Shadow of Doubt is a revealing look at a sensational crime, the tribulations of a prominent family, and the inner workings of the justice system that led to Dennis Oland’s contentious conviction.”

Later that afternoon, Huguette Young will be here from 1:00pm to 4:00pm to sign copies of Justin Trudea: The Natural Heir.

trudeaunaturalheirAbout the book:

“Having grown-up in the shadow of his famous father, a political giant who dominated Canadian politics for almost sixteen years, Justin Trudeau took many detours before discovering that he was a natural politician, with qualities, such as a charismatic ease with the public, that his father never possessed.

Yet to most Canadians, Trudeau remains a blank slate. Inexperienced and underestimated, he was able, in his early forties, to catapult the Liberal Party of Canada from third to first place in one giant sweep. It was a historic feat that left a nation amazed and wondering what to expect next.

In this unauthorized biography, journalist Huguette Young, who has conducted numerous interviews with Trudeau’s entourage, gives a look inside his inner circle and shows the path his leadership might take. Meant for supporters and skeptics alike, Young’s is a revealing account of one of Canada’s most compelling and enigmatic figures.”

We hope to see you all here!

“Trudeaumania” by Robert Wright

trudeaumaniaWith a second Trudeau in the Prime Minister’s office, it is a good time to read Trudeaumania by Robert Wright.

Wright is Professor of History at Trent University in Oshawa and winner of prizes for books on Canadian History, including one on the love affair between Pierre and Margaret Trudeau and another on the Iran hostage crisis, which was made into a documentary film. In this new book, he concentrates on Pierre Trudeau’s political life and his rise to fame; from being a provocative writer of the magazine Cite Libre and a charismatic professor himself at the University of Montreal, to achieving political success in Ottawa, where he spearheaded reform of Canadian laws respecting divorce, abortion and homosexuality.

Trudeau rode the wave of national excitement that swept Canada after Expo 67. Although he was a Quebecer, he was against Quebec nationalism and advised against confusing the rights of French Canadians with provincial powers. He believed in a national homeland including French Canadians as well as English Canadians and advised that making this work would require political vision and determined effort. This book gives good examples of what he meant.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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Margaret Kell Virany Signing

kathleenscariolerideLocal author Margaret Kell Virany will be here on Saturday, October 22 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her family memoir, Kathleen’s Cariole Ride as well as her previous book, A Book of Kells.

About the Kathleen’s Cariole Ride:

“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 books at

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday!

Super Signing Saturday: Gary Hutchinson and Mark Foss

Be sure to swing by this Saturday, October 15 for two great local signings!

catchmemoonFrom 12:00-1:00pm, children’s author Gary Hutchinson will be here signing copies of his brand new children’s book Catch Me the Moon.

About the book:

“‘Catch me the moon,’ cries Madeline. ‘Okay,’ says Poppa. He makes her a “moon box.” But when she looks inside, the moon is never there. So Poppa finds a bigger box. And then one night, it happens…

This colourfully illustrated picture book is a heartfelt story about the powerful connection between children and their grandparents. Catch Me the Moon will appeal to the young and not-so-young alike.”

mollyoFrom 1:00-4:00pm, local novelist Mark Foss will be in the store to sign copies of his new book Molly O.

About the book:

“On a three-tiered stage in the Ontario countryside, the mellifluous voice of an auctioneer can induce grizzled farmers to buy broken shovels. His two sons help out with the business, but it’s his strangely mute young daughter who seduces auction-goers with her elaborate vintage costumes. When she disappears, the younger brother – now a Montreal film professor – begins a lifelong search that ultimately leads him to the silent, experimental cinema of Molly O. In this tale of unshakeable dreams, the songs of Rodgers and Hart may contain secret messages, a country road seems to stretch timelessly into the distance and the firm earth in the backyard may well turn into quicksand. Molly O explores an unstable world where nothing is certain except what we hope for.”

“The Art of Rivalry” by Sebastian Smee

artrivalrysmeeIt’s always a challenge to describe an artist’s work, whether in painting, music, or poetry. Sebastian Smee is well-recognized for doing this successfully as an art critic. He has been with The Boston Globe since 2008 and in 2011 won the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism.

In this book he has devised an original way of looking at eight well-known artists. He pairs them off by country and date, and looks at the effects of both their friendships and rivalries on their work. In the chapter on Manet and Degas he describes the close friendship that developed between the warm, outgoing Manet and the reserved bachelor, Degas. This came to a head in 1868, when Degas had painted a portrait of Manet and his wife Suzanne. Not long after this Degas paid a visit to Manet’s studio and saw that someone had taken a knife to the portrait, which had gone right through Suzanne’s face. The culprit turned out to be Manet himself. Smee says no one has ever discovered an explanation of this. Degas took down the still life Manet had given him and returned it to him.

This friendship apparently recovered. There are interesting chapters as well on the pairs: Freud and Bacon of the UK; Matisse and Picasso in France; and Pollock and De Kooning in the U.S. The book has good illustrations to accompany a very interesting text.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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“The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu” by Joshua Hammer

badasslibrariansIn this week’s news in Ottawa there is the story of an Islamic extremist pleading guilty to orchestrating the destruction of 14 of Timbuktu’s mausoleums because they considered them totems of idolatry. The structures housed the tombs of the city’s great thinkers and were on the World Heritage list.

The story is very similar to a book just published called The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. Here we find the story of Timbuktu from early days, in the 12th century, when it had been a big trading centre in Africa. In its Golden Age, many Islamic scholars built an important book trade and Timbuktu was the incubator for the richness of Islam. In this book, which brings the story up 2013,  fifteen Al Qaeda fighters attacked the government library that housed thousands of precious manuscripts by Timbuktu’s greatest savants and scientists, preserved for centuries, and burnt them. A curator who had led the way in building up the collection, built a team of volunteers and in an incredible act of devotion managed to transport the manuscripts by river and road, past hostile jihadi guards, bandits, and attack helicopters, and saved almost all of Timbuktu’s 377,000 manuscripts.

The author, Joshua Hammer, has been a bureau chief for Newsweek and correspondent-at-large on five continents. He knows the countries he is writing about. He has also written three other non-fiction books. This one helps us to understand what the Islamic State is trying to do.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall

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Mike Martin Launch for “A Long Ways From Home”

longwayshomeLocal author (and Newfoundland native) Mike Martin will be in the store on Thursday, October 13 from 6:30-8:30pm. to launch his brand new mystery A Long Ways From Home. This is the fifth book in his popular Sgt. Windflower mystery series.

A bit about the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series:

“The Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series takes place in Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. It features Sgt. Winston Windflower, an RCMP officer and a Cree from Northern Alberta, who is stationed in the small town of Grand Bank. It is about history and mystery but it is also about food and fun and friends.”

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

October 2016 Newsletter


September Bestsellers

1. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
2. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
3. The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
4. The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre
5. Fire in the Stars by Barbara Fradkin
6. Barbarian Lost by Alexandre Trudeau
7. The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
8. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
9. The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey
10. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Greetings Book Lovers!

October has arrived! We have officially left the slightly undecided weather of September behind and entered into true fall. As the month that brings us the joys of Thanksgiving, Halloween, and innumerable book prizes, October is a real treat for all of our senses.

Before we all settle down to a warm and comforting turkey dinner this weekend, why not think about some dinners a little further in the future. We have two great Titles@Table40 events coming up between now and Christmas. On Sunday, November 20, local photographer William McElligott will be joining us at the Table 40 restaurant to talk about his new coffee table book full of unique and colourful images of our Nation’s Capital. Attendees will also be treated to a slide show presentation of some of the images from the book. The following week, on Sunday, November 27, prolific Canadian author Charlotte Gray will be talking about The Promise of Canada, her new book in which she introduces us to a number of Canadians (both famous and lesser known), all of whom have left an indelible mark on our country.

Here’s a refresher on how our Titles@Table40 events work:
The evenings start at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Attendees must reserve their spot through the bookstore with a non-refundable deposit of $20.00 which will go towards the cost of their meal (a set menu with a vegetarian option). The total cost of the meal is $40.00, which includes three courses (family-style). Tax, 18% gratuity, and refreshments are not included.

There’s only a handful of tickets left for our November 27 event with Charlotte Gray and are they’re going fast for our evening with William McElligott on November 20, so be sure to call us to reserve your seat today!

In addition to our Titles@Table40 events, we have a great lineup of in-store signings on the horizon as well. On Saturday, October 8, local author Elie Nasrallah will be in the store from 1:00pm to 4:00pm to sign copies of his two books, Hostage to History and None of the Above. In addition to being a successful author, Elie Nasrallah was just named one of the “Top 25 People in the Capital” by Ottawa Life Magazine. Check out the whole article here. Mystery author and Newfoundland native, Mike Martin will be in the store to launch his new Sgt. Windflower mystery A Long Ways From Home on Thursday, October 13 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. This new east coast mystery finds Sgt. Windflower dealing with not only multiple troubles on the home front, but the messy aftermath of a visit from a large crew of outlaw bikers. On Saturday, October 15 between 11:00am and 1:00pm, be sure to stop by to see Gary Hutchinson who will be here to sign his new children’s picture book Catch Me the Moon. That afternoon, we will be welcoming Mark Foss to the store from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. He will be signing copies of his novel Molly O, a family saga about an Ontario countryside auctioneer, his two sons and his mute daughter. Margaret Virany will be stopping by on Saturday, October 22 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her two family memoirs, A Book of Kells and Kathleen’s Cariole Ride. Rounding out this tenth month of the year, Huguette Young will be paying us a visit to sign copies of her contribution to the Trudeau canon, Justin Trudeau: The Natural Heir. She will be here from 1:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturday, October 29. Taking a quick dip into November, Nathan Greenfield will be launching his new book, The Reckoning: Canadian Prisoners of War in the Great War, in the store on Sunday, November 6 at 2:30pm. Finally, on Saturday, November 12, Ken “The General” Grant will be here to sign copies of his new book of laugh-out-loud stories, Oh Great Granteenie.

Aside from all the great books taking their place in the literary spotlight thanks to award nominations and book festivals, there are tons of other wonderful treasures to discover on our shelves. Hot off the press, Mad Enchantment is the new art history offering from beloved author Ross King. After writing about Brunelleschi, DaVinci, and The Group of Seven, in this new book, King tackles that giant of impressionism, Claude Monet and his famous water lilies. Jane Urquhart, the prolific author of The Stone Carvers and The Night Stages, has gifted us with A Number of Things, a fascinating exploration of our country’s history through 50 Canadian objects. Not only does it stand up strongly on its own, but when paired with The Promise of Canada by Charlotte Gray, you have the ultimate Canadiana combination on your hands! If you’re in the market for something a little quirkier, why not dazzle and stupefy your friends with What the Dickens?! by Bryan Kozlowski? Full of quips, barbs, and turns of phrase drawn from Dickens’ fifteen novel and innumerable short stories, it is a real treat for book lovers and linguists alike!

As we get ready to hunker down for the colder weather to come, it’s the perfect time of year to add a new mystery novel to your shelf. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley is the newest addition to the charming Flavia de Luce Series and sees our unflappable sleuth sailing home to England where she finds herself knee-deep in yet more thrilling murder and mayhem. For fans of historical fiction, Sarah Domet‘s debut novel might be just the ticket. The Guineveres is a charming and intriguing story of four girls drawn together by the coincidence of their shared name. After being delivered to a convent by their respective families for various different reasons, the Guineveres are taught by the nuns that faith is about waiting…waiting for the mail, wash day, and the day they turn eighteen and are finally allowed to leave. But when some unexpected visitors arrive at the nuns’ door, the girls see an opportunity to break free that’s too good to pass up. Booker Prize nominee, Orange Prize nominee, and author of How to Be BothAli Smith has just released her new collection of short stories, Public Library and Other Stories. In this book, she explores humanity’s love of all things books – how they can shock us, change us, challenge us, and become our friends for life. A real treat of a collection for anyone with an undying adoration for books of all shapes and sizes!

No matter what shelves you’re browsing in the store, there are new friends to be found everywhere you look, and our young adult and children’s sections are no exception! Jennifer Niven, the beloved author of All the Bright Places (a staff favourite), has delivered yet another winner! Holding Up the Universe is the story of Libby and Jack, two teens who, despite their determination to fit in, still feel alone. It’s only when they’re brought together by a cruel high school prank that they each realize things may not be as bad as they seem. Kendare Blake’s new fantasy story, Three Dark Crowns, is perfect for readers who enjoyed The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow. With three sisters, only one crown, and a mandatory fight to the death, this novel is bound to be a riveting read for anyone looking for a great heart-pounding adventure.

The world of picture books is equally flush with hidden gems this season. Katrina Germein and Judy Watson have joined forces to bring us the beautiful story Thunderstorm Dancing. Charmingly illustrated and full of rhymes to delight children of all ages, this picture book acknowledges that even though storms can be scary, eventually the dark clouds will part and the sun will shine again. Chris Hadfield, of space station fame, has just released The Darkest Dark, a lovely book based on his own life as a young boy. Fascinated by space and the moon, young Chris has to overcome his fear of the dark (and the aliens that appear when the lights go out) if he’s ever going to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut (spoiler alert: Chris learns to appreciate the darkness and realizes his ultimate goal). A love letter to stories, A Child of Books is the newest addition to Oliver Jeffers‘ literary repertoire. Illustrated in classic Jeffers style, this new story follows two children as they celebrate the endless worlds and lives they can explore through books and their own limitless imaginations.

Briefly, in prize news, a quick shout-out to a staff favourite of ours: The Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins. Not only is it a funny and adorable picture book, but it’s also been nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award for its illustrations! Kudos too to Gary Barwin and Madeleine Thien, both of whom have been nominated for multiple literary awards this fall. Both authors (Yiddish for Pirates and Do Not Say We Have Nothing respectively) are on the shortlists for the 2016 Giller Prize and the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Awards for fiction. Thien can claim yet one more honour in that she is also on the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize. Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to see some of the other great nominees on this year’s prize lists!

Despite the amazing array of books that have already come out this fall, there are lots more still to come! Keep an eye out for these exciting forthcoming releases: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney, the 11th book in the series (November 1); Canada by Mike Myers, a patriotic comedian’s love letter to his country (October 22); The Witches of New York by Ami McKay, a novel of three remarkable young women in 19th century New York (October 25); The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James, four serialized Christmas mysteries published together for the first time in a beautiful hardcover package (October 25); The Spy by Paulo Coelho, a novel of celebrated woman and suspected spy, Mata Hari (November 22).

From literary festivals and author events, to prize nominations and book reviews, October is a golden age for books of all kinds. As the leaves begin to change colour and the earth prepares for its long winter sleep, the publishing world comes alive with romance, danger, heartbreak, joy, and mystery in order to keep our hearts and minds active during the cold, quiet season to come.

Like the children in Oliver Jeffers’ new book, we wish you pleasant sailing “across a sea of words” and lots of happy discoveries in this “world we’ve made of stories.”

Happy Reading!

–The Staff at Books on Beechwood