|Greetings Book Lovers!
Welcome to April! Let the games begin…or, more appropriately, the rains. Although it’s hard to feel optimistic on cool, grey, rainy days when we still need to wear hats, mitts, and boots to keep warm, it helps to remember that old saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers!” Books and water may not mix that well, but in this case, nothing can help you while away the rainy day hours like a great read. So, in the interests of speeding our way through this transition period between winter and spring, restock your shelves, head out on a new literary adventure, and dream of warm seasons to come. Flowers, and sunshine, and books, oh my!
Just as spring hearkens the return of the songbirds and the birth of baby animals, it also means that our in-store events have begun to flourish once again. One of our favourite local mystery authors, Linda Wiken will be here on Saturday, April 22 from 12:00-2:00pm to sign copies of her new book Roux the Day. This second book in the Dinner Club Mystery Series is the follow up to Toasting Up Trouble, the book in which readers were introduced to the smart and savvy event planner turned amateur sleuth, Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner. The following week, St. John’s singer/songwriter Amelia Curran will be taking a break from her Watershed tour to pay us a visit. She will be stopping by on Friday, April 28 from 2:00-3:00pm to sign copies of her book of songs Relics and Tunes. Rounding out the month in style, we will be celebrating the 2017 edition of Authors for Indies Day on Saturday, April 29! This full day of festivities will feature fun promotions, prize draws, and an exciting lineup of local authors you can come in to meet, chat with, and get book recommendations from. Over the course of the day, we will be hosting Joanne Proulx (Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet), R.J. Harlick (A Cold White Fear), Susan Delacourt (Shopping for Votes), Michael Dennis (Bad Engine), Frances Itani (Tell), and Sonia Tilson (The Monkey Puzzle Tree). Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter for the full Authors for Indies Day schedule.
As the seasons turn, so too do the types of books that make their way onto our shelves. So, while we start thinking ahead to planting bulbs, setting up our vegetable gardens, and wondering what herbs we should grow this year, it’s not surprising that our store is filling up with books full of hope, love, and new beginnings. From the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid, comes a brand new novel that has burst onto the literary scene in true blockbuster fashion. Exit West is the story of two young people living in a country on the brink of war. Just as they find each other and begin a passionate love affair, Nadia and Saeed are forced to embark on a journey into the unknown in order to save themselves and their dreams of a future together. Genevieve Graham‘s new wartime novel Promises to Keep is a perfect read for fans of Susanna Kearsley, Lucinda Riley, and Kate Morton. This wonderful, heart-wrenching read set in Nova Scotia during the expulsion of the Acadians, features a reluctant British soldier and a young Acadian woman whose love for each other faces the ultimate test when they must decide whether to risk everything in order to be together or live with the pain of being separated forever. Irish author Sara Baume explores a different kind of love in Spill Simmer Falter Wither. As the two outcasts in a small village, a shunned man and a one-eyed dog form an unlikely bond and take to the road together when suspicion and false accusations turn their neighbours against them. A testament to the power of unconditional love, this novel is a touching and heartfelt read.
A new beginning can be invigorating and full of hope when entered into willingly, but it can also be frightening and unsettling when you find yourself with no other choice. Siobhan Vivian‘s newest book for young adults, The Last Boy and Girl in the World, is an emotional, goofy, and bittersweet read on par with The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. When a small lumber town is sacrificed to flood waters in order to save a series of larger towns and expensive developments downriver, Keeley and her friends and family are forced to prepare for an irreversible change that they are all powerless to stop. Similar to the movie You’ve Got Mail, Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett is a wonderful story about a quirky classic movie buff named Bailey who moves across the country with her father in order to escape a traumatizing event in her past and her mother’s crumbling second marriage. Hilarious and sweet, it is the perfect teen read for springtime! Canadian great Emma Donoghue made her middle-grade debut this past week with the publication of The Lotterys Plus One. With the same talent and heart that she puts into her novels for adults, this story explores the changing dynamics within a large, blended family when a long estranged grandfather (a.k.a. Grumps) is added to the mix…and the house!
Taking a trip to a faraway land is a very tempting thing to do this time of year, even if it’s only on the pages of a book. This year, let Marc Morris be your guide on a tour of some of Medieval Britain’s most impressive buildings in Castles: Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain. Though castles were first and foremost family homes, their overwhelming and imposing appearance is more often associated with grand cavalry campaigns, epic battles, and seemingly endless sieges. It’s this inherent dichotomy that Morris explores in this fascinating new release. Like castles, adventures on the high seas are a perfect escape from rainy day doldrums. With this in mind, why not pick up a copy of Laura Sook Duncombe‘s Pirate Women? While most people are familiar with the lives and escapades of famous pirates like Peter Easton, Blackbeard, and Captain Kidd, in this fascinating book, readers are introduced to a series of strong, determined women from every corner of the globe who could swashbuckle with the best of them, but whose stories have, for the most part, been lost beneath the waves.
Here are a few more new releases and upcoming titles that are worth keeping an eye out for: Strong in the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker, Botanical Shakespeare by Gerit Quealy, My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith, Ingenious by David Johnston, American War by Omar El Akkad, Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson (April 11), Missing by Kelley Armstrong (April 18), Beartown by Fredrik Backman (April 25), Maud by Melanie Fishbane (April 25), and New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (May 16).
As the last vestiges of winter slowly melt away, and we enter that wet, muddy purgatory before the spring heat and sunshine come to stay, it’s important to make sure that your bookshelves are well-stocked. After all, there’s no better way to pass the time between now and garden season than to travel through time and space in the world’s most reliable vehicle. Books may be made of paper and ink, but their safety features are top notch!
So, however hard the rain, rain, rain comes down, down, down outside, we offer this sound piece of advice: “It’s never too messy out to make a trip to the bookstore!”
— The Staff of Books on Beechwood