1. Vimy: The Battle and The Legend by Tim Cook
2. The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson
3. An ABC of Ottawa by Miriam Bloom
4. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
5. Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
6. Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson
7. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
8. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
9. Earthly Remains by Donna Leon
10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Greetings Book Lovers!
May has arrived – though it may not feel like it – and that means that summer is just around the corner! So, dust off your suitcases and take out your beach bags! It’s time to fill in that summer reading list!
One great way to discover new books to read is to get them right from the hands of the author. Luckily, we’ve got a number of signings coming up over the next month at which you can do just that! On Saturday, May 13, we’ll be having what we call a Super Signing Saturday with two great local authors paying us a visit back to back. First up, Margaret Kell Virany will be here from 11:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her two memoirs, A Book of Kells and Kathleen’s Cariole Ride. Rounding out the day, local poet Marilyn Sargeant will be signing copies of her book of poetry, Carbon is Yellow, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. P.E.I. author Bruce McCallum will be on site on Thursday, May 18 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm to sign and read from his new Scottish-set mystery Death in the Doach Woods. In anticipation of the celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, Zanaib Muse will be in the store from 12:00pm to 2:00pm on Saturday, May 20 to sign copies of her new (and very timely) travel book An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital. Taking a quick peek into June, John Kalbfleisch, a columnist for the Montreal Gazette, will be joining us on Saturday, June 10 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign copies of his brand new historical novel A Stain Upon the Land.
If just spending an afternoon browsing the shelves is still your favourite way to choose a new book, you won’t be disappointed with some of our most recent arrivals. Perennial favourite and Harry Hole creator Jo Nesbo, has just gifted us with a brand new mystery that’s sure to please old and new fans alike. The Thirst finds his newly retired detective drawn back into the Police fold to hunt a monster from his past, despite the promises he made after his last case put those closest to him in danger. With thrills and chills galore, Girl on the Train fans are in for a treat with Paula Hawkins‘ new thriller Into the Water. While we love our lakes, rivers, and oceans for their inherent beauty and powers of relaxation, it’s thrillers like this one that make us think twice about what mysteries might lie beneath the crystalline surface. Sealskin by Su Bristow keeps us on the water theme with a beautiful and mystical story set on the Scottish coast and based on the legend of the selkies – humans who can turn into seals. The 3,500 mile journey across the ocean has never felt so magical! When time traveling, no matter when or where you’re going, there are always some inherent mind-bending and conscience-testing questions involved. In Kathleen A. Flynn‘s debut novel The Jane Austen Project, Liam and Rachel find themselves sent back to 1815 in order to meet, befriend, and steal an unfinished manuscript from literary treasure Jane Austen – a truly unthinkable act, if they were to succeed. If you read and loved A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes by Swedish author Fredrik Backman, Beartown should definitely earn a place on your nightstand. Set in a small town and featuring a favourite Canadian pastime, this novel is full of big dreams, bright hopes, and startling secrets.
With so many books arriving everyday, it’s often hard to keep ahead of them, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these other great novels as our shelves continue to fill up: The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn (a witty, tender read about what happens when a couple move to the country and decide to embark on an experiment to spice up their marriage), Mad Richard by Lesley Krueger (a historical novel about artist Richard Dadd and novelist Charlotte Bronte, and the unlikely friendship they form), House of Names by Colm Toibin (an electrifying retelling of a classic Greek tragedy, rediscover the fraught world of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, and Elektra), and The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (a beautiful novel full of history, art, mystery, and heart).
After almost four years of waiting, heavy-hiting historian Lynne Olson has given us a new book to enjoy! This celebrated author of the bestselling Troublesome Young Men, Citizens of London, and Those Angry Days has come out with Last Hope Island, the story of how Britain became the wartime base of operations for exiled European leaders as Hitler marched his way across the continent. For a bit of a lighter walk through history, Bad Days in History by Michael Farquhar is the perfect thing to dip into whenever the mood strikes you. Telling one true tale of misery and woe for each of the 365 days in the year, these stories cover everything from lost love to fallen empires, fiendish thefts to devilish murders, and will no doubt help you face even the most intimidating of days. Leo Grasset will educate and entertain you with his new book How the Zebra Got Its Stripes. Not only will you get a fully scientific answer to questions such as “why are zebras striped?” and “why do giraffes have such long necks?”, but you’ll most likely also walk away armed with fascinating and handy facts to dazzle your friends with.
Here are a few more recent non-fiction releases that are worth more than a passing glance: The Otter’s Tale by Simon Cooper (a beautifully written account of one man’s relationship with an otter family in southern England), Footsteps by The New York Times (a lovely literary travel guide to the geographic muses that inspired some of our favourite writers), From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher (a hefty anthology celebrating 50 years of cartooning by Asilin), Gutenberg’s Fingerprint by Merilyn Simonds (a fascinating exploration of the value of the physical book in a digital world), and Faithful by Glenn J. Lockwood and Janet Uren (a stunning and thorough history of 150 years of one of our local churches, St. Bartholomew).
Never one to be left out, our children’s section is full to the brim with great new reads that would make the perfect fodder for any holiday or trip to camp. Perfectly timed for the return of Anne of Green Gables to television, Melanie J. Fishbane‘s young adult novel Maud is a charming ode to a Canadian treasure. Inspired by the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, this story introduces us to a teenage Maud as she tries to adjust to moving from her grandparents’ house in Prince Edward Island to her father’s house out west while trying to hold onto her dreams of going to college and becoming a writer like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. From Julie Murphy, the author who brought us the wonderful book Dumplin’ (now available in paperback), comes Ramona Blue, the story of a strong teenage girl determined to stay true to herself despite all the odds. It’s the perfect read for fans of Morgan Matson, Rainbow Rowell, and Jennifer Niven. We have a very exciting new arrival for those of you who devoured Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Rick Riordan has just released The Dark Prophecy, the second book in his series The Trials of Apollo. In this new book, readers return to Camp Half-Blood where they meet the god Apollo, who has been stripped of his powers and banished to earth as a gawky, acne-prone sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. With his trademark style, Riordan is bound to keep duvet-covered flashlights burning bright well into the night! Two of our favourites picture books right now are Olivia the Spy by Ian Falconer and Hey, Boy by Benjamin Strouse. It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Olivia the Pig book and this one is a real winner. Charming as ever, Olivia will surely steal your heart…spy-style! A newcomer to the picture book scene, Benjamin Strouse‘s story about a boy and his dog takes a classic theme and turns it into an unforgettable, touching story that children will love and adults won’t mind reading over and over again.
We’re only a couple of weeks into the month so there are still lots of book goodies to come. Here are a few that we’re looking forward to getting our hands on: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (May 16), Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (May 23), Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (May 23), Churchill & Orwell by Thomas E. Ricks (May 23), and One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis (May 30).
The air outside may be cool, but the sunshine is toasty warm and there’s nothing a book loves more than a nice walk in the sun. So, be sure to pay us a visit to see what hidden gems we have in store. You never know, you might go home with a new friend!
–The Staff of Books on Beechwood