1. Trumpocracy by David Frum
2. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
3. The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes
4. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
5. The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
6. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
7. Mythos by Stephen Fry
8. A Time of Love and Tartan by Alexander McCall Smith
9. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
10. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Greetings Book Lovers!
Welcome back to winter! The clocks may be springing ahead this weekend and Easter is only a couple of weeks away, but Mother Nature is not ready to let us tiptoe through the tulips quite yet. Despite the snow though, it’s not hard to smell the impending change of seasons in the air. It’s especially easy for all of us here at the store to sense the warm winds coming as we’re fresh off a trip to our local booksellers’ fair where we placed orders for all of our spring and summer books! So, we can now tell you with authority that there are lots of very exciting goodies to come in the next few months! That being said though, there’s no need to sit around and wait for forthcoming titles to hit the ground because there are still more great reads currently sleeping on our shelves, just waiting for you to discover them!
With spring just a hair’s breath away, we don’t just have new books arriving every day, but our in-store event train is getting up a running again. Kicking things off right, 2016 Giller Prize nominee Andrew Battershill will be in the store on Wednesday, March 28 from 6:00-8:00pm to launch his brand new novel, Marry, Bang, Kill. Featuring Tommy Marlo, a young man who mugs people solely for their laptops, this crime thriller will grab you on page one and keep ratcheting up the tension until it finally releases you from its thrall at the last possible moment. It’s an intense thrill ride that is not to be missed! For all the Book Club members and historical fiction fans out there, we have a special treat for you this month! On Thursday, March 29 from 5:00-7:00pm, Jean E. Pendziwol will be in the store to sign copies of her new book The Light-Keepers’ Daughters. Set along the coast of Lake Superior and exploring a family’s past through the pages of a journal, this fascinating novel is also our Book Club pick for March. So, now you won’t just have the chance to discuss the book amongst yourselves, but you will actually be able to talk to the author about it in person! We’re really looking forward to both these great events and we hope to see you all there!
In honour of this past week’s International Women’s Day, we’ve put together a wonderful collection of books about trail-blazing women of the past and barrier-breaking women of the present in an effort to inspire our daughters to become the ceiling-smashing women of the future. Of all the books that have been published in this vein recently, there are two in particular that have really tickled our fancy. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu is a graphic novel style book written for teens which features a wide range of female role models (some world famous and some lesser-known), all of whom share, as the author puts it, the same indomitable spirit. Bright, bold, and incredibly unique, this book perfectly embodies the spirits of the women who occupy its pages. Spotlighting 29 bold and “difficult” women from modern history, Karen Karbo has gifted us with a book sure to inspire women both young and old alike. With profiles on household names like Hillary Clinton, Carrie Fisher, Lena Dunham, and Nora Ephron, In Praise of Difficult Women is a fascinating, entertaining read about how forging your own unique path in the world can lead to a more fulfilling life. Karbo is also the author of the bestselling Kick-Ass Women series which included books about Julia Child, Coco Chanel, Katherine Hepburn, and Georgia O’Keefe.
It’s not every day that you expect an emergency room doctor to also be a college-level English professor, never mind that he had penned a magical debut novel in the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness! This, however, is just what Tom Muller has done. The Philosopher’s Flight is set in an alternate early twentieth century America and tells the story of Robert Weekes, a young man who has only ever wanted to fly. Unfortunately for him, that particular type of magic, or empirical philosophy as it is called, is considered an arcane, female-dominated branch of science – a.k.a. no men allowed. But when Robert rises to the occasion during a violent tragedy and wins himself a scholarship to the traditionally all-women’s philosophy school, he encounters a whole new set of unexpected obstacles – not only a troublemaking group of anti-philosophy protestors but also an inconvenient case of first love with fellow student Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned hero of the Great War turned political radical. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by Michael Andreasen is another debut fantasy offering that teaches us about our own existence with a unique and unexpected spin. Who would have thought that short stories about alien abductions, time travel, and mythical beasts could actually make us look at loss, guilt, and love in completely new ways? These charming stories are easy to dip into a bit at a time and will no doubt leave you pondering one of life’s great mysteries every time you extricate yourself from their pages. Elan Mastai, a screenwriter and debut author, has put together a clever, surprising story of sci-fi adventure in All Our Wrong Todays. People in the 1950s had some pretty interesting ideas of what the year 2016 was going to look like – something of a technological utopia complete with moving sidewalks, flying cars, and moon-bases. The funny thing is, for Tom, this is his reality. When a time travel accident causes him to land squarely in our own 2016 though, he must decide if this curious new world is the right one for him or if he needs to find a way to get back to his own reality.
Not to be outdone, there are some real winners leasing space in our children’s section right now too. Three of our favourite new picture books are The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld, Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima, and Pandamonia by Chris Owen and Chris Nixon. As children (and often as adults too), when things don’t go the way you want them to, you don’t necessarily want to sit down and talk about it rationally, try to laugh it off and move on, or stomp and storm around until you feel better. Usually, you just want someone to sit and listen. This is exactly what happens in Cori Doerrfeld‘s adorable book. Not only does it teach children that there’s no one right or wrong way to react to a situation, but it will also make you wish you had your very own rabbit to hug and confide in. Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima (the creator of the equally cute Not Quite Narwhal) is a bright, sweet story about a little girl who loves to dress up in funny costumes and play make-believe – she even has specific costumes for specific occasions! But when her over-exuberance results in a group of penguins physically carrying her home to the Antarctic, she has to befriend all kinds of different creatures in order to get back to her dads in time for her birthday party. Chris Owen and Chris Nixon have given us an instant classic in Pandamonia. Told in rhyming couplets, this charming story explains all the outrageous things that will happen at the zoo if you wake the panda from his nap. Full of bright, graphic illustrations, waking up the panda (or trying not to) will no doubt appeal to any child who fell in love with Mo Willems‘ Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus.
Roy MacGregor has been a household name in Ottawa, and in Canada at large, for a number of decades now. His bestselling Screech Owls mystery series for 8-12 year olds (a series over 20 books strong) still resonates strongly with young readers today. Now Roy, along with his daughter Kerry MacGregor, has embarked on a new writing adventure for children. Set to be another series, book one in the Ice Chips Series, The Ice Chips and the Magical Rink, centres once again on the sport of hockey, but this time adds an element of fantasy to the mix. What more could young hockey players wish for than to have a rink that can transport them through time to meet one of the game’s all-time greats? Inspired by true stories from real hockey legends, this lovely new series is sure to appeal to all children, whether they play the game or not. Midnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks is an exciting European mystery story set in the enchanting city of Rome. When Beatrice is forced to move to Italy because of her father’s new job, she’s not overly-enthused about the whole thing. Little does she know that local legends will soon peak her interest, and before she can say ciao, she will find herself trying to solve the case of the stolen statue with her new friend Marco. Maybe living in Rome won’t actually be the worst thing ever after all. Another debut, and an epic fantasy novel to boot, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is an intricate and fascinating read. Inspired by the mythology of West Africa, this young adult novel tells the story of Zelie, a young woman who lives in a land that once hummed with magic – a land now stripped bare by a ruthless king. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must set out on a dangerous journey to restore magic to her homeland and, at the same time, learn to control her own unpredictable fledgling powers.
If any of those kids or teen books strike your fancy, or if you’re just looking for some new books for your own children to read while they’re home during March Break, be sure to pop by the store this coming week to take advantage of our March Break Sale! From Monday, March 12 through to Sunday, March 18, all our children’s books will be 25% off! From picture books to board books, to early readers to teen books, and all manner of non-fiction, our kids section is the place to be this coming week! The sale will apply to in-stock items only (no special orders) and will not include puzzles or games.
As we’ve only just dipped our toes into the March book release waters, there are still lots of new titles due to arrive over the coming weeks. Here are some of the ones we’re most looking forward to: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone (March 13), A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (March 13), Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert (March 13), The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George (March 20), Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson (March 20), The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman (March 20), The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon (March 20), Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (March 27), The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie (April 3), Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr (April 3), Munmun by Jesse Andrews (April 3), The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith (April 10), The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi (April 17).
Playing host to March Break, the bulk of Lent, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter this year, it wouldn’t be surprising if March was having a serious identity crisis. With so many things going on, it’s hard to figure out how we’re really supposed to feel about this third month of 2018. Is it spring yet or is it still winter? Should we be thinking about what we’re going to plant in our gardens or forcing ourselves to keep that snow brush in the car just in case? It’s a month full of changes, but there’s no set time-frame for when those changes will happen. Thankfully, the book industry is (just) slightly more predictable than the weather and the changing seasons. So, if you’re looking for some stability this month, forget about the ups and downs happening outside and wander down to your favourite bricks-and-mortar hangout. We guarantee that you’ll love it – we’ve got books!!!
— The Staff of Books on Beechwood
We will be CLOSED on Friday, March 30 for Good Friday and on Sunday, April 1 for Easter.
Regular store hours will be in effect on Saturday, March 31 and we’ll be back to business as usual from Monday, April 2 onwards.
On My Shelf
Staff Member: Hilary
What I’m Reading: Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore
“Manor House. Family Secrets. Ireland. I think those are pretty much the best (and only) words needed to hook someone into this series. They certainly worked for me! I’m only partway through this first of three volumes (two and three are as yet unpublished), but to say it’s captured my imagination is an understatement. From the charming characters to the sophisticated prose to the beautiful setting, this historical saga will draw you in, chew you up, and spit you out…in a good way!”