November 2019 Newsletter

October Bestsellers

1. Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray
Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds

Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, we’re only a couple of weeks into November and it looks like Mother Nature has decided that it’s going to be full on winter now. The streets are snowy, the trees are bare, and our noses are certainly feeling the sharp nip in the air. But despite this slightly early onslaught of wintry weather, there are lots of warm and cozy things to look forward to between now and the end of the year – not the least of which being all the wonderful books awaiting you on our shelves!

As we continue to march steadily towards December and the festive season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Thankfully, we have some great local events coming up that are sure to be just the break you need from the Christmas fast lane! On Saturday, November 23 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, Robin Higham will be here in the store to launch the newest RHOMA (Retired Heads of Mission Association) book, Not Mentioned in Dispatches. Much like their previous collection of essays, Declassified, this new book is just as rich and wide-ranging in content, taking readers through different countries and times, exploring the world through the lens of the diplomatic service. Local author Kanika Gupta will be paying us a visit on Sunday, November 24 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm to launch her new illustrated memoir, Brave: Living with a Concussion. Accompanied by a special afternoon tea courtesy of our friends at The SconeWitch, this event is not to be missed! Ottawa Press and Publishing author, Andrew King will be in the store on Saturday, November 30 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign copies of his brand new local history book Ottawa Rewind: A Book of Curios and Mysteries. In the same vein as the ever-popular Lost Ottawa books, this book would be a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who loves the quirky, often forgotten tidbits of history. Taking a quick peek into December, we’ll be taking the store off-site for a fun Bookclub Mash Up-sponsored event at the Rockcliffe Park Community Centre on Sunday, December 8. Local novelist (and Ottawa Book Award Winner) Missy Marston will be in attendance to read from her new book, Bad Ideas. Doors open at 2:00pm and the reading will get going at 2:30pm. This event is open to local book club members and book lovers alike!

In a year that’s brought us so many great books, it’s hard to believe that there are even more still to come! Every year, right to the end, we’re always amazed at the quality of the titles coming through our door and this year is proving to be no different. After seeing so many Newfoundland themed and authored books over the last ten months, it seems only fitting that one of our last book highlights of the year should be about two amazing Newfoundland artists. Art and Rivalry by Carol Bishop-Gwyn chronicles the life and marriage of Christopher and Mary Pratt, two juggernauts of Canadian art. Thinking of the popular saying, “opposites attract,” one would think that these two talented people would have been perfect together – Mary as fire with her bright, colourful, life-infused artwork and Christopher as ice with his clean lines, smooth palate, and quieter tones. However, the smooth veneer this couple presented to the world was soon criss-crossed with emotion-fueled cracks. Told with masterful skill and an undeniable love of art, this unauthorized biography is a must read for Canadian art lovers everywhere.

Much like on a canvas, art can also blossom in a darkened theatre full of plush seats, with the scent of popcorn hanging in the air. Arguably, this is exactly what happened in 1977 with the theatrical release of George Lucas’s now famous space saga. No doubt there are many of you who are counting down the days, not ’til Christmas, but ’til the release of the final installment of this amazing cult classic. So, before getting your costume ready for the big day, why not take a journey into the past with veteran Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels in his new memoir, I Am C-3PO? Full of candid stories from his time on set and reflections of what it’s like to embody such an iconic and influential character for over four decades, this book is a virtual treasure trove for fans of all things Star Wars. Witty, fascinating, and revelatory, I Am C-3PO is definitely going to be on the wish-list we send to Santa this year!

Although this time of year doesn’t always result in all of us getting scads of time off, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still find enough time to read a great, sweeping historical family saga! Arguably one of the Queens of the genre, Santa Montefiore has gifted us with a great new novel that will delight historical fiction fans everywhere! The House by the Sea takes readers on a fast-paced world tour, setting down roots among the golden villas of Tuscany and shooting forward through time to England’s Devon coast. Ripe with intrigue, drama, and secrets that refuse to stay buried, this novel is perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley, and Sarah Maine! Over the years we’ve become so used to Claire North‘s books containing a fairly healthy dose of science-fiction, that her new novel, The Pursuit of William Abbey, came as a bit of a surprise to us. Told in a sweeping arc that carries readers from late 19th century South Africa to WWI Europe, this novel will entrance you from the start and keep you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page. Just as thought-provoking as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August with all the thrilling suspense of a Robert Harris or Jonathan de Shalit spy novel, this book calls for a good footrest, a seriously comfy chair, and a good chunk of uninterrupted reading time!

When we sat down to really think about our favourite kids books from the last month, we must have been in a feline-loving mood because all our picks turned out to be about cats! Full of adorable illustrations and charming characters, Mike Boldt‘s picture book Bad Dog is a great read-aloud story for bedtime or anytime! Sometimes all a little girl wants is a dog, but when this little girl finally gets her wish, Rocky turns out to be a very bad dog. She doesn’t like to fetch or go for walks or come when she’s called, but she does enjoy sleeping on Mom’s clean laundry, playing with shoelaces, and climbing trees. Hmmm…could what makes a bad dog maybe make a good cat? Sweet and funny, this book is sure to be a winner with kids and adults alike! What Cats Think by John Spray and Mies van Hout is as beautiful as it is funny and is almost more art book than picture book. Awaiting you on each page is a bright, colourful feline friend willing to reveal their innermost thoughts. What does your cat plan on doing after you’ve gone to bed? You might just have to read the book to find out! For the littlest ones in your life, why not get their love of cats started early with Barbara Castro Urio‘s adorable board book Goodnight, Rainbow Cats? Full of small die-cut windows that get filled in one by one by colourful little cats making their way home, this cute book is bound to earn a place at the top your kiddies’ “again” pile!

As per usual, there are so many books out there and not nearly enough space here for us to tell you about them all! So, here are some of the other new and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff KinneyThe Cockroach by Ian McEwanMany Rivers to Cross by Peter RobinsonSofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea BeatyCall Down the Hawk by Maggie StiefvaterThe Second Sleep by Robert HarrisThe Man That Got Away by Lynne TrussVintage Board Games by Adrian SevilleStudio Dogs by Nicola MorganThe Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams (November 21), Under Occupation by Alan Furst (November 26), The Hero by Lee Child (November 28), The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith (December 3), and Bryant & May: Lonely Hour by Christopher Fowler (December 3).

It’s almost mid-November now and we can no longer deny that Christmas is just around the corner. As such, a few key holiday items have now made their way onto our shelves – our boxed Christmas cards are proudly on display (UNICEF cards included), the Advent Calendars have arrived, our Christmas crackers have made an appearance, and our loose Christmas cards are slowly coming out of hibernation. With lots of other goodies arriving every day, be sure to pop in to see us, keep an eye on our social media pages, and watch out for our next newsletter to stay on top of what’s new. Also, if you’ve been in to see us over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed a new face behind the counter. Pei-Ju, a dear friend of ours from Octopus Books, has joined our bookselling ranks for the busy holiday season. She’s a great reader and, like the rest of our staff, is looking forward to helping you with all your book needs over the coming weeks. She definitely knows her stuff and we’re so very glad she’s joined our bookselling family! So, next time you’re in the store, be sure to give her a nice, big Beechwood welcome!

With winter now seemingly settled in to stay, it’s time to turn our eyes towards the magical season that crowns our calendar year. So with stars in our eyes, books by our sides, and love in our hearts, let’s face the elements head on and march straight ahead into the sparkling snow kingdom that is December!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

“It’s been a whopping eight years since Erin Morgenstern‘s last book, The Night Circus, came out, and my wish for another book of hers has finally come true. This new novel is lyrical, beautifully crafted, and will draw you in from the very first page. As an added bonus, it’s a book about books and the magical lands that exist inside them. This is the kind of story that will nourish your soul and remind you that despite the often very black and white world we live in, there’s plenty of magic to be found in the everyday.”