Mid-November 2020 Newsletter

October Bestsellers

1. War by Margaret MacMillan
2. A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin
3. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
4. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
5. Truth Be Told by Beverly McLachlin
6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
7. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
8. Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake
9. Friends and Enemies by Barbara Amiel
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney

Greetings Book Lovers!

We can’t believe we’re saying this, but welcome to the middle of November! Halloween and Remembrance Day are behind us, the trees have shed their golden garb, and we’ve turned the clocks back to add a teensy bit more daylight to our early mornings – it’s not hard to tell that we’re approaching the end of the year. The arrival of this penultimate month also means that we booksellers have our eyes on the wintry prize as we try to get everything ready for Christmas. Our holiday cards are on the shop floor, we’ve got tons of gift items arriving every week, and we’re doing our best to stock up on the great new books that we’re sure you’ll want to see under your tree next month!

Like so many other things this year, Christmas 2020 (and the lead up to it) is going to be a bit different than we’re used to. We’re still determined to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible, but the health and safety of our staff and all of you, our lovely customers, has to come first. Going forward, we will continue to observe our limit of 4 customers in the store at a time and ask that anyone waiting to come in line up on the sidewalk outside so the vestibule we share with the SconeWitch stays clear – not only for security reasons, but also so that all our couriers can get their precious book cargo into the store safe and sound. Masks must be worn in order to come into the store and hand sanitizer must be used upon entry. On the colder days to come, if you’re wearing mittens or gloves, please remove them when you come inside so you can sanitize your hands and browse at your leisure!

Normally at Christmas time, one of the things we love most is seeing the store full to bursting with happy shoppers. While we won’t have that particular joy this year, we want to make sure that you still get all the shopping time you need in order to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. If stopping by during our normal open hours won’t give you as much browsing time as you’d like, you’ll soon have the chance to spend up to a whole hour in the store, shopping around and hunting for just the right gifts for everyone on your list. Starting on Monday, November 23, the hours from 9:00-10:00am and 5:00-6:00pm Monday through Friday will be reserved for pre-booked shopping. We’ll still only have four customers in the store at a time (please note that a couple shopping together count as two people), but shoppers will have the whole hour to wander and browse without the pressure of knowing others could be waiting to come in. To book a spot, please contact us by phone at 613-742-5030.

Having said all that, we know that there are some of you who will let your fingers do the shopping this year as you avoid crowds and take care of your Christmas list online. To aid you in your online shopping quest, we want to remind you all that we have an online store through which you can order books and gifts for pick up, delivery, or shipping. We’re doing our best to get all our gift items up on our online store to make your e-shopping experience even more complete! Visit our online store here: http://store.booksonbeechwood.ca and explore the countless titles available to order at the touch of a button!

One last bit of housekeeping that we wanted to mention before moving on to the exciting book portion of our newsletter is about shipping and Christmas delivery times. All of our book shipments have been arriving pretty much on schedule, but as we get closer to Christmas and couriers get busier and busier, we expect that there may be the odd delay. In order to avoid any Christmas disappointments, we suggest that you get your book orders in as soon as possible. Most of our suppliers have a one week turnaround time, but some are closer to two or three weeks, so getting orders in sooner rather than later is critical. As in other years, we will do our very best to get you all your orders in time for Christmas, but there are some shipping delays that are beyond our control, so the earlier you can get your orders to us, the better. Though we will continue to receive stock throughout December, our last day for placing guaranteed Christmas orders will be Monday, December 7. Orders placed after that date may still arrive before Christmas, but we can’t guarantee it. If you’d like us to ship your order to you or someone else, our last day for shipping things out of the store will be Monday, December 14. When placing your orders (either in person, by phone, or online), please don’t forget to tell us whether or not a book is for Christmas so we can keep an eye on it and let you know whether it will be in on time or not.

The books are coming in fast and furious these days and there are definitely too many to talk about here in this small space. That being said, we’re going to give it our best shot anyway. One of our favourite books of the season so far is the newest offering from Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris, The Lost Spells. A good bit smaller than its predecessor, The Lost Words, this beautiful gift book is packed with heart-stopping illustrations and powerful poems that will bring a tear to your eye. Complete with its own sewn-in ribbon bookmark, anyone who loves nature, poetry, and the written word will adore this gorgeous volume. We know there are a lot of you who spent the spring and summer reading Hilary Mantel‘s epic historical trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. Well, if you’re a fan who just can’t get enough of Mantel’s style, why not pick up the cleverly named Mantel Pieces? Made up of her writing from The London Review of Books, this collection of essays will prove irresistible, especially with a subtitle like this: Royal Bodies and Other Writings! Another compilation that might be just the thing to keep you company this winter is The Best of Me by David Sedaris. As chosen by the author, these touching and funny stories span an incredible 25 year writing career and offer insight into both the mundane and sometimes absurd facets of life.

We’re sure many of you will agree with us when we say that there are few things we love more than a novel that will really sweep us away. Although we may not all want to be swept to the same places, there’s no arguing with a beautifully written story! Anstey Harris takes readers from big city to small, quirky town in her new novel, The Museum of Forgotten Memories. Sometimes life throws us curveballs when we least expect them and all we can do is take our best swing at them. When Cate Morris does just that after experiencing a crippling loss, she finds herself regaining her footing through the restoration of a Victorian museum full of glassy-eyed, taxidermy animals. Unique and touching, this book will charm you from the very first page! Murder by Milk Bottle by Lynne Truss is funny, endearing, and chock-full of kooky characters. Set in Brighton and centred around a series of murders featuring weaponized milk bottles, this novel is hot off the press and bound to keep you laughing (and guessing) until the last page! What happens when a mathematician becomes a mystery writer? You get stories within stories and mysteries atop mysteries like in Eight Detecives by Alex Pavesi. Thirty years after their initial publication, Grant McAllistar’s mystery novels are being reprinted, and editor Julie Hart is on hand to help the process along. It’s not until she sits down to read McAllistar’s books that she realizes something might be amiss – clues within the text are not only intricately woven through the story, but they may also refer to a real decades-old murder…one that was never solved.

As per usual, there are way too many great new books out there for us to tell you about even a quarter of them, no matter how much we want to. So here are just a few other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: Plantagenet Queens & Consorts by Steven J. CorviThe Book Collectors by Delphine MinouiThe Butcher’s Blessing by Ruth GilliganThe Forgotten Daughter by Joanna GoodmanMoonflower Murders by Anthony HorowitzThe Forgotten Sister by Nicola CornickThe Eyes of the Queen by Oliver ClementsThe Lady Brewer of London by Karen Brooks, Extraordinary Canadians by Peter Mansbridge, V2 by Robert Harris, No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox, The Archer by Paulo Coelho, The Book of Merlin by John Matthews, The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson, All Together Now by Alan Doyle (November 24), Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell (November 24), Pianos and Flowers by Alexander McCall Smith (December 1), Olive, Mabel & Me by Andrew Cotter (December 1), Bag Man by Rachel Maddow (December 8).

Although your Christmas shopping experiences might be a little different this year, we’re determined to make your visits to the store as fun and enjoyable as possible. For our part, we’ll be sure that our books are piled high, our puzzles are stacked two deep (at least), and our smiles are broad and shining behind our masks!

Keep an eye out for our final newsletter of the year next month for any last-minute Christmas ideas!

Happy Reading!
Stay safe!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Book Shelf

What I’m Reading: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

“Anyone who knows me well, knows that witchy books are my kryptonite – I just can’t resist them! They celebrate sisterhood, magic, a love of animals, and the in-depth knowledge of nature that we’ve long-since lost. So, it was a no-brainer for me to pick up this epic new novel which follows the adventures of three sisters as they find their way back to the ancient ways and old traditions of their ancestors. As an added bonus, it also touches on the suffragette movement – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to vote…or live!”