May 2021 Newsletter

April Bestsellers

1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Rockin’ on the Rideau by Jim Hurcomb
3. Values by Mark Carney
4. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
5. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
6. The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett
7. The World of Jane Austen Puzzle
8. World Travel by Anthony Bourdain
9. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
10. The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson

Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, May is here and although it’s been a touch cooler than we would like, we’re still marching steadily into spring. The trees are budding, the birds are singing, and great summer reads are coming in fast and furious here at the store. From front porch thrillers to lakeside sagas, backyard biographies to beach-worthy romances, there are so many new arrivals to choose from, we’re sure we won’t be the only ones resorting to simply doubling (or tripling) our to-read pile!

Before we get into the real thick of our newsletter, we wanted to take a moment to make a little announcement. Over the last number of years, we’re sure that most of you have either spoken to, bought a book from, or just chatted with our lovely staff member, Antoinette. Well, after over 15 years here at the store, our beloved colleague is moving on the bigger and brighter adventures in the big city of Toronto. Antoinette joined our bookstore family after a long career with the government and she quickly became an irreplaceable member of our team. With a wealth of experience, a wide-range of interests, and a deep love of (and eclectic taste in) books, she’s been an invaluable member of our team and even more than that, a very special friend. Through all the years of learning, laughing, chatting, reading, and working, we’ve had so much fun together and are going to have a hard time getting used to being in the bookstore without her. Even though she won’t be working with us anymore, we’re sure this won’t be the end of Antoinette’s time in the book world –  there are some pretty neat bookstores in Toronto, after all! Having been colleagues and friends for so long now, we’re going to miss her desperately, but wish her all the very best in whatever her future holds! Her last official shift with us will be the afternoon of Thursday, May 13 (sorry for the short notice), so if any of you want to say goodbye, feel free to give us a call or stop by to wish her well. If you want to send something by e-mail instead, just direct it to our store address ( and we’ll make sure Antoinette gets it. It’s always hard to say goodbye, but we know that we’ll see Antoinette again. And even though she won’t physically be in the store anymore, she’ll always be a part of our bookstore family.

Now that we’ve made ourselves cry, let’s get back to the rest of our (slightly waterlogged) newsletter!

We’ve always been fond of reading thrillers no matter what time of year it is, but there’s something strangely comforting about reading a slightly unnerving story while the heat of the sun is beaming down. In order to give yourself goosebumps in the sun this summer, we suggest you pick up a copy of The Savage Instinct by M.M. Deluca. Set in 19th Century England, you won’t know who to trust as you follow Clara Blackstone’s journey from the horrors of the insane asylum back to hearth, home, and husband. But her renewed marriage soon begins to feel as oppressive as her asylum cell once had, and help comes from a very strange quarter – England’s first serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton. A fascinating look at the lot of the Victorian woman (with lots of chills thrown in), we guarantee that you won’t be able to tear yourself away! Taking us to the very opposite side of the world, Katherine St. John’s The Siren is another thriller that we’ve been very eager to get our hands on! When a big-shot Hollywood heartthrob decides to film a new movie in the Caribbean, he knows that casting his ex-wife, Stella Rivers, opposite him will draw audiences in for the movie’s storyline as well as the intrigue of the cast’s real-life connections. As the movie crew gets down to work, it doesn’t take long before tensions start to rise – old secrets come to light, trust is broken, and a hurricane is brewing just offshore, threatening to make an uninvited cameo appearance! Full of scandal, mysterious characters, and all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, this book is definitely getting a permanent home on our forever shelf!

Sometimes when you’re searching for a new read, the only thing that will satisfy you is a great historical adventure! Are you among those readers who was captivated by Madeline Miller‘s novel Circe? Did you love travelling back in time to the ancient shores of Greece to follow the path of a young woman destined for greatness? Do the stories of Greek heroes, gods, and goddesses fascinate you? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, your next read should definitely be Ariadne by debut author Jennifer Saint. As a princess of Crete, Ariadne knows that there are certain qualities prized in a royal daughter – duty, loyalty, obedience, fealty – and much of life is spent dancing on a knife’s edge. When the young, dashing, Athenian Prince Theseus finds his way to Crete’s shores as part of a yearly tribute to the deadly Minotaur living beneath the palace, Ariadne not only feels herself drawn to his beauty, but also sees in him an escape from an unwanted marriage and a life lived as her father’s pawn. But will her decision, made in the bloom of first love, take Ariadne down the path she wishes, or will her destiny be altered once more by the will of powerful, fickle men. Told with incredible depth of feeling, this novel is shaping up to be one of our favourites of the year. Ariadne is beautifully captured and is a heroine more than worthy of her own legend!

Over the last year, many of us have rediscovered nature while working from home and obeying provincial health guidelines. There’s no denying that there are few things more calming and meditative than walking among trees and plants, whether you do so in a city park or a mighty forest. With what looks like another summer of quieter days ahead of us, now might be the perfect time to dip into one of our newest arrivals about the majesty, spirituality, and meditative power of trees. Rooted by Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a fascinating book about where science and the art of nature collide, supporting the theory that all life on the planet is intricately interconnected. Championing the theory of rootedness, a way of being at one with the wilderness, this book is perfect for fans of Braiding Sweetgrass, The Hidden Life of Trees, and Mary Oliver. In the same vein, debut author and TED Talk veteran, Suzanne Simard gives us even more to think about regarding our tree friends in Finding the Mother Tree. Part science book and part biography, Simard’s book explores the ways in which trees form communities, take care of each other, and relate to the other creatures around them. Inspiring scientists, nature lovers, and filmmakers alike, this book proves that, unlike what some people think, trees are good for more than just kindling and timber – they are a beautiful, ancient, irreplaceable, and fascinating part of our world and they deserve to be treasured, respected, and revered.

Whenever we stumble across a new release from one of our favourite authors, we tend to drop everything so we can start reading it right away! That’s exactly what we did last week when Morgan Matson‘s new book, Take Me Home Tonight, rolled into the store. When best friends Kat and Stevie head into New York City for a special night on the town, they have no idea what adventures are in store for them. Far beyond just having a fancy dinner and catching a Broadway show, Kat and Stevie’s night starts with a misplaced purse, a broken cell phone, and a fight of epic proportions. Oh, and we can’t forget about the Pomeranian! Hilarious, heart-warming, and sweet, teens (and adults) will love this great new book about love, friendship, and the truth about best laid plans! Debut author (and immediate favourite) Lynn Painter has gifted us a wonderfully charming teen book that is a true celebration of the rom-com. Better Than the Movies is a funny, sweet story about Liz Buxbaum and her determination to successfully nab her perfect crush. She may not have seen Michael in years, but that doesn’t mean that she loves him any less now than she did when they were kids. The only problem is that he seems to need some convincing to see her in a more romantic light. Willing to do almost anything to get her man, Liz enlists the help of her annoying (an annoyingly attractive) neighbour, Wes. Pretty soon, everything starts to feel a bit topsy-turvy and Liz is no longer sure what it is she wants. Dappled throughout with scenes that are at once cringe-worthy and laugh-out-loud funny, this book makes for perfect weekend reading material!

As usual, there are way more new books arriving every day than we have space here to tell you about, so here are some of the other new and forthcoming titles that have peaked our interest: The Anglo-Saxons by Marc MorrisBritain Alone by Philip StephensNine Nasty Words by John McWhorterSwimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui FengThe Taker by Alma KatsuHow to Write Like Tolstoy by Richard Cohen, Because He’s Jeff Goldblum by Travis M. Andrews, The Glorious Guinness Girls by Emily Hourican, It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark, When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan, Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann, City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop, The Hummingbird’s Gift by Sy Montgomery, Rebound by Kwame Alexander, Thanks a Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas, Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson (May 18), The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (May 18), Not Yeti by Kate DiPucchio (May 18), Titanic by Nicola Pierce (May 18), Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli (May 25), Darkness by David Adams Richards (May 25), Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (May 25), Anna by Sammy H.K. Smith (May 25), Tremendous Things by Susin Nielsen (May 25), Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (June 1), The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1), Dad Up! by Steve Patterson (June 1), For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten (June 1), Rememberings by Sinead O’Connor (June 1), Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter by Rich Moyer (June 1).

It seems almost impossible that we’re into the month of May already. We’re not sure if it’s just us, but 2021 seems to be flying by pretty quickly so far. Maybe it just feels fast because of all the benchmarks we knew were awaiting us this year – staff shakeups, more lockdowns, etc. Regardless of the reason, witnessing the time slipping by so smoothly is just a reminder that we need to live each day to the fullest by taking care of ourselves, looking out for friends and family, and nurturing our love of simple things – the soothing feeling of walking under a canopy of trees, dipping our toes into the cool water of a lake, the smell of baked goods fresh from the oven, and (of course) the thrill of diving into a new book!

Wishing you all safe and happy days in the month ahead, wherever you are.

Happy Reading!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

“Eve, Susie, Justin and Ed have been friends since they were kids – their friendship was as solid as a rock! But tragedy still finds a way in and suddenly one of them is gone and the others are left picking up the pieces. Things take yet another turn when their heart-breaking loss reveals long-buried secrets which just might break what’s left of their friendship.
Full of loss, love, friendship, and painful soul-searching, this newest Mhairi McFarlane book is funny, sweet, sad, and perfect!”