February/March 2022 Newsletter


January/February Bestsellers

  1. Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquet
  2. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
  3. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
  4. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
  5. Still Life by Sarah Winman
  6. These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
  7. The Last Stable in Lowertown by Karen Bailey
  8. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  9. Thomas Mackay: The Laird of Rideau Hall by Alastair Sweeny
  10. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk

Greetings Book Lovers,

Happy March! It’s certainly been a rough couple of months here in town, but thankfully it looks like we may have finally turned a corner – the snow is slowly receding, the days are getting longer, and being able to feel the heat in the sun is a real joy. In truth, we started this newsletter back in early February, but our hearts just weren’t in it, so we decided to wait until things felt a bit better. So, here we are now in the earliest days of spring and we’re excited that there are so many things to look forward to – the first small flowers peeking up from the ground, the return of our feathered fair-weather friends and their beautiful songs, and of course, all the great new books that are due to come out over the coming weeks and months!

First up, we wanted to take care of a bit of housekeeping as a number of things have changed in the world since we last sent out a note. As we’re sure you’ve already noticed, capacity limits in retail stores have been lifted by the province, so we are no longer counting customers at the door. Another restriction that is due to be lifted on Monday, March 21 is the mask mandate. After discussing it among our staff and owners, we have decided to keep the masking rules in place in the store for the time being. All store staff will continue to wear our masks while working and will still be asking customers to don their masks as well while shopping in the store. As we’re such a small space and are no longer operating with limited customer capacity, we believe that this course of action is the safest one for all involved at this time. So, as of the 21st, if you come by to shop and happen to forget your mask, we will happily provide you with one. For anyone who feels uncomfortable coming into the store, we are also able to orchestrate payments and pick-ups at the door and curb-side pick-ups will still be available as well. The last two years have been tough for everyone and we can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve given us during that time. Your patience and understanding have been incredible and we hope you’ll be able to hang in there with us for just a bit longer.

Thankfully, despite how everything else seems to change daily, there is one thing that we can always count on – the number of great new books arriving here in the store everyday! We honestly don’t know what we’d do without them! Everyone has their own favourite go-to genre, but one thing we know from all our years on Beechwood is that there are few things readers love more than a good murder mystery! The followup to the brilliantly successful novel, The Windsor Knot, C.J. Bennett‘s new royal mystery, All the Queen’s Men is just as charming, fun, and entertaining! Unbeknownst to everyone but her Assistant Private Secretary, Queen Elizabeth II is an incredibly canny sleuth who, in addition to all her royal duties, has solved more than one mystery in her time. After getting to the bottom of a suspicious death at Windsor Castle before her 90th birthday, the Queen is now faced with yet another suspected murder, this time poolside at Buckingham Palace! Can the Queen manage to unmask the culprit while also dealing with Brexit, a new Prime Minister, and a worrying election in the United States? Only time will tell! While we leave the Queen to solve her palace mystery, Susan Juby‘s new book, Mindful of Murder, carries us into the world of buttling and murder on B.C.’s coast. Having just finished butler school, Helen Thorpe is all set to start her new job serving one of the wealthiest families in the world when she gets a call from a spiritual retreat where she used to work. Her former employer, Edna, has died while on a silent retreat and it’s now up to Helen, as executor of her very detailed will, to figure out which of her relatives should rightfully inherit. Not to be left behind, Helen’s butler school classmates insist on coming to help, but the more they all work together to sort things out, the more they realize that perhaps Edna’s passing wasn’t as natural as they all believed.

With the advent of spring, our minds naturally turn to thoughts of plants, trees, and all the beautiful green spaces that we’re blessed with in our city. If you’ve enjoyed Finding the Mother Tree, The Hidden Life of Trees, the works of Diana Beresford-Kroeger, or a little bit of forest bathing, we have no doubt that you’ll like these two great new natural history reads! Following in the footsteps of great arborists before him, Ben Rawlence‘s new book, The Treeline, is a glorious examination of some of the hardiest tree species on earth and the incredible work they do to keep our planet clean. Known as the “‘lung’ at the top of the world”, the boreal forest has been slowly creeping further north for roughly the past five decades. In this fascinating book, Rawlence takes us on a journey through multiple northern countries (including Canada), exploring ancient species like the Dahurian larch, the North American Balsam, and the noble Scots Pine and how these and their fellow trees make life possible for all other life on earth. Tree and plant lovers might also enjoy delving into the history of our world’s flora with Otherlands by Thomas Halliday. Described as “Sapiens for natural history,” this book takes readers on a journey into the past through sixteen fossil sites from all over the world. Looking into the Earth’s past can tell us a lot about its present and future, and studying how plant and animal species have co-existed, collaborated, and evolved over thousands of years may even teach us something about how our own species could do better. It’s hard to think of a time when the Mediterranean Sea was just an empty basin or to imagine a day when the Great Barrier Reef no longer exists, but this book helps us step back so we can see the bigger picture and truly begin to understand the ebbs and flows of life on Earth.

We may only be a few months in, but this year is already setting up to be another great one for books! Here are just a few more recent releases and forthcoming publications that we can’t wait to share with you: When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’NeillSecrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza ReidMoon, Witch, Spider, King by Marlon JamesExtreme North by Bernd BrunnerThe Witch, The Sword, and the Cursed Knights by Alexandria RogersCircus of Wonders by Elizabeth MacnealFinlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle CosimanoRed Island House by Andrea LeeNine Lives by Peter SwansonThe Cartographers by Peng ShepherdHouse of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas, Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen, Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley, Popisho by Leone Ross, Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford, Vladimir by Julia May JonasOur American Friend by Anna Pitoniak, We Had a Little Real Estate Problem by Kliph Nesteroff, The Fifties by James R. Gaines, Red Island House by Andrea Lee, The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley, The School of Mirrors by Eva Stachniak, The Forgotten Five by Lisa McMann, Together We Will Go by J. Michael Straczynski, Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood,, The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith, All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie, And a Dog Called Fig by Helen Humphreys, Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel, Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson, Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage, Best Young Woman Job Book by Emma Healey (March 22), A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear (March 22), Give Unto Others by Donna Leon (March 25), Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (March 29), The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector (March 29), Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (April 5), Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (April 5), The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (April 5), Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (April 5), Bittersweet by Susan Cain (April 5), Freezing Order by Bill Browder (April 12).

Well, it’s been officially two years since we first closed our doors due to the pandemic and it’s hard to think back now to how things felt then. There’s no doubt in our minds that without our lovely books and all of you, our amazing customers, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Your unwavering support and words of comfort were (and still are) the glimmer of hope that we needed to soldier on each and every day. While a lot has changed since the spring of 2020, we know we haven’t reached the end of the road quite yet. We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us over all these long months! We wouldn’t be here without you!

Wishing you all healthy, happy days full of warm sunshine and great reads!

Happy Reading!
Take care,
– The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan

“Returning to the world of A Secret History of Witches, this new Louisa Morgan novel was impossible to resist – it checks all my book boxes! There have been no witches born in the Orchiere clan for centuries and the women of Ursule’s family are now considered no more than village fortune-tellers. But their fate and future take a drastic turn when Ursule comes of age and power begins to flow through her veins. Full of magic, beauty, and danger, this witchy read is everything it promises to be!”