1. Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud
2. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
3. This is the Boat That Ben Built by Jen Lynn Bailey
4. The Castleton Massacre by Sharon Anne Cook and Margaret Carson
5. A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
6. Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva
7. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict
8. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
9. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
10. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
Greetings Book Lovers!
Happy mid-summer! The dog days of summer are here at last and going strong! The last time we spoke via newsletter, the weather was definitely a little bit drearier and cooler than this – sorry it’s been so long. Although life has settled into a kind of new normal, we’re still finding it tough to do all the things we used to here at the store. Unfortunately, our monthly newsletter has been one of the things that’s fallen to the wayside a bit. Everyday is a new day though, and our goal is to continue taking baby steps forward. In the meantime, one activity that we’ve been doing our best to stick with is reading! Now that our days are so sunny, there’s nothing that feels quite as nice as finding a cool, shady spot to hunker down with a refreshing drink and a great book!
Although we read all year round, there’s something special about summer reading. With the longer days, warm breezes, dappled sunshine, and sometimes sudden rainstorms, summer always presents us with such varied reading environments – the backyard hammock, a dockside Adirondack chair, your favourite rainy day reading chair…the possibilities are endless! Wherever you spend your time reading this season, we know that we’ve got the perfect book (or books) to keep you company through the hot, hazy days to come! One of our favourite mysteries of the year so far (and a great summer reading choice) is Claudia Gray‘s The Murder of Mr. Wickham. Bringing together all of Jane Austen’s beloved protagonists, this country house mystery is a real treat! When Austen’s most infamous villain, Mr. Wickham, crashes the Knightley’s house party, more than one guest is thrown for a loop. Things quickly turn from awkward and uncomfortable to horrendous and shocking when their unwanted guest is found dead in the gallery and all evidence points to a murderer within the house. Which of Austen’s beloved characters will turn out to be the guilty party? You’ll just have to delve into this deliciously entertaining Regency era read to find out! Sticking to the same Century for a moment, another delightful romp is A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin. Full of sass, charm, and dogged determination, Irwin‘s heroine, Kitty Talbot, has completely captured our hearts! As a young woman with four younger sisters to support and a mountain of debt to pay off (thanks to her late father), Kitty knows that she must marry well to secure her family’s future. When the man she thought would be the answer to her prayers backs out of his promise, there’s only one option left to Kitty – to head to the big city and throw herself into the cutthroat world of the London Season. But what our determined heroine does not count on is being discovered by a certain Lord looking to throw a wrench in all her careful plans. Will she succeed in her quest despite the machinations of Lord Radcliffe? Or will this unforeseen adversary prove too much for the single-minded Kitty? With a bit more heft than a traditional rom-com, this charming read will no doubt delight Austen fans and historical fiction readers alike!
We don’t know about you, but sometimes all we’re in the mood for when the sun is at its brightest, is a dark, quirky book that will make us laugh while sending shivers down our spine! If you’re in the same boat, then look no further than Maria Adelmann‘s new book, How to Be Eaten. Set in present day New York, this debut novel takes the classic fairy tale characters we all know and love and re-imagines them as modern women in a support group for victims of trauma. Bernice is trying to come to terms with having dated a psychotic, blue-bearded billionaire, Ruby walks around wearing a coat made from the skin of the wolf who once swallowed her whole, and Gretel is struggling to figure out whether her memories of living in a house made of candy are even real! Will these women be able to help each other through the healing process or will suspicion, competition, and judgment bar the way to their true happily ever afters? Dark and seriously funny, this is the perfect read for fans of Grady Hendrix, Carmen Maria Machado and the original, pre-Grimm fairy tales. If you’re a reality TV fan and have ever wished that Survivor and The Bachelor would somehow get combined into one show, then this next read is for you! Samantha Allen‘s debut novel, Patricia Wants to Cuddle, is a hilarious look into the often ridiculous world of reality television through the experiences of the cast and crew on The Catch – a The Bachelor-style competition show which finds its final four contestants playing to win on a mysterious, remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Along with the usual interviews, activities, planned dates, and competition drama, everyone working on this season of The Catch will also be experiencing some very strange things off-set. One by one, each cast and crew member will somehow find themselves on the tallest of the island’s peaks in the company of Patricia, a temperamental and misunderstood local. As the show begins to more closely resemble a thriller than a dating competition, there may really only be one woman left standing by the end!
It’s no secret that we have a deep and abiding love of mythology here at the store. We’ve always enjoyed all different types of legends and lore, and can’t get enough of the stories inspired by them. It’s a nice change sometimes though, to look the other way – at the real life stories that have inspired the myths themselves. That is exactly what Adrienne Mayor does in her new book, Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws. As a research scholar in classics and the history of science at Stanford University, Mayor has written a number of books and explored the intersection of science, anthropology, archaeology, history, and popular knowledge for decades. This new book is a compilation of 50 of her most interesting and humorous discoveries. From mirages that helped inspire legends of cities in the sky to ghost ships that led to the discovery of the Gulf Stream, the truth behind flying serpents in ancient Egypt to the beauty secrets of the Amazons, this book is perfect for lovers of history, science, and myth alike! For any of our regular visitors, the art of Angela Harding will be a pretty familiar sight. We’ve had all kinds of greeting cards, wall calendars, agendas, puzzles, notebooks, and advent calendars featuring her beautiful nature-inspired prints, and now we have a stunning new book to add to that collection! In A Year Unfolding readers are treated not only to some very unique and charming art, but they also get a detailed look behind the scenes at how Angela creates her work in her garden studio in the UK. Mark the passing of the seasons as you flip through the pages of this enchanting collection of prints featuring all your favourite furry, feathered, and flippered friends – hares, foxes, and seabirds, oh my!
While we often get a bit caught up in all the great new adult books we receive every day here at the store, there’s no way we could forget about all the wonderful new arrivals getting cozy in our kids’ section on a daily basis! What more perfect time could there be than now (as the Rogers Cup is being played in both Toronto and Montreal) to add a tennis-themed picture book to your nightly bedtime reading roster? Bibi’s Got Game by Bianca Andreescu is a charming story of a young girl and her love of tennis. Being on court makes Bibi feel invincible – her serve is like lightning and her backhand booms like thunder – but when a playground accident stops her from playing the sport she loves, frustration, anger, and sadness set in. Things get so bad that she decides she’s going to quit playing tennis altogether! It’s only with help from her mom, her fluffy dog Coco, and the art of meditation that Bibi’s able to overcome her doubts and fears and return to the tennis court. Charmingly illustrated, this story about determination, sports, and finding your passion is bound to entrance all the little ones in your life! It’s a great story to share at bedtime and beyond! So much more than just an alphabet book, Ellen Heck‘s A is for Bee is full of gorgeous illustrations, fascinating animals, and a surprise on every page. While a traditional English alphabet book would likely feature A is for apple, B is for book, and C is for cat, this new book turns that pattern on its head by looking at different languages from around the world. The word “bee” may not start with the letter “A” in English, but it does in Ojibewe (Aamoo), Azerbaijani (Ari), Igbo (Anu), and Portuguese (Abelha). Reminiscent of the great Wallace Edwards, this alphabet book is as beautiful as it is unique and educational!
Whether the kids in your life have gone to camp, are heading off soon, or are just spending their last few weeks of summer around the neighbourhood, there’s nothing like a great book to cap off their day! For anyone who loved X-Men or the Harry Potter series, Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tola Okogwu is for you! Onyeka has always felt a bit self-conscious about her hair. It’s so voluminous, vibrant, and curly that people often stop to stare as she passes in the street, and her schoolmates whisper about it behind her back. One day when her best friend almost drowns, Onyeka’s hair does something truly incredible – it takes on a life of its own and pulls her friend to safety! When she relays this story to her mother, Onyeka learns that she’s not the ordinary girl she thought she was, but a member of a group of powerful individuals known as the Solari. Our heroine is soon swept away from all she’s ever known to attend a school in Nigeria that specializes in training Solari; a place where bonds will be formed, powers will be put to the test, and an unforeseen threat lurks in the shadows. Bringing back every shivery feeling you ever had while reading Christina Rossetti‘s The Goblin Market (with a few extras thrown in), Tori Bovalino‘s Not Good For Maidens proves that you can never truly outrun the things that go bump in the night. The Wickett women have long had a connection to the goblin market that plies its trade beneath the cobbled streets of York. Charged with the care of those who fall victim to the goblins’ silver voices, this family of witches are all too aware of the dangers in giving in to temptation. So when May, one of their own, falls for a goblin girl and accepts her invitation to the market, the family’s future is altered forever. Dark, intriguing, and impossible to resist (much like the goblin market itself), this new teen novel is sure to appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare!
In these times full of change, one thing that always stays the same is the sheer number of new books we can’t wait to tell you about! Here are just a few more recent and forthcoming releases that we think you should check out when you’re next in the shop: The Monster’s Bones by David K. Randall, Traitor King by Andrew Lownie, Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith, At Last Count by Claire Ross Dunn, Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian, Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro, Rogues by Patrick Radden Keefe, The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick, The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill, Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo, Hag by Daisy Johnson, Minique by Anna Maxymiw, Ten Cities That Led the World by Paul Strathern, Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany, A Tomb With a View by Peter Ross, The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell, Upgrade by Blake Crouch, The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey, Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander, Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest, Francie’s Got a Gun by Carrie Snyder, The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne, The Stone Child by David A. Robertson, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford, Passengers by Michael Crummey, Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra, We Should Not Be Afraid of the Sky by Emma Hooper, Bronze Drum by Phong Nguyen, To Kill a Troubadour by Martin Walker, The Fallout by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (August 16), Ashfall Prophecy by Pittacus Lore (August 16), Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes (August 16), Making Love With the Land by Joshua Whitehead (August 23), Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood (August 23), Aven Green Music Machine by Dusti Bowling (August 23), Haven by Emma Donoghue (August 23), Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (August 30), Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton (August 30), The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (September 6), Ghostlight by Kenneth Oppel (September 6), Lifesavers and Body Snatchers by Tim Cook (September 13).
Although the arrival of August means we’re heading into the homestretch of the summer, there’s still lots of time to squeeze in a few more sunny reading days before we start thinking about cooler seasons to come. So, if your beach bag can take it, be sure to pay us a visit to talk to all our resident bookworms! They’re all big readers and will be more than happy to help you find the perfect book(s) to carry you through the end of the month!
The Staff at Books on Beechwood
We will be CLOSED on Monday, September 5th for Labour Day.
Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, September 6th.
What I’m Reading: The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
“I think it’s safe to say that historical fiction is my favourite literary genre – there’s really nothing that beats travelling through time via book! So, when I spied this novel on our shelves, I couldn’t resist picking it up! Set in ancient Pompeii and centred around 5 young slave women, this book is a real window to the past – you can almost feel the packed earth and stones beneath your feet!”