Book Signing with Gary J. Smith

Come by the store on Saturday, September 17 between 12:00pm and 1:30pm to meet Perth author and former Canadian diplomat to Moscow, Gary J. Smith! He will be here signing copies of his new book ICE WAR DIPLOMAT, the story of 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series and his role in making it happen.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Gary will also be attending a screening of the new documentary called ICE BREAKER: THE ’72 SUMMIT SERIES, at The ByTowne Cinema. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session and a book signing.
For tickets to the documentary, visit:…/ice-breaker-the-72-summit-series/
To hear Gary talk about the book and the movie ahead of Saturday’s events, check out his interview on CBC Ottawa Morning here:…/15935876-50th-anniversary-1972…
About the book:
“Discover a diplomacy mission like no other in Ice War Diplomat, the behind-the-scenes story of the historic 1972 Summit Series. Amid the tension of the Cold War, caught between capitalism and communism, Canada and the Soviet Union, young Canadian diplomat Gary J. Smith must navigate the rink, melting the ice between two nations skating a dangerous path.
On his first overseas assignment, Smith is tasked with finding common ground and building friendships between the world’s two largest countries. Once in Moscow, he opts for sports diplomacy, throwing off his embassy black tie and donning the blue-and-white sweater of the Moscow Maple Leafs.
Trusted by each side with unparalleled access to officials, coaches and players on both teams, Smith witnesses this unique and epic hockey series that has come to transcend time, becoming a symbol of the unity and clarity that sports can offer. The 1972 Canadian-Soviet Hockey Series will go down in history as a pivotal political event, changing the course of two nations and the world of hockey—the fascinating story in these pages will appeal to history and sports fans alike.”

August 2022 Newsletter

June/July Bestsellers

1. Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
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
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 LownieEbb & 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!

Happy Reading!

Take care,
The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Monday, September 5th for Labour Day.
Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, September 6th.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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!”

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day 2022

Greetings Book Lovers!

We may not have been organized enough to send out an official April Newsletter, but we couldn’t let the month completely slip by without telling you about a very exciting nation-wide celebration that’s coming up this weekend. Saturday, April 30 is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day (CIBD), “the annual day when readers, writers, illustrators, publishers, and other industry supporters come together to celebrate indie bookstores across Canada.”

Like other independent businesses, indie bookstores play an important role in our communities and hold a special place in many a book lovers’ heart. They can be a place of comfort or discovery, somewhere to learn and grow, a safe space in which to explore new worlds or revisit old favourites. They can foster creativity in readers of all ages, fire up our imaginations, and help inspire us to take those first few scary steps down a new, untrodden path. Most importantly though, independent bookstores bring people together over a mutual love of the written word, creating lasting bonds that go far beyond the love of books.

As booksellers, nothing gives us greater pleasure than putting the right story in a reader’s hands. Whether they come into the shop knowing exactly what they want or only having a vague idea of what they’re looking for, being privy to the moment they find the perfect read is truly priceless. For most of our staff, Books on Beechwood started as a shop we would visit with our children, parents, or friends, but it wasn’t until we started working here that it really became a home away from home. Simply put, we love books. Discovering new authors, disappearing into worlds we couldn’t conjure in our wildest dreams, delving into the past – we love it all. And we know that this job we love so much, this place that we call home, wouldn’t exist if not for all of you.

So, on this Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, we want to say thank you. Thank you for being there for us when no one knew what the future held. Thank you for trusting us to find you just the right book for that hard-to-shop-for person in your life. Thank you for letting us talk your ear off about our favourite authors and indulging us by giving one of their books a shot. Thank you for all the love and support you give us everyday in so many different ways – especially over the last two years. It’s been a tough time to say the least and we know that we wouldn’t be here (in body or mind) without all of you. In March of 2020 a rallying cry was sent out to support small, local businesses and you all went above and beyond in answering that cry. We really can’t thank you enough!

Since the pandemic hasn’t allowed us to celebrate CIBD as we normally would, we wanted to make sure that we made this year a special one. It still won’t be quite the same as in the past, but we’re determined to do what we can to make this coming Saturday a fun and exciting day for everyone. First off, on April 30 only, everything in the store will be 25% off. The discount will be available in-store and online, but it will not include CDs, magazines, newspapers, or customer special orders. We will also have a number of door prizes on hand for which a single purchase will get you one entry. Each door prize has a retail value of around $100 and draws will be done once all the festivities are over. There will also be special tote bags on offer, a collection of bargain books to poke through, and even some signed copies of a special limited edition Andre Alexis chapbook up for grabs. Quantities of this beautiful chapbook are very limited, so they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will only be available to purchase in-person in the store (sorry, no online orders for this one). If you miss out on this particular signed book, you may come across a few other special CIBD “signed by author” goodies around the store if you’re in the mood for a hunt. Keep an eye on our social media pages for a sneak peek at what those other titles might be!

If this were a normal year, we would no doubt have invited some of our favourite local authors to spend the day celebrating with us here in the store, but as the pandemic hasn’t loosened its grip on us quite yet, we thought we’d do something a bit different. We decided to reach out to our local author friends and ask them to share their thoughts with us on a few book-related subjects. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

A Bookstore Memory…

“We stumbled on The Old Children’s Bookshelf on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, in April of 2012. The shop’s name is nicely ambiguous because the stock is antiquarian, to be sure, but I suppose it is a shop for old children as well. To my great thrill, I found all of the Enid Blyton “Adventure” series, with their original dust jackets and in pristine condition. I couldn’t resist buying The Mountain of Adventure, since I have long thought of this particular title as being special. It wasn’t the first novel I had read all the way through, but I remember this deep satisfaction, upon finishing it, of having become a stalwart reader able to carry my own weight of camping gear and keep up on the journey into the Welsh mountains and the adventure that was waiting there.”

Tim Wynne-Jones author of The Starlight Claim and The Ruinous Sweep

First Childhood Book…

The Wind in the Willows was the first book I remember owning. I loved the stories and beautiful illustrations—like the one of a snowy forest where a door in a tree led to an underground home where a badger was tucked under a quilt in his bed. On the inside cover was a map showing lanes and rivers in a lush countryside. Places were marked. Mole’s House, Toad Hall, and Wild Wood. I traveled that world and opened that door in the tree. My imagination vibrated. That feeling I had as a child—that vibration that comes from being transported to another world—is why I love to write.”

Katie Tallo, author of Dark August and Poison Lilies 

A Bookstore Memory…

“When I was small, my older sister used to take me to Boyle’s Bookstore in Brampton, Ontario. It was a magical place, up a set of stairs above another shop. I can still remember how it smelled—of paper, leather and possibilities—and see the dust motes dancing in the sun pouring through the small windows. The children’s section was stocked with Curious George and Dr. Seuss books, which I loved, but my favourites were the Anne of Green Gables books, which I still have to this day.”

Laura Byrne Paquet, author of Ottawa Road Trips

Keep your eyes trained on our social media pages for more thoughts and memories from our local authors in the lead-up to Saturday’s festivities!

We’re pretty excited to see you all this coming weekend! We honestly can’t quite wrap our minds around the fact that this is actually happening! Before making your way down to visit us though, please remember that it’s still mandatory to wear a face mask while shopping in the store and while we don’t have an official capacity limit anymore, the pandemic isn’t over, so please browse responsibly. If at any point we feel like there are too many people in the store, we’ll start asking customers to wait outside until the crowd thins out. Don’t worry though! Even if you have to wait outside for a bit, there will still be books for you to browse once you get inside – we’re always sure to have lots of those!

Wherever you are in the world, we hope you show your local indie some love on Saturday! We all loved bookstores long before we ever worked in one, and now that we do, we know that these wonderful nooks full-up with the written word wouldn’t exist without readers like you! Thank you for all that you are, all that you do, and all that you read!

Wishing you all a very happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

March Bestsellers

1. Thomas Mackay: Laird of Rideau Hall by Alastair Sweeny
2. All the Queen’s Men by S.J. Bennett
3. When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’Neill
4. And a Dog Called Fig by Helen Humphreys
5. Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez
6. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
7. Secrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza Reid
8. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
9. The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
10. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

“Join me in traveling to 18th Century Edinburgh to meet Lily Aitcheson, a young woman who is no stranger to strife, and Adam Williamson, a young soldier with more than his fair share of secrets. Even as they butt heads, Lily and Adam quickly realize that they each need the other in order to safely navigate their way through a shadowy world of intrigue and betrayal. Full of historical touchstones, charming fictional characters, and just a touch of mystery, this new Susanna Kearsley book is not one to be missed!