1. The Cold Edge of Heaven by His Excellency Whit Fraser
2. Lessons by Ian McEwan
3. Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman
4. The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate
5. Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris
6. Lifesavers and Body Snatchers by Tim Cook
7. The Winners by Fredrik Backman
8. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
9. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
10. Almost Visible by (our) Michelle Sinclair
Greetings Book Lovers!
Welcome to winter! It’s so hard to believe that it’s already the middle of November. Where is the time going? It seems like only yesterday that summer melted into fall and October gave us canopies of gold and bronze. Now the frosty mornings and whispering winds of late fall have given way to soft, cottony layers of snow and the sparkle of winter. Of course, as avid book lovers, one of our very favourite things about colder weather is that we get to spend more and more time snuggled up reading! So, haul out your coziest blankets, brew a pot of your favourite tea (or other warm beverage of choice), and settle in to find out what great new reads are gracing our shelves these days!
Although we enjoy a good dose of magic in our reads no matter the time of year, there’s just something extra special about reading fantasy books when it’s dark and chilly outside. Whether you’re a fan of witches and sorcerers, mythical lands and epic adventures, or ghostly legends and strange superstitions, we guarantee that you’ll find all of those things and more in the store these days. One new arrival that we’ve been particularly excited about is Emma Seckel‘s debut novel, The Wild Hunt. Set on a small Scottish island in the month of October, this dark tale is littered with misty moors, lost souls, and dangerous legendary birds known as sluagh. When Leigh Welles is called home by the tragic death of her father, she finds herself not only stepping foot in her childhood home for the first time in years, but also facing an island irrevocably changed by WWII. After an ancient island ritual results in a young man’s disappearance, Leigh is thrown together with a young widower to try to solve the mystery…if only the sluagh will let them! Full of heartache, loss, mystery, and a hard-won spark of hope, this is a thrilling, riveting read that will completely transport you! If you’re in the market for even more darkness, mystery, and isolation, be sure to pick up a copy of The White Hare by Jane Johnson. Set on the Cornish coast, this scintillating novel follows a young woman’s struggles to leave her tumultuous past behind while raising her young daughter and appeasing her often overbearing mother. Throw in a rundown manor house with a mysterious past, a strangely alluring man with more than one secret to his name, and enough local folklore to fill the sea, and you have a magical, mystical, memorable novel that will stay with you well beyond the final page!
If reading fantasy novels isn’t your cup of tea, never fear! There’s plenty of magic to be found in real life too, usually hidden in plain sight! The Foghorn’s Lament by Jennifer Lucy Allan is a quirky, fascinating nautical history that skirts along rocky coastlines and skips over sparkling whitecaps as it delves into the past to explore the uses and evolution of a sound. Recognized the world over, the sound of the foghorn is irreplaceable, unmistakable, and impressive. It’s a call to arms, a warning away from danger, and a window into a world of shipwrecks, high sea adventures, and urban myths. As much a history book as the story of one woman’s experiences in some of nature’s wildest places, this book is a real treat! As book lovers, who among us could legitimately say they wouldn’t be happy living on an island solely dedicated to the written word? Well, we can now experience what it would be like with Michael Hingston‘s new book, Try Not to Be Strange. In 1880, future science fiction writer M.P. Shiel was taken to the uninhabited Caribbean island of Redonda and named its king. So begins the transformation of a previously dismissed island into a fantastical writers’ retreat; a haven for a wide range of quirky characters, literary award hopefuls, eccentric publishers, novelists of all types, and bartenders enough to keep everyone well lubricated! Fascinating and incredibly unique, this book will completely capture your imagination…and possibly make you want to search out your very own isolated island!
No matter what age you are, there’s nothing quite like a good story to take you out of the everyday. And what better way to escape than to visit a magical bookshop that exists outside of space and time? Mindy Thompson‘s The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams introduces readers to Poppy, a young bookseller whose family owns and runs Rhyme and Reason, a shop that caters to customers from all places and times. While the world outside continues to deal with the ravages of WWII, Poppy and her brother Al quietly learn the trade of bookselling from their father, always keeping in mind the most important rule about running a magical bookshop: you can never use the magic for yourself. So when Al’s best friend is killed in the war and their father is struck down by a mysterious illness, it falls to Poppy to keep the store on an even keel as her brother grieves and an even more insidious darkness looms beyond their doors. Perfect for fans of Pages & Co. and Sara Pennypacker, this magical, historical novel is a real gem! It’s always a happy day when a new Kenneth Oppel book hits shelves and the day Ghostlight arrived was no different! Set on Toronto Island, this book is at once spooky and thrilling – a true Canadian classic in the making! Gabe is a storyteller and tour guide, happily spending his summer scaring tourists with his creepy lighthouse stories on Toronto Island. The kicker is, Gabe doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when one of his tours takes a very surprising turn and he accidentally summons the ghost of Rebecca Strand, the old lighthouse keeper’s daughter, his life is turned completely upside down. Plunged into the tumultuous world of evil spirits, vengeful ghosts, and a centuries old scavenger hunt, Gabe and his friends (living and dead) have to race against the clock to save Rebecca and her father from the clutches of a dangerous and powerful spirit out to destroy the world as they know it!
As usual, there are so many new books we want to highlight but only so much space here in which to do it. Here’s just a taste of some other recent and forthcoming releases that we think are worth a look: Prisoners of the Castle by Ben MacIntyre, The Cloisters by Katy Hays, Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young, Ithaca by Claire North, A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair, As Long As Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh, Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson, The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn, Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris, Fayne by Ann-Marie MacDonald, One by Jamie Oliver, The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Landlines by Raynor Winn, John Turner by Steve Paikin, Surrender by Bono, The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin, The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz, The Reindeer Hunters by Lars Mytting (November 22), A Return to Ireland by Judith McLoughlin (November 22), A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny (November 29), The Sorcerer of Pyongyang by Marcel Theroux (November 29), The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin (November 29), A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle (November 29), Kings & Queens by Peter Snow & Ann MacMillan (November 29), Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy (December 6), A Private Spy: The Letters of John Le Carre by Tim Cornwell (December 6), Cold Snap by Maureen Jennings (December 6), The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis (December 6), Remainders of the Day by Shaun Bythell (December 6), Blood, Fire, & Gold: The Life of Elizabeth I and Catherine De Medici by Estelle Paranque (December 6), Wilderness Knits for the Home by Linka Neumann (December 13), Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes by Giuseppe Dell’Anno (December 13).
Before we sign off, we do have some exciting in-store events news to share. On Saturday, November 26, Alie and Hejsa Christensen will be here in the store from 1:00pm to 2:30pm to sign copies of their debut thriller, Stealing John Hancock. Hailing from here in Ontario, this mother-daughter writing duo has produced a truly gripping tale of fraud, identity theft, revenge, and con artists. Be sure to come by to meet them, have a chat, and cross another item off your Christmas shopping list! Local author, Canadian war historian, and beloved bookstore customer, Tim Cook will be paying us a visit on Saturday, December 3 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm to sign copies of his brand new book, Lifesavers and Body Snatchers. Exploring the medical history of WWI, this newest offering from Cook shines a light on both the incredible life-saving work done by medical personnel on the front lines and some of the previously hidden truths about the harvesting of body parts from fallen soldiers. At once disturbing, enlightening, and shocking, this book is a look at the Great War through a truly unique lens.
While we love snuggling up with a new book no matter the season, there’s just something about the turning back of the clocks and the arrival of our first snow that makes us want to spend even more time with our “to be read” pile. So, if you’re like us and can’t stop feathering your nest with new things to read, be sure to pay us a visit to see what our staff are recommending this month! You may even find some nifty Christmas goodies while you’re here!
The Staff at Books on Beechwood
What I’m Reading: The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell
“It all begins with gunshots ringing out over a derelict English estate in the dead of night. Not only is the silence of night shattered, but the delicate peace holding the estate’s household together falls to pieces too.
With that one event, Mr. Crowe and his butler Eustace are suddenly faced with very serious repercussions which threaten to unearth secrets from their pasts that they’d rather keep hidden.
With a heavy dose of mystery and just a touch of magic, this novel is a really unique read!”