Linda Wiken Signing “Read and Buried” on Saturday, March 23 from 11:00am to 1:00pm

Be sure to come down to the bookstore on Saturday, March 23 between 11:00am and 1:00pm. Local mystery author Linda Wiken, will be here signing copies of her newest mystery novel Read and Buried. It is the second book in the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series which features book lover Lizzie Turner who must solve yet another puzzling mystery at the Aston Corners Book Club.

From the jacket:
“For their very first guest author event, most of the book club members can’t wait to pull out all the stops in Southern hospitality. But for Lizzie, Derek Alton is nothing but trouble – from his massive ego to his smarmy moves. When he’s found murdered in her living room, it seems someone decided that this womanizing writer would be better off dead than read.
After suspicion falls on Lizzie’s friend, she and her fellow book club members discover that Derek wasn’t who he pretended to be. Cracking this case means going up against Lizzie’s boyfriend, police chief Mark Dreyfus, and unearthing a novel’s worth of nasty secrets. And as they get closer to uncovering Derek’s scandalous final manuscript, someone hiding in plain sight is out to write finis to Lizzie’s sleuthing for good…”

What people are saying:
“Books, cats, and a tenderhearted sleuth, a perfect combination!”
-Krista Davis, national bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries

“Leonardo and the Last Supper” by Ross King

Ross King is a Canadian historian, now living in England, who has brought to life certain periods of art history through the portraits of famous men. These include “Brunelleschi’s Dome,” “Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling,” and “Defiant Spirits,” on the Group of Seven.

The latest one is “Leonardo and the Last Supper” and it gives an exciting new account of the creation of this famous painting. Leonardo was born in Vinci, a small town near Florence. His father was a well-known notary, but the son preferred drawing, filling notebooks with sketches, including landscape which wasn’t much done in those days. He moved to Milan where his art teacher became Andrea del Verrocchio and he was soon doing work for the duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. The era included many famous artists: Donatello, Massaccio, Fra Angelica. Leonardo got plenty of commissions, many of which, including a huge bronze horse sculpture, he didn’t finish.

This book is full of photographs of his work, as well as the details of painting The Last Supper. Italy was at war with France with the result that funds for art work were often turned over to armaments. It is a fascinating period altogether and King has done wide research to bring it to life.

Review by Anne McDougall

“February” by Lisa Moore

There are not many lively books written about the aftermath of grief. Lisa Moore, the Newfoundland novelist, does this in February.

In 1982, the oil rig “Ocean Ranger” sank off the coast of Newfoundland, killing all 84 men aboard. Helen O’Mara lost her husband, Cal, with whom she had a very close marriage and four children. She carries on, letting the children grow up, take chances, make mistakes, her only approach to parenting being “Because I said so.” When her son’s girlfriend becomes pregnant, however, she tells him: “There’s nothing to know – just come home.”

The book is funny as well as touching. Helen is stood up in a bar one evening after joining a dating service. She is realistic about her need to be close to someone and frightened about gradually learning not to be. One reviewer writes: “You’ll be surprised at this novel’s ability to uplift.” The happy ending is convincing and, like the rest of the book, totally unsentimental.

Lisa Moore won world prizes for an earlier novel, Alligator. She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and writes short stories. This is a paperback edition of February which came out in 2009.

Review by Anne McDougall

“February” was named the winner of Canada Reads 2013 on CBC radio.

Book club meeting: new location!

>We will be reviewing, “The Winter Palace” by Eva Stachniak on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm. in the Penthouse at The Edinburgh Retirement Residence, 10 Vaughan St.

The Books on Beechwood Book Club is organized by Jill Moll, a long time employee here at the bookstore, and runs from September through to June, with a break in December.

In the month prior to every Book Club meeting, the book in question is always 20% off for Book Club members and store customers. New members to the Book Club are always welcome.

“Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” by Bob Spitz

Julia Child was an American who became known world-wide as The French Chef. Dearie gives a lively account of how this happened.

Julia grew up in a rich family in California, moving East to graduate from Smith College, work for a while in New York in publishing and taking off during World War II to join a spy agency, posted to Ceylon, later China. Here she met Paul Child, a member of the U.S. diplomatic corps. They discovered a love of food and explored Chinese dishes. They were married and posted to Paris, where this love of food continued. “I was not much of a cook when we were married”, Julia admits. She joined Le Cordon Blue, however, and later, with two friends, ran her own cooking school.

Back in the U.S., Julia and Paul set up house, where they entertained a lot and Julia worked on a cookbook which would be called “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. She also went on television, an educational program of PBS, in black and white, and was an instant success. People related to her frankness, her direct way of speaking to them, her lack of embarrassment when the roast chicken fell to the floor and she carried on as if nothing had happened. And eventually she got her own program, called “The French Chef” and became a legend in countries around the world.

“Dearie” really tells the story of America’s coming of age, from the Depression Era to the turbulent sixties and the eventual greening of the American kitchen. But this book is fun to read because of Julia Child’s own charm. It is almost like watching her again showing us a recipe.

Review by Anne McDougall

Join us Sunday Jan. 20th, with Mary Hagey, for tea and a reading of “Castles in the Air”

On Sunday the 20th, between 2 and 4pm, Mary Hagey will be in the store to do a book reading. Her latest book, “Castles in the Air”, is a collection of short stories.

This debut short-story collection showcases Mary Hagey’s uncanny ability to capture the essence of being human. These richly satisfying stories, told with wry humour, intelligence, and verve, take us into fictional territory that is at once utterly original and as real as the world around us. These are people we know.

Some of them might have fared better in life if they’d had different parents perhaps, or married someone else, or worked at pleasing themselves instead of others, or if unforeseen circumstances hadn’t tripped them up and held them back. But now they find themselves caught up in salvaging what’s been lost or maintaining what seems to be slipping away. Whether it’s a woman on a timely mission to reunite her dying mother with her estranged twin, or a man in a troubled marriage trying to comprehend his wife’s mysterious grief when Princess Diana dies, or a dropout returning to school far from her Newfoundland home, these characters persevere in ways that illustrate the fundamental courage required of all of us. As they grapple with their situations and try to assert themselves in their lives, they—and the reader—come to regard their circumstances in a new light, and sense a quiet unfolding of truth.

“Eight Girls Taking Pictures” by Whitney Otto

This is an interesting look at eight famous women photographers – what made them famous and the conflicts they faced in pursuing their careers, love, marriage and children.

Whitney Otto covers the 20th century, as well as a number of countries: the U.S., Germany, Mexico. Although she divides the book into eight sections, she turns it into a novel because many of the women met each other in the course of their work. Cymbeline Kelley, for instance left Seattle when her hired help burned her photography studio; working in Dresden, l909- l9l0, she met other women photographers. Clara Argento’s interest in photography as well as socialism took her to Mexico, to photograph the revolutionaries. There is considerable danger in the book; Lenny Van Pelt is in London during the Blitz. There are tough scenes in Germany when a number of the photographers, who were Jewish, faced Nazi threats and lost their homes and livelihoods.

It is an ambitious look at women’s conflicts as they face up to being Career Women, as opposed to traditional wives and mothers. Whitney Otto, who lives in Portland,Oregon with her husband and son, tackled this subject in an earlier bestseller, “How to make an American Quilt” (which was made into a feature film).

Review by Anne McDougall

Boxing Day Sale at Books on Beechwood!!

‘morning everyone!

In celebration of the holidays, and the fact that we are in the process of being purchased and will stay open, we’re having a sale today at the bookstore…

25Ùª off every single hardcover book in the store!!! Ok, almost all of them.. the ones already on sale are not going to be discounted twice!

It sounded so simple at first, then we realized that means telling the computer that all of our hardcover fiction, hardcover mystery, history, biography, art & music, science & Nature, economy, politics, Canadian history, travel, cookbooks, kids hardcover, sports, humor, what did I miss? are all on sale today only!!

All the calendars, agendas, planners and diaries are on sale at 25Ùª off!

And last, but not least, all of our Christmas books are 40Ùª off today!

We are open today until 6pm.

Cheers,

All the Staff from Books on Beechwood

“A Week in Winter” by Maeve Binchy

This is Maeve Binchy’s last book (she died in 2012), and it is surely one of her best.

The beloved Irish writer published sixteen books of fiction before this new one, “A Week in Winter”. Records show more than 40 million books sold. The Winnipeg Free Press defines her success: “Binchy is a skillful writer who combines the strong storyline of popular fiction with well-developed characters found in serious literature.”

What that means in “A Week in Winter” is that we get the stories of ten visitors to a picturesque building called The Stone House, high on the cliffs of Ireland’s west coast, as well as the story of the building itself. It belonged to three sisters who loved it but could not keep it up. Another woman of the village, Geraldine (Chicky) Starr had left Ireland for a long period in New York City, where she worked in a tough boarding house. After many trips back to Ireland, she decided to buy The Stone House, and turn it into a hotel. The run-down mansion got a big, warm kitchen and log fires, with a long table where guests could get together.

These guests tell their own stories in Binchy’s skillful book and the reader is drawn in to their hopes and dreams. Chicky Starr’s kindness, combined with sharp business sense, pull the stories together. It makes for a fine read, and altogether excellent book for Christmas.

Review by Anne McDougall

Mony Dojeiji will be here signing her new children’s book “I am Happy” on Saturday, December 22 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Come down to Books on Beechwood to meet author Mony Dojeiji who will be here signing her new children’s book “I Am Happy.” She will be here on Saturday, December 22, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Be sure not to miss this great Christmas time event!

From the jacket:
“‘Hello, my name is Angela, and I am so happy.’ So begins the tale of Angela, a little girl who sees the world through the eyes of Love. Join her, and allow the magic and wonder that fill her life to fill yours too.”

We hope to see you all on Saturday!