1. War by Margaret MacMillan
2. A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin
3. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
4. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
5. Truth Be Told by Beverly McLachlin
6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
7. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
8. Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake
9. Friends and Enemies by Barbara Amiel
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney
Greetings Book Lovers!
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but welcome to the middle of November! Halloween and Remembrance Day are behind us, the trees have shed their golden garb, and we’ve turned the clocks back to add a teensy bit more daylight to our early mornings – it’s not hard to tell that we’re approaching the end of the year. The arrival of this penultimate month also means that we booksellers have our eyes on the wintry prize as we try to get everything ready for Christmas. Our holiday cards are on the shop floor, we’ve got tons of gift items arriving every week, and we’re doing our best to stock up on the great new books that we’re sure you’ll want to see under your tree next month!
Like so many other things this year, Christmas 2020 (and the lead up to it) is going to be a bit different than we’re used to. We’re still determined to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible, but the health and safety of our staff and all of you, our lovely customers, has to come first. Going forward, we will continue to observe our limit of 4 customers in the store at a time and ask that anyone waiting to come in line up on the sidewalk outside so the vestibule we share with the SconeWitch stays clear – not only for security reasons, but also so that all our couriers can get their precious book cargo into the store safe and sound. Masks must be worn in order to come into the store and hand sanitizer must be used upon entry. On the colder days to come, if you’re wearing mittens or gloves, please remove them when you come inside so you can sanitize your hands and browse at your leisure!
Normally at Christmas time, one of the things we love most is seeing the store full to bursting with happy shoppers. While we won’t have that particular joy this year, we want to make sure that you still get all the shopping time you need in order to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. If stopping by during our normal open hours won’t give you as much browsing time as you’d like, you’ll soon have the chance to spend up to a whole hour in the store, shopping around and hunting for just the right gifts for everyone on your list. Starting on Monday, November 23, the hours from 9:00-10:00am and 5:00-6:00pm Monday through Friday will be reserved for pre-booked shopping. We’ll still only have four customers in the store at a time (please note that a couple shopping together count as two people), but shoppers will have the whole hour to wander and browse without the pressure of knowing others could be waiting to come in. To book a spot, please contact us by phone at 613-742-5030.
Having said all that, we know that there are some of you who will let your fingers do the shopping this year as you avoid crowds and take care of your Christmas list online. To aid you in your online shopping quest, we want to remind you all that we have an online store through which you can order books and gifts for pick up, delivery, or shipping. We’re doing our best to get all our gift items up on our online store to make your e-shopping experience even more complete! Visit our online store here: http://store.booksonbeechwood.ca and explore the countless titles available to order at the touch of a button!
One last bit of housekeeping that we wanted to mention before moving on to the exciting book portion of our newsletter is about shipping and Christmas delivery times. All of our book shipments have been arriving pretty much on schedule, but as we get closer to Christmas and couriers get busier and busier, we expect that there may be the odd delay. In order to avoid any Christmas disappointments, we suggest that you get your book orders in as soon as possible. Most of our suppliers have a one week turnaround time, but some are closer to two or three weeks, so getting orders in sooner rather than later is critical. As in other years, we will do our very best to get you all your orders in time for Christmas, but there are some shipping delays that are beyond our control, so the earlier you can get your orders to us, the better. Though we will continue to receive stock throughout December, our last day for placing guaranteed Christmas orders will be Monday, December 7. Orders placed after that date may still arrive before Christmas, but we can’t guarantee it. If you’d like us to ship your order to you or someone else, our last day for shipping things out of the store will be Monday, December 14. When placing your orders (either in person, by phone, or online), please don’t forget to tell us whether or not a book is for Christmas so we can keep an eye on it and let you know whether it will be in on time or not.
The books are coming in fast and furious these days and there are definitely too many to talk about here in this small space. That being said, we’re going to give it our best shot anyway. One of our favourite books of the season so far is the newest offering from Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris, The Lost Spells. A good bit smaller than its predecessor, The Lost Words, this beautiful gift book is packed with heart-stopping illustrations and powerful poems that will bring a tear to your eye. Complete with its own sewn-in ribbon bookmark, anyone who loves nature, poetry, and the written word will adore this gorgeous volume. We know there are a lot of you who spent the spring and summer reading Hilary Mantel‘s epic historical trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. Well, if you’re a fan who just can’t get enough of Mantel’s style, why not pick up the cleverly named Mantel Pieces? Made up of her writing from The London Review of Books, this collection of essays will prove irresistible, especially with a subtitle like this: Royal Bodies and Other Writings! Another compilation that might be just the thing to keep you company this winter is The Best of Me by David Sedaris. As chosen by the author, these touching and funny stories span an incredible 25 year writing career and offer insight into both the mundane and sometimes absurd facets of life.
We’re sure many of you will agree with us when we say that there are few things we love more than a novel that will really sweep us away. Although we may not all want to be swept to the same places, there’s no arguing with a beautifully written story! Anstey Harris takes readers from big city to small, quirky town in her new novel, The Museum of Forgotten Memories. Sometimes life throws us curveballs when we least expect them and all we can do is take our best swing at them. When Cate Morris does just that after experiencing a crippling loss, she finds herself regaining her footing through the restoration of a Victorian museum full of glassy-eyed, taxidermy animals. Unique and touching, this book will charm you from the very first page! Murder by Milk Bottle by Lynne Truss is funny, endearing, and chock-full of kooky characters. Set in Brighton and centred around a series of murders featuring weaponized milk bottles, this novel is hot off the press and bound to keep you laughing (and guessing) until the last page! What happens when a mathematician becomes a mystery writer? You get stories within stories and mysteries atop mysteries like in Eight Detecives by Alex Pavesi. Thirty years after their initial publication, Grant McAllistar’s mystery novels are being reprinted, and editor Julie Hart is on hand to help the process along. It’s not until she sits down to read McAllistar’s books that she realizes something might be amiss – clues within the text are not only intricately woven through the story, but they may also refer to a real decades-old murder…one that was never solved.
As per usual, there are way too many great new books out there for us to tell you about even a quarter of them, no matter how much we want to. So here are just a few other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: Plantagenet Queens & Consorts by Steven J. Corvi, The Book Collectors by Delphine Minoui, The Butcher’s Blessing by Ruth Gilligan, The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman, Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz, The Forgotten Sister by Nicola Cornick, The Eyes of the Queen by Oliver Clements, The Lady Brewer of London by Karen Brooks, Extraordinary Canadians by Peter Mansbridge, V2 by Robert Harris, No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox, The Archer by Paulo Coelho, The Book of Merlin by John Matthews, The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson, All Together Now by Alan Doyle (November 24), Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell (November 24), Pianos and Flowers by Alexander McCall Smith (December 1), Olive, Mabel & Me by Andrew Cotter (December 1), Bag Man by Rachel Maddow (December 8).
Although your Christmas shopping experiences might be a little different this year, we’re determined to make your visits to the store as fun and enjoyable as possible. For our part, we’ll be sure that our books are piled high, our puzzles are stacked two deep (at least), and our smiles are broad and shining behind our masks!
Keep an eye out for our final newsletter of the year next month for any last-minute Christmas ideas!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
“Anyone who knows me well, knows that witchy books are my kryptonite – I just can’t resist them! They celebrate sisterhood, magic, a love of animals, and the in-depth knowledge of nature that we’ve long-since lost. So, it was a no-brainer for me to pick up this epic new novel which follows the adventures of three sisters as they find their way back to the ancient ways and old traditions of their ancestors. As an added bonus, it also touches on the suffragette movement – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to vote…or live!”
1. All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
2. Rage by Bob Woodward
3. The Company We Keep by Frances Itani
4. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
5. The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
6. The Fight for History by Tim Cook
7. Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre
8. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
9. As I Walked About by Phil Jenkins
10. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
Greetings Book Lovers!
October, in our humble opinion, is the best month of the year! The air is crisper, the trees are dressed in their brightest fall finery, and there’s finally a reason to wear scarves and gloves again! Perhaps most importantly though, this tenth month of the year is a kind of last blast of autumn, culminating in the otherworldly celebration of Hallowe’en before we start the long progression down the ice-clad corridors of winter. We know that not everyone shares our opinion, so if you’re not moved by the gilded trees and the sweet caress of the cool autumnal breezes, there might be one other thing about this time of year that could win you over – all the wonderful new books!!
With offerings coming out heavy-hitters like Margaret Atwood, Peter Mansbridge, and Michael J. Fox, this fall was already set up to be a great one. Now, add to those some of the books that had their release dates delayed from this past spring to the fall, and it’s like being hit by a tsunami of new books! Although things in the store are pretty far from what they used to be, we’ll still do our best to connect you (and your loved ones) with the books you want, the stories you need, and the ones that are destined to take you by surprise. It looks like the days ahead might be long ones, so why not feather your nest with books this year? Not only are they excellent company, but we hear that the insulating properties of paper are truly astounding!
Fall, for us, not only means golden trees and warm tendrils of sunlight, but it also somehow makes us nostalgic – it awakens strange longings for ancient times, old ways, and traditions long-since forgotten. In our industry, this translates into an undeniable desire to read historical, magical, and witchy stories. We might be alone in this compulsion, but thankfully the universe seems to know just what we need as there are always some great new books this time of year that fit snugly into those veins. One of the books we were very much looking forward to reading this year was The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike, the sequel to The Lost Queen. Set in 6th century Scotland, this second book in a planned trilogy launches readers right back to where things left off in book 1 – with Languoreth’s brother and cousins facing her husband and eldest son across a field of battle. As the Old Ways of Wisdom Keepers clash with the rise of Christianity as surely as two armies meeting with swords drawn, the world around Languoreth, her brother Lailoken (said to be the real man behind the legend of Merlin), and their loved ones is changing. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and peopled with incredible characters, this series is a must-read for anyone who loves to immerse themselves in a good yarn!
Hallowe’en is, hands down, our favourite holiday and we always like to fill up the days and weeks leading up to it with spooky, magical books. One of those this year was A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers. Spanning almost a century and three reincarnations, this witchy novel is full to bursting with love, betrayal, curses, and heartbreak. Helen Lambert has lived many lives, and in each one, she is destined to relive the same doomed love affair – one rife with passion, treachery, and often early death. In each incarnation, Helen encounters a mysterious man who does his best to win her trust and save her from herself, to varying degrees of success. Will he ultimately teach Helen how to break out of her dangerous cycle of love and obsession, or will she forever be stuck in a loop, loving a man in whose hands her heart doesn’t stand a chance? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Though it doesn’t involve witches, Matt Haig‘s new novel, The Midnight Library is definitely magical enough to make it onto our October reading list. Bookstores and libraries are already magical places in and of themselves, but the one featured in Matt’s new novel is even more so. What would you do if there was a place you could go to change your past and undo all your regrets? When Nora finds out that the books in the Midnight Library could do just that, she quickly sets about creating her perfect life – changing each miserable, regrettable moment into something bright and happy. Things aren’t always what they seem though, and the idea of perfection is no different. Soon, Nora finds herself (and the library) in great danger, and if she doesn’t find out the best way to live before time runs out, there will be unthinkable consequences.
As per usual, there are so many great new books, and so little space to tell you about all of them. Here are some recent and forthcoming releases we think you might like: A Bite of the Apple by Lennie Goodings, A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin, You Will Be Able to Knit By the End of this Book by Rosie Fletcher, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Artist’s’ Path in 500 Walks by Kath Strathers, Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, Jack by Marilynne Robinson, The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow (October 13), Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (October 13), Oh She Glows for Dinner by Angela Liddon (October 13), Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi (October 13), 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week by Jamie Oliver (October 20), Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years by Michael Posner (October 20), Beauties: Hockey’s Greatest Untold Stories by James Duthie (October 20), Ex-Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani (October 20), The Bookstore Cat by Cylin Busby (October 20), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney (October 27), The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski (October 27), The Eyes of the Queen by Oliver Clements (October 27), The Couch Potato by John Jory (November 3).
For those of you who have been in the store in recent weeks, you may have noticed a new face behind the plexiglass. That’s right, we’ve added a new member to our team! Michelle is a resident of the ‘hood and has been a patron of the bookstore for a number of years now. She’s travelled the world and called a number of countries home before landing in our lovely part of our Nation’s Capital. An avid reader with a wide-range of interests, she’s fit right into our bookstore family and will be more than happy to help you find your next great read! We hope that you’ll give her a great big Books on Beechwood welcome to her next time you pay us a visit!
It’s at this time of year – when the trees look like they’re part of an enchanted forest – that we most let our minds wander and our imaginations take flight. We spend a good deal of time daydreaming and making up stories, but indulging in wonderful new books is right up there too! Whether our dreams and reading adventures take us across oceans on a majestic galleon, through the treetops of a mighty forest on the back of a fire-breathing dragon, or into an unknown land in search of a new beginning, we always try to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Books can take us places that we can’t get to any other way. Our journeys can be short and quick, or long and winding, and they can be revisited as many times as we like. We know that many of your have found solace in reading over the last 8 months, and we hope that you’ll continue to do so. There’s no greater or more constant companion than a book, and we know that they’ll see you through the weeks and months to come.
— The Staff at Book on Beechwood
What I’m Reading: Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
“For fans of Practical Magic, Maria Owens has always loomed large as the matriarch of a the most beloved Owens family. This new book will introduce you to her origins as an abandoned baby in a snow-covered field, carrying you along as she grows into her magical talent, learns to trust herself, knows heartbreak and loss, and inspires love, fear, and betrayal in the men and women around her. She is at once strong and flawed, determined and doubting, formidable and endearing. In short, you will love her!”
1. As I Walked About by Phil Jenkins
2. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
3. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
4. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
5. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
6. Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen Humphreys
7. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
8. Dark August by Katie Tallo
9. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
10. Circe by Madeline Miller
Greetings Book Lovers!
Welcome to September! Mother Nature has flipped a switch out there, and we seem to be firmly heading away from heat and humidity, straight into the waiting arms of autumn. Even though we know all about the cold, white, fluffy stuff that awaits us when the golden glow of fall has faded, there’s still lots to look forward to between now and then – woolly sweaters, soft scarves, cozy socks, hot chocolate, comfort baking, and more new books than you can shake a stick at! Whenever we need reminding of the joys to come, all we have to do is look at the giant piles of boxes we receive here at the store every day; boxes full of brand new releases that are just waiting to settle into their new home on your nightstand! From sweeping family sagas to beautiful picture books, political biographies to cookbooks all about soup – there’s no doubt that we’ve now entered the most eclectic of the book-selling seasons!
Although we’re not quite two weeks into the month yet, we’ve already had some real superstar book releases – Thomas King‘s Indians on Vacation, Helen Humphreys‘ Rabbit Foot Bill, All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny, The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, Tim Cook‘s The Fight for History, and The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves, just to name a few. With many more still to come, it looks like this year is going to be an extra special one! There’s been little to recommend 2020 so far, so we’re pretty excited about the way our fall and winter bookselling seasons are shaping up.
Before we get into the main portion of our newsletter, we just wanted to take this opportunity to make a quick announcement. While some of you have already heard this news through our book club, we wanted to properly announce that our colleague Jill Moll retired from her job here at the store at the end of August. Having worked here for fifteen years – probably the longest-serving staff member among those who remain – it’s hard to imagine the fabric of the store without Jill’s thread running through it. Always quick with a great book recommendation, more than happy to help customers find that perfect gift for someone special, and as the genius behind (and the head of) our long-running Books on Beechwood Book Club, we’ll really miss Jill’s quick wit, great taste in books, and penchant for staying up to date on the very latest book reviews. Under normal circumstances, we would have had a bit of a do in the store so we could all say goodbye properly, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible in the current climate. We’re holding out hope though, that maybe sometime in 2021 we’ll all be able to get together to celebrate this wonderful member of our bookstore family who has played such a big part in our lives. With her love of reading and travel, we know that our Jill won’t be taking things too easy now that she’s retired, and once the world reopens, it better watch out! Even though we won’t see her quite as often from now on, we still expect her to visit every now and then, whether she’s in need of a new book or just wants to tell us about her latest adventure. We will miss you, Jill, but the world awaits and we can’t wait to see you put your stamp on it!
Following the newly placed arrows on our floor, our first stop on this months’s newsletter tour is our fiction section. It’s always so hard to decide which books we’re going to highlight in these few brief lines, but this month we’re finding it especially hard. Not only because we haven’t really given you a traditional newsletter since the spring, but also because there are just too many wonderful new books that we want to talk to you about. Alas, tough decisions must be made, so here we go. With a Scotiabank Giller Prize to his name for 419, Will Ferguson has just released his brand new novel which beckons us to enter the enticing world of lost objects. While we can all relate to harrowing tales of that one elusive sock that we’re still convinced our dryer gobbled up, or the set of keys that we know we just had in our hand but somehow now can’t locate, The Finder has far more precious quarry in mind. Over the decades (and centuries), countless highly-coveted objects such as the Romanov’s gilded Faberge eggs and Muhammad Ali’s Olympic Gold Medal have gone missing from places all around the world – seemingly disappearing from the face of the Earth. In this novel full of intrigue and adventure, Ferguson takes us on a journey across continents and oceans, following Interpol Agent Gaddy Rhodes as she attempts to track down The Finder, a shadowy figure who flits in and out of society’s dark underbelly, and whom Gaddy believes is tracking down the world’s greatest lost treasures. Will she succeed in tracking down a shady criminal and perhaps restore some precious ornaments to their rightful place in society and history? You’ll have to delve between the covers to find out! Deftly conjured and truly unique, you’ll be completely drawn into this book before you can say Interpol!
Sometimes it’s the most ordinary situations or tasks that can make for the most thrilling backdrops in great novels. Tasks such as viewing an apartment – a fairly ordinary prospect for people of all ages looking to lay down roots somewhere new – can take on a truly Agatha Christie-esque aura when molded by the hands of a master storyteller. This is exactly what happens in Fredrik Backman‘s new novel, Anxious People. When an open house is shockingly interrupted by an armed assailant who takes the eight apartment-browsers hostage, not only has something that we take for granted as a safe and mundane task been defiled, but eight people who were previously strangers have now been indelibly linked. As the hours tick by and the stand off between the hostage taker and police drags on, tensions rise inside the apartment as secrets are revealed, relationships tested, and liars unveiled. While most of the hostages came to the apartment with honourable intentions, not all are as they seem. Among them sits Eileen, an eighty-year-old woman who has seen enough of the world that she’s not put off by a gun being waved in her face, but it also seems that she hasn’t been quite as open and truthful as some of her fellow house-hunters. Infused with Backman‘s undeniable understanding of human nature and his incredible imagination, this novel would make a great companion on a cozy weekend afternoon. If you’d rather have two books handy for your weekend reading session, why not pair Anxious People with One by One by Ruth Ware? Although it does feature a goodly amount of that fluffy, wintry, white stuff that you may not be ready to think about quite yet, the story is compelling enough for you to forget all about the weather. Calling to mind some of the classic country house mysteries we all know and love, this new novel throws together a group of tech start-up colleagues as they attend a corporate retreat in the French Alps. While it doesn’t seem like much of a hardship to spend a week in a ski chalet surrounded by amazing views, cozy fires, and staff to fulfill your every whim, when the retreat turns into a Mother Nature-enforced imprisonment courtesy of an avalanche, the atmosphere inside the chalet begins to crackle. Especially when it seems that one of your colleagues has been missing in action since the avalanche hit. Told with her trademark style and full of twists, turns, and intriguing characters, you won’t be sorry to have picked up this chilling novel…even if it does make you think of winter!
Although this year hasn’t been quite the same as any other, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the arrival of September made us think of Terry Fox. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Terry’s iconic Marathon of Hope, so it’s fitting that a new book has been released to recognize the impact Terry had (and continues to have) on our country and individual Canadians. Made up of letters from fellow Canadian icons such as Jann Arden, Perdita Filicien, and Wayne Gretzky as well as those who actually accompanied Terry on his run, Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters should hold pride of place on every Canadian’s bookshelf. Edited by Terry’s younger brother Darrell on behalf of the Fox family, this book contains not only letters about how Terry changed lives and inspired a nation, but also a series of never-before-seen photographs. Even if you’re already familiar with Terry’s story, this book still makes for a powerful, touching read. Proceeds from the book will go to the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised over $800 million for cancer research – an absolutely incredible achievement. Visit terryfox.org to learn more about this year’s virtual run and how you can celebrate the memory and legacy of this truly great man. For any teachers or parents out there who want to introduce their children or students to Terry’s story, be sure to check out two new kids books, Terry Fox and Me by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Meet Terry Fox by Elizabeth MacLeod and Mike Deas.
Amidst everything that’s been going on in the world this year, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that there are still too many books that we want to tell you about, and not nearly enough time or space in this medium for us to do so. Here are some of the other recent and forthcoming releases that we think you should watch out for: Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, Loonshots by Safi Bahcall, Dog is Love by Clive D.L. Wynne, Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis, Creativity by John Cleese, The Secret Life of Books by Tom Mole, King and Outlaw: The Real Robert the Bruce by Chris Brown, The Story of Silence by Alex Myers, Bonnie by Christine Schwarz, Saltwater Gifts by Shirley Scott and Christine Legrow, Agent Sonya by Ben MacIntyre (September 15), Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (September 15), To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (September 15), Rage by Bob Woodward (September 15), The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett (September 15), Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (September 15), The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix (September 22), The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (September 22), Consent by Annabel Lyon (September 29), The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (September 29), This Golden Fleece by Esther Rutter (September 1), War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan (October 6), Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman (October 6).
Even though the transition from summer to fall happens every year, the abrupt change in the pace of the book industry still manages to surprise us. With so many great new books coming out every day, it’s hard to know where to start! At no other time of year is the saying “so many books, so little time” more appropriate. It’s a bit like what we imagine having a full dance card is like – there are so many things we want to read, that we have to make a bit of plan, so we can pass seamlessly from one to the next. We just did the salsa with The Switch (Beth O’Leary), foxtrotted with The Forgotten Kingdom (Signe Pike), tangoed with The Deadly Hours (Susanna Kearsley), and still have a cha-cha with The Canyon’s Edge (Dusti Bowling), and the merengue with Magic Lessons (Alice Hoffman) to go! So, fasten on your dancing shoes and join us out here on the floor – there are more than enough books to go around and they really know their stuff!
All the best from our book family to yours!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
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What I’m Reading: Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
“Recommended to me by a friend, this book completely drew me in as soon as I picked it up! Featuring themes of immigration, dispossession, and the ways in which society has changed since 9/11, the story is told through the lens of a young Pakistani man’s coming-of-age in America. Full of colourful, charming characters, this world-straddling novel is at once tender, eye-opening, and heartfelt. It would make a great book club read!”
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Grab your laptop and watch Katie, live from her kitchen, alongside her bartender husband, Andy, for a fun-filled evening with friends, words, music, nibblies, cocktails & mocktails, as well as special guest appearances by the talented Vivi and Grace, @grassfed.kitty, @joshmcfarlanemusic, @lingy3000, @booksonbeechwood, and @harpercollinsCA.
Register at: https://bit.ly/2zlCFEP
1. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
2. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
3. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
4. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
5. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
7. Normal People by Sally Rooney
8. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
9. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
10. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Greetings Book Lovers!
Happy Victoria Day! I can’t believe it’s already mid-May! With time moving so strangely these days, it’s hard to know which way is up, never mind what day it is. Thankfully the appearance of buds on the trees and early blooms in our gardens must mean that summer is on the way! Although this summer will be unlike any other because of all the cancelled festivals, indefinitely postponed travel plans, and lack of summer camps, there are still ways to enjoy this sunny season while staying safe and healthy. In much the same way as everyone was baking bread in April, it sounds like the action has now moved out into the garden, with new plants taking root, weeds being pulled, and sunny patches being stalked by patio furniture. And really, what better way to enjoy the garden once your work is done, than with a good book?
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of our newsletter (though it may be more like beef jerky and potato chips this month), I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your orders, messages, and requests. It’s been tough keeping the store going on my own, but you’ve all been so amazing and I know that with customers like you, our little bookstore will pull through this unprecedented ordeal just fine. Given the incredible response we’ve gotten, I’ve been finding it hard to stay on top of answering everyone’s orders, e-mails, and messages – what is normally done by eight people is now being done by one – so, it may take me a while to get back to you, but I will. If your request or question is time-sensitive, your best course is to call the store. You may not get me on the phone right away, but you’ll get an answer faster that way than any other.
Despite our Premier’s announcement last week that retail stores with doors opening onto the street will be allowed to open as of Tuesday, May 19, we will not be opening our doors that day, or even that week. Given that our current set up has been working pretty well, I’ve decided that it’s safest to continue in that vein for now, and take our time figuring out what reopening will look like for us. Whether it will mean fewer people in the store at once, masks and gloves required, shorter hours of operation, or some new way of shopping that doesn’t require as much product-touching, I don’t know. Whatever solution we come up with, it will be based on the continued health, safety, and security of our staff and customers – browsing in a bookshop should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and we want to get back to that place just as much as you all do, but we have to make sure we get there in the right way.
So, for now, we will continue our online operations and contact-free pick ups, free neighbourhood delivery, and shipping will still be available. If possible, we ask that you do your shopping through our online store or by phone (613-742-5030) as they are the most effective ordering avenues. If this time has taught me anything, it’s that although e-mail is a handy form of communication, it’s definitely far from efficient – especially when you receive so many! So, if you could avoid using our e-mail address to order things, that would be greatly appreciated. This whole experience has truly been a whirlwind. Like everyone else, I’ve had ups and downs, good days and some very bad ones, and, although my concentration has gotten better over the last few weeks, finding it impossible to sit and read (one of my great comforts in life) at the outset of this pandemic just seemed too cruel. With summer just around the corner though, and our region’s confirmed cases of the virus on the decline, it seems like brighter days are ahead. We hope you’re all hanging in there and we can’t wait to see you again. Thank you so much for keeping us around! We are truly blessed with the best customers ever!
Although it makes me feel a bit like I’m cheating, I don’t have quite as many new titles to tell you about this month. Since a few of our suppliers have shut down their warehouses either completely or partially during this time, there definitely aren’t as many new releases making their way into the store these days; there are still a lot, but not as many as normal. That being said, I do have a running list of things that I’m looking forward to unpacking in the coming weeks. Here are some recent and forthcoming releases that might just peak your interest: All Adults Here by Emma Straub, Mum & Dad by Joanna Trollope, The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson, A Song From Faraway by Deni Ellis Bechard, A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes, Who Ate the First Oyster? by Cody Cassidy, The Museum of Whales You Will Never See by A. Kendra Greene, Three by Stephen Michael King, A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski, The Old Drift by Namwali Serpel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (May 19), Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by Sarah Mlynowski (May 19), Love in the Blitz by Eileen Alexander (May 26), The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson (May 26), The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (May 26), The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman (June 2). Keep an eye on our social media accounts for our most recent updates, book releases, and new favourites. I’m also working on a kind of virtual bookstore tour so you can visit the store without actually being inside, so that should make an appearance soon too.
On one non-book note (though demand seems to have dropped a bit) I wanted to give you all a jigsaw puzzle update. The puzzle publishers are still playing catch up when it comes to filling all the orders they’ve received over the last couple of months, and my orders have gotten caught up in the backlog too. Although a few designs have arrived in dribs and drabs over the last few of weeks, I still have a couple of larger orders outstanding. Both Ravensburger and The New York Puzzle Company should be shipping to us at some point soon, though neither could say when, and there will be another Pomegranate order showing up sometime towards the end of next week, hopefully. As new jigsaws are arriving, they’re getting uploaded right into our online store, so that’s the place to check to see if anything new has arrived. I’ll also post on social media when new orders do show up to try to keep you all up to date on the puzzle comings and goings.
Even though this COVID-19 crisis hasn’t completely passed yet, it looks like the worst might be over and we can finally see a bit of light at the end of this very long, unprecedented tunnel. With brighter days ahead, it’s good to be optimistic, but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re not out of the woods quite yet, but we’re getting there. In the meantime, if you’re feeling the need to escape and can’t find a Netflix show that you haven’t already watched, why not travel by book? The destinations are varied, you don’t need a passport, and best of all, you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
Wishing you all the very best!
— Hilary for The Staff of Books on Beechwood
What I’m Reading: If Only by Kate Eberlen
“Far from a typical summer romance, Alf and Violet find their way to each other slowly and cautiously. Being the only two British students in their Italian class in Rome certainly helps though. From waltzing around a piazza to exploring ancient ruins, Alf and Violet’s romance is picture perfect until someone from the past unexpectedly breaks into their present, shattering their newfound love to pieces. Can they find each other again, defeat their ghosts, and move forward? If only it were that simple.”
Well, I think it’s safe to say that this is, hands down, the strangest newsletter I’ve ever written. Like most of you, I’ve never experienced anything like this current crisis before and can’t quite wrap my head around it all. While tuning into our Prime Minister’s broadcast has become a daily ritual, I’m trying to limit my news-watching by keeping myself occupied reading books, doing puzzles, and playing games with my family. Although it’s sometimes hard to focus and settling into routines so different to what we’re used to is tough, we have to remind ourselves that the best thing we can do right now is stay at home, practice social-distancing if we do have to go out, and wash our hands thoroughly and often. Like Queen Elizabeth II said in her broadcast this afternoon, “we should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” In the meantime, we need to simply take each day as it comes, look after each other, keep our minds and bodies active, and follow government recommendations to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.
We may not be in a position to help you with most of the things we’ve all been asked to do (and not do) during this crisis, but we can definitely provide you with the tools to keep yourselves and your families occupied while you’re at home. Whether you want to read, play games, do puzzles, or maybe try your hand at writing the next great Canadian novel, we’ve got you covered! Our doors might be shut, but we’re still committed to keeping you all supplied with the things you need to get through these uncertain times. This means that from Monday to Friday, we’ll be in the store from 10:00am to 4:00pm to take your calls, answer your e-mails, fill your orders, and keep things running smoothly in preparation for the day when we can welcome you back through our doors. We’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as possible, but there are a few special things you should know.
1. All purchases are now being processed by phone and through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/) using credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).
2. Customer orders are being shipped out using Purolator. Shipping for a single item order is $13, with an extra $1 tacked on for each additional item ordered.
3. Contact-free store pick-ups using our vestibule are available from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm. Pick-up times are set up one-on-one with individual customers.
4. Contact-free delivery is also available to those with mailboxes and front porches living in the New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea, and Manor Park neighbourhoods.
5. We’ll be completely closed on Friday, April 10 for Good Friday.
Since the store is being run by a team of one right now, it might take a day or two for us to respond to your messages, so please don’t despair! Your queries will all get answered! Thank you for being so patient with us as we try to find our footing on this somewhat shaky ground.
As of right now, the wheels of the publishing world are turning normally, and we’re still ordering books and receiving new publications. Although some big releases like Tim Cook‘s forthcoming book The Fight for History and the highly anticipated Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney have had their publication dates moved from the spring to the fall, and a couple of smaller publishers have shut down their warehouses temporarily, we’re not seeing too many changes or interruptions to the normal way of things. If things do change in the coming days, weeks, and (dare we say it) months, we’ll be sure to send out an update and post messages on all our social media pages. In the meantime, we’ll be using those same mediums to let you know about great new releases, neat spring arrivals, and staff picks!
One thing we have noticed over the last few weeks is an uptick in puzzle sales. It looks like the jigsaw puzzle is back in a big way and we’re happy to say that while our stock has really been whittled down, we have a few new shipments of puzzles on the way! We’ll get them uploaded into our online store as quickly as possible, but if you live near us and happen to be out for a walk (while observing proper social-distancing), be sure to take a glance at our window to see what designs are up for grabs. If puzzles aren’t really your thing, we also have a good selection of memory games, boardgames, and card games that are sure to keep all age groups in your house riveted for hours!
This may not be our typical kind of newsletter, but we can’t let this moment pass without telling you about at least some of the new books we’ve received over the last couple of weeks and the forthcoming ones we’re looking forward to. Here are a few of the standouts: The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, Open House by Jane Christmas, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane, Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley, Hike by Pete Oswald, We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian, 24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling, If Only by Kate Eberlen (April 7), The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan (April 7), Miss Austen by Gill Hornby (April 7), The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (April 7), Aran by Flora Shedden (April 7), Lovable Felted Animals by Yucoco Cafe (April 7), Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon (April 14), The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey (April 14), Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst (April 21), The Villa of Mysteries by David Hewson (April 17), Keep ‘Er Lit by Van Morrison (April 24), Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers (April 28).
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for the outpouring of support you’ve given us since we closed up shop on March 19. It’s really incredible how you’ve all rallied around us and our fellow independent shops to keep us going through these strange and uncertain times. While we don’t know what the future holds, we’re going to do our best to hang on through this crisis so we can continue to do this job we love for years to come, and hopefully, we’ll be welcoming you all back into the store before too long!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay healthy.
— Hilary for The Staff at Books on Beechwood
Our doors are shut, but we’re still ordering books, shipping out orders, orchestrating contact-free pick ups, and delivering packages. Here’s a breakdown of how things are working right now.
Shipping: we’re shipping all parcels via Purolator at a rate of $13 for single item orders with $1 tacked on for each additional item (i.e. shipping for two items would be $14). We can’t do any shipping outside of Canada at this time.
Contact-free Pick-ups: we’re using our vestibule as a contact-free pick-up location for any customers who would like to come by and collect their orders in person. Pick-ups are available from Tuesday to Friday between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Specific pick-up times will be scheduled with customers on a one-on-one basis. If you’re coming to pick up a package, please observe proper social-distancing practices and refrain from entering the vestibule if there is already someone inside.
Delivery: contact-free delivery is available to customers who live near the store in the neighbourhoods of New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea, and Manor Park. Deliveries can’t be made to condo or apartment buildings.
Downloadable Audiobooks: If you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
Don’t forget that a lot of our neighbours and friends are still in operation to some capacity too! We’ll all need a little help if we’re going to pull through this.
Mood Moss Flowers * Muckleston & Brockwell * Jacobson’s * Nature’s Buzz * Fraser Cafe * Red Door Provisions * Second Cup * So Good * Bibi’s * Ola Cocina * Pet Valu * Epicuria * Bread & Roses * Quelque Chose Patisserie * Idriss Mediterranean * Perfect Books * Octopus Books * Singing Pebble Books
If you missed hearing our Manager, Hilary, on CBC’s The Next Chapter on Saturday, March 28, click here to listen.
What I’m Reading: The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan
“In tough times, we all tend to gravitate towards the things that comfort us. For me, that’s always been books and stories about witches, magic, and fantasy worlds. This new Louisa Morgan book definitively ticks two of those boxes. Set in Gilded Age New York and London, this novel is every escapist’s dream as it invites you into a magical adventure full of love, deceit, power, and the age-old battle between dark and light magic. Beautifully written and engrossing, I could live in this book forever!”
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Dear Friends, Readers, and Book Lovers,
Today we had to make a tough choice – the choice between staying open and closing our doors during this ongoing crisis. We chose the latter. Not only for the safety of our staff, but for the safety of all our customers as well. While we’re not sure how long our closure will last, we all have to do what we can to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and we feel like this is our bit.
That being said, we have a skeleton staff all set up to keep things up and running behind the scenes in preparation for the day when we can once again welcome you back into the store. What that means is we’ll still be accepting book requests and orders, receiving shipments from publishers, and shipping books out to customers. You can also expect to see new posts on our social media accounts and our regular monthly newsletters will still be arriving in your inbox as usual. In other words, we’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as we possibly can.
On the shipping side of things, all customer orders will go out using Purolator or Canada Post at a flat rate of $13 for the first item and an extra $1 for each additional item. Purchases can be processed over the phone (613-742-5030) or you can place orders through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/). Requests can also be made by e-mail (email@example.com). Contact-free pick ups at the store can be arranged on request as well. And if you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
Since we don’t know how long we’ll be closed for, until further notice all bookstore events have been postponed. We plan to revisit them once the situation stabilizes and hopefully will be able to reschedule them. Anyone who has purchased a ticket to our Titles@Table40 event with Chris Waddell that was due to take place on March 29 will be entitled to a full refund or store credit. There’s no time-limit on this refund/credit. We are planning on rescheduling this event, so if any of you would rather hang on to your tickets until we have a new date, that’s fine too.
We might be closing our doors for now, but we’re committed to continuing to serve you all as best we can through this difficult time. There are no doubt many more strange, uncertain days ahead of us, but we figure as long as we all follow the recommendations and instructions put out by Ottawa Public Health, wash our hands thoroughly and regularly, and keep ourselves nice and busy at home, we should pull through. Just remember that we’re still here and happy help in any way we can.
Thank you so much for your continued support! We wouldn’t be here without you!
–The Staff at Books on Beechwood
So, we have another update for you.
1. Yes, we are still open, but we’ve adjusted our hours. We will now be open as follows:
Monday to Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 3:00pm
We’re not sure if we’ll make it to the weekend as things are changing so quickly, but we’ll do our best to keep you updated via our social media accounts, our website, and our newsletter should things change.
2. We’re still diligently cleaning all surfaces here at the store and have decided to no longer accept cash payments. We’re also encouraging all our customers to pay using the tap feature on their debit or credit cards to limit the number of shared surfaces in the store – for your protection as well as ours.
3. Just another reminder that if you’re self-isolating, in quarantine, or are nervous about going out, we’re happy to deliver or ship things to you. We will try to continue this service even if our storefront closes. Purchases can be processed over the phone (613-742-5030) or you can place orders through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/). Requests can also be made by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can even purchase downloadable audiobooks through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
4. Once again, we ask that if you’ve traveled outside the country recently, have been in contact with someone who has, or if you’re not feeling 100%, please stay home – for your own well-being as well as ours. We’re trying to limit the number of people in the store at a time as much as we can, and while we normally love watching you all enjoy a good browse of our store shelves, if you’re just looking to while away some time and aren’t in mind to make a purchase, we’d rather you take pleasure in a nice long stroll in the fresh air instead. You can never have too much fresh air!
Hopefully these measures won’t last for long, and while we’re open for now, we do think that the point will come when we do have to close down. We’re taking things a day at a time and are doing our best to make decisions based on the well-being of both our staff and customers. These are uncertain times and we should all take every precaution and do our best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and each other safe and healthy.
Stay safe out there!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to post a quick update on how we’re handling things here in the store.
1. As of right now, we are still open for business (regular hours) and plan to be for the foreseeable future, unless the situation worsens or the government regulates store closures. We will keep you updated via our social media accounts, our website, and our newsletter should things change.
2. Although cleaning store surfaces is a regular part of our daily routine, we have become more vigilant in recent days and are doing our best to keep both you and our staff safe.
3. If you’re self-isolating or in quarantine, we’re happy to deliver or ship things to you. Purchases can be processed over the phone or you can place orders through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/). You can also purchase downloadable audiobooks through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
4. Finally, we ask that if you’ve traveled outside the country recently or if you’re not feeling 100%, please stay home – for your own well-being as well as ours. If you’re desperate to make a purchase, just contact us by phone (613-742-5030), e-mail (email@example.com), or through one of our social media accounts and we’ll be sure to get your purchase to you.
We’re hopeful that the COVID-19 outbreak will be under control soon, but in the meantime, we should all take every precaution and do our best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and each other safe and healthy.
Stay safe out there!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood