Joint Book Launch: Andrew Battershill and Suzannah Showler

Double the authors, double the books, double the fun!

Visit us on Wednesday, March 28 between 6:00pm and 8:00pm to meet Vancouver authors Andrew Battershill and Suzannah Showler! They’ll be here to launch their newest releases, Marry, Bang, Kill and Most Dramatic Ever, respectively.

Andrew Battershill’s novel, Marry, Bang, Kill, is about a young man named Tommy Marlo who, though he spends much of his time mugging people for their laptops, is really not a bad guy. Unfortunately for Tommy, nice guy or not, when he rips off the daughter of a notorious motorcycle gang member, he gets a little more than he bargained for. Now, having seen things that have put him in the line of fire, Tommy must up the ante in order to save himself and get out of town unscathed.

“What follows is a revisionist crime thriller, a page-turning hybrid of literary and genre fiction for fans of Elmore Leonard or Patrick de Witt.”

Most Dramatic Ever by Suzannah Showler is an exploration of the show that gave birth to modern reality TV – The Bachelor, which debuted in 2002.
“She argues the show is both gameshow and marriage plot — an improbable combination of competitive effort and kismet — and that it’s both relic and prophet, a time-traveler from first-gen reality TV that proved to be a harbinger of Tinder. In the modern media-savvy climate, the show cleverly highlights and resists its own artifice, allowing Bachelor Nation to see through the fakery to feel the romance. Taking on issues of sex, race, contestants-as-villains, the controversial spin-offs, and more, Most Dramatic Ever is both love letter to and deconstruction of the show that brought us real love in the reality TV era.”

This promises to be a lovely evening full of great books, fascinating people, and intriguing discussions, so don’t miss it! We look forward to seeing you!

March 2018 Newsletter

February Bestsellers

1. Trumpocracy by David Frum
2. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
3. The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes
4. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
5. The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
6. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
7. Mythos by Stephen Fry
8. A Time of Love and Tartan by Alexander McCall Smith
9. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
10. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome back to winter! The clocks may be springing ahead this weekend and Easter is only a couple of weeks away, but Mother Nature is not ready to let us tiptoe through the tulips quite yet. Despite the snow though, it’s not hard to smell the impending change of seasons in the air. It’s especially easy for all of us here at the store to sense the warm winds coming as we’re fresh off a trip to our local booksellers’ fair where we placed orders for all of our spring and summer books! So, we can now tell you with authority that there are lots of very exciting goodies to come in the next few months! That being said though, there’s no need to sit around and wait for forthcoming titles to hit the ground because there are still more great reads currently sleeping on our shelves, just waiting for you to discover them!

With spring just a hair’s breath away, we don’t just have new books arriving every day, but our in-store event train is getting up a running again. Kicking things off right, 2016 Giller Prize nominee Andrew Battershill will be in the store on Wednesday, March 28 from 6:00-8:00pm to launch his brand new novel, Marry, Bang, Kill. Featuring Tommy Marlo, a young man who mugs people solely for their laptops, this crime thriller will grab you on page one and keep ratcheting up the tension until it finally releases you from its thrall at the last possible moment. It’s an intense thrill ride that is not to be missed! For all the Book Club members and historical fiction fans out there, we have a special treat for you this month! On Thursday, March 29 from 5:00-7:00pm, Jean E. Pendziwol will be in the store to sign copies of her new book The Light-Keepers’ Daughters. Set along the coast of Lake Superior and exploring a family’s past through the pages of a journal, this fascinating novel is also our Book Club pick for March. So, now you won’t just have the chance to discuss the book amongst yourselves, but you will actually be able to talk to the author about it in person! We’re really looking forward to both these great events and we hope to see you all there!

In honour of this past week’s International Women’s Day, we’ve put together a wonderful collection of books about trail-blazing women of the past and barrier-breaking women of the present in an effort to inspire our daughters to become the ceiling-smashing women of the future. Of all the books that have been published in this vein recently, there are two in particular that have really tickled our fancy. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu is a graphic novel style book written for teens which features a wide range of female role models (some world famous and some lesser-known), all of whom share, as the author puts it, the same indomitable spirit. Bright, bold, and incredibly unique, this book perfectly embodies the spirits of the women who occupy its pages. Spotlighting 29 bold and “difficult” women from modern history, Karen Karbo has gifted us with a book sure to inspire women both young and old alike. With profiles on household names like Hillary Clinton, Carrie Fisher, Lena Dunham, and Nora Ephron, In Praise of Difficult Women is a fascinating, entertaining read about how forging your own unique path in the world can lead to a more fulfilling life. Karbo is also the author of the bestselling Kick-Ass Women series which included books about Julia Child, Coco Chanel, Katherine Hepburn, and Georgia O’Keefe.

It’s not every day that you expect an emergency room doctor to also be a college-level English professor, never mind that he had penned a magical debut novel in the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness! This, however, is just what Tom Muller has done. The Philosopher’s Flight is set in an alternate early twentieth century America and tells the story of Robert Weekes, a young man who has only ever wanted to fly. Unfortunately for him, that particular type of magic, or empirical philosophy as it is called, is considered an arcane, female-dominated branch of science – a.k.a. no men allowed. But when Robert rises to the occasion during a violent tragedy and wins himself a scholarship to the traditionally all-women’s philosophy school, he encounters a whole new set of unexpected obstacles – not only a troublemaking group of anti-philosophy protestors but also an inconvenient case of first love with fellow student Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned hero of the Great War turned political radical. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by Michael Andreasen is another debut fantasy offering that teaches us about our own existence with a unique and unexpected spin. Who would have thought that short stories about alien abductions, time travel, and mythical beasts could actually make us look at loss, guilt, and love in completely new ways? These charming stories are easy to dip into a bit at a time and will no doubt leave you pondering one of life’s great mysteries every time you extricate yourself from their pages. Elan Mastai, a screenwriter and debut author, has put together a clever, surprising story of sci-fi adventure in All Our Wrong Todays. People in the 1950s had some pretty interesting ideas of what the year 2016 was going to look like – something of a technological utopia complete with moving sidewalks, flying cars, and moon-bases. The funny thing is, for Tom, this is his reality. When a time travel accident causes him to land squarely in our own 2016 though, he must decide if this curious new world is the right one for him or if he needs to find a way to get back to his own reality.

Not to be outdone, there are some real winners leasing space in our children’s section right now too. Three of our favourite new picture books are The Rabbit Listened by Cori DoerrfeldHarriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima, and Pandamonia by Chris Owen and Chris Nixon. As children (and often as adults too), when things don’t go the way you want them to, you don’t necessarily want to sit down and talk about it rationally, try to laugh it off and move on, or stomp and storm around until you feel better. Usually, you just want someone to sit and listen. This is exactly what happens in Cori Doerrfeld‘s adorable book. Not only does it teach children that there’s no one right or wrong way to react to a situation, but it will also make you wish you had your very own rabbit to hug and confide in. Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima (the creator of the equally cute Not Quite Narwhal) is a bright, sweet story about a little girl who loves to dress up in funny costumes and play make-believe – she even has specific costumes for specific occasions! But when her over-exuberance results in a group of penguins physically carrying her home to the Antarctic, she has to befriend all kinds of different creatures in order to get back to her dads in time for her birthday party. Chris Owen and Chris Nixon have given us an instant classic in Pandamonia. Told in rhyming couplets, this charming story explains all the outrageous things that will happen at the zoo if you wake the panda from his nap. Full of bright, graphic illustrations, waking up the panda (or trying not to) will no doubt appeal to any child who fell in love with Mo WillemsDon’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus.

Roy MacGregor has been a household name in Ottawa, and in Canada at large, for a number of decades now. His bestselling Screech Owls mystery series for 8-12 year olds (a series over 20 books strong) still resonates strongly with young readers today. Now Roy, along with his daughter Kerry MacGregor, has embarked on a new writing adventure for children. Set to be another series, book one in the Ice Chips SeriesThe Ice Chips and the Magical Rink, centres once again on the sport of hockey, but this time adds an element of fantasy to the mix. What more could young hockey players wish for than to have a rink that can transport them through time to meet one of the game’s all-time greats? Inspired by true stories from real hockey legends, this lovely new series is sure to appeal to all children, whether they play the game or not. Midnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks is an exciting European mystery story set in the enchanting city of Rome. When Beatrice is forced to move to Italy because of her father’s new job, she’s not overly-enthused about the whole thing. Little does she know that local legends will soon peak her interest, and before she can say ciao, she will find herself trying to solve the case of the stolen statue with her new friend Marco. Maybe living in Rome won’t actually be the worst thing ever after all. Another debut, and an epic fantasy novel to boot, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is an intricate and fascinating read. Inspired by the mythology of West Africa, this young adult novel tells the story of Zelie, a young woman who lives in a land that once hummed with magic – a land now stripped bare by a ruthless king. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must set out on a dangerous journey to restore magic to her homeland and, at the same time, learn to control her own unpredictable fledgling powers.

If any of those kids or teen books strike your fancy, or if you’re just looking for some new books for your own children to read while they’re home during March Break, be sure to pop by the store this coming week to take advantage of our March Break Sale! From Monday, March 12 through to Sunday, March 18, all our children’s books will be 25% off! From picture books to board books, to early readers to teen books, and all manner of non-fiction, our kids section is the place to be this coming week! The sale will apply to in-stock items only (no special orders) and will not include puzzles or games.

As we’ve only just dipped our toes into the March book release waters, there are still lots of new titles due to arrive over the coming weeks. Here are some of the ones we’re most looking forward to: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone (March 13), A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (March 13), Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert (March 13), The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George (March 20), Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson (March 20), The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman (March 20), The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon (March 20), Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (March 27), The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie (April 3), Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr (April 3), Munmun by Jesse Andrews (April 3), The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith (April 10), The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi (April 17).

Playing host to March Break, the bulk of Lent, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter this year, it wouldn’t be surprising if March was having a serious identity crisis. With so many things going on, it’s hard to figure out how we’re really supposed to feel about this third month of 2018. Is it spring yet or is it still winter? Should we be thinking about what we’re going to plant in our gardens or forcing ourselves to keep that snow brush in the car just in case? It’s a month full of changes, but there’s no set time-frame for when those changes will happen. Thankfully, the book industry is (just) slightly more predictable than the weather and the changing seasons. So, if you’re looking for some stability this month, forget about the ups and downs happening outside and wander down to your favourite bricks-and-mortar hangout. We guarantee that you’ll love it – we’ve got books!!!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Friday, March 30 for Good Friday and on Sunday, April 1 for Easter.
Regular store hours will be in effect on Saturday, March 31 and we’ll be back to business as usual from Monday, April 2 onwards.

On My Shelf

Staff Member: Hilary
What I’m Reading: Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore

“Manor House. Family Secrets. Ireland. I think those are pretty much the best (and only) words needed to hook someone into this series. They certainly worked for me! I’m only partway through this first of three volumes (two and three are as yet unpublished), but to say it’s captured my imagination is an understatement. From the charming characters to the sophisticated prose to the beautiful setting, this historical saga will draw you in, chew you up, and spit you out…in a good way!”


Elie Nasrallah Signing

Local author, Elie Nasrallah will be here on Saturday, March 10 from 11:30am to 3:00pm to sign copies of his book Hostage to History.

Check out the following links to find out more about Elie Nasrallah and his work!

Elie’s essay from the Ottawa Citizen:

Nasrallah: Let's stop the myth-making around multiculturalism

This is a great article from Ottawa Life Magazine in which Elie Nasrallah is named one of the top 25 people in the Capital:

Valerie Buko Signing

Local children’s author Valerie Buko will be in the store on Saturday, February 24 from 10:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her new children’s book, Winter Olympic Athletes.

If watching the PyeongChang Games has sown Olympic dreams in the young ones in your life, be sure to come visit us on Saturday to meet Valerie!

February 2018 Newsletter

January Bestsellers

1. From Walk-Up to High-Rise by Heritage Ottawa
2. Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
3. A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
4. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
5. Trumpocracy by David Frum
6. The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri
7. Munich by Robert Harris
8. 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver
9. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
10. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to the second month of 2018! It might feel like we’re in the depths of winter still and that this cold, dark season will go on forever (despite what certain groundhogs may have said), but February is also a month full of hope, love, and joy. With upcoming Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog) means there’s still time to fulfill (or make) your New Year’s Resolutions, celebrating Valentine’s Day mid-month reminds us that there is still love in the world no matter what the newscasters report, and here in Ottawa, the snow sculptures, ice slides, and Beavertails of Winterlude let us feel like children again! And, of course, there are always lots of new books just waiting to whisk you away to more temperate and enticing climes! So, cold and dreary it may be, but light, love, and warmth are not hard to find if you know where to look.

Though not technically taking place until March, readers and radio listeners were treated to the announcement of this year’s Canada Reads titles last week. Featuring a mixture of adult, teen, fiction, and non-fiction, anyone determined to read all five books before the debates start is in for a real treat. On the fiction front are American War by Omar El Akkad and The Boat People by Sharon Bala. Both novels touch on the subject of war – one on the act itself through a futuristic America in which a second Civil War has broken out, and the other on the after-effects as we share the experience of Sri Lankan refugees arriving in Canada after fleeing their own war-ravaged country only to be faced with suspicion and accusation. The lone young adult novel on this year’s list is The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. Winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Young People’s Literature Text, this dark fantasy set in a future North America finds this country’s indigenous people being hunted down for their bone marrow – the only thing that will restore the ability to dream to the rest of the population.

Holding up the flag for non-fiction this year are Craig Davidson‘s funny and heartfelt Precious Cargo, and Mark Sakamoto‘s heart-wrenching memoir, Forgiveness. In his timely and tender book, Davidson recounts his year spent driving a school bus for special needs children and how his precious cargo helped him overcome a dark and desperate time of his life. Centered around the Second World War, Sakamoto puts to paper what could be described as his own origin story as readers are guided through the lives of two of his grandparents, individuals once situated on opposite sides of a devastating conflict but brought together decades later by their children’s love for one another. Whether you want to read all the books before the debates start, or you’re more of a “wait and see” kind of person, we have all the Canada Readsbooks in stock right now for your browsing and buying pleasure!

If Canada Reads doesn’t float your boat, don’t panic! There are still countless other books populating the store right now that are just itching to go home with you. While it’s quite possible that you’ve already had your fill of ice this winter, if by chance you haven’t, why not pick up a copy of Out of the Ice by Australian author Ann Turner? This psychological thriller set in Antarctica is sure to chill you to the bone with its glacial setting, suspense-filled scenes, and unexpected twists. We’re getting cold just thinking about it! Following close on the heels of her great success with The Bookseller, Cynthia Swanson has gifted us with yet another mind-bending novel that will have you second-guessing yourself constantly. The Glass Forest is set in 1960 and tells the story of Angie Glass, a young newlywed who soon finds out that her in-laws are not quite as idyllic as she had always thought. Full of secrets, betrayals, and surprises, calling this new novel a page-turner might just be the understatement of the month! After rising to dizzying heights of success with her uncle, Julian Fellowes, on their great Downton Abbey adventure, Jessica Fellowes has settled into novel writing with The Mitford Murders. Revolving around a real unsolved murder from the 1920s, this murder mystery is perfect for fans of the classic whodunit by the likes of Agatha Christie, Jacqueline Winspear, and Christopher Fowler. Our in-house mystery expert has already read it and gives it five bloody daggers out of five!

For some of us, February is the month of love, and what better way to express the way you feel than through books? Matt Haig, the critically acclaimed author of a number of humourous novels including The Radleys and The Humans, has done it again! How to Stop Time is a sweet, funny, time travel novel in which centuries old Tom (he only looks 41) is forced to constantly reinvent himself due to a rare condition that causes him to live forever. When a faithful trip to the dog park one day threatens to break the one rule of extended life – never fall in love – Tom’s world begins to unravel and his life-long secret comes dangerously close to being revealed. Could this revelation mean the end of Tom’s ageless existence, or the beginning of the normal life he’s always dreamed of having? Like The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North meets The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley, How to Stop Time is a lovely story that will leave you with a wonderful sense of satisfaction as you finish reading the last page. It’s a well known fact that showing up to your ex’s wedding without a date is a recipe for disaster! This is the exact prospect that faces Drew Nichols when he turns to virtual stranger Alexa Monroe for help in Jasmine Guillory‘s debut novel, The Wedding Date. Finding a plus one in an elevator during a power outage may not be the most conventional way to secure a date, but even the most unlikely of beginnings can turn into something more. Now Drew and Alexa must decide, is what they’re feeling big enough to bridge all the gaps between them?

Sometimes, a true story can be so compelling that it reads just like a captivating novel. Such is the case with Brad Ricca‘s new book, Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. This fascinating tale of true crime introduces readers to Grace Hamuston, the first female District Attorney in the United States. Sitting at a time when women were still denied the right to vote, Hamuston turned her back on New York society life to become one of the nation’s greatest crime-solvers! What is time and how did we become so enslaved to it? This is one of the questions that Simon Garfield attempts to answer in his new book Timekeepers. From ancient times when we tracked the passing days and nights solely by the movement of the celestial bodies, to the present day where we just can’t seem to find enough time for anything, this in-depth look at the way humans’ relationship to time has changed over the centuries makes for a truly intriguing social history. On the subject of time, after a seemingly interminable wait, we finally have copies of Stephen Fry‘s Mythos in stock! Though the stories themselves are ancient in origin, at their core are moral lessons and timeless truths that can be applied to countless situations in this day and age. Don’t miss the chance to join this famous British comedian, actor, and writer on a mystical journey back through time, to the hallowed halls of Mount Olympus and the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean.

With so many new books arriving in the store every day, it’s virtually impossible to keep ahead of them, and definitely impossible to talk about all of them within the parameters of our monthly newsletter. So, here are a few more recent releases (and upcoming ones) that we look forward to telling you more about when you’re next in the store: S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. BennettThe Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan BradleyOrdinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah HopkinsonThe Bright Hour by Nina RiggsA Time of Love and Tartan by Alexander McCall Smith (February 6), Tempests and Slaughterby Tamora Pierce (February 6), The Bookworm by Mitch Silver(February 13), Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore (February 13), How Not to Disappear by Claire Furniss (February 20), Kill the Angelby Sandrone Dazieri (February 20), Rooted in Evil by Ann Granger(February 27).

Traditionally, the first couple months of the new year are on the quiet side for retailers, so we don’t have any events to tell you about quite yet. But, rest assured, there are lots of things in the works. On the Titles@Table40 front, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our March Newsletter in which we will be making an exciting announcement about our first dinner event of the season!

In the meantime, books are always the answer to any and all questions and quandaries in life, so throw off that shroud of new year uncertainty and beat the winter blues away with a trip to your favourite independent bookstore! We look forward to seeing you!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood

“The Ghost Orchard” by Helen Humphreys

Helen Humphreys is a prize-winning writer, living in Kingston, Ontario who loves to write about nature, agriculture, and how people relate to them.
This book was inspired when she found a White Winter Pearmain – considered the best-tasting apple in the world – growing beside an abandoned cabin near her home. The book has superb colour photographs of this apple as well as a number of others. It has an imaginary chapter on how Pearmain might have been discovered, in England, AD 1200. But there are lots of actual facts about the history of apples, including how bountiful orchards run by the indigenous people of North America were stolen or wiped out by the white settlers and their armies. It was reckoned that there were some 17,000 varieties of apple available in the 1800s, and the U.S. Department of Pomology made a record of these.
There is a fascinating chapter on Robert Frost, the poet, who had an orchard on his farm in Derry, New Hampshire and puts apples in many of his poems. When he moved to the UK, he became friends with Ezra Pound, as well as the English poet Edward Thomas, who loved to walk in the country, look for apples, and put them in their poems. It all makes this a charming book.
Reviewed by Anne McDougall

“The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak

This is a stunning book on the history of ballet as it played out in the tumultuous years of early 20th century Europe.
The Chosen Maiden was in fact the real-life sister of the famous dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Bronislava Nijinskaya was dancing at the same time as her brother. She was also writing many of the ballets, including one of the most spectacular, The Rite of Spring with its role of Chosen Maiden. The Nijinsky family did not let jealousy ruin their careers and on the whole they helped each other along in every way.
Eva Stachniak has already written five historical novels which hold prizes around the world. They include The Winter Palace, which tells the intimate story of Catherine the Great. In this one, she works with the Memoirs of Bronia, which run up to the end of August 1914. After that she explored the Bronislava Nijinskaya Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and from a vast collection of diaries, correspondence, photographs and scrapbooks she has built what she calls an archival fantasy, or fictional blend of facts and imagination. It makes for a wonderful read.
Reviewed by Anne McDougall

“An Irish Country Practice” by Patrick Taylor

Dr. Patrick Taylor has written more than a dozen novels on every aspect of his beloved village of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland. They introduce us to a family doctor, whose practice has grown by leaps and bounds to include a trusted partner and, in this book, a new trainee.
Dr. Taylor was born and raised in Bangor, County Down, in Northern Ireland and is a distinguished medical researcher himself. He is quite familiar with all the medical problems he describes in his mythical Ballybucklebo. The doctors see their patients through difficult challenges, including a housewife whose frequent “accidents” may have a disturbing cause in her own household.
There is also plenty of fun and merriment, from a visiting circus to racing and sailing. Critics consider Taylor probably the most popular Irish-Canadian writer of all time. He is the father of two grown children, and presently living on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
Reviewed by Anne McDougall