August 2019 Newsletter


July Bestsellers

1. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
2. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
3. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
4. Life’s Great Questions by Jean Vanier
5. Bush Runner by Mark Bourrie
6. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan
7. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
8. Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
9. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
10. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone


Greetings Book Lovers!

We know it’s a bit sad to think about, but whether we like it or not, the last month of summer is upon us. In the face of that little rain cloud, we’ve decided to focus on the positive, so instead of thinking about summer coming to an end, we prefer to think of August as an ideal time to relax in the sun and get in one last blast of summer reading! No matter what your literary cup of tea in the forthcoming weeks, there are so many great new books to choose from that we’re sure, with some good old bookstore browsing, you’ll find the perfect read (or reads) to carry you right through to Labour Day!

As the Wheel of Time carries us ever closer to September, one thing we’ll start hearing a lot more about are this fall’s nominations for the many literary prizes due to be awarded between now and Christmas. One such prize, the Booker Prize (formerly the Man Booker Prize), announced its long-list recently and there was one book on it that we’re particularly excited about. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is dark, funny, and one of the quirkiest books we’ve come across recently. There’s no doubt that sibling relationships can sometimes be complicated, especially when your attractive, sociopathic sister has a habit of killing off her boyfriends. Korede loves her sister, Ayoola, and spends a fair amount of time following her around, cleaning up her messes, and making sure that bodies and blood are all taken care of the way they should be. Though she knows that what her sister is doing is wrong, it’s only when the kind, handsome doctor that Korede works with (and is also in love with) asks for her sister’s number that things are brought into sharp relief. Full of dry wit, this debut novel is a truly unique read!

Another debut author that we can’t say enough about is Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott. Beautifully packaged, wonderfully written, and based on true events, her novel, Swan Song, takes readers on a journey straight into the heart of the 1970s New York social scene, riding on the coattails of Truman Capote. Having gained celebrity status and entry into the world of the social elite, Capote became a friend and confidante to a number of high profile socialites, a group of women he referred to as his Swans. From sharing juicy gossip on personal yachts, spilling secrets at exclusive parties, and revealing their greatest fears on private jets, these beautiful, wealthy, often vulnerable women trusted Capote with things they probably never told another soul. The problem with trust though, is that it can always be broken. Shocking, gossipy, slanderous, and rife with intrigue, this novel is an incredible ride from start to finish!

If you prefer your literary intrigue wrapped up in fast-paced writing and emotional twists and turns, then perhaps Robyn Harding‘s new thriller should be your next summer read. From the author who brought us the riveting novel, The Party, comes a brand new story of love, betrayal, murder, and mystery that is sure to keep you up all night! The Arrangement takes readers into the shadowy world of sugar daddies as Natalie, a young art student in New York struggling to make ends meet, agrees to become a paid companion to Gabe, a powerful lawyer more than thirty years her senior. With relationship rules agreed upon by both parties from the start and a healthy monthly allowance now headed her way, it seems like all of Nat’s problems have been solved. But when lines start getting crossed and the rules begin to blur, it’s only a matter of time before things spiral completely out of control. With non-stop action and more hairpin turns than the French Alps, you won’t know which way is up by the time you reach the end of this great read!

Summertime, and August especially, seem to be synonymous with the idea of cross-country road trips. Arthur Louis Pullman the Third checks all the essential road trip boxes – coming-of-age, following someone else’s footsteps, and digging up secrets from your family’s past – in the debut teen novel A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller. After being stripped of his college scholarship, Arthur is on the verge of a breakdown when he’s sent away to live with his aunt and uncle. It’s during his stay with them that he stumbles across a journal penned by his great grandfather (the original Arthur Louis Pullman) which could shine some light on an old family mystery: where did his grandfather disappear to in the last week of his life and how did he get so far from home? As he pours over the journal, Arthur has a hard time differentiating between Alzheimer-fueled ramblings and lucid passages, but there are enough clues there to send him off on a cross-country train trip to discover the truth about his eponym’s last days and, perhaps, a little something about his own present. Sweet, funny, and heartwarming, this novel would be a lovely way to cap off your summer reading.

If you’re already trying to get geared up for fall and all the great non-fiction books that traditionally hit our shelves in the lead up to Christmas, why not get yourself pointed in the right direction with two neat, new books that look at the history through the lens of specific days and events, and how they helped shape our world? Peter Furtado‘s History Day by Day is a fascinating look at over two thousand years of human history through 366 quotations, each linked to a significant event or anniversary. From Caesar’s death on March 15, 44 BCE to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, this book’s unique format will entertain readers even as it teaches them. With a slightly narrower focus but a similar bent, Twelve Days That Made Modern Britain by Andrew Hindmoor is a detailed look at how Britain has gotten to where it is today. Highlighting twelve days and events spanning the last fifty years, Hindmoor’s exploration of modern Britain is at once intriguing, provocative, and incredibly timely. This book is an absolute must for anyone who likes keeping a close eye on British politics!

Though we never seem to have as much reading time as we’d like, that never stops us from trying to enjoy as many books as possible! Here are some more recent and forthcoming releases that we think you should take a peek at: Someone We Know by Shari Lapena, Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox, Chances Are… by Richard Russo, The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins,  You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman, Trudeau by John Ivison, Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior, Browse by Henry Hitchings, Send More Tourists…the Last Ones Were Delicious by Tracey Waddleton, Lincoln’s Spies by Douglas Waller, From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein, Albatross by Terry Fallis (August 13), The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal (August 13), A Better Man by Louise Penny (August 27), The Wake by Linden MacIntyre (August 27), Akin by Emma Donoghue(September 3), Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (September 3), The Long Callby Ann Cleeves (September 3), The Testaments by Margaret Atwood(September 10), Saltwater Classics by Christine LeGrow and Shirley A. Scott (September 15).

We know it’s hard not to get excited about the upcoming fall publishing season, but August has only just begun and the last thing we want to do is wish our time away. So, no matter what this summer has served up for you so far, be sure to enjoy these next few weeks by soaking up some sun, relaxing in the garden, and falling into a great book!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Monday, September 2 for Labour Day.
Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, September 3.


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

“Part science-fiction epic, part romance, and part fast-paced adventure, this book came as a complete surprise to me. I wasn’t sure when I first started reading it, but it wasn’t long before I was completely invested in Red and Blue’s war-filled world, their time-travelling ways, and the intricate ballet they perform around each other. I can’t wait to see where the story takes me next!”


 

July 2019 Newsletter

 


June Bestsellers

1. Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec
2. A Thousand Small Sanities by Adam Gopnik
3. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
4. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
5. Starlight by Richard Wagamese
6. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
7. The King’s Evil by Andrew Taylor
8. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
9. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
10. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz


Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to summer!! With school over for the year, Canada Day behind us, and sunny days stretching as far as the eye can see, it’s time to find some exciting ways to fill your forthcoming days! With shelves full of crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, and countless books, we are your one-stop shop for all those quintessential summer must-haves!

Much like in the fall, this time of year is ripe with book lists with names like Top Ten Picks, Best Beach Reads, and Books for Backpackers. Since we hate being left out of these types of things, we’re excited to have a number of recommendation lists featured in-store right now curated by some of our favourite publishers. From heart-stopping thrillers to sweeping historical sagas, children’s fantasy stories to great Canadian novels, there’s definitely something for everyone! Each of these summer reading lists has its own window display for easy browsing, but you can also visit our online store to see all the lists in their entirety. Huge thanks need to go out to Simon & Schuster Canada for their list of Books That Shine This Summer, Penguin Random House for their Camp Penguin and BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Summer Essentials selections, and HarperCollins Canada for their collection of Canadian must-reads, The Summer of Canadian Reading.

Although we often associate summer with more frivolous reads that don’t require too much extra brain power, sometimes the only thing that will really satisfy you as you listen to the ocean waves or the twittering of songbirds, is a really spine-chilling mystery or suspense novel. Maybe it’s the fact that the days are longer and the sun shines brighter during these fleeting months, but, to paraphrase a great poet, ours is not to reason why, just to read (sincere apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson for that). Though her last few books have had nothing whatsoever to do with a certain gritty detective we all know and love, we’re delighted that the supremely talented Kate Atkinson has finally returned to the world of mystery in Big Sky, her brand new novel featuring the dogged detective Jackson Brodie. Having relocated to a quiet seaside village along with his aging Labrador Retriever and his sometimes-present teenage son, Brodie expects life to move at a slightly slower pace as he searches for proof of a husband’s infidelity for his newest client. Little does he know, his seemingly routine digging will tumble him straight into a much bigger and more sinister case in which the past comes back to haunt the present and old wounds become new again. With the same wit and complexity that first won us over in Case Histories, this new Brodie novel will delight as many diehard fans as it will create new ones!

Set in Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, John Galligan‘s new novel, Bad Axe County, contains as many dark moments and shades of grey as its dust jacket design! Heidi Kick is the first female sheriff that her home county has ever seen, and though she’s only taken on the position on an interim basis, there are just as many citizens who want to see her keep the job as there are those who would do anything to have her ousted. Opposition aside though, Heidi still has to try to do her job for as long as she has it, and her top priority right now is tracking down a missing teenage girl. As a fierce winter storm brews, her case gets more complicated when strange clues connected to a decades-old murder begin to surface and the teenage body she does recover isn’t the one she’s looking for. Full of twists, turns, and shocking truths that will shake Heidi’s community to its core, this murder mystery will give you goosebumps and send shivers down your spine no matter how high our summer temperatures get!

Discovering that you’re the inspiration behind a great work of fiction would no doubt be a nice stroke to the ego, especially if said work is kind and complimentary. How would it feel though, to stumble across your likeness on the pages of one of your student’s novels? This is exactly the situation a young writer finds herself in in The Body Lies, a dark and twisted thriller by acclaimed British author Jo Baker. Taking a job at a university in the English countryside is supposed to be a fresh start for our young protagonist, a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of London and the memory of a violent assault. But when one of her more troubling students makes her the main character in his book – a book in which she does not meet a happy end – the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur and the question becomes not whether or not life imitates art, but rather, if it does, is it possible to escape a horrible fate that’s already been put to the page? Masterfully told and full of tension that ratchets up, notch by notch as the pages flit by, this book will reel you in and stay with you long after you’ve closed the cover for the final time. Be sure to read this one out in the bright sunshine! Nighttime reading is just a bit too atmospheric for comfort!

There are just as many great books coming out for kids this time of year as there are for adults, so why not let them get in on the summer reading action too? Whether they’re heading off to camp or are planning on staying a bit closer to home this summer, we’re sure they’d be tickled to have a brand new book to read during their break from school. Nary a month goes by here when we don’t receive some new kids books whose stories are either inspired by or centred on myths from around the world, and this past month has been no different. After the great success of her earlier series, Valkyrie and Pegasus, Kate O’Hearn has returned with new characters and exciting adventures in Titans. Set fifteen years after Olympus has been destroyed and the Olympians themselves have been resettled on Titus, Astraea, a young Titan, and her best friend Zephyr discover something that could bring this tenuous new truce crashing to the ground: a young human named Jake has somehow made his way onto Titus. Determined to get him home before anyone else sees him and ekes out punishment, Astraea, Zephyr, and Jake set out on a journey full of fun, adventure, and the might of the gods! This great book is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Soman Chainani, and Chris Colfer!

It’s pretty safe to say that most children, at one time or another, dream of great adventures on the wide open sea. Oona Britt in Matilda Woods‘ The Girl Who Sailed the Stars certainly has. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising since her father is a sea captain and all the houses in her magical hometown of Nordlor are made out of wrecked ships. For Oona though, this dream is more than a passing fancy. When her father refuses to take her aboard his ship for his annual winter whale hunt, Oona takes matters into her own hands and stows away on board. With plenty of magic and whimsy, this story of determination, bravery, and the search for acceptance is as beautiful as it is fun. Inspired by the stories of real animals who were caught in the crossfire during WWII, The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher is a charming, inspiring story of a young mouse searching for a new home in the middle of a war zone. When her safe haven in James Smith & Sons umbrella shop is destroyed during the Blitz, Pip Hanway suddenly finds herself orphaned, alone, and homeless all at once. Enter Noah’s Ark, a secret animal organization devoted to fighting the enemy in France. When joining up seems to be Pip’s best option going forward, she sets off for the continent with renewed purpose. Sweet, heart-wrenching, and featuring lovely illustrations by Sam Usher, this story of one brave little mouse and the lengths she must go to to protect her friends and her home, is perfect for fans (or future fans) of Michael Morpugo, Redwall by Brian Jacques, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, or the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.

Summer might mean taking a break from school work, but no time of year should ever be devoid of story time! There are so many new picture books arriving in the store everyday, it’s almost impossible to pick our favourites, but we managed to select a few very special ones here that we think deserve a moment in the spotlight. In the charmingly illustrated Dogs and Their People by Anne Lambelet, a young girl takes great joy in all the dogs she sees as she walks home from school. There are short people with tall dogs, large people with tiny dogs, some who share the same fashion sense, and others who even have matching moustaches! No matter how different or similar they are though, they’re all somehow the perfect match! Max Attacks by Kathi Appelt and Penelope Dullaghan is a fun, colourful book chronicling a day in the life of Max the naughty cat. Although he gets distracted by shoelaces, clean socks, and even his own food dish, Max is determined to attack the orange fish swimming around in their fishbowl. Will he succeed? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Oh, Bear by Melissa Nelson Greenberg and Ruth Hengeveld introduces readers to Bear and his bright yellow kite. After flying his kite in the meadow and by the sea, Bear tries to fly it home through the forest, but it soon gets stuck in a tree and tears. When a little bird comes along to help, Bear realizes that even though he no longer has a working kite, he now has a new friend instead. With simple text and beautiful illustrations, this book will be loved by children and adults alike.

With so many books to choose from, it’s hard to decide which ones are going to make it onto your to-read pile. Though we’re loathe to make the task more difficult for you, here are some other recent and forthcoming releases for you to consider: Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan BryonSuperbuns by Diane KredensorBunny by Mona AwadThe Porpoise by Mark HaddonHow to Read a Book by Kwame AlexanderKnife by Jo NesboThe Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed, Dead At First Sight by Peter James, The Mountain Master of Sha Tin by Ian Hamilton, The Second-Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith (July 16), The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (July 16), You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman (July 23), The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins (July 30), Trudeau by John Ivison (August 6), Travel Light, Move Fast by Alexandra Fuller (August 6), History Day By Day by Peter Furtado (August 6), Churchill’s Menagerie by Piers Brendon (August 6), A Keeper by Graham Norton (August 13).

Whether you’re heading to the beach, the backyard hammock, or far-flung shores this summer, let a new book be your passport to new perspectives, experiences, and adventures!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


New Features!

For those of you who special order books through us, you can now choose from three different modes of contact when it comes time for us to let you know that your book has arrived.

The traditional phone call is, of course, still an option, but we’re also able to e-mail or text you your pick-up notice. If you want to sign up for either of these new features, just let us know next time you come by and we’ll update the information on your store account.


Book Signing with Sue Williams

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019
Time: 11:00am to 2:00pm

About the Book:
“Three hundred nautical miles from shore, I‘m cold and sick and afraid. I pray for reprieve. I long for solid ground. And I can‘t help but ask myself, What the hell was I thinking? When Sue Williams set sail for the North Atlantic, it wasn’t a mid-life crisis. She had no affinity for the sea. And she didn’t have an adventure-seeking bone in her body. In the wake of a perfect storm of personal events, it suddenly became clear: her sons were adults now; they needed freedom to figure things out for themselves; she had to get out of their way. And it was now or never for her husband, David, to realize his dream to cross an ocean. So she’d go too.Ready to Come About is the story of a mother’s improbable adventure on the high seas and her profound journey within, through which she grew to believe that there is no gift more precious than the liberty to chart one’s own course, and that risk is a good thing…sometimes, at least.”


Book Launch for Amelinda Berube

Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019
Time: 4:00pmAbout the Book:
The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of sisterhood turned toxic, imaginary monsters brought to life, and secrets that won’t stay buried.Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. And moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over as someone different.In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming Skye’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.”


Summer Reading
What’s Your Cup of Tea?
Above: Camp Penguin (Penguin Random House CanadaBelow (Top to Bottom): Books That Shine This Summer (Simon & Schuster Canada), The Summer of Canadian Reading (HarperCollins CanadaBYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Summer Essentials (Penguin Random House Canada)

Hilary’s Bookshelf Presents:
Books for the Beach

“I’ve been on a bit of a rom-com kick recently, speeding through book after book because sometimes you just need to read a happy story that you know will have a good ending. Although I don’t generally spend time on beaches, these fun, upbeat books struck me as the precise kind you’d want to read while listening to waves lapping up on the shore.”

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Georgie has never had great luck with men, so when she finds out that her new boss is actually her high school sweetheart, it seems like the stars have finally aligned. The one problem is, he doesn’t remember who she is. Full of hilarious incidents, heart-wrenching misunderstandings, and enough sparks to start a serious fire, this story is a must-read!


A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
As a rising star in the FBI, Kendra has been prepared for almost all eventualities – except, perhaps, for suddenly finding herself in an English manor house circa 1815. As she sets about trying to find her way back to the 21st century, she’s thrown off-course by the death of a young girl and the mysterious, handsome Marquis who lands at the top of her suspect list.


Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke
When Justine randomly runs into her childhood sweetheart Nick years after they’d last crossed paths, it seems like a great love affair is inevitable. But when things don’t go exactly according to plan, Justine decides to give things a nudge. What follows is a charming story about fate, love, and lasting friendship.


The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Susan has never been one for messy emotions. So when she’s suddenly faced with the death of her mother and the news that she’s pregnant, her perfectly ordered world begins to crumble. An unlikely ally appears in the form of her brother’s odd friend Rob. It’s with his help that Susan slowly begins to realize that perhaps messy emotions aren’t such a bad thing.


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy and Leon share a flat. The funny thing is though, they’ve never actually met. As they get to know each other through sticky note conversations, therapeutic baking, and meal-sharing, they soon graduate from being simple flatmates to friends. But when they accidentally meet in person, all bets are off as their relationship shifts and resettles into a new frame.


Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
As a rom-com obsessed aspiring screen writer, Annie is sure that her ideal man is out there, just waiting to meet her in the most perfect meet-cute ever! But sometimes life – and love – have other plans. A hilarious ode to Nora Ephron, this novel is the perfect read for devotees of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks canon.


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
In Drew’s mind, there’s nothing worse than showing up at your ex-girlfriend’s wedding without a plus-one. So when he gets stuck in an elevator with the perfect fake date candidate, he can’t believe his luck. Once the night is over though, both Drew and his date, Alexa, realize that they had a lot more fun than they expected. But is one magical night enough to base a relationship on? Especially when they live miles apart?


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m ReadingOur Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper

“Set in 1992 in small-town Newfoundland, this novel introduces readers to Finn, a boy whose life revolves around his family, his town, and the traditions of his home. So, when the cod fishery collapses and people start heading West for work (Finn’s parents included), Finn takes it upon himself to bring the fish back in the hopes of keeping his family together. Lyrical, poetic, and full of the magic of the sea, this beautiful story of hope, love, and tradition is a balm for the soul.”


Our Bookclub: September through November 2019

September: Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Date: Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30pm

Winner of the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize
A dazzling, original novel of slavery and freedom, from the author of the international bestseller Half-Blood Blues

When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black – an eleven year-old field slave – is horrified to find himself chosen to live in the quarters of one of these men. But the man is not as Washington expects him to be. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde – naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist – whose obsession to perfect a winged flying machine disturbs all who know him. Washington is initiated into a world of wonder: a world where the night sea is set alight with fields of jellyfish, where a simple cloth canopy can propel a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning – and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human.

But when a man is killed one fateful night, Washington is left to the mercy of his new masters. Christopher Wilde must choose between family ties and young Washington’s life. What follows is a flight along the eastern coast of America, as the men attempt to elude the bounty that has been placed on Washington’s head. Their journey opens them up to the extraordinary: to a dark encounter with a necropsicist, a scholar of the flesh; to a voyage aboard a vessel captained by a hunter of a different kind; to a glimpse through an unexpected portal into the Underground Railroad. This is a novel of fraught bonds and betrayal. What brings Wilde and Washington together ultimately tears them apart, leaving Washington to seek his true self in a world that denies his very existence.

From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy plains of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness of life. This inventive, electrifying novel asks, What is Freedom? And can a life salvaged from the ashes ever be made whole?


October: Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Date: Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30pm

From the bestselling author of Life After Life, a new novel that explores the repercussions of one young woman’s espionage work during World War II.

In 1940, eighteen-year-old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.


November: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Date: Wednesday, November 27 at 7:30pm

In 1936, Bluet is the last of the Kentucky Blues. In the dusty Appalachian hills of Troublesome Creek, nineteen and blue-skinned, Bluet has used up her last chance for “respectability” and a marriage bed. Instead, she joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding up treacherous mountains on a mule to deliver books and other reading material to the poor hill communities of Eastern Kentucky.  

Along her dangerous route, Bluet confronts many who are distrustful of her blue skin. Not everyone is so keen on Bluet’s family or the Library Project, and the impoverished Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town.

Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek provides an authentic Appalachian voice to a story of hope, heartbreak and raw courage and shows one woman’s strength, despite it all, to push beyond the dark woods of Troublesome Creek.


 

June 2019 Newsletter


May Bestsellers

1. Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal
2. The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
3. The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman
4. The Art of Diplomacy by Bruce and Vicki Heyman
5. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
6. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
7. The Huntress by Kate Quinn
8. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
9. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
10. The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht


Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy summer! Is it safe to say that? We think so. Especially given the stretch of sunny days we’ve had, the fact that we’ve finally been able to wear sandals, and this sudden undeniable urge we have to read in a hammock! If the seasons really have finally turned, that means that it’s time to seriously consider what to read for the next few months. Whether you’re going on holiday, sending the kids off to camp, or sticking close to home, it’s important that everyone be fully stocked in the book department. Luckily, this year has given us a bumper crop of great books for every mood, genre, and sensibility imaginable, and our staff are always more than happy to help you find that perfect book to add to your reading pile!

It’s at times like this, when the sun is shining and the squirrels are frolicking around your garden (possibly wreaking havoc on your flowers and plants), that we most enjoy reading fun, charming stories about quirky characters and surprising situations. Of course, there’s always room for a little murder and mystery amidst the fun too, and that is exactly what readers are in for when they pick up Jean-Luc Brannalec‘s new mystery, The Fleur de Sel Murders: A Brittany Mystery. Readers were first introduced to Commissaire Georges Dupin, a Parisian-born caffeine-lover, in Death in Brittany and now, in this third book in the series, Dupin is attempting to escape his paperwork by going on holiday. As you might expect, things don’t quite go according to plan, and soon he’s embroiled in a troubling mystery while trying to find his missing friend and cordially work alongside local investigator Sylvaine Rose…none of which are proving to be easy tasks. Perfect for anyone who loves Donna Leon‘s ongoing Commissario Guido Brunetti Series, readers will be charmed by Dupin and his idiosyncrasies. Not unlike the countryside villages of France, murder and mayhem also stalk the streets of 17th Century London, just months after the Great Fire. Following the great success of The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, Andrew Taylor‘s third instalment of the James Marwood & Cat Lovett SeriesThe King’s Evil, finds his unlikely sleuthing duo once again confronted with a dastardly murder to solve. This time though, the crime hits a little too close to home when Cat herself becomes the prime suspect. Desperate to clear his friend’s name, Marwood must navigate the dangerous intrigues of King Charles II’s court in order to catch a killer and see justice done.

There are few things more enjoyable than finding a lovely story that you can just sink down into. The kind of story full of characters you’d like to befriend and hang out with for a while. Sarah Haywood‘s The Cactus is definitely one of those books. Susan has always led an extremely ordered life and makes decisions based on logic instead of emotions. So, when her perfectly organized world is thrown into chaos with the death of her mother and an unplanned pregnancy, it’s anyone’s guess how this self-sufficient woman of 45 will deal with the maelstrom of emotions swirling around her. Full of humour, quirkiness, and unlikely allies, readers will love Susan more and more as the book goes on! Sharing an apartment with a roommate always comes with at least a few bumps in the road…especially when you’ve never actually met! Leon and Tiffy, the main characters in The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, might live in the same apartment, but since one of them works nights and the other works days, they’re never home at the same time. Communicating solely through sticky notes, these two strangers soon become friends, cooking for each other and slowly learning what makes the other tick. Leon and Tiffy are funny, sweet, caring, and thoughtful and their story is so charming, we guarantee you’ll have a hard time closing the book once you reach the end!

Now that the weather is properly warm, it looks like pretty much all our migratory feathered friends have returned home for the summer. Whether you’re watching them flit around your own backyard or around the eaves of your cottage, it’s always good to have a bird guide close at hand when the age-old “I swear that was a bluebird” argument inevitably occurs. Though The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht is definitely not your typical bird guide, it makes for a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek book for bird lovers and the avian-averse alike. A wonderful companion book to Kracht‘s might be the slightly more practical An Asylum of Loons: Charming Names from the Bird World. Complete with full colour photographs and fascinating bits of history related to some of these names, you’ll learn much more from this little book than the fact that a group of goldfinches is called a “charm.” Not dissimilar to birdwatching in a slightly strange way, royal-watching has been going on for centuries, with certain royals garnering more attention than others over the years. One of the most talked about royals in recent decades has undoubtedly been the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. Alternately described as rebellious, glamourous, rude, hard-done-by, jealous, spiteful, and fun, this intriguing royal is the subject of Craig Brown‘s new book Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret. Drawing from essays, diary entries, and interviews, this fascinating book is a witty look at one woman’s life and the high society swirling around her. It would be a perfect summer read for anyone in withdrawal from the last season of The Crown.

It’s always hard to fit all the titles we’d like into our newsletter, so here are some more recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about sharing with you: The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod MacKnightSorcery of Thorns by Margaret RogersonEvery Little Piece of Me by Amy JonesThe Gameshouse by Claire NorthThe Sentence is Death by Anthony HorowitzParis, 7 A.M. by Liza WielandThe Body in the Castle Well by Martin WalkerFatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys, The Magical History of Britain by Martin Wall, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes by Graeme Davis, The Debatable Land by Graham Robb (June 11), The Porpoise by Mark Haddon (June 18), The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham (June 18)Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (June 25), The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan (June 25)Pinch of Nom by Kate Featherstone (June 25), and Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane (July 2).

Since summer is finally here, now is the perfect time to start planning out your warm, sunny days ahead. While we fully support lounging on the beach, backpacking across Europe, having fun at summer camp, and taking road trips across the country, we also firmly believe that none of these activities should be undertaken without having a great book close at hand! Luckily, we just happen to know a great place where you can get your hands on one…or maybe two.

Wherever this summer takes you, we hope you have a wonderful time!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Monday, July 1 for Canada Day! Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, July 2.


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

“Set in Maine, this family saga carries readers through three generations of the Milton family from the mid-1930s onward. The story jumps forwards and backwards in time, exploring the varied lives and experiences of the Miltons and looking at how a single decision can echo down through the years in unexpected ways. Full of family secrets, shattered myths, and unsettling discoveries, this sweeping novel is sure to keep you hooked!”

 


David Moscrop and Sid Ryan Signing

Please join us on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00pm for a book signing with David Moscrop, author of Too Dumb for Democracy, and Sid Ryan, former CUPE President and author of A Grander Vision.

David Moscrop is a political theorist with an interest in democratic deliberation and citizenship. Moscrop is a regular writer for Maclean’s, a contributing columnist to the Washington Post, and a regular political commentator on television and radio. He has also authored pieces in numerous other newspapers and magazines including the Globe and Mail and National Post.

Sid Ryan served six years as both the president of the Ontario Federation Labour, where he represented over one million workers. Previously, he had served seventeen years as president of CUPE Ontario and general vice-president of CUPE National. He lives in Whitby, Ontario.

Healthy With Hanifa: A Woman’s Guide to Holistic Health

Join us on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00pm for a talk with local nutritionist and fitness professional Hanifa Yip.
5 Fitness & Nutrition Myths for Women
Have you tried conventional methods for exercise such as lifting heavy weights and eating a ton of meat protein? Well, there is no one size-fits-all plan. Hanifa Yip, Holistic Health Coach and Registered Holistic Nutritionist, is the author of Healthy with Hanifa: A Woman’s Guide to Holistic Health & Fitness. She will be smashing some of these ‘no pain, no gain’ and ‘we should be eating only one way’ myths. Please come out for a short, informative talk, and please bring a friend. Session will include a free-class fitness class voucher and tip sheet.”

May 2019 Newsletter


April Bestsellers

1. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
2. The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
3. 
Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
5. Ladies, Upstairs! by Monique Begin
6. Airborne by Jonathan Rotondo
7. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
8. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
9. The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman
10. Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson


Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, a whole month may have passed since we last spoke via newsletter, but you wouldn’t really know it by looking outside. Thankfully, things in and around the store are looking decidedly springy! We’ve got events going on, summer reading to plan for, and lots of great spring books just begging to be plucked off the shelf! The garden centres may not be ready for you quite yet, but we’re more than happy to step into the void and help you finally kick the winter blues to the curb and swing into spring the right way…with a new book!

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of our newsletter, we wanted to share a little bit of exciting news about a new feature in our online store. As some of you may know, back in the fall we signed up with the Seattle-based audiobook company Libro.fm so we could offer you all the chance to buy downloadable audiobooks while still supporting your local independent bookstore. Now, to make it even easier to use this new service, instead of going straight to our Libro page (libro.fm/beechwood), you can now see what titles are available in downloadable audio form while browsing for regular books in our online store. If you see a book you like, look beneath the image of the cover to see if there’s a turquoise button that says “Buy Audiobook.” If there is, you’re in business! Just click on the button to be transferred to our Libro.fm site to complete your purchase! If you ever run into a problem, just let us know!

With the advent of spring, it’s amazing to see how many events in and around our city crop up like plants reaching towards the sun. From craft sales to concerts, political panel discussions to outdoor festivals, there seems to be a little something out there for everyone. Never happy to be left out of the fun, we have two book talks to tell you about this month which we’re very much looking forward to hearing ourselves. On Wednesday, May 22, local fitness professional and Registered Holistic Nutritionist Hanifa Yip will be in the store to present her talk “Fitness and Nutrition Myths.” In addition to working in our Nation’s Capital in a number of different health and fitness related fields over the years, Hanifa is now a published author, having just released her brand new book Healthy with Hanifa. Her talk will get going at 7:00pm and books will be available to purchase in the store before, during, and after the event. The following evening, Thursday, May 23, we will be hosting a book signing from 7:00-9:00pm with two heavy-hitters of the political scene. David Moscrop, Washington Post contributor, political commentator, and author of Too Dumb for Democracy, and Sid Ryan, former CUPE Ontario President and author of A Grander Vision, will be in the store to discuss their new books and talk a bit about the political situation we find ourselves in today. It’s bound to be a riveting evening, so be sure not to miss it!

It might sound unbelievable, but the hardest part of writing these newsletters every month is trying to decide which books to highlight for you. We know we say this every time, but that’s because it’s true every time – there are just so many good books that we think deserve your attention that it’s hard to limit ourselves to these few. Alas, such is our lot in life! So, without further ado…there’s no doubt in our minds that one of the biggest new releases this month has been The Art of Diplomacy by former US Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman. Written with his wife Vicki Heyman, this new political memoir explores one of the most important relationships our country will ever have – that with our southern neighbours. Recounting their three years spent in Canada, exploring our country and meeting its people, this book champions a vision for the future in which we move forward by working together to protect our shared values instead of playing a game of constant one-upmanship. Written with passion and determination, this book is a must read for those interested in diplomacy, foreign relations, and a future in which Tweets don’t run a country.

For book lovers and history buffs, the more important question to ask than “Who was Shakespeare?” is perhaps “Where are Shakespeare’s books?” For, surely, a man who authored as many incredible works as we credit to William Shakespeare must have had a very impressive and extensive library. Honestly, this question had never really occurred to us before now, but with the arrival of Stuart Kells‘ new book, Shakespeare’s Library, we just can’t stop puzzling over it! Though it would no doubt include copies of the Bard’s manuscripts and letters – irreplaceable pieces of literary history in and of themselves – scholars (and casual readers) would be able to glean new insights into Shakespeare’s work by knowing what books, stories, and poems he surrounded himself with on a daily basis. With a spirit akin to that of National Treasure and Indiana Jones, Kells‘ book gives us a new spin on a centuries-old mystery and will no doubt spark interest and contemplation in any reader’s imagination. Now from the literary ghosts of Stratford-Upon-Avon, to the culinary creativity of our very own St. Laurent Boulevard! Many of us at least know this Indian restaurant by sight from driving up and down St. Laurent Boulevard in Ottawa’s East end, but only those who have entered Coconut Lagoon truly know what a culinary gem it is! Touted as the best Indian food in Ottawa, you can now take some of chef Joe Thottungal‘s recipes home with you with his new cookbook, Coconut Lagoon. From the same publishing house which brought us Anne DesBrisay‘s Ottawa Cooks a few years back, this beautifully packaged book is full of mouth-watering recipes and stunning photographs that will delight any home cook!

As some of your may already be aware, books set in the Scottish Highlands immediately get a thumbs-up from certain members of our staff (just ask them about Finlay Wilson‘s Kilted Yoga…but only if you have some time to spare), but when said books are also charming, delightful, and full of mystery, well, there’s just not much more to say! So it should come as no surprise that Molly MacRae‘s The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series has tickled our fancy! As appealing as its predecessor, Plaid and Plagiarism, book two in this series, Scones and Scoundrels, brings readers right back to Yon Bonnie Books in Inversgail just in time to witness the four bookshop owners turn lady detective once more to solve a mysterious crime. One the eve of a big author event, a young American is found dead outside the local pub and, though they are a far cry from professional sleuths, our daring bookshop owners find themselves being beseeched by none other than their visiting author to help her solve the crime. Reluctant to join in, it’s not until their star author is also found dead (due to dodgy scones from the bookshop’s tearoom) that Janet and her co-owners set out to catch a killer and save the reputation of their beloved bookshop!

Coming-of-age stories are a classic form of storytelling that has been around for generations. It’s not every day though that you come across examples of the genre quite as compelling as Sally Rooney‘s and Todd Babiak‘s newest novels. Sally Rooney, winner of the Sunday Times (UK) Young Writer of the Year Award (tied with Zadie Smith as youngest recipient ever), exploded onto the literary scene two years ago with her critically acclaimed debut novel Conversations With Friends. Her new book, Normal People, which was longlisted for last year’s Man Book Prize, is a sharp, witty, and heartwarming story about unlikely friends, Connor and Marianne. The former spends his high school years among the popular crowd despite his family being the least affluent in their small Irish town. Marianne has had the opposite experience – her family is one of the most well-off yet she has no friends and seems to exist only on the fringes. Despite their differences, these star-crossed lovers embark on a deeply emotional affair in their senior year, only to have their relationship fall victim to the unforgiving social hierarchy of high school a short time later. After many months apart, they find themselves thrown together once more when they attend the same college, though this time, their social situations are reversed. Can either Connor or Marianne bridge the gaps between them to unite once more as we all believe they should? No spoilers here. You’ll have to read the book to find out! On the other side of the Atlantic, The Empress of Idaho by Todd Babiak tells the story of Adam, a fourteen-year-old with a bright future who becomes embroiled in the life of his neighbour’s new wife, Beatrice, at the cost of virtually all his relationships. As his life is slowly eclipsed by his new fascination, Beatrice’s past is beginning to catch up with her. It’s not until she crosses a line with Adam’s mother that Adam himself becomes aware of what he’s risking for a woman he barely knows. At once tender and heart-breaking, this novel perfectly illustrates the vulnerabilities of adolescence and how the transition from child to adult is perhaps the most difficult and confusing time of our lives.

Although there are probably some kids out there who have already started counting down the days till summer break, there are still lots of chances to get lost in a new book before summer schedules take effect. One of our favourite children’s series right now is by a juggernaut of the Canadian publishing scene. Roy MacGregor, along with his daughter Kerry MacGregor waded into the world of children’s literature a little over a year ago with their first novel for 6-8 year olds, The Ice Chips and the Magical Rink. Now their third book in the series has been released, and it’s really an absolute treat to read! Like books one and two, The Ice Chips and the Invisible Puck finds Lucas, Swift, and Edge – all members of the Riverton Ice Chips hockey team – traveling back in time once again to meet one of Canada’s great players as a child! First it was Gordie Howe, then it was Sidney Crosby, and now it’s Hayley Wickenheiser! This charming series is funny, sweet, and universally appealing! Full of challenges to overcome and important lessons to learn, kids will glean more than humour from this wonderful collection of books! Like a David Attenborough special turned into a children’s book, A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry is a great read for fans of Sara Pennypacker‘s Pax and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Inspired by the true story of a young wolf who traveled a thousand miles across the Northwest US, this book introduces readers to Swift, a young wolf who must find his own way in the world when his family is scattered by an attack from a rival pack. Full of danger, adventure, and bravery, Swift’s story is bound to capture the imagination of even the most reluctant readers!

So many books, so little time…and space! Here are some other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re pretty excited about: D-Day Girls by Sara RoseThe Pioneers by David McCulloughThe Book of Dreams by Nina GeorgeLove from A to Z by S.K. AliOur House by Louise Candlish; Henry, Himself by Stuart O’Nan; Turning Secrets by Brenda Chapman; The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith; Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen; The Summer Bed by Ann Brashare (May 14)Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (May 14)A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gabriel Kay (May 14)Greenfeast by Nigel Slater (May 16)Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown (May 21)Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke (May 21)Cliff’s Edge by Meg Tilly (May 21)The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (May 28)Anthony Bourdain Remembered by CNN (May 28)How To Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum (May 28)Charles I’s Killers in America by Matthew Jenkinson (May 28)The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz (May 28)The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (May 28)Moss by Ulrica Nordstrom (May 28)Supernavigators by David Barrie (May 28)Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan (May 28)Wildness by Jeremy Charles (May 29)All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride (May 30)A Portrait of Canada’s Parliament by William McElligott (May 30).

While spring hasn’t quite come into full bloom yet, there’s still something to be said for getting outside to enjoy the sunshine, especially if you’re going out to take a book with you! With so many new titles arriving in the store everyday, we’re always ready and willing to help you find that perfect outdoor reading companion. Whether you’re nursing a drink on your favourite restaurant’s patio, watching your kids play in the park from the comfort of a nearby bench, or glorying in the tiny sprouts gracing the flower beds in your own garden, there is a book for you! Our staff of highly-trained book professionals is just waiting to help you find your perfect match! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Binding by Bridget Collins

“The lure of Bridget Collins’ new novel is hard to resist and you really shouldn’t try because the treat that awaits you between the covers is just too wonderful! Set in a world where books are used to lock away people’s memories, Emmett is summoned from his family farm to become apprenticed to a bookbinder – a sacred calling that is at the centre of a world he’s been taught to fear and distrust. Full of magic, mystery, and books, this novel is a wonderful read that I’m going to savour to the very end!”


Nicola Vulpe Signing “Insult to the Brain”

Local poet Nicola Vulpe will be here in the store on Saturday, May 11 from 12:00-2:00pm to sign copies of his new book of poetry Insult to the Brain.

About the book:

“We breathe, then we don’t. We are, then we are not. Dark, despairing, wry, comical – suprising, Vulpe’s Insult to the Brain engages with the great and not-so-great poets of the last century to ask as only a poet can: What does it mean to die? What does it mean to be human?

Jacqueline Bourque Poetry Launch

Visit us on Wednesday, May 1 between 5:00pm and 7:00pm to meet Ottawa poet Jacqueline Bourque as she launches her new chapbook of poetry, The Dune As Bookmark.

“Jacqueline Bourque grew up along the ocean shores of New Brunswick. She spent the better part of her career in Ottawa working as a communicator for a public sector organization. Her poems have appeared in a number of chapbooks, anthologies, and journals, including The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Queen’s Quarterly, and The Dalhousie Review.”

April 2019 Newsletter


March Bestsellers

1. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
2. Ladies, Upstairs! by Monique Begin
3. Brother by David Chariandy
4. The Huntress by Kate Quinn
5. Claws of the Panda by Jonathan Manthorpe
6. Homes by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah
7. By Chance Alone by Max Eisen
8. Becoming by Michelle Obama
9. The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
10. Educated by Tara Westover


Greetings Book Lovers!

While the war of the seasons continues to rage outside our windows, it’s not hard to spot the signs of spring inside the store these days. There are fun new gift items gracing our shelves, restocks of old favourites, and more new softcover books sprouting up than you can shake a stick at! Our in-store book signings, like migrating birds, have even returned from their winter hiatus, which is always a key indicator of a seasonal shift. So, with an extra bounce in our step and a birdsong in our hearts, it’s time to bid goodbye to winter (snow or no snow) and say hello to all the hopeful possibilities that come with spring, literary and otherwise!

If the return of the sun and disappearance of the ice isn’t motivation enough to make you dip your toes outside this month, why not make a special trip out to one of our upcoming book events? This coming Saturday, April 13, local science-fiction author John Haas will be in the store between 11:00am and 12:00pm to sign copies of Writers of the Future: Volume 35. His story, The Damned Voyage, is just one of 24 winners of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future competition featured in this amazing collection. Perfect for fans of fantasy and science-fiction stories, this book is not one to be missed! Jonathan Rotondo will be paying us a visit on Sunday, April 14 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign copies of his new memoir, Airborne. Full of fascinating aviation history and exhilarating storytelling, this is, in essence, the story of a father and son and the ways in which we can learn more about our present by delving into our past. Be sure to stop by the store on Wednesday, May 1 to meet local poet and writer, Jacqueline Bourque. She will be here from 5:00pm to 7:00pm to launch The Dune as Bookmark, her new collection of poetry. Keeping things going into May, Invisible Publishing authors Bindu Suresh and Andrew Forbes are hitting the road this spring and will be stopping in to see us on Friday, May 10 to launch their new books, 26 Knots and Lands and Forests, respectively. Be sure to come by between 6:00pm to 8:00pm to meet these two great authors and enjoy an evening of readings, mingling, and bookstore fun!

With the NHL playoffs just kicking off, we’re sure at least some of you will be taking a short hiatus from your to-read pile to take in every pass, shot, and cross-check happening on the ice. Luckily, for those of you who won’t be glued to your TV sets in the coming weeks, there are lots of great new books flooding through our doors every day and we guarantee that when you’re next in the market, you’ll find something to entrance and entertain you in equal measure. At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham is not only the newest novel from one of our go-to Canadian authors, but it’s also an eye-opening read about what might be a slightly lesser-known period of Canadian history. When Liza’s father decides to move his family from their comfortable Vancouver home to the wild streets of Dawson city in order to profit from the Kondike gold rush, he sets them all on a path that will change their lives forever. Full of breathtaking adventure, harrowing experiences, and burgeoning hope in times of extreme darkness, this unforgettable novel introduces readers to a determined, spirited young woman who must find her own way against all odds. From the mountains of the North to the rockstar tour buses of sunny California, Taylor Jenkins Reid has given us a fascinating read rumoured to have been inspired by the incredible Stevie Nicks and the legendary band Fleetwood Mac. Set in the 1970s and told in a classic rock biography style, Daisy Jones & The Six is a groovy trip back in time that will appeal to anyone who loved the movie Almost Famous!

There’s no doubt in our minds that one of the most fascinating books in the store right now is Mark Bourrie‘s Bush Runner. Exploring the life of Pierre-Esprit Radisson, one of the co-founders of the Hudson’s Bay Company, this new biography follows its subject far and wide from the communities of First Nations and French fur traders in North America, to the homes of influential Dutch families in Holland, to the cobblestone streets of London during the Great Plague and the Great Fire. Though perhaps not the most upstanding of characters – he double-crossed more people than you’d think one could in a single lifetime – Radisson definitely lead a varied and colourful life and, in keeping a personal journal of his adventures, has given us, through Bourrie’s writings, a unique and irreplaceable look back into 17th Century Canada. For a very different kind of history, why not take a peek at Classical Music: Expect the Unexpected by Kent Nagano? As a world-famous conductor, Nagano knows a thing or two about classical music and has been living and breathing the genre since he was a child. Part memoir, part social history, this book explores the journey the classical genre has taken over the years and the fact that its reach seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Where once it was a universal genre, it’s now in danger of becoming simply a hobby for the higher echelons of society. Written with love and passion, this book would be a good one for all music lovers to read.

If there were an award for biggest book release of the year so far, beloved children’s author Jeff Kinney would definitely be the 2019 recipient! His newest release, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, gives readers a bit of different perspective into the Wimpy Kid world as it’s the diary of Rowley Jefferson instead of Greg Heffley. In this new book, Rowley actually decides that he’s going to write Greg’s biography since everybody knows that Greg is going to be famous someday. The result is a hilarious, topsy-turvy mess and fans of the original series will be endlessly entertained by all the ups and downs in this singular Wimpy Kid story! Though it’s hard to imagine a Monty Python story for kids, Matt Phelan seems to have produced just that in his new book Knights vs Dinosaurs. King Arthur’s court is at peace and there seem to be far fewer dragons around than there used to be. As a result, the Knights of the Round Table have been doing a fair bit of thumb twiddling recently. So when Merlin decides that he’s going to send the knights out on a real adventure to a land filled with the most dangerous lizards of all time, you know you’re in for a wild ride! Perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, and The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett!

Finally, because it’s almost Easter, we want to highlight one of our favourite picture book releases from recent days. Though it’s not about Easter at all, it does feature an adorable bunny, and that’s close enough for us! The Rabbit, The Dark, and the Cookie Tin by Nicola O’Byrne is a beautifully illustrated story about a little bunny who doesn’t want to go to sleep. Since darkness seems to be a key element to bedtime, this little bunny decides that if he gets rid of the dark, he’d be able to stay up as long as he wants. Unfortunately, stuffing the dark inside a cookie tin creates other problems for little bunny and his friends – no bedtime stories being one of the major ones! Charming, sweet, and cute beyond belief, this picture book is bound to become a story time favourite!

We wish we could tell you about all our favourite new books in great detail, but our newsletter is not nearly long enough for that, and we’re not entirely convinced anyone would want to read hundreds of pages of us waxing poetic about books. So, here are some other new and forthcoming releases that we’re excited to share with you: The American Agent by Jacqueline WinspearHeat Wave by Maureen JenningsEuropean Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss; Warbears by Margaret AtwoodOperatic by Kyo MaclearSky in the Deep by Adrienne YoungThe Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert HillmanThe New Silk Roads by Peter FrankopanThe Book of Dreams by Nina GeorgeWhy Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? by Roz Chast and Patricia MarxWhy Do Onions Make Me Cry? by Jay Ingram; Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty (April 16); The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith (April 16)The Ice Chips and the Invisible Puck by Roy and Kerry MacGregor (April 16)The Binding by Bridget Collins (April 16)Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan (April 23)Love & Courage by Jagmeet Singh (April 23)Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi (April 30)The Runner by Peter May (May 7)The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grimes (May 7)Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (May 7)The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (May 7).

No matter what the weather is doing outside, you can always count on us to observe the appropriate season here in the store, and these dreary April days are no exception. So, if you’re feeling starved for a bit of spring sunshine and light, be sure to pay us a visit! We have lots of great new reads and fun products on our shelves, and are more than happy to help banish your winter blues with books!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Friday, April 19 and Sunday, April 21 for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Regular store hours will be observed on Saturday, April 20 and Monday, April 22.

We hope the Easter Bunny is good to you all!
Happy Easter!


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Witch’s Kind by Louisa Morgan

“After reading her previous book, The Secret History of Witches, I couldn’t wait to dig into Louisa Morgan’s new novel. Though the structure of this book is slightly different – it focuses on one woman’s journey instead of travelling through multiple generations of a family – the beauty, magic, mysticism, and love are all still there! Set in the U.S. at the beginning of WWII and featuring two modern witches, a seaside foundling, and the reappearance of an estranged husband, this historical novel is a real winner!”