November 2022 Newsletter

October Bestsellers

1. The Cold Edge of Heaven by His Excellency Whit Fraser
2. Lessons by Ian McEwan
3. Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman
4. The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate
5. Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris
6. Lifesavers and Body Snatchers by Tim Cook
7. The Winners by Fredrik Backman
8. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
9. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
10. Almost Visible by (our) Michelle Sinclair

Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to winter! It’s so hard to believe that it’s already the middle of November. Where is the time going? It seems like only yesterday that summer melted into fall and October gave us canopies of gold and bronze. Now the frosty mornings and whispering winds of late fall have given way to soft, cottony layers of snow and the sparkle of winter. Of course, as avid book lovers, one of our very favourite things about colder weather is that we get to spend more and more time snuggled up reading! So, haul out your coziest blankets, brew a pot of your favourite tea (or other warm beverage of choice), and settle in to find out what great new reads are gracing our shelves these days!

Although we enjoy a good dose of magic in our reads no matter the time of year, there’s just something extra special about reading fantasy books when it’s dark and chilly outside. Whether you’re a fan of witches and sorcerers, mythical lands and epic adventures, or ghostly legends and strange superstitions, we guarantee that you’ll find all of those things and more in the store these days. One new arrival that we’ve been particularly excited about is Emma Seckel‘s debut novel, The Wild Hunt. Set on a small Scottish island in the month of October, this dark tale is littered with misty moors, lost souls, and dangerous legendary birds known as sluagh. When Leigh Welles is called home by the tragic death of her father, she finds herself not only stepping foot in her childhood home for the first time in years, but also facing an island irrevocably changed by WWII. After an ancient island ritual results in a young man’s disappearance, Leigh is thrown together with a young widower to try to solve the mystery…if only the sluagh will let them! Full of heartache, loss, mystery, and a hard-won spark of hope, this is a thrilling, riveting read that will completely transport you! If you’re in the market for even more darkness, mystery, and isolation, be sure to pick up a copy of The White Hare by Jane Johnson. Set on the Cornish coast, this scintillating novel follows a young woman’s struggles to leave her tumultuous past behind while raising her young daughter and appeasing her often overbearing mother. Throw in a rundown manor house with a mysterious past, a strangely alluring man with more than one secret to his name, and enough local folklore to fill the sea, and you have a magical, mystical, memorable novel that will stay with you well beyond the final page!

If reading fantasy novels isn’t your cup of tea, never fear! There’s plenty of magic to be found in real life too, usually hidden in plain sight! The Foghorn’s Lament by Jennifer Lucy Allan is a quirky, fascinating nautical history that skirts along rocky coastlines and skips over sparkling whitecaps as it delves into the past to explore the uses and evolution of a sound. Recognized the world over, the sound of the foghorn is irreplaceable, unmistakable, and impressive. It’s a call to arms, a warning away from danger, and a window into a world of shipwrecks, high sea adventures, and urban myths. As much a history book as the story of one woman’s experiences in some of nature’s wildest places, this book is a real treat! As book lovers, who among us could legitimately say they wouldn’t be happy living on an island solely dedicated to the written word? Well, we can now experience what it would be like with Michael Hingston‘s new book, Try Not to Be Strange. In 1880, future science fiction writer M.P. Shiel was taken to the uninhabited Caribbean island of Redonda and named its king. So begins the transformation of a previously dismissed island into a fantastical writers’ retreat; a haven for a wide range of quirky characters, literary award hopefuls, eccentric publishers, novelists of all types, and bartenders enough to keep everyone well lubricated! Fascinating and incredibly unique, this book will completely capture your imagination…and possibly make you want to search out your very own isolated island!

No matter what age you are, there’s nothing quite like a good story to take you out of the everyday. And what better way to escape than to visit a magical bookshop that exists outside of space and time? Mindy Thompson‘s The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams introduces readers to Poppy, a young bookseller whose family owns and runs Rhyme and Reason, a shop that caters to customers from all places and times. While the world outside continues to deal with the ravages of WWII, Poppy and her brother Al quietly learn the trade of bookselling from their father, always keeping in mind the most important rule about running a magical bookshop: you can never use the magic for yourself. So when Al’s best friend is killed in the war and their father is struck down by a mysterious illness, it falls to Poppy to keep the store on an even keel as her brother grieves and an even more insidious darkness looms beyond their doors. Perfect for fans of Pages & Co. and Sara Pennypacker, this magical, historical novel is a real gem! It’s always a happy day when a new Kenneth Oppel book hits shelves and the day Ghostlight arrived was no different! Set on Toronto Island, this book is at once spooky and thrilling – a true Canadian classic in the making! Gabe is a storyteller and tour guide, happily spending his summer scaring tourists with his creepy lighthouse stories on Toronto Island. The kicker is, Gabe doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when one of his tours takes a very surprising turn and he accidentally summons the ghost of Rebecca Strand, the old lighthouse keeper’s daughter, his life is turned completely upside down. Plunged into the tumultuous world of evil spirits, vengeful ghosts, and a centuries old scavenger hunt, Gabe and his friends (living and dead) have to race against the clock to save Rebecca and her father from the clutches of a dangerous and powerful spirit out to destroy the world as they know it!

As usual, there are so many new books we want to highlight but only so much space here in which to do it. Here’s just a taste of some other recent and forthcoming releases that we think are worth a look: Prisoners of the Castle by Ben MacIntyre, The Cloisters by Katy Hays, Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young, Ithaca by Claire North, A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair, As Long As Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh, Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson, The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn, Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris, Fayne by Ann-Marie MacDonald, One by Jamie Oliver, The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Landlines by Raynor Winn, John Turner by Steve Paikin, Surrender by Bono, The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin, The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz, The Reindeer Hunters by Lars Mytting (November 22), A Return to Ireland by Judith McLoughlin (November 22), A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny (November 29), The Sorcerer of Pyongyang by Marcel Theroux (November 29), The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin (November 29), A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle (November 29), Kings & Queens by Peter Snow & Ann MacMillan (November 29), Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy (December 6), A Private Spy: The Letters of John Le Carre by Tim Cornwell (December 6), Cold Snap by Maureen Jennings (December 6), The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis (December 6), Remainders of the Day by Shaun Bythell (December 6), Blood, Fire, & Gold: The Life of Elizabeth I and Catherine De Medici by Estelle Paranque (December 6), Wilderness Knits for the Home by Linka Neumann (December 13), Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes by Giuseppe Dell’Anno (December 13).

Before we sign off, we do have some exciting in-store events news to share. On Saturday, November 26, Alie and Hejsa Christensen will be here in the store from 1:00pm to 2:30pm to sign copies of their debut thriller, Stealing John Hancock. Hailing from here in Ontario, this mother-daughter writing duo has produced a truly gripping tale of fraud, identity theft, revenge, and con artists. Be sure to come by to meet them, have a chat, and cross another item off your Christmas shopping list! Local author, Canadian war historian, and beloved bookstore customer, Tim Cook will be paying us a visit on Saturday, December 3 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm to sign copies of his brand new book, Lifesavers and Body Snatchers. Exploring the medical history of WWI, this newest offering from Cook shines a light on both the incredible life-saving work done by medical personnel on the front lines and some of the previously hidden truths about the harvesting of body parts from fallen soldiers. At once disturbing, enlightening, and shocking, this book is a look at the Great War through a truly unique lens.

While we love snuggling up with a new book no matter the season, there’s just something about the turning back of the clocks and the arrival of our first snow that makes us want to spend even more time with our “to be read” pile. So, if you’re like us and can’t stop feathering your nest with new things to read, be sure to pay us a visit to see what our staff are recommending this month! You may even find some nifty Christmas goodies while you’re here!

Happy Reading!

Take care,
The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell

“It all begins with gunshots ringing out over a derelict English estate in the dead of night. Not only is the silence of night shattered, but the delicate peace holding the estate’s household together falls to pieces too.
With that one event, Mr. Crowe and his butler Eustace are suddenly faced with very serious repercussions which threaten to unearth secrets from their pasts that they’d rather keep hidden.
With a heavy dose of mystery and just a touch of magic, this novel is a really unique read!”

Book Signing with Gary J. Smith

Come by the store on Saturday, September 17 between 12:00pm and 1:30pm to meet Perth author and former Canadian diplomat to Moscow, Gary J. Smith! He will be here signing copies of his new book ICE WAR DIPLOMAT, the story of 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series and his role in making it happen.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Gary will also be attending a screening of the new documentary called ICE BREAKER: THE ’72 SUMMIT SERIES, at The ByTowne Cinema. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session and a book signing.
For tickets to the documentary, visit:…/ice-breaker-the-72-summit-series/
To hear Gary talk about the book and the movie ahead of Saturday’s events, check out his interview on CBC Ottawa Morning here:…/15935876-50th-anniversary-1972…
About the book:
“Discover a diplomacy mission like no other in Ice War Diplomat, the behind-the-scenes story of the historic 1972 Summit Series. Amid the tension of the Cold War, caught between capitalism and communism, Canada and the Soviet Union, young Canadian diplomat Gary J. Smith must navigate the rink, melting the ice between two nations skating a dangerous path.
On his first overseas assignment, Smith is tasked with finding common ground and building friendships between the world’s two largest countries. Once in Moscow, he opts for sports diplomacy, throwing off his embassy black tie and donning the blue-and-white sweater of the Moscow Maple Leafs.
Trusted by each side with unparalleled access to officials, coaches and players on both teams, Smith witnesses this unique and epic hockey series that has come to transcend time, becoming a symbol of the unity and clarity that sports can offer. The 1972 Canadian-Soviet Hockey Series will go down in history as a pivotal political event, changing the course of two nations and the world of hockey—the fascinating story in these pages will appeal to history and sports fans alike.”

August 2022 Newsletter

June/July Bestsellers

1. Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This is the Boat That Ben Built by Jen Lynn Bailey
4. The Castleton Massacre by Sharon Anne Cook and Margaret Carson
5. A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
6. Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva
7. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict
8. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
9. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy mid-summer! The dog days of summer are here at last and going strong! The last time we spoke via newsletter, the weather was definitely a little bit drearier and cooler than this – sorry it’s been so long. Although life has settled into a kind of new normal, we’re still finding it tough to do all the things we used to here at the store. Unfortunately, our monthly newsletter has been one of the things that’s fallen to the wayside a bit. Everyday is a new day though, and our goal is to continue taking baby steps forward. In the meantime, one activity that we’ve been doing our best to stick with is reading! Now that our days are so sunny, there’s nothing that feels quite as nice as finding a cool, shady spot to hunker down with a refreshing drink and a great book!

Although we read all year round, there’s something special about summer reading. With the longer days, warm breezes, dappled sunshine, and sometimes sudden rainstorms, summer always presents us with such varied reading environments – the backyard hammock, a dockside Adirondack chair, your favourite rainy day reading chair…the possibilities are endless! Wherever you spend your time reading this season, we know that we’ve got the perfect book (or books) to keep you company through the hot, hazy days to come! One of our favourite mysteries of the year so far (and a great summer reading choice) is Claudia Gray‘s The Murder of Mr. Wickham. Bringing together all of Jane Austen’s beloved protagonists, this country house mystery is a real treat! When Austen’s most infamous villain, Mr. Wickham, crashes the Knightley’s house party, more than one guest is thrown for a loop. Things quickly turn from awkward and uncomfortable to horrendous and shocking when their unwanted guest is found dead in the gallery and all evidence points to a murderer within the house. Which of Austen’s beloved characters will turn out to be the guilty party? You’ll just have to delve into this deliciously entertaining Regency era read to find out! Sticking to the same Century for a moment, another delightful romp is A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin. Full of sass, charm, and dogged determination, Irwin‘s heroine, Kitty Talbot, has completely captured our hearts! As a young woman with four younger sisters to support and a mountain of debt to pay off (thanks to her late father), Kitty knows that she must marry well to secure her family’s future. When the man she thought would be the answer to her prayers backs out of his promise, there’s only one option left to Kitty – to head to the big city and throw herself into the cutthroat world of the London Season. But what our determined heroine does not count on is being discovered by a certain Lord looking to throw a wrench in all her careful plans. Will she succeed in her quest despite the machinations of Lord Radcliffe? Or will this unforeseen adversary prove too much for the single-minded Kitty? With a bit more heft than a traditional rom-com, this charming read will no doubt delight Austen fans and historical fiction readers alike!

We don’t know about you, but sometimes all we’re in the mood for when the sun is at its brightest, is a dark, quirky book that will make us laugh while sending shivers down our spine! If you’re in the same boat, then look no further than Maria Adelmann‘s new book, How to Be Eaten. Set in present day New York, this debut novel takes the classic fairy tale characters we all know and love and re-imagines them as modern women in a support group for victims of trauma. Bernice is trying to come to terms with having dated a psychotic, blue-bearded billionaire, Ruby walks around wearing a coat made from the skin of the wolf who once swallowed her whole, and Gretel is struggling to figure out whether her memories of living in a house made of candy are even real! Will these women be able to help each other through the healing process or will suspicion, competition, and judgment bar the way to their true happily ever afters? Dark and seriously funny, this is the perfect read for fans of Grady Hendrix, Carmen Maria Machado and the original, pre-Grimm fairy tales. If you’re a reality TV fan and have ever wished that Survivor and The Bachelor would somehow get combined into one show, then this next read is for you! Samantha Allen‘s debut novel, Patricia Wants to Cuddle, is a hilarious look into the often ridiculous world of reality television through the experiences of the cast and crew on The Catch – a The Bachelor-style competition show which finds its final four contestants playing to win on a mysterious, remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Along with the usual interviews, activities, planned dates, and competition drama, everyone working on this season of The Catch will also be experiencing some very strange things off-set. One by one, each cast and crew member will somehow find themselves on the tallest of the island’s peaks in the company of Patricia, a temperamental and misunderstood local. As the show begins to more closely resemble a thriller than a dating competition, there may really only be one woman left standing by the end!

It’s no secret that we have a deep and abiding love of mythology here at the store. We’ve always enjoyed all different types of legends and lore, and can’t get enough of the stories inspired by them. It’s a nice change sometimes though, to look the other way – at the real life stories that have inspired the myths themselves. That is exactly what Adrienne Mayor does in her new book, Flying Snakes & Griffin Claws. As a research scholar in classics and the history of science at Stanford University, Mayor has written a number of books and explored the intersection of science, anthropology, archaeology, history, and popular knowledge for decades. This new book is a compilation of 50 of her most interesting and humorous discoveries. From mirages that helped inspire legends of cities in the sky to ghost ships that led to the discovery of the Gulf Stream, the truth behind flying serpents in ancient Egypt to the beauty secrets of the Amazons, this book is perfect for lovers of history, science, and myth alike! For any of our regular visitors, the art of Angela Harding will be a pretty familiar sight. We’ve had all kinds of greeting cards, wall calendars, agendas, puzzles, notebooks, and advent calendars featuring her beautiful nature-inspired prints, and now we have a stunning new book to add to that collection! In A Year Unfolding readers are treated not only to some very unique and charming art, but they also get a detailed look behind the scenes at how Angela creates her work in her garden studio in the UK. Mark the passing of the seasons as you flip through the pages of this enchanting collection of prints featuring all your favourite furry, feathered, and flippered friends – hares, foxes, and seabirds, oh my!

While we often get a bit caught up in all the great new adult books we receive every day here at the store, there’s no way we could forget about all the wonderful new arrivals getting cozy in our kids’ section on a daily basis! What more perfect time could there be than now (as the Rogers Cup is being played in both Toronto and Montreal) to add a tennis-themed picture book to your nightly bedtime reading roster? Bibi’s Got Game by Bianca Andreescu is a charming story of a young girl and her love of tennis. Being on court makes Bibi feel invincible – her serve is like lightning and her backhand booms like thunder – but when a playground accident stops her from playing the sport she loves, frustration, anger, and sadness set in. Things get so bad that she decides she’s going to quit playing tennis altogether! It’s only with help from her mom, her fluffy dog Coco, and the art of meditation that Bibi’s able to overcome her doubts and fears and return to the tennis court. Charmingly illustrated, this story about determination, sports, and finding your passion is bound to entrance all the little ones in your life! It’s a great story to share at bedtime and beyond! So much more than just an alphabet book, Ellen Heck‘s A is for Bee is full of gorgeous illustrations, fascinating animals, and a surprise on every page. While a traditional English alphabet book would likely feature A is for apple, B is for book, and C is for cat, this new book turns that pattern on its head by looking at different languages from around the world. The word “bee” may not start with the letter “A” in English, but it does in Ojibewe (Aamoo), Azerbaijani (Ari), Igbo (Anu), and Portuguese (Abelha). Reminiscent of the great Wallace Edwards, this alphabet book is as beautiful as it is unique and educational!

Whether the kids in your life have gone to camp, are heading off soon, or are just spending their last few weeks of summer around the neighbourhood, there’s nothing like a great book to cap off their day! For anyone who loved X-Men or the Harry Potter series, Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tola Okogwu is for you! Onyeka has always felt a bit self-conscious about her hair. It’s so voluminous, vibrant, and curly that people often stop to stare as she passes in the street, and her schoolmates whisper about it behind her back. One day when her best friend almost drowns, Onyeka’s hair does something truly incredible – it takes on a life of its own and pulls her friend to safety! When she relays this story to her mother, Onyeka learns that she’s not the ordinary girl she thought she was, but a member of a group of powerful individuals known as the Solari. Our heroine is soon swept away from all she’s ever known to attend a school in Nigeria that specializes in training Solari; a place where bonds will be formed, powers will be put to the test, and an unforeseen threat lurks in the shadows. Bringing back every shivery feeling you ever had while reading Christina Rossetti‘s The Goblin Market (with a few extras thrown in), Tori Bovalino‘s Not Good For Maidens proves that you can never truly outrun the things that go bump in the night. The Wickett women have long had a connection to the goblin market that plies its trade beneath the cobbled streets of York. Charged with the care of those who fall victim to the goblins’ silver voices, this family of witches are all too aware of the dangers in giving in to temptation. So when May, one of their own, falls for a goblin girl and accepts her invitation to the market, the family’s future is altered forever. Dark, intriguing, and impossible to resist (much like the goblin market itself), this new teen novel is sure to appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare!

In these times full of change, one thing that always stays the same is the sheer number of new books we can’t wait to tell you about! Here are just a few more recent and forthcoming releases that we think you should check out when you’re next in the shop: The Monster’s Bones by David K. Randall, Traitor King by Andrew LownieEbb & Flow by Heather Smith, At Last Count by Claire Ross Dunn, Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian, Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro, Rogues by Patrick Radden Keefe, The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick, The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill, Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo, Hag by Daisy Johnson, Minique by Anna Maxymiw, Ten Cities That Led the World by Paul Strathern, Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany, A Tomb With a View by Peter Ross, The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell, Upgrade by Blake Crouch, The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey, Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander, Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest, Francie’s Got a Gun by Carrie Snyder, The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne, The Stone Child by David A. Robertson, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford, Passengers by Michael Crummey, Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra, We Should Not Be Afraid of the Sky by Emma Hooper, Bronze Drum by Phong Nguyen, To Kill a Troubadour by Martin Walker, The Fallout by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (August 16), Ashfall Prophecy by Pittacus Lore (August 16), Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes (August 16), Making Love With the Land by Joshua Whitehead (August 23), Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood (August 23), Aven Green Music Machine by Dusti Bowling (August 23), Haven by Emma Donoghue (August 23), Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (August 30), Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton (August 30), The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (September 6), Ghostlight by Kenneth Oppel (September 6), Lifesavers and Body Snatchers by Tim Cook (September 13).

Although the arrival of August means we’re heading into the homestretch of the summer, there’s still lots of time to squeeze in a few more sunny reading days before we start thinking about cooler seasons to come. So, if your beach bag can take it, be sure to pay us a visit to talk to all our resident bookworms! They’re all big readers and will be more than happy to help you find the perfect book(s) to carry you through the end of the month!

Happy Reading!

Take care,
The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Monday, September 5th for Labour Day.
Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, September 6th.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

“I think it’s safe to say that historical fiction is my favourite literary genre – there’s really nothing that beats travelling through time via book! So, when I spied this novel on our shelves, I couldn’t resist picking it up! Set in ancient Pompeii and centred around 5 young slave women, this book is a real window to the past – you can almost feel the packed earth and stones beneath your feet!”

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day 2022

Greetings Book Lovers!

We may not have been organized enough to send out an official April Newsletter, but we couldn’t let the month completely slip by without telling you about a very exciting nation-wide celebration that’s coming up this weekend. Saturday, April 30 is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day (CIBD), “the annual day when readers, writers, illustrators, publishers, and other industry supporters come together to celebrate indie bookstores across Canada.”

Like other independent businesses, indie bookstores play an important role in our communities and hold a special place in many a book lovers’ heart. They can be a place of comfort or discovery, somewhere to learn and grow, a safe space in which to explore new worlds or revisit old favourites. They can foster creativity in readers of all ages, fire up our imaginations, and help inspire us to take those first few scary steps down a new, untrodden path. Most importantly though, independent bookstores bring people together over a mutual love of the written word, creating lasting bonds that go far beyond the love of books.

As booksellers, nothing gives us greater pleasure than putting the right story in a reader’s hands. Whether they come into the shop knowing exactly what they want or only having a vague idea of what they’re looking for, being privy to the moment they find the perfect read is truly priceless. For most of our staff, Books on Beechwood started as a shop we would visit with our children, parents, or friends, but it wasn’t until we started working here that it really became a home away from home. Simply put, we love books. Discovering new authors, disappearing into worlds we couldn’t conjure in our wildest dreams, delving into the past – we love it all. And we know that this job we love so much, this place that we call home, wouldn’t exist if not for all of you.

So, on this Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, we want to say thank you. Thank you for being there for us when no one knew what the future held. Thank you for trusting us to find you just the right book for that hard-to-shop-for person in your life. Thank you for letting us talk your ear off about our favourite authors and indulging us by giving one of their books a shot. Thank you for all the love and support you give us everyday in so many different ways – especially over the last two years. It’s been a tough time to say the least and we know that we wouldn’t be here (in body or mind) without all of you. In March of 2020 a rallying cry was sent out to support small, local businesses and you all went above and beyond in answering that cry. We really can’t thank you enough!

Since the pandemic hasn’t allowed us to celebrate CIBD as we normally would, we wanted to make sure that we made this year a special one. It still won’t be quite the same as in the past, but we’re determined to do what we can to make this coming Saturday a fun and exciting day for everyone. First off, on April 30 only, everything in the store will be 25% off. The discount will be available in-store and online, but it will not include CDs, magazines, newspapers, or customer special orders. We will also have a number of door prizes on hand for which a single purchase will get you one entry. Each door prize has a retail value of around $100 and draws will be done once all the festivities are over. There will also be special tote bags on offer, a collection of bargain books to poke through, and even some signed copies of a special limited edition Andre Alexis chapbook up for grabs. Quantities of this beautiful chapbook are very limited, so they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will only be available to purchase in-person in the store (sorry, no online orders for this one). If you miss out on this particular signed book, you may come across a few other special CIBD “signed by author” goodies around the store if you’re in the mood for a hunt. Keep an eye on our social media pages for a sneak peek at what those other titles might be!

If this were a normal year, we would no doubt have invited some of our favourite local authors to spend the day celebrating with us here in the store, but as the pandemic hasn’t loosened its grip on us quite yet, we thought we’d do something a bit different. We decided to reach out to our local author friends and ask them to share their thoughts with us on a few book-related subjects. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

A Bookstore Memory…

“We stumbled on The Old Children’s Bookshelf on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, in April of 2012. The shop’s name is nicely ambiguous because the stock is antiquarian, to be sure, but I suppose it is a shop for old children as well. To my great thrill, I found all of the Enid Blyton “Adventure” series, with their original dust jackets and in pristine condition. I couldn’t resist buying The Mountain of Adventure, since I have long thought of this particular title as being special. It wasn’t the first novel I had read all the way through, but I remember this deep satisfaction, upon finishing it, of having become a stalwart reader able to carry my own weight of camping gear and keep up on the journey into the Welsh mountains and the adventure that was waiting there.”

Tim Wynne-Jones author of The Starlight Claim and The Ruinous Sweep

First Childhood Book…

The Wind in the Willows was the first book I remember owning. I loved the stories and beautiful illustrations—like the one of a snowy forest where a door in a tree led to an underground home where a badger was tucked under a quilt in his bed. On the inside cover was a map showing lanes and rivers in a lush countryside. Places were marked. Mole’s House, Toad Hall, and Wild Wood. I traveled that world and opened that door in the tree. My imagination vibrated. That feeling I had as a child—that vibration that comes from being transported to another world—is why I love to write.”

Katie Tallo, author of Dark August and Poison Lilies 

A Bookstore Memory…

“When I was small, my older sister used to take me to Boyle’s Bookstore in Brampton, Ontario. It was a magical place, up a set of stairs above another shop. I can still remember how it smelled—of paper, leather and possibilities—and see the dust motes dancing in the sun pouring through the small windows. The children’s section was stocked with Curious George and Dr. Seuss books, which I loved, but my favourites were the Anne of Green Gables books, which I still have to this day.”

Laura Byrne Paquet, author of Ottawa Road Trips

Keep your eyes trained on our social media pages for more thoughts and memories from our local authors in the lead-up to Saturday’s festivities!

We’re pretty excited to see you all this coming weekend! We honestly can’t quite wrap our minds around the fact that this is actually happening! Before making your way down to visit us though, please remember that it’s still mandatory to wear a face mask while shopping in the store and while we don’t have an official capacity limit anymore, the pandemic isn’t over, so please browse responsibly. If at any point we feel like there are too many people in the store, we’ll start asking customers to wait outside until the crowd thins out. Don’t worry though! Even if you have to wait outside for a bit, there will still be books for you to browse once you get inside – we’re always sure to have lots of those!

Wherever you are in the world, we hope you show your local indie some love on Saturday! We all loved bookstores long before we ever worked in one, and now that we do, we know that these wonderful nooks full-up with the written word wouldn’t exist without readers like you! Thank you for all that you are, all that you do, and all that you read!

Wishing you all a very happy Canadian Independent Bookstore Day!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

March Bestsellers

1. Thomas Mackay: Laird of Rideau Hall by Alastair Sweeny
2. All the Queen’s Men by S.J. Bennett
3. When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’Neill
4. And a Dog Called Fig by Helen Humphreys
5. Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez
6. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
7. Secrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza Reid
8. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
9. The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
10. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

“Join me in traveling to 18th Century Edinburgh to meet Lily Aitcheson, a young woman who is no stranger to strife, and Adam Williamson, a young soldier with more than his fair share of secrets. Even as they butt heads, Lily and Adam quickly realize that they each need the other in order to safely navigate their way through a shadowy world of intrigue and betrayal. Full of historical touchstones, charming fictional characters, and just a touch of mystery, this new Susanna Kearsley book is not one to be missed!

February/March 2022 Newsletter


January/February Bestsellers

  1. Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquet
  2. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
  3. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
  4. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
  5. Still Life by Sarah Winman
  6. These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
  7. The Last Stable in Lowertown by Karen Bailey
  8. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  9. Thomas Mackay: The Laird of Rideau Hall by Alastair Sweeny
  10. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk

Greetings Book Lovers,

Happy March! It’s certainly been a rough couple of months here in town, but thankfully it looks like we may have finally turned a corner – the snow is slowly receding, the days are getting longer, and being able to feel the heat in the sun is a real joy. In truth, we started this newsletter back in early February, but our hearts just weren’t in it, so we decided to wait until things felt a bit better. So, here we are now in the earliest days of spring and we’re excited that there are so many things to look forward to – the first small flowers peeking up from the ground, the return of our feathered fair-weather friends and their beautiful songs, and of course, all the great new books that are due to come out over the coming weeks and months!

First up, we wanted to take care of a bit of housekeeping as a number of things have changed in the world since we last sent out a note. As we’re sure you’ve already noticed, capacity limits in retail stores have been lifted by the province, so we are no longer counting customers at the door. Another restriction that is due to be lifted on Monday, March 21 is the mask mandate. After discussing it among our staff and owners, we have decided to keep the masking rules in place in the store for the time being. All store staff will continue to wear our masks while working and will still be asking customers to don their masks as well while shopping in the store. As we’re such a small space and are no longer operating with limited customer capacity, we believe that this course of action is the safest one for all involved at this time. So, as of the 21st, if you come by to shop and happen to forget your mask, we will happily provide you with one. For anyone who feels uncomfortable coming into the store, we are also able to orchestrate payments and pick-ups at the door and curb-side pick-ups will still be available as well. The last two years have been tough for everyone and we can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve given us during that time. Your patience and understanding have been incredible and we hope you’ll be able to hang in there with us for just a bit longer.

Thankfully, despite how everything else seems to change daily, there is one thing that we can always count on – the number of great new books arriving here in the store everyday! We honestly don’t know what we’d do without them! Everyone has their own favourite go-to genre, but one thing we know from all our years on Beechwood is that there are few things readers love more than a good murder mystery! The followup to the brilliantly successful novel, The Windsor Knot, C.J. Bennett‘s new royal mystery, All the Queen’s Men is just as charming, fun, and entertaining! Unbeknownst to everyone but her Assistant Private Secretary, Queen Elizabeth II is an incredibly canny sleuth who, in addition to all her royal duties, has solved more than one mystery in her time. After getting to the bottom of a suspicious death at Windsor Castle before her 90th birthday, the Queen is now faced with yet another suspected murder, this time poolside at Buckingham Palace! Can the Queen manage to unmask the culprit while also dealing with Brexit, a new Prime Minister, and a worrying election in the United States? Only time will tell! While we leave the Queen to solve her palace mystery, Susan Juby‘s new book, Mindful of Murder, carries us into the world of buttling and murder on B.C.’s coast. Having just finished butler school, Helen Thorpe is all set to start her new job serving one of the wealthiest families in the world when she gets a call from a spiritual retreat where she used to work. Her former employer, Edna, has died while on a silent retreat and it’s now up to Helen, as executor of her very detailed will, to figure out which of her relatives should rightfully inherit. Not to be left behind, Helen’s butler school classmates insist on coming to help, but the more they all work together to sort things out, the more they realize that perhaps Edna’s passing wasn’t as natural as they all believed.

With the advent of spring, our minds naturally turn to thoughts of plants, trees, and all the beautiful green spaces that we’re blessed with in our city. If you’ve enjoyed Finding the Mother Tree, The Hidden Life of Trees, the works of Diana Beresford-Kroeger, or a little bit of forest bathing, we have no doubt that you’ll like these two great new natural history reads! Following in the footsteps of great arborists before him, Ben Rawlence‘s new book, The Treeline, is a glorious examination of some of the hardiest tree species on earth and the incredible work they do to keep our planet clean. Known as the “‘lung’ at the top of the world”, the boreal forest has been slowly creeping further north for roughly the past five decades. In this fascinating book, Rawlence takes us on a journey through multiple northern countries (including Canada), exploring ancient species like the Dahurian larch, the North American Balsam, and the noble Scots Pine and how these and their fellow trees make life possible for all other life on earth. Tree and plant lovers might also enjoy delving into the history of our world’s flora with Otherlands by Thomas Halliday. Described as “Sapiens for natural history,” this book takes readers on a journey into the past through sixteen fossil sites from all over the world. Looking into the Earth’s past can tell us a lot about its present and future, and studying how plant and animal species have co-existed, collaborated, and evolved over thousands of years may even teach us something about how our own species could do better. It’s hard to think of a time when the Mediterranean Sea was just an empty basin or to imagine a day when the Great Barrier Reef no longer exists, but this book helps us step back so we can see the bigger picture and truly begin to understand the ebbs and flows of life on Earth.

We may only be a few months in, but this year is already setting up to be another great one for books! Here are just a few more recent releases and forthcoming publications that we can’t wait to share with you: When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’NeillSecrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza ReidMoon, Witch, Spider, King by Marlon JamesExtreme North by Bernd BrunnerThe Witch, The Sword, and the Cursed Knights by Alexandria RogersCircus of Wonders by Elizabeth MacnealFinlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle CosimanoRed Island House by Andrea LeeNine Lives by Peter SwansonThe Cartographers by Peng ShepherdHouse of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas, Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen, Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley, Popisho by Leone Ross, Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford, Vladimir by Julia May JonasOur American Friend by Anna Pitoniak, We Had a Little Real Estate Problem by Kliph Nesteroff, The Fifties by James R. Gaines, Red Island House by Andrea Lee, The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley, The School of Mirrors by Eva Stachniak, The Forgotten Five by Lisa McMann, Together We Will Go by J. Michael Straczynski, Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood,, The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith, All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie, And a Dog Called Fig by Helen Humphreys, Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel, Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson, Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage, Best Young Woman Job Book by Emma Healey (March 22), A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear (March 22), Give Unto Others by Donna Leon (March 25), Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (March 29), The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector (March 29), Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (April 5), Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (April 5), The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (April 5), Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (April 5), Bittersweet by Susan Cain (April 5), Freezing Order by Bill Browder (April 12).

Well, it’s been officially two years since we first closed our doors due to the pandemic and it’s hard to think back now to how things felt then. There’s no doubt in our minds that without our lovely books and all of you, our amazing customers, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Your unwavering support and words of comfort were (and still are) the glimmer of hope that we needed to soldier on each and every day. While a lot has changed since the spring of 2020, we know we haven’t reached the end of the road quite yet. We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us over all these long months! We wouldn’t be here without you!

Wishing you all healthy, happy days full of warm sunshine and great reads!

Happy Reading!
Take care,
– The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan

“Returning to the world of A Secret History of Witches, this new Louisa Morgan novel was impossible to resist – it checks all my book boxes! There have been no witches born in the Orchiere clan for centuries and the women of Ursule’s family are now considered no more than village fortune-tellers. But their fate and future take a drastic turn when Ursule comes of age and power begins to flow through her veins. Full of magic, beauty, and danger, this witchy read is everything it promises to be!”

January 2022 Newsletter

2021 Bestsellers

1. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
2. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
3. Values by Mark Carney
4. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
6. Fight Night by Miriam Toews
7. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
8. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
9. Silverview by John Le Carre
10. Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquet

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year! We hope it’s not too late to say that. Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year – the beautiful decorations, the sweet treats, the hot chocolate – but there’s something to be said for the fresh start that comes with a new month and a new year. It’s like opening the first page of a new journal and facing all those blank pages that can be filled with as many or as few adventures as you wish. It’s a time for new beginnings, new resolutions, new hopes and dreams, and, as always, lots of new books!

After the whirlwind that is the holiday season, it’s always strange coming back to the store. The calendar spinners come down, the window displays get tidied up, Christmas stock gets shifted around, and the store starts to look a bit empty compared the bursting shelves of November and December. It doesn’t take long though, to get back in the groove and realize how many neat things we actually still have in stock. As such, there’s no better time than now to have our Annual Inventory Sale! From now until Saturday, January 22, everything in the store will be 25% off with the exception of CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and customer special orders. We still have a great selection of puzzles and gifts in stock, and while book releases have slowed a bit, there are still lots of great reads to choose from. So, if any of you are looking to fill the gaps in your Christmas list where Santa didn’t quite deliver, or if you’ve got a gift card burning a hole in your pocket, now is the time! If the wintery weather is keeping you at home, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on our sale. In our online store (, you can browse to your heart’s content from the comfort of home and still take advantage of our storewide discounts. Please note though, the discount is only applicable on items that are physically in the store (“in store now” will be written next to in stock items) and the discount will be applied once we process your purchase manually in the store (charges do not go through automatically with online orders). So, whether you want to haul on your winter woollies or just snuggle up at home under blanket, savings await at your local bookstore!

As we make our way further into this new year, there are a few things that haven’t changed quite as much as we’d hoped. Like before Christmas, we are currently open for in-store shopping but are only allowing 6 customers in the store at a time. If we are full, we ask that anyone waiting to come in wait out on the sidewalk so we can keep our entryway clear for our couriers, customers exiting the store, and patrons looking to get into the SconeWitch. If the weather is chilly on the day you’re planning to visit us, be sure to dress warmly, just in case. Everyone in the store is required to wear a mask at all times and curb-side pick-ups, shipping, and local delivery are still available on request.

Although January is traditionally a slightly slower month than most of the others, there are still lots of great new books coming out that we know you’ll love! Here are just a few that we’re pretty excited about: The Maid by Nita Prose, Something to Hide by Elizabeth George, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, The Ice Chips and the Grizzly Escape by Roy MacGregor, Greek Myths by Charlotte Higgins, Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho, Like Home by Louisa Onome, Hopepunk by Preston Norton, Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long, Smoke by Joe IdeAnthem by Noah HawleyThe High House by Jessie GreengrassMust Love Books by Shauna Robinson (January 18), The Greek Histories by Mary Lefkowitz (January 18), The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk (January 25), Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana de Rosnay (January 25), The Nordic Knitting Primer by Kristin Drysdale (January 25).

In a month full of new beginnings, we know there are a lot of significant things we could be making resolutions about – getting more organized, taking more time for ourselves, eating healthier, learning a new skill – but the only thing we really want to think about is the number of books we want to read this year. They comfort us, keep us company, take us on great adventures, remind us of home, and we can’t think of any way we’d rather spend our days than with books all around us. So, here’s to a year filled with health, happiness, and as many books as we can all fit on our nightstands!

Happy Reading!

-The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Annual Inventory Sale

It’s January once again which means it’s time for our Annual Inventory Sale!

From now until Saturday, January 22, everything in the store will be 25% off with the exception of CDs, magazines, newspapers, and customer special orders.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

“Lia Louis’ novel Dear Emmie Blue is one of my favourite feel-good reads ever, so I was very excited when I found out that she had a new book coming out.
Two strangers, one snowstorm, and eight perfect hours – these are what kick off this sweet, funny, romantic story about two people from very different places who may just be destined to be together. Noelle and Sam are sure to capture your heart from the very first page!”

December 2021 Newsletter

November Bestsellers

1. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
2. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
3. A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
4. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
5. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
6. Silverview by John Le Carre
7. Fight Night by Miriam Toews
8. The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield
9. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
10. The Two Michaels by Fen Hampson and Mike Blanchfield

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy December! Can you believe we’re here already? It seems like only yesterday we were prepping our summer reading lists, and now we’re living in woolly socks and reading in the soft glow of twinkle lights! Where does the time go? Of course, the fact that this is the first newsletter we’ve written in a number of months certainly doesn’t help with our sense of time. We’re sorry we’ve been so incommunicado. Life has been a bit topsy-turvy for us over the last five months – both at the store and at home – and it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and write. Thankfully, we’ve finally gotten back to it and we’re very excited to tell you all about how our December is looking!

First up, we’re so happy to announce the return of our 12 Days of Penguin Random House Christmas promo! Starting on Monday, December 13, we’ll be featuring one Penguin Random House book per day at 25% off so we’ll be able to count down the days to Christmas together with some of our favourite books! On this year’s list you’ll find great fiction such as Klara and the Sun, Beautiful World, Where Are You?, and Got Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, fascinating memoirs like Talking to Canadians, and unique coffee table books like Renegades: Born in the USA! This promo will be available in store and online, and each book will only be discounted on its specific day. Keep your eyes on this space and our social media pages for daily announcements on when each book is stepping into the spotlight! (Please note that since we’re closed on Sundays, our December 19th promo will only be available online.)

So, there have been a lot of stories in the news recently about supply chain issues and stores sporting empty shelves. We just wanted to assure you that although we’re not unaffected, you won’t be greeted by an empty store next time you come to visit us. Being less than two weeks out from the 24th now, we’ve already passed the majority of our guaranteed Christmas delivery dates for book orders, but that doesn’t mean that books will stop arriving. We still expect to receive lots of deliveries between now and Christmas Eve, though we may not be able to get the specific book you’re looking for in time. It never hurts to ask though. Orders to our last two “in time for Christmas” suppliers will be going out on Thursday of this week, so be sure to contact us before then if there’s a certain title you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to get it for you. If you’re not on the hunt for something specific, rest assured that our staff are still more than happy to help you find that perfect something for that special someone from the large collection of books on our shelves!

As booksellers, we love every time of year, but nothing quite compares to the holiday season. Once September comes, some of the most highly-anticipated books of the year (Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, These Precious Days by Ann Patchett, and Off the Record by Peter Mansbridge, to name a few) start rolling in, then October and November see the announcement of prize nominations and winners for works of fiction and non-fiction in Canada and beyond (What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad, The Strangers by Katharena Vermette, The Promise by Damon Galgut), and finally December hits, ushering in a month of overflowing shelves and tables groaning under large piles of great reads – the sight of which always makes us happy! Add to that the arrival of all sorts of fun gifts, games, and puzzles, and it’s hard to imagine a more exciting time of year!

Of course, with all the good things, there are always a few unforeseen hiccups that show up in the last month of the year. Much like last year, 2021 has presented us with various challenges – shipping delays, supply chain issues, slow book reprints, unfulfilled orders, and all the unknowns associated with an ongoing pandemic. Despite all the tough bits, though, we’ve made it to the finish line, and we can’t thank you all enough for your patience and support through these last 18 months. It’s because of all of you that we’re here, doing what we love everyday!

So here’s to a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with health, happiness, and lots of great new books!

Happy Reading!

Take good care,
The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

We will be open on Christmas Eve from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

We will be CLOSED from December 25 through January 2 to give our staff a well-deserved break.

Regular store hours will resume on Monday, January 3.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

“This book was first described to me as ‘The Great British Baking Show meets Gilmore Girls‘ and it turns out that paints a pretty accurate picture.
When twin sisters find themselves each in a bind before the holidays, what could be more natural than to hearken back to their childhood and switch places to try to sort things out? But when the sugar starts to fly and love enters the mix, will their switch fall flat or produce the most delicious outcome imaginable? What a sweet read!”

June 2021 Newsletter

May Bestsellers

1. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
2. Values by Mark Carney
3. The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett
4. Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
5. The Menopause Manifesto by Jen Gunter
6. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
7. Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson
8. World Travel by Anthony Bourdain
9. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
10. Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy Summer! The solstice has passed and those hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer are stretching out before us like the most inviting of adventures! Who knows where these next few months will take us? Maybe we’ll be heading off to camp or safely visiting relatives. Perhaps we’ll hit the road and search out hidden gems within easy driving distance. Or we could treat ourselves to a hammock and while away some sunny days snoozing in the dappled sunlight…with a book, or course! Really, no matter how we plan to spend our summer days, we’re bound to have a great time as long as we do things safely. So, pack your sunscreen and prep your snacks – it’s time to find out what books should accompany you on all of this year’s summer adventures!

One of this summer’s must-read books has got to be the locally produced and published Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquet. With the pandemic digging in its heels and the country still subject to some travel advisories, what better year than this to discover some of the secret corners and overlooked nooks and crannies in our own province! Based on a popular blog and featuring trips that will take you no further than 100km from Ottawa, this useful and informative guide is the perfect thing to have riding shotgun whenever you get into the car this summer. After all, you never know when the need to hit the road is going to strike! If physically travelling isn’t on your to-do list this summer, maybe you’d rather travel by map with An Atlas of Extinct Countries by Gideon Defoe. Described as Prisoners of Geography meets Bill Bryson, this fascinating and charming book takes a no-holds-barred look at some of the countries and nation-states that have cropped up and disappeared over the centuries. Whether it was due to some kind of natural disaster, a democratic vote, or because Napoleon came knocking, the 48 countries touched on in this book simply slipped off the map and out of existence. Informative and revelatory, this book is the perfect balance of fact and funny and is sure to delight all members of the family on the sultry summer nights to come.

Being book lovers and word nerds are qualities that often seem to go hand in hand. As such, it’s seldom that a language book ever passes through the store without us noticing it! From books about strange or forgotten words to more academic books on the evolution of linguistics – we love them all! So, we were pretty excited when we unpacked copies of Arika Okrent‘s new book last week. Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme – And Other Oddities of the English Language is funny, intriguing, and full of rules that even some of the most fluent English speakers may not know! Due to innumerable cultural influences over the centuries, English is arguably one of the strangest languages out there. With exceptions galore and more oddities than you can shake a stick at, it’s baffling that this strange, sometimes incomprehensible language became as widespread as it is today. Whether English is your Mother Tongue or your third or fourth language, there’s something in this book for you! Okrent has filled the pages of Highly Irregular with answers to our most pressing language questions – “why is it eleven and twelve instead of oneteen and twoteen?” – and takes readers on a glorious trip down the wonky, winding river that is the English language.

Even if it’s been many years since we used to count down the days to the summer holidays, we somehow always retain a kind of fascination (or maybe fixation) with the magical, carefree time from the end of June to the beginning of September. It was a time when we didn’t have to worry about schoolwork and could just kick back and play in the sunshine all day long. Then, as now, one summer activity we can’t do without is reading…preferably in a hammock, but a lounge chair will do just as well! Regardless of where you’re sitting though, there’s nothing quite like spending hot, hazy days delving into a new book and disappearing to a distant place or time, only to emerge hours later to witness the first blinks of fireflies all around you. Okay, so it doesn’t always happen that way, but summer is definitely a time of year synonymous with the reading of great novels. Prepare yourself to plunge into the myths and legends of Ancient Greece with Claire Heywood‘s debut novel, Daughters of Sparta. As the daughters of a King, Helen (the face that launched a thousand ships) and Klytemnestra know that despite their incredible beauty, luxurious upbringing, and endless riches, their fates still lie squarely in the hands of their father and his male advisors. As young women, the sisters are separated and married to powerful kings in whose palaces they are expected to do only two things – give birth to an heir and embody the meek and demure nature of the ideal woman. When the weight of domestic expectations and royal ambition become too much to bear, these courageous women push back and what happens next sets off a devastating chain of events that ripple forward through time for centuries. Perfect for fans of Circe by Madeline Miller, Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne, and A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, this novel is a beautiful story of sisterhood, love, war, and having the courage to fight for your place in the world.

Heroes and villains and the battles between them are something that many of us have gotten used to enjoying in the summer months (thank you, Marvel movie franchise). Since this year is a bit different on the silver screen front, why not enjoy your heroes and villains in print instead? Veronica Roth, the bestselling author of the blockbuster teen series Divergent, has gifted us with a wonderful adult novel that will not cede its grip on readers until the very last page. Chosen Ones is a tale as old as time – a villain rises up to destroy everything and five heroes (the Chosen Ones) are recruited to defeat it and return everything to normal – kind of. Ten years after defeating the Dark One with her four companions, Sloane Andrews has yet to recover from her ordeal and just wants to be left alone. But the Dark One isn’t finished yet, and Sloane is torn from her dreams of rest, relaxation, and recovery to finish what she and her companions started a decade ago. Can the Dark One be defeated once and for all so the world can finally rest in peace? Only time will tell. In a season often filled with beach visits and lounging under umbrellas, it’s always good to have at least one light, romantic read in your back pocket. For us, this month’s To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne is that read! After her father passes away, Gracie Cooper takes over his beloved champagne shop, laying her own art dreams aside in favour of her father’s wishes. But running a shop is complicated and Gracie soon finds herself caught between her desire to keep her father’s dream alive and pressure to sell to a large corporation. The only thing keeping her going is the advice she gets from a man she’s been chatting with in an online dating app – someone she’s never actually met, or has she? With hints of Nora Ephron‘s beloved You’ve Got Mail, this sweet and funny story is the perfect way to spend any summer day!

In a year full of changes, one thing that’s stayed the same is the fact that there are way too many books and far too little newsletter space! Here are some other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: The Shining Life by Harriet KlineHalf Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium by Lucy Jane SantosLove Your Life by Sophie KinsellaHome Stretch by Graham NortonTroy by Stephen FryVery Sincerely Yours by Kerry WinfreyRoyal Witches by Gemma HollmanWendy, Darling by A.C. Wise, The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict (June 29), The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase (June 29), Leonard, Marianne, and Me by Judy Scott (July 1), This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (July 6), The Comfort Book by Matt Haig (July 6), The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs (July 6), Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin (July 6), Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (July 6), While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory (July 13), The Bookshop Cat by Cindy Wum (July 13), One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie (July 13).

Though many of you have been to visit us in the last two weeks, for those who haven’t, we have some exciting news – we’re open for in-store shopping once again! We can’t tell you how excited we are to have you all back in the store! Just the thought of being one step closer to “normal” brings tears to our eyes. It’s been such a tough year for everyone and we’re so happy to see that things seem to be heading in the right direction. Even though we’re open again, there are still some rules in place to keep us all safe.

  • All customers must wear a mask while shopping in the store, passing through the vestibule, or doing a curb-side pick-up.
  • Anyone entering the store must sanitize their hands on the way in, before touching any products.
  • There will be a maximum of 2 customers allowed into the store at a time in compliance with the province’s 15% capacity rule. This number will increase to 3 customers at a time (25% capacity) after Canada Day.
  • If the store is at capacity, we ask that customers waiting to come in form a line outside on the sidewalk, curving around the building towards The Clocktower. Taking into consideration our neighbours, The Scone Witch, our staff, and our couriers, we’d like to keep our vestibule clear and the doors unblocked so both businesses can be accessed easily.

Being open for in-store shopping, while exciting, doesn’t mean that we’ll be cutting back on other services here at the store. Orders can still be placed by phone (613-742-5030), e-mail (, or online (, and we will continue to offer local delivery in surrounding neighbourhoods, shipping further afield, and curb-side pick-ups in addition to in-store pick-ups.

If you are one of those who has either called or visited us over the last month, you may have noticed that our bookstore family has grown by one. Cathy is a retired teacher, a passionate reader, and a long-time customer of the store and we couldn’t be happier that she agreed to join our team! With her sunny disposition, dedication to the shop, and wicked sense of humour, we know that you’re going to hit it off with her just like we did. Her wide-range of interests means that she’s incredibly well-read and likes to stay up to date on the latest book reviews and prize winners. So, when you’re next on the hunt for the perfect gift or just a good book for yourself, you will be in very safe hands with Cathy. The bookstore is a pretty special place and we’re so happy to now have Cathy as part of our team. It’s only been a month and we’re already having so much fun with her that we can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer (and beyond) has in store for us. If you happen to catch her on the phone or in the shop, be sure to give her a great big Books on Beechwood welcome!

Since summer has now officially arrived, it’s time to stock up on books to see you through the bright, warm days ahead. Although this summer will be a bit different than we’re used to and there will still be rules to follow in order to keep everyone safe, it does look like we’re heading in the right direction. That light at the end of the tunnel – the one that’s seemed so far away for so long – is getting closer and closer and we can’t wait to step out of the shadows and raise our faces to the sun once more. In the meantime, we wish you many happy days spent exploring far off lands and making new friends through the pages of some great new books!

Happy Reading!
Stay Safe!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Rabbits by Terry Miles

” Rabbits is a mysterious alternate reality game that you have to be in the know to get into, and even if you are among the chosen few, you will face unspeakable danger – possibly even death – for the chance at an incredible (and unknown) reward. Does that sound tempting? As the danger increases, so does the tension and you won’t be able to put this book down! It’s mysterious, technological, and thrilling. This debut novel is so unique and absorbing that it will make you forget where you are! A must read!”

Local Authors in the News…

St. Michael’s Residential School: Lament and Legacy [by Dan and Nancy Rubenstein] is one of the few narratives told by childcare workers who witnessed on a daily basis the degradation of Indigenous children. Their account will help to ensure that what went on within the residential schools will be neither forgotten nor denied.”

Listen to their interview with Alan Neal on CBC Radio’s All In a Day from June 7, 2021:

Dan and Nancy Rubenstein in conversation with Alan Neal


“In Frances Boyle‘s short story collection Seeking Shade, nuanced characters endure trauma, evolution and epiphany as they face challenges, make decisions, and suffer the inevitable consequences.”
Seeking Shade was shortlisted for both The Writers’ Union of Canada’s Danuta Gleed Award (for best debut short fiction collection) and the 2021 ReLit Award (for best short fiction collection from an independent publisher).

Danuta Gleed Literary Award
Quill and Quire
ReLit Awards

May 2021 Newsletter

April Bestsellers

1. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Rockin’ on the Rideau by Jim Hurcomb
3. Values by Mark Carney
4. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
5. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
6. The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett
7. The World of Jane Austen Puzzle
8. World Travel by Anthony Bourdain
9. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
10. The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson

Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, May is here and although it’s been a touch cooler than we would like, we’re still marching steadily into spring. The trees are budding, the birds are singing, and great summer reads are coming in fast and furious here at the store. From front porch thrillers to lakeside sagas, backyard biographies to beach-worthy romances, there are so many new arrivals to choose from, we’re sure we won’t be the only ones resorting to simply doubling (or tripling) our to-read pile!

Before we get into the real thick of our newsletter, we wanted to take a moment to make a little announcement. Over the last number of years, we’re sure that most of you have either spoken to, bought a book from, or just chatted with our lovely staff member, Antoinette. Well, after over 15 years here at the store, our beloved colleague is moving on the bigger and brighter adventures in the big city of Toronto. Antoinette joined our bookstore family after a long career with the government and she quickly became an irreplaceable member of our team. With a wealth of experience, a wide-range of interests, and a deep love of (and eclectic taste in) books, she’s been an invaluable member of our team and even more than that, a very special friend. Through all the years of learning, laughing, chatting, reading, and working, we’ve had so much fun together and are going to have a hard time getting used to being in the bookstore without her. Even though she won’t be working with us anymore, we’re sure this won’t be the end of Antoinette’s time in the book world –  there are some pretty neat bookstores in Toronto, after all! Having been colleagues and friends for so long now, we’re going to miss her desperately, but wish her all the very best in whatever her future holds! Her last official shift with us will be the afternoon of Thursday, May 13 (sorry for the short notice), so if any of you want to say goodbye, feel free to give us a call or stop by to wish her well. If you want to send something by e-mail instead, just direct it to our store address ( and we’ll make sure Antoinette gets it. It’s always hard to say goodbye, but we know that we’ll see Antoinette again. And even though she won’t physically be in the store anymore, she’ll always be a part of our bookstore family.

Now that we’ve made ourselves cry, let’s get back to the rest of our (slightly waterlogged) newsletter!

We’ve always been fond of reading thrillers no matter what time of year it is, but there’s something strangely comforting about reading a slightly unnerving story while the heat of the sun is beaming down. In order to give yourself goosebumps in the sun this summer, we suggest you pick up a copy of The Savage Instinct by M.M. Deluca. Set in 19th Century England, you won’t know who to trust as you follow Clara Blackstone’s journey from the horrors of the insane asylum back to hearth, home, and husband. But her renewed marriage soon begins to feel as oppressive as her asylum cell once had, and help comes from a very strange quarter – England’s first serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton. A fascinating look at the lot of the Victorian woman (with lots of chills thrown in), we guarantee that you won’t be able to tear yourself away! Taking us to the very opposite side of the world, Katherine St. John’s The Siren is another thriller that we’ve been very eager to get our hands on! When a big-shot Hollywood heartthrob decides to film a new movie in the Caribbean, he knows that casting his ex-wife, Stella Rivers, opposite him will draw audiences in for the movie’s storyline as well as the intrigue of the cast’s real-life connections. As the movie crew gets down to work, it doesn’t take long before tensions start to rise – old secrets come to light, trust is broken, and a hurricane is brewing just offshore, threatening to make an uninvited cameo appearance! Full of scandal, mysterious characters, and all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, this book is definitely getting a permanent home on our forever shelf!

Sometimes when you’re searching for a new read, the only thing that will satisfy you is a great historical adventure! Are you among those readers who was captivated by Madeline Miller‘s novel Circe? Did you love travelling back in time to the ancient shores of Greece to follow the path of a young woman destined for greatness? Do the stories of Greek heroes, gods, and goddesses fascinate you? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, your next read should definitely be Ariadne by debut author Jennifer Saint. As a princess of Crete, Ariadne knows that there are certain qualities prized in a royal daughter – duty, loyalty, obedience, fealty – and much of life is spent dancing on a knife’s edge. When the young, dashing, Athenian Prince Theseus finds his way to Crete’s shores as part of a yearly tribute to the deadly Minotaur living beneath the palace, Ariadne not only feels herself drawn to his beauty, but also sees in him an escape from an unwanted marriage and a life lived as her father’s pawn. But will her decision, made in the bloom of first love, take Ariadne down the path she wishes, or will her destiny be altered once more by the will of powerful, fickle men. Told with incredible depth of feeling, this novel is shaping up to be one of our favourites of the year. Ariadne is beautifully captured and is a heroine more than worthy of her own legend!

Over the last year, many of us have rediscovered nature while working from home and obeying provincial health guidelines. There’s no denying that there are few things more calming and meditative than walking among trees and plants, whether you do so in a city park or a mighty forest. With what looks like another summer of quieter days ahead of us, now might be the perfect time to dip into one of our newest arrivals about the majesty, spirituality, and meditative power of trees. Rooted by Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a fascinating book about where science and the art of nature collide, supporting the theory that all life on the planet is intricately interconnected. Championing the theory of rootedness, a way of being at one with the wilderness, this book is perfect for fans of Braiding Sweetgrass, The Hidden Life of Trees, and Mary Oliver. In the same vein, debut author and TED Talk veteran, Suzanne Simard gives us even more to think about regarding our tree friends in Finding the Mother Tree. Part science book and part biography, Simard’s book explores the ways in which trees form communities, take care of each other, and relate to the other creatures around them. Inspiring scientists, nature lovers, and filmmakers alike, this book proves that, unlike what some people think, trees are good for more than just kindling and timber – they are a beautiful, ancient, irreplaceable, and fascinating part of our world and they deserve to be treasured, respected, and revered.

Whenever we stumble across a new release from one of our favourite authors, we tend to drop everything so we can start reading it right away! That’s exactly what we did last week when Morgan Matson‘s new book, Take Me Home Tonight, rolled into the store. When best friends Kat and Stevie head into New York City for a special night on the town, they have no idea what adventures are in store for them. Far beyond just having a fancy dinner and catching a Broadway show, Kat and Stevie’s night starts with a misplaced purse, a broken cell phone, and a fight of epic proportions. Oh, and we can’t forget about the Pomeranian! Hilarious, heart-warming, and sweet, teens (and adults) will love this great new book about love, friendship, and the truth about best laid plans! Debut author (and immediate favourite) Lynn Painter has gifted us a wonderfully charming teen book that is a true celebration of the rom-com. Better Than the Movies is a funny, sweet story about Liz Buxbaum and her determination to successfully nab her perfect crush. She may not have seen Michael in years, but that doesn’t mean that she loves him any less now than she did when they were kids. The only problem is that he seems to need some convincing to see her in a more romantic light. Willing to do almost anything to get her man, Liz enlists the help of her annoying (an annoyingly attractive) neighbour, Wes. Pretty soon, everything starts to feel a bit topsy-turvy and Liz is no longer sure what it is she wants. Dappled throughout with scenes that are at once cringe-worthy and laugh-out-loud funny, this book makes for perfect weekend reading material!

As usual, there are way more new books arriving every day than we have space here to tell you about, so here are some of the other new and forthcoming titles that have peaked our interest: The Anglo-Saxons by Marc MorrisBritain Alone by Philip StephensNine Nasty Words by John McWhorterSwimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui FengThe Taker by Alma KatsuHow to Write Like Tolstoy by Richard Cohen, Because He’s Jeff Goldblum by Travis M. Andrews, The Glorious Guinness Girls by Emily Hourican, It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark, When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan, Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann, City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop, The Hummingbird’s Gift by Sy Montgomery, Rebound by Kwame Alexander, Thanks a Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas, Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson (May 18), The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (May 18), Not Yeti by Kate DiPucchio (May 18), Titanic by Nicola Pierce (May 18), Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli (May 25), Darkness by David Adams Richards (May 25), Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (May 25), Anna by Sammy H.K. Smith (May 25), Tremendous Things by Susin Nielsen (May 25), Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (June 1), The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1), Dad Up! by Steve Patterson (June 1), For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten (June 1), Rememberings by Sinead O’Connor (June 1), Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter by Rich Moyer (June 1).

It seems almost impossible that we’re into the month of May already. We’re not sure if it’s just us, but 2021 seems to be flying by pretty quickly so far. Maybe it just feels fast because of all the benchmarks we knew were awaiting us this year – staff shakeups, more lockdowns, etc. Regardless of the reason, witnessing the time slipping by so smoothly is just a reminder that we need to live each day to the fullest by taking care of ourselves, looking out for friends and family, and nurturing our love of simple things – the soothing feeling of walking under a canopy of trees, dipping our toes into the cool water of a lake, the smell of baked goods fresh from the oven, and (of course) the thrill of diving into a new book!

Wishing you all safe and happy days in the month ahead, wherever you are.

Happy Reading!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

“Eve, Susie, Justin and Ed have been friends since they were kids – their friendship was as solid as a rock! But tragedy still finds a way in and suddenly one of them is gone and the others are left picking up the pieces. Things take yet another turn when their heart-breaking loss reveals long-buried secrets which just might break what’s left of their friendship.
Full of loss, love, friendship, and painful soul-searching, this newest Mhairi McFarlane book is funny, sweet, sad, and perfect!”

April 2021 Newsletter

March Bestsellers

1. Values by Mark Carney
2. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. The World of Jane Austen: A Jigsaw Puzzle
4. Neglected No More by Andre Picard
5. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
6. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
7. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
8. A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
9. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
10. The Third Man by Neville Thompson

Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, this is a first. We’ve sent newsletters out late before, but we can honestly say that we’ve never been so remiss as to send it out in the dying hours of the very last day of the month in question. Except, of course, in February when we didn’t send one out at all (we still feel badly about that). Regardless of our lateness though (and the fact that most of you won’t read this until April has turned into May), we still wanted to send a little something out so we could tell you about all the great new releases that have come through our door this past month.

While it may not feel quite as spring-like out there as it did a few weeks ago, we can assure you that the seasons have changed; gone are the blockbuster book releases that always lead us into the holiday season and in their place have come quirky books about lesser known historical events, lighter novels to prepare us all for hours spent reading out in the sun, and thrilling adventure tales to take us around the world when our feet have to stay planted firmly where they are.

When travel was allowed, one of the things we loved most about visiting a new place was being able to poke around at our own pace, exploring and discovering shops, cafes, and hidden gems that you wouldn’t find in any guide book. Now, we can send our minds across the miles instead of our bodies thanks to the late Anthony Bourdain‘s newest book, World Travel. Taking readers to places as far flung as Tanzania and Borneo, and some closer to home, this guide is the only one you will ever need to sort out travel details, places to stay, and, of course, where to eat. Supplemented with essays by some of Bourdain‘s closest friends, colleagues, and family members, this wonderful new book will not only take you to exotic places, but it also gives you a glimpse into the life of a true globetrotter and food aficionado, one who will be greatly missed. While some people travel in order to enjoy the perks of being tourists in a foreign country, others leave their warm beds behind in search of unforgettable adventures. In The Third Pole, by Mark Synnott, readers are treated to the ultimate challenge in the scaling of Mount Everest. Though the mountain itself was the main goal for Synnott, his climb was also undertaken in an attempt to solve an almost one hundred year old mystery – the disappearance of two climbers in 1924 (decades before Sir Edmund Hillary’s climb) who were last spotted a mere 800 feet from the summit but whose success in reaching the top remains uncertain. In a climbing season that saw the deaths of 11 other mountaineers, Synnott and his partner battle through debilitating frostbite, revolting sherpas, and numerous close calls in their attempt to answer the irresistible call of the mist-shrouded, ice-capped summit of the world’s most desired peak. This thrilling read is perfect for fans of Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth, The Escapist by Gabriel Filippi, and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

If travelling to far off lands isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps a journey back in time would suit you better. Three Martini Afternoons at the Ritz by Gail Crowther is not only a fascinating slice of history, but it also has a literary bent to it. Opening a window into mid-20th Century New York, this book takes a look at the intertwined lives of famous poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Despite their relationship being defined by bouts of jealousy and intense rivalry, these two larger than life women respected each other a great deal and had a standing martini meeting at the Ritz once a week to talk about everything from sex to suicide. Though both of their lives were short, their poetry lives on in the hands of readers, students, and poetry lovers. Whether you know their works well or not, this book will keep you hooked, shining a spotlight on the often sad and tormented lives of two of literatures greatest women. Staying in New York, but going back a bit further in time, one of the most interesting books to come across our desk recently is Paulina Bren‘s The Barbizon. It’s a tale as old as time – young people packing their bags and leaving home for the big city, hoping to make it big. Countless women made this trip in the freer post-war world of the 1920s, and while some found accommodation in New York’s boarding houses, some ended up on the doorstep of the Barbizon Hotel, “a safe have for the ‘Modern Woman’ seeking a career in the arts.” Men had their clubs and bars and women had the Barbizon. While not all the women who passed through its doors achieved fame and fortune, this incredible hotel did play host to some very well-known artists before they had gotten their big break – Sylvia Plath, Liza Minnelli, Grace Kelly, and Joan Didion, just to name a few. We had never heard about this little bit of history before and it’s fascinating to think that from 1927 to 1981 (when men were finally allowed into the hotel) there was a residential hotel that existed purely to provide women who were new to the city with a safe and comfortable place to stay. Among all the tidbits of history that are inevitably lost to time, we’re so happy that this unique story was saved and has now been brought out into the light for all of us to enjoy.

We’re not sure about you, but looking towards the summer days ahead, we plan on spending a significant amount of time lounging outside, basking in the glory of some wonderfully riveting novels. First on our list is the highly anticipated new novel by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, the critically acclaimed author of the bestselling novel The Nest. With as much heart and humour as her debut novel, Good Company is a charming family drama about a woman’s struggle to discover the truth about her life and her marriage. When Flora discovers her husband’s wedding ring safely tucked away in an envelope years after he told her he had lost it, her view of her marriage tilts on its axis. Did the “loss” of his ring have something to do with their reunion with her best friend Margot or is there a perfectly reasonable explanation for why he would lie about something so seemingly innocuous? Beautifully rendered, we think this novel of love and friendship is best enjoyed with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea! Touted as a modern day Shirley Jackson, Jennifer McMahon has gifted us this month with yet another thrilling, mysterious novel that will leave only goosebumps in its wake! The Drowning Kind takes readers on an incredible journey into the past as a young woman tries to untangle the mystifying threads surrounding her sister’s drowning. When Jax returns to their family home to go through her sister’s things, she discovers that Lexie had been researching their family history. Delving deeper into that history, Jax soon discovers that the land that’s been in their family for years, has a far darker past than any of them could ever have imagined. In a world where nothing is free and even wishes come with a price, this modern ghost story with send chills down your spine!

Debut Canadian author Michelle Grierson has spent years researching her Norwegian and Celtic ancestry and the stories she’s come across are the inspiration for her enchanting novel, Becoming Leidah. When her daughter, Leidah, is born with blue skin and webbed hands and feet, Maeva recognizes right away that her child has inherited her gifts. Knowing she must keep her magical ancestry a secret, especially in the face of the abandonment of the Old Ways, Maeva is determined to protect her daughter by hiding her away from the increasingly hostile villagers. It soon comes to light though, that the villagers may not be the only thing that Maeva has to worry about – it seems a mysterious shapeshifter has been dogging Maeve’s steps for years, waiting for her to reclaim her heritage. Beautifully packaged and written, this magical story is perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, and Things in Jars by Jess Kidd. From another great Canadian author comes a brand new war-time novel set in Toronto just before the outbreak of WWII. Letters From Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham finds 18 year old Molly Ryan working at any job she can find in an effort to get her family through the Depression that has hit her city hard. Though life is hard, she finds solace in her dreams of one day becoming a journalist and in her hours spent with her friend Hannah Dreyfus…and Hannah’s handsome older brother Max. As the years tick by, more and more of Hitler’s hateful beliefs make their way across the Atlantic, causing anti-Semitic sentiments to blossom and sparking tension between the Jewish and Irish communities. Those sparks soon become flames, and a deadly riot breaks out, with devastating consequences for both Molly and Max. Six years later, as Europe teeter on the brink of war, Molly’s world is thrown into turmoil yet again. With the future looking more and more dire, and the past constantly tapping her on the shoulder, reminding her of things she wish she could forget, Molly wonders if it’s too late to make things right. Will her love be strong enough to heal old wounds and cross dangerous divides in the very darkest of times? This wonderful novel will pluck at your heartstrings and completely transport you!

Despite how much we love reading adult novels and non-fiction titles, sometimes we just feel like indulging in a great children’s book. It’s especially hard to resist them when there’s a fun new adventure featuring one of your all-time favourite characters up for grabs! We first met Aven Green a number of years ago in Dusti Bowling‘s wonderful book Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Now, with a second starring role under her belt (Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus), Aven has returned once again, this time in a mystery-filled story for 6-9 year olds. Aven Green Sleuthing Machine is just as hilarious and heartwarming as Bowling’s previous books, with the added bonus that Aven is now spending all her time trying to solve mysterious occurrences at school (her teacher’s missing lunch bag must be found!) and at home (there’s no way her great-grandma’s dog would have left home of his own accord). This book might be small, but it is mighty and we guarantee that you will be smiling from the first page to the last! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…Aven will steal your heart!

As per usual, the number of new releases that we want to read far outstrip the number of books we’re able to handle at once (if only things were different). Here are some of the other new and forthcoming releases that we think you should keep an eye out for (and maybe look up in our online store): Tiny T.Rex and the Very Dark Dark by Jonathan StutzmanSummer Adventures for Groot by Brendan DeneenShakespeare’s Gardens by Jackie Bennett, A Lethal Lesson by Iona Whishaw, Hiking Trails of Ottawa, The National Capital Region and Beyond by Michael HaynesVerona Comics by Jennifer DuganEmpire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe, The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell, The Rock From the Sky by Jon Klassen, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLainThe Last Bookshop in London by Madeline MartinIn a Book Club Far Away by Tif MarceloThe Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska, Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson (May 4), Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane (May 4), The Crayons’ Book of Feelings by Drew Daywalt (May 4), Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (May 4), The Premonition by Michael Lewis (May 4), China by Edward Rutherfurd (May 11).

Wishing you all the best!
Stay safe out there!
Happy Reading!

– The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers

“After loving A Witch in Time so much, running away to a dark, mysterious circus sounded like a great idea! Set partially in 1920s Paris, this book is a great read – there’s action, adventure, mystery, magic, and love. There are even a few daemons thrown in for good measure! While the Secret Circus is full of magical rides, elegant performances, and thrilling feats, there’s a darkness that lurks beneath the surface and it will draw you in as surely as it does Sayers’ characters.”