November 2019 Newsletter


October Bestsellers

1. Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin
2.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
3.
Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray
4.
Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre
5.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
6.
Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal
7.
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
8.
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
9.
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
10.
Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds


Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, we’re only a couple of weeks into November and it looks like Mother Nature has decided that it’s going to be full on winter now. The streets are snowy, the trees are bare, and our noses are certainly feeling the sharp nip in the air. But despite this slightly early onslaught of wintry weather, there are lots of warm and cozy things to look forward to between now and the end of the year – not the least of which being all the wonderful books awaiting you on our shelves!

As we continue to march steadily towards December and the festive season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Thankfully, we have some great local events coming up that are sure to be just the break you need from the Christmas fast lane! On Saturday, November 23 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, Robin Higham will be here in the store to launch the newest RHOMA (Retired Heads of Mission Association) book, Not Mentioned in Dispatches. Much like their previous collection of essays, Declassified, this new book is just as rich and wide-ranging in content, taking readers through different countries and times, exploring the world through the lens of the diplomatic service. Local author Kanika Gupta will be paying us a visit on Sunday, November 24 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm to launch her new illustrated memoir, Brave: Living with a Concussion. Accompanied by a special afternoon tea courtesy of our friends at The SconeWitch, this event is not to be missed! Ottawa Press and Publishing author, Andrew King will be in the store on Saturday, November 30 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign copies of his brand new local history book Ottawa Rewind: A Book of Curios and Mysteries. In the same vein as the ever-popular Lost Ottawa books, this book would be a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who loves the quirky, often forgotten tidbits of history. Taking a quick peek into December, we’ll be taking the store off-site for a fun Bookclub Mash Up-sponsored event at the Rockcliffe Park Community Centre on Sunday, December 8. Local novelist (and Ottawa Book Award Winner) Missy Marston will be in attendance to read from her new book, Bad Ideas. Doors open at 2:00pm and the reading will get going at 2:30pm. This event is open to local book club members and book lovers alike!

In a year that’s brought us so many great books, it’s hard to believe that there are even more still to come! Every year, right to the end, we’re always amazed at the quality of the titles coming through our door and this year is proving to be no different. After seeing so many Newfoundland themed and authored books over the last ten months, it seems only fitting that one of our last book highlights of the year should be about two amazing Newfoundland artists. Art and Rivalry by Carol Bishop-Gwyn chronicles the life and marriage of Christopher and Mary Pratt, two juggernauts of Canadian art. Thinking of the popular saying, “opposites attract,” one would think that these two talented people would have been perfect together – Mary as fire with her bright, colourful, life-infused artwork and Christopher as ice with his clean lines, smooth palate, and quieter tones. However, the smooth veneer this couple presented to the world was soon criss-crossed with emotion-fueled cracks. Told with masterful skill and an undeniable love of art, this unauthorized biography is a must read for Canadian art lovers everywhere.

Much like on a canvas, art can also blossom in a darkened theatre full of plush seats, with the scent of popcorn hanging in the air. Arguably, this is exactly what happened in 1977 with the theatrical release of George Lucas’s now famous space saga. No doubt there are many of you who are counting down the days, not ’til Christmas, but ’til the release of the final installment of this amazing cult classic. So, before getting your costume ready for the big day, why not take a journey into the past with veteran Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels in his new memoir, I Am C-3PO? Full of candid stories from his time on set and reflections of what it’s like to embody such an iconic and influential character for over four decades, this book is a virtual treasure trove for fans of all things Star Wars. Witty, fascinating, and revelatory, I Am C-3PO is definitely going to be on the wish-list we send to Santa this year!

Although this time of year doesn’t always result in all of us getting scads of time off, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still find enough time to read a great, sweeping historical family saga! Arguably one of the Queens of the genre, Santa Montefiore has gifted us with a great new novel that will delight historical fiction fans everywhere! The House by the Sea takes readers on a fast-paced world tour, setting down roots among the golden villas of Tuscany and shooting forward through time to England’s Devon coast. Ripe with intrigue, drama, and secrets that refuse to stay buried, this novel is perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley, and Sarah Maine! Over the years we’ve become so used to Claire North‘s books containing a fairly healthy dose of science-fiction, that her new novel, The Pursuit of William Abbey, came as a bit of a surprise to us. Told in a sweeping arc that carries readers from late 19th century South Africa to WWI Europe, this novel will entrance you from the start and keep you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page. Just as thought-provoking as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August with all the thrilling suspense of a Robert Harris or Jonathan de Shalit spy novel, this book calls for a good footrest, a seriously comfy chair, and a good chunk of uninterrupted reading time!

When we sat down to really think about our favourite kids books from the last month, we must have been in a feline-loving mood because all our picks turned out to be about cats! Full of adorable illustrations and charming characters, Mike Boldt‘s picture book Bad Dog is a great read-aloud story for bedtime or anytime! Sometimes all a little girl wants is a dog, but when this little girl finally gets her wish, Rocky turns out to be a very bad dog. She doesn’t like to fetch or go for walks or come when she’s called, but she does enjoy sleeping on Mom’s clean laundry, playing with shoelaces, and climbing trees. Hmmm…could what makes a bad dog maybe make a good cat? Sweet and funny, this book is sure to be a winner with kids and adults alike! What Cats Think by John Spray and Mies van Hout is as beautiful as it is funny and is almost more art book than picture book. Awaiting you on each page is a bright, colourful feline friend willing to reveal their innermost thoughts. What does your cat plan on doing after you’ve gone to bed? You might just have to read the book to find out! For the littlest ones in your life, why not get their love of cats started early with Barbara Castro Urio‘s adorable board book Goodnight, Rainbow Cats? Full of small die-cut windows that get filled in one by one by colourful little cats making their way home, this cute book is bound to earn a place at the top your kiddies’ “again” pile!

As per usual, there are so many books out there and not nearly enough space here for us to tell you about them all! So, here are some of the other new and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff KinneyThe Cockroach by Ian McEwanMany Rivers to Cross by Peter RobinsonSofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea BeatyCall Down the Hawk by Maggie StiefvaterThe Second Sleep by Robert HarrisThe Man That Got Away by Lynne TrussVintage Board Games by Adrian SevilleStudio Dogs by Nicola MorganThe Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams (November 21), Under Occupation by Alan Furst (November 26), The Hero by Lee Child (November 28), The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith (December 3), and Bryant & May: Lonely Hour by Christopher Fowler (December 3).

It’s almost mid-November now and we can no longer deny that Christmas is just around the corner. As such, a few key holiday items have now made their way onto our shelves – our boxed Christmas cards are proudly on display (UNICEF cards included), the Advent Calendars have arrived, our Christmas crackers have made an appearance, and our loose Christmas cards are slowly coming out of hibernation. With lots of other goodies arriving every day, be sure to pop in to see us, keep an eye on our social media pages, and watch out for our next newsletter to stay on top of what’s new. Also, if you’ve been in to see us over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed a new face behind the counter. Pei-Ju, a dear friend of ours from Octopus Books, has joined our bookselling ranks for the busy holiday season. She’s a great reader and, like the rest of our staff, is looking forward to helping you with all your book needs over the coming weeks. She definitely knows her stuff and we’re so very glad she’s joined our bookselling family! So, next time you’re in the store, be sure to give her a nice, big Beechwood welcome!

With winter now seemingly settled in to stay, it’s time to turn our eyes towards the magical season that crowns our calendar year. So with stars in our eyes, books by our sides, and love in our hearts, let’s face the elements head on and march straight ahead into the sparkling snow kingdom that is December!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

“It’s been a whopping eight years since Erin Morgenstern‘s last book, The Night Circus, came out, and my wish for another book of hers has finally come true. This new novel is lyrical, beautifully crafted, and will draw you in from the very first page. As an added bonus, it’s a book about books and the magical lands that exist inside them. This is the kind of story that will nourish your soul and remind you that despite the often very black and white world we live in, there’s plenty of magic to be found in the everyday.”

October 2019 Newsletter

 


September Bestsellers

1. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
2. A Better Man by Louise Penny
3. The Innocents by Michael Crummey
4. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
5. The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
6. Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
7. Women Talking by Miriam Toews
8. Albatross by Terry Fallis
9. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
10. Transcription by Kate Atkinson


Greetings Book Lovers!

If ever there was a time to sing the Time Warp song, it would be now! Not just because of its association with Halloween, but because we can’t figure out where September went (or the first half of October for that matter)! One moment it was here and the next it was gone! Well, there is a reason the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” exists, we suppose. And it’s not all bad; October is, after all, one of our favourite months! We’re happily situated far enough away from summer that we’re not missing it anymore, but we’re not so late in the year that snow could arrive at any moment. We’re in that happy, russet gold middle space where we can enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves without thinking of what they’re changing leads into, and relish the opportunity to sport our first cozy scarves of the season without having to think about which fibres will more readily block the icy wind of winter. Of course, it should go without saying that our very favourite part of this time of year (or any time of year, really) is all the wonderful new books!

As many of you know, just over week ago we announced yet another Titles@Table40 event – an evening with former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin – to round out our fall dinner series. While both her event on October 20 and our evening with Joe Thottungal on October 27 are now sold out, there are still tickets available for our November 17 event with beloved novelist Terry Fallis. We have started waiting lists for the two sold-out events, so if you didn’t manage to get tickets before they were gone, it very well may be worth it to put your name on our waiting list – you never know, you might just luck out! For anyone who’s unfamiliar with our Titles@Table40 dinner series or if you just need a little refresher, here’s how our Titles@Table40 events work: the evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $70.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax, and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening. The Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if the bookstore is informed in advance.

In addition to our Titles@Table40 series, we have a number of in-store signings and launches to tell you about this month. On Thursday, October 17 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Newfoundland-born Ottawa author, Mike Martin will be in the store to launch his new Sgt. Windflower mystery, Fire, Fog and Water. With three new cases that he’s convinced are connected somehow, Sgt. Windflower and his fellow officers must battle more than crime in this thrilling new Newfoundland mystery from a master of the genre. As a special treat for event attendees, if you buy any one of the Sgt. Windflower mysteries during the launch, you’ll receive a free gift in the form of Martin‘s seasonal mystery, Christmas in Newfoundland. With refreshments and snacks also on hand, be sure not to miss the closest thing to a Newfoundland kitchen party Books on Beechwood will ever have! Swinging over to the other half of the country now, Susan Taylor Meehan, a native of Edmonton and current Ottawa resident, will be paying us a visit on Saturday, October 19 from 11:00am to 2:00pm to sign copies of Halcyon Days, her new historical novel. Set on the prairies during the Great Depression, this novel follows a school teacher’s adventures navigating the sometimes fraught waters of a new town as controversy erupts surrounding a terrifying discovery. Also on Saturday, October 19, be sure to come by the store between 2:00pm and 4:00pm to meet local author Rick Houle. He’ll be here signing his new mystery, Vicky Veston Inc., the third book in his Affable Scavengers Trilogy, and his brand new Y2K-related novel We Really Made It Happen.

Injecting some slightly rude humour into our event roster, we’re looking forward to welcoming Aaron Reynolds and his hilarious (and often profane) bird book, Effin’ Birds, to the store for a book launch on Wednesday, October 23 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Full of detailed ornithological drawings and based on the popular Twitter account of the same name (@EffinBirds), this book is perfect for fans of birding and tongue-in-cheek humour. Sean Michaels, Scotiabank award-winning author of Us, Conductors, will be here in the store on Thursday, October 24 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm to read from his new novel, The Wagers. From the very real open mic stages of the comedy club scene to the beautifully imagined streets of Montreal, Michaels takes readers on an intense, magical journey full of probability, luck, and fortune. I Wanted Fries With That is a book about speaking up for ourselves and asking for what we want. Its author, Amy Fish, will be with us on Saturday, October 26 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to talk about why we spend so much time short-changing ourselves and to encourage us to change that behaviour. Also, there will be bagels, so be sure to stop by for a visit and a chat! That same Saturday, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Scott Bury will be on hand to sign copies of The Eastern Front Trilogy (Army of Worn SolesUnder the Nazi HeelWalking Out of War), a series of three historical novels inspired by true stories of one man’s experience in the Red Army of the 1940s and his determination to escape home to Canada. Taking a brief peek into November, local children’s author Angela Misri will be celebrating the release of her middle-grade novel with us on Saturday, November 2 from 11:00am to 1:00pmPickles vs. The Zombies is the zombie apocalypse book we’ve all been waiting for! Pickles the calico cat isn’t sure what’s happened to her human, Connor, but she’s determined to find out. With the help of her feline friends and a street-wise racoon, zombies might be the least of Pickles’ worries as she sets out to recover her beloved human. On Sunday, November 3 at 2:00pm, local science-fiction author Alex Binkley will be in the store to launch his brand new science-fiction novel, The Circle of the Chosen. Complete with snacks and refreshments, this event is not one to be missed!

As the trees outside begin to change from leafy green, shade-providing canopies into ethereal domes of gold that crackle and rustle in the cool autumn breezes, we can’t help but feel a certain anticipatory energy in the air. Though it’s not the same feeling that comes with the twinkle lights and sparkling snow of Christmas time, fall has its own strange kind of magic – a magic that gives us an almost unquenchable desire to read as many books about witches, magic, and improbable occurrences as we can get our hands on! Joining out list of favourite fall reads (The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, The Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan, and The Witches of New York by Ami McKay), The Familiars by Stacey Halls is as intriguing as it is mystical. Set in 17th century England, during the height of the witch hunts, this riveting novel tells the story of Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a young pregnant noblewoman who seeks the aid of a local midwife as she tries to carry her baby to term – a child whose birth she has been warned will mean her own death. When her midwife, Alice, is accused of witchcraft, Fleetwood finds herself facing down more than her fear of miscarriage and possible death, but also the strict hand of the law that would condemn an innocent woman. Inspired by true events, this novel is the perfect read for a cool, fall day!

If we can’t get our hands on a good witchy novel, a story about magical books can just as easily check all our book-love boxes! Enter Alix E. Harrow‘s debut novel The Ten Thousand Doors of January! Set in an artifact-filled mansion (check!), this fantastical novel introduces readers to January Scaller, a young woman who’s never really fit in (check!) until the day she stumbles across an unusual book filled with magical doors leading to great loves, unpredictable adventures, and unknown dangers (check! check! check!)! With a package just as beautiful as the words it encases, this novel is a true gift for anyone who loves books and prefers to take their literary adventures with a healthy side of fantasy! We have long been fans of Jenn Bennett and her contemporary teen fiction, but we love her even more now with the release of her new magical adventure novel, The Lady Rogue. Theodora’s greatest wish is to join her father on his travels around the world as he hunts for sought-after relics and treasures. Unfortunately, that honour is denied her and instead falls on his protege, Huck Gallagher. But when Huck returns from an expedition without her father, Theodora must leap into a world she’s only ever read about in order to save her father and fulfill her own destiny. It’s a race against time and treasure-hunting rivals, as Huck and Theodora lead readers through Gothic villages, dark castles, and misty mountains – an especially perfect read for the dark nights leading up Halloween!

Despite the energy in the air this month prompting us to read magical books, there are some days when we just need a few more veins of truth in our reads to truly satisfy us. As we’ve now entered the pre-Christmas selling season, our non-fiction section is burgeoning with great new titles that you’ll be hard-pressed to pass up in the coming weeks. From memoirs to political rallying cries, odes to nature and fascinating local histories, there’s definitely a little something for everyone on offer this fall. Though we perhaps know her best as the acclaimed author of The Birth House and The Witches of New York, Ami McKay is a woman of many talents – the proof of which can be found in the pages of her new memoir, Daughter of Family G. Intimate and heartfelt, this genetic memoir travels over seventy years into the past to trace a specific gene through the women in McKay’s family; a gene that predisposes them to certain types of cancer and often leads to early death. In her usual lyrical style, Ami has given us a beautiful book on a solemn subject that still manages to find hope and life in dark places, even as she herself comes to terms with the reality that this deadly gene is part of her makeup as well. Last year, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, delighted and thrilled us with her legal mystery, Full Disclosure. This year, she’s back with her highly anticipated memoir, Truth Be Told. Covering her life from her childhood in the Alberta foothills to her time on the Supreme Court where she helped influence and shape the fabric of our country, this detailed and revealing memoir is a must-read for all Canadian politicos!

Now more than ever, it’s proving virtually impossible to stay on top of all the wonderful new books that are rolling into the store every day. Here are some more recent and forthcoming releases that we’re getting excited about: To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, CBC Massey Lectures: Power Shift by Sally ArmstrongDear Juliet by The Juliet ClubThe Grace Year by Kim LiggettVincent and Theo by Deborah HeiligmanThe World That We Knew by Alice HoffmanA Single Thread by Tracy ChevalierImaginary Friend by Stephen ChboskyThe Man That Got Away by Lynne TrussThe Book of Dust Volume Two: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip PullmanFrankissstein by Jeanette WintersonThe Dutch House by Ann Patchett, Me by Elton JohnAgent Running in the Field by John Le Carre (October 22), Peculiar Questions and Practical Answers by The New York Public Library (October 22), Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson (October 22), The Second Sleep by Robert Harris (October 29), Notre-Dame by Ken Follett (October 29), The Noble Path by Peter May (October 29), London’s Great Theatres by Simon Callow (October 29), Fluevog by John Fluevog (November 4), Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney (November 5), I am C-3PO: The Inside Story by Anthony Daniels (November 5), The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (November 5), North Korea Journal by Michael Palin (November 5), Bowie’s Bookshelf by John O’Connell (November 12).

October seems to find us all on something of a precipice – the tipping point between warm breezes and icy winds, if you will. And, although it leads into the frozen expanse of winter, we wouldn’t trade it for the world! It’s a season of rustling carpets and canopies laid out by Mother Nature; a season of gold and caramel tones that glow like halos around our homes and neighbourhoods; a season of warm spices and cozy blankets, hot cocoa and endless adventure-filled books to enjoy! So, why not glory in the golden glow of October with us and we, in turn, will help you set sail on unexplored seas of ink and paper!

Happy Reading!

–The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Hollow Places: An Unusual History of Land and Legend by Christopher Hadley

“As my friends would tell you, the Medieval history and legends of Britain have always fascinated me, so I couldn’t pass up this book when it came to my attention. Covering 1000 years of history, Hadley eases us into his exploration of legend with the story of Piers Shonks, a Hertfordshire dragon-slayer. From there we’re taken around the country from hollow trees to Georgian churches, exploring how legends grow and change, and why they’re just as important today as ever.”


August 2019 Newsletter


July Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

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


Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


 

July 2019 Newsletter

 


June Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


New Features!

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

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


Book Signing with Sue Williams

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

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


Book Launch for Amelinda Berube

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

Then Deirdre disappears.

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


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

Hilary’s Bookshelf Presents:
Books for the Beach

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m ReadingOur Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper

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


June 2019 Newsletter


May Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

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


Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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

 


May 2019 Newsletter


April Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Binding by Bridget Collins

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


April 2019 Newsletter


March Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

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

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


Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


March 2019 Newsletter


February Bestsellers

1. Ladies, Upstairs! by Monique Begin
2. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
4. The Gown by Jennifer Robson
5. Claws of the Panda by Jonathan Manthorpe
6. A Newfoundlander in Canada by Alan Doyle
7. Brother by David Chariandy
8. The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri
9. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
10. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker


Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to spring! Okay, so maybe it’s not quite here yet. Still though, the season of crocuses, roadside puddles, and soft, sprinkling rain is just around the corner! It may not look like it now, but undoubtedly, we’ll all be complaining about the summer heat before we know it! Fresh off a buying stint for forthcoming summer releases, we’re feeling particularly optimistic right now – about the weather and the upcoming publishing season. After all, how can we not be happy now that the heat of the sun is finally permeating the frozen shield of winter and when we know that there are new books from the likes of Ian McEwan, Anthony Horowitz, Jo Nesbo, and Philippa Gregory due to arrive in the coming months?

Thankfully, despite our excitement about the upcoming book season, we won’t have to wait nearly that long to get a great new read! One of the novels that we’re most looking forward to reading this month is the new Andre Alexis book, Days By Moonlight. Written with the same incredible adeptness which gave us Fifteen Dogs and The Hidden Keys, this new story is at once transfixing and mystifying. Centred around a botanist and a professor who set out on an unconventional road trip, it’s left up to the reader to figure out what’s real and what’s not as we travel through town after town, each more bizarre than the last. Reminiscent of Dante‘s Divine Comedy, Alexis‘ novel is a beautiful, thoughtful journey perfect for fans of complex, intellectual narratives. A very different kind of journey awaits us in The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel. When Sophia Barrett leaves her counselling practice for a beautiful town in Cornwall, England in an attempt to work through some of her emotional burdens, she never thought that she would fall into an intriguing mystery and make some new friends in the process. We all know that bookstores are magical places where anything is possible, so when Sophia and her new friend Ginny, a bookstore owner, discover a centuries-old diary, they find themselves on a path of healing and self-discovery that neither could have taken on alone. Sweet and heartwarming, this lovely novel would appeal to fans of Nina George, Jenny Colgan, and Elin Hilderbrand.

There are some moments in life when the only thing that you really want (or need) is to snuggle up with a darkly funny, quirky read that will warm your heart and make you laugh out loud, regardless of your surroundings. Following hot on the heels of her successful debut novel, Pretend I’m Dead, Jen Beagin has gifted us with a sequel just as delightful as its predecessor. Vacuum in the Dark continues the story of Mona, a young woman who cleans houses for a living in New Mexico. After moving to Taos two years earlier because of a bad boyfriend, a junkie known as Mr. Disgusting, Mona’s plans to kick-start her life haven’t really worked out the way she’d like – not only is she still cleaning houses, but she’s somehow replaced her old bad boyfriend with a new one! Charming, unique, and endearing, Mona is a character that readers will have no trouble rooting for as she inexorably stumbles and cartwheels her way forward while attempting to make peace with her past and trying desperately to reshape her future. From darkly funny to darkly twisted, Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce is not only blessed with a jacket we just can’t stop staring at, but it’s the kind of story that keeps you so transfixed that before you know it, you’re on the last page! With a murder case at its heart that’s not quite what it seems, this debut thriller follows a young lawyer as her seemingly perfect life begins to spiral violently out of control. If you liked Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and Jennifer Hillier‘s Jar of Hearts, you will love this novel full of scandals, secrets, and blackmail! We can’t wait to see what this Scottish author will come up with next!

As book lovers, there are few things that give us greater pleasure than reading fascinating books about books, and Edward Wilson-Lee‘s A Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books certainly fits the bill! Steeped in history and one man’s passion for the written word, this multi-faceted book introduces readers to the little-known figure Hernando Colon, the illegitimate son of none other than the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. After the death of his father in 1506, Colon set out to honour his memory by building the world’s greatest library, a collection of every publication every produced – from scholarly texts and literary works to romances and fables. It wasn’t until 1522 when over half his collection was lost in a maritime disaster that this quest became an obsession, and the likelihood of achieving his near-impossible vision began to dwindle. At once riveting and heartbreaking, this incredible account of one book lover’s adventures is a truly unforgettable read! From the high seas to the depths of the earth, Europe: A Natural History by Tim Flannery travels far into the past and treats readers to diverse stories of lost species, meteors, major climate events, and the significant impact humans have had on Europe’s flora and fauna since arriving on the scene. Both enjoyable and educational, this book is perfect for the environmentally curious or anyone who has ever enjoyed an episode or two of the television show Blue Planet!

It’s always a happy day when one of our favourite authors comes out with a new books, so it’s no surprise that the moment we unpacked Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson, we knew it was going to be a good week! She’s won our hearts again and again with her incredibly readable wartime histories – Troublesome Young Men, Citizens of London, Last Hope Island – and this new book about a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman and mother of two who became the leader of a vast intelligence organization during WWII is no different. Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was courageous, strong-willed, and extremely intelligent, and her spy network, Alliance, lasted longer and provided more crucial intelligence to the Allies than any other during the war. It was thanks to Marie-Madeleine and her spies that American and British military commanders had access to the 55-foot long map of beaches and roads on which the Allies landed on D-Day. Written with Olson‘s signature style and expertise, this new book is an incredible and fascinating account of one amazing woman giving her all to her country in dreadful times.

With March Break upon us and summer vacation not too far beyond that, getting the kids stocked up on reading material is something that we can definitely help you with. From the new publishing imprint Rick Riordan Presents, comes a Cuban fantasy full of heart, humour, and the potential to tear a hole in the fabric of space and time! Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez will delight readers just as much as Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard as they follow the unlikely duo of Sal and Gabi on an amazing adventure of magic and fun! And to think, it all starts with a chicken! The Revenge of Magic by James Riley, author of The Story Thieves series, is another winner that’s found its way onto our shelves recently. When magic suddenly re-enters the world through the discovery of powerful magical volumes amidst the bones of ancient dragons, life will never be the same, especially for thirteen-year-old Fort. After losing his father to a giant fantastical creature while on vacation, Fort is invited to join Oppenheimer School in order to learn how to wield this new magic and prevent more attacks from happening. But everything is not as it seems, and it’s up to Fort and his classmates to discover the truth before it’s too late! For all the comic book-loving teens out there, Faith Erin Hicks‘ Comics Will Break Your Heart is a must read! Part Romeo and Juliet story, part ode to comic book super heroes, this charming, funny book about a pair of star-crossed teens from rival families is a perfect read for anyone who loved Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian, or The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson!

Though they don’t take nearly as long to read, some picture books can provide just as much pleasure and delight as a hefty novel! Full of beautiful illustrations by Victoria Tentler-Krylov, Lori Degman‘s Just Read! is a wonderful celebration of imagination, the joy of reading, and the innumerable ways in which we can enjoy books everyday! Written in rhyming couplets and covering every kind of reading from traditional books, to braille, to sheet music, to sign language, this lovely book is sure to entrance even the most reluctant of readers! For a healthy dose of adorable, why not pick up a copy of Tiny T.Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman. There is nothing in the world that can brighten your mood faster than a hug from your best friend. So, when Tiny’s friend Pointy the Stegosaurus is having a bad day, all Tiny wants to do is give him a hug. Unfortunately, this is an understandably difficult thing for Tiny to do with his teeny Tyrannosaurus Rex arms. After asking for advice from all his relatives and doing some vigorous hug training, Tiny comes to the realization that while he is small in stature, his heart is big and even the tiniest arms can give big hugs!

With so many books deserving of their moment in the sun, it’s always hard to pick out the ones to highlight here every month. In light of that, here are a few more recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: Death in Provence by Serena KentThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonThe Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara RobertsonUnto Us a Son is Given by Donna LeonThe Raven Tower by Ann LeckieThe Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa GrayThe Avro Arrow: For the Record by Palmiro CampagnaDevices and Desires by Kate HubbardDark of the West by Joanna HathawayThe Witch’s Kind by Louisa Morgan (March 19); The Parade by Dave Eggers (March 19); The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear (March 26); The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey (March 26); Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney (April 9).

So, even though we might be jumping the gun a bit by celebrating spring this early in the month, we do know that the snow will eventually go away, the grass will grow, and the birds will come back from their enviable winter holidays. In the meantime, we will take each sunny day we’re given and will even delight in the rainy ones. After all, trips to the bookstore are magical things no matter what the weather is doing!

Happy Reading!

–The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Canada Reads 2019

It’s almost that time of year again. The Canada Reads debates will be airing on CBC Radio One March 25th through the 28th. Whether you follow the show or not, read all the books beforehand, or only read the winner once its announced, this year’s list is definitely worth checking out.

We currently have all five finalists in stock, so be sure to come by and see which one you think the entire country should read.


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt Och Dag

“When I first saw it, absolutely everything about this book screamed at me to read it! It’s a fairly dark and gruesome story (the whole thing begins with the discovery of a ravaged dead body), but the language is so lyrical and descriptive that you can’t help but be drawn right into the action, grimy city and all! I’ve always loved reading books that I can really disappear into and this historical mystery is perfect for that. So if I suddenly go missing, you might want to start the search in Stockholm circa 1793.”


February 2019 Newsletter


January Bestsellers

1. Crusoe the Worldly Wiener Dog by Ryan Beauchesne
2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
3. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
4. Dog Man #6: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey
5. The Power by Naomi Alderman
6. Erebus by Michael Palin
7. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
8. The Trail Beckons by Malcolm Hunter
9. Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
10. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain


Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to the second month of the year! Although it’s often described as one of the sadder months – with the joys of the holidays behind us and a seemingly endless stretch of winter in front – there are still plenty of ways to keep our spirits up as we continue to trudge through snowbanks and skid down sidewalks. Chief among these spirit-boosters, of course, is the joy that a new book can bring! So, with our city still firmly in winter’s chilly grip, make us your one-stop shop for all your winter survival needs: cozy socks, perfect mugs, and lots and lots of books!

One happy day that we can look forward to during this slightly dreary month is of course Valentine’s Day! Traditionally celebrated as a day of romantic love, we are firmly in the “any love is good love” camp, be it for a parent, a child, a sibling, or a friend! And, although it could never be said that we are not huge fans of chocolates and flowers, it is equally true that we believe cards and books can convey just as much feeling as their more traditional counterparts. We have a wider selection of Valentine’s cards this year than we’ve ever had before, and a lovely collection of love-related books, so be sure to come by and see if you can find that perfect something for that special someone in your life.

Despite what the pundits might say, there are few mediums in the world today that are as versatile as the printed book. It can teach, thrill, haunt, entertain, and offer escape to those who need it; sometimes it can even do all those things at once! One historical fiction series which has pushed many of those buttons for us is Santa Montefiore‘s trilogy about the Deverill family. Centred around an old country estate in Ireland, The Last Secret of the Deverills closes out this sweeping family saga just as the threat of World War II becomes a reality. Predated by Songs of Love and War and Daughters of Castle Deverill, this entire series will find you caught up in the trials and tribulations of a fascinating collection of characters, some of whom you will love, some of whom you will hate, and some of whom you will love to hate! It is the perfect salve for anyone who’s been desperately missing Downton Abbey! With all the stories about strong, independent women that have been making their way into the store in recent months, Marie Benedict‘s novel about the life of Hedy Lamarr couldn’t be more well-timed. The Only Woman in the Room delves beneath the glamorous Hollywood veneer to the fascinating woman beneath. Both intelligent and beautiful, an unwitting spy and a scientist, Hedy Lamarr was undoubtedly a woman ahead of her time!

Winter, especially a winter like we’ve been having, is the perfect time to dive into an epic new fantasy series, and Man Book Prize winner Marlon Jameshas given us an amazing new novel that is not to be missed! Full of fantasy, history, mythology, and Marlon’s own unique imagination, Black Leopard Red Wolf has been touted as an African Game of Thrones. Set around the intriguing and slightly mysterious mercenary, Tracker, this epic fantasy takes readers on an unforgettable adventure through ancient cities and mystical forests as Tracker and his unlikely companions are hired by a slave trader to search for a child who’s been missing for three years. With a slight horror bent to it, Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman is at once a story of greed, trust, and love. Carol has only ever trusted two people with the truth of her strange condition: her gold-digging husband and her lost love. So, when she falls into one of her strange comas – a kind of sleep that is indistinguishable from death – there is only one person who can save her from her husband’s scheme to have her declared dead (and buried) in order to claim her fortune. With the darkness closing in and time working against her, Carol must hope that her own will to survive is enough to save her from her terrible fate should her love not arrive before it’s too late! From the brilliant mind that brought us the chilling novel BIrd Box (soon to be a show on Netflix), this new novel will keep you transfixed from beginning to end!

Amid the seemingly endless number of wartime novels sprouting up these days, it’s not quite as common to come across a true story as captivating as Larry Loftis’ new book Code Name: Lise. As WWII rages across Europe, Odette Sansom, a new agent with the Special Operations Executive, has finally managed to land safely in German-occupied France in order to meet with her commanding officer, Captain Peter Churchill. Together they complete mission after mission successfully, all while evading the clutches of German secret police sergeant Hugo Bleicher. It’s during this time, amidst the danger and subterfuge of a war-ravaged country, that the two fall in love. Even once Bleicher eventually captures Odette and Peter and sends them to concentration camps, their love and loyalty -for their country and each other – don’t waver. Successfully weaving this tale of true courage, patriotism, and love, Loftis has produced an unforgettable book that is deserving of a place on everyone’s reading pile! Leaping forward to the 21st Century, a time of “fake news” and ever-changing media platforms, be sure not to miss Jill Abramson‘s brand new book Merchants of Truth. To illustrate the ongoing battle between print and digital media, this fascinating book looks at four of the biggest players in the business – The New York TimesThe Washington PostBuzzFeed, and VICE – and addresses some serious societal issues that have cropped up over the last decade. A veteran of print media herself, Abramson‘s book is a fair, well-researched work that is a must for anyone who enjoys reading about current affairs.

As usual, there are so many new books and so little space in our newsletter to tell you about them all! Here are some more recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited to have on our shelves: Find Momo Across Europe by Andrew KnappA Short History of Drunkenness by Mark ForsythThere Are No Bears In This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-RoachThe Royal Rabbits of London by Santa and Simon Sebag MontefioreOn the Come Up by Angie Thomas; A Matter of Malice by Thomas KingA Cathedral of Myth and Boneby Kat HowardHoly Lands by Amanda SthersThe Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan BradleyEarly Riser by Jasper Fforde (February 12); Be My Love by Kit Pearson (February 12)Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong (February 12)An Unfinished Murder by Ann Granger (February 19)The Study of Animal Languages by Lindsay Stern (February 19)A Year in Paris by John Baxter (February 26)The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samatha Shannon (February 26)The Huntress by Kate Quinn (February 26)The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag (March 5)Wings of Olympus by Kallie George (March 5)The Revenge of Magic by James Riley (March 5)See You in the Piazza by Frances Mayes (March 12).

Although the days are still snowy and the nights are still cold, there’s nothing that will make you feel better about the weather than having new books to read! Luckily, we are in the perfect position to help you out with that! So strap your cleats onto your boots, tie your scarf up around your neck, and come pay us a visit!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Monday, February 18 for Family Day!
Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, February 19.

We hope you all have a great long weekend!


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m ReadingMiss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess by Janet Hill

“When her life running a cat-friendly cruise line becomes a little too much, Miss Marcella Mink naturally turns to her 67 cats for advice! Their twenty life lessons are what accompany Janet Hill’s whimsical paintings in this beautiful, charming book!
My favourite: ‘Lesson Fourteen – Never let a few raindrops spoil the day.'”


January 2019 Newsletter


December Bestsellers

1. The Trail Beckons by Malcolm Hunter
2. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
4. True North Rising by Whit Fraser
5. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
6. Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
7. The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre
8. French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
9. Erebus by Michael Palin
10. Lost Ottawa: Book Two by David McGee


Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we’re over a week into 2019 already. Time flies when you’re having fun – and we definitely can’t deny that we have lots of that in the shop every day! From the endless supply of books that surround us, to our very special bookstore team, to all of our wonderful customers who make coming to work such a pleasure; we are really so incredibly fortunate! 2018 was an amazing year for us and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your unwavering support day-in and day-out. It’s because of loyal customers like you that our store gets to keep on plugging along and we get to keep doing this job that is, in our eyes, the best one ever!

January is typically a fairly quiet month for us here at the store, especially after the busy Christmas season, but that doesn’t mean the things grind to a halt! New books are still arriving every day, we’ve got authors coming to visit, and our annual inventory sale is right around the corner! So, things might move at a slightly slower pace this time of year, but there are still lots of reasons to pay us a visit as we make our way through the cold winter months together.

We only have one event to tell you about this month, but it’s a pretty exciting one! Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund (and his person, Ryan Beauchesne) will be here on Saturday, January 12 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm to sign and “pawtograph” copies of Crusoe’s new book, Crusoe, the Worldly Weiner Dog! We are so looking forward to meeting Crusoe and having him here in the store. This is a one of a kind event for us and we really hope you’ll be able to pop by! For those of you who have been asking about our Titles@Table40 series, rest assure that we will be sending out news soon. We have a few things in the works and will let you all know the details as soon as we have them nailed down. Keep your eyes glued to your inbox for announcements in upcoming newsletters and event mail-outs!

Something else that a number of you have been asking us about is our Annual Inventory Sale, and we’re pleased to report that it’s now only days away! From Sunday, January 13 to Saturday, January 26, we will be celebrating winter by offering discounts on pretty much everything in the store. All books will be 30% off, 2019 calendars will be 20% off, and all gift items (such as puzzles, games, bags, mugs, and cards) will be 25% off. Items that won’t be on sale include our small selection of CDs, magazines, items already marked down, and special orders. So, if you have a list of things that Santa wasn’t able to bring you or if your gift card is burning a hole in your pocket, now is the perfect time to come in and have a browse around! After all the excitement of our two week long sale, we’ll be CLOSED on Sunday, January 27 so we can recover…and take an inventory of everything we have left in the store! Our regular store hours will resume on Monday, Janauary 28 at 9:30am.

The last few months of year always tend to be a busy time, but we hope you all managed to find some peace amid the festive fun, and that you enjoyed a holiday season filled with family, friends, laughter, and books! Wishing you all a 2019 marked by good health, happiness, and copious amounts of reading material! If you need help with that last bit, just let us know – we know the perfect place!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m reading: Half Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay

“When I first read The Witches of New York just over two years ago, I completely fell in love with Beatrice, Adelaide, and Eleanor and their magical story. So, naturally, I was extremely excited when I got my hands on this new book! Any chance to spend more time in McKay’s wonderful 19th Century New York!
Featuring a glittering New Year’s Eve masked ball, this magical story of love, friendship, and new beginnings is the perfect book to read this time of year!