June 2021 Newsletter


May Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!
Stay Safe!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Rabbits by Terry Miles

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


Local Authors in the News…

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

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

Dan and Nancy Rubenstein in conversation with Alan Neal

 


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

Danuta Gleed Literary Award
Quill and Quire
ReLit Awards


May 2021 Newsletter


April Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


April 2021 Newsletter


March Bestsellers

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


Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


 

March 2021 Newsletter

 


February Bestsellers

1. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
2. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
4. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
5. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
7. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
8. The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
9. Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson
10. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates


Greetings Book Lovers!

We’ve made it to March! It’s hard to believe that it’s already the third month of 2021! It seems like the days are just flying by! On the plus side, we are rushing towards spring, which could never be a bad thing. While it will be nice to see the grass again and watch the trees burst into life, we can’t cast our winter woollies off quite yet! Plus, winter does have a few good points to recommend it – the sparkle of freshly fallen snow, the smiling faces of happy snowmen, cozy days by the fire, marshmallow-filled hot chocolates, and long nights spent with a great book!

After all the hustle and bustle of Christmas time, the publishing industry tends to go a little quiet in January and February. There aren’t as many books being released and most of a bookseller’s time is spent restocking after the holidays and generally getting ready to start the whole cycle all over again. For us, part of that starting over included doing our annual inventory and then meeting virtually with our publisher sales reps to learn about what great new books are coming up over the spring and summer. In light of those two events, our February Newsletter never really came to be, for which we apologize. We hated to miss an opportunity to tell you about what was going on at the shop, but hopefully this first “spring” newsletter will make up for it.

One little bit of news we’re excited to share with you is that we reopened for in-store shopping this past month! From 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, you can now come and visit us in person. We’re still observing a limit of 4 customers in the store at a time and masks are still required to enter. There’s also hand sanitizer at the door that we ask everyone to use before coming in. If you’re not comfortable coming in to do your shopping, curb-side pick-ups will still be available during open hours, as well as on Mondays from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Orders can still be placed online (store.booksonbeechwood.ca), by phone, and via e-mail, as well as in person. While we’re happy to be welcoming you back into the store, things are still a little uncertain out there and there is a chance that we’ll be shut down again. Should that happen, we will definitely do our best to continue to provide you with all the books you need, want, and wish for! Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that again, but if it does, we’ll all get through it again together!

We don’t know about you, but the books we’ve been most drawn to in recent weeks (and, in all honestly, most of the time) are historical novels. There’s just something about falling not only into a great story, but into a different time that we can’t get enough of! One of our favourite historical books from last year was The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and it’s just hit our shelves again as a brand new paperback! Set in a small Norwegian town in the 17th Century, this riveting novel tells the story of two women, each faced with incredible obstacles, who are inextricably drawn together through chance and tragedy. When an otherworldly storm breaks over the coastal village of Vardo, it claims the lives of all the men who had been out at sea, leaving their wives, sisters, and daughters alone to fend for themselves. Although the women manage to keep the village running, the eyes of nearby magistrates soon turn their way and a foreboding Scotsman (and his new bride) is sent in to set things right. Full of dangerous men, determined women, and rumours of witchcraft in the air, we’re sure you’ll enjoy this journey to the icy shores of 17th Century Norway! Based on the true World War II story of the American Library in Paris, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles takes us not only on a historical adventure, but also highlights the importance of books and the important role they play in our lives. At the outbreak of the war, Odile runs the risk of losing everything she holds dear – her beau, her best friend, her brother, and her beloved job at the library – so she and her fellow librarians decide to join the Resistance in an effort to protect the things they treasure most. Many years later, Odile finds herself living in Montana where Lily, a lonely teenager in want of adventure, sets out to discover the truth about Odile’s mysterious past. Shot through with a love of books and dark secrets borne to the surface, this wartime historical novel will keep you entranced from beginning to end!

Though none of us are doing any travelling right now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to read about it, and Julia Cooke‘s new book is the perfect one for the job! Come Fly the World is a fascinating look at the young women who worked as stewardesses for Pan Am World Airways from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies. Although there were some prerequisites to working as a stewardess that we now consider demeaning (height, weight, age, etc.), applicants also had to have a college degree, be fluent in at least two languages, and possess a certain amount of political savvy. Often entrusted with the care of high-ranking government officials and privy to delicate information, stewardesses were also known to sometimes play important roles in political maneuvering and conflicts such as the Vietnam War – ferrying soldiers back and forth from the frontlines and helping evacuate refugees. Focusing on the lives of six women, this book is an intriguing look back at what many consider to be the Golden Age of air travel. Over the last year, we’ve all learned a lot about ourselves, our world, and how we treat others when under extreme stress. We’ve also seen the rise of many prominent new figures (in healthcare and beyond) who have been doing their best to lead us through these strange and uncertain times. One of them is British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. For the last twelve months, she has shown us what it means to be compassionate, kind, calm, and brave in the face of unprecedented world events – she’s even had a designer shoe named after her! And now, with the publication of her newest book Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe, which she co-wrote with her sister Lynn, we’ve been given a look into the four weeks that changed our lives forever and the incredible woman who helped guide us through.

With spring finally starting to creep in, the book industry is kicking into gear again. As a result, we have been inundated with great new books that we can’t wait to read! Here are some of the recent and forthcoming releases that have caught our attention: Trip of the Dead by Angela MisriLike Home by Louisa OnomeShy Willow by Cat MinAnonymouse by Vikki VanSicklePrey by Ayaan Hirsi AliA Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. MaasThe Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat, Gone to the Woods by Gary PaulsenThe Centaur’s Wife by Amanda Leduc, The Survivors by Jane HarperEndpapers by Alexander Wolff, The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore, The Echo Wife by Sarah GaileyDress Codes by Richard Thompson Ford, A Bright Ray of Darkness by Ethan Hawke, Animal, Vegetable, Junk by Mark Bittman, The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan, The Third Man by Neville Thompson, Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan, No Buddy Like a Book by Allan Wolf, Black Magic by Chad Sanders, Return of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare, Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishguro, The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi, The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories by Jeff Kinney(March 16), The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville (March 16), Values by Mark Carney (March 16), Dog Man: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey(March 23), Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson (March 23), Libertieby Kaitlyn Greenidge (March 30), Elizabeth & Margaret by Andrew Morton (March 30), First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami(April 6), Deceptions by Anna Porter (April 6), Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (April 6), Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (April 6), When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain (April 13).

This coming Friday (March 19th) will be the one year anniversary of our closure last year due to the pandemic. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year! Though the last twelve months have challenged us personally and professionally unlike any other time in our lives, we’re so glad that we’ve made it through and are still able to share our store and our love of books with all of you. For most of us, books have been our saving grace during this strange time – we’ve travelled to foreign lands, back in time, up beyond the Milky Way, and into the lives of some of the people we admire most in the world. The power of the written word aside, though, the real reason we’re still here is all of you. Your support, love, and enthusiasm for books are what have kept us going – during every dark day during the first lockdown when we were a lowly team of one, when we were trying to figure out how to reopen again last summer while keeping everyone as safe as possible, and through the peaks and valleys of the holiday season. It’s been a tumultuous year to say the least and you have all been stars! We are so blessed to have such wonderful customers and we wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you for everything!

From our book family to yours, we wish you another month filled with health, happiness, and great books!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

“Although they say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, this one looked so appealing that nothing was going to stop me from reading it! The fact that it was a historical novel set in London and centred around a mysterious female apothecary was the cherry on top! Full of fascinating characters and vivid descriptions that make you feel like you’re exploring all the nooks and crannies of 18th century London in person, this debut novel is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. It’s a must read!”


 

January 2021 Newsletter


Top 10 Books of 2020

1. A Promised Land by Barak Obama
2. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
3. War by Margaret MacMillan
4. How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
5. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
6. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
7. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
8. As I Walked About by Phil Jenkins
9. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
10. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell


December Bestsellers

1. A Promised Land by Barak Obama
2. How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
3. War by Margaret MacMillan
4. As I Walked About by Phil Jenkins
5. Scrub by Suzanne Belliveau
6. Agent Sonya by Ben MacIntyre
7. Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi
8. Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal
9. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
10. V2 by Robert Harris


Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year! It isn’t too late to say that, is it? We hope that 2021 is treating you well so far, despite the slightly bumpy start. Although it looks like this year will be more like the last than we might wish it to be, there are still lots of fun things to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. Not least of which are all the new books due to be published this year! Keep your eyes peeled for new offerings from beloved authors such as Eden Robinson (Return of the Trickster), Kate Quinn (The Rose Code), Andy Weir (Project Hail Mary), Jacqueline Winspear (The Consequences of Fear), Ross King (The Bookseller of Florence), and Peter Wohlleben (The Heartbeat of Trees), among many, many others. In amongst the new books, we will definitely be receiving lots of great new gifts, cards, and puzzles (so many puzzles) over the coming year as well. Although we’re in lockdown at the moment, we hope that it won’t be too much longer before we’re able to welcome you all back into the store to browse. In the meantime, we will do our level best to keep our social media pages, our website, and our windows fresh and filled with great new items as they arrive!

We may not have quite as many events to mark on our calendars this year, but we should all make sure that one of them is this year’s Canada Reads debate. Set to take place from March 8 to 11, this great literary program will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! We can’t believe it’s been twenty years! Time sure flies! In a nod to the past year (and the one ahead), the theme for the debates this year is “One Book to Transport Us” – a very fitting theme given how many of us have found comfort in books since the pandemic began. Featuring a mixture of fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy, this year’s list is a great one. Here are the 2021 contenders: Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuasi, Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots, Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead, The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk, and Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee.

As we’re sure we don’t have to tell you all, closing our doors again wasn’t exactly how we were hoping to start the new year, but the pandemic had other plans for us and our fellow retail stores. For as long as the province-wide lockdown lasts, we will be operating with a curb-side pick up system using our half of the vestibule we share with The SconeWitch. You can place orders by phone, online, or by e-mail and pick them up at our interior door once they’re all set to go. Purchases can be paid for prior to pick up by giving us your credit card number over the phone or you can tap your credit or debit card when you come by to collect your order. If you’re shopping using our online store, you can opt to pay by credit card or you can select to pay at pick up (options appear as you’re checking out). Please note that if you do submit your credit card number along with an online order, payment does not get processed automatically. We still have to put each sale through manually here in the store, and will only do so once the items you ordered are in stock. Similarly, for any orders that you request we ship to you or a friend, those items will only be processed once your order is complete and ready to go out the door in the capable hands of one of our couriers.


Lockdown How-Tos

  • To order, call 613-742-5030, e-mail staff@booksonbeechwood.ca, or visit store.booksonbeechwood.ca.
  • Payments can be made prior to pick up with VISA, MasterCard, or AmericanExpress. Payments at pick up can be made with Debit or Credit cards.
  • Specific pick up times can be arranged by calling the store, or you can just show up any time during our normal business hours.
  • Our hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday. Usually our inside door is propped open, but if it’s closed or you don’t see us up front, just give a knock and we’ll come help you.
  • Our vestibule has a capacity of one customer at a time. If you come by to pick up and there’s already someone inside, please wait until they’re done before entering.
  • Masks must be worn while making a pick up.

Though this month has definitely been a bit different than a normal January, one event that will still be happening is our Annual Inventory Sale! From Sunday, January 24 to Sunday, January 31, all in-stock books will be 20% off and in-stock gifts will be 25% off! So, if there were some books on your Christmas list that Santa wasn’t able to deliver, or if you’ve got a gift card burning a hole in your pocket, now is the perfect time to shop! We know it won’t be the same as a normal inventory sale experience as you won’t be able to come in and browse, but our online store is always open and you can always shop by phone and window! The only items that will be exempt from our inventory sale are CDs, magazines, and special orders. If you are shopping online and don’t see the discount pop up automatically on in-stock items you’ve added to your cart, don’t panic! We will be sure to apply the appropriate discounts to your order when we process your purchase in the store. On a slightly related note, all 2021 calendars, planners, and agendas are now 30% off! We still have a nice selection of different calendars in stock, so whether you’re on the hunt for cute animals, majestic scenery, or a bit of armchair travel, we’ve got you covered!

Though we’re a bit ashamed to admit that we haven’t been reading quite as much as normal these past few weeks (or months), that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been keeping our ears to the ground and making sure we have lots of great new releases for you to discover and enjoy. Here are just some of the recent and forthcoming titles that we’re excited about: Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson, The Push by Ashley Audrain, The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly, Trio by William Boyd, Land by Simon Winchester, Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore, The Fabulous Zed Watson by Basil and Kevin Sylvester, The Ice Chips and the Grizzly Escape by Roy and Kerry MacGregor, The City of Tears by Kate Mosse, Icebound by Andrea Pitzer, Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones, A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy by Tanis Gray, Murder in a Irish Cottage by Carlene O’Connor (January 26), The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (February 2), Life Lessons from a Homemade Sourdough Starter by Judith Stoletzky (February 2), Bookish Broads by Lauren Marino (February 9), The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa (February 9), and A Fatal Lie by Charles Todd (February 16).

Finally, we wanted to take a quick moment to thank you so much for all your support this past year! When we shut our doors on March 19, 2020, we had no idea what to expect. What we got was something we couldn’t have come up with in our wildest dreams! Your book orders flooded in and haven’t stopped since! We’ve felt your love for our little piece of paradise so keenly, and we can’t believe how blessed we are to have such wonderful customers!

Despite having a bit of a rocky start to the year, there’s bright light ahead and we’re sure that we’ll be in the heart of it before too, too long. In the meantime, here’s to a year filled with the little things – the joy of reconnecting with friends by phone, rediscovering the world around us through the eyes of our pets, filling our homes with the mouthwatering smell of freshly baked bread, deep listening to our favourite albums, and, of course, heading off on great adventures and learning new things by reading lots of wonderful new books!

Wishing you all the best from our bookstore family to yours!
Stay Safe!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Annual Inventory Sale
The Lockdown Edition

From Sunday, January 24 to Sunday, January 31

20% Off Books
25% Off Gifts
30% Off 2021 Calendars

** Sale applies to in-stock items only. **
Orders can be placed by phone, online, or by e-mail and can be picked up in our vestibule.


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

“I don’t mean to be completely predictable here, but yes, I am reading yet another witchy book! Initially described to me by a friend as ‘Downton Abbey with witchcraft’, this novel is beautiful, magical, and enchanting! Centred around a strong female protagonist faced with a daunting life-altering choice, this story will draw you in and won’t let go until the last page. Beatrice is a lovely, sparky, and determined heroine, and she has quickly become one of my best fictional friends!”

December 2020 Newsletter


November Bestsellers

1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
2. How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
3. War by Margaret MacMillan
4. The Company We Keep by Frances Itani
5. Extraordinary Canadians by Peter Mansbridge
6. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
7. The Fight for History by Tim Cook
8. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
9. The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman
10. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz


Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy December! Well, we’ve made it to the last month of the year and it’s hard to believe that so much (and yet so little) has happened over the last ten months. There’s no doubt that this past year has been a tough one for all of us, but now that we’ve reached December and Christmas is just around the corner, it’s a little easier to see the light at the end of the very long, dark tunnel we’ve been traveling. Hopefully, that light will just get brighter and brighter as the days go by, and soon we may be able to enjoy our days (and our books) without having shadows cast across them.

As surely as the snow and cold wind have settled into all our city’s nooks and crannies, the spirit of the season has also swept in and permeated the store! Things have really ramped up here and we’re so excited to see all the wonderful new books you’re planning on gifting this season. Our last day for guaranteed Christmas orders has now passed, but we still have lots of great titles in the store, all vying for a coveted spot in your shopping bags (and under your tree).

Our store hours will remain the same throughout the holiday season and our in-store numbers remain capped at 4 customers at a time. On days when we’re at capacity and you’re waiting to get in, we ask that you form a line out on the sidewalk in order to keep our vestibule clear so that our couriers (carting all your lovely special orders) can safely get inside and so we’re not impeding access to the SconeWitch. We know this may not be much fun on snowy, cold, or rainy days, so please be sure to dress for the weather, and we’ll try to monitor the line closely so that no one is waiting too long. If coming by to shop between 10:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday, and 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays doesn’t work for you, you can still book a semi-private shopping appointment either before we open or after we close. The hours of 9:00am to 10:00am and 5:00pm to 6:00pm Monday to Friday are being made available to any customers who would like to take a leisurely hour-long browse through the store, so they can complete their Christmas shopping without the added pressure of knowing there’s a cue outside. There are four slots available per hour and they can be booked by phone only. Please note that if you’re shopping as a couple, that counts as two spots.

One little piece of Christmas that’s coming back to the shop this year is our 12 Days of Penguin Random House Christmas promotion! From December 11 to December 24 (excluding Sundays), we’ll be counting down the days until Christmas by featuring one Penguin Random House book per day at 30% off. The discount for each book is available on its given day only and just as long as supplies last. We’ll be kicking things off on Friday, December 11 with Yotam Ottolenghi‘s beautiful new cookbook, Ottolenghi Flavor! Keep an eye on your inbox and our social media pages for each day’s new feature!

There are lots of new goodies still arriving in the store every day and we’re busily trying to keep our shelves stocked with all your top Christmas picks. Although the deadline for guaranteed Christmas orders has now passed, we will still be receiving shipments of both books and gifts between now and December 24. That being said, due to the extremely high volume of shipping that’s going on across the country this year, our couriers are a bit swamped, so we have been experiencing some delivery delays with our expected shipments. Rest assured though that things are still moving, albeit a little more slowly than usual. Mixed in among our normal store orders, are all the lovely books you’ve requested in recent days and weeks that we know you’re eager to get them wrapped and ready for the big day. We’re making out way through them as quickly as we can and will hopefully be notifying you shortly that your Christmas goodies have arrived! Thank you so much for being patient with us!

In a year that’s been unlike any other, books have served as a distraction, a comfort, and reliable friends when we needed them most. Despite not having as much time to read over the last ten months as we normally would, we know that we wouldn’t have made it this far without the stories we did read. Take a peek below to see some of our staff posing with their favourites from the past year!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!
May the New Year bring you health, happiness, and more books than you can shake a stick at!

Happy Reading!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Christmas Hours

Thursday, December 24: OPEN 10:00am to 3:00pm

We will be CLOSED from December 25 to January 3 in order to give our staff a much needed break.

Monday, January 4: OPEN 10:00am to 5:00pm
(*regular hours resume)


 

 

On the 1st Day of Penguin Random House Christmas, my bookstore discounted for me…Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi!

On Friday, December 11 only, pick up your copy of this beautiful new cookbook at 30% off!

Mid-November 2020 Newsletter


October Bestsellers

1. War by Margaret MacMillan
2. A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin
3. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
4. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
5. Truth Be Told by Beverly McLachlin
6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
7. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
8. Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake
9. Friends and Enemies by Barbara Amiel
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney


Greetings Book Lovers!

We can’t believe we’re saying this, but welcome to the middle of November! Halloween and Remembrance Day are behind us, the trees have shed their golden garb, and we’ve turned the clocks back to add a teensy bit more daylight to our early mornings – it’s not hard to tell that we’re approaching the end of the year. The arrival of this penultimate month also means that we booksellers have our eyes on the wintry prize as we try to get everything ready for Christmas. Our holiday cards are on the shop floor, we’ve got tons of gift items arriving every week, and we’re doing our best to stock up on the great new books that we’re sure you’ll want to see under your tree next month!

Like so many other things this year, Christmas 2020 (and the lead up to it) is going to be a bit different than we’re used to. We’re still determined to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible, but the health and safety of our staff and all of you, our lovely customers, has to come first. Going forward, we will continue to observe our limit of 4 customers in the store at a time and ask that anyone waiting to come in line up on the sidewalk outside so the vestibule we share with the SconeWitch stays clear – not only for security reasons, but also so that all our couriers can get their precious book cargo into the store safe and sound. Masks must be worn in order to come into the store and hand sanitizer must be used upon entry. On the colder days to come, if you’re wearing mittens or gloves, please remove them when you come inside so you can sanitize your hands and browse at your leisure!

Normally at Christmas time, one of the things we love most is seeing the store full to bursting with happy shoppers. While we won’t have that particular joy this year, we want to make sure that you still get all the shopping time you need in order to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. If stopping by during our normal open hours won’t give you as much browsing time as you’d like, you’ll soon have the chance to spend up to a whole hour in the store, shopping around and hunting for just the right gifts for everyone on your list. Starting on Monday, November 23, the hours from 9:00-10:00am and 5:00-6:00pm Monday through Friday will be reserved for pre-booked shopping. We’ll still only have four customers in the store at a time (please note that a couple shopping together count as two people), but shoppers will have the whole hour to wander and browse without the pressure of knowing others could be waiting to come in. To book a spot, please contact us by phone at 613-742-5030.

Having said all that, we know that there are some of you who will let your fingers do the shopping this year as you avoid crowds and take care of your Christmas list online. To aid you in your online shopping quest, we want to remind you all that we have an online store through which you can order books and gifts for pick up, delivery, or shipping. We’re doing our best to get all our gift items up on our online store to make your e-shopping experience even more complete! Visit our online store here: http://store.booksonbeechwood.ca and explore the countless titles available to order at the touch of a button!

One last bit of housekeeping that we wanted to mention before moving on to the exciting book portion of our newsletter is about shipping and Christmas delivery times. All of our book shipments have been arriving pretty much on schedule, but as we get closer to Christmas and couriers get busier and busier, we expect that there may be the odd delay. In order to avoid any Christmas disappointments, we suggest that you get your book orders in as soon as possible. Most of our suppliers have a one week turnaround time, but some are closer to two or three weeks, so getting orders in sooner rather than later is critical. As in other years, we will do our very best to get you all your orders in time for Christmas, but there are some shipping delays that are beyond our control, so the earlier you can get your orders to us, the better. Though we will continue to receive stock throughout December, our last day for placing guaranteed Christmas orders will be Monday, December 7. Orders placed after that date may still arrive before Christmas, but we can’t guarantee it. If you’d like us to ship your order to you or someone else, our last day for shipping things out of the store will be Monday, December 14. When placing your orders (either in person, by phone, or online), please don’t forget to tell us whether or not a book is for Christmas so we can keep an eye on it and let you know whether it will be in on time or not.

The books are coming in fast and furious these days and there are definitely too many to talk about here in this small space. That being said, we’re going to give it our best shot anyway. One of our favourite books of the season so far is the newest offering from Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris, The Lost Spells. A good bit smaller than its predecessor, The Lost Words, this beautiful gift book is packed with heart-stopping illustrations and powerful poems that will bring a tear to your eye. Complete with its own sewn-in ribbon bookmark, anyone who loves nature, poetry, and the written word will adore this gorgeous volume. We know there are a lot of you who spent the spring and summer reading Hilary Mantel‘s epic historical trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. Well, if you’re a fan who just can’t get enough of Mantel’s style, why not pick up the cleverly named Mantel Pieces? Made up of her writing from The London Review of Books, this collection of essays will prove irresistible, especially with a subtitle like this: Royal Bodies and Other Writings! Another compilation that might be just the thing to keep you company this winter is The Best of Me by David Sedaris. As chosen by the author, these touching and funny stories span an incredible 25 year writing career and offer insight into both the mundane and sometimes absurd facets of life.

We’re sure many of you will agree with us when we say that there are few things we love more than a novel that will really sweep us away. Although we may not all want to be swept to the same places, there’s no arguing with a beautifully written story! Anstey Harris takes readers from big city to small, quirky town in her new novel, The Museum of Forgotten Memories. Sometimes life throws us curveballs when we least expect them and all we can do is take our best swing at them. When Cate Morris does just that after experiencing a crippling loss, she finds herself regaining her footing through the restoration of a Victorian museum full of glassy-eyed, taxidermy animals. Unique and touching, this book will charm you from the very first page! Murder by Milk Bottle by Lynne Truss is funny, endearing, and chock-full of kooky characters. Set in Brighton and centred around a series of murders featuring weaponized milk bottles, this novel is hot off the press and bound to keep you laughing (and guessing) until the last page! What happens when a mathematician becomes a mystery writer? You get stories within stories and mysteries atop mysteries like in Eight Detecives by Alex Pavesi. Thirty years after their initial publication, Grant McAllistar’s mystery novels are being reprinted, and editor Julie Hart is on hand to help the process along. It’s not until she sits down to read McAllistar’s books that she realizes something might be amiss – clues within the text are not only intricately woven through the story, but they may also refer to a real decades-old murder…one that was never solved.

As per usual, there are way too many great new books out there for us to tell you about even a quarter of them, no matter how much we want to. So here are just a few other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited about: Plantagenet Queens & Consorts by Steven J. CorviThe Book Collectors by Delphine MinouiThe Butcher’s Blessing by Ruth GilliganThe Forgotten Daughter by Joanna GoodmanMoonflower Murders by Anthony HorowitzThe Forgotten Sister by Nicola CornickThe Eyes of the Queen by Oliver ClementsThe Lady Brewer of London by Karen Brooks, Extraordinary Canadians by Peter Mansbridge, V2 by Robert Harris, No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox, The Archer by Paulo Coelho, The Book of Merlin by John Matthews, The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson, All Together Now by Alan Doyle (November 24), Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell (November 24), Pianos and Flowers by Alexander McCall Smith (December 1), Olive, Mabel & Me by Andrew Cotter (December 1), Bag Man by Rachel Maddow (December 8).

Although your Christmas shopping experiences might be a little different this year, we’re determined to make your visits to the store as fun and enjoyable as possible. For our part, we’ll be sure that our books are piled high, our puzzles are stacked two deep (at least), and our smiles are broad and shining behind our masks!

Keep an eye out for our final newsletter of the year next month for any last-minute Christmas ideas!

Happy Reading!
Stay safe!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Book Shelf

What I’m Reading: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

“Anyone who knows me well, knows that witchy books are my kryptonite – I just can’t resist them! They celebrate sisterhood, magic, a love of animals, and the in-depth knowledge of nature that we’ve long-since lost. So, it was a no-brainer for me to pick up this epic new novel which follows the adventures of three sisters as they find their way back to the ancient ways and old traditions of their ancestors. As an added bonus, it also touches on the suffragette movement – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to vote…or live!”


October 2020 Newsletter


September Bestsellers

1. All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
2. Rage by Bob Woodward
3. The Company We Keep by Frances Itani
4. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
5. The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
6. The Fight for History by Tim Cook
7. Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre
8. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
9. As I Walked About by Phil Jenkins
10. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves


Greetings Book Lovers!

October, in our humble opinion, is the best month of the year! The air is crisper, the trees are dressed in their brightest fall finery, and there’s finally a reason to wear scarves and gloves again! Perhaps most importantly though, this tenth month of the year is a kind of last blast of autumn, culminating in the otherworldly celebration of Hallowe’en before we start the long progression down the ice-clad corridors of winter. We know that not everyone shares our opinion, so if you’re not moved by the gilded trees and the sweet caress of the cool autumnal breezes, there might be one other thing about this time of year that could win you over – all the wonderful new books!!

With offerings coming out heavy-hitters like Margaret Atwood, Peter Mansbridge, and Michael J. Fox, this fall was already set up to be a great one. Now, add to those some of the books that had their release dates delayed from this past spring to the fall, and it’s like being hit by a tsunami of new books! Although things in the store are pretty far from what they used to be, we’ll still do our best to connect you (and your loved ones) with the books you want, the stories you need, and the ones that are destined to take you by surprise. It looks like the days ahead might be long ones, so why not feather your nest with books this year? Not only are they excellent company, but we hear that the insulating properties of paper are truly astounding!

Fall, for us, not only means golden trees and warm tendrils of sunlight, but it also somehow makes us nostalgic – it awakens strange longings for ancient times, old ways, and traditions long-since forgotten. In our industry, this translates into an undeniable desire to read historical, magical, and witchy stories. We might be alone in this compulsion, but thankfully the universe seems to know just what we need as there are always some great new books this time of year that fit snugly into those veins. One of the books we were very much looking forward to reading this year was The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike, the sequel to The Lost Queen. Set in 6th century Scotland, this second book in a planned trilogy launches readers right back to where things left off in book 1 – with Languoreth’s brother and cousins facing her husband and eldest son across a field of battle. As the Old Ways of Wisdom Keepers clash with the rise of Christianity as surely as two armies meeting with swords drawn, the world around Languoreth, her brother Lailoken (said to be the real man behind the legend of Merlin), and their loved ones is changing. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and peopled with incredible characters, this series is a must-read for anyone who loves to immerse themselves in a good yarn!

Hallowe’en is, hands down, our favourite holiday and we always like to fill up the days and weeks leading up to it with spooky, magical books. One of those this year was A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers. Spanning almost a century and three reincarnations, this witchy novel is full to bursting with love, betrayal, curses, and heartbreak. Helen Lambert has lived many lives, and in each one, she is destined to relive the same doomed love affair – one rife with passion, treachery, and often early death. In each incarnation, Helen encounters a mysterious man who does his best to win her trust and save her from herself, to varying degrees of success. Will he ultimately teach Helen how to break out of her dangerous cycle of love and obsession, or will she forever be stuck in a loop, loving a man in whose hands her heart doesn’t stand a chance? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Though it doesn’t involve witches, Matt Haig‘s new novel, The Midnight Library is definitely magical enough to make it onto our October reading list. Bookstores and libraries are already magical places in and of themselves, but the one featured in Matt’s new novel is even more so. What would you do if there was a place you could go to change your past and undo all your regrets? When Nora finds out that the books in the Midnight Library could do just that, she quickly sets about creating her perfect life – changing each miserable, regrettable moment into something bright and happy. Things aren’t always what they seem though, and the idea of perfection is no different. Soon, Nora finds herself (and the library) in great danger, and if she doesn’t find out the best way to live before time runs out, there will be unthinkable consequences.

As per usual, there are so many great new books, and so little space to tell you about all of them. Here are some recent and forthcoming releases we think you might like: A Bite of the Apple by Lennie GoodingsA Song for the Dark Times by Ian RankinYou Will Be Able to Knit By the End of this Book by Rosie FletcherPiranesi by Susanna ClarkeArtist’s’ Path in 500 Walks by Kath StrathersModern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina GartenJack by Marilynne Robinson, The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow (October 13), Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (October 13), Oh She Glows for Dinner by Angela Liddon (October 13), Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi (October 13), 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week by Jamie Oliver (October 20), Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years by Michael Posner (October 20), Beauties: Hockey’s Greatest Untold Stories by James Duthie (October 20), Ex-Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani (October 20), The Bookstore Cat by Cylin Busby (October 20), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney (October 27), The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski (October 27), The Eyes of the Queen by Oliver Clements (October 27), The Couch Potato by John Jory (November 3).

For those of you who have been in the store in recent weeks, you may have noticed a new face behind the plexiglass. That’s right, we’ve added a new member to our team! Michelle is a resident of the ‘hood and has been a patron of the bookstore for a number of years now. She’s travelled the world and called a number of countries home before landing in our lovely part of our Nation’s Capital. An avid reader with a wide-range of interests, she’s fit right into our bookstore family and will be more than happy to help you find your next great read! We hope that you’ll give her a great big Books on Beechwood welcome to her next time you pay us a visit!

It’s at this time of year – when the trees look like they’re part of an enchanted forest – that we most let our minds wander and our imaginations take flight. We spend a good deal of time daydreaming and making up stories, but indulging in wonderful new books is right up there too! Whether our dreams and reading adventures take us across oceans on a majestic galleon, through the treetops of a mighty forest on the back of a fire-breathing dragon, or into an unknown land in search of a new beginning, we always try to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Books can take us places that we can’t get to any other way. Our journeys can be short and quick, or long and winding, and they can be revisited as many times as we like. We know that many of your have found solace in reading over the last 8 months, and we hope that you’ll continue to do so. There’s no greater or more constant companion than a book, and we know that they’ll see you through the weeks and months to come.

Happy Reading!
Stay Safe!

— The Staff at Book on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

“For fans of Practical Magic, Maria Owens has always loomed large as the matriarch of a the most beloved Owens family. This new book will introduce you to her origins as an abandoned baby in a snow-covered field, carrying you along as she grows into her magical talent, learns to trust herself, knows heartbreak and loss, and inspires love, fear, and betrayal in the men and women around her. She is at once strong and flawed, determined and doubting, formidable and endearing. In short, you will love her!”


September 2020 Newsletter


August Bestsellers

1. As I Walked About by Phil Jenkins
2. Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
3. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
4. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
5. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
6. Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen Humphreys
7. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
8. Dark August by Katie Tallo
9. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
10. Circe by Madeline Miller


Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to September! Mother Nature has flipped a switch out there, and we seem to be firmly heading away from heat and humidity, straight into the waiting arms of autumn. Even though we know all about the cold, white, fluffy stuff that awaits us when the golden glow of fall has faded, there’s still lots to look forward to between now and then – woolly sweaters, soft scarves, cozy socks, hot chocolate, comfort baking, and more new books than you can shake a stick at! Whenever we need reminding of the joys to come, all we have to do is look at the giant piles of boxes we receive here at the store every day; boxes full of brand new releases that are just waiting to settle into their new home on your nightstand! From sweeping family sagas to beautiful picture books, political biographies to cookbooks all about soup – there’s no doubt that we’ve now entered the most eclectic of the book-selling seasons!

Although we’re not quite two weeks into the month yet, we’ve already had some real superstar book releases – Thomas King‘s Indians on Vacation, Helen HumphreysRabbit Foot BillAll the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny, The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, Tim Cook‘s The Fight for History, and The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves, just to name a few. With many more still to come, it looks like this year is going to be an extra special one! There’s been little to recommend 2020 so far, so we’re pretty excited about the way our fall and winter bookselling seasons are shaping up.

Before we get into the main portion of our newsletter, we just wanted to take this opportunity to make a quick announcement. While some of you have already heard this news through our book club, we wanted to properly announce that our colleague Jill Moll retired from her job here at the store at the end of August. Having worked here for fifteen years – probably the longest-serving staff member among those who remain – it’s hard to imagine the fabric of the store without Jill’s thread running through it. Always quick with a great book recommendation, more than happy to help customers find that perfect gift for someone special, and as the genius behind (and the head of) our long-running Books on Beechwood Book Club, we’ll really miss Jill’s quick wit, great taste in books, and penchant for staying up to date on the very latest book reviews. Under normal circumstances, we would have had a bit of a do in the store so we could all say goodbye properly, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible in the current climate. We’re holding out hope though, that maybe sometime in 2021 we’ll all be able to get together to celebrate this wonderful member of our bookstore family who has played such a big part in our lives. With her love of reading and travel, we know that our Jill won’t be taking things too easy now that she’s retired, and once the world reopens, it better watch out! Even though we won’t see her quite as often from now on, we still expect her to visit every now and then, whether she’s in need of a new book or just wants to tell us about her latest adventure. We will miss you, Jill, but the world awaits and we can’t wait to see you put your stamp on it!

Following the newly placed arrows on our floor, our first stop on this months’s newsletter tour is our fiction section. It’s always so hard to decide which books we’re going to highlight in these few brief lines, but this month we’re finding it especially hard. Not only because we haven’t really given you a traditional newsletter since the spring, but also because there are just too many wonderful new books that we want to talk to you about. Alas, tough decisions must be made, so here we go. With a Scotiabank Giller Prize to his name for 419, Will Ferguson has just released his brand new novel which beckons us to enter the enticing world of lost objects. While we can all relate to harrowing tales of that one elusive sock that we’re still convinced our dryer gobbled up, or the set of keys that we know we just had in our hand but somehow now can’t locate, The Finder has far more precious quarry in mind. Over the decades (and centuries), countless highly-coveted objects such as the Romanov’s gilded Faberge eggs and Muhammad Ali’s Olympic Gold Medal have gone missing from places all around the world – seemingly disappearing from the face of the Earth. In this novel full of intrigue and adventure, Ferguson takes us on a journey across continents and oceans, following Interpol Agent Gaddy Rhodes as she attempts to track down The Finder, a shadowy figure who flits in and out of society’s dark underbelly, and whom Gaddy believes is tracking down the world’s greatest lost treasures. Will she succeed in tracking down a shady criminal and perhaps restore some precious ornaments to their rightful place in society and history? You’ll have to delve between the covers to find out! Deftly conjured and truly unique, you’ll be completely drawn into this book before you can say Interpol!

Sometimes it’s the most ordinary situations or tasks that can make for the most thrilling backdrops in great novels. Tasks such as viewing an apartment – a fairly ordinary prospect for people of all ages looking to lay down roots somewhere new – can take on a truly Agatha Christie-esque aura when molded by the hands of a master storyteller. This is exactly what happens in Fredrik Backman‘s new novel, Anxious People. When an open house is shockingly interrupted by an armed assailant who takes the eight apartment-browsers hostage, not only has something that we take for granted as a safe and mundane task been defiled, but eight people who were previously strangers have now been indelibly linked. As the hours tick by and the stand off between the hostage taker and police drags on, tensions rise inside the apartment as secrets are revealed, relationships tested, and liars unveiled. While most of the hostages came to the apartment with honourable intentions, not all are as they seem. Among them sits Eileen, an eighty-year-old woman who has seen enough of the world that she’s not put off by a gun being waved in her face, but it also seems that she hasn’t been quite as open and truthful as some of her fellow house-hunters. Infused with Backman‘s undeniable understanding of human nature and his incredible imagination, this novel would make a great companion on a cozy weekend afternoon. If you’d rather have two books handy for your weekend reading session, why not pair Anxious People with One by One by Ruth Ware? Although it does feature a goodly amount of that fluffy, wintry, white stuff that you may not be ready to think about quite yet, the story is compelling enough for you to forget all about the weather. Calling to mind some of the classic country house mysteries we all know and love, this new novel throws together a group of tech start-up colleagues as they attend a corporate retreat in the French Alps. While it doesn’t seem like much of a hardship to spend a week in a ski chalet surrounded by amazing views, cozy fires, and staff to fulfill your every whim, when the retreat turns into a Mother Nature-enforced imprisonment courtesy of an avalanche, the atmosphere inside the chalet begins to crackle. Especially when it seems that one of your colleagues has been missing in action since the avalanche hit. Told with her trademark style and full of twists, turns, and intriguing characters, you won’t be sorry to have picked up this chilling novel…even if it does make you think of winter!

Although this year hasn’t been quite the same as any other, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the arrival of September made us think of Terry Fox. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Terry’s iconic Marathon of Hope, so it’s fitting that a new book has been released to recognize the impact Terry had (and continues to have) on our country and individual Canadians. Made up of letters from fellow Canadian icons such as Jann Arden, Perdita Filicien, and Wayne Gretzky as well as those who actually accompanied Terry on his run, Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters should hold pride of place on every Canadian’s bookshelf. Edited by Terry’s younger brother Darrell on behalf of the Fox family, this book contains not only letters about how Terry changed lives and inspired a nation, but also a series of never-before-seen photographs. Even if you’re already familiar with Terry’s story, this book still makes for a powerful, touching read. Proceeds from the book will go to the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised over $800 million for cancer research – an absolutely incredible achievement. Visit terryfox.org to learn more about this year’s virtual run and how you can celebrate the memory and legacy of this truly great man. For any teachers or parents out there who want to introduce their children or students to Terry’s story, be sure to check out two new kids books, Terry Fox and Me by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Meet Terry Fox by Elizabeth MacLeod and Mike Deas.

Amidst everything that’s been going on in the world this year, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that there are still too many books that we want to tell you about, and not nearly enough time or space in this medium for us to do so. Here are some of the other recent and forthcoming releases that we think you should watch out for: Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa GyasiLoonshots by Safi Bahcall, Dog is Love by Clive D.L. Wynne, Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis, Creativity by John CleeseThe Secret Life of Books by Tom Mole, King and Outlaw: The Real Robert the Bruce by Chris Brown, The Story of Silence by Alex Myers, Bonnie by Christine Schwarz, Saltwater Gifts by Shirley Scott and Christine Legrow, Agent Sonya by Ben MacIntyre (September 15), Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (September 15), To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (September 15), Rage by Bob Woodward (September 15), The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett (September 15), Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (September 15), The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix (September 22), The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (September 22), Consent by Annabel Lyon (September 29), The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (September 29), This Golden Fleece by Esther Rutter (September 1), War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan (October 6), Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman (October 6).

Even though the transition from summer to fall happens every year, the abrupt change in the pace of the book industry still manages to surprise us. With so many great new books coming out every day, it’s hard to know where to start! At no other time of year is the saying “so many books, so little time” more appropriate. It’s a bit like what we imagine having a full dance card is like – there are so many things we want to read, that we have to make a bit of plan, so we can pass seamlessly from one to the next. We just did the salsa with The Switch (Beth O’Leary), foxtrotted with The Forgotten Kingdom (Signe Pike), tangoed with The Deadly Hours (Susanna Kearsley), and still have a cha-cha with The Canyon’s Edge (Dusti Bowling), and the merengue with Magic Lessons (Alice Hoffman) to go! So, fasten on your dancing shoes and join us out here on the floor – there are more than enough books to go around and they really know their stuff!

All the best from our book family to yours!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood


Bookstore Shopping Hours

Monday to Friday
10:00am to 5:00pm

Saturday
10:00am to 4:00pm

Sunday
CLOSED


Hilary’s Shelf

What I’m Reading: Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

“Recommended to me by a friend, this book completely drew me in as soon as I picked it up! Featuring themes of immigration, dispossession, and the ways in which society has changed since 9/11, the story is told through the lens of a young Pakistani man’s coming-of-age in America. Full of colourful, charming characters, this world-straddling novel is at once tender, eye-opening, and heartfelt. It would make a great book club read!”


May 2020 Newsletter


April Bestsellers

1. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
2. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
3. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
4. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
5. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
7. Normal People by Sally Rooney
8. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
9. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
10. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy Victoria Day! I can’t believe it’s already mid-May! With time moving so strangely these days, it’s hard to know which way is up, never mind what day it is. Thankfully the appearance of buds on the trees and early blooms in our gardens must mean that summer is on the way! Although this summer will be unlike any other because of all the cancelled festivals, indefinitely postponed travel plans, and lack of summer camps, there are still ways to enjoy this sunny season while staying safe and healthy. In much the same way as everyone was baking bread in April, it sounds like the action has now moved out into the garden, with new plants taking root, weeds being pulled, and sunny patches being stalked by patio furniture. And really, what better way to enjoy the garden once your work is done, than with a good book?

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of our newsletter (though it may be more like beef jerky and potato chips this month), I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your orders, messages, and requests. It’s been tough keeping the store going on my own, but you’ve all been so amazing and I know that with customers like you, our little bookstore will pull through this unprecedented ordeal just fine. Given the incredible response we’ve gotten, I’ve been finding it hard to stay on top of answering everyone’s orders, e-mails, and messages – what is normally done by eight people is now being done by one – so, it may take me a while to get back to you, but I will. If your request or question is time-sensitive, your best course is to call the store. You may not get me on the phone right away, but you’ll get an answer faster that way than any other.

Despite our Premier’s announcement last week that retail stores with doors opening onto the street will be allowed to open as of Tuesday, May 19, we will not be opening our doors that day, or even that week. Given that our current set up has been working pretty well, I’ve decided that it’s safest to continue in that vein for now, and take our time figuring out what reopening will look like for us. Whether it will mean fewer people in the store at once, masks and gloves required, shorter hours of operation, or some new way of shopping that doesn’t require as much product-touching, I don’t know. Whatever solution we come up with, it will be based on the continued health, safety, and security of our staff and customers – browsing in a bookshop should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and we want to get back to that place just as much as you all do, but we have to make sure we get there in the right way.

So, for now, we will continue our online operations and contact-free pick ups, free neighbourhood delivery, and shipping will still be available. If possible, we ask that you do your shopping through our online store or by phone (613-742-5030) as they are the most effective ordering avenues. If this time has taught me anything, it’s that although e-mail is a handy form of communication, it’s definitely far from efficient – especially when you receive so many! So, if you could avoid using our e-mail address to order things, that would be greatly appreciated. This whole experience has truly been a whirlwind. Like everyone else, I’ve had ups and downs, good days and some very bad ones, and, although my concentration has gotten better over the last few weeks, finding it impossible to sit and read (one of my great comforts in life) at the outset of this pandemic just seemed too cruel. With summer just around the corner though, and our region’s confirmed cases of the virus on the decline, it seems like brighter days are ahead. We hope you’re all hanging in there and we can’t wait to see you again. Thank you so much for keeping us around! We are truly blessed with the best customers ever!

Although it makes me feel a bit like I’m cheating, I don’t have quite as many new titles to tell you about this month. Since a few of our suppliers have shut down their warehouses either completely or partially during this time, there definitely aren’t as many new releases making their way into the store these days; there are still a lot, but not as many as normal. That being said, I do have a running list of things that I’m looking forward to unpacking in the coming weeks. Here are some recent and forthcoming releases that might just peak your interest: All Adults Here by Emma StraubMum & Dad by Joanna TrollopeThe Imperfects by Amy MeyersonA Song From Faraway by Deni Ellis BechardA Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen JukesWho Ate the First Oyster? by Cody CassidyThe Museum of Whales You Will Never See by A. Kendra GreeneThree by Stephen Michael KingA Month of Sundays by Liz ByrskiThe Old Drift by Namwali SerpelThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (May 19), Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by Sarah Mlynowski (May 19), Love in the Blitz by Eileen Alexander (May 26), The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson (May 26), The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (May 26), The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman (June 2). Keep an eye on our social media accounts for our most recent updates, book releases, and new favourites. I’m also working on a kind of virtual bookstore tour so you can visit the store without actually being inside, so that should make an appearance soon too.

On one non-book note (though demand seems to have dropped a bit) I wanted to give you all a jigsaw puzzle update. The puzzle publishers are still playing catch up when it comes to filling all the orders they’ve received over the last couple of months, and my orders have gotten caught up in the backlog too. Although a few designs have arrived in dribs and drabs over the last few of weeks, I still have a couple of larger orders outstanding. Both Ravensburger and The New York Puzzle Company should be shipping to us at some point soon, though neither could say when, and there will be another Pomegranate order showing up sometime towards the end of next week, hopefully. As new jigsaws are arriving, they’re getting uploaded right into our online store, so that’s the place to check to see if anything new has arrived. I’ll also post on social media when new orders do show up to try to keep you all up to date on the puzzle comings and goings.

Even though this COVID-19 crisis hasn’t completely passed yet, it looks like the worst might be over and we can finally see a bit of light at the end of this very long, unprecedented tunnel. With brighter days ahead, it’s good to be optimistic, but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re not out of the woods quite yet, but we’re getting there. In the meantime, if you’re feeling the need to escape and can’t find a Netflix show that you haven’t already watched, why not travel by book? The destinations are varied, you don’t need a passport, and best of all, you can do it from the comfort of your own home!

Wishing you all the very best!
Stay Safe!
Happy Reading!

— Hilary for The Staff of Books on Beechwood


Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: If Only by Kate Eberlen

“Far from a typical summer romance, Alf and Violet find their way to each other slowly and cautiously. Being the only two British students in their Italian class in Rome certainly helps though. From waltzing around a piazza to exploring ancient ruins, Alf and Violet’s romance is picture perfect until someone from the past unexpectedly breaks into their present, shattering their newfound love to pieces. Can they find each other again, defeat their ghosts, and move forward? If only it were that simple.”