January 2018 Newsletter

December Bestsellers

1. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
2. Potholes and Politics by John Graham
3. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
4. Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean
5. From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher
6. Munich by Robert Harris
7. Diplomat, Dissident, Spook by Bill Warden
8. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
9. From Walk-Up to High-Rise by Heritage Ottawa
10. Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
11. The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks
12. The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
13. Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba
14. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Greg Kinney
15. Lace Up by Jean-Marie Leduc

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year! We hope you’ve all had a good start to 2018!

It might be cold enough outside to freeze your Winnebago, but we here at Books on Beechwood have just finished conducting an official study that says going out in the cold is good for your health…as long as you’re dressed for it and are heading only as far as the bookstore. So before giving in to the desire to hibernate until spring, be sure to pay us a visit to check out what’s new and to fill in any gaps Santa may have left in your Christmas wish list.

As an added incentive for you to come through our door this month, we will be having our Annual Inventory Sale on in stock items only from now until Saturday, January 20. So, for the next couple of weeks, all books will be 25% off, 2018 calendars will be 40% off, greeting cards will be 25% off, and all games, mugs, puzzles, and other gift items will be 30% off! Items exempted from the sale include CDs, DVDs, magazines, special orders, and the Globe and Mail. To mark the end of our sale, we will be CLOSED on Sunday, January 21 for our annual stock-taking. Regular store hours will resume on Monday, January 22. So, if there’s a special book or game you’ve been eyeing, now it the ideal time to make it an official member of your family!

After taking a break in December, our Book Club is back at it for January! This month’s book, The Chosen Maiden by Eva Stachniak, is a historical novel that explores the lives of the Nijinsky siblings and their very different journeys through the world of ballet in early 20th Century Russia. Moving forward through the winter months, the Book Club will be reading Zadie Smith‘s Swing Time in February and The Light-Keeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol in March. New book club members are always welcome, and can sign up by calling or e-mailing us at the store. For more information on meeting times and places for the next few months, check out the Book Club section on our website. There are two sessions each month, but attendees need only go to one and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

January tends to be a bit of a quieter time of year for retailers, but thankfully the publishing industry never takes a break! Even now, in the depths of winter, new books continue to roll into the store on a daily basis. We just received a surprise treat for all the kids out there: Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey. This fourth book in the Dog Man series finds our canine hero setting his nose to work on another mind-boggling mystery with his new furry feline sidekick, Cat Kid. With the same eye-popping colour and zany style as Pilkey’s earlier series, Captain Underpants, this fun graphic novel series is guaranteed to be a big hit with boys and girls, both young and old!

We’ve also welcomed a number of thrilling and chilling novels into our midst over the last couple of weeks, just in time for the arrival of the long dark. Store favourite Andrea Camilleri has given us yet another Inspector Montalbano mystery in The Pyramid of Mud. This new novel finds our intrepid Italian inspector knee deep in a new case (as well as mud) as he tries to solve a murder on an empty construction site plagued by more than just dead bodies. Mystery juggernaut Peter May continues to garner praise and followers with his many dark and atmospheric mystery series, and we expect response to The Firemaker to be no different. This first book in The China Thrillers series features devoted Beijing detective Li Yan and is sure to please long time fans while continuing to gather new fans into the fold.

Discovering a new author or book series can bring readers just as much joy as revisiting old standbys, so we’re very excited to have so many brand new debut novels in stock right now. Creeping from the world of journalism into the world of publishing, Jane Harper has already earned critical acclaim for her debut mystery, The Dry. Now out in paperback, this riveting story finds FBI Agent Aaron Falk back in his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, twenty years after being run out of town alongside his father. As old wounds are reopened and long buried secrets come to light, it becomes apparent to Aaron that sometimes in order to go forwards, you first have to go back. A.J. Finn is another journalist turned debut novelist with the publication of The Woman in the Window, a psychological thrill-ride great for fans of Alfred Hitchcock and the Film Noir genre. When a recluse in New York sees something she shouldn’t from her window, her world quickly crumbles around her, revealing shocking secrets and causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

With a slight dystopian bent to it, The Wolves of Winter by newbie novelist Tyrell Johnson, is the story of one woman’s struggle for survival in a post nuclear war world. Forced to forage in the Yukon wilderness to support herself and her family, Lynn McBride must decide what she’s truly capable of when a mysterious fugitive arrives on her doorstep, trailing enemies from her past behind him. Back in 1939, if you wanted to leave your past behind, boarding an ocean liner bound for Australia was a pretty good way to do it. This is the situation Lily Shepherd finds herself in in the Agatha Christie-esque novel Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. Even as the cocktails are being poured and the band is playing well into the night, tensions are rising among the ship’s passengers until the glamour begins to fade and then the unthinkable happens. When the ship finally docks, there are two dead passengers on board, a declaration of war has been made, and Lily knows that even thousands of miles of open ocean isn’t enough to keep her past at bay.

No matter how excited we are about the books that we have in stock right now, we have to save a little of our enthusiasm for all the great titles that have yet to hit the ground. Here are a few that we’re looking forward to getting our hands on: Winter by Ali Smith (January 9), the second book in her quartet which began with AutumnThe Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes (January 23) of Downton Abbey fame; This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong (January 30), the third installment of her Rockton Series, followup to City of the Lost and A Darkness AbsoluteThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (February 6), the acclaimed author of The Nightingale.

Finally, keep an eye on our newsletter, Facebook page, and website in coming weeks and months to learn about all the different events we will be hosting in and out of the store through the rest of the winter. We may not have any Titles@Table40 events to tell you about just yet, but never fear! Our ever popular dinner series will be back in the spring, so stay tuned!

After enjoying a holiday season full of hustle and bustle, the over-stimulation of family gatherings, and maybe one too many eggnogs, it’s not hard to convince ourselves to spend the first two months of this new year hibernating in order to recharge our emotional and physical batteries. While we here at Books on Beechwood are big proponents of cocooning ourselves under cozy blankets with our favourite books, even the most die-hard bookworm needs some bracing winter air every now and then. So, be sure to stop by – it’s a little known fact that while books may not look like blankets, they’ll keep you ten times warmer!

Wishing you a Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

December 2017 Newsletter

The Books on Beechwood
Top Ten Books of 2017
1. Lost Ottawa by David McGee
From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher
An ABC of Ottawa by Miriam Bloom
Alice MacKenzie by Mark Curfoot-Mollington
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Greetings Book Lovers!

The weather outside may not quite be frightful, but the inside of the store is looking delightful! Our shelves are packed tight with books, games, mugs, toys, CDs, puzzles, and seasonal goodies for all your shopping needs, and our staff are all geared up to help you – and all the Santas out there – find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

As we announced in our mini newsletter last week, we will soon be celebrating the season in classic book style with our Twelve Days of Penguin Random House Christmas! Starting on Wednesday, December 13, we will be featuring one Penguin Random House title at 30% off per day until Christmas Eve. Hitting some of this year’s book publishing highlights, our Twelve Days has a little something for everyone on your shopping list – the history buff, the fantasy lover, the spymaster, the baker, the YA fan, and the one who loves all things Christmas! Scroll down for a full list of titles and mark your calendars for this coming Wednesday when we’ll be kicking things off with The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman!

With so many books to choose from, it’s always hard to find that perfect read for the ones we love – or ourselves, for that matter. Luckily, there’s nothing we enjoy more, here at the store, than helping our customers find exactly what they’re looking for! So we thought we would highlight one top holiday pick each here, to give you all some inspiration before making your way down to the store.

Antoinette’s Pick:
Brother by David Chariandy
This is the story of two brothers growing up in Scarborough, Ontario where a wrong choice or move with local police can change many lives. It’s at once tender, heartbreaking, and poetic.

Bridget’s Pick:
Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba
This book is a rich, insightful and fascinating look at the lives of women during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Some we know – Coco Chanel, Elizabeth de Rothschild, Jeanne Lanvin – and many will be revealed in all their complexity. Sebba rejects depicting the occupation as a black and white situation but a time of constant moral ambiguity. This is popular social history at its best.

David’s Pick:
Dark Run by Mike Brooks
Reminiscent of Firefly, this is a quick read in the classic space opera style. It features a maverick captain and his assorted crew and their adventures across space.

Hilary’s Pick:
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (ages 8-12)
This is perfection in book form! Funny, strong, charming, and sweet, Aven will steal your heart even as she makes you laugh till your sides split. This is easily my favourite book of the year!

Jill’s Pick:
Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister by E.J. Clery
Janites and non-Janites alike will enjoy reading about the relationship between Jane and her banker brother, Henry, who supported and encouraged his sister in her determination to become a published author.

Stephanie’s Pick:
Three Pleasures by Terry Watada
It’s the 1940’s in Vancouver, the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbour, and racial tensions are building. This is an intimate and passionate novel concerning a painful period in Canadian history.

Dickon’s Pick:
Dog Bingo
No, it’s not a book, but Dickon really isn’t much of a reader. He played this at a friend’s cottage over the summer and loved it. You match dog breeds (with pictures and descriptions) rather than numbers and letters. It’s a perfect family present and he begrudgingly thinks you should know that there are Cat, Bird, Bug, and Royal Family editions too.

Once you’ve finished your holiday shopping, if the thought of then sitting down and wrapping all your gifts has got you down, never fear! We can help you there too! As in previous years, we will be offering free Christmas wrapping for your bookstore purchases from now until Christmas Eve. Choose between festive wrapping papers and holiday themed gift bags for all your seasonal goodies! The availability of this service will depend on how busy our staff are at the time, but you can always leave your purchases with us and we will be happy to have them wrapped for you by the following day. On the other hand, if you’re like some of our staff and can’t think of anything you’d enjoy more than wrapping and decorating presents, don’t forget that we have some lovely rolls of gift wrap for sale in the store as well!

Even at this time of year, there are still new titles arriving every day and we’re busily sending out orders to keep our shelves stocked with all the highlights of the season, plus our staff favourites, of course! The deadlines for our final Christmas orders are fast approaching, so be sure to get your requests in soon so your special gift is safely wrapped and sitting under the tree come Christmas morning.

To further enhance your shopping experience, we’ll be observing some slight changes in our hours over the next two weekends. On Saturday, December 16 and 23, we’ll be open from 9:30am to 6:00pm and on Sunday, December 17, we’ll be open from 11:00am to 6:00pm. On Christmas Eve, we’ll be opening our doors at 9:00am and will be on site to help with any of your last-minute gift buying until 3:00pm.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached December already! As the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! And there’s no denying that we have a lot of fun at the store every day! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful support you’ve given us over the last year. It’s only with loyal customers like you that independent businesses like ours can survive, and we can’t thank you enough for continuing to make our store a part of your daily life

From our bookstore family to yours, we wish you all a very merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous new year!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

The Twelve Days of Penguin Random House Christmas

Wednesday, December 13: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
Thursday, December 14: Lost in September by Kathleen Winter
Friday, December 15: All We Leave Behind by Carol Off
Saturday, December 16: Feast by Lindsay Anderson
Sunday, December 17: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Monday, December 18: A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
Tuesday, December 19: Vimy by Tim Cook
Wednesday, December 20: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Thursday, December 21: Artemis by Andy Weir
Friday, December 22: Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi
Saturday, December 23: Munich by Robert Harris
Sunday, December 24: Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

On My Shelf

Staff Member: Hilary
What I’m Reading: Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi
With Christmas fast approaching, I’m sure I’m not the only one with baking on the brain! Always on the hunt for new recipes, I found this book a real treat to browse and bake from. Full of elegant and tasty recipes, this newest offering from the incredible Yotam Ottolenghi gets this baker’s two thumbs up! Look out Chocolate and Peanut Butter S’mores, here I come!”

September 2017 Newsletter

August Bestsellers

1. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
By Gaslight by Steven Price
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
Nutshell by Ian McEwan
A Little Apple Cookbook by Susan Hallett
The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
 Conclave by Robert Harris

Greetings Book Lovers!

September is here and seems to be trying to make some kind of seasonal point – summer is over and fall has arrived! While we’re sad to see the “warm” sunny days disappear, there’s something pretty special about this time of year. From the turning of the leaves to the shortening days, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils hanging in the air to the unquenchable urge to buy school supplies. Like the squirrels and chipmunks we see running around storing up nuts for the winter, the cooler weather reminds us that it’s time to feather our own nests in preparation for the cold season to come – and what better material to use than books?

Fall is a very big season for book releases and events as we slowly march towards that most sparkly of holidays in late December. As such, we have a great lineup of store events to tell you about. First off, our Titles@Table40series is back for another season! We’re so excited to be kicking things off with one of our local favourites, Frances Itani. Bringing her Desoronto Series to a close, she will be joining us for dinner on Sunday, September 10 to talk about her brand new novel That’s My Baby. A long-time friend of Books on Beechwood, Frances is a wonderful author and a beautiful speaker. Anyone attending this event is in for a real treat! On Wednesday, October 11, we will be playing host to Newfoundland author and Titles@Table40 newbie, Wayne Johnston. He will be talking to us about his new novel, First Snow Last Light. Now in store, this new novel follows the story of a young boy who arrives home from school one day to find his house empty and his parents gone. Unsure of what’s happened to them – Murder? Suicide? Abandonment? – young Ned’s life from then on is steered by his desire to discover the truth. Leading our fall Titles@Table40 lineup right into the holiday season, whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux is coming by on Sunday, November 26 to teach us about great Canadian whiskies. His new book, Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Companion, is a concise and detailed spirit bible for anyone who enjoys capping off their day with a wee peaty dram. Tickets are now available for all three of these events, so be sure to call or visit us soon to book yours!

Here’s a reminder of how our dinner events work.
The evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $60.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening. The Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if informed in advance.

In addition to our dinner series, we have a fun new crop of book signings happening in the store over the next month. Local author Jennifer Cook will be here on Sunday, September 10 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm to launch her new children’s picture book Amazon Jungle Adventure. Inspired by travels in her own life, the story follows two children as they travel to the Amazon, make new friends, experience new things, and explore a beautiful and intriguing part of the world. Full of brightly coloured illustrations, this charming story is sure to become a bedtime favourite! Gita Baack is going to be paying us a visit on Sunday, September 17 to sign copies of The Inheritors: Moving Forward from Generational Trauma from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. In addition to the book itself, the accompanying journal will also be available so readers can record any of their questions, thoughts, and feelings as they continue on their own journeys. On Thursday, September 28Christopher Levenson will be in the store for a poetry reading! The evening starts at 7:00pm and he will be reading from his newest book of poetry, A Tattered Coat Upon a Stick. Closing out the month, one of our top-selling local authors, Elie Nasrallah, will be in the store from 11:00am to 4:00pm to sign copies of his book Hostage to History. Taking a brief peek into the first week of October, be sure to stop by the store on Wednesday, October 4 between 6:30pm and 8:00pm to meet local mystery author Mike Martin. He will be here launching his brand new Sergeant Windflower novel, A Tangled Web, set once again in the beautiful province of Newfoundland. Finally, Margaret Southall will be in the store on Saturday, October 7 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to sign copies of her brand new novel A Jacketing Concern.

We know people hate hearing about Christmas this early in the fall, but it’s hard not to get at least a little excited about what lies ahead when we have so many exciting new books pouring into the store. Peter Jones, the classicist who’s brought us such quirky histories as Veni, Vidi, Vici: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Romans But Were Afraid to Ask and Eureka!: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Ancient Greeks But Were Afraid to Ask, has done it yet again with his new book, Quid Pro Quo: What the Romans Really Gave the English Language. Exploring the original meanings and stories behind hundreds of everyday words, readers get real insight into just how much the English language owes to the ancient Romans and the different ways they communicated. Another one for the history buff, 1066 and Before All That by Ed West. The first in a new series in which each volume is branded as A Very, Very Short History of England, this book clocks in at just 184 pages and delves into the background of what is, arguably, one of the most famous dates in history. Over the next six months, we have four more Ed West books to look forward to: Saxons vs. Vikings1215 and All ThatEngland in the Age of Chivalry…and Awful Diseases, and My Kingdom for a Horse.

For anyone who enjoyed 2014’s What If? by Randall Munroe, the next science book on your reading list should be We Have No Idea by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson. Full of the same tongue-in-cheek jokes and hilarious drawings, this new book sets out to explain real scientific concepts to science-savvy and laymen alike, using humour and amusing diagrams. James T. Costa‘s new book, Darwin’s Backyard, follows the life of famous scientist and explorer, Charles Darwin. Part biography, part scientific history, this book not only lays out how Darwin experimented on different biological matter until he was able to prove his theory of evolution, but it also gives us a glimpse into his private life, touching on his marriage, chronic illness, and the loss of three of his children. If you’re having trouble facing up to the fact that winter is coming, pick up a copy of Felicity Trotman‘s new collection of writings about our coldest season of the year. Winter is full of classic and contemporary pieces of fiction and non-fiction that will no doubt inspire some appreciation for the stark beauty of the season and perhaps help you look forward to the chilly months to come.

Like a cocoon bursting open to reveal the beautiful butterfly inside, our store is pleasantly stuffed with colourful new fiction! From highly anticipated, big-name releases like Louise Penny‘s Glass Houses and John Le Carre‘s A Legacy of Spies, to slightly lesser known titles like Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin and Sourdough by Robin Sloan, there really is something for everyone. All is Beauty Now by Sarah Faber is a beautiful story about overcoming loss and nurturing hope for a better future. Set in Brazil in 1962, this novel takes readers on a trip through opulent private clubs, poor fishing villages, and over international waters as one family struggles to move on from the mysterious loss of their oldest child. If you liked Ami McKay‘s The Witches of New Yorkand can’t wait for Alice Hoffman‘s Practical Magic prequel, The Rules of Magic to be published in October, be sure to check out Louisa Morgan‘s brand new novel, A Secret History of Witches. Spanning five generations of women, it’s a truly magical, family saga. Are you lamenting the loss of Downton Abbey? Chomping at the bit for the next season of The Crown? Why not tide yourself over with Elizabeth Day‘s new novel? Full of privilege, hypocrisy, lies, and betrayals, The Party shines a spotlight on the very heart of the British establishment – a juicy and endlessly fascinating topic! Victoria Whitworthgives us a slightly different look at Britain by bringing us back to the year 859 and a time before the Norman Conquests in Daughter of the Wolf. Beautifully packaged with a built in ribbon page marker, this wonderfully satisfying novel is a historical tale full of deadly rivalries, powerful conspiracies, and strong women. It’s a great pick for lovers of Sharon Kay PenmanSandra GullandPatricia A. McKillip, and Diana Gabaldon.

It’s finally September and that means that one of our absolute favourite reads of the year, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling, is finally here! Centered around a young girl named Aven, this is a story about overcoming adversity, being true to yourself, and accepting people for who they are. Funny, charming, and heart warming, this book is a must read for kids and adults alike! From the acclaimed author of The Mysterious Benedict Society comes The Secret Keepers, a brand new story of adventure and magic. Set in motion by the discovery of a unique antique watch, Trenton Lee Stewart‘s newest novel finds a young boy shuttled from secret to secret until he’s faced with the toughest decision of his life to date – should he stay true to his innately honest nature or give in to the lure of becoming a hero? For a dose of cute, sweet, and a bit of cold wet nose, be sure to check out Catherine Lloyd Burns‘ book, The Good, the Bad & the Beagle. In this, her first book for young readers, Burns explores the trials and tribulations of childhood through the love a young girl for her dog. It’s a lovely, adorable read for anyone who’s ever asked “how much is that doggy in the window?” As one of Scholastic’s most highly-anticipated teen books since Suzanne Collins‘ bestselling series, Vikki Vansickle‘s new fantasy thriller, The Winnowing, is one to watch out for! It is sure to capture the hearts of anyone who loved The Hunger Games and Lois Lowry‘s classic, The Giver.

Despite all the great titles that we’ve already got in store, there are always lots more treasures to come. Here are some of the ones we’re most looking forward to welcoming into the fold over the next few weeks: Therefore Choose Life: The Found Massey Lectures by George Wald (September 9), A Column of Fire by Ken Follett (September 12), Lost in September by Kathleen Winter (September 12), The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen (September 19), The School for Good and Evil #4: Quests for Glory by Soman Chainani(September 19), All We Leave Behind by Carol Off (September 19), The Seagull by Ann Cleeves (September 26), The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane (September 26), Lightfoot by Nicholas Jennings (September 26), Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (October 3), Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn (October 3), Turtles All The Way Down by John Green (October 10).

With the days at the cottage numbered and the kids back at school, there’s no doubt that fall is a season of change. As we watch the birds start to fly south, the daylight hours slip away, and the leaves take on their seasonal auburn sheen, there’s nothing we’d rather be doing than lining up what books we’re going to read next. We’ve always thought that there’s something very special about sitting on a sunny patio, nursing a spiced latte, with a scarf wrapped around your neck and a great book in your hand! Just a friendly suggestion from you local, neighbourhood book experts!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

It’s the last long weekend of the summer! As such, we will be CLOSED on Monday, September 4 for Labour Day. Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, September 5.

Don’t forget to stock up on books to get you through the holiday!
Happy long weekend!

August 2017 Newsletter

July Bestsellers

1. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
2. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Exploring the Capital by Andrew Waldron
5. The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer
6. No is Not Enough by Naomi Klein
7. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
8. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
House of Spies by Daniel Silva

Greetings Book Lovers!

Just as summer seems to have finally arrived, we find ourselves in the home stretch. With only a month to go before the dreaded “back to school” time hits, it’s more important than ever to show your bookcase some love and squeeze in just a bit more reading-in-the-sun time before we get drawn back into our regular routines.

While we’re all trying to slow things down and really relish those last few hazy days spent by the lake or on the coast, the publishing industry keeps the home fires burning in order to further enrich our sunshine time with great summer reads! Whether your summer days are marked by digging your toes into a wet sandy beach, walking through a city park, or riding a merry-go-round at an amusement park, the one thing guaranteed to make each of those activities even more special is a cup or cone full of ice cream! Always a favourite summer treat, now there’s a way for you to enjoy this delectably creamy confection in book form too! The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwastis a lovely read set in Northern Italy, the fabled birthplace of ice cream. Reminiscent of Fredrik Backman‘s A Man Called Ove, this story is about the struggle that bubbles up within a family when the black sheep announces that he wants to abandon their proud Italian ice cream dynasty to pursue a literary career. Set against a stunning backdrop and full of charming characters and delicious culinary delights, this novel is a treat to read! For the ultimate sensory experience, try reading the book while partaking of your favourite flavour…whether it be butterscotch ripple, strawberry cheesecake, or tiger tail! This novel would also be a great pick for anyone who liked The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

Still riding the wave of bestsellers like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, we have a whole new crop of great thrillers and suspenseful novels to tell you about. Debut author Danya Kukafka has joined the ranks of edge-of-your-seat writers with her riveting novel Girl in Snow. Revolving around the death of a beloved high school girl, readers get an inside look at how one tragedy can affect so many different people as the story is told from three unique perspectives – the boyfriend, the jealous classmate, and the investigating officer. If you liked The Party by Robyn Harding, you will definitely enjoy this thriller! While most long-term friendships can weather the storms of life quite nicely, there are times when even the strongest of bonds reach their breaking point. In both The River at Night by Erica Ferencik and The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (the beloved author of last year’s The Woman in Cabin 10), a group of best friends find themselves in impossible and terrifying situations when the people they thought they could depend on most surprise each other by revealing long-held secrets, admitting to old deceptions, and, in some cases, switching life-long allegiances.

As we make our way through life, we spend a lot of time second guessing ourselves and wondering how things might have turned out if other things had or hadn’t happened in a certain way. What if I had made a different choice? What if I had just told the truth? These are just some of the questions woven through the fabric of The Marriage Pact and Truly Madly Guilty, two new novels by Michelle Richmond and Liane Moriarty, respectively. Moriarty introduces us to Sam and Clementine, a lovely young couple who know they can always lean on each other, no matter what. However, when they accept a last-minute invitation to a casual summer barbecue, events are set in motion that neither could have foreseen and that can’t be stopped. Full of glamourous parties, exclusive societies, and a scintillating sense of excitement, Michelle Richmond‘s novel is a fast-paced story about love, promises, and what happens when you join a strict, rule-abiding group called The Pact and then transgress against the powers that be.

Summer holidays often mean long trips in the car or seemingly endless hours spent sitting around the airport. Instead of spending this time typing, tapping, and texting on our cell phones, why not play a word game, learn to read your own palm, or reorganize your purse? These are just a few of the suggested activities in 101 Things To Do Instead Of Playing On Your Phone by Ilka Heinemann. Small and compact itself, this cheeky yet useful book is the perfect thing to turn to when you want a distraction that doesn’t depend on WiFi or battery power – no recharge required! As lovers of the written word, one thing that we can never get enough of are books about sayings, languages, and jargon. Luckily, we very seldom have to endure a whole publishing season without a new book like this landing on our shelves. Vulgar Tongues by Max Decharne is a sharp and witty trip through the history of slang. From the prostitutes of Elizabethan England, to World War II flying aces, to the centuries-long history of Masonic lodges around the world, this book explores the changing meaning of words like punk, geek, fly, and square. If you’ve always wanted to know what flap dragons and ale passion mean, this is the book for you!

In our cherished children’s section, we are so excited to finally have Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli on our shelves! Inspiring children of all ages to dream big and never give up, this wonderful book features 100 mini biographies of great women throughout history. In what other book could you find Elizabeth I, Amelia Earhart, Serena Williams, Cleopatra, Jane Goodall, and Malala Yousafzai sitting shoulder to shoulder? In a similar vein, but slightly more focused, is the newest book by Rachel Ignotofsky. Women in Sports is a beautiful illustrated collection of stories about 50 women from sports history who persevered against the odds to achieve their dreams. Like Ignotofsky‘s previous publication, Women in Science, this book is ideal for older children and adults alike.

Whether it’s for bedtime or an evening around the campfire, there are some adorable children’s picture books trickling into the store that are sure to become instant classics! Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex is a hilarious book of fruit-based rhymes where every fruit gets their moment in the sun except Orange. While grapes in capes and bananas in cabanas frolic throughout the book as the rhymes get more and more ludicrous, Orange wanders around wondering if there will ever be a rhyme for him. Linda Ravin Lodding‘s new book, Little Red Riding Sheep, has a similar feel when the narrator, later revealed to be a water buffalo named Eugene, keeps getting interrupted by a sheep who wants to be the star of the story. Children will love how Arnold the sheep keeps making suggestions and changes to the story until it doesn’t resemble the well known fairy tale at all. Charming and ridiculous, You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip, has become an immediate staff favourite! Full of bizarre creatures, colourful illustrations, and the most preposterous list of birthday party rules we’ve ever heard, once you reach the last page, the only thing you’ll want to do is go back to the beginning and read it all over again. For the knitters, sewing masters, and crafters among us, Julie Kraulis has written a lovely book all about fabric and patterns. A Pattern for Pepper is a sweet story about a little girl going out to get a new dress made for a special occasion. As she browses in the dress shop, Pepper learns all about the history of different prints and fabrics, who traditionally wore them, and why they were designed the way they were. In the end, she manages to find her perfect pattern – one that’s just as unique and beautiful as she is.

As always, there are lots of new releases to look forward to over the coming weeks. Here are just a few that we’re eager to get our hands on: The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (August 8), The Only Cafe by Linden MacIntyre(August 8), A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena (August 15), Glass Houses by Louise Penny (August 29), Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey (August 29), and The Winnowing by Vikki Vansickle (September 1).

There are few things we love more than curling up with a good book regardless of the season, but there’s something special about the books we read over the summer. They take trips with us, shade our faces when we read in the sun, don’t get fussed if they’re accidentally left out in the rain, and let us drift off when the hammock we’re reading in starts to feel just a little too comfortable. They thrill us, distract us, and give us pleasant dreams during a season when we traditionally like to sit back, relax, and let everything slide just a little bit. So, whatever your tastes or leanings, be sure you have the perfect kind of paper companion to see you through the home stretch of the sunniest season of the year!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

July 2017 Newsletter

June Bestsellers

1. An ABC of Ottawa by Miriam Bloom
2. From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher
3. No is Not Enough by Naomi Klein
4. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
5. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
6. Nutshell by Ian McEwan
7. Faithful by Janet Uren and Glenn Lockwood
8. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
9. Exploring the Capital by Andrew Waldron
10. Court of Lions by Jane Johnson

Greetings Book Lovers!

Hopefully you all survived the torrential rain that marked this year’s Canada Day and that you managed to have a fun-filled holiday regardless of the weather. Although the official day has come and gone, the rest of the year will continue to be marked by exciting happenings and neat events celebrating our country’s past, present and future. To keep that patriotic glow going or maybe in the quest to learn something about our country that you didn’t know before, check out some of our favourite Canada-themed reads of the year so far: Exploring the Capital by Andrew WaldronYou Might Be From Canada If… by Michael de AdderI Am Canada by Heather PattersonThe Great Canadian Bucket List by Robin EsrockNow You Know Canada by Doug Lennox25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit by Jody RobbinsCanada ABC by Paul CovelloSurviving Canada by Myra TaitThis is That: Travel Guide to Canada by Peter Oldring, Chris Kelly, and Pat Kelly.

As we settle ourselves into the slower rhythms of the summer, it’s always a good idea to have a healthy stack of books to hand. That way, when you find yourself suddenly lounging in a hammock in the shade of a mighty oak or reclining with a cold one on the dock by the lake, you’ll have a quiet and willing friend to keep you company. Taylor Jenkins Reid has given us a real treat of a read in a The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Following the colourful and intriguing life story of aging and reclusive Hollywood star, Evelyn Hugo, this novel will take you completely out of yourself and transport you to a world full of lights that shine, affairs that simultaneously build and break, and ambitions that must be fed. Hot on the heels of her supremely successful novel, The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George‘s newest novel, The Little French Bistro, has just hit our shelves and is already proving to be a staff favourite. Full of the same warmth and charm as it’s predecessor, this new story takes readers to Brittany where our protagonist, Marianne, flirts with new life paths and a possible future she could never have imagined. If you enjoyed The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, keep riding that thematic train and take a chance (and another trip back in time) with The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol. When Elizabeth, a resident at The Boreal Retirement Home, discovers her late father’s journals from when he was the lighthouse keeper on Lake Superior, she decides it’s time to delve in to her own family’s past to solve one of the great mysteries of her childhood. The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner is a wonderful family saga that spans almost a century. Set on the enchanting Italian island of Castellamare, readers will be drawn into a world of love stories, family secrets, and tales of sacrifice and revenge, all while being befriended by unforgettable characters and completely mesmerized by the stunning locale.

If you want to add a little more grit to your summer, try one of these great new reads: The Force by Don Winslow – a tension-filled stunner of a story full of greed, corruption, and redemption; Be Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’Connell – this novel of psychological suspense is intriguing, fast-paced, and will really make you stop and think; The Party by Robyn Harding – at once shocking and heart-stopping, this intense novel illustrates the best and worst of human nature and what can happen to a family when tragedy strikes; Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner – this second book in the Manon Bradshaw mystery finds our determined detective five months pregnant and thrown into a murder investigation that makes her question how well she knows her own family; The Child by Fiona Barton –  a chilling mystery surrounding the discovery of a child-sized skeleton in the foundations of an upper-class London house.

Is hitting the open road on your summer agenda this year? If so, start your road trip off right with a detailed study of John Catucci‘s new book You Gotta Go Here! Featuring over 300 hidden gems and hometown favourites from across Canada, the USA, and Europe, with this book as your guide, you will never go hungry when the rubber to the road. Dion Leonard, an Australian ultra marathon runner now living in Edinburgh, Scotland, has just published the most heart-warming dog book of the year to date, hands down! Finding Gobi is his story of crossing paths with Gobi, a stray dog, while running in a 155 mile race through China’s Gobi Desert. As he ran through unforgiving mountains, isolated villages, and punishing dunes, Gobi kept pace with him, raised his spirits, and slowly melting his heart. It’s a lovely story for any dog lover in your life! From the many-faceted, multi-talented author of Once Upon a Time in Russia and The 37th Parallel, comes a brand new and slightly quirky science book perfect for anyone fascinated by DNA, ancient species, or the scientific concepts that inspired Michael Crichton‘s Jurassic ParkWoolly by Ben Mezrich is a dramatic narrative of true events pertaining to the discovery, extraction, and attempted splicing of Woolly Mammoth DNA. Long extinct, but endlessly fascinating, the Woolly Mammoth is a true giant of history. This book is extremely readable and is bound to fascinate scientists and hobbyists alike.

A new book can provide hours of entertainment for children of all ages. They’re especially useful when taking family holidays when loving siblings confined in a small space seem more interested in poking at each other than playing a civilized game of “I spy with my little eye.” So, here are a few new titles it might be good to have nearby when the sound of silence is all you want to hear from the kids in the back seat. J.D. Rinehart has just released his newest fantasy adventure novel for children called A Kingdom Rises. As the third book in the Crown of Three Series, this new novel continues the story of triplets Tarlan, Gulph, and Elodie and their quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy in a land rife with magic, danger, and deceit. The previous books in the series are Crown of Three and The Lost Realm. On a much smaller scale, but with no less heart, The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library by Canadian author Linda Bailey is a wonderful, whimsical story of bravery and determination. Eddie is a tiny green bug who lives behind the chalkboard in a fourth grade classroom with his parents, his 53 siblings, and his Aunt Min. When his beloved aunt goes missing on a trip to the library, Eddie sets out to find her and discovers that the substitute librarian is planning on shutting the library for good! Full of bravery and heart, this story of the little bug who loves books is a real winner!

Here are a few more recent arrivals that have already wormed their way into our hearts: Polly MacCauley’s Finest Divinest Woolliest Gift of All by Sheree Fitch – a beautifully illustrated story about knitters, weavers, and makers that will delight children and adults alike; Old Hat by Emily Gravett – this adorable story finds Harbert always one step behind the latest fashion trends in hats no matter how hard he tries until, one day, he decides to forgo hats altogether and starts a new trend of his own; The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah – a great YA book about two teens caught up in their parents’ world of judgement and prejudice who need to decide where they’re going to align themselves when the lines get drawn in the sand; Welcome to the Slipstream by Natalka Burian – just when Van starts to get settled into her new life in Las Vegas, she’s forced to pull up roots yet again in order to chase her mother to Arizona in an attempt to save her from joining a sketchy self-help cult.

The books just keep pouring in at the store, so keep your eyes peeled for some of these upcoming releases: The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer (July 11), Everything All At Once by Bill Nye (July 11), The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (July 25), Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (July 25), I Love My Purse by Belle DeMont (July 30), A Nest of Vipers by Andrea Camilleri (August 1), and The Only Cafe by Linden MacIntyre (August 8).

Whether they’re playing the role of silent companions, peace makers, summertime teachers, or partners in crime, books are always going to be your safest bet. So, no matter where this summer takes you, be sure to make a trip (or two) to the bookstore to stock up on great reads to carry you through.

Happy Reading Everyone!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

June 2017 Newsletter

May Bestsellers

1. Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh
2. The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halsom
3. Save Your Mind by Antoine Hakim
4. From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher
5. Faithful by Glenn J. Lockwood and Janet B. Uren
6. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
7. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
8. Bad Days in History by Michael Farquhar
9. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
10. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

Greetings Book Lovers!

Is it March? Is it October? No, it’s June! Well, that’s what the calendar says anyway. It may not feel like summer, but we can’t let that stop us from putting together our summer reading lists. Whether you’re jetting off to warmer climes, making a trek up to the cottage, or planning on spending a quiet summer in the dappled sunshine of your own backyard, there is no better or more constant companion to have by your side than a great book!

Escaping to sunny Spain for a bit of a break sounds like an excellent idea to us. Why not make your trek without the hassle of plane travel by reading Jane Johnson‘s new novel Court of Lions? Fleeing a terrible trauma back home, Kate Fordham suddenly finds herself waiting tables in the ancient Spanish city of Granada. Surrounded by history and the dust of centuries past, the chance discovery of an ancient symbol-laced message turns Kate’s life on its head once again as she’s plunged into a historical adventure unlike any other. Closer to home, The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close is the charming story of newlywed couple, Beth and Matt, who decide to move to the political hotbed of Washington, DC in order to nurture Matt’s political aspirations. Beth immediately hates everything about their new city and doesn’t start to truly settle in until she and Matt meet and befriend another DC couple, Jimmy and Ashleigh. While the four friends begin to do everything together, it doesn’t take long for their lives to become riddled with tension, jealousy, competition, and rumours.

Tracy Chevalier, the beloved author of The Girl with a Pearl Earring, Remarkable Creatures, and The Virgin Blue, has joined the likes of Margaret Atwood, Anne Tyler, Howard Jacobson, and Jeannette Winterson, as the newest author of the ongoing Hogarth Shakespeare series with her new book New Boy. As a retelling of William Shakespeare‘s Othello set in a Washington high school in the 1970s, this new novel tells the story of Osei Kokote who quickly makes friends with Dee, the most popular girl in school. However, the road to love is seldom smooth and pretty soon, in a fit of jealousy, the self-proclaimed ruler of the schoolyard sets out to destroy this beautiful, blooming friendship. Like the original tale, no character in Chevalier’s story will escape these tragic events unscathed. If reading a creepy, crawly thriller is right up your alley this summer, be sure to check out Skitter by Ezekiel Boone. As the follow up to last year’s The Hatching, this new novel continues the story of an ancient species of man-eating spider that has mysteriously awoken and begun terrorizing the human and animal populations around the globe. Not for the faint of heart, this entertaining series has been a staff pick from the moment it hit our shelves!

One of the most highly anticipated non-fiction books of the summer has finally arrived! Did you enjoy Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls? Then be sure to pick up a copy of David Sedaris‘ new book Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002. This world-renowned humourist has spent the last forty years keeping diaries of everything that captures his attention – from overheard comments and passing gossip to soap opera plot twists and secrets confided by total strangers. It’s these diary entries that have formed the basis for all the books of essays that Sedaris readers have so loved over the years. It’s a real treat for diehard David Sedaris fans and anyone who enjoys quick wit and sharp observations. It’s not uncommon for everyone to go through at least one phase of childhood during which they decide they want to be an international spy. Henry Hemming can help you relive these dreams with his new book Agent M, a biography of Maxwell Knight. In addition to being perhaps the greatest spymaster in history, Knight was a devoted jazz aficionado and an eccentric exotic animal collector. Perhaps most fascinating is the fact that he’s rumoured to have been the real life inspiration for Ian Fleming‘s debonair secret agent, James Bond. Consequently, this book is best enjoyed shaken, not stirred!

Before the kids leave for camp or head off on holiday for the summer, be sure to stock up on some great reads for them to pack next to their sunscreen, flip-flops, and extra snacks. Multiple award-winning author Jason Reynolds has just released As Brave As You, a new story about family, the bond between brothers, and the true meaning of bravery. This heart-felt coming of age story is perfect for fans of The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish, The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, and The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue. With a touch of steampunk, a dash of mystery, and a lot of puzzle-solving, York by Laura Ruby is a real treat for fans of fantasy and adventure. In 1798, the mysterious Morningstarr twins arrive in New York and proceed to develop the city with a puzzle called the Old York Cypher built right into its streets and buildings. When this puzzle, which is said to lead to a treasure beyond imagining, remains unsolved into modern times, Tess, Theo, and Jaime set out on a quest to save their home and solve the world’s most mysterious puzzle. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is a funny, romantic story about two Indian-American teens whose parents are conspiring to arrange their marriage. Dimple is looking forward to spending the summer at a web design camp and escaping her mother’s obsessive search for a nice Indian boy for her to marry. Rishi is a hopeless romantic and has no problem with his parents arranging his marriage – he’s actually pretty happy about it. When he finds out that his intended is going to be at the same camp as him, it feels like fate. But despite their initial positive reactions to each other, things don’t move forward quite as planned. Will these two teens manage to find real love despite the planning and scheming of their respective parents?

With so many more books to mention than we have space for in this medium, here are a few more recent and upcoming releases that we’re all excited to get our hands on: The Party by Robyn HardingBe Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’ConnellEveryone Brave is Forgiven by Chris CleaveNo is Not Enough by Naomi Klein (June 13)The Little French Bistro by Nina George (June 13)A Sackful of Limericks by Michael Palin (June 27), and Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (July 4).

We had a lovely evening at Clarkstown Kitchen & Bar with Mary Walsh back in May and are glad that so many of you were able to join us. We don’t have any new dinner events coming up in the next couple of months, but we look forward to having you all join us once again when our Titles@Table40 series kicks back into high gear in the fall. In the meantime, we still have some great signings and readings coming up in the store over the next month that are worth checking out. On Saturday, June 10, be sure to come by to meet author John Kalbfleisch. He will be here from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign and read from his new novel A Stain Upon the Land. Local children’s author Miriam Bloom will be on hand on Saturday, June 17 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to sign copies of her colourful new picture book An ABC of Ottawa. Full of bright photos of famous National Capital landmarks, this lovely book is more than deserving of a permanent home on your bookshelf.

It’s been hard to get into that relaxing summer feeling so far this year thanks to our very wet, cold weather, but planning your seasonal reading list is an excellent step in the right direction. With tons of new titles appearing on our shelves every day, there are an almost infinite number of book destinations to choose from.

As Neil Gaiman once said, “a book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” With those wise words in mind, we wish you all sunny days ahead and pleasant dreams to come.

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

May 2017 Newsletter

April Bestsellers
2. The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson
3. An ABC of Ottawa by Miriam Bloom
4. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
5. Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
6. Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson
7. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
8. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
9. Earthly Remains by Donna Leon
10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Greetings Book Lovers!
May has arrived – though it may not feel like it – and that means that summer is just around the corner! So, dust off your suitcases and take out your beach bags! It’s time to fill in that summer reading list!
One great way to discover new books to read is to get them right from the hands of the author. Luckily, we’ve got a number of signings coming up over the next month at which you can do just that! On Saturday, May 13, we’ll be having what we call a Super Signing Saturday with two great local authors paying us a visit back to back. First up, Margaret Kell Virany will be here from 11:00am to 1:00pm to sign copies of her two memoirs, A Book of Kells and Kathleen’s Cariole Ride. Rounding out the day, local poet Marilyn Sargeant will be signing copies of her book of poetry, Carbon is Yellow, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. P.E.I. author Bruce McCallum will be on site on Thursday, May 18 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm to sign and read from his new Scottish-set mystery Death in the Doach Woods. In anticipation of the celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, Zanaib Muse will be in the store from 12:00pm to 2:00pm on Saturday, May 20 to sign copies of her new (and very timely) travel book An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital. Taking a quick peek into June, John Kalbfleisch, a columnist for the Montreal Gazette, will be joining us on Saturday, June 10 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign copies of his brand new historical novel A Stain Upon the Land.
If just spending an afternoon browsing the shelves is still your favourite way to choose a new book, you won’t be disappointed with some of our most recent arrivals. Perennial favourite and Harry Hole creator Jo Nesbo, has just gifted us with a brand new mystery that’s sure to please old and new fans alike. The Thirst finds his newly retired detective drawn back into the Police fold to hunt a monster from his past, despite the promises he made after his last case put those closest to him in danger. With thrills and chills galore, Girl on the Train fans are in for a treat with Paula Hawkins new thriller Into the Water. While we love our lakes, rivers, and oceans for their inherent beauty and powers of relaxation, it’s thrillers like this one that make us think twice about what mysteries might lie beneath the crystalline surface. Sealskin by Su Bristow keeps us on the water theme with a beautiful and mystical story set on the Scottish coast and based on the legend of the selkies – humans who can turn into seals. The 3,500 mile journey across the ocean has never felt so magical! When time traveling, no matter when or where you’re going, there are always some inherent mind-bending and conscience-testing questions involved. In Kathleen A. Flynn‘s debut novel The Jane Austen Project, Liam and Rachel find themselves sent back to 1815 in order to meet, befriend, and steal an unfinished manuscript from literary treasure Jane Austen – a truly unthinkable act, if they were to succeed. If you read and loved A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes by Swedish author Fredrik Backman, Beartown should definitely earn a place on your nightstand. Set in a small town and featuring a favourite Canadian pastime, this novel is full of big dreams, bright hopes, and startling secrets.
With so many books arriving everyday, it’s often hard to keep ahead of them, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these other great novels as our shelves continue to fill up: The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn (a witty, tender read about what happens when a couple move to the country and decide to embark on an experiment to spice up their marriage), Mad Richard by Lesley Krueger (a historical novel about artist Richard Dadd and novelist Charlotte Bronte, and the unlikely friendship they form), House of Names by Colm Toibin (an electrifying retelling of a classic Greek tragedy, rediscover the fraught world of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, and Elektra), and The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (a beautiful novel full of history, art, mystery, and heart).
After almost four years of waiting, heavy-hiting historian Lynne Olson has given us a new book to enjoy! This celebrated author of the bestselling Troublesome Young Men, Citizens of London, and Those Angry Days has come out with Last Hope Island, the story of how Britain became the wartime base of operations for exiled European leaders as Hitler marched his way across the continent. For a bit of a lighter walk through history, Bad Days in History by Michael Farquhar is the perfect thing to dip into whenever the mood strikes you. Telling one true tale of misery and woe for each of the 365 days in the year, these stories cover everything from lost love to fallen empires, fiendish thefts to devilish murders, and will no doubt help you face even the most intimidating of days. Leo Grasset will educate and entertain you with his new book How the Zebra Got Its Stripes. Not only will you get a fully scientific answer to questions such as “why are zebras striped?” and “why do giraffes have such long necks?”, but you’ll most likely also walk away armed with fascinating and handy facts to dazzle your friends with.
Here are a few more recent non-fiction releases that are worth more than a passing glance: The Otter’s Tale by Simon Cooper (a beautifully written account of one man’s relationship with an otter family in southern England), Footsteps by The New York Times (a lovely literary travel guide to the geographic muses that inspired some of our favourite writers), From Trudeau to Trudeau by Terry Mosher (a hefty anthology celebrating 50 years of cartooning by Asilin), Gutenberg’s Fingerprint by Merilyn Simonds (a fascinating exploration of the value of the physical book in a digital world), and Faithful by Glenn J. Lockwood and Janet Uren (a stunning and thorough history of 150 years of one of our local churches, St. Bartholomew).
Never one to be left out, our children’s section is full to the brim with great new reads that would make the perfect fodder for any holiday or trip to camp. Perfectly timed for the return of Anne of Green Gables to television, Melanie J. Fishbane‘s young adult novel Maud is a charming ode to a Canadian treasure. Inspired by the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, this story introduces us to a teenage Maud as she tries to adjust to moving from her grandparents’ house in Prince Edward Island to her father’s house out west while trying to hold onto her dreams of going to college and becoming a writer like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. From Julie Murphy, the author who brought us the wonderful book Dumplin’ (now available in paperback), comes Ramona Blue, the story of a strong teenage girl determined to stay true to herself despite all the odds. It’s the perfect read for fans of Morgan Matson, Rainbow Rowell, and Jennifer Niven. We have a very exciting new arrival for those of you who devoured Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Rick Riordan has just released The Dark Prophecy, the second book in his series The Trials of Apollo. In this new book, readers return to Camp Half-Blood where they meet the god Apollo, who has been stripped of his powers and banished to earth as a gawky, acne-prone sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. With his trademark style, Riordan is bound to keep duvet-covered flashlights burning bright well into the night! Two of our favourites picture books right now are Olivia the Spy by Ian Falconer and Hey, Boy by Benjamin Strouse. It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Olivia the Pig book and this one is a real winner. Charming as ever, Olivia will surely steal your heart…spy-style! A newcomer to the picture book scene, Benjamin Strouse‘s story about a boy and his dog takes a classic theme and turns it into an unforgettable, touching story that children will love and adults won’t mind reading over and over again.
We’re only a couple of weeks into the month so there are still lots of book goodies to come. Here are a few that we’re looking forward to getting our hands on: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (May 16), Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (May 23), Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (May 23), Churchill & Orwell by Thomas E. Ricks (May 23), and One Brother Shy by Terry Fallis (May 30).
The air outside may be cool, but the sunshine is toasty warm and there’s nothing a book loves more than a nice walk in the sun. So, be sure to pay us a visit to see what hidden gems we have in store. You never know, you might go home with a new friend!
Happy Reading!
–The Staff of Books on Beechwood