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.”


April 2020 Newsletter

Greetings Book Lovers,

Well, I think it’s safe to say that this is, hands down, the strangest newsletter I’ve ever written. Like most of you, I’ve never experienced anything like this current crisis before and can’t quite wrap my head around it all. While tuning into our Prime Minister’s broadcast has become a daily ritual, I’m trying to limit my news-watching by keeping myself occupied reading books, doing puzzles, and playing games with my family. Although it’s sometimes hard to focus and settling into routines so different to what we’re used to is tough, we have to remind ourselves that the best thing we can do right now is stay at home, practice social-distancing if we do have to go out, and wash our hands thoroughly and often. Like Queen Elizabeth II said in her broadcast this afternoon, “we should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” In the meantime, we need to simply take each day as it comes, look after each other, keep our minds and bodies active, and follow government recommendations to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.

We may not be in a position to help you with most of the things we’ve all been asked to do (and not do) during this crisis, but we can definitely provide you with the tools to keep yourselves and your families occupied while you’re at home. Whether you want to read, play games, do puzzles, or maybe try your hand at writing the next great Canadian novel, we’ve got you covered! Our doors might be shut, but we’re still committed to keeping you all supplied with the things you need to get through these uncertain times. This means that from Monday to Friday, we’ll be in the store from 10:00am to 4:00pm to take your calls, answer your e-mails, fill your orders, and keep things running smoothly in preparation for the day when we can welcome you back through our doors. We’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as possible, but there are a few special things you should know.

1. All purchases are now being processed by phone and through our online store ( using credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).

2. Customer orders are being shipped out using Purolator. Shipping for a single item order is $13, with an extra $1 tacked on for each additional item ordered.

3. Contact-free store pick-ups using our vestibule are available from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm. Pick-up times are set up one-on-one with individual customers.

4. Contact-free delivery is also available to those with mailboxes and front porches living in the New EdinburghRockcliffe ParkVanierLindenlea, and Manor Park neighbourhoods.

5. We’ll be completely closed on Friday, April 10 for Good Friday.

Since the store is being run by a team of one right now, it might take a day or two for us to respond to your messages, so please don’t despair! Your queries will all get answered! Thank you for being so patient with us as we try to find our footing on this somewhat shaky ground.

As of right now, the wheels of the publishing world are turning normally, and we’re still ordering books and receiving new publications. Although some big releases like Tim Cook‘s forthcoming book The Fight for History and the highly anticipated Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney have had their publication dates moved from the spring to the fall, and a couple of smaller publishers have shut down their warehouses temporarily, we’re not seeing too many changes or interruptions to the normal way of things. If things do change in the coming days, weeks, and (dare we say it) months, we’ll be sure to send out an update and post messages on all our social media pages. In the meantime, we’ll be using those same mediums to let you know about great new releases, neat spring arrivals, and staff picks!

One thing we have noticed over the last few weeks is an uptick in puzzle sales. It looks like the jigsaw puzzle is back in a big way and we’re happy to say that while our stock has really been whittled down, we have a few new shipments of puzzles on the way! We’ll get them uploaded into our online store as quickly as possible, but if you live near us and happen to be out for a walk (while observing proper social-distancing), be sure to take a glance at our window to see what designs are up for grabs. If puzzles aren’t really your thing, we also have a good selection of memory games, boardgames, and card games that are sure to keep all age groups in your house riveted for hours!

This may not be our typical kind of newsletter, but we can’t let this moment pass without telling you about at least some of the new books we’ve received over the last couple of weeks and the forthcoming ones we’re looking forward to. Here are a few of the standouts: The Mirror & the Light by Hilary MantelA Woman of No Importance by Sonia PurnellOpen House by Jane ChristmasThe Glass Hotel by Emily St. John MandelIf I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlaneLate in the Day by Tessa Hadley, Hike by Pete OswaldWe Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti BowlingIf Only by Kate Eberlen (April 7)The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan (April 7)Miss Austen by Gill Hornby (April 7)The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (April 7)Aran by Flora Shedden (April 7)Lovable Felted Animals by Yucoco Cafe (April 7)Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon (April 14)The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey (April 14)Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst (April 21)The Villa of Mysteries by David Hewson (April 17)Keep ‘Er Lit by Van Morrison (April 24)Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers (April 28).

Finally, we want to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for the outpouring of support you’ve given us since we closed up shop on March 19. It’s really incredible how you’ve all rallied around us and our fellow independent shops to keep us going through these strange and uncertain times. While we don’t know what the future holds, we’re going to do our best to hang on through this crisis so we can continue to do this job we love for years to come, and hopefully, we’ll be welcoming you all back into the store before too long!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay healthy.
Happy Reading!

— Hilary for The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Ordering How-To

Our doors are shut, but we’re still ordering books, shipping out orders, orchestrating contact-free pick ups, and delivering packages. Here’s a breakdown of how things are working right now.

To order: visit our online store here (, send us an e-mail (, or call us at (613) 742-5030.

Shipping: we’re shipping all parcels via Purolator at a rate of $13 for single item orders with $1 tacked on for each additional item (i.e. shipping for two items would be $14). We can’t do any shipping outside of Canada at this time.

Contact-free Pick-ups: we’re using our vestibule as a contact-free pick-up location for any customers who would like to come by and collect their orders in person. Pick-ups are available from Tuesday to Friday between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Specific pick-up times will be scheduled with customers on a one-on-one basis. If you’re coming to pick up a package, please observe proper social-distancing practices and refrain from entering the vestibule if there is already someone inside.

Delivery: contact-free delivery is available to customers who live near the store in the neighbourhoods of New EdinburghRockcliffe ParkVanierLindenlea, and Manor Park. Deliveries can’t be made to condo or apartment buildings.

Downloadable Audiobooks: If you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our page (

Support Local

Don’t forget that a lot of our neighbours and friends are still in operation to some capacity too! We’ll all need a little help if we’re going to pull through this.

Mood Moss Flowers  *  Muckleston & Brockwell  *  Jacobson’s  *  Nature’s Buzz  *  Fraser Cafe  *  Red Door Provisions  *  Second Cup  *  So Good  *  Bibi’s  *  Ola Cocina  *  Pet Valu  *  Epicuria  *  Bread & Roses  *  Quelque Chose Patisserie  *  Idriss Mediterranean  *  Perfect Books  *  Octopus Books  *  Singing Pebble Books

If you missed hearing our Manager, Hilary, on CBC’s The Next Chapter on Saturday, March 28click here to listen.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m ReadingThe Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan

“In tough times, we all tend to gravitate towards the things that comfort us. For me, that’s always been books and stories about witches, magic, and fantasy worlds. This new Louisa Morgan book definitively ticks two of those boxes. Set in Gilded Age New York and London, this novel is every escapist’s dream as it invites you into a magical adventure full of love, deceit, power, and the age-old battle between dark and light magic. Beautifully written and engrossing, I could live in this book forever!”

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Friends, Readers, and Book Lovers,

Today we had to make a tough choice – the choice between staying open and closing our doors during this ongoing crisis. We chose the latter. Not only for the safety of our staff, but for the safety of all our customers as well. While we’re not sure how long our closure will last, we all have to do what we can to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and we feel like this is our bit.

That being said, we have a skeleton staff all set up to keep things up and running behind the scenes in preparation for the day when we can once again welcome you back into the store. What that means is we’ll still be accepting book requests and orders, receiving shipments from publishers, and shipping books out to customers. You can also expect to see new posts on our social media accounts and our regular monthly newsletters will still be arriving in your inbox as usual. In other words, we’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as we possibly can.

On the shipping side of things, all customer orders will go out using Purolator or Canada Post at a flat rate of $13 for the first item and an extra $1 for each additional item. Purchases can be processed over the phone (613-742-5030) or you can place orders through our online store ( Requests can also be made by e-mail ( Contact-free pick ups at the store can be arranged on request as well. And if you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our page (

Since we don’t know how long we’ll be closed for, until further notice all bookstore events have been postponed. We plan to revisit them once the situation stabilizes and hopefully will be able to reschedule them. Anyone who has purchased a ticket to our Titles@Table40 event with Chris Waddell that was due to take place on March 29 will be entitled to a full refund or store credit. There’s no time-limit on this refund/credit. We are planning on rescheduling this event, so if any of you would rather hang on to your tickets until we have a new date, that’s fine too.

We might be closing our doors for now, but we’re committed to continuing to serve you all as best we can through this difficult time. There are no doubt many more strange, uncertain days ahead of us, but we figure as long as we all follow the recommendations and instructions put out by Ottawa Public Health, wash our hands thoroughly and regularly, and keep ourselves nice and busy at home, we should pull through. Just remember that we’re still here and happy help in any way we can.

Thank you so much for your continued support! We wouldn’t be here without you!

Happy Reading!
Stay safe!

–The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Greetings Book Lovers,

So, we have another update for you.

1. Yes, we are still open, but we’ve adjusted our hours. We will now be open as follows:
Monday to Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 3:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

We’re not sure if we’ll make it to the weekend as things are changing so quickly, but we’ll do our best to keep you updated via our social media accounts, our website, and our newsletter should things change.

2. We’re still diligently cleaning all surfaces here at the store and have decided to no longer accept cash payments. We’re also encouraging all our customers to pay using the tap feature on their debit or credit cards to limit the number of shared surfaces in the store – for your protection as well as ours.

3. Just another reminder that if you’re self-isolating, in quarantine, or are nervous about going out, we’re happy to deliver or ship things to you. We will try to continue this service even if our storefront closes. Purchases can be processed over the phone (613-742-5030) or you can place orders through our online store ( Requests can also be made by e-mail ( You can even purchase downloadable audiobooks through our page (

4. Once again, we ask that if you’ve traveled outside the country recently, have been in contact with someone who has, or if you’re not feeling 100%, please stay home – for your own well-being as well as ours. We’re trying to limit the number of people in the store at a time as much as we can, and while we normally love watching you all enjoy a good browse of our store shelves, if you’re just looking to while away some time and aren’t in mind to make a purchase, we’d rather you take pleasure in a nice long stroll in the fresh air instead. You can never have too much fresh air!

Hopefully these measures won’t last for long, and while we’re open for now, we do think that the point will come when we do have to close down. We’re taking things a day at a time and are doing our best to make decisions based on the well-being of both our staff and customers. These are uncertain times and we should all take every precaution and do our best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and each other safe and healthy.

Stay safe out there!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hello Book Friends,

In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to post a quick update on how we’re handling things here in the store.

1. As of right now, we are still open for business (regular hours) and plan to be for the foreseeable future, unless the situation worsens or the government regulates store closures. We will keep you updated via our social media accounts, our website, and our newsletter should things change.

2. Although cleaning store surfaces is a regular part of our daily routine, we have become more vigilant in recent days and are doing our best to keep both you and our staff safe.

3. If you’re self-isolating or in quarantine, we’re happy to deliver or ship things to you. Purchases can be processed over the phone or you can place orders through our online store ( You can also purchase downloadable audiobooks through our page (

4. Finally, we ask that if you’ve traveled outside the country recently or if you’re not feeling 100%, please stay home – for your own well-being as well as ours. If you’re desperate to make a purchase, just contact us by phone (613-742-5030), e-mail (, or through one of our social media accounts and we’ll be sure to get your purchase to you.

We’re hopeful that the COVID-19 outbreak will be under control soon, but in the meantime, we should all take every precaution and do our best to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and each other safe and healthy.

Stay safe out there!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

March 2020 Newsletter

February Bestsellers

1. Successful Aging by Daniel Levitin
2. We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
3. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
4. All Things Being Equal by John Mighton
5. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
6. Voyage of the Yacht, Dal by Andrzej Bohomolec
7. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
8. Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin
9. A Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker
10. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to March! The days are just flying by here, but that’s not something we can bring ourselves to be too sad about. Especially since we’re gaining minutes of sunlight and degrees of warmth every day as we get closer and closer to spring. For us, not only does the warmer weather mean that winter’s on the way out, but it also heralds the arrival of interesting events, fun new gifts, and plenty more great books! After all, what else is there to do on spring’s forthcoming rainy days but read?

Despite the joy we feel in the arrival of the warmer weather, this March also finds us cradling heavy hearts as we say goodbye to one of the staples of the Ottawa independent business community. The wonderful toy store, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s, will be closing down it’s last remaining location at the end of this month after serving our city for over four decades. Not only are we heartbroken to witness the demise of yet another locally-owned indie shop, but having shopped in their stores for many years ourselves, it feels like we’re losing a childhood friend. From Playmobil to LEGO, Brio to boardgames, stickers to stuffed animals, this beautiful toy store had it all, and we can’t count the number of times we’ve told our own customers to “try Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s” when they’d come looking for a specific item that we don’t carry. Where will we send them now? Where will we make our own toy purchases from here on out? We’re not sure. All we know is that we’re losing a magical, imaginative, inspiring place that children have explored with wonder since 1977. Our city won’t be the same without it.

Even with our sadness over Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s and the uncertainty we’re feeling given recent world events, our march towards spring continues and with it come a few neat events that we’d like to tell you about. First off, we’re very excited about the fact that we’ve just announced another Titles@Table40event! Local author (and loyal bookstore customer) Chris Waddell will be joining us on Sunday, March 29 to talk about his new book, The End of the CBC? As a professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University, Waddell has a good deal of insider insight into the often rough waters that our public broadcaster is trying to navigate. Given the failure of successive governments to put an end to CBC’s struggles and the emergence of a plethora of new online news platforms, CBC’s future is far from secure. But Waddell, along with his co-author David Taras, have come up with a plan – one that could spell a way forward for our beloved public broadcaster. As huge CBC fans, we can’t wait to hear what our visiting author has to say and hope that you’ll all be able to join us. Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to call or visit us soon to get yours!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our Titles@Table40 dinner series or if you’ve just forgotten the way it all goes down, here’s how it works. The evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $70.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening. The Fraser Café can accommodate all special dietary needs if we’re informed at the bookstore in advance.

In addition to our dinner series, we’ve also got a couple of in-store events to tell you about this month. Coming up this Sunday (March 15), local mystery author Essie Lang (a.k.a Linda Wiken and Erica Chase) will be here to launch her new Castle Bookshop Mystery Series. Come by this store between 2:00pm and 4:00pm to get your hands on a copy of the first two books in the series, Trouble on the Books and Death on the Page, and then settle in to be entertained like never before! Set in the beautiful Thousand Islands region of New York, this delightful series follows former literary editor and new bookstore owner, Shelby Cox as she tries to learn the ins and outs of a new business and settle back into life in her hometown. Just as she’s finding her feet though, she’s plunged into a real murder mystery when a local volunteer is found dead. Determined to help, Shelby soon butts heads with local investigators as she tries her hand at catching a killer. Peopled with a colourful cast of characters, this series is perfect for fans of Vicki Delany, Eva Gates, and Carlene O’Connor. Refreshments and snacks will be served. Former teacher and local author Kalli Dakos will be here in the store on Saturday, March 21 for a very special children’s reading and signing event. Having taught in Inuvik for many years, Dakos‘ newest children’s book, Recess in the Dark, is inspired by the children she used to teach. Featuring beautiful illustrations, charming poems, and fun facts about the North, this book would make a wonderful addition to any library. Be sure to stop by the store between 11:00am and 1:00pm to meet Kalli and listen to her read from this lovely collection.

Given recent events around the world – and in our own city – finding activities to occupy your kids over this year’s extended March Break is going to be even trickier than normal. Hopefully the weather will be nice so that we can see a return to playing outside, but in the event that you’re looking for a nice low-tech indoor activity, we’ve got you covered! Not only do we have a lot of fun puzzles and games to keep the kids occupied, but we also have a huge number of new books for kids and teens that might just peak their interest. Rin Chupeco‘s new novel, Wicked As You Wish, is a hilarious, rollicking, alternate history, fairy tale-inspired, fantasy story that marks the beginning of another great series. After the magical kingdom of Avalon is left desolate by the evil Snow Queen, former citizens find themselves refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. As the sole surviving member of the royal family, Prince Alexei is determined to win back his kingdom, but doesn’t see a good way to do that from his hiding place in the most boring place ever…Arizona. With the help of his friend Tala, one of the few who knows his true identity, he wiles away the days trying to plan his return home – a venture that makes great gains when a legendary creature of Avalon, The Firebird, makes its first appearance in decades! Funny and endlessly entertaining, this book is a must for the teen readers in your life!

We’ve always loved the idea that there are magical places hidden within our very non-magical world – close enough to touch, but invisible to the naked eye – so it’s little wonder that we’re so taken with Havenfall by Sara Holland! The Inn at Havenfall is a sanctuary – a safe place that connects all the ancient worlds and has strict no-nonsense rules in place to keep the peace. Maddie Morrow has spent too many summers at the inn to count and not only does it provide her with an escape from her sad reality at home, but it’s also been great training for when she inherits the inn from her beloved uncle. But when murder invades the inn’s peaceful rooms, Maddie gets a bit more responsibility than she bargained for. Desperate to restore the inn’s reputation, Maddie joins forces with alluring new staffer Taya to track down a killer and bring peace back to Havenfall. Lynette Noni‘s Akarnae is the first book in a brand new fantasy adventure series perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare. Sixteen-year-old Alex is dreading her first day at a new school, but she certainly hadn’t planned on escaping to a magical world in order to avoid it! Doors can be mysterious things and when one transports Alex to Medora, she immediately sets out to find a way back home. But when her search takes her to Akarnae Academy, a school for teens with extraordinary gifts, she soon finds herself settling into a world she’s suddenly not quite so desperate to leave. It’s not until strange things start happening that Alex is faced with a choice – stay and help save the Medorans, or turn her back on this magical place she’s come to love in order to return to her own world?

In addition to all the great teen books coming out, there are lots of wonderful new reads for the younger set too. Perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Ursula Le Guin, and Colin Meloy‘s Wildwood series, Sylvia V. Linsteadt‘s new book is destined to become a classic! The Wild Folk brings together Tin, an orphan City boy, and Comfrey, a curious Country girl in an epic quest to save the world. Faced with a series of seemingly impossible challenges set by the mystical (and tricky) Wild Folk, Comfrey and Tin must learn to work together if they’re going to successfully navigate this magical world and save both the city and the country. Set in the author’s home province of New Brunswick, The Copycat by Wendy McLeod MacKnight finds Ali Sloane starting classes at a new school in yet another new town. Having long since learned that being a bit of a copycat is a good way to fit into a new school, actually being able to physically change your appearance to copy someone else’s is not exactly what Ali had in mind. Though she thinks this strange Sloane family inheritance is going to take new friendships completely off the table, not only do her new classmates surprise her, but they help her accept this new aspect of her life and come to the realization that there’s no better person to be than herself. Inspired by Agatha Christie and her famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyne is the first in a series that will no doubt become a favourite for fans of Lemony Snicket and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Living in a small coastal English town, Aggie hasn’t had much to occupy her since her father died, so meeting 12-year-old Hector Perot couldn’t have happened at a better time! On top of that, she discovers a body on the floor of the local dance hall! Now, armed with a new friend and a long list of suspects, Aggie sets out to catch a killer before this murder tears her town apart!

Making the transition from writing for teens to writing for adults can be tough, but Sarah J. Maas has done just that with aplomb. Her new novel, House of Earth and Blood, is the first volume in what will be the Crescent City series – a wonderfully magical, high-fantasy series with the perfect amount of urban grit thrown in! Clocking in at just over 800 pages, this novel is a bit of a commitment, but one that fantasy lovers will have no trouble making. Centred around a series of demonic murders, readers will adore following our heroine, Bryce, through all the ups and downs of an otherworldly investigation and a romantic liaison with a Fallen Angel who really puts the “bad” in bad boy! Incredibly crafted and full of unexpected twists, this is bound to be the fantasy pick of the season! Unquestionably one of the top historical fiction writers of all time, Sharon Kay Penman has quit the shores of merry England and instead traveled to the Kingdom of Jerusalem in her new novel, The Land Beyond the Sea. Featuring some historical heavy-hitters, this epic tale shines a light on King Baldwin IV, a young king struggling to keep control of his volatile kingdom in the face of a royal court rife with deception and the ever-present, ever-threatening Muslim army led by Saladin. Fighting battles on all sides, there are few people Baldwin can trust and even fewer he can truly rely on. Perhaps, if there is to be peace during his reign, there must first be war. Epic on a scale Penman has achieved in book after book, this novel is perfect for fans of Jack Whyte, Bernard Cornwell, and Hilary Mantel.

While browsing our shelves, it’s not hard to tell that we are partial to the odd British-themed book, be it a travel memoir, a humorous book of quotations, or a grand historical novel, so it would be surprising to many if we didn’t at least mention Peter Fiennes‘ new book, Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers. Following in the footsteps of famous writers such as Enid Blyton, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Dickens, Fiennes crosses miles and centuries as he explores his homeland anew and imagines the way these great thinkers may have perceived and experienced the very same lands he’s traversing. Part travel memoir, part philosophical exploration, and part historical retelling, this fascinating book is a treat to be savoured and revisited again and again! Another of our great loves here at the store are quirky books about language. Since we got so much enjoyment out of 2018’s That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means by Ross and Kathryn Petras, it took no convincing at all for us to pick up their new book, Awkword Moments. We’re faced with them everyday – words that we use without thinking, but that we maybe aren’t exactly sure the meaning of. Covering 100 words and terms that have become commonplace but that are rarely directly defined, this handy little book will help you avoid flat-footedness forever as it clearly explains words that we slightly, maybe, don’t really know the meaning of. With their usual humour and style, readers will find that this small volume is so much more than just a slightly quirky dictionary!

Despite everything that’s going on in the world right now, the wheels of the publishing industry just keep on turning. With so many new books hitting our shelves every day, it’s virtually impossible to stay on top of them. Here are some other recent and forthcoming releases that we’re excited to get our hands on: Tips From a Publisher by Scott PackIn Five Years by Rebecca SerleFirewatching by Russ ThomasSharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong WashburnThe Sustainable(ish) Living Guide by Jen GalePatchwork Society by Sharon JohnstonThe Rage of Dragons by Evan WinterActressby Anne EnrightSnack, Snooze, Skedaddle by Laura Purdie SalasThe Moon Keeper by ZosienkaOraculi by Athena M. KaimanThe Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub, The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham, The Mirror & the Light by Hilary MantelViolet Shrink by Christine BaldacchinoThe Truth About Wind by Hazel Hutchins and Gail HerbertHarley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman, The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben (March 17), The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri(March 17), The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (March 24), The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin (March 24), Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey by Lori Mortensen (March 24), A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purcell (March 24), A Silent Death by Peter May (March 31), Cave Dada by Brandon Reese (March 31).

With all the news flying around out there these days, it’s hard to know which end is up.The best we can all do is follow the recommendations and instructions put out by Ottawa Public Health, wash our hands thoroughly, and try not get ahead of ourselves. They may be cancelling events and closing cultural centres left, right, and centre, but one thing we can assure you of is our commitment to keeping you stocked with books, games, and puzzles for the foreseeable future. So, whether you’re planning ahead for March Break, preparing for potential self-isolation, or just trying to keep your routine as close to normal as possible, your friendly, neighbourhood bookstore will be here, ready to serve, with a smile and a book recommendation in hand!

Happy Reading and Take Care!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

We Deliver!

Just a reminder that we’re happy to deliver or ship books to you if you’re not able to come to us. We accept book orders by phone (613-742-5030), e-mail (, and online (

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

“The very first book I bought when I started working at Books on Beechwood was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – a teen novel that introduced me to the dark, magical world of the Shadowhunters. Now, about twelve books (and years) later, delving back into that world once again was just as exciting as the first time. I can’t wait to see what adventures await this new group of demon hunters as they navigate the dark alleyways, cobblestone streets, and mist-shrouded squares of turn of the century London.”

February 2020 Newsletter

January Bestsellers

1. Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
3. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
4. The Cockroach by Ian McEwan
5. Agent Jack by Robert Hutton
6. Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey
7. Not Mentioned in Dispatches by RHOMA
8. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
9. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
10. The Innocents by Michael Crummey

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy Valentine’s Day! It might still be cold and wintry outside, but we’re toasty warm in the store here, surrounded by the love of our lives – books! We may have said this once or twice before, but one of the things we love most about books is that they can take you to any place and any time. That’s especially useful this time of year when the winter seems interminable and current world issues are getting a little overwhelming. So, why not take a little break from reality by delving into some of the great new reads that have landed on our shelves over the last few weeks?

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of some of 2020’s greatest books so far, we wanted to remind you about our first Titles@Table40 event of the season. Some of you may have seen our notice go out a week and a bit ago, but for those who didn’t, we’re going to be kicking off our ever-popular dinner series on Sunday, February 23 with former CBC reporter Carol Bishop-Gwyn. She has written a wonderful (unauthorized) biography of two of our country’s most esteemed artists, who were also, at one time, a couple. Art and Rivalry details the marriage of Mary and Christopher Pratt, the highs and lows of their life together, their respective art careers, and the eventual implosion of their marriage. Filled with fascinating details, heart-breaking realities, and the beautiful art that came out of what was a very emotionally-fraught situation makes for an undeniably compelling read. Armed with a photograph-filled power-point presentation, Carol Bishop-Gwyn will be giving us not only a glimpse into the lives of two very talented people, but will also be dazzling us with some of our country’s most well-known pieces of art.

For those of you who have never been to one of our Titles@Table40 events at Fraser Cafe, or who need a little refresher on what’s what, here’s how it all works. The evening starts at 5:30pm with dinner, followed by the author presentation and book signing. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the bookstore. The non-refundable cost is $70.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax, and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening. Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance. Tickets are on sale at the bookstore now, so be sure to get yours soon. This evening of timeless Canadian art, wonderful food, and fascinating stories is not to be missed!

Since this is the day that’s been chosen to celebrate love, what better moment than now to dive into our book picks from the last few weeks – all of which, coincidentally, we can safely say that we love! For anyone who’s been in the store anytime over the last year and a bit, we’re sure you’ve heard someone here talking about how much they loved Madeline Miller‘s 2018 novel, Circe. A sweeping historical novel that takes readers into the ancient world of Greek deities, nymphs, monsters, heroes, and demi-gods, it introduces us to the formidable character Circe, a daughter of Helios who is recognized as the first ever witch. If you haven’t read it, you definitely should, but if you have, we would highly recommend you pick up The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave next. Set in the furthest reaches of Norway in the early 17th century, this heart-stopping novel opens with a tragic reminder of the power of the sea and the fragility of human life. When the menfolk in the small town of Vardo are wiped out in an incredible, almost otherworldly storm, twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter and her fellow wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers must adapt to their harsh new reality and learn to fend for themselves. Left to their own devices for a few seasons, the appointment and arrival of a new commissioner for their tiny town, a Scottish-born witch hunter named Absolom Cornet, is welcomed by some and spells doom for others. Inspired by true events, this is a story filled with love, stoicism, fanaticism, and heart-break – a novel to be read, absorbed, and placed among other favourites in your collection.

Though the title implies a historical setting, Andrew David MacDonald‘s When We Were Vikings has its feet firmly planted in the present. Zelda is twenty-one-years-old and lives with her older brother Gert. She loves vikings and knows everything there is to know about Valhalla, Beowulf, and how a viking warrior can become the hero of their own legend. She also likes to have sets of rules in place so she can keep the things around her in order, has trouble dealing with conflict, and suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. So, when she finds out that her brother has acted dishonourably by dropping out of college, lying to her about it, and falling in with some very bad people, she’s determined to help him by setting out on her very own viking quest to defeat the grendels that are plaguing their family. Things get serious quickly though, and Zelda soon finds herself in a situation where saving the people she loves means being stronger than she’s ever been before. Touching, inspiring, and built around a core of sibling love, this sweet, funny story will touch your heart and keep you engaged long after you’ve closed the cover for the final time. Eoin Colfer has long delighted us with his wonderfully funny, ever delightful Artemis Fowl series and now he’s gifted us an equally lovable book for adults. Highfire is, in a word, unparalleled. Hilarious, ridiculous, action-packed, and piloted by two very unlikely heroes, be prepared to read this one in a single sitting! The last of his kind, Vern lives in the Louisiana bayou, swigging vodka, smoking Marlboros, and spending the majority of his time in his Lay-Z-Boy recliner decked out in his favourite Flashdance t-shirt. The thing is, Vern used to be known as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie, and is the world’s last dragon. Enter a crooked cop and a young swamp rat playing an epic game of cat and mouse, and Vern is not only forced out of his comfy recliner, but he’s set on a path that just might lead him back to his glory days…or it could see the extinction of his species. Told in trademark Colfer style, you will laugh yourself silly from beginning to end!

Our undying love of books and stories is matched only by our love of language and writing, so we always get pretty excited when a new book about words arrives in the store. Don’t Believe a Word by David Shariatmadari is just that kind of book. Delving into the science of language, this book challenges us to forget everything we thought we knew about words, their true meanings, and how they evolve. Prepare to have your mind blown as Shariatmadari shatters nine commonly held beliefs about language and introduces us to some new ground-breaking ideas about one of humanity’s greatest (and most changeable) inventions. Understanding the wheres and whys of language is one thing, but learning how to use it properly can be a very different matter. Long-time teacher and writer, Roy Peter Clark brings his writing knowledge to the masses in his new book Murder Your Darlings. Along with his own know-how, this book also contains some of the top writing tips from masters of the genre such as Anne Lamott, Stephen King, and even Aristotle! No longer will aspiring writers have to stand in front of the “Language and Linguistics” section of their local bookstore wondering which writing guide to choose. Instead they can simply pick up Clark‘s book and receive not only his own advice, but the top 100 tips from fifty of the top writing books of all time! After all, who could argue with an essential guide born of essential guides?

Here in the store, our children’s section gets just as much (if not more) love from our staff than the rest of the store does. There’s just something about a good coming-of-age story that still appeals to us all. Much like Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy did a few years ago, Jo Cotterill‘s new book, Jelly, has completely captured our hearts. At school, Angelica puts on a good show – she’s great at impressions, makes everyone laugh, and doesn’t mind throwing her weight around – but the truth is, that’s not the real her. Lacking the confidence to be herself, Jelly saves all her innermost thoughts and feelings for her special notebook. It’s not until her mother’s new boyfriend comes on the scene and recognizes Jelly’s behaviour as an act that this shy young girl realizes that sometimes putting yourself out there and trusting others to accept you as you really are is where real confidence comes from! There are moments in life when people can surprise you and true friendships can come from some pretty unexpected places. These are lessons that Norris Kaplan has yet to learn in The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe. As a Black French Canadian, the prospect of moving to Austin, Texas doesn’t strike Norris as a very good idea – he can tell that much just from watching American sitcoms. This leads him to believe that keeping his new high school classmates at a safe distance by compartmentalizing them seems like the perfect plan. Fortunately for him, life rarely abides by our plans and before he knows it, his safely-labeled peers are causing cracks to appear in his armour and proving that they might actually make for good, trustworthy friends. It all goes pear-shaped on prom night though, and Norris must decide whether to come out from behind the walls he’s built between himself and the world, or stay in the safety and comfort of his own self-imposed isolation. Funny, realistic, and full of all the joys of adolescence, this novel for teens is at once charming and heart-warming.

While we could stay here forever talking about all the books we’ve loved over the last few weeks, time is not infinite, so here are a few other recently released and forthcoming titles that we’re excited to bring to your attention: Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa ZaczekRace to the Sun by Rebecca RoanhorseThe Mitford Scandal by Jessica FellowesSt. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England NoblinBloom by Kenneth OppelThe Second Midnight by Andrew TaylorA Divided Loyalty by Charles ToddAlone in the Wild by Kelley ArmstrongA Witch in Time by Constance SayersThe Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (February 25), Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (February 25), Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (March 3), Actress by Anne Enright (March 3), Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (March 3), Awkword Moments by Ross and Kathryn Petras (March 10).

Love is a funny thing – we can feel it for other people, inanimate objects, animals, and ourselves and it can sometimes be subtle, overwhelming, unpredictable, epic, and electric…ideally not all at the same time. Like any great love affair, the love of books will take you on a journey – there will be highs and lows, danger and adventure, sadness and loss, and you never know where your journey will take you until you get there. Books are really the ultimate companions – steadfast, dedicated, comforting – and the best part is, they’ll never yell at you for putting your feet up on the coffee table!

Lots of love from us to you on this Valentine’s Day weekend!
Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

We will be CLOSED on Monday, February 17 for Family Day. Regular store hours will resume on Tuesday, February 18.


Titles@Table40 with Carol Bishop-Gwyn

Date: Sunday, February 23
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Table40 Restaurant, 7 Springfield Road

Tickets for this event are on sale now. Be sure to pop by the store, call or e-mail us to get yours today!



Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

“Victorian London seems to have a strange sort of appeal to me, as I find myself reading yet another book that’s set there. Starring a lady detective named Bridie Devine, this book has taken me through the sooty streets of London in search of a kidnapped girl rumoured to have the kind of powers that make her appealing to some collection-obsessed Victorians. Also featuring an enamoured ghostly sidekick, I can’t wait to see what awaits me around the next cobblestone corner!”

January 2020 Newsletter

December Bestsellers

1. Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal
2. Ottawa Rewind by Andrew King
3. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
4. Not Mentioned in Dispatches by RHOMA
5. The Cockroach by Ian McKewan
6. Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin
7. Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray
8. Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre
9. Under Occupation by Alan Furst
10. Flight of the Highlanders by Ken McGoogan

Bestsellers of 2019

1. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
2. Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal
3. Truth Be Told by Beverley McLachlin
4. Brave: Living with a Concussion by Kanika Gupta
5. Ottawa Rewind by Andrew King
6. Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds
7. Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carre
8. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
9. Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray
10. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year! Well, what a season it’s been! Busy to the last, 2019 definitely ended with a bang for us. We hope you all had a lovely holiday and that Santa brought you everything you asked for…especially the books! After a brief break in business, we’re right back to work getting the store ready for another year full of nifty gifts, exciting events, and wonderful, wonderful reads!

The first order of business this month (and this year) is to tell you about our Annual Inventory Sale! From now until Saturday, January 18, we’re having a sale on almost everything in the store! All in-stock books are 20% off, all in-stock gifts are 25% off, and our 2020 calendars are now 30% off! In addition to all those discounts, our Christmas things are all on sale too! Christmas books are 25% off, Christmas wrap and tags are 30% off, Christmas chocolate bars are 40% off, and Christmas cards and crackers are 50% off! So many savings!! The only items not included in the sale are special orders, CDs, DVDs, and magazines. Once our sale is over, we will be CLOSED on Sunday, January 19 so we can do our annual inventory. Counting everything in the store can take us a while, even with all hands on deck, so the more you take advantage these discounts, the happier we will be! Plus, just think about how much further those gift cards you found in your Christmas stockings will stretch over the next two weeks! We look forward to seeing you and helping you fill in any gaps that Santa may have left on your wish list!

As the year is just getting started, we don’t have any events nailed down just yet, but we wanted to give you all a little heads up about our Titles@Table40 series. It’s coming back…sooner than we thought! While our dinner events usually take place in the fall, it looks like this year we might be blessed with a small winter/spring series! Featuring some returning favourites as well as exciting new faces, this series of events will touch on our country’s relationship to war history, will take us into the centre of a tumultuous (yet artistically fruitful) marriage, and guide us through 1930s Montreal on the coattails of a young nursing student. Be sure to keep your eyes trained on your inbox, our Facebook page, and our website for up to the minute information on the who and when of our first Titles@Table40 events of 2020! Details to come soon!

There haven’t been too many new arrivals here in the store since we talked to you last, so we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at what you can expect to see on our shelves in the coming weeks. Here are a few titles that we’re looking forward to getting our hands on: Successful Aging by Daniel Levitin (January 7), The Second Midnight by Andrew Taylor (January 7), 19 Love Songs by David Levithan (January 7), The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs (January 14), Brain Wash by David Perlmutter (January 14), Foresight by Ian Hamilton (January 21), A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (January 21), Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World by Matt Parker (January 21), Obsidian: A DreadfulWater Mystery by Thomas King (January 28), Highfire by Eoin Colfer (January 28), When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald (January 28), Murder in an Irish Pub by Carlene O’Connor (January 28), Witches: The Transformative Power of Women Working Together by Sam George-Allen (January 28), Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (February 4), Story Boat by Kyo Maclear (February 4), Brother & Sister by Diane Keaton (February 4), Bloom by Kenneth Oppel (February 11), Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong (February 11).

The festive season might be drawing to a close but with that, a new year is just getting started! With great new books on the horizon, exciting events in the works, and all of our wonderful customers, we’re sure 2020 is going to turn out to be a banner year!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Annual Inventory Sale!!!
From now until Saturday, January 18

All books 20% off
All gifts (cards, puzzles, mugs, bags) 25% off
Calendars 30% off
Christmas cards and crackers 50% off
Christmas chocolate bars 40% off
Christmas gift wrap 30% off
Christmas books 25% off

Following our sale, we will be CLOSED on Sunday, January 19 to do our annual inventory taking.
Regular store hours will resume on Monday, January 20.
**CDs, DVDs, magazines, and special orders not included in sale**

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers
Released Date: February 11, 2020

“Filled with magic, witches, curses, reincarnation, deals with the devil, and doomed love affairs, it almost feels like this book was written just for me!
I was completely taken in by the characters and couldn’t wait to see where our heroine, Helen, was going to end up next. From late 19th Century France to 1930s Hollywood, through 1970s California to modern day Washington, D.C., this story is a historical tour-de-force that will keep you riveted from beginning to end!”

November 2019 Newsletter

October Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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

October 2019 Newsletter


September Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

–The Staff of Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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