1. Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec
2. A Thousand Small Sanities by Adam Gopnik
3. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
4. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
5. Starlight by Richard Wagamese
6. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
7. The King’s Evil by Andrew Taylor
8. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
9. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
10. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
Greetings Book Lovers!
Welcome to summer!! With school over for the year, Canada Day behind us, and sunny days stretching as far as the eye can see, it’s time to find some exciting ways to fill your forthcoming days! With shelves full of crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, and countless books, we are your one-stop shop for all those quintessential summer must-haves!
Much like in the fall, this time of year is ripe with book lists with names like Top Ten Picks, Best Beach Reads, and Books for Backpackers. Since we hate being left out of these types of things, we’re excited to have a number of recommendation lists featured in-store right now curated by some of our favourite publishers. From heart-stopping thrillers to sweeping historical sagas, children’s fantasy stories to great Canadian novels, there’s definitely something for everyone! Each of these summer reading lists has its own window display for easy browsing, but you can also visit our online store to see all the lists in their entirety. Huge thanks need to go out to Simon & Schuster Canada for their list of Books That Shine This Summer, Penguin Random House for their Camp Penguin and BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Summer Essentials selections, and HarperCollins Canada for their collection of Canadian must-reads, The Summer of Canadian Reading.
Although we often associate summer with more frivolous reads that don’t require too much extra brain power, sometimes the only thing that will really satisfy you as you listen to the ocean waves or the twittering of songbirds, is a really spine-chilling mystery or suspense novel. Maybe it’s the fact that the days are longer and the sun shines brighter during these fleeting months, but, to paraphrase a great poet, ours is not to reason why, just to read (sincere apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson for that). Though her last few books have had nothing whatsoever to do with a certain gritty detective we all know and love, we’re delighted that the supremely talented Kate Atkinson has finally returned to the world of mystery in Big Sky, her brand new novel featuring the dogged detective Jackson Brodie. Having relocated to a quiet seaside village along with his aging Labrador Retriever and his sometimes-present teenage son, Brodie expects life to move at a slightly slower pace as he searches for proof of a husband’s infidelity for his newest client. Little does he know, his seemingly routine digging will tumble him straight into a much bigger and more sinister case in which the past comes back to haunt the present and old wounds become new again. With the same wit and complexity that first won us over in Case Histories, this new Brodie novel will delight as many diehard fans as it will create new ones!
Set in Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, John Galligan‘s new novel, Bad Axe County, contains as many dark moments and shades of grey as its dust jacket design! Heidi Kick is the first female sheriff that her home county has ever seen, and though she’s only taken on the position on an interim basis, there are just as many citizens who want to see her keep the job as there are those who would do anything to have her ousted. Opposition aside though, Heidi still has to try to do her job for as long as she has it, and her top priority right now is tracking down a missing teenage girl. As a fierce winter storm brews, her case gets more complicated when strange clues connected to a decades-old murder begin to surface and the teenage body she does recover isn’t the one she’s looking for. Full of twists, turns, and shocking truths that will shake Heidi’s community to its core, this murder mystery will give you goosebumps and send shivers down your spine no matter how high our summer temperatures get!
Discovering that you’re the inspiration behind a great work of fiction would no doubt be a nice stroke to the ego, especially if said work is kind and complimentary. How would it feel though, to stumble across your likeness on the pages of one of your student’s novels? This is exactly the situation a young writer finds herself in in The Body Lies, a dark and twisted thriller by acclaimed British author Jo Baker. Taking a job at a university in the English countryside is supposed to be a fresh start for our young protagonist, a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of London and the memory of a violent assault. But when one of her more troubling students makes her the main character in his book – a book in which she does not meet a happy end – the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur and the question becomes not whether or not life imitates art, but rather, if it does, is it possible to escape a horrible fate that’s already been put to the page? Masterfully told and full of tension that ratchets up, notch by notch as the pages flit by, this book will reel you in and stay with you long after you’ve closed the cover for the final time. Be sure to read this one out in the bright sunshine! Nighttime reading is just a bit too atmospheric for comfort!
There are just as many great books coming out for kids this time of year as there are for adults, so why not let them get in on the summer reading action too? Whether they’re heading off to camp or are planning on staying a bit closer to home this summer, we’re sure they’d be tickled to have a brand new book to read during their break from school. Nary a month goes by here when we don’t receive some new kids books whose stories are either inspired by or centred on myths from around the world, and this past month has been no different. After the great success of her earlier series, Valkyrie and Pegasus, Kate O’Hearn has returned with new characters and exciting adventures in Titans. Set fifteen years after Olympus has been destroyed and the Olympians themselves have been resettled on Titus, Astraea, a young Titan, and her best friend Zephyr discover something that could bring this tenuous new truce crashing to the ground: a young human named Jake has somehow made his way onto Titus. Determined to get him home before anyone else sees him and ekes out punishment, Astraea, Zephyr, and Jake set out on a journey full of fun, adventure, and the might of the gods! This great book is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Soman Chainani, and Chris Colfer!
It’s pretty safe to say that most children, at one time or another, dream of great adventures on the wide open sea. Oona Britt in Matilda Woods‘ The Girl Who Sailed the Stars certainly has. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising since her father is a sea captain and all the houses in her magical hometown of Nordlor are made out of wrecked ships. For Oona though, this dream is more than a passing fancy. When her father refuses to take her aboard his ship for his annual winter whale hunt, Oona takes matters into her own hands and stows away on board. With plenty of magic and whimsy, this story of determination, bravery, and the search for acceptance is as beautiful as it is fun. Inspired by the stories of real animals who were caught in the crossfire during WWII, The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher is a charming, inspiring story of a young mouse searching for a new home in the middle of a war zone. When her safe haven in James Smith & Sons umbrella shop is destroyed during the Blitz, Pip Hanway suddenly finds herself orphaned, alone, and homeless all at once. Enter Noah’s Ark, a secret animal organization devoted to fighting the enemy in France. When joining up seems to be Pip’s best option going forward, she sets off for the continent with renewed purpose. Sweet, heart-wrenching, and featuring lovely illustrations by Sam Usher, this story of one brave little mouse and the lengths she must go to to protect her friends and her home, is perfect for fans (or future fans) of Michael Morpugo, Redwall by Brian Jacques, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, or the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.
Summer might mean taking a break from school work, but no time of year should ever be devoid of story time! There are so many new picture books arriving in the store everyday, it’s almost impossible to pick our favourites, but we managed to select a few very special ones here that we think deserve a moment in the spotlight. In the charmingly illustrated Dogs and Their People by Anne Lambelet, a young girl takes great joy in all the dogs she sees as she walks home from school. There are short people with tall dogs, large people with tiny dogs, some who share the same fashion sense, and others who even have matching moustaches! No matter how different or similar they are though, they’re all somehow the perfect match! Max Attacks by Kathi Appelt and Penelope Dullaghan is a fun, colourful book chronicling a day in the life of Max the naughty cat. Although he gets distracted by shoelaces, clean socks, and even his own food dish, Max is determined to attack the orange fish swimming around in their fishbowl. Will he succeed? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Oh, Bear by Melissa Nelson Greenberg and Ruth Hengeveld introduces readers to Bear and his bright yellow kite. After flying his kite in the meadow and by the sea, Bear tries to fly it home through the forest, but it soon gets stuck in a tree and tears. When a little bird comes along to help, Bear realizes that even though he no longer has a working kite, he now has a new friend instead. With simple text and beautiful illustrations, this book will be loved by children and adults alike.
With so many books to choose from, it’s hard to decide which ones are going to make it onto your to-read pile. Though we’re loathe to make the task more difficult for you, here are some other recent and forthcoming releases for you to consider: Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryon, Superbuns by Diane Kredensor, Bunny by Mona Awad, The Porpoise by Mark Haddon, How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander, Knife by Jo Nesbo, The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed, Dead At First Sight by Peter James, The Mountain Master of Sha Tin by Ian Hamilton, The Second-Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith (July 16), The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (July 16), You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman (July 23), The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins (July 30), Trudeau by John Ivison (August 6), Travel Light, Move Fast by Alexandra Fuller (August 6), History Day By Day by Peter Furtado (August 6), Churchill’s Menagerie by Piers Brendon (August 6), A Keeper by Graham Norton (August 13).
Whether you’re heading to the beach, the backyard hammock, or far-flung shores this summer, let a new book be your passport to new perspectives, experiences, and adventures!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood
For those of you who special order books through us, you can now choose from three different modes of contact when it comes time for us to let you know that your book has arrived.
The traditional phone call is, of course, still an option, but we’re also able to e-mail or text you your pick-up notice. If you want to sign up for either of these new features, just let us know next time you come by and we’ll update the information on your store account.
Book Signing with Sue Williams
Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019
Time: 11:00am to 2:00pm
About the Book:
“Three hundred nautical miles from shore, I‘m cold and sick and afraid. I pray for reprieve. I long for solid ground. And I can‘t help but ask myself, What the hell was I thinking? When Sue Williams set sail for the North Atlantic, it wasn’t a mid-life crisis. She had no affinity for the sea. And she didn’t have an adventure-seeking bone in her body. In the wake of a perfect storm of personal events, it suddenly became clear: her sons were adults now; they needed freedom to figure things out for themselves; she had to get out of their way. And it was now or never for her husband, David, to realize his dream to cross an ocean. So she’d go too.Ready to Come About is the story of a mother’s improbable adventure on the high seas and her profound journey within, through which she grew to believe that there is no gift more precious than the liberty to chart one’s own course, and that risk is a good thing…sometimes, at least.”
Book Launch for Amelinda Berube
Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019
About the Book:
“The Blair Witch Project
meets Imaginary Girls
in this story of sisterhood turned toxic, imaginary monsters brought to life, and secrets that won’t stay buried.Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. And moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over as someone different.In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.
Then Deirdre disappears.
And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming Skye’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.”
What’s Your Cup of Tea?
Above: Camp Penguin (Penguin Random House Canada) Below (Top to Bottom): Books That Shine This Summer (Simon & Schuster Canada), The Summer of Canadian Reading (HarperCollins Canada) BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Summer Essentials (Penguin Random House Canada)
Hilary’s Bookshelf Presents:
Books for the Beach
“I’ve been on a bit of a rom-com kick recently, speeding through book after book because sometimes you just need to read a happy story that you know will have a good ending. Although I don’t generally spend time on beaches, these fun, upbeat books struck me as the precise kind you’d want to read while listening to waves lapping up on the shore.”
Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Georgie has never had great luck with men, so when she finds out that her new boss is actually her high school sweetheart, it seems like the stars have finally aligned. The one problem is, he doesn’t remember who she is. Full of hilarious incidents, heart-wrenching misunderstandings, and enough sparks to start a serious fire, this story is a must-read!
A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
As a rising star in the FBI, Kendra has been prepared for almost all eventualities – except, perhaps, for suddenly finding herself in an English manor house circa 1815. As she sets about trying to find her way back to the 21st century, she’s thrown off-course by the death of a young girl and the mysterious, handsome Marquis who lands at the top of her suspect list.
Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke
When Justine randomly runs into her childhood sweetheart Nick years after they’d last crossed paths, it seems like a great love affair is inevitable. But when things don’t go exactly according to plan, Justine decides to give things a nudge. What follows is a charming story about fate, love, and lasting friendship.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Susan has never been one for messy emotions. So when she’s suddenly faced with the death of her mother and the news that she’s pregnant, her perfectly ordered world begins to crumble. An unlikely ally appears in the form of her brother’s odd friend Rob. It’s with his help that Susan slowly begins to realize that perhaps messy emotions aren’t such a bad thing.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy and Leon share a flat. The funny thing is though, they’ve never actually met. As they get to know each other through sticky note conversations, therapeutic baking, and meal-sharing, they soon graduate from being simple flatmates to friends. But when they accidentally meet in person, all bets are off as their relationship shifts and resettles into a new frame.
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
As a rom-com obsessed aspiring screen writer, Annie is sure that her ideal man is out there, just waiting to meet her in the most perfect meet-cute ever! But sometimes life – and love – have other plans. A hilarious ode to Nora Ephron, this novel is the perfect read for devotees of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks canon.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
In Drew’s mind, there’s nothing worse than showing up at your ex-girlfriend’s wedding without a plus-one. So when he gets stuck in an elevator with the perfect fake date candidate, he can’t believe his luck. Once the night is over though, both Drew and his date, Alexa, realize that they had a lot more fun than they expected. But is one magical night enough to base a relationship on? Especially when they live miles apart?
What I’m Reading: Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
“Set in 1992 in small-town Newfoundland, this novel introduces readers to Finn, a boy whose life revolves around his family, his town, and the traditions of his home. So, when the cod fishery collapses and people start heading West for work (Finn’s parents included), Finn takes it upon himself to bring the fish back in the hopes of keeping his family together. Lyrical, poetic, and full of the magic of the sea, this beautiful story of hope, love, and tradition is a balm for the soul.”