March 2019 Newsletter

February Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

–The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Canada Reads 2019

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

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

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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

February 2019 Newsletter

January Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

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

We hope you all have a great long weekend!

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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

January 2019 Newsletter

December Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


The 12 Days of Penguin Random House Christmas!!!

It’s snowy outside and Santa’s readying his sleigh which means it’s time once again for our annual 12 Days of Penguin Random House Christmas promotion!!!

From Thursday, December 13 to Monday, December 24, we will be featuring one PRH title per day at 20% off! The sale is only valid on a book’s specific day and while quantities last, so pop in early on the days you’re most excited about to ensure you snag one of these great books and make your Christmas celebrations complete!

Here’s this year’s list:
Thursday, December 13My Stories, My Times by Jean Chretien
Friday, December 14The Secret History of Soldiers by Tim Cook
Saturday, December 15Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Sunday, December 16My Twenty-Five Years in Provence by Peter Mayle
Monday, December 17Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
Tuesday, December 18All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay
Wednesday, December 19The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre
Thursday, December 20Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Friday, December 21Trust by David Johnston
Saturday, December 22Erebus by Michael Palin
Sunday, December 23Final Report by Rick Mercer
Monday, December 24Half-Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay

** due to publisher stock shortages, we have removed Becoming by Michelle Obama from our promotion list and replaced it with Elizabeth Hay‘s memoir All Things Consoled.

November 2018 Newsletter

October Bestsellers

1. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
2. Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin
3. All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay
4. Lost Ottawa, Book Two by David McGee
5. French Exit by Patrick deWitt
6. The Secret History of Soldiers by Tim Cook
7. The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre
8. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
9. Educated by Tara Westover
10. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Greetings Book Lovers!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already November! It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating the arrival of summer, and now here we are staring down the oncoming winter! There is certainly no need to despair though, because with the dark, cold days ahead, we also get to experience the brightest and warmest time of year. From twinkle lights to sparkling snow, cozy blankets to marshmallow-smothered hot chocolate, the holiday season really is the most wonderful time of the year! Made all the more wonderful, of course, by all the lovely new books and gifts!

Although it happens every year and we are solely responsible, it’s still amazing to see the transformation that comes over the store this time of year. Not only are there so many more books filling our shelves and front tables, but countless gift items seem to peek out at us from every available surface! From calendars to magnets, mugs to puzzles, zippered pouches to bookmarks, tote bags to card games, there’s a little something for everyone! Our front window is also full to bursting with boxed Christmas cards right now in preparation for sending good wishes across the country and around the world. As in previous years, our selection of Unicef cards hold pride of place alongside innumerable other designs ranging from cute wintry farmyard scenes to glorious angels and festive choirs. Keep your eyes peeled for yet more seasonal items such as advent calendars, wrapping paper, and Christmas crackers – all due to hit shelves next week!

Not only is it a busy time of year for us with all those boxes to open, customers to serve, and orders to fill, but we also have a large number of events going on both in the store and at our favourite local haunt. There are so many, in fact, that we can’t fit them all here in the body of our newsletter! So, to make them a little easier to access and clearer to read, we’ve listed them in their own little box further down in this e-mail. Just scroll down until you get to the big purple box and you’ll know you’ve arrived! Once you’ve finished marking everything down on your own calendar, check out the rest of our newsletter for some of our top picks from among our newest arrivals!

Since the time rolled back last weekend and the evenings have gotten so dark, it’s hard to resist the temptation to simply curl up in the cushioned corner of your favourite couch and delve into a dark, sinister, and slightly unsettling book. Never in favour of discouraging such a notion, we think that Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery might be the perfect reading choice! As the author of timeless classics such as The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Saint Melissa the Mottled, Utter Zoo, and The Evil Garden, Edward Gorey has long held readers entranced with his quirky, tongue-in-cheek stories and spooky line drawings. Now, in this brand new biography, we finally get to take a peek behind the curtain to find out more about this extremely talented, eccentric artist and writer. For anyone who was a teen (or tween) between twenty and thirty years ago,  you can pretty much guarantee that at least a few of the books on your nightstand (and in your bookcase) bore covers featuring ballet shoes, gymnasts, a slumber party scene, or maybe someone horseback riding. That’s because you were living in the golden age of the girl-centric teen book – after the more serious books of the 1970s and before the arrival of the blockbuster YA fantasy trilogies of the 2000s. Now you can take a trip down memory lane with Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss. Full of nostalgic images, fun facts, and hilarious trivia worthy of even the coolest slumber party, this book might just be the perfect thing for that hard-to-buy-for thirty or forty-something in your life!

Although the hockey season is now well underway and the abundance of indoor arenas means that skating can take place pretty much year round, there’s still a strange kind of connection between the depths of winter and the beginning of the skating season. In light of that, every autumn we tend to get a bit of a rush of hockey books coming into the store and this year is no different. After the success of his previous books, Hockey Dad and Hockey Confidential, Canadian broadcaster, journalist, and author Bob McKenzie, along with fellow broadcaster Jim Lang, has gifted sports fans with a collection of stories about Canada’s national game in Everyday Hockey Heroes. Featuring players from all corners of the hockey world, this heartwarming book doesn’t simply relay personal anecdotes, but explores how one sport has become so woven into the fabric of our nation’s identity. From the love of a nation to one individual’s lifelong devotion, Born Into It by Jay Baruchel is a funny, soul-baring memoir about a life spent as a die-hard Habs fan. With his trademark humour and an intense spirit that can only be found in the heart of a true hockey fan, this Ottawa born, Montreal raised writer, actor, director and comedian has written a book that truly encapsulates what it’s like to love a team with every fibre of your being. If it’s not Les Canadiens, but our local Senators that have earned your fervour, why not dip into Chris Stevenson‘s 100 Things Senators Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die? Full of stories from players, fans, team staffers, and hockey watchers past and present, this book can be enjoyed by die-hard and casual fans alike!

Though we promise not to play any Christmas music until December, we don’t really feel guilty for singing “‘Tis the season to read mysteries! Fa la la la la la la la la!” Not just because we enjoy it, but because it’s true! From the talented pen that brought us Moriarty, Magpie Murders, and The Word is Murder, among many others, comes a brand new addition to the James Bond cannon! Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz is a prequel to Ian Fleming‘s first 007 adventure, Casino Royale. Complete with original material by Fleming himself, this new spy novel is a real treat for anyone looking for a riveting, satisfying read! Another familiar name around the store, Lynne Truss, the bestselling author of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, has entered the world of mystery writing with the first book in her new Constable Twitten SeriesA Shot in the Dark. When you combine one keen constable, a lazy captain, new stirrings around a seven-year-old cold case, a fresh murder at the Theatre Royal, and Truss’ signature wit, you’re guaranteed to enjoy every page of this wonderful Brighton-set novel! Since we all know that romance and mystery go together like peanut butter and jam, it’s little wonder that we were so excited to get our hands on Solace Island by Meg Tilly. Though there may not be any murder victims or cunning detectives in this particular story, we were more than satisfied with Tilly’s protagonist spending her time dodging a menacing stalker and being saved and protected by a mysterious, good-looking neighbour! What more could a reader want, really?

Not the first or last list we’ll be making this season, here are a few more recent and upcoming releases that we’re excited about: The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall SmithMy Stories, My Times by Jean Chretien, Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten WhiteCareless Love by Peter RobinsonFinal Report by Rick Mercer, The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve TucholkeA Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. HarrisDefying Limits by Dr. Dave WilliamsThe Library Book by Susan OrleanCujo by Curtis Joseph, The Lotterys More of Less by Emma DonoghueIn a House of Lies by Ian Rankin, Becoming by Michelle Obama (November 13), The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman (November 20), Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (November 27), Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts (November 27), Murder in the Bookshop by Carolyn Wells (November 29), Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare (December 4).

With so many books, events, and gifts to choose from, we predict that you’ll have some serious decision-making ahead of you! Just remember that outside of our newsletter and our website, our staff are always happy to help you out with a book recommendation here or a gift idea there. Helping you find the perfect present for everyone on your list (yourself included) is one of our favourite things, so don’t be shy! There are also still lots of new goodies due to arrive over the coming weeks and we do have some special promotions coming up between now and Christmas, so keep your fingers on the pulse and be sure to pop in and see us every so often!

In the meantime, the weather and the state of our bookshelves are doing a good job of reminding us exactly what time of year it is, so we’re off to get right back to it! We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Upcoming Events

Ottawa newspaper editor and columnist turned novelist, Kate Heartfield, will be launching her new time travel adventure book Alice Payne Arrives here in the store from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Tuesday, November 13.

Saturday, November 17 will usher in three authors from Canadian publisher Invisible Publishing. Susannah M. Smith, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, and H.B. Hogan will all be here to read from their new publications The Fairy Tale Museum, Port of Being, and This Keeps Happening, respectively. The fun gets started at 7:00pm, so be sure to join us for what promises to be a great evening of poetry and storytelling!

On Sunday, November 18 at 5:30pm, our Titles@Table40 evening with former Governor General David Johnston will kick off! He will be discussing his new book Trust: Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country. This event is officially sold out, but we have started a waiting list and you never know what can happen in the span of a week, so give us a call if you want us to add your name to the list!

Newfoundland author, politician, and diplomat, the Honourable Roger Simmons, PC, will be here in the store from 11:00am to 3:00pm on Friday, November 23 to sign copies of his new book The Man in the Arena: From Railway Brat to Diplomat.

Come by the store on Saturday, November 24 between 11:00am and 1:30pm to meet former Canadian Ambassador and Manor Park resident John Graham as he signs copies of his book of political cartoons, Potholes and Politics.

Saturday, December 1 will be a day full of mystery as we’re joined by four authors and members of the Crime Writers of Canada. Brian Lindsay and T.E. Wilson will be here to sign their newest books (Back Story and Mezcalero, respectively) from 10:00am to 12:00pm and you’ll be able to meet and chat with R.J. Harlick and Michael McCann – the authors of Purple Palette for Murder and Persistent Guilt – from 12:00pm to 2:00pm.

Local science fiction author Alex Binkley will be here on Sunday, December 2 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm to launch his new novel Ultimate Wizard.

Closing out our Titles@Table40 season for 2018, Whit Fraser will be joining us for dinner on Sunday, December 2 at 5:30pm. He will be discussing his time up North as well as his book True North Rising. There are still a handful of tickets left for this event, so be sure to call us soon if you want to attend.

Whit Fraser will paying us another visit on Saturday, December 15 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to sign copies of True North Rising here in the store. So, if you can’t make it to dinner earlier in the month, be sure to stop by to say hi!

Shop with us on!!!
Our store: is an independent audiobook company that makes it possible for us to sell digital audiobooks to our customers. You can listen to these audiobooks on your iPhone, Android device, or your computer. All sales are conducted through our store (link above) and support the continued survival of your local independent bookseller.

You can buy audiobooks through our site either by signing up for a membership or by simply buying audiobooks as the mood strikes you. You don’t even have to have the app on your phone or device in order to buy, download, and listen!

While we will always be champions of the print book, audiobooks can be a great way to enjoy more books while you’re traveling, exercising, or relaxing!
Be sure to check out our site to see if audiobooks are for you!

Hilary’s Shelf

Fury by Rachel Vincent
(#3 in The Menagerie Trilogy)

“Rachel Vincent is undoubtedly a marvel of the urban fantasy world! I’ve read all her series and am always amazed at how she can build such believable worlds around her characters.

This series is fun and magical, yet full of moral dilemmas that really make you think. Its heroine, Delilah Marlow, is a strong, independent, compassionate woman who stands up for her friends and fights oppression at every turn. I can’t wait to see how her story ends…just a few more pages!”

October 2018 Newsletter

September Bestsellers

1. Fear by Bob Woodward
2. All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay
3. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
4. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
5. French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
6. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
7. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
8. Educated by Tara Westover
9. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
10. The Secret History of Soldiers by Tim Cook

Greetings Book Lovers!

Well, there’s no denying it now – it’s officially fall! There are crunchy leaves on the ground, sweaters and jackets have made their way back into our wardrobes, and we’ve already heard the word “Christmas” crop up in the store a few times! Though we’re a little ways away from our first snow fall (we hope), you can never start feathering your winter nest too early. Plus, we hear that warm apple cider tastes even better when enjoyed while reading!

With the arrival of autumn, and the inevitable lead up to Christmas, things have been busy around the shop recently. There are new books coming in by the minute, event requests flooding our inbox, and lots of new gift items to find shelf space for…somewhere. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like things are going to be slowing down any time soon! As we announced a few weeks ago, one of the things we’re most excited about this fall is the return of our Titles@Table40 series! We’re proudly going local this year with two wonderful Ottawa authors to kick off our 2018 season. Elizabeth Hay will be joining us on Sunday, October 14 to discuss her new memoir All Things Consoled, and Tim Cook will be paying us a visit on Sunday, November 4 to tell us about his brand new release, The Secret History of Soldiers. Though we have already sold out our October dinner with Elizabeth, we do have a waiting list started and you never know what the coming days will bring. So, if you’re very keen on that event in particular, it may still be worth putting yourself on our wait-list. There are still seats available for our evening with Tim, though they’re going fast, so if your’e interested, the sooner you buy your tickets, the better! Scroll down to the bottom of our newsletter for more details and a quick refresher on how our Titles@Table40 events work.

In addition to our dinner events, we do have a number of in-store events coming up that we’re excited to share with you. On Friday, October 12 we are planning a fun evening for mystery lovers, mystery readers, and mystery authors! British Columbia author Iona Whishaw and Ottawa authors Brenda Chapman and Barbara Fradkin will all be here in the store to launch their new books, A Sorrowful Sanctuary,  Bleeding Darkness, and Prisoners of Hope, respectively. There will be readings, a Q&A, book signings, and snacks and refreshments to enjoy over the course of the evening. We’ll even have another local mystery author, Linda Wiken, here to moderate the proceedings and keep us all on the straight and narrow! It’s bound to be a fun night, so don’t forget to mark it on your calendar! Right before we head off to our Elizabeth Hay dinner event on Sunday, October 14, we will be welcoming local historian David McGee into the store from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to launch his new book Lost Ottawa: Book 2. Gathered from his ever-popular Facebook page, Lost Ottawa, and following hot on the heels of his first collection of National Capital nostalgia, Lost Ottawa: Book 2 is a treat for Ottawa residents old and new! Filling your October with just a little more mystery, local author John Owens will be here on Saturday, October 20 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to launch his new Jake Lydon Mystery, Connecdead. A slightly different kind of sleuth – Hawaiian shirt and long hair, anyone? – Jake’s laissez-faire attitude takes a hit when a former boss of his is found dead under mysterious circumstances. With the help of his homicide detective daughter, his neighbour cum drinking buddy, and a genius computer hacker, Jake sets off on a wild quest to discover the truth…in his own unique way.

Taking a quick peek into November, prize-winning French novelist Erwan Larher will be here in the store on Thursday, November 1 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm to promote his new book, The Book I Didn’t Want to Write. A slight departure from Larher’s previous works, this real-life account of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks is a deeply moving memoir that explores not only what those attacks meant to him as a victim and as a French citizen, but also what they meant to the thousands of others who lived through that terrifying experience, their loved ones, the millions who followed the events through social media, and event the attackers themselves. Multi-layered, heartfelt, literary, and immensely readable, this is not a book about terrorism or death, but an ode to the sometimes precarious balance between human fragility and our strength of spirit.

With the arrival of fall’s cooler breezes and early darkness, it’s not hard to convince ourselves to do more reading in warm, cozy places. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that there are also so many wonderful books to tempt us into relaxing in said cozy places this time of year. A fitting read for the lead up to Halloween, Dracul by Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker is presented to readers as a prequel to Bram Stoker‘s iconic Dracula and explores the origins of both this celebrated author and the infamous vampire he introduced us to. Inspired by notes and texts left by Bram, and co-written by his great grand-nephew and a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award, this tale full of blood, mystery, darkness, and death is sure to ensorcel and beguile you from the very first page! If one gothic novel per season is not quite enough for you, the next book on your list should definitely be Chris Womersley‘s City of Crows. Set in the seventeenth century, this story introduces readers to Charlotte, a young woman who travels from her country home to the dirty, dangerous cobbled streets of Paris in search of her lost son. It is only when the slippery, silver-tongued former prisoner Adam Lesage hitches his wagon to hers that the real adventure begins! Full of thrills, chills, humour, and magic, this novel is positively dripping with atmosphere and is sure to please anyone who enjoyed By Gaslight by Steven Price or The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton!

If history has proved nothing else it’s that sometimes the greatest discoveries can come out of the strangest circumstances. This month, we find one such scenario in Harriet Paige‘s debut novel, Man With a Seagull on His Head. Ray Eccles is not an interesting man – he even knows this himself – but on the morning of his fortieth birthday, while taking a walk on the beach, it seems like The Fates have a plan for him after all. At the precise moment that a dying seagull falls from the sky, hitting Ray squarely in the head, a woman in the distance turns towards him, becoming the last thing he sees before losing consciousness. No one would ever suspect that this strange shared moment would mark Ray’s transition from uninteresting man to the darling of the art world, but that is exactly what happens! The transformation is fascinating to read and the eventual meeting of Ray and his unwitting muse treats readers to a truly moving snapshot of human connection. Beautifully written and masterfully told, this novel is a must read! With just a bit more fantasy to take us through the magical month of October, Sonia Faruqi invites us to the bottom of the sea in The Oyster Thief. When her brother falls ill due to an oil spill, mermaid Coralline sets out on a journey to find a legendary elixir that could save his life. When she comes across Izar, a human man who has been transformed into a merman against his will, it seems to make sense that they continue their quests together. Drawn to each other by more than just the ocean’s currents, their blossoming rapport is soon threatened by dangerous secrets, worlds at odds, and the ever-present threat of toxic pollution. A far cry from the story of The Little Mermaid as Disney would have us know it, this entertaining deep sea adventure is a wonderful fantasy story with just a hint of environmentalism!

Whether it’s a conscious thing or something we do everyday without even thinking about it, it’s pretty safe to say that all humans are at least a little bit superstitious. From not walking under ladders to always entering and leaving a building through the same door to never uttering the name of The Scottish Play inside a theatre, the acts we associate with bad luck are seemingly infinite. Exploring the origins of luck around the world, and whether or not it actually exists at all, Jeffrey S. Rosenthal‘s Knock on Wood: Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything is a great read for believers and non-believers alike. While some superstitions can be explained away as pure common sense – it’s just a dangerous thing to do – others, like four-leaf clovers, rabbit feet, and “lucky” pennies as signs of good fortune are a little harder to explain away. With humour, science, and a bit of a tongue-in-cheek attitude this University of Toronto statistics professor is sure to entertain and inform you in equal measure! In our experience, there’s nothing that brings history lovers quite as much joy as a really intriguing social history, especially when it’s been written by a master of the genre. Having written about the Great Fire of London, 17th Century pirates in the Mediterranean, life in the 20th Century English country house, and The Royal Society among other things, celebrated historian Adrian Tinniswood has now turned his lens to all the people it takes to support a monarch in his new book Behind the Throne. Spanning the years from the Middle Ages through to Queen Elizabeth II, this study of the age-old relationship between upstairs and downstairs is an interesting look at how many aspects of society have changed and how some things are still very much the same. In certain situations, it definitely takes a village!

For some reason, the fall always seems to be the time of year when big biographies start hitting our shelves, and we certainly do have a lot right now. The memoirs of two legendary entertainers have caught our interest this month and they will undoubtedly make you laugh as much through reading as they have through their years of acting. Best known, of course, for his time as part of the ground-breaking comedy group Monty Python, Eric Idle is a name that few people are not familiar with. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – the title itself a nod to the classic Monty Python song from their movie Life of Brian – is a story-filled romp through not only Idle’s time with his Python cohorts and other big names of the 1960s and ’70s – Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Steve Martin – but through his whole life, from a childhood spent in a strict boarding school to the present day. Branded “A Sortabiography” this book is the perfect read for anyone who has ever met an Enchanter named Tim, had a confrontation over a potentially dead parrot, or been charged to fetch a shrubbery for a group of strange forest-dwelling knights. It might also be a good book to pick up if you just love a good laugh! Newfoundland born comedian Mark Critch has also set out to tickle our funny bones in his new memoir, Son of a Critch. Having spent many years entertaining us from CBC’s flagship comedy show This Hours Has 22 Minutes, Mark now invites us to take a walk down memory lane with him as he revisits his childhood growing up in 1980’s Newfoundland. Full of the same humour and puckishness we’ve come to know and love in his comedy today, this new book is just as charming and heart-warming as it is funny!

One of the rare treats of working in a retail store like ours is not just getting to see all the new blockbuster books upon arrival, but getting the chance to uncover the lesser-known tomes that capture our hearts and, perhaps, wouldn’t get noticed right away without a champion. With that in mind, one of the most intriguing teen books we’ve run across recently is Christelle Dabos‘ A Winter’s Promise. Originally written in French and just recently translated, this epic tale of fantasy and adventure features a strong heroine, travels to vastly different lands, and magical abilities that will capture readers’ imaginations. Set to be the first of four books in The Mirror Visitor Quartet, we’re excited to know that there’s much more to come from this wonderful author! It would make a perfect read for fans of V.E. Schwab‘s Shades of Magic series, Margaret Rogerson‘s An Enchantment of Ravens, and the Airborn series by Kenneth Oppel. Full of ancient demons, blood sacrifices, and chilling secrets, Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko is a dark fantasy that is sure to appease anyone who loves reading stories that will give them goosebumps and make the hairs on the back of their neck stand on end – or anyone who’s ever read a Kelley Armstrong book! Roan Harken has always considered herself to be a typical teenager…well, mostly. After being saved from sharing her parents’ deadly fate by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan suddenly finds herself thrust onto an ancient battlefield where she might have to sacrifice more than she bargained for in order to maintain the world’s precarious balance of good and evil. The Realms of Ancient series continues in the newly released second volume, Children of the Bloodlands.

Just as readers must often wait for their favourite authors to come out with a new book, so too do some books have to wait a while before we pick them up to read them. You really have to be in the right mood in order to read and enjoy certain titles. Because of this, it wasn’t until last year that we finally picked up David Levithan‘s Every Day after having it on our to-read pile for a good long time. Though we let it mature for a while, it was definitely worth waiting for! Centred around an amorphous character named A who wakes up in a different body each day, we had never read a young adult book that made us think quite so much. Needless to say that we quickly devoured Another Day, the follow up to A’s story, and are now extremely excited to get our hands on the newest book in the series, Someday. Delving deep into questions about the soul and what really makes us human, Levithan has once again given us a fascinating, thoughtful read that will not only intrigue you, but will satisfy you in a way that other books seldom do.

As usual, so many books, so little space! Here are some more recent and forthcoming releases that we wanted to shine a light on: Potato Pants by Laurie KellerThe Waiter by Matias FaldbakkenGiraffe Problems by Jory JohnCraic Baby: Dispatches from a Rising Language by Darach O SeaghdhaAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonI Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide CaliA Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem by Christopher HealyThere’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor by Wade BradfordSkylark and Wallcreeper by Anne O’Brien Carelli, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, Half Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay (October 16), Erebus by Michael Palin (October 16), The Winters by Lisa Gabriele (October 16), Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver (October 23), Careless Love by Peter Robinson (October 23), Born Into It by Jay Baruchel (October 30), The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay (October 30), A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss (November 6), Born To Be Posthumous by Mark Dery (November 6).

Now, before we let you get back to whichever book you’re currently reading, we wanted to share a quick, yet very exciting, announcement with you! Earlier this month we became a partner store of the digital audiobook retailer,!! Don’t panic – nothing about our physical store is changing. This new partnership just means that our customers can now buy audiobooks online while still supporting their independent bookstore! We’ve listed more details about below, but if you’re already interested and want to check out our new online presence you can visit our store here:

With the magical month of October well underway now, the urge to start snuggling with our books is almost irresistible! Unfortunately, leaving the coziness of our blankets every now and then is a necessity – if nothing else you’ll need to feed and water yourself! So, on one of these forays from your den of tea, cookies, books, and wool, be sure to swing by and see us for the latest on new releases, our favourite reads, and to hash out what just happened to your favourite character – sometimes you just need to talk it out! We’re here for all of that and more, and we look forward the autumn breezes blowing you in through our front door!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood

Titles@Table40: Fall 2018

An Evening with Tim Cook

Date: Sunday, November 4
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Table 40 Restaurant

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 $60.00 which includes the cost of the meal (a set menu of three courses with a vegetarian option), tax and tip. All beverages are extra and will be charged at the end of the evening.

The Fraser Cafe can accommodate all special dietary needs if we are informed at the bookstore in advance.
Call us at 613-742-5030 or visit us to book your tickets today!

Shop with us on!!!

Our store: is an independent audiobook company that makes it possible for us to sell digital audiobooks to our customers. You can listen to these audiobooks on your iPhone, Android device, or your computer. All sales are conducted through our store (link above) and support the continued survival of your local independent bookseller.

You can buy audiobooks through our site either by signing up for a membership or by simply buying audiobooks as the mood strikes you. You don’t even have to have the app on your phone or device in order to buy, download, and listen!

While we will always be champions of the print book, audiobooks can be a great way to enjoy more books while you’re traveling, exercising, or relaxing!
Be sure to check out our site to see if audiobooks are for you!

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife

“After visiting The Tower of London for the first time this past spring, there was never any question of my not reading this book. The Tower Ravens stole my heart in person and have now done it again with paper and ink. Unabashedly enamoured of his feathered charges, the Ravenmaster has gifted us with a candid, humorous, and unique look at life within The Tower, his own path to the position of Ravenmaster, and the daily lives of the majestic, powerful, and unapologetic corvids on whose shoulders rest the fate of a nation.”


September 2018 Newsletter

August Bestsellers

1. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
2. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
3. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
4. The Boat People by Sharon Bala
5. Circe by Madeline Miller
6. Dog Man #5: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey
7. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
8. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
9. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellory Adams
10. First Snow, Last Light by Wayne Johnston

Greetings Book Lovers!

The nights are finally cooler, the days are shorter, and the strange but alluring scent of freshly sharpened pencils and loose leaf paper is hanging in the air once more. Oh, how we love September! Although we don’t take a summer break here at the store and aren’t making our way back to work after an extended holiday, leaving the last days of August behind still feels like a new beginning of sorts – a time for new adventures, new friends, and lots of lovely new books!

Like a faucet being turned on full blast, our fall books have started pouring in so fast that it feels a bit like our shelves have shrunk and our square-footage has decreased in recent days! Thankfully, there’s no such thing as too many books and there are few things we love more than discovering new stories to read and recommend. One of our top picks this month is the historical novel, The Lost Queen by Signe Pike. Set in Scotland amidst the roots of the Arthurian legends, this story casts a light on Languoreth, an oft-forgotten sixth-century Scottish Queen and twin sister of the man who would later be immortalized as the Druid Merlin. As her homeland is being torn apart by religious conflict and her future is being decided by the men around her, this brave, strong, and passionate woman suddenly finds herself facing the enemy head on in order to save herself, her family, and the Old Ways she knows and loves. For anyone who loved The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley or Mary Stewart‘s The Crystal Cave, this new book definitely deserves a spot on your reading pile! Debut author Christina Dalcher has given us an intense, thoughtful, and eerily plausible plot-line in her new novel Vox. With echoes of Margaret Atwood‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, this story transports readers to a United States of America in which women have been limited to using just one hundred words a day. Where one oppressive law is passed, others quickly follow, and for Dr. Jean McClellan, these restrictions are a call to action. With equal parts disbelief and determination, Jean launches herself into a battle she must win – for herself, her daughters, and women everywhere – no matter the cost.

Although there are countless different types of books on offer these days, we all tend to create a bit of a reading comfort zone. Sometimes taking a chance on a book that sounds a little different can be enough to open your eyes to a whole new genre that you never imagined you would like! Our last major leap of faith was a little over a year ago when we read and loved (surprisingly) the spider horror story The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone. It was creepy, thrilling, and even kind of funny despite the horrifying subject matter. Because of our experience with that book, we were immediately intrigued by David Wong‘s John Dies At the End. With This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It and What the Hell Did I Just Read quickly joining the series, these quasi-thriller/horror stories are full of quirky situations, odd characters, and a healthy dose of black-humour. Wong‘s unique writing style and suspicious narrator will no doubt appeal to the curious reader who loves being surprised (and slightly scared) by their books, page after page. For yet more spine-tingling thrill rides (we are heading into fall, after all), The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles is a great example of the “English Country House Thriller” genre. Combine one vanished parent with an old, drafty house, a worrisome housekeeper, and a nine-year-old boy trying to figure out who’s telling the truth, and you have the perfect recipe for the ideal autumn evening read! Just make sure you have lots of lights on…and maybe don’t read right before you go to sleep!

In a world full of beautiful turns of phrase and countless lyrical languages, English is undoubtedly one of the more complicated and least romantic of them all. One benefit of this is that it makes great fodder for the books about language that we love so much! The Stories of Slang by Jonathon Green and Vulgar Tongues by Max Decharne are two fascinating new books that look at some of the funny, intriguing, and downright insulting slang terms that have come and gone over the years. Considered the most alive vocabulary around today, slang is constantly evolving with new terms cropping up daily and old ones being reworked to fit modern society. Both Decharne and Green have succeeded in giving us fascinating (and slightly cheeky) studies that are sure to delight and entertain all language fans. Given how much we love our peculiar English language, it’s always maddening when we hear or see words being used incorrectly. Ross and Kathryn Petras evidently feel the same way as they’ve put together a wonderfully comprehensive book called That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means in which they gather the 150 most commonly misused English words together and present them to us along with examples of their misuse from print, radio, and television. With the addition of a witty exploration of the words’ origins and their correct usage, language lovers will enjoy the reading itself as much as the learning, and may find comfort in knowing that even the most well-educated among us can get words wrong sometimes.

For anyone who has ever wanted to spend their days searching for antiquities and digging for ancient relics, Douglas Hunter‘s new book should be at the top of your reading list. In Beardmore: The Viking Hoax that Rewrote History, we are treated to a fascinating, highly readable account of the 1936 discovery of a Viking grave near Thunder Bay – a discovery that, in advance of the excavation of L’Anse aux Meadows, changed everything scholars believed about the Vikings’ movements. After spending twenty years as a major museum exhibit and being called into question by a number of skeptics, it came to light that the whole discover was in fact a hoax. Told with a detective-like attention to detail, this book thrilled and educated us in equal measure. While walking in the footsteps of the ancients through archaeology is probably out of reach for most of us, exploring the world through the lives of our favourite fictional characters is much more attainable. A true travel guide with a twist, Sherlock Homes’s London by Rose Shepherd is the ideal companion to have while you’re gadding about town in this great British capital! Whether you’re a fan of the books, the films, or the countless television adaptations, this wonderful little book full of photographs, maps, and top tips about some of the great detective’s favourite haunts is sure to bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step as you adjust your deerstalker and head out onto the cobbled streets in search of mystery and adventure!

It always amazes us, when we have a chance to stop and think about it, how much children’s literature has changed over the last two decades. Where once, young people seemed to transition straight from picture books to classic literature, there are now so many incredible stories being written that it’s impossible not to get excited about them! Kristin Cashore, of Gracelingfame, has gifted teens with a pseudo-choose-your-own-adventure-type book that combines multiple genres like they were born to be together. When Jane, Unlimited‘s titular character is invited to a glamorous and mysterious island mansion called Tu Reviens, not only would she be satisfying her own curiosity by accepting, but she would also fulfilling a promise she made to her late aunt Magnolia. Little does Jane know, that accepting this invitation will not only plunge her into a strange house with its own agenda, but that the choices she makes therein have the power to change the course of her life forever. Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram is a charming, heartfelt debut novel about Darius, a young man who’s never felt like he’s quite fit in anywhere until he goes on his first trip to Iran to visit his grandparents. It’s in this place where he thought he’d stick out like a sore thumb, that he discovers surprising new things about himself and learns that sometimes all it takes feel at home is meeting that one person who truly gets you. A beautiful story of friendship and belonging, this book is a must for teens and adults alike!

As book lovers, we are always fascinated by books and stories whose roots run deep in the literary world – whether they’re books about books, books about authors, or books re-imagining some of our favourite fictional characters! Catherynne M. Valente‘s new book, The Glass Town Game, is a lovely adventure story for middle-grade readers that invites us into the world of the Bronte siblings through the game they invented and played together as children, The Glass Town. As the harsh reality of Emily and Charlotte being sent away to boarding school looms large, all four children suddenly find themselves whisked away to their own game with a few changes…their Napoleon isn’t supposed to ride into battle on a fire-breathing porcelain rooster! Making use of just their wits and their proprietary knowledge, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Bramwell must navigate the dangers of The Glass Town in order to stay alive and keep their family together.

If we someday have room for an author shrine here in the store, it could only ever be dedicated to the works of our favourite children’s author, Dusti Bowling – for obvious reasons, it would also have to be cactus-shaped! After falling completely in love with Aven in last year’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a CactusBowling has stolen our hearts yet again with her new book 24 Hours in Nowhere. Nowhere, Arizona is not the kind of place anyone would choose to live, nor is it an easy place to get out of. For 13-year old Gus, his only wish is to make it through the rest of his bully-plagued adolescence and escape “the least livable town in the United States” to attend college. When a close call with the biggest, baddest bully in town and a particularly prickly cactus result in the loss of a prized dirt bike on the eve of the most important race in town, Gus finds himself promising to enter a dangerous abandoned gold mine in order to make good. Along with his three very unlikely companions, Gus marches headlong into the deepest dark he’s ever experienced and ends up finding more bright spots than he ever thought he would. Full of heart, humour, and a bit of haunting mystery, this is our ultimate, top shelf, five star pick of the season! We guarantee that you will laugh, cry, and immediately want to read it all over again as soon as you finish the last page!

Never to be left out, even the smallest readers deserve to have sweet, beautiful, and fun new books to enjoy into the fall season. Here are a few that have just come into the store that we think will be instant hits no matter when or where you read them. Polly Faber‘s Picking Pickle is an adorable story narrated by Pickle, the longest-standing resident of the dog adoption centre. As he introduces us to all the dogs up for adoption, it might just turn out that the perfect dog is actually Pickle himself! Team Steve by Kelly Collier, the follow up to A Horse Named Steve, finds us once again in the company of our favourite steed as he learns lessons in sharing, friendship, and good sportsmanship. With a different illustration style on each page, The Big Book of Adventure by Emily Ford and Tim Warnes celebrates how books can take us on great adventures to distant lands and are always best when shared with a friend. Mike Wu, an illustrator at Pixar Animation Studios, has given us a wonderfully imaginative story in Henri’s Hats. While visiting his grandfather, Henri discovers a chest full of hats with which he can pretend to be a ship’s captain, a star pilot, and a race car driver. It’s not until he hears his grandfather’s real stories behind all the hats that he begins to dream about what his own future might be.

As always, we find it hard to limit ourselves once we start telling you about all our favourite books. So here are a few more that have recently come in that we quite like, and even more to watch out for over the coming weeks: The Forest Queen by Betsy CornwellHow Do We Look by Mary Beard, The Mystery of Three Quarters a by Sophie HannahThe Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman, Washington Black by Esi EdugyanMachine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys,  Starlight by Richard WagameseBeirut Hellfire Society by Rawi HageThe Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig DavidsonYorkshire a by Richard MorrisYour Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle GiordanoThings I Don’t Want to Know: A Living Autobiography by Deborah LevyInkling by Kenneth Oppel (September 11Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade(September 18), Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (September 18), The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre (September 18), The Secret History of Soldiers by Tim Cook (September 18), The Burning Stone by Jack Whyte (September 25), In Other Words by Anna Porter (September 25), Son of a Critch by Mark Critch (October 2), The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (October 9).

We really can’t express how happy we are now that the cooler weather has arrived. Summer is great and everything, but nothing compares to getting back into the routines of autumn in preparation for the long, cold months ahead. As we never know what kind of fall and winter we’re going to get, you’d best all start stock-piling books now, just in case. With so many diverse paper confections on our shelves just waiting to entertain and entice you with new adventures and fascinating stories, we are the perfect place to come next time you’re looking to get lost in a good book!

Happy Reading!

-The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 20

Award-winning author Paul Carlucci will be in the store to launch his critically acclaimed new story collection, The High Rise in Fort Fierce. Joining him will be special guest (writer, editor, reviewer, critic, publisher) Rob McLennan.

ABOUT THE BOOK: “Darkly majestic but notably grim … The nine linked pieces in this latest collection command attention.” – Quill & Quire
Read the full review here:

Saturday, September 22

Local author Annette Isaac will be in the store to sign copies of her new bookMissing the Cues: Tales of a Newcomer’s Life in Canada, an exploration of “the often unspoken and unwritten codes that newcomers encounter in Canada, from the perspective of a woman of colour with Caribbean roots.”

Hilary’s Shelf

What I’m Reading: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

“Someone told me recently that Penelope Fitzgerald was nominated for the Man Booker Prize three separate times, and now that I’m finally reading one of her novels, I understand why.
Though it’s not what you can call a happy story, this ode to the brick-and-mortar bookstore is a beautiful read full of love, determination, and bravery in the face of condescension and subterfuge. Florence Green is a wonderful character and it’s not hard to feel a kinship with her, even if you don’t run an independent bookshop.”

August 2018 Newsletter

July Bestsellers

1. Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlan
2. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
3. Calypso by David Sedaris
4. My Twenty-Five Years in Provence by Peter Mayle
5. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
6. A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
7. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
8. A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
9. The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
10. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Greetings Book Lovers!

Welcome to the home stretch! It doesn’t seem like too long ago we were celebrating the arrival of summer, and now here we are getting ready to say goodbye to it. Well, maybe not quite yet – it is only the beginning of the month, after all – but with the cicadas humming and that steamy summer haze hanging in the air, it’s not hard to tell what month we’re in. Despite the fact that all the signs are indicating that the end of the sunny season is fast approaching, we’re here to assure you that there’s still time to get some of that all-important summer reading done!

After the great excitement of big-name spring releases, this time of year tends to be slightly quieter for us. Because of this, there’s no better time to take a soothing stroll through the stacks to search out new authors and discover some of the hidden gems that we’ve got tucked away on our shelves. Holly Ringland is a debut Australian author who, in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, tells the beautiful coming-of-age story of, believe it or not, Alice Hart. Faced with a family tragedy at the tender age of nine, Alice is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to go live with her grandmother on a flower farm. Spanning two decades, this novel shows us different sides of Alice as she makes her way through life searching for meaning, love, and belonging amidst the jumble of her past, present, and future. Another debut author that we’re quite excited about is Rachel Heng. As our society still seems to be fascinated by prolonged lifespans and superfood “health” regimes, Suicide Club could not have been released at a more appropriate time. Set in near future New York City where the average human life now lasts three hundred years, humanity is still striving for the ultimate prize: immortality. Lea Kirino’s genetic makeup ticks all the necessary boxes and puts her within easy reach of her immortality goal, provided she follows all the right rules and regimes, that is. But when a chance encounter with her estranged father introduces Lea to the Suicide Club, a group of rebels who reject society’s quest for never-ending life, she must decide which life is the one for her – the clean-cut immortal one or the bittersweet whirlwind with the only bit of family she has left. The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard is a first novel that marks the beginning of what will no doubt be a prestigious writing career. The Ribkins are a family with some slightly odd, and not overly useful, talents – seeing colours that no one else can, being able to breathe fire, climbing perfectly flat walls sans equipment, and being able to produce a detailed map of any space without ever having been there. Though these skills failed to be useful in helping the civil rights movement, they did prove to be indispensable in the Rbikin family’s life of crime. Stealing from the wrong person though, can have deadly consequences, and now John Ribkin finds himself traveling from coast to coast in a unique and humorous attempt to pay off his boss, save his own skin, and protect his family.

Aside from the debut authors we keep discovering around the store, there are a few repeat authors that we’re pretty excited to be hearing from again. We’re very happy to have another offering from Emma Hooper whose debut novel from a few years ago, Etta and Otto and Russell and James was one of our favourites! Set in Newfoundland, Our Homesick Songs is a beautiful story about the importance of love and family when the livelihood your people have known for generations is taken away from you. Merilyn Simonds, a Kingston author who has astounded us again and again with her fascinating works of non-fiction and her touching novels, has delivered a timely tale in her new novel, Refuge. Dealing with the moral questions surrounding immigration and refugees, this book will warm your heart, break it, and build it back up again. Elizabeth Hay calls it “a silk scarf of a novel.” Since reading her very first novel, we’ve been hooked on the genius of Anne Tyler‘s writing. Far from disappointing, her new novel, Clock Dance, carries readers through five decades of Willa Drake’s life, grieving, loving, hoping, and smiling alongside her through all the ups, downs, and unexpected surprises that come her way.

Have you ever wanted your vocabulary to have a bit more of a je ne sais quoi kind of feeling? Or perhaps you want to get a bit better at presenting a laissez-faire attitude to the world. Well, not only can Laura Lee help you with that, but she can guide you through that whole tricky world of foreign phrases and cliches. Savoir Faire is a neat pocket guide to everything you need to know to add a bit of spice to your vocabulary and to become a member of the intelligentsia! With phrases ranging from Japanese to German to French, this book is a perfect resource for linguists, word nerds, or anyone who’s ever been frustrated by the works of Umberto Eco! It’s always a very exciting day for us when we find a true story in the store that is so well crafted, it reads like a novel. One such day came to pass when we picked up a copy of The Victorian and the Romantic by Nell Stevens. Telling parallel stories about two pairs of writers, novelist Elizabeth Gaskell and writer and critic Charles Eliot Norton, and Stevens herself (as a PhD student) and a budding screenwriter named Max, this book explores themes of love (lost and found), friendship, and the joys of writing. At once funny, intriguing, and surprising, this book, much like A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa, is a book about books for anyone who loves storytelling and the art of the written word.

Although they’re the ones who will actually be going back to school come September, your teens still have a bit of time to indulge in a few more books before they hit the wall known as “required reading.” The extra studious among them might take this last month of holiday time as an opportunity to get a head start on their new assignments – there’s never a bad time to read Jane Eyre, after all – but a few will probably want to relish that last little bit of freedom by reading something completely different. As usual, we’ve got you covered! Described as “a story that will stay with you, like a summer you’ll never forget,” The Thief of Happy Endings by Kristen Chandler is a heartfelt story about a girl trying to pick up the pieces of her life while dealing with the everyday challenges of living on a horse ranch when it’s the very last place she ever expected (or wanted) to be. Debut author Caroline Leech carries readers back in time to experience life on a Scottish farm during WWII through the eyes of teenager Lorna Anderson. Wait for Me explores themes of love, hatred, forgiveness, and sacrifice as Lorna suddenly finds herself working alongside Paul, a German POW and a man who represents everything she’s been told her brothers and friends are fighting against. Set in a divided Germany, The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker is a riveting historical story in which a young girl sets out to find her missing uncle, all without any outside help – when there are spies everywhere and you don’t know who you can trust, the only person you can rely upon is yourself. In the wake of all the Shakespeare retellings that we saw with the Hogarth Shakespeare Series for adults, it’s inevitable that we’ll find a few for kids and teens as well. Lucy Christopher‘s Storm-Wake reflects a dark version of The Tempest back at us in this story about Moss, a young girl living on a magical island, whose feelings for her father and her home are thrown into doubt as strangers begin arriving on their shores.

Some of the new and forthcoming books we’re excited about need no introduction at all, and others we simply don’t have to space to praise as we’d like. So, here is a little list of some of the other titles we think you should check out: The Quiet Side of Passion by Alexander McCall SmithThe Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas JonassonAn Unwanted Guest by Shari LapenaRoughneck by Jeff LemireHope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer, Up From Freedom by Wayne Grady, Starlight by Richard Wagamese, Women Talking by Miriam Toews, America, The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (August 28), Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (September 4), Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys (September 4).

Summer might be winding down, but your reading doesn’t have to. We’ll be observing normal hours at the store throughout the month of August, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to pop by and pick up the perfect book for the lazy, hazy days ahead. We look forward to seeing you!

Happy Reading!

— The Staff of Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Shelf
What I’m Reading: The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones
“When a confused teen is thrown from a car on a deserted stretch of highway in the middle of the night, he has no idea what has led him to this moment. He does, however, have a niggling feeling that he’s been running away from something…or someone. So begins this harrowing and mystifying read that will hook you in on the first page. With a bit of mystery, a healthy dose of intrigue, a thrilling plot, and more than one unanswered question, this young adult novel is nothing short of a masterpiece!”

More Special Hours

Books on Beechwood is going to the movies!! Well, technically they’re coming to us. On Sunday, August 5, a local film crew will be using the store to film a scene for an upcoming movie.

As such, we will be opening a little later than normal. Business hours on Sunday will be from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

We apologize for any inconvenience.
See you Sunday afternoon!