February/March 2022 Newsletter


January/February Bestsellers

  1. Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquet
  2. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
  3. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
  4. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
  5. Still Life by Sarah Winman
  6. These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
  7. The Last Stable in Lowertown by Karen Bailey
  8. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  9. Thomas Mackay: The Laird of Rideau Hall by Alastair Sweeny
  10. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk

Greetings Book Lovers,

Happy March! It’s certainly been a rough couple of months here in town, but thankfully it looks like we may have finally turned a corner – the snow is slowly receding, the days are getting longer, and being able to feel the heat in the sun is a real joy. In truth, we started this newsletter back in early February, but our hearts just weren’t in it, so we decided to wait until things felt a bit better. So, here we are now in the earliest days of spring and we’re excited that there are so many things to look forward to – the first small flowers peeking up from the ground, the return of our feathered fair-weather friends and their beautiful songs, and of course, all the great new books that are due to come out over the coming weeks and months!

First up, we wanted to take care of a bit of housekeeping as a number of things have changed in the world since we last sent out a note. As we’re sure you’ve already noticed, capacity limits in retail stores have been lifted by the province, so we are no longer counting customers at the door. Another restriction that is due to be lifted on Monday, March 21 is the mask mandate. After discussing it among our staff and owners, we have decided to keep the masking rules in place in the store for the time being. All store staff will continue to wear our masks while working and will still be asking customers to don their masks as well while shopping in the store. As we’re such a small space and are no longer operating with limited customer capacity, we believe that this course of action is the safest one for all involved at this time. So, as of the 21st, if you come by to shop and happen to forget your mask, we will happily provide you with one. For anyone who feels uncomfortable coming into the store, we are also able to orchestrate payments and pick-ups at the door and curb-side pick-ups will still be available as well. The last two years have been tough for everyone and we can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve given us during that time. Your patience and understanding have been incredible and we hope you’ll be able to hang in there with us for just a bit longer.

Thankfully, despite how everything else seems to change daily, there is one thing that we can always count on – the number of great new books arriving here in the store everyday! We honestly don’t know what we’d do without them! Everyone has their own favourite go-to genre, but one thing we know from all our years on Beechwood is that there are few things readers love more than a good murder mystery! The followup to the brilliantly successful novel, The Windsor Knot, C.J. Bennett‘s new royal mystery, All the Queen’s Men is just as charming, fun, and entertaining! Unbeknownst to everyone but her Assistant Private Secretary, Queen Elizabeth II is an incredibly canny sleuth who, in addition to all her royal duties, has solved more than one mystery in her time. After getting to the bottom of a suspicious death at Windsor Castle before her 90th birthday, the Queen is now faced with yet another suspected murder, this time poolside at Buckingham Palace! Can the Queen manage to unmask the culprit while also dealing with Brexit, a new Prime Minister, and a worrying election in the United States? Only time will tell! While we leave the Queen to solve her palace mystery, Susan Juby‘s new book, Mindful of Murder, carries us into the world of buttling and murder on B.C.’s coast. Having just finished butler school, Helen Thorpe is all set to start her new job serving one of the wealthiest families in the world when she gets a call from a spiritual retreat where she used to work. Her former employer, Edna, has died while on a silent retreat and it’s now up to Helen, as executor of her very detailed will, to figure out which of her relatives should rightfully inherit. Not to be left behind, Helen’s butler school classmates insist on coming to help, but the more they all work together to sort things out, the more they realize that perhaps Edna’s passing wasn’t as natural as they all believed.

With the advent of spring, our minds naturally turn to thoughts of plants, trees, and all the beautiful green spaces that we’re blessed with in our city. If you’ve enjoyed Finding the Mother Tree, The Hidden Life of Trees, the works of Diana Beresford-Kroeger, or a little bit of forest bathing, we have no doubt that you’ll like these two great new natural history reads! Following in the footsteps of great arborists before him, Ben Rawlence‘s new book, The Treeline, is a glorious examination of some of the hardiest tree species on earth and the incredible work they do to keep our planet clean. Known as the “‘lung’ at the top of the world”, the boreal forest has been slowly creeping further north for roughly the past five decades. In this fascinating book, Rawlence takes us on a journey through multiple northern countries (including Canada), exploring ancient species like the Dahurian larch, the North American Balsam, and the noble Scots Pine and how these and their fellow trees make life possible for all other life on earth. Tree and plant lovers might also enjoy delving into the history of our world’s flora with Otherlands by Thomas Halliday. Described as “Sapiens for natural history,” this book takes readers on a journey into the past through sixteen fossil sites from all over the world. Looking into the Earth’s past can tell us a lot about its present and future, and studying how plant and animal species have co-existed, collaborated, and evolved over thousands of years may even teach us something about how our own species could do better. It’s hard to think of a time when the Mediterranean Sea was just an empty basin or to imagine a day when the Great Barrier Reef no longer exists, but this book helps us step back so we can see the bigger picture and truly begin to understand the ebbs and flows of life on Earth.

We may only be a few months in, but this year is already setting up to be another great one for books! Here are just a few more recent releases and forthcoming publications that we can’t wait to share with you: When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’NeillSecrets of the Sprakkar by Eliza ReidMoon, Witch, Spider, King by Marlon JamesExtreme North by Bernd BrunnerThe Witch, The Sword, and the Cursed Knights by Alexandria RogersCircus of Wonders by Elizabeth MacnealFinlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle CosimanoRed Island House by Andrea LeeNine Lives by Peter SwansonThe Cartographers by Peng ShepherdHouse of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas, Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen, Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley, Popisho by Leone Ross, Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford, Vladimir by Julia May JonasOur American Friend by Anna Pitoniak, We Had a Little Real Estate Problem by Kliph Nesteroff, The Fifties by James R. Gaines, Red Island House by Andrea Lee, The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley, The School of Mirrors by Eva Stachniak, The Forgotten Five by Lisa McMann, Together We Will Go by J. Michael Straczynski, Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood,, The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith, All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie, And a Dog Called Fig by Helen Humphreys, Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel, Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson, Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage, Best Young Woman Job Book by Emma Healey (March 22), A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear (March 22), Give Unto Others by Donna Leon (March 25), Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn (March 29), The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector (March 29), Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (April 5), Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (April 5), The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (April 5), Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (April 5), Bittersweet by Susan Cain (April 5), Freezing Order by Bill Browder (April 12).

Well, it’s been officially two years since we first closed our doors due to the pandemic and it’s hard to think back now to how things felt then. There’s no doubt in our minds that without our lovely books and all of you, our amazing customers, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Your unwavering support and words of comfort were (and still are) the glimmer of hope that we needed to soldier on each and every day. While a lot has changed since the spring of 2020, we know we haven’t reached the end of the road quite yet. We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us over all these long months! We wouldn’t be here without you!

Wishing you all healthy, happy days full of warm sunshine and great reads!

Happy Reading!
Take care,
– The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan

“Returning to the world of A Secret History of Witches, this new Louisa Morgan novel was impossible to resist – it checks all my book boxes! There have been no witches born in the Orchiere clan for centuries and the women of Ursule’s family are now considered no more than village fortune-tellers. But their fate and future take a drastic turn when Ursule comes of age and power begins to flow through her veins. Full of magic, beauty, and danger, this witchy read is everything it promises to be!”

January 2022 Newsletter

2021 Bestsellers

1. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
2. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
3. Values by Mark Carney
4. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
6. Fight Night by Miriam Toews
7. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
8. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
9. Silverview by John Le Carre
10. Ottawa Road Trips by Laura Byrne Paquet

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy New Year! We hope it’s not too late to say that. Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year – the beautiful decorations, the sweet treats, the hot chocolate – but there’s something to be said for the fresh start that comes with a new month and a new year. It’s like opening the first page of a new journal and facing all those blank pages that can be filled with as many or as few adventures as you wish. It’s a time for new beginnings, new resolutions, new hopes and dreams, and, as always, lots of new books!

After the whirlwind that is the holiday season, it’s always strange coming back to the store. The calendar spinners come down, the window displays get tidied up, Christmas stock gets shifted around, and the store starts to look a bit empty compared the bursting shelves of November and December. It doesn’t take long though, to get back in the groove and realize how many neat things we actually still have in stock. As such, there’s no better time than now to have our Annual Inventory Sale! From now until Saturday, January 22, everything in the store will be 25% off with the exception of CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and customer special orders. We still have a great selection of puzzles and gifts in stock, and while book releases have slowed a bit, there are still lots of great reads to choose from. So, if any of you are looking to fill the gaps in your Christmas list where Santa didn’t quite deliver, or if you’ve got a gift card burning a hole in your pocket, now is the time! If the wintery weather is keeping you at home, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on our sale. In our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca), you can browse to your heart’s content from the comfort of home and still take advantage of our storewide discounts. Please note though, the discount is only applicable on items that are physically in the store (“in store now” will be written next to in stock items) and the discount will be applied once we process your purchase manually in the store (charges do not go through automatically with online orders). So, whether you want to haul on your winter woollies or just snuggle up at home under blanket, savings await at your local bookstore!

As we make our way further into this new year, there are a few things that haven’t changed quite as much as we’d hoped. Like before Christmas, we are currently open for in-store shopping but are only allowing 6 customers in the store at a time. If we are full, we ask that anyone waiting to come in wait out on the sidewalk so we can keep our entryway clear for our couriers, customers exiting the store, and patrons looking to get into the SconeWitch. If the weather is chilly on the day you’re planning to visit us, be sure to dress warmly, just in case. Everyone in the store is required to wear a mask at all times and curb-side pick-ups, shipping, and local delivery are still available on request.

Although January is traditionally a slightly slower month than most of the others, there are still lots of great new books coming out that we know you’ll love! Here are just a few that we’re pretty excited about: The Maid by Nita Prose, Something to Hide by Elizabeth George, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, The Ice Chips and the Grizzly Escape by Roy MacGregor, Greek Myths by Charlotte Higgins, Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho, Like Home by Louisa Onome, Hopepunk by Preston Norton, Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long, Smoke by Joe IdeAnthem by Noah HawleyThe High House by Jessie GreengrassMust Love Books by Shauna Robinson (January 18), The Greek Histories by Mary Lefkowitz (January 18), The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk (January 25), Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana de Rosnay (January 25), The Nordic Knitting Primer by Kristin Drysdale (January 25).

In a month full of new beginnings, we know there are a lot of significant things we could be making resolutions about – getting more organized, taking more time for ourselves, eating healthier, learning a new skill – but the only thing we really want to think about is the number of books we want to read this year. They comfort us, keep us company, take us on great adventures, remind us of home, and we can’t think of any way we’d rather spend our days than with books all around us. So, here’s to a year filled with health, happiness, and as many books as we can all fit on our nightstands!

Happy Reading!

-The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Annual Inventory Sale

It’s January once again which means it’s time for our Annual Inventory Sale!

From now until Saturday, January 22, everything in the store will be 25% off with the exception of CDs, magazines, newspapers, and customer special orders.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

“Lia Louis’ novel Dear Emmie Blue is one of my favourite feel-good reads ever, so I was very excited when I found out that she had a new book coming out.
Two strangers, one snowstorm, and eight perfect hours – these are what kick off this sweet, funny, romantic story about two people from very different places who may just be destined to be together. Noelle and Sam are sure to capture your heart from the very first page!”

December 2021 Newsletter

November Bestsellers

1. State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton
2. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
3. A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
4. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
5. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
6. Silverview by John Le Carre
7. Fight Night by Miriam Toews
8. The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield
9. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
10. The Two Michaels by Fen Hampson and Mike Blanchfield

Greetings Book Lovers!

Happy December! Can you believe we’re here already? It seems like only yesterday we were prepping our summer reading lists, and now we’re living in woolly socks and reading in the soft glow of twinkle lights! Where does the time go? Of course, the fact that this is the first newsletter we’ve written in a number of months certainly doesn’t help with our sense of time. We’re sorry we’ve been so incommunicado. Life has been a bit topsy-turvy for us over the last five months – both at the store and at home – and it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and write. Thankfully, we’ve finally gotten back to it and we’re very excited to tell you all about how our December is looking!

First up, we’re so happy to announce the return of our 12 Days of Penguin Random House Christmas promo! Starting on Monday, December 13, we’ll be featuring one Penguin Random House book per day at 25% off so we’ll be able to count down the days to Christmas together with some of our favourite books! On this year’s list you’ll find great fiction such as Klara and the Sun, Beautiful World, Where Are You?, and Got Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, fascinating memoirs like Talking to Canadians, and unique coffee table books like Renegades: Born in the USA! This promo will be available in store and online, and each book will only be discounted on its specific day. Keep your eyes on this space and our social media pages for daily announcements on when each book is stepping into the spotlight! (Please note that since we’re closed on Sundays, our December 19th promo will only be available online.)

So, there have been a lot of stories in the news recently about supply chain issues and stores sporting empty shelves. We just wanted to assure you that although we’re not unaffected, you won’t be greeted by an empty store next time you come to visit us. Being less than two weeks out from the 24th now, we’ve already passed the majority of our guaranteed Christmas delivery dates for book orders, but that doesn’t mean that books will stop arriving. We still expect to receive lots of deliveries between now and Christmas Eve, though we may not be able to get the specific book you’re looking for in time. It never hurts to ask though. Orders to our last two “in time for Christmas” suppliers will be going out on Thursday of this week, so be sure to contact us before then if there’s a certain title you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to get it for you. If you’re not on the hunt for something specific, rest assured that our staff are still more than happy to help you find that perfect something for that special someone from the large collection of books on our shelves!

As booksellers, we love every time of year, but nothing quite compares to the holiday season. Once September comes, some of the most highly-anticipated books of the year (Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, These Precious Days by Ann Patchett, and Off the Record by Peter Mansbridge, to name a few) start rolling in, then October and November see the announcement of prize nominations and winners for works of fiction and non-fiction in Canada and beyond (What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad, The Strangers by Katharena Vermette, The Promise by Damon Galgut), and finally December hits, ushering in a month of overflowing shelves and tables groaning under large piles of great reads – the sight of which always makes us happy! Add to that the arrival of all sorts of fun gifts, games, and puzzles, and it’s hard to imagine a more exciting time of year!

Of course, with all the good things, there are always a few unforeseen hiccups that show up in the last month of the year. Much like last year, 2021 has presented us with various challenges – shipping delays, supply chain issues, slow book reprints, unfulfilled orders, and all the unknowns associated with an ongoing pandemic. Despite all the tough bits, though, we’ve made it to the finish line, and we can’t thank you all enough for your patience and support through these last 18 months. It’s because of all of you that we’re here, doing what we love everyday!

So here’s to a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with health, happiness, and lots of great new books!

Happy Reading!

Take good care,
The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Holiday Hours

We will be open on Christmas Eve from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

We will be CLOSED from December 25 through January 2 to give our staff a well-deserved break.

Regular store hours will resume on Monday, January 3.

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

“This book was first described to me as ‘The Great British Baking Show meets Gilmore Girls‘ and it turns out that paints a pretty accurate picture.
When twin sisters find themselves each in a bind before the holidays, what could be more natural than to hearken back to their childhood and switch places to try to sort things out? But when the sugar starts to fly and love enters the mix, will their switch fall flat or produce the most delicious outcome imaginable? What a sweet read!”

June 2021 Newsletter

May Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!
Stay Safe!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

What I’m Reading: Rabbits by Terry Miles

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

Local Authors in the News…

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

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

Dan and Nancy Rubenstein in conversation with Alan Neal


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

Danuta Gleed Literary Award
Quill and Quire
ReLit Awards

May 2021 Newsletter

April Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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

April 2021 Newsletter

March Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


March 2021 Newsletter


February Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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


Annual Inventory Sale
The Lockdown Edition

From Sunday, January 24 to Sunday, January 31

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

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

January 2021 Newsletter

Top 10 Books of 2020

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

December Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

Lockdown How-Tos

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

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

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

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

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

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

— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Annual Inventory Sale
The Lockdown Edition

From Sunday, January 24 to Sunday, January 31

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

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

Hilary’s Bookshelf

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

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

December 2020 Newsletter

November Bestsellers

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

Greetings Book Lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!
— The Staff at Books on Beechwood

Christmas Hours

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

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

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



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

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