Wonderful products from photographer Bill Pratt coming to Mill Street Books


Bill Pratt is a local photographer whose work is featured in a new line of products produced for the Nature Boutique of the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Mill Street Books is pleased to carry a selection of these journals, mugs and magnets with wildlife images which will appeal to nature lovers and those looking for truly Canadian souveniers.
High Res

Bill, who worked for Parks Canada, has travelled to many of the world’s most remote regions and cherishes Canada’s wilderness.

 He says ” To quietly photograph truly inspiring landscape or unique wildlife behaviours connects me to my true self.  I feel most grounded in the silence of Canada’s wild places.”  Bill shares his work to remind viewers of the natural wonders of our country and to inspire protection of our environment. 
An official launch to celebrate the work of  Bill Pratt, admire his photos and select some great gifts takes place on Saturday November 17th from 4:30 to 6:00pm at Mill Street Books, Almonte.

The Right Honourable David Johnston comes to Almonte

We are delighted to welcome the Right Honourable David Johnston to discuss his new book entitled Trust: Twenty Ways to Build A Better Country – a very timely guide for restoring personal, community, and national trust.

This event will take place on Sunday November 25th at 1:30 pm at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Tickets cost $35 (includes book) $10 (entry only) and are available over the phone or in person at Mill Street Books.

Trust is a much-needed manual for the repair and restoration of the social quality on which all democracies rely. One of Canada’s most revered governors general, David Johnston mines his long life and varied career to give Canadians twenty ways to make themselves, their institutions, and their country more worthy of trust.

Many of these habits, attitudes, and approaches stem from his experiences serving as the representative of the head of state in Canada for seven years. Some ways are individual – listen first, never manipulate, be consistent in public and private. Some are geared toward leaders at all levels and of all stripes – be barn-raisers, tell everyone your plans, depend on those around you. And some are societal – apologize, cherish teachers, invite others to dance.

As such, not only every Canadian, but also every person who cares about their democratic way of life is wise to heed David Johnston’s polite yet pressing call. You can become more worthy of trust. You can spot and encourage this vital quality in others. You can be an instrumental force in restoring trust in your community and country–making them better for yourself and your fellow citizens, and the world better for all.

Meet the Author of Lost Ottawa

LostOttawa2-PromoCover_largeDo you remember midnight shows at the Towne Cinema, dining at Peter’s Pantry or finding a bargain at the Stittsville Flea Market? If this makes you nostalgic, Lost Ottawa is a book you’ll treasure. Based on the popular Facebook site, this is the unrecorded history of the nation’s capital, and a loving tribute to the wonder and beauty of everyday life in Ottawa.  

The second volume in this series, Lost Ottawa Book Two contains 75 of the most popular posts and comments edited into the form of a conversation that’s often touching, always informative, and sometimes downright hilarious.   David McGee will be signing books at Mill Street Books on Saturday November 10 from 1:00 – 3:00pm.

Which will you choose?

I just read 2 excellent books by Kingston area authors…

Helen Humphreys became intrigued about the life of the famously private salmon-fly dresser named Megan Boyd.  She was a craftswoman who worked for sixty years out of a bare-bones cottage in a small village in the north of Scotland.  Machine Without Horses has a personal touch as the author explains how she imagines a character’s life without knowing many facts.  I was soon looking up images of fishing flies!

Refuge by Merilyn Simonds is about 96-year-old Cass MacCallum who is living on her own when a young Burmese woman contacts her, claiming to be kin. Curiosity and loneliness prompt her to accept a visit. This meeting provokes memories which span almost a century and take the reader to New York City, Mexico, Montreal and rural Ontario.  

Machine Without Horse is a small book, spare in words, complex in how much it conveys about the writer and main character. Refuge brims with generous detail, immersing the reader in a fascinating life story which is revealed layer by layer. Maybe there is no choice.. you need to read both!

Almonte in Concert

Almonte in Concert presents another excellent lineup this year.

Saturday October 20 at 7:30pm   The New Gen

Join James Parker, pianist and veteran of the concert stage, as he pairs up with two of Canada’s most promising classical musicians of the new generation. This concert of solo and ensemble works showcases the amazing virtuosity and artistry of supremely talented young musicians who are able to perform at outstanding technical and musical levels.

Tickets available by phone or in person at Mill Street Books

Meet Tim Wynne Jones

Mill Street Books and The  Almonte Public Library invite you to meet local author and Officer of the Order of Canada,Tim Wynne Jones. He  has written numerous award winning novels for adults, teens and children.  Listen to him read from his new riveting murder mystery The Ruinous Sweep and learn about his writing process and experiences in the publishing business.  Both adults and teens to encouraged to attend this special event at the library on October 27 at 1:30 pm  Seating is limited. Call 613-256-9090 to reserve your place and for further information.

Buy the most popular book in Almonte and you might win a bottle of Prosecco!

One day soon it will happen. Someone is going to walk into Mill Street Books looking for a recommendation. If they are new to the store, Terry might say “I loved this book. The main character is a wonderful old geezer”  Debbie would enthuse “It makes you laugh; it makes you cry and then you don’t want it to end” and Mary would explain that the setting in Cape Breton reminds her of their community.  After placing the book in their hands, allowing them to read the description and get a feel for the book, that customer will set a store record.  The 300th copy of The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil will be sold and that customer will win a bottle of prosecco!

This book’s appeal lies in its characters. John Alexander MacNeil is eighty years old. Sharp-tongued and quick-witted, he lives alone in rural Cape Breton, but he still cooks breakfast for his wife, who’s been dead for thirty years. He silently starts to question his own mind after stopping to pick up a hitchhiker — a hitchhiker who turns out to be his neighbour’s mailbox.  Everything shifts, though, when Emily, a pregnant teenager, shows up at his house with no place else to go. Determined to help Emily as best as he can, John must also keep the wolves from his door and maintain some semblance of sanity.

Author Lesley Choyce lives in Halifax. Last year he wrote the store owners: “I have found it difficult to make good connections with audiences outside of Atlantic Canada. So I just wanted to write and let you know that it is much appreciated that you like the book and can share it with your customers.”  When I recently contacted him regarding reaching this milestone he added:   “This is a testament to the power and importance of the bookseller – especially the independent bookseller who is not only financially independent but independent of mind and spirit.  It is so good to know that John Alexander MacNeil is alive and well in Almonte, Ontario.  I had lost track of him in recent months and realize he’s carried his world – lock, stock and barrel of opinions and laughs – to this lively Ontario town where his voice echoes through the chambers of those readers’ minds and hearts.  Long live John Alex and long live Mill Street Books!”

Almost 40% of the total sales for this book to date are through Mill Street Books. Beverley Rach of Fernwood Publishing responded that she finds it heartening to know that there are still people hand-selling books – places where readers can rely on a trusted bookseller to put a good read into their hands.

Mill Street Books is a small store with limited space so they keep close tabs on inventory and only stock between 3-4,000 titles.  Owner Mary Lumsden explains “We are always looking for something unique to read – a book nobody has heard of. When I look through catalogues, I am imagining potential readers and thinking about the various interests of my kids, my friends and our local customers.”  When you tell someone to read a book that you love it is like an offer of friendship that will connect you, sometimes for the rest of your lives.  Personal recommendations are the life blood of independent bookstores and their value is evident when they can shine a light on a gem.

Follow up:

The 300th book was sold October 7th and customer Gudrun Mendzigall looked very pleased with her gift!