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.
Do 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.
All Our Relations is this year’s CBC Massey Lecture written by award-winning author Tanya Talaga. This incisive work explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. All Our Relations is a powerful call for action, justice, and a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples. In store now.
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!
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.
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.
The 300th book was sold October 7th and customer Gudrun Mendzigall looked very pleased with her gift!
Meet Tim Cook author of The Secret History of Soldiers
Renowned author and historian Tim Cook will make a presentation at the Almonte Public Library on Sunday September 30 at 2:00pm. There have been thousands of books on the Great War, but few have focused on the daily lives of the combatants. In The Secret History of Soldiers, Tim Cook, Canada’s foremost military historian, examines how those who survived trench warfare on the Western Front found entertainment, solace, relief, and distraction from the relentless slaughter. These tales come from the personal accounts and artifacts of more than five hundred soldiers. The fighting at the front was devastating, but behind the battle lines, another layer of life existed, which included songs, skits, art, and soldier-produced newspapers. With his trademark narrative abilities and an unerring eye for the telling human detail, Cook has created another landmark history of Canadian military life as he reveals the secrets of how soldiers survived the carnage of the Western Front.
Seating is limited. Call organizer Mill Street Books at 613-256-9090 to save your place.
Did you see the Facebook photo of me hiding in bed doing research? This was the book I was reading – so beautifully written I read in every minute I could spare. When I finished, I ordered a dozen copies – a big deal for our small store. It’s our book club selection for this evening.