Our Blog

Closed May 13th

We are sorry for any inconvenience.  Terry and I are in Toronto this weekend and we tried to find someone to fill in… but everyone was busy. We will be back to regular hours 7 days a week next week. Please say hello to Esther on Saturday – she is coming from Arnprior to help us.

Thanks for your understanding. Mary

Meet local author Peter Usher

Local Author Peter Usher will speak at the Almonte Public Library on Thursday May 24 at 7:00pm about his book entitled Joey Jacobson’s War.

In the spring of 1940, Canada began training thousands of young men to man Britain’s bomber force in the war against Nazi Germany.  Nearly half of them were killed or captured within a year of their arrival.  This is the story of how one of those men, Joey Jacobson, was transformed from a raw recruit to a deadly serious yet idealistic warrior.

From letters and diaries, the author has pieced together an account of why he enlisted, his training as a navigator and bomb-aimer in Western Canada, and his service in Bomber Command at the sharp end of the air war over Europe.  Joey Jacobson’s War also relates how the fatal crash of his aircraft in Holland in January 1942 galvanized local resistance to the German occupation.

Some have asked author Peter Usher  if his book is a work of fiction.  It is not.  “It is at once biography, social history, and military history, based on my research in Canada, England, and the Netherlands.  I have set Joey’s account in the context of the early war years in Canada and England, and of Bomber Command’s operations at that time.  Nearly 10,000 Canadians died serving in Bomber Command.  Joey Jacobson’s story is also their story.  He did not survive to write a war memoir, but his personal account, written in the moment, brings Canada’s war-time experience to life.”

“Well written, well researched, and well organized, Joey Jacobson’s War is a splendid account of a young Jewish airman’s war. His letters and diaries—and his father’s—offer great insight into the early years of the war and much on public opinion in Canada from 1939 until Joey’s death in action. Peter Usher has done a fine job.” – J.L. Granatstein, author of Canada’s War

David Mulholland visits for Independent Bookstore Day

 


Celebrate Canadian Independent Bookstore Day Saturday April 28that Mill Street Books. There will be refreshments, prizes and a special visit from local author David Mulholland at 1:00pm.

His recent historical novel is
Chaudière Falls.  On March 7, 1800, Philemon Wright, a farmer from Woburn, Massachusetts, arrives on the north shore of the Ottawa River in Hull Township in Lower Canada. On September 1, 1860, on the south side of the river in the united province of Canada, Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Albert Edward, lays the cornerstone for Canada’s Parliament Buildings on Barrack Hill in Ottawa.

While the novel dramatizes the real events that unfold between those two dates, Wright’s determination to establish a community of farmers, the political scheming that results in Ottawa becoming Canada’s capital it’s also the story of immigrants struggling for survival in a new world. Among them, Jedediah Jansen, who is ten years old when his family arrives with Wright’s party. Jed marries, enters the volatile timber business, is overwhelmed by both, and his life spirals out of control.

The settlers’ attempts to establish a peaceful community are further exacerbated when the government in York (Toronto) refuses to confer legal status on Bytown (Ottawa). And because its inhabitants resent Colonel By’s civil authority, the lawless settlement is rampant with self-serving politics, religious bigotry, and barbaric violence.

Meet the author this Saturday at Mill Street Books.

 

A tribute to Audrey Ellard

Audrey EllardWe were able to open Mill Street Books thanks to the generosity of my mother Audrey Ellard who died recently in Cozumel, Mexico at the age of 88.  She helped us to purchase the store, took an interest in all aspects and celebrated our success.

My mom was a voracious and speedy reader; she read to keep informed and to appreciate fine literature. I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by books and as a child I remember spending more time at the library than the grocery store.

Her day started with a cup of coffee and newspaper; she often fell asleep with the light still on and a book on her lap. No matter what subject arose, Audrey had read about it and could suggest a book or author. She read reviews, made lists and surrounded herself with books so there was always a good one in the pile.

My mother read throughout her life for pleasure, the pursuit of  knowledge and to share stories with others. It was time well spent.

Mary Lumsden

Winning Window!

We are delighted to share the news that Mill Street Books won a prize for our hockey window display in October. The Ultimate Hockey Memory Contest challenge was to create a themed window to highlight a new book for hockey fans entitled A Century of NHL®Memories: Rare Photos from the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

We were thrilled to win an amazing prize that included tickets for all events at the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend (museum entry, a reception, Q&A, autograph session, Legends hockey game, and Gala) as well as transportation and accommodation. We shared the prize with relatives and friends who are dedicated fans and appreciated this incredible opportunity.   We appreciate the generosity of Griffintown Media Inc., Georgetown Publications and The Hockey Hall of Fame for this prize.

For book lovers who don’t follow hockey, this was like attending both the Giller and GG awards! To celebrate we are offering a discount on this title as well as a chance to win some souveniers from the Induction Weekend with any hockey book purchase until December 18th.

New Book for Hockey Fans

Mill Street Books is excited about a new book for hockey fans – A Century of NHL®Memories: Rare Photos from the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Our hockey window features memorabilia from Kent Huskins who brought the Stanley Cup to Almonte in 2007.
Hockey is a game of shared memories that can bind a family,  a community or an entire country. The most important collection of artifacts, memorabilia and photos is at the Hockey Hall of Fame.   The images in A Century of NHL® Memories were selected for their beauty and originality and include treasures snapped by legends of photojournalism.  Enjoy the memories.

Jan Andrews will be missed

We were devastated to hear that renowned author and story teller Jan Andrews has died.  Jan was a kind friend and sincere supporter of Mill Street Books who generously offered her time for events.  From her first visit when she entertained a young audience in the small area at the back of the store. I was captivated by her stories, her voice and her lovely use of language.  On another occasion she led a discussion about her novel The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley.  A highlight was her memorable interpretation of The Odyssey  at the Almonte Library.  What a feat! She also dropped by for other events where she engaged easily with all ages.  Most recently I listened to a recording of Written in the Body. which shared her very personal story.

Nominated for many awards and held in high regard in the storytelling community,  we were delighted she was recently recognized with the Order of Canada “for her contributions to Canadian culture as a children’s book author and as a pioneer of Canada’s storytelling movement. ”   Jan championed independent bookstores and was passionate about storytelling. She valued fine writing and enjoyed talking about books.  We offer condolences to her partner Jennifer,  her family,  friends and those who cherished her storytelling.

Jumping for Joy! We Won $1000!

Mill Street Books was delighted to learn we won $1000 in a contest held by Nimbus Publishing Company a Canadian Publishing Company based in Halifax.  The contest challenged gift stores and bookstores across Canada to create the best display of Nimbus titles featuring Canadian themes.
While Mary had to figure out how to make a hashtag,  our sincere thanks goes to her sister Janet who makes all the colourful banners and props for the store and Debbie who creatively  put it all together for the display.  (Yes we are taking them out for dinner!)

To celebrate and share our good fortune, we are selling all in stock Nimbus books at 25% off on Saturday August 5th.