The Blue Heron is a one-of-a-kind bookstore where you are welcomed in by brilliant, warm-hearted, knowledgeable staff. You’ll leave with the exact book your mind and spirit seeks and return again and again. —
Blue Heron creates Celebri-dot for Quaker Village Public School as they celebrate International Dot Day
Dot Day September 15
Imagine the power and potential of a million people all around the world connecting, collaborating, creating and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites. I hope you will join the growing global community of creativity champions using their talents, gifts and energy to move the world to a better place.
Peter H. Reynolds
Join us for Brunch on October 19th at 11am at Wooden Sticks Golf Club.
Plum Johnson – After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year-old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers experience conflicted feelings of grief and relief when their mother, the surviving parent, dies. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, which hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum remembers her loving but difficult parents who could not have been more different: the British father, a handsome, disciplined patriarch who nonetheless could not control his opinionated, extroverted Southern-belle wife who loved tennis and gin gimlets. The task consumes her, becoming more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger memories of her eccentric family growing up in a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario in the 1950s and 60s. But unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued.
They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.
Marissa Stapley: With pitch-perfect honesty and heartwarming humor, this captivating debut explores marriage, motherhood, identity, and what it takes to love someone—family members, friends, or spouses—for life.
Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.
Interweaving the alternating perspectives of Helen, her daughters, and the women surrounding them, “each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease” (New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Close). In this “absolute feat of storytelling” (bestselling author Grace O’Connell), Marissa Stapley celebrates the many roles modern women play, and shows that even though happy endings aren’t one-size-fits-all, some loves really can last for life.
Tickets are $25 and includes full brunch.
Join us for an unforgettable evening when Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Fall on your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies, will be on stage at the Uxbridge Music Hall on Saturday, November 8th at 7:00pm. She will be celebrating her new novel , Adult Onset.
Adult Onset is a powerful drama about motherhood, the dark undercurrents that break and hold families together, and the power and pressures of love.
Mary-Rose MacKinnon–nicknamed MR or “Mister”–is a successful YA author who has made enough from her writing to semi-retire in her early 40s. She lives in a comfortable Toronto neighbourhood with her partner, Hilary, a busy theatre director, and their 2 young children, Matthew and Maggie, trying valiantly and often hilariously to balance her creative pursuits with domestic demands, and the various challenges that (mostly) solo parenting presents. As a child, Mary-Rose suffered from an illness, long since cured and “filed separately” in her mind. But as her frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms which compel her to rethink her memories of her own childhood and her relationship with her parents. With her world threatening to unravel, the spectre of domestic violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her life and that of her own children.
Tickets are $25
Part of our Series of Fortunate (literary) Events Passport
Join us at 2pm on September 21st at Wooden Sticks for an afternoon tea with historical fiction writer Philippa Gregory. Your $45 ticket includes a copy of Gregory’s latest novel The King’s Curse.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen comes the story of lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England.
Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.
Tickets are available by calling the store at 905-852-4282.
Part of our Series of Fortunate (literary) Events Passport
Thursday, September 25th at 7:30pm Miriam Toews (author of A Complicated Kindness) and Kim Thuy (author of Ru) and Elyse Friedman (author of The Answer to Everything) Tickets are $25 and are available in store or by calling 905-852-4282.
Miriam Toews is beloved for her irresistible voice, for mingling laughter and heartwrenching poignancy like no other writer. In her most passionate novel yet, she brings us the riveting story of two sisters, and a love that illuminates life.
You won’t forget Elf and Yoli, two smart and loving sisters. Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. Yoli is a beguiling mess, wickedly funny even as she stumbles through life struggling to keep her teenage kids and mother happy, her exes from hating her, her sister from killing herself and her own heart from breaking.
But Elf’s latest suicide attempt is a shock: she is three weeks away from the opening of her highly anticipated international tour. Her long-time agent has been calling and neither Yoli nor Elf’s loving husband knows what to tell him. Can she be nursed back to “health” in time? Does it matter? As the situation becomes ever more complicated, Yoli faces the most terrifying decision of her life.
All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. In her beautifully rendered new novel, Miriam Toews gives us a startling demonstration of how to carry on with hope and love and the business of living even when grief loads the heart.
Following on the Giller Prize-nominated and Governor General’s Literary Award-winning success of Ru, Kim Thúy’s latest novel is a triumph of poetic beauty and a moving meditation on how love and food are inextricably entwined.
Mãn has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Mãn a husband–a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.
Thrown into a new world, Mãn discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears.
Mãn is a mystery–her name means “perfect fulfillment,” yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Mãn discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair.
Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Mãn is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.
“The Answer to Everything is compelling proof that Elyse Friedman is one of Canada’s best and most crucial writers. Both cynical and searching, it’s a hilarious yet deeply moving portrait of an upstart cult gone wrong-it drew me in from page one but never let me settle, continually surprising me and challenging my take on things. It puts its players through the same paces, and the result is a cast of some of the most memorable characters I’ve met in a long time. It feels urgently timely, too-a book that I’ll be recommending far and wide.” -Melanie Little, author of Confidence
John Aarons, a brilliant but perpetually broke artist, knows how to cadge a meal or seize an opportunity when he spies one. Turned out on the street by his fully employed, entirely fed up girlfriend, he goes on the hunt for cheap shared accommodation and stumbles upon the ideal set-up-a bedroom in the home of Amy, an attractive psychology student who has been abandoned by her condo-buying roommate. Not only does Amy have a surprisingly affordable penthouse apartment with rooftop patio and a fridge full of high-quality comestibles, but she also has a mysterious across-the-hall neighbour, Eldrich, who appears to be home all day, smoking weed and receiving an odd assortment of visitors.
Before long, John is availing himself of Eldrich’s pot, food and wine. He notices that these staples are provided gratis to Eldrich by friends and acquaintances who rely on him for spiritual guidance. That’s when John, atheist and misanthrope, decides to start a New Age cult with Eldrich as guru. And so, as half art project, half money-making scheme, the Answer Institute is born.
Once again, we count ourselves lucky to have Ted Barris serve as host for the evening.
WEAVING WORDS Festival of Stories returns to Sharon Temple
An intricate tapestry of stories, images, music and dance will be woven at Sharon Temple Sept. 28. WEAVING WORDS, a Festival of Stories, celebrates myriad story-telling forms – stories both oral and written, stories in photos, stories in song and stories in dance. A drum circle starts the day at 11 a.m. and until 4:30 p.m., on four separate stages, including the magnificent Temple itself, musicians, dancers, writers and story tellers will entertain.
Highlighting the day will be award-winning author Terry Fallis, reading from his recent book and sharing hilarious tales of how it came to be written.Other contributors to this year’s festival are noted Canadian folk singers David Newland and Jon Brooks, both boasting vast repertoires of Canadian story-songs. Freshwater Trade, a Celtic singing and fiddling group, offer vintage shanties and logging camp songs. Authors reading their own works include Janet Matthews who writes and edits Chicken Soup for the Soul books; Jim Scott, whose stories and verses recount a life of travel and adventure; Isobel Warren, whose first novel, after half a century of journalism, depicts the tragedies and triumphs of rural Canada a century ago.
Story tellers include Rubena Sinha reflecting South Asian myth and dance, Zolt Goatfield whose Hungarian roots inspire his stories, Noriko Yamamoto, a mime, dancer, silent storyteller and visual artist, June Brown, who uses chants, music and dance to recount legends, fairy tales andfolk tales, Anna Kerz, author of three award-winning books for young readers, Donna Dudinsky, specializing in folk and fairy tales from around the world, and Bruce Carmody, who tell tales of history in churches, museums and festivals across the land.
A wide range of vendors will offer unique merchandise, much of it hand-made and locally produced. The Writers’ Community of York Region’s roster of published authors will showcase their recent books. Blue Heron Books of Uxbridge will be the Festival’s designated book seller.
This class, led by instructor Sue Reynolds, is designed to create time and space to devote to your writing projects. Each week, through instruction and in-class exercises, this group focuses on some aspect of the writing craft. Writing prompts are designed to support each writer in his or her process. Participants leave each class with new pieces of writing, optional homework, one on one feedback on manuscripts and a new understanding of techniques designed to improve the writers’ skills.
6 Weeks – Friday, September 19th – October 24th, 9:30am to 12pm $180
6 Weeks – Friday, October 31st – December 5th, 9:30am to 12pm $180
INSPIRATION STATION – An artistic adventure for kids ages 6 to 12
Saturday, September 20th to November 15th, 9:30am to 10:30am
Sign up for 6 of the 8 classes $100
December Book Club
Seasonal Book Club Party - Talk books, buy books, steal books December 11th at Blue Heron Books 7:30pm
January Book Club
My Best Stories by Alice Munro Venue: Veronica's Place Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature