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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Books & Lit

Write On Ottawa: #Setlife is a bittersweet glimpse into the fashion industry

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as a fashion stylist?  A model?  A magazine photographer?  If this burning curiosity sounds familiar track down a copy of #Setlife, and let local stylist and magazine editor Christopher Massardo bring you to the frontlines. Fully titled The Funny, Horrible and (Possibly) True Stories of #Setlife, Massardo’s collection brings together 13 local, scandalous and funny short stories.  Unfortunately, as a whole, the collection is only partially successful. #Setlife’s back cover promises both laughter and cringing, but I found myself... | Continue reading article

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Book chronicles family’s struggles during Vietnam war

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Caroline Vu will be a panelist for Under the Papaya Tree – Remembering Vietnam at Prose in the Park on Saturday, June 6 at 2:30 pm held at Parkdale Park. In That Summer in Provincetown, Montreal-based writer Caroline Vu relives some of her family’s greatest hardships in Vietnam at the height of the war, their collective attempts at building new foundations and identities in North America, and reflects on each individual’s perceived success or shortcomings. While Vu, who last year had her first novel published by the Ottawa-based collective Deux Voiler Publishing, allots... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Summer Reads for 2015

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Summer Reads

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. Now that summer is on its way, with the weather hopefully changing for the better, everyone starts thinking about patios, beaches and vacations. I love taking along fun books while on vacation, so here are some great reads, all available from the Ottawa Public Library. Some are light and fluffy, others are action packed,... | Continue reading article

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The oil dream may be over, but Canada’s future is not

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Shortly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper assumed office in 2006, he laid out his vision of Canada as an energy superpower. In the eyes of the new Conservative government, Canada would use its massive supply of oil to grow the economy. Given the seemingly insatiable appetite for energy around the world, as well as increasing oil prices, the plan seemed like a reasonable proposition.  Then everything fell apart, and PM Harper’s dream of turning Alberta’s oil sands into an economic juggernaut no longer seemed like a great idea. In his excellent... | Continue reading article

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Prose in the Park is a fiction fan’s fantasy

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Photo by Michael Tapp courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by Michael Tapp courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

This coming Saturday, June 6, book lovers can enjoy a lovely day in the park filled with literary delights. The first ever Prose in the Park will take place in Parkdale Park between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The outdoor event with tents will feature more than 150 Canadian authors (many of them local and more than 20% Francophone), 15 authors’ panels and special events, including an all-day open-mic stage. More than a dozen publishers and three independent bookstores will also participate. “It is planned around the highly successful model of Word... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Red Nexus’ dark and gripping future

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Three hundred years from now things aren’t going well for us humans.  In Ottawa-native Benoit Chartier’s debut novel, Red Nexus, Wen Harkwell is one of these unfortunates.  He lives on the 150th level of a futuristic Japan climbing over itself to escape a mysterious environmental disaster.  Shining towers adorn the city’s top, but the ground is buried under rolling garbage mountains that spit fire.  In the book’s opening, Wen lives somewhere in the middle, trying to create a life for himself and Sammy, his 13-year-old brother. During the day, Wen works... | Continue reading article

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Magnetic North: Up to Low is a joy to watch

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Photo by Sarah HoyPhoto by Sarah Hoy

For the past several years, Janet Irwin has worked towards bringing an Ottawa literary classic to the stage.  Fast forward to today, and the playwright’s vision is now a reality with her adaptation of Up to Low, which is playing at Arts Court until June 6 as part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Set in 1950 and based on the popular book of the same name by Ottawa author Brian Doyle, this great production tells the story of how Young Tommy (played very well by Lewis Wynne-Jones) takes a life-changing trip... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Two days that changed the world

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Post by Peter Boyle There were 1,036 days in the presidency of John F. Kennedy.  This is the story of two of them that changed history forever. Two Days In June:  John F. Kennedy And The 48 Hours That Made History by Ottawa-based writer Andrew Cohen is a dense, sometimes joyful, sometimes bored, but constantly energetic book.  Cohen chronicles two pivotal speeches that President Kennedy made in 1963.  His June 10 speech which led to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, and his June 11 speech that opened the way to the... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Love fantasy? Read Caroline Fréchette.

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If you like fantasy novels then you should read the work of Gatineau-based writer Caroline Fréchette.  I am a big fan of her Family by Choice series, which revolves around the complex character of Alex Winters, a  brooding young man who can create fire with his thoughts. Having really enjoyed the first book, which came out in the fall of 2013, as well as the sequel that was published last year by Renaissance Press, it was with eager anticipation that I read Kindred Spirits, the third book in this five-part series.  (The... | Continue reading article

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Kickstarter campaign seeks to fund new card game

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Image taken from Renaissance Press web siteImage taken from Renaissance Press web site

Ottawa-based Renaissance Press is best known for publishing the works of up-and-coming authors. The company’s desire to promote creative works, however, is no longer limited to the printed page thanks to the launch of their new gaming division. The first game that the local publisher hopes to release is A Match Made in Austen, a card game based on the works of the legendary writer Jane Austen.  Drawing from her popular novels Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, the aim of the game is to... | Continue reading article

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