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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Books & Lit

Librarian in Residence: You’re never too old to read a picture book

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Installation by Oliver Jeffers at Seven Stories. Photo by Chatirygirl on Flickr.Installation by Oliver Jeffers at Seven Stories. Photo by Chatirygirl on Flickr.

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 5. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. As much as I’d like to take credit for this idea, it is thanks to colleagues from Apt613 that suggested it to me (Thanks Yasmin and Chris!!). In my work as a children’s librarian, I get to read many entertaining picture books for kids. I’ve come across a few that are quite memorable, and... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Although set in a dystopian future, new novel celebrates the human spirit

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Lucia's Masks

This past September, local author Wendy MacIntyre released Lucia’s Masks, a science fiction/fantasy novel published by Thistledown Press.  Set in a dystopian future, the story opens with Lucia, a young woman who lives in The City, a tragic and dehumanizing place that has been taken over by a brutal dictatorship. When Lucia decides to escape, she meets five other people on the road who, for their own reasons, are also fleeing.  When their quest seems all but lost, the group finds six Greek Tragedy masks that will unlock their futures.... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: How a charity fundraiser allowed a local author to fulfil her literary dream

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Tammie WinsorTammie Winsor

Good things do happen to kind people.  Just ask local author Tammie Winsor, whose touching story is proof that a charitable heart can make your dreams come true. Back in November 2012, Winsor was listening to the very popular CBC Ottawa radio program All in a Day.  Host Alan Neal was talking about the Hopes and Dreams contest, an annual fundraiser by the Shepherds of Good Hope that takes place during the holiday season. Listeners could enter the contest by emailing CBC with their dreams, with the lucky contest winners getting the opportunity to... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: “Check out” a human book this Saturday at the OPL

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Photo courtesy of OPL-BPO on Flickr. Photo by: Corinne de Réland.Photo courtesy of OPL-BPO on Flickr. Photo by: Corinne de Réland.

This Saturday marks the third year for the Human Library event being held at the Ottawa Public Library in partnership with CBC Ottawa. Designed for an adult audience, the Human Library will be taking place in the adult areas of the participating branches: Greenboro, Orléans, Main, Carling and Carp. Launched in Denmark in 2000, the Human Library was a way to focus on anti-violence, encourage dialogue and build relations. Readers can meet over 40 different Human Books at the events, including some of the bestsellers from past years with very interesting new... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Novel celebrates the joy of music and the power of self-discovery

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Ruth LattaRuth Latta

For the past 35 years, Ottawa-based author Ruth Latta has been publishing works in various genres.  From articles to short stories to mysteries to novels aimed at young adults, her impressive body of work comprises more than a dozen published books. Now with The Songcatcher and Me, her second book for teenage readers, Latta has penned a story that will appeal to multiple generations. Set in 1957 in rural Ontario, the novel tells the tale of 14-year-old Sheila, who goes to live with her grandmother Jerusha and uncle Cam after... | Continue reading article

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Classic Canadian hockey story to be reborn with music at two special NAC shows

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Image taken from The Hockey Sweater by Roch CarrierImage taken from The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier

The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier is an iconic piece of Canadian literature.  Based on a real-life experience while Carrier was growing up in Quebec in the 1940s, this wonderful short story tells the tale of a boy who is an avid fan of the Montreal Canadiens and their superstar Maurice Richard. Needing a replacement sweater of his beloved Habs, the boy’s mother orders a new jersey via Eaton’s mail catalogue.  To his horror, however, there is a mistake with the order and the boy receives a shirt of the hated Toronto Maple... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Bywords offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of local poetry chapbooks

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Photo by Julie Jordan Scott courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)Photo by Julie Jordan Scott courtesy of Flickr (creative commons)

What’s a chapbook?  I hear that a lot.  That’s because I’m trying to write one.  The straight answer is: Something a touch shy of a book, usually a stapled booklet with 24 pages or fewer.  The more inspired thing is to call it an appetizer: A work that can be consumed at one sitting, provides a taste of an author’s work and leaves the reader hungry for more. If you like poetry, there are hundreds of them.  And if you like poetry from Ottawa there is a virtual buffet, thanks... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: YA fantasy novel offers a coming-of-age gothic tale

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Page Turner

Maplewright, the small town where Kevin Johns’ young adult novel The Page Turners is set, is a sad-sack little burg, devoid of glamour or inspiration.  It has a stalled economy, few decent jobs, and run-down neighbourhoods.  It could be any one of a thousand fading rural centers across North America. The population is narrow-minded and bigoted; skeletons are gathering in closets like unfashionable coats.  The children bully each other, and the adults — parents, teachers, police — show no leadership, motivation, initiative, or concern. From this miasma of disillusionment, three nerdy and vulnerable... | Continue reading article

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Puzzling Posts: Adventures in daddy-daughter time

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puzzling-posts

It’s a problem faced by creative types everywhere: how do parents foster creativity in their children just as the world conspires to grind it out of them with regimented school systems and day-to-day drudgery? For one local parent, the answer lies in blogging his daddy-daughter creative writing exploits. Apt613 contributor Mike Reynolds is one of the minds behind Puzzling Posts, a blog full of short tales about dinosaurs, robots, magic snowmen and the like. I say one of the minds, because Mike’s four-year-old daughter, the eldest of two, plays an... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Turning a soldier’s experience in Afghanistan into moving poetry

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Scaled photo

Ottawa author Kanina Dawson’s poetry collection Masham Means Evening, which is based on her experiences as a master corporal with the Canadian military in Afghanistan, doesn’t invite a tepid response. “Dawson grabs the reader full frontal and screams – here it is, the face of war, have a bite.”  That’s how poet Michael Dennis describes it.  Tepid?  Not so much. Published by Coteau Books, Masham Means Evening is a cycle of 67 poems based on Dawson’s 10-month tour in 2005 and 2006.  It is her first book. The poems are lyric, free verse with a... | Continue reading article

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