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Books & Lit


Write On Ottawa: A memoir of a past life

Ian Prattis has lived an incredibly diverse life. Now retired, the long-time professor of anthropology and sociology has travelled the world, including his stay in South Asia where he was ordained as a guru in India. A long-time peace activist, he taught at Carleton University for more than three decades, and has led Buddhist meditation […]


Write On Ottawa: A sci-fi tale inspired by stargazing

Review by Caroline Frechette. Alex Binkley is an Ottawa-based journalist and author. His first novel, Humanity’s Saving Grace, is set in the not-so-distant future, when aliens make contact with Earth for the first time. The idea for this science-fiction story was a long time in the making: “(It) goes back to the 1970s and a […]


Write On Ottawa: Welcome to the ideas machine

Why do you read fiction? Is it to fall in love with an exotic character or fantastic creature? To travel to a new dimension or a specific moment in the past? Maybe what you seek is a strange idea that sets your mind on fire? Your answer to this question – why do you read fiction? […]


Write On Ottawa: The strange powers of Zoya the fox

Writers often find inspiration in interesting places. For local author Neven Humphrey, who has lived in the National Capital Region since 2000, the idea for his novel Dr. Jekyll’s Foxes came in a dream. The book, which is aimed at readers 12 years and up, tells the story of Zoya, a cub from a farm just north […]


Write On Ottawa: Novel set in West Bank impresses

While relatively new to the literary scene in Ottawa-Gatineau, Deux Voiliers Publishing from Aylmer, Quebec has already developed a reputation for releasing good books. Of the more than 20 authors that they have published, however, a strong case can be made that Wall of Dust by Timothy Niedermann is among the best works in their […]


Write On Ottawa: The history of comedy in our city

“I think comedy comes more from a low sense of self-esteem, and I certainly have that.” – Craig Ferguson Ottawa-residents are often caricatured as a sorry lot who live boring lives. This probably explains why this region has produced so many great comedians. Wait, what? I thought this was the city that fun forgot. Not so […]


Librarian In Residence: Holiday gift list 2015 – adult 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. Once again, I’ve rounded up my favourite books for this year. [Editor’s note: See Jessica’s 2013 and 2014 picks […]


Write On Ottawa: A love story you’ll root for

If you read my reviews, you know that I am a sucker for a good love story.  And The Hungry Heart by Brenda Gayle definitely falls into that category.  Book One in her Heart’s Desire series, it’s a contemporary romance with suspense and lots of drama to keep the pages turning. The hero, Hunter Graham, […]


Write On Ottawa: A magical stroll in Mali

Every once in a while you come across a book that just makes you smile. A Little Walk in our Neighbourhood by Ottawa-based author JP Melville is such a work. Based on his experience living in Mali with his family from 2002-2004, this short book of less than 40 pages chronicles a single day in […]


Write On Ottawa: Stories of courage in cancer fight

For almost two decades, the Ottawa-based Busting Out dragon boat team has been offering inspiration and hope to women who have survived breast cancer. While there is no age limit to join (members range in age from their mid-30s to early-80s), all team members must have completed cancer treatment, and also recovered sufficiently to be able […]


Write On Ottawa: Seeking asylum in Canada

In the not-so distant future, the United States has fallen prey to a secretive and authoritarian government. In this dark world, a history teacher named Laek who lives in New York City tries to hide his radical past. After a violent confrontation with police, however, he decides that he has to flee his native country. […]


Write On Ottawa: There’s a train a comin’

Town & Train, the debut horror novel from local author James K. Moran is one ride you won’t want to miss. The story takes us to Brandon, Ontario, a sleepy town full of secrets and villains hiding in plain sight, where people watch hockey and work blue collar jobs, and are big on dive bars and […]


Write On Ottawa: A Canadian pipeline dystopia in prose poetry

Joseph Hutt is a freelance writer and editor living in Ottawa. You can find him on tumblr  and Twitter. Welcome to Innisfree, a home to free-spirits, nonconformists, and one very determined hipster-turn-elk-farmer. Nestled between the redefined “Can’tadian” provincial borders of “PC Columbia” and “Cowberta,” it exists within an idyllic sanctuary of self-governance, thanks to a […]


Write On Ottawa: Four Ottawa women explore the world

Travel Dreams and Nightmare: Four Women Explore the World covers all types of travel, from roughing it on a mountain hike, to relaxing by the sea, to taking a holiday to taste wine or experiencing new cultures at all corners of the world. The book follows the adventures of four Ottawa-based women, Louise Szabo, Barbara […]