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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Books & Lit

Best of: Independent bookstores

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Black Squirrel Books. Photo from their Facebook page. Black Squirrel Books. Photo from their Facebook page.

There is a certain something about independent bookstores. A sense of community and bringing people together – connecting over a love of books (which eventually ends up being about so much more) – that you just won’t find at Chapters. Independent bookstores are the best because the people who work there are REALLY passionate about books and are often incredibly knowledgeable. Unfortunately, many independent bookstores are closing due to financial hardship. It is important that we continue to frequent those that do exist and to make sure that they stay... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Poetic novella ‘Ignite’ offers an explosive love story

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C-Ignite

It is too easy to differentiate between literary styles.  Poems go in one group, fiction in another, and drama is often seen as if it were a whole separate species. The best story telling, however, often ignores the boundaries between genres, and opts instead to mix and match different traditions until a unique work is produced. This thought occurred to me while reading Ignite by Ottawa-based writer Rona Shaffran.  If you were to go into a book store or library, you would almost certainly find this work in the poetry section.  This... | Continue reading article

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Photo books by local photographer seek to display Ottawa in all its gorgeous glory

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Photo by Christophe Ledent (copyright)Photo by Christophe Ledent (copyright)

Christophe Ledent is one of the most inspiring – and talented – photographers in the National Capital Region.  In early 2012, after rediscovering his passion for photography after almost 10 years, he launched the beautiful photo-blog Ottawa Seen 365 Ways in 365 Days. “The idea behind [the photo-blog] is simple: set out to explore, photograph and share a new Ottawa discovery everyday for a year,” Ledent tells Apartment613.  ”From tourist spots to local street art, festivals, culture and food, I wanted to discover everything Ottawa had to offer.” Having completed his full-year project, Ledent... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: One gay superhero + pride week in the nation’s capital = one fab debut novel

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light

At first glance, Marvel comics may not seem like an inspiration for gay culture.  For Ottawa-based writer Nathan Burgoine, however, who started reading comic books as a child, the animated world of superheros and villains was fertile ground for his literary imagination. “I am a giant geek who voraciously read X-Men comic books when I was a pre-teen all the way through high school graduation and beyond,” says Burgoine in an email to Apartment613, while discussing his debut novel Light, which he released this past October. “[W]hen I was a kid, the... | Continue reading article

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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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