This is part four of our special guide to Ottawa’s online literary world blogosphere style. (See here for part 1, part 2, and part 3). In this series, you can discover champions of poetry, book reviewers, stories of small press, writers seeking writers, book clubs to notice, online journals, recaps and more.
In today’s tour stop, we’re exploring the eclectic scene of Ottawa book reviewers. From an “oh-so-adorable-they-should-be-made-into-a-movie” book club, to literary scene advocates who just rocked their first Prose in the Park, to author-breaking reviews written with love by Apartment 613, plus a comic book and speculative fiction loving author site – and this is the tip of the iceberg for Ottawa reviewers.
There are many book review sites in Ottawa, so this post is only the half of what we’ve discovered – with more to come later. If your favourite is missing, let us know in the comments.
by the ORB team
You’ve likely heard of Prose in the Park. Well, these guys did that! Their review website and open-air literary festival are the perfect examples of taking action to build, reflect and nurture our creative culture in Ottawa. Each month the ORB team presents an online issue of book reviews that mix local and Canada-wide authors. It’s most definitely one to add to your RSS feed; and with success like Prose in the Park, they are set to only grow bigger.
“The Ottawa Review of Books (ORB) is dedicated to publishing reviews on the best in established and emerging Canadian fiction writers. It was founded in September 2014 and publishes on-line every month between five and nine book reviews, articles and interviews. The core ORB team consists of eight seasoned book reviewers, who all work on a pro bono basis. ORB also welcomes guest reviews of recently published works of fiction by Canadian writers living in Canada and abroad, and non-Canadian writers living in Canada. Reviewers do not need to be Canadians or living in Canada.
Submissions can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Reviews provided by UBC Members, site run by Julia Kent
It feels like these ladies are set to have a movie made after them. The Unputdownables, as they call themselves, have a review site that is part beautiful photos of happy friends and gatherings, very solid book reviews, with a nice heap of life-as-it-happens storytelling—as to be expected when your book club has seventeen members! If you’ve ever been in a book club, you’ll know they create strong emotional bonds. What’s particularly noteworthy about the Unputdownables, is that they carry that bond of bibliophilic friendship into their website for other readers to enjoy.
“The Unputdownable Book Club is a group of Ottawa-based young women who love books, wine, food and each other. Founded in 2010, they’ve read 54 books and counting – everything from memoirs to current best sellers. The Unputdownables read one book per month and meet potluck-style on the first Sunday of every month. The hostessing rotates through the members, as does the book picking, so everyone gets a chance to host and choose our monthly book. Read along with us at unputdownablebookclub.com!”
By James K. Moran
At first glance, you might mistake this website as purely an author page. But look further – between the launch news of Moran’s new book Town and Train, are reviews of speculative fiction and comic books, which is something not found on this Ottawa literary blog tour so far, with the exception of the Futuristic Doleman. Moran couples news on local events with reviews of both films, comics, magazines and more.
To quote his disclaimer, which really sums things up beautifully: “All views and opinions expressed in (Re)Viewed are the author’s, however influenced they are by Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac and Glen Hirshberg.”
Written and edited by Alejandro Bustros along with Apartment613 contributors
Here you will find a treasure chest of local writing talent. As a platform that strives to review both emerging and established local authors from multiple genres, readers can count on this series from Apartment613 as a place for discovery. Lead editor, creator and writer, Alejandro Bustros not only champions writers who come forward with book review requests, but actively seeks out unexplored avenues such as Ottawa’s comic book scene, and titles not yet covered.
The Write On Series is a generous authority on local lit of all kinds, and a must-add for your RSS on this Ottawa literary blog tour.