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Tour de Blogosphere: Blogging Bookworms

By Alejandro Bustos on February 23, 2013

I love books. Interested in finding fellow readers, I searched the blogosphere for Ottawa bookworms. To my delight, the national capital region is filled with blogging bibliophiles, which are the focus of this week’s round-up of local blogs.

Blogging Bookworms

There is a surprisingly large number of Ottawa blogs dedicated to publishing book reviews and literary-related posts. While the list below is not exhaustive, it will give you a good idea of where to find suggestions for new books, authors and in some cases local literary news.

Meaghan, a senior kindergarten French immersion teacher, writes on her blog Feeling a Little Bookish that she has set a personal goal of reading 100 books this year. (Much respect for this lofty challenge). She reviews both adult and young adult novels.

Maria from I Believe In Story self-describes as someone addicted to learning. According to her blog profile, she has an expansive definition of “literature”, so her posts celebrate all forms of storytelling.  Besides book reviews, you can find posts on movies, TV, music and fashion.

Kimmy of Pingwing’s Bookshelf  writes book reviews and commentary on various genres, from science fiction and young adult to biographies and memoirs. She also blogs about video games.

Several local bloggers focus on young adult books. They include Kathy from A Glass of Wine, Emilie of Emilie’s Book World, Katie of Bookishly Yours, Ciara of Lost at Midnight Reviews and Jessica of Read My Breath Away. Teenage blogger Ashley of Fire Star Books also covers young adult fiction, as well as children’s books. For her part, Kelsey from Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelfreviews young adult books, although she sometimes ventures into adult fiction.

Ottawa poet and prolific blogger Pearl Pirie operates Pesbo, a great blog that contains book suggestions, photos of poetry readings, event listing, press releases, literary news and occasionally poem drafts. Fellow wordsmith and publisher Amanda Earl has a blog where you can find poetry-related news and book suggestions. See her “Best of 2012” for numerous recommendations of poetry and fiction.  Local poet and literary jack-of-all-trade Rob Mclennan writes about many literary topics on his personal blog, where you can find, among other things, book reviews.

Alexandra Yarrow, the coordinator of the Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, posts on the OPL’s staff blog site (see below for blogs by some of her work colleagues). Her primary blogging work, however, can be found on her personal site Only Connect, which contains many book suggestions and literary news. Deborah Jackson of the Ottawa Sun, meanwhile, writes the blogThe Bookworm.

Ottawa Public Library Bloggers

The Ottawa Public Library hosts blogs by several of its employees. Angela, a librarian at the Main Branch who blogs in English and French, has an eclectic taste in books, with her reading interests ranging from autobiographies to novels to mysteries. Stephen McAllister, a public service assistant at the Nepean Centrepointe Branch, i.e. my “local”, offers insights in his Zen and the Art of Reading posts. Carrie Rathwell, a public service assistant at the Main Branch, posts book reviews and literary-related news.

If you are looking for teen fiction there are several options. Christine Chevalier, teen services librarian at the Main and Cumberland Branches, blogs in both official languages with book suggestions and library news. Courtney_Library, Carlingwood’s teen librarian, and Allison Hall-Murphy, teen librarian at the Greenboro Branch, also offer many book recommendations for young adults.

Book Clubs

What to join a book club? The Ottawa Chapter of Book Club Meetups is an excellent source to find fellow readers. If you want a more specific suggestion, consider the Ottawa Book Club organized by Chris Reeves. In a telephone conversation, Chris told me that the group aims to meet once a month, members take turns choosing a book, and the meeting location changes as whoever picks the book decides where to discuss it.

Blogs with Book Reviews

Yoni Freedhoff, a family doctor and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, runs the blog Weighty Matters. While the site is focussed on weight management issues, it does contain several book reviews dealing with diets and nutrition.

Ottawa Dog Blog, the city’s premiere site for all things canine, has a review section dedicated to dog-related books, while Ottawa Valley Moms also has a few book reviews. Manotick resident and mother of three Danigirl has a section on her blog dedicated to books. Similarly, Ottawa Life magazine has several book reviews online,

Finally …

When not writing for Apartment 613, I post book reviews on my blog Literary Bookshelf.

Know of any other book-related blogs, or local sites that contain book reviews, which are not listed above? If yes, let us know in the comments section below.