Monthly Archives: May 2012

Local Book Bits

Big Little Book Sale: June 2, 2012; 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

2821 8th Line Road,

Gently used Adult and Children’s books, sorted by genre and some popular authors. Steps from the Metcalfe Farmer’s Market. The sale is in support of the Live and Learn Resource Centre, part of the registered charity Rural Family Connections.

For more info call 613-821-2899 or


Lunchtime Poetry Reading: June 19, 2012; 12:00 p.m.

 Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library

A lunchtime poetry reading. John Lee and Sydney Lea, an American and Canadian poet, will read some of their work. Readings will be followed by Q&A.

Tween Girls’ Book Club: June 27, 2012; 1:30 p.m.
St-Laurent Branch of the Ottawa Public Library
The Tween Book Club is a fun way to read great new books and hang out with friends at the same time! Ages 10-13. Register by calling 613-748-1531 ext. 221.
Teen Boys Book Club: June 27, 2012; 2:45 p.m.
St-Laurent Branch of the Ottawa Public Library
Want to meet guys your age and discuss books, movies and games while munching on brownies? Then, why not join our book club? Ages 13+ Register by calling 613-748-1531 ext. 221.
Kanata Writer’s Group: August 22, 2012; 7:00 p.m.
Hazeldean Branch of the Ottawa Public Library
The Kanata Writers’ Group encourages the art of literary composition. Only the June 13th meeting will be held in the Lower Level Activity Room at the Glen Cairn Community Centre. Visit for more information.

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Calling All Harry Potter Fans!

Join a Live Chat today, May 29, at 3 p.m. ET to discuss Harry Potter’s influence on culture.

Moderated by Dr. Ruth Dunley, the Chat’s panelist’s will include:

  • Gráinne O’Brien, whose academic work is centred on the Harry Potter Series and the Hunger Games and is one of the chief organizers of Magic is Might 2012 (an international academic conference exploring the cultural influence of the Harry Potter books and films) which is to take place this July in Ireland
  • Jadwiga O’Brien, a member of the conference’s abstract-review committee and also a student of film theory

So, put on your wizard hats and join in on the Chat.

(If you reeeeeally can’t make…there’s always the option of watching the Chat in replay.)

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Octopus Books on Third Avenue, Part 2

Well, I did get to learn more about Octopus Books. I spoke briefly with David Robbins, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at Octopus Books, and this is the result:
What is Octopus Books about?
Since its beginnings as a radical newspaper in 1969, Octopus has worked to create space for alternate views on the issues of the day, support movements for social change and serve its immediate neighbours and customers alike.
The store has long fostered relationships with community movements by hosting events and promoting critical books on politics, international affairs and current events. It is known as a welcoming place for new and emerging writers of all kinds of books, including fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
It has been a hub for new ideas, books and discussions and debates on how to make our world more fair, inclusive and ecologically sustainable. Plus it has the best kids’ books section in town, with books by and about children and their lives around the world and here in Canada.
What kind of a response is the store getting? 
The response to our new, second location has been wonderful, and we’re thrilled to be in a new space where we can host larger events and make new partnerships with organizations and community groups.
What are some of the upcoming book titles or events at Octopus Books?
We have events all the time – almost weekly, these days. The next three book launches are:
Book launch for “Omar Khadr, Oh Canada
Wednesday, May 30, 7:00 PM
Octopus Books Centretown, 251 Bank St, 2nd Floor, Under One Roof
Book launch for “A Healthy Society
Tuesday, June 5, 5:00 PM
Octopus Books Centretown, 251 Bank St, 2nd Floor, Under One Roof
Book launch for “Warrior Nation
Thursday, June 14, 5:30 PM
Octopus Books Centretown, 251 Bank St, 2nd Floor, Under One Roof

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Ottawa, Canada by William P. McElligott

Ottawa, Canada is a gorgeous book that highlights the city’s beauty and all that it has to offer. With a foreword by Roy McGregor, the book is divided into the 4 seasons and is dominated by the extraordinary photography of it’s author, William P. McElligott.

From the National Arts Center to the Ottawa 67’s, from the Embassy of France to the Bluesfest, from Rockcliffe Park and the Glebe Community Centre to the Market and the Sound of Light International Fireworks Competition; it’s all here, Ottawa in all of it’s splendour.

(I’ve been living in Ottawa since I was 10 years old and didn’t realize just how beautiful and exciting this city really is.)

The text is written, in part, by the author and, in part, by his wife, Norma Lu Brown, and the book is completely made in Canada. It has 6 basic lay-outs that tend to work in contrasts, be it morning vs. evening, country vs. city and colours…ah, the spectacular colours…that further strengthen the impact of the book.

Mr. McElligott has worked as a sports photographer  (which really shows in the action shots…the power, the drive) and is, currently, an architectural photographer (which shows everywhere else).

There hasn’t been a book like this in over 20 years and after only just over 1 year, the book has sold 7,000 copies and has become a best seller (at 5,000 copies sold…and that’s without an agent). It has also won awards and has become the official book of the National Capital Commission, Ottawa Tourism and the City of Ottawa.

If you, like me, need a wake up call regarding how lucky you are to live in Ottawa (or you live elsewhere and would like a beautiful introduction to the city), Ottawa, Canada is sold in independent book stores all over town (or on the author’s website). And, if you’d like to meet the author, he will be doing signings in these stores throughout the month of June, starting on June 2 at Books on Beechwood.

P.S. please note that my pics of the photographs from the book don’t do them justice; they’re for illustration purposes only.


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And the Winner Is…

Chioni M.. Congratulations!

Chioni receives the 3-book package: “Heaven Is For Real”, “The Finishing School” and “Queen Elizabeth’s Wooden Teeth”.

Thanks to everyone who participated.


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Spring Fling at the Woodroffe Avenue Public School

The Woodroffe Avenue PS is having it’s annual fundraiser. It’s main theme has always been a book sale. Tables packed with books of all kinds. Plus, the school is right across from the Carling branch of the Ottawa Public Library. So, as you can see, if you like books, this is the place to be.

This year, there will also be pony rides, a moonbounce, BBQ, carnival games, a bake sale, a photo booth, etc., etc.

Spring Fling takes place on Friday, June 1st, 4:30p.m.-8:00 p.m. at  Woodroffe Avenue Public School, 235 Woodroffe Ave..

As an added bonus the book sale will also run on Thursday, May 31st 4:00 – 8:00pm.

For information you can call:  (613) 828-2884

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Small Space Organizing by Kathryn Bechen

This book approaches small space organization from the perspective of comfort/coziness and practicality. It’s a great book with great ideas for big and small, small-space problems.

It all starts with downsizing, and the author understands the emotional aspect of parting with things. Downsizing does not mean throwing everything out, just keeping the stuff that you truly love and putting it somewhere where you can enjoy it often.

She suggests  thinking about questions such as: how do you want to use the space? How do you want to live? What kind of  a climate do you live in? Then, writing down all  you want to do and get rid of before doing anything. Then, she gives tips on how to do it, room by room.

There is a chapter for one-room apartments and chapters on spaces with enough room to create all kinds of rooms, including a nursery or kids room, should you need one. Even libraries, patios, beverage bars and laundry rooms are considered.

The reader is asked questions based on what they need and value. Every bit of space is used up to beautify and store. It seems that the author could make a shoebox cozy and functional.

The book is intertwined with real life stories that prove various points and liven up the narrative.

The focus is on helping you decide what works best for you and providing tips and ideas on how to achieve that given the space you have. Organization is no.1 and the final word is on how to store the stuff that you absolutely can’t live without.


P.S. don’t forget to enter the draw for the 3-book package. Contest closes this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.. See post from May 15 for details.


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The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

This is soooo exciiiiiiiiting! I’ve been looking for this movie forever and now it’s here AND with English subtitles….therefore, I can share it! (O.K. I must calm myself…breeeeathe) I have LOVED Hans Christian Andersen since my Mom bought me a book of his stories in grade 2. (I will gush about that excessively in a future post.) I have loved this movie even longer. It is one of my all time favourite fairy tales.

I am SO happy that I can share this! Seriously. (I see that the earlier effort to calm down hasn’t worked, nevertheless, let’s proceed.)

Here it is: The Little Mermaid, in the original Czech with English subtitles.

(If you have any interest in this, please, see it as soon as possible…who knows how long it will be up there.)

P.S. I have cried buckets at the point where…alright, maybe, not everyone knows the story, so I will only give away the ending partially…towards the end, since I was 5 years old. Tell me that you didn’t do the same…(I think you will :))

Photo credit

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Octopus Books on Third Avenue

Recently, I dropped by Octopus Books…a funky, independent book store, with a socialist bent, located nearly on the corner of Third and Bank. The store has been around since the late 60’s and has opened a second location on Bank Street earlier this year. (Unfortunately, because I have not been careful, I’ve fallen into loitering only the giant bookstores like Chapters (my only saving grace is that I still shun Starbucks, most of the time) and have missed out on small, independent books store such as Octopus. I shall be wiser next time.)

Octopus Books also has an on-line book store; both the online and actual store have many unusual book titles and  book sections…Political Action, Globalization, Race, Unusual Histories…and some standard sort of sections, such as Kid’s Books, Cookbooks and Feminism. But, even the usual sections tend to have unusual titles. (I’ll be reviewing one soon.)

The store also has bumper stickers, cards and small posters (the stickers and posters generally have some kind of political statement written on them).

And they always have something going on, such as a number of upcoming book launches.

Really, I need to learn more about this place.


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Free Books Draw…Enter Today!

Did you enjoy the last 3 reviews? Think  you may want to read these books yourself?

I will be holding a draw next week, May 23rd, for the 3-book package (Heaven is for Real, Queen Elizabeth’s Wooden Teeth, The Finishing School). If you’re interested, live in the Ottawa area and would like to follow this blog, please enter your email address under “FOLLOW ME!” on the Home page to enter.

I’ll announce the winner at 6:00 p.m. on the same day. Good luck! 🙂

P.S. Is anyone else loving how rich and green everything has become? I could look at it all, all day long.


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