Summer reading with local flavourPublished on July 21, 2019

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  • Building on River ‚Ä®By Jean Van Loon

  • The Art of Diplomacy ‚Ä®By Bruce Heyman & ‚Ä®Vicki Heyman

  • Coconut Lagoon ‚Ä®By Joe Thottungal

  • My Secret Unicorn ‚Ä®By Paige Cody

  • Truth, by Omission‚Ä®By Daniel Beamish

Ottawa’s literary community is vibrant with new books by local authors, or, in the case of former US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and his wife Vicki, writers with strong ties to the capital. Most can be found at Chapters Indigo.

Building on River 
By Jean Van Loon

Building on River is a unique compilation of poems that tell the story of Ottawa lumber baron, John Rudolphus Booth. This narrative in verse, builds on historical fact to imagine his life building an empire in the Ottawa Valley in the 19th century.

Critics describe Building on River as filled with drama, insight, and vivid sensory detail. This is the first book-length publication by local author, Jean Van Loon, who says there was something about J.R. Booth that inspired her. This compelling and lyrical collection of poetry is the story of her home as well as the story of the man.

The Art of Diplomacy 
By Bruce Heyman & 
Vicki Heyman

The Art of Diplomacy is a personal and insightful call-to-action book about one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world—the relationship between Canada and the U.S.

In this book, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, and his partner Vicki, describe why diplomacy and diplomats matter now more than ever before. After spending three years in Canada, this dynamic power couple has made a lasting and positive impact on international affairs.

Coconut Lagoon 
By Joe Thottungal

Coconut Lagoon is a collection of 80 easy-to-make recipes designed for everyday cooks. Joe Thottungal is an award-winning Ottawa chef and the owner of the restaurants Coconut Lagoon and Thali Coconut Lagoon.

This beautiful cookbook features authentic regional dishes highlighting the flavours and textures of south Indian food. Handy sections on ingredients and equipment, as well as basic how-to information, help novice cooks prepare the cuisine with confidence. The book also offers a list of gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian recipes. Find a copy at the restaurants.

My Secret Unicorn 
By Paige Cody

My Secret Unicorn is a whimsically humorous tale about a little girl who is trying to keep her mother from finding a unicorn she’s been hiding in her room.

The story was inspired by local author Paige Cody’s childhood adventures of trying to hide her wild animal friends. Illustrator Dimitris Karakousis, a Greek artist and illustrator, has a passion for fairytales and fantasies, and his drawings bring the story to life. Find it at Tag Along Toys, 1500 Bank St.

Truth, by Omission‚Ä® By Daniel Beamish

Truth, by Omission is the first novel by Daniel Beamish, an Ottawa-based family man who set out to write a book that was based on the “story.” The novel tells the story of Alfred Olyontombo who survives a desperate childhood of lawlessness and violence in Rwanda to go on to embrace the American dream, becoming a respected physician and married to a successful lawyer in Colorado.

However, the transgressions of his youth come back to haunt him, and he is forced to face the misdeeds of a past he’d hoped was buried forever.


Sandy Connell

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