Our Story


Portland Book Review’s mission is to connect people through their love of books, the city of Portland, and the Pacific Northwest.

Portland Book Review (PBR) was founded in 2010, using the concept created by its parent company City Book Review for other city brands. A book reviewer for two years, M. Chris Johnson wanted to bring this concept to Oregon. Chris operated PBR for several years before transitioning the company over to Whitney Smyth of Smyth Enterprises, LLC located in Portland, Oregon. In December 2019, Whitney had to discontinue operating PBR due to health reasons. Rather than shut PBR down, City Book Review decided to take it under their wing, rebranding and relaunching the website in May 2020.

About City Book Review

The book review publications began as a collaboration between founders, Heidi and Ross Rojek, who, in 2008, had just started dating. Ross, a voracious reader, had this crazy idea of starting his own book review publication because there was nothing on the market then that was giving him the volume of book suggestions he was after. With Heidi’s background in marketing and graphic design, she thought they’d make a great team to launch this new business. And, so Sacramento Book Review was born on their kitchen table.

San Francisco Book Review was formed in 2009, after a successful year of publishing Sacramento Book Review. They were distributing SBR in the Bay Area, and many readers were asking when we were going to make one for the Bay Area. And, so, SFBR was born. Manhattan Book Review, Seattle Book Review, and Tulsa Book Review began thereafter. In 2014, they decided to start Kids’ BookBuzz, which is exclusively done by kids from 5 years old to 18 years old.

The City Book Review brands now include:

For more information about City Book Review or to order a book review, visit their website.