Episode 12: Canadian Policing in the 21st Century

9780773542747Hello listeners!

This week’s episode takes us away from fiction and into the world of policing in Canada. I interview Winnipeg’s own Bob Chrismas, a staff sergeant with the Winnipeg Police Service, and we talk about his book Canadian Policing in the 21st Century: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes. We also chat about his current research – which will probably turn into a second book for Bob! Listen in on our interview:

There are some great local literary events coming up at the end of this week and the beginning of March – here’s an updated list of what’s going on in the city so that you don’t miss out!

coming homeComing Home: Book Launch
Emily Janssens’ novella Coming Home is launching on February 25 at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robinson – Travel Alcove. The evening will include an author reading, interview, and Q+A session. Emily will also be signing books, so be sure to purchase a copy while at the launch! To learn more about this historical fiction story, check out our chat back in December.


Cataclysm
CreComm student Rachel Carlson is launching her climate change-centred novel on Saturday, February 27 at The Handsome Daughter on Sherbrook Street. Cover is $10 and you’re invited to dress up and dance the night away. To learn more about Rachel’s book, check out our chat in Episode 7.

2016 Annual Governor General’s Literary Awards Gala
Held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Monday, February 29, the gala welcomes Dr. Mark Winston, recent winner of a nonfiction Governor General’s Literary Award for Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, as well artist Aganetha Dyck. McNally Robinson will be on hand to sell books. A reception with a cash bar and refreshments will round out the evening. Tickets are $12 ($10 for seniors and students), available now at  McNally Robinson Booksellers.

winterpegWinterpeg Book Launch at After Dark Lounge
Matt Dyck, a fellow Creative Communications student, is launching his graphic novel, Winterpeg, on Tuesday, March 1 at 8pm at After Dark Lounge (121 Osborne Avenue). This graphic sci-fi Western imagines Winnipeg 100 years in the future. Check out Matt’s Instagram for a sneak peak – it looks pretty incredible! Copies will be for sale at the event for $10.

book of word paintingsA Book of Word Paintings: Book Launch at Style Bar Boutique
Tannis Miller, another one of our student panelists from Episode 7, is releasing her poetry book A Book of Word Paintings at Style Bar Boutique (470 River Avenue) on Thursday, March 3. Come by between 6-9pm for dessert provided by Laugh Love Cakes and prizes provided by Coal and Canary candles – there will also be an author reading at 8pm. Learn more by visiting A Book of Word Paintings on Instagram.

These events are sure to keep me busy – I can’t wait to read all of these amazing new books. Keep your eyes here for updates on more book launches and events coming up this Spring!

Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode of the Literally, Katrina podcast! I’ll be back in two weeks with another episode. To stay up-to-date on all things Literally, Katrina and books, subscribe to the Literally, Katrina podcast on iTunes or the Apple podcast app, like the Literally, Katrina Facebook pageand Pinterest board, and follow me on Twitter and Insta @LitKatrina.

 

Episode 11: Barking from the Front Porch with Gerald Sliva

unnamedHello listeners!

In today’s episode, I chat with local author Gerald Sliva about his compilation of short stories and musings, Barking from the Front Porch. We talk small towns, being Ukrainian, and good farm-grown Prairie food – Gerald’s book also includes a few great recipes! Gerald also reads a hilarious excerpt from his book – listen in on the fun!

There are some great local literary events coming up at the end of February – here’s a list of what’s going on in the city so that you don’t miss out!

Coming Home: Book Launch
Emily Janssen’s novella Coming Home is launching on February 25 at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robinson – Travel Alcove. To learn more about this historical fiction story, check out our chat back in December.

Cataclysm
CreComm student Rachel Carlson is launching her climate change-centred novel on Saturday, February 27 at The Handsome Daughter on Sherbrook Street. Cover is $10 and you’re invited to dress up and dance the night away. To learn more about Rachel’s book, check out our chat in Episode 7.

2016 Annual Governor General’s Literary Awards Gala
Held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Monday, February 29, the gala welcomes Dr. Mark Winston, recent winner of a nonfiction Governor General’s Literary Award for Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, as well artist Aganetha Dyck. McNally Robinson will be on hand to sell books. A reception with a cash bar and refreshments will round out the evening. Tickets are $12 ($10 for seniors and students), available now at  McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Keep your eyes here for updates on more book launches and events coming up this Spring, and I’ll be back in two weeks with another episode. Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode of the Literally, Katrina podcast! To stay up-to-date on all things Literally, Katrina and books, subscribe to the Literally, Katrina podcast on iTunes or the Apple podcast app, like the Literally, Katrina Facebook pageand Pinterest board, and follow me on Twitter and Insta @LitKatrina.

Until next time, happy reading!
Katrina

Voting Season

Hello readers!

As we approach the end of the year (my, how time flies) voting season is upon us. Soon, we’ll begin seeing “best______of the year” listicles from Buzzfeed pop up all over social media, and I have to be honest, I love reading those lists. I like to see if my favourites match up with other voters. I like to see who or what takes the top honour. And I really like voting – who doesn’t like giving their opinion?

Books are not exempt from this list – the Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for Canadian writers, was just announced on November 10th. I am currently reading Close to Hugh, by Marina Endicott, one of the Giller Prize long-list selections, and it’s great! This year’s winner is Fifteen Dogs, by André Alexis. I’ll have to add that to my TBR pile!

Goodreads

And every year, Goodreads, the biggest online reading community, hosts the Goodreads Choice Awards. The opening round of voting ended on November 8th and the second round ended on November 13th. The verdict is in: readers love giving their opinions on their favourite books – now in the final round, over 2.7 million readers have cast their votes! There are some heavy hitters up for nomination this year in each category (there are 20 categories, ranging from mystery/thriller to cookbooks, so there is something for everyone – check them out below). Some of my favourites of the year are nominees, including Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I can’t wait to see which books make it through to the very end!

Goodreads 2

The final round of voting is open until Monday, November 23rd (when Episode 6 of the Literally, Katrina podcast comes out!) – cast your votes now!

Until Monday, happy reading!
Katrina

New Year, New Books!

Hello readers,

Welcome back! I took a bit of break from writing over the holidays to take full advantage of my time off, and it was blissful. I did a lot of sleeping, reading, movie watching, treat eating, crafting (see my last blog post!), and friend seeing – I feel like I don’t get to see everyone as much as I would like to when school is in full swing so it was very nice to see friends and family, and relax. I hope you all had a fantastic holiday as well!

Now it’s official: 2015 is here – which means new classmates, new projects, and of course, new books to read!

giphy.com
giphy.com

I just finished Ken Follett’s Edge of Eternity over the break – the book is about the size of your average Bible so I waited until Christmas to read it so that I could give the story my undivided attention and it was well worth the wait.

The book spans 1961 to 2008 and wow was there a lot to cover. Follett writes with clarity, wisdom, and honesty about the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the decades-long battle for civil rights in the U.S.A., the Vietnam War, the changing landscape of communism and the Soviet Union during the Cold War (with some impressive discussion on the Cuban Missile Crisis), the Watergate scandal (which was great prep for reading All the President’s Men this semester! For a sneak peak about the legacy of Watergate and the Washington Post’s Pulitzer-winning coverage, check out this link), and so much more.

Through characters experiencing historic events on the front lines, Follett leads us on a journey through the last third of the 20th Century, tying up loose ends and finishing off his epic Century trilogy that began with Fall of Giants and continued with Winter of the World. If you’re seeking a better understanding of the cultural, political, and social tensions and transformations that took place between 1900 and today, read this trilogy. It was so well written and I look forward to seeing what Follett writes next (I’ll need a BIG book to read when we take a break from CreComm over the summer!).

Now that I’m pretty well-versed on the 1960s and 70s, I’m delving into All the President’s Men for my Journalism class. I don’t normally read non-fiction because I’m a sucker for fiction and fantasy, but so far I’m finding All the President’s Men riveting. Up next, I’m hoping to read some classics that have been on my shelf for a while, including Doctor Zhivago, War and Peace, 1984, and To Kill a Mockingbird (I’m sensing a 1960s/Russia/revolution theme…). However, I might change things up on you – Anne of Green Gables is also looking like a good prospect. So many choices! I’ll just have to keep you guessing.

Here’s to a new year of adventures on the page and in real life!

Happy reading,
Katrina

Top 10: Historical Fiction

Who doesn’t love a good list post? To continue along the historical fiction vein, here are some of my favourite historical fiction books and/or series. Fun!

1. The Century Trilogy – Ken Follett

  • Follett writes really, really good historical fiction. His new release, the final instalment of the Century Trilogy, Edge of Eternity, was just released in September and is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read! You can expect a future blog post about it.

2. The Order of Darkness series – Philippa Gregory

  • I have read most of Gregory’s books about the Tudors and the War of the Roses. Her new Young Adult series is a fresh departure from her usual style.

3. The Ibis Trilogy – Amitav Ghosh

  • So far, only books one and two (Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke, respectively) have been released. I can’t wait for the third. Ghosh is an amazing writer.

4. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

  • The film adaptation didn’t make a lot of noise but the book is certainly worth reading.

5. The Help – Kathryn Stockett

  • This one’s a winner. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

6. The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

  • Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize. Dense but fascinating.

7. Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon

  • See my last post about why Outlander the series and Outlander the TV show get a thumbs up.

8. When The Lion Feeds – Wilbur Smith

  • I started reading Smith’s books after traveling to South Africa in 2011 and they helped provide some historical context to the subjects I studied there.

9. A Dangerous Fortune – Ken Follett

  • More Ken Follett! This book helped me understand how the economy works way more than my Global Political Economy class ever could.

10. Cathedral of the Sea – Ildefonso Falcones

  • This epic is centred around the construction of a cathedral on the coast of Spain and the people who helped build it (reminiscent of Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End). After reading it, I had to go to Spain (and did, in 2012!).

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought of them! I’d also love to know which books you’ve enjoyed – I’m always looking for recommendations.

Until next time, happy reading!

 

Outlander and Scotland’s Vote for Independence

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series was recommended to me last year by some of my colleagues and because I am always looking for new books to read, I did what any booklover would do – I went to the Children’s Hospital Book Market at St. Vital Mall with my dad and we stocked up.

It was fun to search through the endless tables of books in the fiction section just to find the three Gabaldon books that were for sale. They may have been hard to find but I took this as a good sign – people who have read the Outlander series clearly liked the books so much that they wanted to hold on to them rather than sell them. I started reading the series this summer and guys, it is booklover approved. Here are some reasons why I like it.

Historical Fiction and “Getting It”

I read a lot of historical fiction and one of the reasons I like this genre is because I like history. I took a lot of history courses in university because it’s essential to understand the past in order to understand the present (you must be thinking, “duh, Katrina” – bear with me). I started reading historical fiction related to the conflicts I was studying (let’s be real – textbooks don’t do it all and frankly, they can be pretty boring), which helped me interpret past and present events on a deeper level. Historical fiction helps me “get it.” I started out reading historical fiction for an academic reason but now I’m hooked.

How does this relate to Outlander?

The first book in the series, Outlander, is – for the most part – set in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1740s. That’s right, Outlander is historical fiction (with a neato sci-fi twist). The subsequent books take you to France, the West Indies, the American colonies, and I’m sure the list goes on (I’ll admit that I’m only on the 4th book of 8). It’s a well-written and fascinating series.

Scotland’s Vote for Independence/Katrina, when will you get to the point of this post?

Anyways, the whole reason I brought up Outlander is because the first two books are all about the Jacobite Rising (a rebellion of Scots against British rule) and the consequences of that rebellion. This brings me to the real point of this post. Reading historical fiction has helped me understand and interpret not only the past but current events as well. Reading the Outlander series has provided context for the recent vote in Scotland for Independence and because I read the series, I was that much more interested in what the results of the vote would be and what kind of fall out we would see either way. Super fun stuff.

Lastly, Outlander the TV series

Also relevant to this subject is the premier of Outlander the TV series. I like watching it not only for the attractive men in kilts (not usually my thing), the delightful accents, and the period-costumes, but also because I’m interested in seeing how the show will recreate and depict scenes from the books. You should probably watch it.

Outlander airs Sunday nights on Showcase.

For fun, you should also check out this Buzzfeed list: http://www.buzzfeed.com/melaniepoloff/21-verra-verra-braw-reasons-why-sam-heughan-is-the-dhod?sub=2950370_2348945 #4 explains how to properly pronounce “Sassenach”, the Scottish word for Outlander. Very informative and pretty sexy. Enjoy!