Episode 14: Yann Martel on The High Mountains of Portugal

Hello lovely listeners!

yannmartelcollageYann Martel, author of brilliant award-winning novel Life of Pi (if you didn’t read the book, you may have seen the Oscar-winning film) was in Winnipeg last week promoting his new book The High Mountains of Portugal. A novel made up of three related-yet-unrelated stories – Homeless, Homeward, Home – tied together by geography, The High Mountains of Portugal is “gleefully bizarre and genuinely thrilling,” according to The Globe & Mail.

I really enjoyed this book and had the chance to sit in on a conversation Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson of the Winnipeg Free Press had with Martel at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café last Monday. Listen in!

What a great interview! Shout out to the Winnipeg Free Press for hosting Yann Martel and supporting the Canadian arts scene, and big thanks to the News Café for organizing a lovely morning. You can pick up a copy of The High Mountains of Portugal at all major booksellers in-store and online.

I’m also excited to announce that the winner of last episode’s book giveaway is Alixe Edwards, who won a copy of Jane Johnson’s Pillars of Light – congrats!! It’s such a great book and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

You’ve all been such amazing supporters of this podcast and I’m so grateful for you. It’s been so fun putting these episodes together and talking to different authors and literary guests. I’ll be back in two weeks with another episode – I’ve got a really cool guest coming up and you won’t want to miss it!

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 page and Pinterest board, and follow me on Twitter and Insta @LitKatrina.

Until next time, happy reading!
Katrina

Episode 13: Mennonite Girls Can Cook!

MGCC headerHello listeners!

On this week’s episode, I have the absolute pleasure of interviewing Charlotte Penner, contributor to the bestselling cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Charlotte and I chat about the origins of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook group, and how this wonderful cookbook, which includes both traditional Mennonite and modern non-Mennonite recipes (all of them equally delicious!), has had an incredible impact on a community in need in Ukraine.

 MGCC contributors (standing) Julie Klassen, Charlotte Penner, Judy Wiebe, Betty Reimer, Lovella Schellenberg, Marg Bartel, Bev Klassen (seated) Annaliese Friesen, Kathy McLellan, Ellen Bayles. Photo by Beatriz Photography (Mennonite Brethren Herald)

MGCC contributors (standing) Julie Klassen, Charlotte Penner, Judy Wiebe, Betty Reimer, Lovella Schellenberg, Marg Bartel, Bev Klassen (seated) Annaliese Friesen, Kathy McLellan, Ellen Bayles.
Photo by Beatriz Photography (Mennonite Brethren Herald)

Listen in on our conversation!

mennogirlscookbooksYou can find Mennonite Girls Can Cook and Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Celebrations at major booksellers in Winnipeg, as well as online. Pick up your copies today! They also make excellent gifts. A new devotional book, Bread for the Journey, is expected to be released this year as well. Thank you to Charlotte for sitting down to chat with me about what’s next for the MGCC crew.

 

25614833Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Jane Johnson’s stunning novel Pillars of Light, a book I reviewed for the Winnipeg Free Press a little while ago – keep your eyes on Instagram for your chance to win! I loved this book and hope you will, too.

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.

Until next time, happy reading!
Katrina

 

Safe and Sound

safety collageHello wanderers!

I took a nice little break from blogging last week to celebrate Reading Week (and yes, I did do a lot of reading! For book reviews, author interviews, and literary news, check out my blog and podcast Literally, Katrina!). I am glad to be back with more travel tips!

This week’s post is all about staying safe while traveling, because, you know, safety first. As many of you know, I’m planning on trekking Europe with two of my friends this summer. If you’ve been following the headlines in the news recently, you might be thinking that this isn’t the best year to go to Europe…with the refugee crisis, economic instability, and the potential Brexit, things aren’t looking very stable.

As a news junkie and human rights grad, all of these things are troubling to me. That being said, none of these are major deterrents to traveling this summer. Traveling is the best way to learn about yourself, culture, and the world around you. Conflict, economics, and politics invariably play into that. At any point in time, we can say it’s not the right or best time to travel virtually anywhere on the map (for example, lots of people are writing off Brazil and much of South America because of the Zika virus outbreak, even though only a small portion of travellers might be affected by the virus). I have many friends who’ve gone places in what we might consider the worst of times and had the best experiences – and that’s all because they’ve taken every precaution to be safe while traveling.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be aware of what’s going on around the world – at all times, but especially before you plan on traveling. Remember, forewarned is forearmed. We can’t plan for everything and we certainly can’t control everything that happens, but we can control what we do to prepare for a trip. Being informed is your first step to a safe trip!

Before you book a trip, research the political and economic climate of the destination you’re planning on visiting. And then do additional check-ups closer to your departure date – things can change on a dime and a location that is safe in January may not be stable in June. When looking for updates, check out local news sites and international sources, because we don’t always get all of the international headlines in Canada. Upon arrival, pay attention to local conversations and headlines at newsstands – it’s good to stay up-to-date with what’s going on on the ground. Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of your belongings (especially money and electronics), and be aware of where the nearest embassies are while abroad, and you’ll be golden.

Another thing you can do to stay safe while travelling is to take advantage of the Registration of Canadians Abroad service provided by the Canadian government. I sign up whenever I’m leaving the country on a major trip so that if anything goes awry (think natural disaster, etc.), government officials can contact me with important info. The service also provides travel watches and advisories – all you have to do is look up the country you’re planning on visiting for info (ex. Croatia and Slovenia, two of my top destinations this summer, are both in the clear! Yay!).

How do you stay safe when traveling? I’m constantly looking for tips and tricks and would love to know what your go-to strategies are! Let me know in the comments below or on social media. Don’t forget to post your #WanderlustWednesday posts on Instagram over the month of February. Tag your pic with #WanderlustWednesday, #hopelesswandererblog, and @katrinasklepowich – you have a couple of weeks to participate and each picture posted and tagged is an entry to win an awesome travel prize pack (details coming soon!). And keep your eyes out for mini cards in all of your favourite travel guide books and accessories.

Until next week, stay well!
Katrina