Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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February Reads

I’ve been horrible at writing lately, so I decided to just group my recent books together on one post! I’m finishing out February with four books of various genres and am excited to share them all! Also, where did February go?!

First, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I know I am well over a decade late in reading this memoir but I’m glad I finally circled back to it. If you’re not used to reading memoirs, it’s definitely a different read that other nonfiction and especially fiction. It’s a little meandering at times and sometimes feels a little disjointed, but at the end it all fits together. I felt the same way when I read Educated. And both books have a similar feel – both women who grew up with very nontraditional living situations and it is fascinating to me that a) children can be raised this way and b) that they are resilient enough to come out stronger and better as an adult. I also watched The Glass Castle movie after I finished the book but don’t bother – they had to leave a LOT out and tweak actual events from the book.

Next was Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister – a riveting historical fiction about a women who becomes a female detective in the mid-1800s when, obviously, women did not have such jobs or really any jobs at all. She works hard to prove herself as an independent and very successful part of the private company she works for. Even more exciting is the time she and her colleagues spend working for the government during the Civil War. This is very loosely based on a real woman and true events, though the details of Kate Warne’s life are very vague and sparse. I highly recommend this one!

Happy And You Know It by Laura Hankin was, as I sent to some friends, a great nonsense read or sometimes I refer to as a beach read (though that term seems to not fit so well in February). You don’t have to think, you can sit back a be entertained and you fly through the pages. After a rough patch, Claire is trying to get back on her feet in New York City when she falls into a job as the weekly musician for a play group. She quickly becomes entangled in the mommy drama and has to figure out if she is willing to sacrifice her new friendships or stick to the truth.

Last, was The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. You may recognize the author’s name from her well-known Divergent series. I felt like this is the book that would result if Divergent met Harry Potter and Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. A group of teenagers is chosen to save the world from a supernatural evil (the Dark One), but 10 years after his supposed death, they are summoned into a parallel universe that has it’s own Dark One. While this book was definitely entertaining, it was a very predictable (though a few surprises still popped up) and the main character, Sloane, is kind of annoying. That said, I will continue reading the series whenever it is available and it seems very movie appropriate.

These four book options really have something for everyone, so check one or all of them out and let me know what you think!

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Tiny Imperfections

At one point during college I entertained the idea of a career in private school admissions. After reading this book I am kind of glad I did not go that route! Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans, although fiction, is based in the authors’ personal experiences. Josie is an admissions director at a high end west coast private school, deep into admissions season, and also deep into college decisions with her daughter. The story covers a lot of important and interesting topics about parenting, work and supervisor relationships, race, and romance.

There were times I really liked Josie and times I really disliked her. In her work role I liked her sense of self and not being willing to be taken advantage of, which was difficult, especially from her supervisor. But she complained of being treated poorly at work then turned around and did the same thing with her daughter. Many would argue that a parenting relationship is very different from a employee/supervisor relationship, but I think the same lessons can be taken from both. Granted I’m not a parent so I won’t try to act like I know how I would react to my daughter’s college and career desires differing from what I want for her. But those were the moments I didn’t agree as much with Josie.

Anyway, the book was great. It was mostly predictable but it still had a few surprises – enough to keep the intrigue alive. Check it out!

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Dear Edward

This book was different than the books I usually read and I really enjoyed it. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano follows the life of a boy during and after the plane he is on with his family crashes and he is the only survivor. As you can imagine, life after that kind of trauma is not easy. He goes to live with his aunt and they must also navigate guiding a teenager who has lost everything.

I really enjoyed how the story focuses on Edward, but also tells the stories of other passengers on the plane. Edward learns about the other passengers and even learns new things about his own parents and brother. Granted, this does take many, many years and an interesting journey to get there. This book tells a sad but encouraging story about a boy who grows up fast and learns to navigate a new world. Definitely check it out and let me know what you think!