Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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The Art of Racing in the Rain

If you don’t like to cry, don’t read this book. If you don’t mind crying, I recommend not reading this book in a public space. Luckily for me I finished last night at home so avoided that embarrassment.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein had been on my list for a while, but when I saw the movie preview, I moved it to the top and put a hold in to get it. I like reading books before I see the movies!

This is not really a spoiler because the first chapter of the book is a dog at the end of his life. I knew then that I’d be in trouble, but I plowed through. The story is from the perspective of the dog, Enzo, and it covers his life with his family. The family grows and the family deals with a lot of stuff. Serious illness, conniving family members, hurtful accusations, and questions of custody. And Denny, Enzo’s owner, is dealing with all of this while trying to make a living and chase his dream to become a professional race car driver.

I mean, how much can one person take in a life! There are many sad things in this book but I will say the ending, for the family, is not. It’s a fascinating perspective from the eyes of the dog and it makes me look at my dogs differently. I always wonder what they’re thinking and why they do the things they do. My dog is 14 now so I think the end of the book hit me especially hard.

It was a good, albeit emotional, read and it was quick (I finished in 3 days). So if you like to read the book before the movie you can probably even finish while it’s still in theaters. Enjoy!


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Educated

As I’ve alluded to in my last few book posts, I was in need of a romance break. I had heard Educated by Tara Westover was good and I knew it was a memoir, but hadn’t really paid attention to what it was about. What is was was fascinating.

The memoir is all about Westover’s family, upbringing, and her journey to where she is today. And it was an incredible journey. She is completely self-educated, as in she never attended a formal school until college. Her family is very conservative and her parents are self-sufficient and un-trusting of the government or any kind of organized system (hospitals, schools, etc.). Her father is likely bi-polar. They worked a scrapyard to earn money among other various jobs and her many siblings took different journeys once reaching adulthood.

The memoir is essentially a number of short stories meant (I think) to portray the different people in Westover’s family and show the general trajectory of Westover’s life. A life that dealt with mental illness, mental abuse, physical abuse, family estrangement, all along with the personal desire for more and something different. Reading it, I imagined her childhood taking place in the late ’70s or early ’80s but Westover is just slightly younger than me (born in 1986). That blew me away. I cannot imagine having to choose between your family and what you know is right; choosing between your family and what is safe.

The stories felt a little disjointed at times but overall it came together and was a fascinating read. Enjoy!

educated


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One Day in December

Surprise, surprise – more love! Sorry I’m not sorry – I love these books. Although I do like a thriller or nonfiction break occasionally (which is coming up soon). One Day in December by Josie Silver was a quick, easy read about missed chances and what-ifs. It’s not quite a rom com because honestly I didn’t find much humor in it. Some was even a little sad.

Laurie experiences love at first sight through a bus window and is pretty sure the guy felt the same way. But he didn’t make it on the bus before it pulled away (I’m sure in a highly dramatic fashion). She spends the next year searching for ‘bus boy’. (Side note – when you’re dating, you HAVE to have nicknames.) And eventually she does find him….when he is introduced to her as her roommate’s new boyfriend who she is falling head-over-heels for. What would you do?! Would you immediately tell your roommate (who has been searching with you) that she is dating ‘bus boy’??

Laurie has to make this decision and (spoiler alert) she doesn’t say a word. She continues to live with this secret for years and I think it literally eats away at her. The story covers many years and the relationships of the two roommates, both with each other and with their significant others, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I won’t give everything away because where’s the fun in that.

But this would make another GREAT movie, as with my last book, and if you like the cheesy, gushy stories (but with a little more real life thrown in) this one is for you. Enjoy!

onedayindec

 


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Match Making for Beginners

No I’m not taking a course in match making. Though that would be a highly intriguing career choice. Match Making for Beginners by Maddie Dawson was another free Kindle book and complete disclosure – I liked the cover. And it was free!

The story was very cute and entertaining. It had elements of your typical rom com but also some twists. Main character Marnie just wants a regular old life. She is on track for that until her fiancé decides, at the altar, that he doesn’t want to marry her. But his eccentric aunt Blix had already picked out Marnie as special. Blix considers herself a match maker and enjoys life to the fullest and she sets out to set Marnie up for the same wonderful life.

Blix passes from a tumor and leaves Marnie the building she owns/rents in Brooklyn. And she adds stipulations requiring Marnie to stay there at least 3 months before making any decisions about the building. Both families of course think the whole situation is nuts. Marnie’s family think she is being scammed. Ex-fiancé’s family think the house should have gone to them. So Marnie moves into Blix’s house, starts developing relationships with the other tenants, and has to decide what her next life move will be.

The ending left a few pieces hanging, but overall the book was cute and I definitely recommend it. It would also make a great movie. Enjoy it for free on your Kindle!

matchmakingforbeginners


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The Wife Between Us

I only have 8 books left to meet my goal for 2019! My latest read was a real page-turner and thriller. In the same vein as Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen will have you yelling at the book and feeling all the emotions.

It’s hard to review this book or give a synopsis because it’s written so intricately. It takes a little while to figure out whose perspective you are reading from and where in time you are. Time does jump around. Are you reading from the view of the wife? Or the mistress? There are so many twists in the story line that I don’t want to give anything away but don’t assume anything as you read. None of the characters are really what they seem, which makes it hard to really like any of them. Some people may not like that, but I think it adds depth and a uniqueness to the story that most novels don’t have. Enjoy!


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Evidence of the Affair

I you have a Kindle, you can find free books on Amazon. I came across Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid and thought, ‘why not?!’. I didn’t even read the synopsis but it was free! It’s a short story so I got through it in about 4 hours total (not all at once).

It’s the late ’70s and Carrie discovers love letters written to her husband. So she decides to reach out to the husband of the woman. This short story is the letters written between them and also the husband and wife having the affair. But the innocent letters of the cheated on parties turn into more and eventually turn into meeting in person. It’s a fascinating cycle.

I won’t give away the twist at the end but I definitely recommend it, especially if you need a quick beach or pool read. Or if you’re close to meeting a reading goal for the year and need a quick page-turner! I actually audibly gasped at the end, so you know it’s good. Enjoy!


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Rich People Problems

Kevin Kwan really hit it home with this series. The third book came available from the library almost as soon as I put it on my hold list so I went ahead and finished out the series.

Rich People Problems, like China Rich Girlfriend, incorporated some new characters, but mainly focused on Nick’s extended family. Their beloved grandmother’s, matriarch of the family in every sense of the word, health in failing and children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins come out the woodwork to say their goodbyes and makes their last good impressions. After all, there is expected to be a sizable will. There is also a more in-depth storyline about Nick’s cousin Astrid, who I have liked throughout the series.

Supposedly Nick was written out of the will when he married Rachel and he had not spoken to his grandmother for many years. So he, especially, felt the need to mend bridges, regardless of what was in the will. Drama and hilarity ensues, of course, which makes this a quick and entertaining read. A great “beach read”. I don’t know if there are supposed to be more movies, but I would be all for it!