Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

This book has been on my wish list for a while now and my husband was keen enough to get it for me for Christmas. This was one I wanted an actually copy of, as opposed to having or borrowing on my Kindle like most of the books I read. It has to be added to the Harry Potter collection, obviously!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne is a script for what is now a show on Broadway. If you are familiar with the books and/or movies, they both end 19 years after the defeat of Voldemort. Sorry I’m not giving a spoiler alert warning – it’s been 11 years since the lasts book was published and 7 years since the final movie. I also don’t know why you would be reading this book if you weren’t familiar with the books and/or movies and I wouldn’t recommend it. Anyway…the beginning of the Cursed Child should be familiar. Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, and their respective children are gathered at Kings Cross Station for the departure of the Hogwart’s Express. Harry and Ginny’s middle child, Albus, is starting his first year at Hogwarts. I’d say Albus is the main character of this story/show, along with his best friend, Scorpius, but don’t worry – the main characters we know and love are all very involved throughout.

I won’t give any more spoilers, but the story is about how dark magic is still present in the wizarding world as well as what it means to live as Harry Potter’s child, which Albus struggles with. And he ends up on an adventure reminiscent of his father’s escapades while at Hogwarts. I’ve never read a screenplay before but it was just like reading a book. Except a lot shorter. There aren’t a lot of details about internal emotions, facial expressions, or scenery because that’s what you’re supposed to see on stage. So now, obviously, I have to go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. Who’s ready?!

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Becoming

This is not a political post, so please don’t comment with anything political. Don’t worry, I have political views and opinions but I prefer to not open that can of worms on my blog. I enjoy reading about people and people’s lives. Everyone experiences life in such different ways, which is what makes us human and the world an amazing place.

Becoming, on the whole, a political book. This is about a woman who started out like so many and eventually found herself in a place that so few had been. Michelle Obama grew up without much in the way of money or material things but worked hard to earn an ivy league education (multiple degrees) and get a great job as an attorney. I enjoyed learning that she struggled to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, even well after finishing school. But she strived to find something that would be fulfilling and also make a difference, as many people strive to do.

This is about a woman who loves her husband. Even as a senator’s wife, she never wanted a life of politics, but she put her own wants aside and put her husband’s first. That is true love – each spouse putting the other first. She dealt with the same struggles that new mothers deal with every day, especially in our country, feeling the tug between career and home.

She goes to write, obviously, about their campaign for the presidency and life in the White House. About how she used her position to address issues that were (are) important: childhood obesity, access to education, and supporting military families. I recommend this book not because of the Obama’s politics or because their eight years in office were perfect, but because Michelle Obama is an inspiring woman who has accomplished much. And although I cannot imagine or relate to many of the trials she faced or issues that caused her anxiety, I wholeheartedly agree with this quote from the book.

“So many of us go through life with our stories hidden, feeling ashamed or afraid when our whole truth doesn’t live up to some established ideal. We grow up with messages that tell us that there’s only one way to be American – that if our skin is dark or our hips are wide, if we don’t experience love in a particular way, if we speak another language or come from another country, then we don’t belong. That is, until someone dares to start telling that story differently.”

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The One That Got Away

My 2019 reading challenge is officially underway. My Goodreads challenge is to read 34 books (two more than I read in 2018) and book number one for the year was The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes. This is a sort of freaky Friday scenario, except instead of trading places with someone, main character Abbey Lahey finds herself living in a world where she did not turn down a date with Alex van Holt. A world where she is no longer working full time, shuttling kids around, and trying to make ends meet while her husband’s business declines. In this world she is the wife of a millionaire running for Congress.

The book was a pretty quick read and was entertaining. There were times when I began to dislike Abbey’s character but she always seemed to bounce back into good graces. Also as a reader, I just kept waiting and waiting for her to wake up. The freak accident that caused this alternate universe – falling off the escalator at Nordstrom – obviously put Abbey in a coma and she would wake up any moment. But the author keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for this outcome.

Does Abbey wake up? Is she really still Abbey Lahey and not Abbey van Holt? How can one small decision change the entire trajectory of your life? You will have to read to find out. 5 stars from me!

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New Year – Renew Blog

I took a little break from my blog but I’ve been wanting to start again. And what better time to start than the first day of a new year?! 2018 was a fabulous one. I got married to the man of my dreams. We traveled. We cook and try new restaurants. And I read a lot of books. 32 to be exact. Which is where I’ll restart my blog for the year. My blog will still be mostly what it was – books, food, travels, and random thoughts.

2018 was a good year in books for me. I plowed though my Goodreads challenge of 25 books with a whopping 32 books. I love stats so thank you, Goodreads, for providing me some for my reading – my rankings of books, longest book read, etc.

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I had a decent mix of fiction and nonfiction. Though most of my nonfiction was Bachelor related – apparently I got on a kick and some of the fiction was based on true events. I also had a number of stories that took place during different wars. I still need to watch The Zookeeper’s Wife movie. And let’s not forget the marriage books – The Most Important Year, written by my previous boss and his wife, my husband and I read together (half the book is for women and the other half for men) and the other recently read with our first married couples small group through church.

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Fiction is still my favorite and I definitely have reading patterns. Jojo Moyes is still one of my favorite authors and I still have a lot of her books to read. My other favorite is mystery/thriller – especially in the vein of Criminal Minds/behavioral analysis.

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I do not absolutely love every book I read. Some are harder to get through than others. Arcadia was very slow and The Handmaid’s Tale was actually very disappointing after watching the tv show. That might be the second time I’ve ever said a show/movie was better than a book.

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I reread my favorite book of all time – Redeeming Love. I found a great new author – Tana French. Dark Matter was a surprisingly good science fiction novel.

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I’m excited for another great year in books. I’ve set my Goodreads Challenge to read 34 books so send all the recommendations. I’ll be writing actual reviews for individual books again but I thought this overview was a good way to kick off the new year. Happy reading and happy blogging again!


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The Girls

The Girls by Emma Cline was a nice diversion from the types of books I’ve been reading lately. The main character is a woman who is reflecting back on when she was a girl and the group she became involved with the summer before high school. A group that ended up doing a very horrible thing. It’s interesting and captivating. My only complaint is that there are not really any details about how this has affected her as an adult and that she seems completely fine and normal, which is possible, but not likely considering the memories she is living with and seemingly reliving on a regular basis. It’s also hard to believe that she was never, at all, brought into the aftermath of this horrible event.

The book was still a good read and was hard to put down at the end. Enjoy!

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The Nest

Goodreads is telling me I am 10 books behind schedule to win my 2017 reading challenge. I was maybe a little ambitious this year. But I’m not going to let it bother me. I’m also trying to intersperse some podcasts in between books, so I’m not going to feel bad when I don’t read 35 books this year.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney was a quick read but was a great narrative on family relations and dealing with hardships. Although the Plumb family is not what I would call a typical representation of the American family, what they deal with is the same as what many families deal with. The difference, to me, is how they deal with it. Or at least try to deal with it at first by trying to solve every problem with money. But in the end they learn some lessons.

I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads – ‘really liked it’ – so grab it from your local bookstore or library and enjoy!

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Small Great Things

I’ve read many Jodi Picoult books and consider her to be a great writer of fictional, take-to-the-beach type books. So when I saw she had a new novel out, I didn’t even read the synopsis before grabbing a copy.

Small Great Things was probably the most personally challenging book I have ever read. Depending on who you are, it will make you uncomfortable, make you relate, and/or make you question yourself and the world around you. It is a detailed story of race and privilege. Even if you are not (or believe you are not) racist, there are inevitable prejudices we all have due to our society. This story broadcasts such prejudices, whether slight or extreme, into a spotlight.

My only complaint is the end still wraps everything up in a nice neat bow and I think it was a little unrealistic. Although most characters were based on people Picoult interviewed, so I guess it’s not completely out of the question. I also enjoyed reading, after the end of story, her thoughts about writing this story and the journey it took.

This is not a happy story but it is an important one that I appreciate her writing. Enjoy!

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