Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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The Book of Life

The third and final book in the All Souls Trilogy series (Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night being the first two). It’s been a while since I’ve read a full series like this and I forgot how invested you become in the characters and their “lives”. I was actually sad when I finished the book! It’s also been a few weeks since I finished it, I just kept forgetting to add it to my list and posts.

The Book of Life may have been my favorite book in the series. And it’s rarely the case that the last book in a series is the favorite. Everything comes to a head in this book – witches, vampires, demons, humans. Some friends, some enemies. Some action, some stealth,  and some quick thinking. I don’t want to give anything away, obviously. My only complaint about this whole series is that even though the protagonist is a strong and willful woman, it took a man for her to discover her full talent and potential. There were plenty of women helping along the way, but it was he who initiated the entire discovery. Not completely a damsel in distress situation, but I could have used a little more self-discovery and self-confidence on her part.

Overall, an entertaining and easy read, great for summer, the beach, the lake, traveling, whatever! Now, I need some more quick reads to make up for being way behind schedule to meet my reading challenge for the year. Any suggestions? Or maybe I just need to take vacation and do nothing but read by the pool. Hm….

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Shadow of Night

I needed some easy, entertaining summer reads. A Discovery of Witches was not my favorite book ever – it was pretty slow at the beginning – it ended well enough that it caught my attention for the series. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness seemed to be pretty popular. So I jumped right into Shadow of Night. This was much better paced without all the character development, though you do still meet new characters, and the storyline was still a little slow sometimes. If you know you’re not into vampires, witches, and demons this is not the book for you. But it’s a fascinating world where creatures live with humans and have their own governing body to answer to. And when different creatures come together – as they are not supposed to do – things get interesting.

Great summer/beach read – and I’m already well into the third book! Enjoy!


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The Wonder

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue was a truly unique story. A girl claims to be living on no food or water and a committee sets out to determine if this is truly a miracle or a deeply planned scheme. It was a quick read that kept my attention the entire time – at least after getting over the strange topic. The characters are complex and have to face decisions and struggles that most of us cannot imagine facing. I’m really not sure what else to say about it without giving anything away other than you should definitely read this!


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Truly Madly Guilty

I love Liane Moriarty’s books and Truly Madly Guilty is her newest. I waiting a while on the waitlist to get it and it did not disappoint. I did think it was a little slower to get going than her other books I’ve read. The whole books revolves around one night and something that happened, but it takes most of the book to learn what that something was. And that something had a profound effect on numerous families, relationships, and life plans. I’ll leave you hanging at that. But the characters were pretty complex each with their own issues and unique relationships between each other. It’s a great summer/pool/beach read for anyone starting their travels soon. But be prepared to buy it or wait for a while!

According to my Goodreads dashboard, I’m 5 books behind towards meeting my goal for the year. Guess that means an extra effort to get to the pool all summer!!


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Daring Greatly

I love Brené Brown and have read a number of her books, which you can find on my book listDaring Greatly is supposed to be one of her best books and it’s been on my list for a while. Her research is around shame and vulnerability and how they invade every area of our lives – work, family, social life. The greatest thing she does is use this research to make concepts and ideas applicable to anyone’s life. And she doesn’t pretend to be perfect or to have all the answers.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”

I can tell you, from personal experience, that being vulnerable is one of the hardest things to do but can have the greatest rewards. Obviously you are not going to be completely open and vulnerable with every single person in your life, but when I am completely vulnerable with those closest to me, the relationship flourishes. I went through college with only a couple friends knowing that I went for infusions at the hospital every 1-2 weeks to treat a chronic blood disorder. To me, this difference was a negative thing and one that would make me weird. But years later, when I opened up about that aspect of my life publicly, the response was overwhelmingly positive. And thinking back, I was silly to think it would be otherwise.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s a quick read. I will say that Brown can be a little repetitive, and the section on parenting doesn’t apply to my, but I still skimmed through it. Great read for anyone who is in relationships with others – friends, family, romantic, whatever!

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The Light Between Oceans

I’m joining a new book club and was supposed to start going in February, but had not gotten far at all in the book before meeting time. So I was on it this time and finished the book 2 weeks before the meeting. It helped that The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman was a great and easy read. It was difficult to put down! It takes place in Australia and features a man who is a lighthouse keeper on a very remote island. He marries a girl from the nearby town and their life on the island takes more turns than you would expect for two people living a very secluded life. The story has elements that are relatable for many people and elements that will tear at your heartstrings. The movie came out last year but a friend recommended not seeing, which I wouldn’t do right after reading it anyway, but it does have a great cast. I highly recommend the book and I’m looking forward to the discussion with my new book club!

 


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A Discovery of Witches

Wow, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything! I guess after almost 8 years of posts (my first post was in May 2009), it’s not as much of a priority or as fulfilling anymore. Which is not a bad thing. Priorities change! I still like keeping my reads here though. And who knows, there may come a time when I’m ready to post up a storm again! But for now, I hope you keep enjoying my book list and recommendations!

I’m not sure why it took me so long (a month) to get through A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, but it put me behind for my 2017 reading challenge. I’ll have to find some quick reads to play catch up!

The first half of the story was definitely slow. I know you need to get to know the characters and provide sufficient background information and set-up for the greater storyline, but there was a little too much of that for my liking. A lot of the details in the first half of the book felt unnecessary. But once the story got going it was great, though the lead character is a little annoying at times. She’s a strong female lead, which is great, but she’s a little whiny and unnecessarily defiant at times. The story’s not just about witches, but also other creatures that live among humans and how they all interact, while working to keep attention away. It felt a little like a more adult Twilight. But better. I’m adding the next 2 in the series to my list to read after I get through the few I already have on my Kindle to read next.