Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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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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Scrappy Little Nobody

With Thanksgiving break I took a little break from reading. But I had Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick ready to go. And once I started it was a quick read. I love Anna Kendrick – I’ve always thought she was very talented, funny, and seemed down to earth. Her book was not my favorite though. It was too scattered and random – stories that didn’t really connect. And she really drove into the ground that she’s still just a normal person. I can appreciate that she’s no Jennifer Aniston or Sandra Bullock or whoever is your favorite big name actress, but sorry, Anna, you’re certainly not a nobody. It was a little bit of a turn off. Overall, the stories were funny and entertaining, albeit a little disjointed and following abrupt or no transitions at times.

If you’ve enjoyed reading other women’s books – Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler – you may not enjoy this book. If you really like Anna Kendrick just know going into it that it’s not my top recommendation.

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Stories I Only Tell My Friends

As I have said, I am sticking only to personally recommended reads for a while. I am also trying to alternate between fiction and nonfiction. Nonfiction isn’t difficult for me to read, I just gravitate toward fiction more. So it’s kind of a challenge to myself. Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe came recommended and I’m not going to lie, it didn’t go directly to the top of my list. I added it to my list but went through a couple other books before starting it. I don’t dislike Rob Lowe, I just wasn’t particularly interested in him or knew much about him. Oh, how quickly that all changed.

This may be the best autobiography I have ever read. Everyone, even if they don’t admit it, is intrigued by celebrity and celebrity lives. But Lowe is also a very talented writer. His stories read like a novel with drama, romance, action, and high emotion all rolled into one. Except it’s real life. His life. And his relationships with lives of other celebrities who I grew up watching and/or listening to. I now want to go back and watch everything Rob Lowe, especially West Wing, which I keep hearing is amazing. Don’t worry, it’s already in my Netflix queue. And I’ve added his more recent book, Love Life, to my reading list. He also makes one heck of a role model. He learned from his experiences and mistakes (and there were many) in life and used them to make himself a better person. I highly recommend this – a quick read that is highly entertaining. It also makes me want to write a book of stories, even if it’s only myself who ever sees it. It would not be even half as entertaining.

The quote below is a great example of the lessons he learned – and this is one we all learn at some point in life because no one’s life, even celebrities, goes exactly the way they want or expect at every turn. And I think the sooner you learn this lesson, the sooner you can enjoy your life as it is and live the best life possible. Sure it’s important to work hard and believe in yourself and the life you want, but that alone does not mean it will all go as planned.

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