Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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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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Opening Belle

Although I am way behind on meeting my reading goal for this year, I’m just going to keep enjoying my books and not really try to catch up. I’ve also been slacking on posting my reads. I finished Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry a couple weeks ago.

It was a good read but not great. In my opinion there were too many storylines. They were semi-related storylines, but it was just too much going on. The main character is a woman trying to have it all – work in a man-filled world of finance and keep a house and two children. She’s also trying to work out some kinks in her marriage while being thrown into a working relationship with an ex. Although I appreciate this story and the details of gross inequality in the working world, the main character was a little disappointing to me. Although she was doing her best, which I can appreciate, she’s a little flaky at times.

Overall, this is a great, easy, and empowering read. For once I actually think the movie – that Reese Witherspoon is working on – might catch me more than the book did. Enjoy!

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Jemima J.

I was looking for some more easy, entertaining summer reads and remembered reading a number of Jane Green’s books years ago. I still have 3 on my bookshelf. So I downloaded a couple. I started Jemima J. and quickly realized I had read it before, but it had been long enough that I didn’t remember the details. So on I read.

Although this story was somewhat entertaining, I have a lot of issues with both the story and the writing. Granted, it was published in 2001 and I think was one of Jane Green’s first books. Writing-wise, she inconsistently switches between first person and narrator and first-person narrator which was pretty confusing. I did not like the random first-person narrator talking directly to the characters and readers. That works for movies and tv but not so much in written form.

The entertaining part of the storyline is that the internet is new and the characters are discovering chat rooms – the first form of online dating. The part I take issue with is the fact that the main character is an overweight woman who is miserable with her life, decides to make a lifestyle change for a man (Green kind of tries to deflect that this is the reason but not very convincingly), and does so to an unhealthy degree. I don’t care about spoilers for this book because it’s been around so long, but she ends up reconnecting with an old love who obviously falls for her, and Green half-heartedly implies that he was interested in her before she lost the weight. But again, not convincingly.

Overall, if you don’t think about it too hard, the book is entertaining and it’s definitely an easy read. And written when it was, I sadly think this kind of storyline was more widely accepted. Unfortunately, there are real life stories of women losing a ton of weight and only then feeling good about themselves and getting attention from men, but this is definitely not the message I personally would want to send out to my readers.

I’ll definitely read more of Green’s books, especially some of her newer ones. I’ve already started another and the writing is, at least, much better. Yay for summer reads!


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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!