Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Picture Perfect

Surprisingly, this whole staying at home thing is putting a hitch in my reading challenge. I usually spend 2-2.5 hours reading per day riding the train and before bed, the bulk of that being on the train. So without the train time, I’m quickly falling behind schedule to reach my 50 books for the year. When I’m at home, I gravitate towards tv or doing a puzzle. So I’ll have to come up with some self-motivation to get more home reading time in!

I recently finished Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult. I generally like Picoult’s book – some I love – but this one just fell into the ‘like’ category. The book begins with a woman, waking up in a church cemetery, with amnesia. She doesn’t even remember her name. A cop, who was starting his new job with the LAPD the next day found her. It’s definitely unexpected when she turns out to be an anthropologist, Cassie, who is married to a big shot movie star. That alone is pretty far-fetched. I like my fictional love stories to at least have a bit of plausibility! 🙂 And this movie star, Alex, also has some dark secrets that I guess she slowly remembers.

At the beginning of the book, Cassie has small, momentary flashbacks, which were plausible to me. But then the whole middle of the book is her entire past leading up to the current day – I think it was maybe a week after she woke up in the cemetery. I am not neurology expert, but it seems a little unlikely that a women has amnesia to the point of not remembering her name or any of the decades that happened before she woke up, then miraculously within a week remembers everything from her childhood to how she ended up in the cemetery.

It didn’t help either that there weren’t any characters that I really loved. Cassie was the most likeable, but she also had her moments. Ultimately, the story is a fairy tale gone wrong, which is more realistic, and of a woman who takes back control of her life. Good overall message but the details didn’t do it for me. Let me know what you think if you read it!


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The Nanny

I’m well into books for 2020 and this one may be my favorite so far. The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan kept me on my toes the entire time. Jocelyn Holt’s nanny, Hannah, up and disappears when she is 7 and 30 years later, she still seems devastated and holds this against her mother. This seems a little ridiculous and Jocelyn wasn’t my favorite character, but that was really the only downside to the book.

She and her daughter are forced now to return and live with her mother and while there, her entire world turns upside down. Her relationships with both her mother and daughter are challenged and she discovers secrets about her and her family’s past that are hard to come to grips with. Every time I thought I had it figured out there would be another surprise. I definitely recommend this one. Enjoy!


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Long Bright River

I was surprised I got this book quickly off the hold list as it is newer but maybe people haven’t heard yet how good it is. After a historical fiction and an easy romance, a good suspenseful read was appreciated, and Long Bright River by Liz Moore did not disappoint.

Kacey and Mickey, sisters, grew up with their grandmother and under pretty tough circumstances in Philly. As adults, they ended up on different sides of the system – one a cop, the other a drug user and prostitute. But their worlds collide when a string of murders begins in the district they both work in. They each have their own personal issues which melt into trying to catch a murderer, who may be hiding in plain daylight. A couple of times I thought I knew who it was, but the curve balls kept the story interesting and moving along. Enjoy!


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Still Me

Jojo Moyes is a great go-to author. I don’t want to read all her books in a row, but they’re a nice break from the historical fiction and thriller/suspense that I usually gravitate toward.

It’s been over 3 years since I read Me Before You and After You, but I still had the third book of the series saved to my wish list through the library. And it was available when I finished my last book. Still Me continues the story of Louisa Clark as she takes a job in New York City and adjusts to life away from everything she’s ever known. I still loved every minute of this book, even though I hesitated to read it because I don’t always love series past two or three books. But Louisa Clark’s character still made me smile and feel for her. If you’ve read the first two, I definitely recommend this one, even if it’s been a while. I was a little spotty on some of the details from book two (like her boyfriend and how they came to be together) but it wasn’t essential to the current story. Enjoy!


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Play Dirty

I got a free Kindle Unlimited trial with my new Kindle and have mostly enjoyed the free book selection. It takes a little more weeding through and there aren’t current New York Times bestsellers, but it lets me find new authors, new genres, and new books!

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown was more on the not enjoyed side. If you don’t like football, you won’t like this book. I could power through because I do like football but there were multiple times I considered not finishing this book. Griff Burkett is a former NFL player released from prison after serving time for betting on NFL games, including his own, and affecting the outcomes of those games. Upon his release, he immediately is approached by a local business celebrity who has a very strange proposal for him to help he and his wife get pregnant. At the same time, he is being followed by a crooked cop. And from there it’s just one thing after another.

I realize that most of what I read is fiction and is not true, but this storyline just seemed SO outlandish. And it seemed to be written in a way that it could happen. It was not really my cup of tea but I did finish it. It has 4.5 stars on Amazon, so someone likes it! Maybe you will.


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2019 Reading Challenge

Every year I set a goal of how many books I want to read and my 2019 goal was 34 books. I ride the train to work almost every day so I have a lot of time to read. Add in a number of trips taken this year, both driving and flying, and it was a good year for reading!

I ended up reading 46 books! 6 nonfiction and 40 fiction, which was a good mix for me. I prefer fiction but I make a point to throw in some nonfiction throughout the year. I read some great books this year and love the stats that Goodreads gives you for your year of reading (extra nerd? yep). Here are some of my favorite books from this year and the lovely stats. Now to just set my goal to start a new decade!


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After I Do

I have now read 3 books (one was a short story) by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I love her. They have all been different but have some similarities. They have all been about relationships in some way, shape, or form.

After I Do was obviously about a married couple who met young and got married after college. It was a little boring to me and probably my least favorite of the 3 I’ve read by Reid, but it was interesting to read being a [semi] newlywed. A year and a half isn’t truly still newlywed, right?

Lauren and Ryan hit a big rut in their marriage and are not communicating, not interacting, and resenting each other. So they decide to take a year off. He moves out, she stays in the house and keeps the dog. It is understandably tortuous, but they hold out. Life continues. Lauren’s life – which the book focuses on – has it’s own challenges apart from her marriage problems. Now, I don’t how realistic or common this is – to take a year off with no communication and no counseling. It seems a little far-fetched to me but it also takes place in Los Angles, so maybe it’s a thing there. I can’t imagine doing something like this, even if things are rocky in your marriage.

I won’t give away the end because that’s the whole story – do they get back together and work things out?! But overall the story has a great message about the importance of communication in a relationship and the importance of working for your marriage. It was also a very quick read and was free through Kindle unlimited (thanks 3 month trial)!