Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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February Reads

I’ve been horrible at writing lately, so I decided to just group my recent books together on one post! I’m finishing out February with four books of various genres and am excited to share them all! Also, where did February go?!

First, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I know I am well over a decade late in reading this memoir but I’m glad I finally circled back to it. If you’re not used to reading memoirs, it’s definitely a different read that other nonfiction and especially fiction. It’s a little meandering at times and sometimes feels a little disjointed, but at the end it all fits together. I felt the same way when I read Educated. And both books have a similar feel – both women who grew up with very nontraditional living situations and it is fascinating to me that a) children can be raised this way and b) that they are resilient enough to come out stronger and better as an adult. I also watched The Glass Castle movie after I finished the book but don’t bother – they had to leave a LOT out and tweak actual events from the book.

Next was Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister – a riveting historical fiction about a women who becomes a female detective in the mid-1800s when, obviously, women did not have such jobs or really any jobs at all. She works hard to prove herself as an independent and very successful part of the private company she works for. Even more exciting is the time she and her colleagues spend working for the government during the Civil War. This is very loosely based on a real woman and true events, though the details of Kate Warne’s life are very vague and sparse. I highly recommend this one!

Happy And You Know It by Laura Hankin was, as I sent to some friends, a great nonsense read or sometimes I refer to as a beach read (though that term seems to not fit so well in February). You don’t have to think, you can sit back a be entertained and you fly through the pages. After a rough patch, Claire is trying to get back on her feet in New York City when she falls into a job as the weekly musician for a play group. She quickly becomes entangled in the mommy drama and has to figure out if she is willing to sacrifice her new friendships or stick to the truth.

Last, was The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. You may recognize the author’s name from her well-known Divergent series. I felt like this is the book that would result if Divergent met Harry Potter and Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. A group of teenagers is chosen to save the world from a supernatural evil (the Dark One), but 10 years after his supposed death, they are summoned into a parallel universe that has it’s own Dark One. While this book was definitely entertaining, it was a very predictable (though a few surprises still popped up) and the main character, Sloane, is kind of annoying. That said, I will continue reading the series whenever it is available and it seems very movie appropriate.

These four book options really have something for everyone, so check one or all of them out and let me know what you think!


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Educated

As I’ve alluded to in my last few book posts, I was in need of a romance break. I had heard Educated by Tara Westover was good and I knew it was a memoir, but hadn’t really paid attention to what it was about. What is was was fascinating.

The memoir is all about Westover’s family, upbringing, and her journey to where she is today. And it was an incredible journey. She is completely self-educated, as in she never attended a formal school until college. Her family is very conservative and her parents are self-sufficient and un-trusting of the government or any kind of organized system (hospitals, schools, etc.). Her father is likely bi-polar. They worked a scrapyard to earn money among other various jobs and her many siblings took different journeys once reaching adulthood.

The memoir is essentially a number of short stories meant (I think) to portray the different people in Westover’s family and show the general trajectory of Westover’s life. A life that dealt with mental illness, mental abuse, physical abuse, family estrangement, all along with the personal desire for more and something different. Reading it, I imagined her childhood taking place in the late ’70s or early ’80s but Westover is just slightly younger than me (born in 1986). That blew me away. I cannot imagine having to choose between your family and what you know is right; choosing between your family and what is safe.

The stories felt a little disjointed at times but overall it came together and was a fascinating read. Enjoy!

educated