Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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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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How We Do Harm

This book was required for class (my last class!!), but it was an interesting and timely read. Although it was published in 2012, it is still relevant with how healthcare functions in America today. How We Do Harm by Otis Webb Brawley, MD is an insider look at various aspects of healthcare from a doctor’s perspective. Brawley is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society and spent years working at Emory and Grady Memorial Hospital here in Atlanta. He goes through various case studies and examples of how the healthcare system fails patients in all aspects – medically, in research, financially, and through insurance. And unfortunately not much has changed since he wrote this book. It was eye opening. Anyone who has to see a doctor, especially for something serious, likes to think that doctor is giving good advice that will benefit you best as a patient, but Brawley shows that is not always the case. Luckily, looking back, my many doctors have always ranked on the “good guy” side, but it would be easy to not realize that you are being given bad advice, or worse, actual treatment. And that’s scary.

I highly recommend this book. I did skim through a lot of the specific medical talk, but you can do that and still get the bigger picture. We all have some claim in the healthcare system – you have insurance, you see a doctor occasionally, or you need regular treatment from a physician. And we can all learn something from this book to make us better consumers of the medical practice.

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Killing Jesus

I realize I’m way behind the times on reading the Bill O’Reilly books and they have been on my list for a while. I snagged a few from the boxes of books my mom handed off to sell/donate and decided to start with Killing Jesus. I really had no idea what to expect but it was fascinating. It focuses on the historical facts surrounding the life of Jesus. If you dislike historical books, movies, etc. you may not like this book.

Every detail even remotely related to the life and death of Jesus is included in this account. The lives of rulers at the time and the times before and after Jesus’ life on Earth are discussed. Jewish traditions and ways of life at the time are explained. This is not the Biblical account of Jesus’s life but the historical one. And I cannot imagine this was an easy one to research and write given the known conflicting accounts of events. The timeline was a little hard to follow sometimes, but I was very impressed with the details and really enjoyed this book.

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Amy Schumer is not my absolute favorite comedian/actress. She is funny, but is a little crude/raunchy for my taste, so I can only take her in small amounts. But when I saw she had written a book, I immediately got on the wait list at the library and got it about a week after it was released. A few of my favorite books have been female comedian autobiographies, so I imagined it would be good. And I thought the title was hilarious.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo was everything you would expect from Amy Schumer. It was blunt, raunchy at times, and no detail was spared. But it was also everything you would not expect (or at least I didn’t). She discusses real issues – equal treatment of women, men’s views of women, relationships, and gun violence. She shares very personal stories related to all of these issues and doesn’t spare details about how she feels. Amy Schumer did not have a cushy life that led to an easy rise to the top. She battled and worked hard for the fame she has today, which makes her much more relatable than the person she paints at the stand-up mic. And yes, Trainwreck is loosely based on her life, so some of the stories sound familiar as you read (if you saw the movie). But again, there is a lot more to her life than what typically comes across to the public.

I definitely recommend this book to women, and it’s even more fun to read in public and see people react out of the corner of your eye (see covers below – I ride the train every day).


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Bossypants

Only one book left to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge! Ok, so I didn’t set a very good challenge. Better planning next year.

My friend left me a box of books when she moved  about a month ago and I needed a light, fun summer read. I finished Bossypants by Tiny Fey in 5 days. Very quick read but also very entertaining. It’s similar to other celebrity autobiographies I have read (Mindy Kaling, Rob Lowe), consisting mostly of personal stories about the business and other random topics. Obviously Tina Fey’s stories are funny and her ‘opinions’ about topics are dripping with sarcasm and hyperbole. Which is exactly what I was expecting. I think my favorite was her recounting the experience of playing Sarah Palin on SNL, which I didn’t realize was after she had left the show to do 30 Rock.

Very entertaining. 5 stars. Check it out!

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Love Life

My recent travel and travel recovery day gave me plenty of time to fly through Love Life by Rob Lowe. I had not read a nonfiction book in a while and I was already familiar with his writing. Although this was no Stories I Only Tell My Friends, it was still a good read. In this book, he talks more about the loves of his life – mainly his family. He talks more about his addiction and experience in rehab, and the stories revolve more around his wife and kids than the entertainment business. But don’t worry, there are still some great business stories – after all, that is a huge part of his life.

I definitely recommend this, but if you have to choose just one Rob Lowe book, go with his first. This one just wasn’t quite as captivating. Enjoy one…or both! Both have some great insight to living life to the fullest and, well, loving life.

“Adventure is important in life. Making memories matters. It doesn’t have to be a secret seaplane and a historic sports moment, but to have a great life you need great memories. Grab any intriguing offer. Say yes to a challenge and to the unknown. Be creative in adding drama and scope to your life. Work at it like a job.” ~Rob Lowe

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Why Not Me?

I got way off my streak of alternating fiction and non-fiction books. So it was nice to read an entertaining non-fiction  book, especially with as crazy as life has been lately. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling was an easy read and funny. Like her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, I can actually hear her voice since a) I watch (and love) her show and b) she has a very distinctive voice and personality. And I totally mean that in a good way.

Similar to Rob Lowe’s book of stories – one of my favorites – it is entertaining to me to hear personal stories of celebrities. It creates a sense, albeit false sense, of knowing that person, which for most people is not a reality with celebrities. So maybe it’s a shallow love of these books, but it’s pure entertainment. Non-fiction that reads like fiction. Check it out, especially if you like Mindy Kaling. Good pool/beach read!

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