Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Book Review Dump

Life has been a little crazy lately – at least to the point where I either can’t stand to be on my computer any longer than the work day or I have been on vacation and haven’t been on my computer at all. But I’ve still been reading! So here’s a quick rundown of the last books I read.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson was excellent. A black woman becomes a spy during the Cold War and must decide between the man she loves and obligation to her country. I liked the way it was told, as the main character, Marie, telling her sons the story.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown was a quick and powerful read about Brown’s own experience in a racist world. Her parents named her Austin so she would at least get an interview when she entered the adult world, since everyone would imagine Austin as a white male. She discusses her experiences as a black woman growing up in school, college, working in different organizations, and in social settings. A must read!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia was a good October read with a creep factor. But it was a little too sci-fi for me. Noemi receives a disturbing letter from her cousin and travels to see her and find out what is wrong. Her cousin’s husband and his family appear to be welcoming, but then strange things start happening in the house. If you like sci fi and suspense you should read it, but it was a little too weird for me.

Finally, The Shadows by Alex North was a perfect October read. Just the right amount of creepy and suspense. It was a little slow at times, but it definitely kept me guessing and trying to figure out the truth when Paul is thrown back into his past and a legend about a murder that has lived on in infamy on the internet.

The last two were books sent to me by a friend, which is the best kind of mail to get, especially these days! Check these out and let me know what you like or didn’t like!


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How to Be an Antiracist

I’m very grateful to have a book club of women who all strive to be better and support each other in that goal. We are focusing on the issue of racism and how we, as individuals and as a group, can try to make the worlds around us a more equal and just place.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi was not the most engaging read, I’m not going to lie. And most of it left me feeling hopeless and powerless. There was a little hope at the end, but for the most part it read like a thesis with personal anecdotes. Kendi spends each chapter discussing the different kinds of racism, which was definitely informative. I agree that the first step is to recognize how we are antiracist, both as individuals and as a society. My main takeaway was that the racist policies and policymakers should be the main focus of an antiracist’s energy, not focusing on individuals within a race. To recognize what policies and policymakers you support, vote for, encourage, and help implement (both consciously and unconsciously). And to think that there is not a deeply rooted culture of racism in this country and that every person is given the same opportunity and treatment is just ignorant.

Right now, I feel like my job is to research every person I am considering voting for. What are their views on issues and policies that are inherently racist: healthcare, housing, jobs, police brutality and oversight. And no, there will not be any candidate for any position who is perfect. And no, I do not automatically vote for someone based on party. I will vote for either side if a candidate is working for equality and justice and yes, antiracism. And I challenge everyone to do the same. Forget party affiliations and don’t focus on just one hot button issue. Take the time to look at the candidates and what they actually want to accomplish. And then take the time to vote.

Either racist policies or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.”

Ibram X. Kendi


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Open Book

I read two nonfiction books pretty close together. Apparently I’m trying to make up for reading none before that this year. This book came recommended from numerous people and pop stars/reality stars are always intriguing to me, although I do not watch much reality tv apart from a few years watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise back in the day.

Open Book by Jessica Simpson was great! I honestly never really followed her or her career much, but she was a staple in the pop music of my teenage years. And it’s always entertaining to read about the lives of celebrities – hers and those around her – behind closed doors. She really was an open book, talking about her struggles with past abuse, issues mixing family and business, hard relationships, and personal vices. Her overall message to women and girls is a great one to love yourself for who you are. That’s something we all struggle with.

I wouldn’t say it was too serious and it kept me entertained. Definitely check it out, even if you weren’t/aren’t a Jessica Simpson super fan.