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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2020 Reading Challenge

My reading goal for the year was 50 books and I fell just one short with 49 (17,913 pages). I realize, having been home for 8.5 months I should have been able to squeeze in one more….but oh well! I feel like I got a good mix of fiction and nonfiction, along with different genres.

I like stats so here are a few from Goodreads along with a snapshot of some of my favorites – if you have reading goals and don’t use it to track your books, what are you doing?! I’m gonna try for another 50 this year – what’s your goal?

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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!