Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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The Nightingale

I realize I am about 5 years behind in reading this book, especially considering how much I love historical fiction, but better late than never! And since I’ve loved 2 of the author’s other books it comes as no surprise that I loved this one.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is up there as one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read. It’s 1939 and the Germans are taking over France and tearing families apart. One sister, Vianne, tries to keep her head down and survive in the small town she lives in. The other sister, Isabelle, wants to do everything she can to fight against the Germans. And their father, who sent them away as children after their mother died, is working for the Germans in Paris. They all end up taking very different paths through the war but also having similar and shared experiences. It’s a story of love, war, family, and survival at all costs.

This book is intense at times and, as I always say, I cannot imagine how so many people survived that war. Definitely read this one!


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The Glass Hotel

This was book 40 for the year! I may come up short on my goal of 50 but we’ll see what the next 8 weeks holds. I do have 2 weeks off at the end of the year, so maybe I can crank some out then!

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel was ok. I loved Station Eleven when I read it years ago but this one did not have the same excitement. The overall plot was a little dull. The main character, Vincent, goes through life just getting by and eventually is in the right place at the right time to meet someone who sweeps her up into his high-end lifestyle. But that eventually comes crashing down and Vincent has to reinvent herself again. I do like how Mandel weaves characters lives together, paths crossing at different points and for different reasons. And the jump back and forth in time was easy to follow.

If you’re looking for a fairly quick read that doesn’t take a lot of thought, this one might be for you. But if you loved Station Eleven and are hoping for a similar novel, this is not it. This plot is more realistic (actually based on a real life ponzi scheme) and less fantasy. Let me know what you think!


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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!