The Year in Review – 2022

The year in review

So, with all my ranking concluded, there’s nothing more to do than look at the entirety of 2022 in review. There’s actually a lot to talk about and dissect, because 2022 was the first year I made some resolutions (which you can check out HERE, if you missed them). We’ll compare goals, check out the most popular features on the blog and talk about life in general. Let’s get started!

READING

I have a Goodreads and a StoryGraph account, although I’m really more of a fan of the statistics from the latter. They’re just so much more extensive, even if the page count is sometimes a little off. It’s tradition for me to share some of the stats, so let’s dive right in.

I finished 45 books with roughly 11,700 pages total. In comparison to last year, that is a lot less, but I also had a lot less time. I reached the reading goal I set in terms of the total amount of books on the final day of December 2022, but I unfortunately didn’t make it to the 15,000 pages I had set my eyes on.

A graph showing the books and amount of pages I read throughout the year 2022.

What I enjoy about the stats from the StoryGraph is that they show you so much more than just pages or minutes or number of books. They really focus on the mood of the stories, the pacing, the language and so much more. I would have never guessed that I mostly read books that involve romance for example, but I now have a detailed graphs showing me my most read genres.

I read 13 books from the romance genre, 10 contemporaries, 8 books from the Fantasy and Poetry genre each and 6 were general literature.

I ended up mostly reading medium-paced books (58%) and books with less than 300 pages (also 58%). I’m not surprised at that revelation at all, since it was the year of novellas for me. Something I’m really proud of is the fact that 29% of my reads were non-fiction. I wouldn’t say that I previously scoffed at non-fiction books, but I always found them harder to enjoy or connect to, but now I’m actively seeking them out. I can see that trend continue in 2023.

Ultimately my average rating is very similar to previous years. I once again ended up at 3.7 star-rating on average, which is the third year in a row.

Did I stick to my reading resolutions for 2022?

I didn’t have that many resolutions aside from the traditional Goodreads/StoryGraph reading goals, but I wanted to read more books in German and read more diversely. So, how did I do with that?

My plan was to read 1-3 books in German and I DID THAT! It was only one book, but I did read Stella by Takis Würger and even reviewed it on the blog (check out the post HERE). The book surprised me in that I basically flew through it and found reading it fairly easy, but it was still disappointing content … you can’t win them all.

The “read more diversely”-goal is harder to quantify and I can definitely still do better. 12 out of the 39 authors I’ve read books from in 2022 were non-white. That’s only a very slight improvement from the previous year and I know that this is going to remain a goal for future years. I can definitely tell that it helps when I don’t do reading experiments though …


For a complete list of my favorite books of 2022, click HERE!


WATCHING

There’s not really a good way to track all my media consumption, although I adore Letterboxd for movies. Since we all know that I watch more TV shows than movies though, their stats are welcome, but not nearly enough.

Either way, just for fun, I will share some Letterboxd stats as well! Apparently I watched 74 films, although I must admit that I maybe didn’t log all my rewatches … anyway, if we’re going by that number, these movies amounted to 132 hours of uninterrupted screen time. Since that only amounts to roughly 5.5 days, it actually doesn’t feel like all that much.

What came as a bit of surprise to me were my most watched actor and director. Dave Bautista starred in Glass Onion, Thor: Love and Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Dune. We could surely debate about the legitimacy of these stats, because is the cameo in Love and Thunder noteworthy? Does the Guardians Holiday special count as a real movie? Either way, I like how invested Bautista is in just honing his craft. I’m very excited for Knock at the Cabin. Denis Villeneuve made it onto my list, because I watched Dune and rewatched Arrival. I guess that is fair.

Dave Bautista was my most watched actor and Denis Villeneuve my most watched director in 2022


You can find all my favorite movies of 2022 HERE and all my top TV shows HERE!


WRITING

I failed so hard at all the writing goals I set for myself. I plotted a whole Fantasy novel. I dug up all the material I had from that one finished Romantic Comedy draft, so I could finally edit it. I made aesthetics and playlists, but … I just didn’t write. Doing things in my head is easy, I love to fantasize about all that stuff. But as soon as I sit down to write? My mind goes blank, I have zero motivation and just literally want to do anything else. It makes me sad, because I used to love to write, now I can’t make it work. AND I TRIED! I even set up a dedicated time to write, just 30 minutes a day (and more if things were going well), but nothing came of it. So, I dropped it …

Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail" wildly gesturing with his hands, because he got nothing to reply

BLOGGING

Life and Other Disasters has been such a huge part of my life for so long, it was strange to see it thrive in numbers, but for engagement to keep dwindling in 2022. I’ve heard similar from old and new blogging buddies alike, with a lot of discussion about “the death of blogging” swirling around the internet. Today, I don’t want to focus on the sad aspects though and rather celebrate the community we DO have.

First things first, I was really consistent again and don’t want to break with tradition. Here are some updated blog stats:

  • We’re less than 50 WordPress subscribers away from 3,000! I can’t believe that many people care about my ramblings.
  • I’ve written less posts (159 total) but had another 20% increase in views. I think I’m getting better at SEO, but I’m really just winging it. So, this is an unexpected delight.
  • I want to thank every single person who reads my posts, leaves a like or even takes the time to comment! You cannot imagine how much these interactions, however small, mean to me, because it’s my favorite part about blogging. It makes me feel less like screaming into a void, but rather sharing my thoughts and ideas with friends all over the world. A special shout out to my top-commentors CaroMarieRami, Sophie, Deanna and Bruce.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2022

These are all posts that I wrote in 2022 and that were popular with the internet. The archive posts (so everything I published prior to 2022) will be listed below without much comment.

Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)/Does The Atlas Paradox suffer from Second Book Syndrome? – This was the year of Olivie Blake and I’ve personally read three of her books as well as the YA book she published under a different name. I get why the internet is so enamored with her writing, I like it too, but sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the hype and to manage expectations. I hope I helped with my posts!

Should You Read the Atlas Six?

Along for the Ride: Book vs. Movie – I think the only reason this comparison was successful was due to the fact that I posted it on the release day of the Netflix movie. Sometimes I just work ridiculously fast!

Movie poster of Along for the Ride with the text "book vs. movie"

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (Book Review) – How cool is it that book reviews are doing so well? I remember times when reviews could not compete with tags and challenges or even simple TBR posts, but this year has proven me wrong. Reviews are still very much relevant!

Ranking All the Morgan Matson Books! – As I’ve slowly moved away from YA, I couldn’t help but highlight one of my favorite YA authors – Morgan Matson. I might grow out of that age range, but her books are cherished regardless.

Ranking All the Morgan Matson Books

Are Harry Styles and I compatible (readers)? – I don’t know if it’s because of the celebs I picked or the feature just not being that interesting anymore, but the celeb book club posts have not been doing particularly well this past year, which was part of the reason that I stopped doing them. I mean, it’s hard to never get to pick what you want to read and just have to rely on other people’s taste anyway, but I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to give it another go in 2023.

MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:

LIFE

I’m scared to wish for better for the new year, because life seems to take it as a challenge to make it worse somehow. Every year, I feel like I shouldn’t complain, because I know that a lot of people have it a lot worse than me. I have a steady job (even if I sometimes wish it would pay more), I have colleagues I adore and that make work fun, I have a loving family and friends all around the world I can turn to. And yet, life is hard and keeps throwing particularly difficult challenges my way.
There were a lot of health scares in my family in 2022 and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was terrified for months and months. I found less joy in things I used to love to do – such as binging TV, drawing my portraits or doing other creative work. Instead, I turned to long walks by myself and working out. (Eeew, teen me would not recognize herself.) I guess health (mental and physical) has become much more important to me as I’ve gotten older and that’s something I’m going to continue to work on in the years to come.

I have no idea where 2023 will take me, but I’m trying to go in with an open mind, a positive attitude but low expectations. Life is gonna do whatever it wants, you can’t plan for it. You can put things out into the universe and set things in motion, but in the end, it feels like what’s going to happen is going to happen. I just hope to see us all come out happy on the other side.

So, from me to all of you – THANK YOU for another fabulous year here on Life and Other Disasters! I literally couldn’t do this without you and am forever grateful for the relationships forged and the bonds made.