March 2020 Wrap-Up

It’s been a year! Oh, wait … it’s just the end of freaking forever-March. I really thought January was the never-ending month, but March sure dethroned it. A lot has been happening, and very few of these things (or none) were according to plan, but more about that later. The one thing that March allowed me to do was get back into reading again. I still can’t plow through 10 books a month, like I used to do in my late High School/early college years (wow, am I getting old?), but I am quite happy nonetheless, because I am just really enjoying diving into books again. I am DEFINITELY on track for my Goodreads reading challenge.

Anna K. The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5) The Aftermath

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

So, now let’s briefly talk about the obvious – the pandemic. I know, I know … we are all bombarded with it on a 24/7 news cycle and I can only imagine that you do not necessarily want to hear about it from me as well. I am not going to go into massive detail, but I just want to say that I hope you are all staying safe and at home (to the best of your abilities). These are trying times for everyone, but we need to remain patient and vigilant to continue flattening the curve. 

Having said that, I also want to say that it’s okay to mourn not being able to do something or see people you love. We are humans and therefore capable of more than one emotion. I can worry about the general human populace and still be sad about the fact that I had to cancel some important plans. As mentioned last month, I had planned to move to Canada this March with the work permit I acquired, but that has not happened. Not only was it my decision to cancel the flights and hotels I had already booked because traveling in this climate felt irresponsible, but a couple weeks later and literal all the borders are closed for non-essential travel. I am not going to lie, I threw myself a pity party and still am sad sometimes that I couldn’t do something I had worked towards for YEARS, but … in hindsight it might be for the better? I get to be with my parents right now. And even though it gets crowded sometimes, I am glad not to be entirely on my own an entire ocean away. It can get hard to find the positive, but I keep trying and just hoping that the more we band together (not physically, but by social distancing etc.) the sooner this will get managed.

Btw, don’t be like Vanessa Hudgens. Take this seriously!

Now, on to happier things! Life and Other Disasters has surpassed the freaking 2,500 follower milestone!!! I still can barely believe it, but I am so beyond grateful. As a way of looking back at years of blogging and which content stuck the most with you, my lovely readers, I published a series of posts titled “Kat Made Me Read/Watch It”. In it I listed all the shows, books and whatnot that you have told me you started watching or reading (partially) because of me and to this day, it’s one of the best things a blogger can hear. It makes our work feel appreciated and my heart sing. Here are the parts:

Aside from that, I don’t feel like I have been the most productive during this introspective time. I have barely picked up a brush, only honoring a couple actors for season finales or on their birthdays with a portrait. One was Ronen Rubinstein, who you will surely fall in love with just like I did once you watch 9-1-1 Lone Star (if you haven’t yet, what even are you waiting for?) and of course, the ever formidable Rupert Evans, who plays the whitelighter in the Charmed reboot.

I am serious, TK Strand will capture your heart (and not just that of hot police officer Carlos).

I thought it was especially cool that a friend of mine animated my drawing of Rupert, which made it eerily realistic and like it came to life!

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I really had to think about this a whole lot, because I initially couldn’t think of something I had enjoyed over the top this month, but then it struck me! I absolutely 100% could not forget about Vampires. I mentioned it in this post, but to sum it up briefly. Vampirism is a matriarchy. This show creates vampires like humans (through birth) and deals with a girl who seems to be a hybrid. Her mother has broken off contact with the rest of the community, but when news gets out about Doina (the hybrid girl), they WANT her. It has a completely toxic ship, but one I am so here for? Like … I just need a second season to have Ladislas and Doina date. That’s literally all I want.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, but so many bloggers have been so very kind to me. They keep highlighting posts of mine and I always seem to have been too self-absorbed or busy to return the favour. So, here are a couple posts from around the blogosphere that I enjoyed.

  • Marie (Drizzle and Hurricane Books) talked about her book buying process and the fact that she HAS a real, several steps process is just wow! I love that girl!
  • Caro (Bookcheshirecat) has reviewed one of my all time hidden gems – Jackaby! You should really check it out if you haven’t yet.
  • Lois (My Midnight Musing) recommended some binge-worthy TV shows (including some shows that I absolutely 100% endorse as well), so give it a go if you need some more stuff on your quarantine watchlist.
  • Over at The Punk Theory, Becks has reviewed Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3 of Riverdale. That show is a trash fire that I once upon supported and now only hate watch. It’s beautiful to watch her confusion grow as she keeps with it … cause like a train wreck, you can’t seem to look away).
  • Maha (Sunshine n’ Books) made a plan for what she wants to accomplish during self-isolation. Since her to-do-list and mine are quite similar, I just felt the need to share it here too!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

As I said before, I hope you are all staying safe and healthy! Here’s to hoping that we will all be able to accomplish the tasks we set for ourselves this April! If you ever feel like chatting, I am here.

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brooks (Book Review + Movie Trailer)

Publisher: Penguin
Page Count
: 325

I am struggling with how to even start this review. You all know how torn I am when it comes to the topic of books set during or closely after World War II. Some of my favourite reads treat that topic (check out Wolf by Wolf or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for some great examples) and I was ready to love and get my heart broken by The Aftermath as well. But somehow, that’s not what happened at all.

Rachael could find no solace in other people’s tales of woe. Pain was uniquely one’s own, and undiminished by a democracy of suffering.

The Aftermath certainly offers a perspective not too often shown. It deals with former enemies living in close quarters. With legitimate resentment and unwillingness to forgive and forget, while simultaneously needing to move on and let go. There is a constant push and pull as the story is mostly told from the confines of the families Morgan and Lubert, one English and one German. And that’s the whole point. These families have never done anything to each other per se, but their nationalities and what those countries have done during the war has led to loss on both sides and that in term to suffering. There are no real winners in war, so pain exists everywhere.

That is exactly what the book tried to show from as many angles as possible. There are complex moral questions to answer as you get confronted with what surely was the reality for many people. I am in no way EVER going to excuse the atrocities Germany (or Austria for that matter) has committed during the war, however, how can you judge every single person of a country for what the government did? How can you decide who has a clean slate and just did their best to survive or who willingly and eagerly participated? What about the children who were taught a certain mindset, sometimes too young to question what was going on – is their resentment towards the occupation justified?

And that is not all! The people who now want to rebuild the country and set it on a rightful path again, how much are they allowed to interfere really? If they disdain the entire populace, are they really able to help or are they making things worse? 

I’ve not met a German who has difficulty believing that they have been defeated, Wilkins. I think they have, to a man, accepted it, gladly, and with some relief. The real difference between them and us is that they have been comprehensively and categorically fucked, and they know it. It is we who are taking too long to adjust to that fact.

I don’t feel in any position to give or come up with proper answers here, but I was glad to have the book shine a light on those intricacies. I am not going to lie, some parts really hurt to read about. My grandmother was a young girl during the occupation and she had bad memories that haunted her until the end. I am not here to judge anyone’s right or wrong-doings, but I liked that the book showed that things weren’t that simple, that every side had its flaws.

However, why did I not love this book then? Everything felt very clinical and presented to me. There weren’t just the families, but also the Trümmerkinder (children living in the rubble), who basically started and finished the book and felt detached from everything else (despite providing a pivotal turning point for the story). While everyone had their part to play in showing what was going on, I had an immensely difficult time connecting to anyone in particular. While I was on board with some of the pain and resentment, some people felt manic and others had me furious at their unwillingness to adapt.

My biggest issue was probably the fact that the story just trickled along and then threw everything at you in the final 40 pages. I don’t mind introspective, slow stories. I don’t even mind it when nothing monumental happens at all and you just get a glimpse at a moment in time, but rushed endings have the tendency to ruin things for me. They never quite feel as satisfactory as the slower and intimate moments suggested it would all be thoroughly explained.

Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! An interesting view at post-war Germany that failed to fully capture me.

Now about the movie. I haven’t watched it yet, but I intend to at some point, because an actor I know has a role in it. However, I thought I would still share the trailer with you. From what I could see, it mainly focuses on the affair between the British wife of the colonel and the German man living in their requisitioned house. I love Alexander Skarsgard, so I don’t exactly mind that they didn’t use a German actor for the role (even though Alexander’s German does not sound authentic). Still, I could see almost all the characters from the book appear at one point or another. The piano music (especially in the second trailer) is also very much in tune with the book. It looks faithful enough, but I suspect that there wasn’t enough room in that one film to really explore all angles.


Have you read The Aftermath? Have you watched the movie? Let’s talk!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (March 23-29)

I want to use this weekly opportunity to check in with all of you! I hope quarantine life is treating you alright and that you stay home (if that is an option for you) and safe and sane. I think studios are a bit reluctant to release stuff these days, because cinemas are closed, so I am not sure how interesting this post will really be, but let’s check it out!

Movies

The Lost Husband

It looks simple enough, but sweet? Like the kind of “Safe Haven”/”Life as We Know It” stuff Duhamel used to do?

The Great

I am so into this.

The Main Event

The only experience I have with wrestling is GLOW, but okay.

Coffee & Kareem

Ed Helms and Taraji P Henson is such a funny idea for a pair to being with.

The Willoughbys

Yes, this is for me.

Survive the Night

I am just kind of over Bruce Willis thriller/action movies? Not even Chad Michael Murray as his son can raise my interest.

The Host

I think I’ll pass.

Tigertail

For some reason I thought this movie was already out just based on the name? But then I realised that I was stupid and had in reality thought of the madness that is Tiger King.

Fatima

I am really not one for religious content.

Most Dangerous Game

Didn’t I already post this?

TV Shows

Defending Jacob

Okay, my heart skipped a couple beats watching this! It’s not even my regular go to genre, but Chris Evans looks phenomenal in it. The acting is going to cause so many feels.

#blackAF

Is it copying/plagiarism if you use your own material?

Run

Still very much into the idea of this, even if it’s mostly due to Domhnall Gleeson and Phoebe Waller-Bridge being involved.

Into the Night

This took such an unexpected turn!

Survive

Every time they show more of this, it looks even creepier.

Brews Brothers

It looks so dumb, and I am not opposed to it.

Dirty John: The Betty Broderick

Oh, I thought the Dirty John series was just a limited series thing instead of an anthology-esque show.

Future Man (Season 3)

I don’t feel qualified to talk about this show.

Did you see something you might like? Let’s talk!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (March 16-22)

I feel sorry for all the movies and TV shows that had to halt production, for all the projects that had to postpone their release or resort to an early digital release. We all turn to entertainment in these times, so, I hope we are all able to really show appreciation for their work and are able to support them in other ways.

Movies

Inheritance

I DIDN’T EVEN RECOGNISE SIMON PEGG!? WTF? The cast of this is amazing and even though it’s not my usual genre, I am tempted.

Selah and the Spades

The suspense is there for sure.

Adventures of Rufus the Fantastic Pet

Eh … that cat looks super weird.

Deerskin

Just imagine how wrong things must have gone for someone to diss you with a “you don’t exist anymore”.

Clover

I think thriller comedies are a weird genre.

Bad Therapy

It’s messed up.

Hippopotamus

This is the kind of movie that REALLY freaks me out.

TV Shows

Never Have I Ever

You instantly got me with “a new Mindy Kaling show”.

Upload

This feels super Black Mirror, but I am here for it!

Maxxx

This looks just so dumb

The Midnight Gospel

I’ve never done drugs, but I strongly assume that this is an accurate representation of what it looks like if you do them.

Free Ray Shawn

I’ve never watched anything on Quibi before?

Nailed It (Season 4)

I need something to laugh, so I will watch this again (even though I strongly believe that not even professional bakers can achieve these tasks within the time limits and people are set up to fail).

Is there something you’d like to watch? Let’s chat!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (March 9-15)

I hope you are all doing well, not taking the social distancing too hard and finding ways to keep yourself entertained in the meantime. I know you don’t need to read about the virus here on top of everywhere else, but due to the next monthly update not being for a while, I just wanted to inform you all that I will not be going to Canada anytime soon. Measures in my own country have increased and, in general, it would neither have been a responsible nor smart choice to go right now. All of that has left me rather sad, but I suppose it wouldn’t have been fun over there either. So, let’s get back to regular programming and start talking trailers!

Movies

Soul

IT LOOKS SO COOL!

Jungle Cruise

On the one hand, I think this is so silly, but on the other hand, I am on board.

Uncorked

Didn’t know this movie was made until just now, but I will HAPPILY watch anything with Mamoudou Athie. He is seriously underappreciated.

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee

Awe, if Paul Hogan did this to have fun, I am all for it.

Bad Trip

I … don’t think I need this in my life. I never enjoyed anything jackass-like before.

The Artist’s Wife

This movie has a realness to it.

Arkansas

It’s a maybe from me.

The Quarry

This just isn’t really my kind of movie.

True History of the Kelly Gang

George MacKay out there, still giving very intense roles his all!

The Little Dragon

Not a huge fan of the animation style, so will likely pass.

Children of the Sea

This could be cool, I think.

TV Shows

Home Before Dark

I super like the look of it. I mean, they torched that little girl’s bike. That’s brutal!

The Third Day

This turned dark fast.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved

Yo, I didn’t even have the time to check out the second season of the live action show yet. No way am I going to watch this animated stuff too.

Did you see a movie or TV show you’d like to watch? Let’s talk about it!

Kat Made Me Watch/Read It! (Part 1)

This post has sort of come to be in order to celebrate a beautiful milestone in this blog’s history and that is 2,500 followers on WordPress for Life and Other Disasters! I am in awe of all of you lovely people who have stuck with me through thick and thin or even just recently joined the flock (that sounded weird. I apologize!). The idea is simple, while I do blog mostly for myself, noting fills my heart more than people telling me I was responsible for them watching/reading something and it turning out to be something they’ve enjoyed. So, I would like to do a series of posts spotlighting the movies, TV shows and books that I have been told people associate with me the most. So, basically, stuff I have “influenced” them to read or watch because of my posts either here or on twitter or elsewhere.

Today, I am starting with some movies! Most of you know me for my TV obsession, so this is a perfect light start to the matter, because there really weren’t all that many movies I could think of. If this is something you’ll enjoy beyond the three posts I have planned though, I am more than happy to maybe establish this as a yearly feature (possibly on blogiversaries?), but … one step at a time.

Set It Up

The way Netflix still hasn’t sponsored any of my posts, despite more than half my content being about their content is a tragedy. However, when it comes to movies, I think most of you remember my absolute freak out over their romcom Set It Up. First of all, how dare there not be more romantic comedies these days? They are fun, great escapism and when done right, something you can watch a hundred times and not get bored. Secondly, whoever cast Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch as the leads is basically a genius, because, in my eyes, they have found the next Tom-Hanks-Meg-Ryan-combo. And thirdly, this movie is just wildly relatable on so many levels. I, as a writer/bloger/creative-person trying to get by with business stuff that I feel very loyal towards but that distracts me, found myself in Zoey’s character especially.

Good news for all of us – Glenn and Zoey are currently working with the director to maybe create a sequel? Either way, they have worked together before and they will work together in movies again. Their friendship and chemistry is too great to waste!

Little Women

I was surprised by this, because it’s a rather recent film. Then again, Greta Gerwig is an absolute director idol of mine and we all know how much I adore Saoirse and Timothée, especially when they are on screen together. But Florence was also brilliant in this movie and so was everyone else.

I have the script at home, because Greta was kind enough to make it available publicly, and even though there are slight changes to the final product, I am still so very much in love. The tone, the intertwined timelines, the acting, the way this story still hasn’t gotten old – it’s perfect! PERFECTION! I can literally read it at any time, see the scenes in my head and get all the emotions I had while experiencing the movie for the first time all over again.

Last Christmas

Another surprise to me when I heard it, but when my good friend and blogging buddy Marie (@Drizzle and Hurricane Books) tells me she associates me with the movie Last Christmas, I am not going to argue with her! Maybe, and I really don’t know if that is true, but maybe it had something to do with me seeing the movie months before its release in the presence of Emilia Clarke and Paul Feig? I got to go with some work colleagues when the movie had a special premiere in Berlin and I had a grand time. We got an advent calendar (which I have still saved somewhere in my room, even with all the chocolate gone), a green Christmas hat and free drinks.

Aside from all that, I obviously also had a good time at the movie itself. I am not sure it will become a Christmas classic really, mostly because I guessed the twist from the trailer, but I do enjoy being right … a lot.


Did I miss something crucial? Are there movies you have watched because of me? Please, tell me all about it!!! This is what I live for ❤

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (March 2-8)

I hope you are all doing well! There’s not much to talk about considering that my last post was my monthly wrap-up, so let’s dive right into the trailers!

Movies

Banana Split

THIS IS MY KIND OF MOVIE!!! (I seriously wouldn’t even have minded if they’d made it gay)

Connected

They kind of lost me a little bit with the robot apocalypse? But it still has great animation style.

Artemis Fowl

I hear people who have read the book aren’t into this.

Lost Transmissions

It’s not something I’d expect Simon Pegg in, but I am not against it.

Antebellum

I still think this looks cool?

Only

This … this is exactly like that Casey Affleck movie? Just that it was about his daughter instead of his wife? Why are they producing all these movies where women go extinct???

Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss

This is the kind of strangeness I expect Taika Waititi to partake in …

Greyhound

I am sorry, but war movies just really aren’t my thing.

Blue Story

Peoples feels about this movie are very mixed and I don’t know what to say about it, cause I don’t think it’s my lane?

Radium Girls

I don’t know why (maybe The Kissing Booth?) but I can’t take Joey King all that serious.

Proxima

Apparently they worked really close with ESA experts to make this movie realistic, but Eva Green is spectacular either way.

Sea Fever

This has been done so many times, it’s just in the sea this time around.

The Other Lamb

Cult movies are just creepy beyond anything.

TV Shows

I Know This Much Is True

We don’t just get one, but TWO Mark Ruffalos in this!

Unorthodox

The first shot is of Berlin and then it just continued far different from what I expected. But it’s very Berlin in the end.

The English Game (Mini-Series)

Did not expect this to get so intense.

Our Girl (Season 4)

I LOVE THIS SHOW! I am actually glad Captain James isn’t in this, because he behaved so out of character last season and I didn’t like that at all. I pretend it never happened.

Elite (Season 3)

I AM READY!!! Like SO SO SO ready!!!

Casa de Papel/Money Heist (Part 4)

I am still no season 1 …

What We Do In the Shadows (Season 2)

Let the weird continue.

Siren (Season 3)

Despite this title sounding like a very me thing, I have never watched the show and therefore have nothing to say.

Ozark (Season 3)

I TRIED, okay? I just didn’t get into this show and was surprised it had a third season.

What did you think? Are there shows or movies you would like to watch? Let’s chat!