January 2023 Wrap-Up

January Wrap-Up

I don’t know about you, but January seemed to take forever. I took the month to focus on getting back into things I used to love and semi-succeeded with it. At least in terms of reading, I’m happy to report that I’ve finished 5 books (well, 3 books, 1 novella and 1 short story). It might not have seemed like it, because I’ve not reviewed much of what I’ve read, but I truly had a fantastic time getting back into reading.

  • For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten (3.75 stars)
    While in theory, this book should have been everything to me, I didn’t find myself as invested as I would have liked to be. I’m not sure I will pick up the sequel, but I’m happy to see Red and the Wolf making it.
  • The Six Deaths of the Saint by Alix E. Harrow (5 stars)
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon (4.5 stars)
  • Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison (4.25 stars)
    I have the rest of the series already ready to go on my eReader and I plan to review the whole series once I’m done.
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (5 stars)
    I 100% understand why this is a classic, it was so well written and gripped you from the first sentence. I’m looking forward to reviewing after I’ve watched the TV adaptation. I miss doing comparison posts, so it seems fitting to examine those two versions.

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! OR find me on StoryGraph, which I adore more and more as an alternative. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I think a big part of my success reading so much (at least in comparison to how much I usually tend to read in a month) in January was due to me participating in StoryGraph’s January Pages Challenge. In an attempt to get people to read at least one page per day (or listen to one minute of an audiobook per day), they set up their own reading challenge and sweetened the deal with possible prizes. While I didn’t win any of the challenge prizes, I feel like it set me up with a great habit for the year to come. Here’s a graph of how much I’ve been reading last month:

A graph showing that I completed the StoryGraph January Pages Reading Challenge

 

In Other News

Usually, I have a bunch of posts set up for January to really kick blogging off right, but I didn’t have the best of starts to the year and generally felt pretty exhausted. I wanted to prioritize things that actually brought me joy and while I consider blogging to be a vital part of myself, I’d much rather focus on other things when I’m tired. Like, there’s no point in churning out mid-posts just because, when I’m not feeling it. So, I started the year with re-evaluating my priorities.

There’s Only So Much Time in Day

I want to read, write, watch TV, catch up with the people I care about, work out and on top of that I still need to do my job and rest as well. I can’t do it all, no one can, and it has been a challenge to not get frustrated by that. I’ve slowly gotten back into working out more regularly – mostly I’ve just walked a lot – but it’s really the creative outlets I’m missing most in my life. I seem to have zero energy for them. I’d like to change that this year and deliberately make more time for creative tasks, which brings me to my next point.

I MISS writing SO MUCH

I’ve checked out some of my old, unfinished WIPs and … I hated my writing in all of them. There’s part of my brain that knows that I’m not terrible at everything. My narrative ideas are solid, even when the execution is lacking. I haven’t posted on my secret fan fic account (sorry, I just can’t reveal that one) for close to a year now and I still got a message saying “please come back!!!” the other day. The thing is, I WANT TO. I want to write and create and draw my own characters and really dive deep into these worlds. There’s not just a lack of motivation, but I think also confidence. I’ve read some fantastic books these past years and my brain just says that I could never do that. I need to do some soul searching to find my voice and point of view.

Nick Miller from New Girl sitting in front of his laptop and saying "I got nothing" as he attempts to write his novel.

Basking in all the good TV

TV, as so often, has been my escape in January. There’s just been so much good content out there again and I’m glad I kicked off the year with such fantastic shows. On the one hand, we have the return of The Legend of Vox Machina, which is getting released in batches of three episodes per week – offering the perfect mix between binging and a weekly schedule. I just keep falling in love with everyone at Critical Role all over again, the fact that we’re now also getting the Mighty Nein and a movie (*fingers crossed it’s a Calamity movie*) almost had me in tears.

Speaking of tears, basically the whole world is bawling their eyes out at the masterpiece that is The Last of Us! As someone who hasn’t played the game, but still knows a fair bit about it, I am in awe of this show. It’s so good and I love that Pedro Pascal just doesn’t miss with his roles. Having said that, episode 3 “Long, Long Time” will stay in my heart forever.

I Played Another Game – Rakuen

I don’t even know how I stumbled upon Rakuen, but it was a delight to play. The game mechanics are fairly simple, so are the graphics, but they are SO FREAKING CUTE. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some terrifying stuff and it will rip your heart out of your chest, but I like the balance with the sweet stuff.

I’ve found that “short” games with a good storyline are my jam and Rakuen definitely fits that category. It’s about a boy at a hospital, who escapes to a magical world – on the one hand, to escape his own life, but also to help the people around him. By the end, I was just a puddle of tears. Not sure it has a lot of replayability, but I had a good time!

RECAPPING 2022

A big part of this past month was taking the time to wrap-up 2022 and let go of the year. I did so in various posts, which you can check out here:

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


Hope you had a great start to the year and are now basking in a fantastic February! Let’s chat!

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.

December 2022 Wrap-Up

While I usually do a monthly and yearly wrap-up at the beginning of January, I’ve decided to change things up this year. We’ll have the regular wrap-up for December now, then the rest of the week will be dedicated to various rankings and looking at 2022 in review as well as what’s ahead on the blog. Seen as I’m heading towards my 10th blogging anniversary fast, there are some things I’m starting to consider for the future of Life and Other Disasters.

First things first though, I’m happy to report that I somehow managed to achieve my reading goal for 2022 and finished 45 books! It’s five less than I managed to read in the previous year, but I was far busier, so I’m happy with the result. Here are the reads that accompanied me in the final month of the year:

  • Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake (3.5 stars)
  • Stella by Takis Würger (2 stars)
  • Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume I by Matthew Mercer/Matthew Colville/Olivia Samson/Chris Northrop (5 stars)
    Massive shout out to my mate, Lois, who gifted this comic book to me for Christmas, because she knows my love for Critical Role knows no bounds. This was such a well-paced volume and a great backstory on top of things. I was beyond happy!
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (5 stars)
    According to StoryGraph, I started this book 233 days ago, but I couldn’t have read it sooner. It was hitting way too close to home, but I did it. I finished it before the end of the year and I’m proud of that.

Alone With You in the Ether Stella Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume I Crying in H Mart

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! OR find me on StoryGraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

In Other News

As I’ve mentioned in many posts, I’ve been sick for quite a large chunk of December. On top of that, Christmas with my family had to be cancelled due to other health issues. This was the first Christmas ever that I didn’t spend with my family, despite my many years of traveling and living abroad. It was kind of sad, but then I had to work anyway, so at least I had something to do …

Binging TV is my coping mechanism

Whenever I feel down or just plain don’t have the energy for anything, I start getting REALLY into a show. This is mostly the time when I pick a show that has several seasons or spin-off shows already, so that I can just fixate on it like there’s no tomorrow. Momentarily, that is the Yellowstone universe for me. Yellowstone, 1883, 1923 and the upcoming 6666 show have my brain thoroughly occupied. These shows are brutal and definitely don’t just show history’s pretty side. As much as I appreciate that Taylor Sheridan doesn’t sweettalk what was done to indigenous people, he is still just a white man? So, what these shows have really done is whet my appetite to check out content (movies, shows, books) by actual indigenous creators in 2023.

I will continue to watch these shows though. They have me in their grasp now …

My Weightloss Journey

Again, feel free to skip this portion of the wrap-up. I know it’s a difficult topic for many and I get it, put yourself first!

I always use this portion of the post for accountability, but my journey has come to a halt and I’ve even taken a couple steps back. With me getting sick and the holidays, I’ve not been able to work out at all and have gained back some of the weight that I had already lost. As frustrating a setback as this is, I also know that my body needed that time. I was not well and there was no point in going on a diet while sick just because I couldn’t do my regular workouts. Things like this happen and I try not to be too hard on myself, instead I want to get back into things as soon as I get rid of this persistent cough. (No, it’s not the ‘rona.)

Still, I couldn’t deprive you of another fun dance workout. It’s just one song, but oh so timely considering last month’s release of Wednesday.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF DECEMBER 2022

This list is literally identical, except that the first and last spot have swapped. Wild!

  1. Does The Atlas Paradox Suffer From Second Book Syndrome?
    (originally posted November 2022)
    Love that this post is gaining traction. I put a lot of thought into the review.
  2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    This is the staple review post of my blog by now.
  3. Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan (Book Review)
    (originally posted November 2020)
    I still attribute the popularity of this post to the holidays.
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    Curious that this game is still sparking new interest almost daily.
  5. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    Well, if they read about the sequel, they probably also want to read about the first book.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a brilliant start into the new year! I wish you nothing but health, luck, love and happiness for the months to come!

Something Different: I was a Teenage Exocolonist (Game Review)

Something different
Or
That time I got completely addicted
to: I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

I’ve mentioned I was a Teenage Exocolonist in my November 2022 wrap-up post and I think it’s fair to say that I’m obsessed. When I first started playing the game, I sat there for 15 hours straight, not being able to tear myself away from the screen. You know I don’t do game reviews often, but I just couldn’t pass up the chance to talk about this one. But first things first!

*I have not been asked to talk about this game by the developers! I am sharing these views of my own accord.*

I was a Teenage Exocolonist is a single-player RPG simulation game by Northway Games and Finji. I played it on my laptop, but I think there are options for the PS5 and Nintendo Switch as well. Originally an indie game, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and I’d just love to add my voice to those. The game is currently 20% off on Steam, but you can find all that relevant technical data here.

What exactly is the game about? Well here’s how the developers put it:

Spend your teenage years on an alien planet in this narrative RPG with card-based battles. Explore, grow up, and fall in love. The choices you make and skills you master over ten years will determine the course of your life and the survival of your colony.

The absolutely adorable and beautiful design aside, I am always easily swayed by games where your choices matter and lead to different outcomes. What is so special about I was a Teenage Excolonist though is that you play it through once, encounter incredible losses and then … you get to do it all over again! As many times as you like! It’s a game that is designed to be replayed as you character remembers their past life/lives and can alter events based on that knowledge. I just wanted to save everyone and explore all possible endings, I got sucked in hard!

Why Do I Like It So Much?

  • SO MANY OPTIONS! Do you want to romance all the characters? Be in a poly relationship or are you not interested in romantic gestures at all? Choose your own pronouns? Do you want to be a bully or give back to the community? Do you want to commune with aliens or become part of a military complex? End famine or create a life-ending virus? Everything is possible! You might just have to do it a couple times over to get the outcome you want.
  • The developers created a beautiful world with intricate storytelling. They wanted to have inclusive storytelling, but also knew that not all subject matter was suitable for every player. Before you even start, you have the option to look at a list of content warnings, which I thought was very considerate thing to add to the home screen.
  • Every single character has a backstory, their own personality, desires, dreams and fears. You may think that they’re only side characters in your world, but they have a mind of their own and their choices make sense for who they are meant to be.
  • The mini-games to level up your skills are simple yet fun. Each memory is more or less transformed into a card, which you can then use to level up and do certain jobs in a card game. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to master the mini-games, but when your stress level is too high, you might curse them. If the novelty ever wears off, you can turn off the card challenges though.
  • The auto-saves are super solid and while you should “bookmark” certain milestones, I’ve used the auto-saves quite often to remedy a bad decision.
  • While the look of the game is definitely more cute and pretty than steamy, I still have to praise it. For me, it had the perfect visuals.
  • You really go through a whole bunch of emotions. Grief, loss, happiness, relief, joy, anxiety, anger, jealousy, … you name it, it’s packed somewhere into the game. I always tended to pick the kinder options, because even in a game, I find it hard to be mean to people, but you can even be as rebellious or compliant as you like.

Downsides?

  • As I said, it’s a game you start over again and again and again … with that come certain repetitions. You have the option to skip dialogue you have encountered before, but some tasks remain tedious and necessary regardless. I sometimes wish I could also keep some of my character’s abilities, but that is just me being greedy.
  • While you have the option to customize a lot about your own character, such as name, gender etc., you can’t really choose your appearance. I got used to it and definitely didn’t mind it in the end, but I would have loved to create my own look, hair or clothing choices.
  • You can’t change everything. I don’t want to spoil anything, but despite some people claiming you can save everyone, there are a couple character deaths that you simply cannot prevent, no matter how hard you try. They are necessary for other character’s story arcs, so there’s that. I was sad, but I also got it from a storytelling point of view.

In the last week, I’ve played this game for more than 50 hours and I can see myself putting in even more time. It just has such a special feel to it, that I keep wanting to come back. I know I could have gone more in depth on some parts, but where’s the fun in knowing all that could happen?

credit: Finji/Northway Games

Previous game reviews:


Have you played I was a Teenage Exocolonist? Can you see yourself giving it a try? Let’s chat!

November 2022 Wrap-Up

November Wrap-Up

So, I really dropped the ball in terms of blogging in November. I don’t know if it was some preemptive winter blues getting more or something else, but I neither had the time nor motivation to do anything creative on here. I also didn’t manage to read a whole lot, but what else is new? Check it out:

  • Swimming Lessons: Poems by Lili Reinhart (2 stars)
    Yeah, I’m sorry, friends, but there was a reason people dunked on this when it came out.
  • The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake (5 stars)
  • Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    While it’s really hard to read about the pandemic – especially in ways that suggest it’s over completely – this book was so emotional, relatable and vulnerable. Amanda Gorman has honed her craft and it shows.

Swimming Lessons: Poems  The Atlas Paradox (The Atlas, #2)  Call Us What We Carry

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I’m sort of still on track with my reading goal in terms of books (I can read four more books in a month, right?), but there is absolutely no way I will read 4K+ pages in December. It’s sad to see that I aimed too high, but sometimes you have to push yourself. I’m still happily reading Babel at the moment and have added Alone With You in the Ether to my currently reading pile, because why stop at three books by Olivie Blake in one year. I can up that number at least.

 

In Other News

November was an odd month for me. Loads to do in general, I barely registered the month flying by. I distinctly remember wanting to do more, but somehow you just blink and *poof* no more time left. I initially was really determined to get back into writing and then did exactly none of that, so we will see how my resolve to blog every day of December will go (watch me break my streak after four days). Let’s break down the month again!

Twitter Went Into Titanic Mode

Twitter is my favorite and most used social media platform. I can’t handle all the images and videos on short livedness (that’s not a word, is it?) of instagram and TikTok (although zero offense if you like these platforms, they just overwhelm me). When everyone started jumping ship, I really panicked. I don’t want to loose contact to so many people I love having in my life, getting information on things I care about and just being able to communicate in a simple way.

Ultimately, I’m still on Twitter, I won’t go anywhere for now and I even made a proposition to my friends. If you consider yourself one of them, feel free to DM or email me:

The Atlas Paradox Released

THIS was my most anticipated sequel of the year! I went to the bookstore on release day and was really excited to get a physical copy to make notes and annotations in. I just adore Olivie Blake’s writing and was so, so giddy to just get started on reading it. Sequels are dangerous and many books suffer from second book syndrome, so I wrote a whole post about it.

Does the Atlas Paradox suffer from second book syndrome?

I Accidentally Played a Game for 15 Hours Straight

I’m not a gamer, you know this about me! So, I have no explanation for what happened to me when I started playing I Was a Teenage Exocolonist and suddenly it was 5AM and I hadn’t gotten up or eaten or slept at all in the past 15 hours. After I got over the fact that that was some disconcerting behavior and I now had to readjust my entire sleep schedule (it took a while) I moderated the time I spent on the game and fell in love with it even more. Would you guys be interested in me making a post about the game and talking about why I love it so much?

I Got a New Show to Obsess Over

Don’t I always obsess over some show or movie? It sure feels like it on my end. And there’s many contenders for content I adored – Wakanda Forever, Walker Independence, The Sex Lives of College Girls, … to name a few – but there’s one in particular that left me wanting more: 1899. Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar created one of my favorite German shows ever (Dark, hope you knew that) and have now reeled me in again with 1899. It’s a far more international undertaking and includes languages such as German, English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Polish and maybe some more. The cast has been assembled in part from previous Netflix projects and together they made the most expensive German TV show to date. I hope they get to continue. I’ll be so upset if they don’t. If you’re curious about the show, please don’t wait too long to watch it – viewing hours in the first couple of weeks are most crucial for Netflix.

My Weightloss Journey Continues Some More

Again, feel free to skip this portion of the wrap-up. I know it’s a difficult topic for many and I get it, put yourself first!

I started going to the free gym at my work about twice a week, which includes some weight training. Going into it with the knowledge that I wouldn’t loose as much weight since I was building muscles and getting stronger, I’m happy that I still got to further reduce my weight by 1.5kg/3lbs. I have to say that my motivation still took a dip during the past month, because there were times that I just felt physically exhausted and didn’t see any progress, which made me want to not continue at times. The thing is, I factually know that I now fit into pants comfortably that I could barely zip up a couple months ago, but my brain couldn’t see a difference while looking at my body. We’re weird creatures, us humans.

Anyway, point being, when people tell you to take progress pics, they really mean well. Your brain might not want to register the difference, but when you put images side by side, you’ll notice it clear as day.

If you want another fun at-home-workout, I got you covered:

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF NOVEMBER 2022

I know you’ve read this before, but I’m going to keep saying it – thank you for showing up to my old posts even when my blogging motivation is lacking. I appreciate it so much!!

  1. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    That just made sense with the sequel coming out, I guess people were wondering if they should jump on the bandwagon.
  2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Not a month goes by that this post isn’t doing numbers.
  3. Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn/David Levithan (Book Review)
    (originally posted November 2020)
    Did not expect that review to make a comeback!? But Dash and Lily are basically bookish Christmas, so that makes sense.
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    Glad people are interested in the game. I loved playing it.
  5. Does The Atlas Paradox Suffer From Second Book Syndrome?
    A new post made it onto the list! Wohooo!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Apologies for not doing better and blog hopping more. I did the bare minimum of everything and anything in November.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all will have a great last month of the year. I hope the holiday season won’t be too stressful and you’ll all finish your reading goals with ease! Let’s talk soon!

October 2022 Wrap-Up

October was a complete disaster on the blog. Even though I posted my usual two posts per week, I really felt like I was on some sort of hiatus, doing the bare minimum. Somehow, I just didn’t find the time to read anything until the very end of the month (currently, I’m knee-deep into Babel and The Atlas Paradox and loving it!). So, here’s what I ended up finishing:

  • Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (4 stars)
    This is the third installment in the Murderbot Diaries and while it wasn’t my favorite, the series is still excellent. I hope you won’t mind that I wait to review the books until I finish the series (up to the book it is out right now) and am able to do it in one go.
  • LVOE: Poems, Epigrams & Aphorisms by Atticus (4 stars)
    I first encountered poetry by Atticus while I was in Canada and I still enjoy it. It’s not always as deep as others, but it leaves me with a nice and warm feeling.

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3) LVOE: Poems, Epigrams & Aphorisms

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I had built up quite a comfortable buffer for my reading challenges, which has gone entirely to waste these past two months. I’m still sort of on track with the number of books, but I highly doubt I will reach my (for me, quite ambitious) page count goal. Even with Babel and The Atlas Paradox, it’s a stretch.

Two bars showing my reading progression this year so far until the end of October 2022. I have managed to stay on track for the number of books (45) I want to read and am currently at 84%. I am behind 2556 pages on my page count goal of 15000 pages for the year, which leaves me at 67%.

 

In Other News

October was once again a very busy month. We had presidential elections in my country, loads of my friends and family members had their birthdays and name days (yes, we “celebrate” those too) and in general, I feel like there was just always something going on. I’ve thought about this just recently, but I can’t even recall the last time I was bored. It legit doesn’t happen to me anymore. Once again, I’m sticking to the format of dividing up the month into segments and telling you about them separately.

Writing My Fantasy Novel

I have made ZERO progress. I’m not even sure I opened the document during October, if I’m being completely honest. It’s not that I lost interest in it, I just feel like I’m more in a reading rather than writing mood at the moment. However, having said that, it is NaNoWriMo. I have no intention of rushing through the novel, but maybe it will help me just work on it on a daily basis? That would be nice. But we all know I have the worst track record with sticking to NaNoWriMo …

I Still Have the Same Favorite Poet

Last month, I heavily teased that I fell in love with the writing of a certain poet, who kept his work out of the public eye. Funny story, the person is actually a former boxer now actor and while his Instagram is still private, he has decided to share some of his work on TikTok. Now, I quite enjoyed having his words all to myself (this is an exaggeration, he did share it with several hundred people before as well), but if you are curious and want to check out Kieron Moore’s poetry for yourself, you can do so here.

I Played Foretales

One of my favorite voice actors I share a birthday with (serious shout out to the legend that is Travis Willingham) promoted the latest game he did voice work for and I immediately wanted to check it out. I don’t have a proper gaming set up, I only have my laptop, that’s not really made for a lot of processing work. Regardless, Foretales is a really cool story-driven RPG card game. I enjoy games where my decisions have an impact on the story and certain paths are blocked or opened, depending on what I did prior. I have to admit that I sometimes got stuck on really silly things and was frustrated when I had to redo chapters, but overall, it was a lot of fun. You can find more info on it on Steam here.

My Weightloss Journey Continues

Again, feel free to skip this portion of the wrap-up. I know it’s a difficult topic for many and I get it, put yourself first!

As I keep at my regular cardio workouts and still haven’t gone on a diet – on the contrary, I think I’m eating more now than ever before and I notice it in my budget – I continue to slowly but steadily loose weight. The most important thing to me is that what I do remains something that is sustainable. There’s no use in starving yourself or overworking, just to go back to “normal” and reversing all that progress. I feel like what I’m doing does push me to go out more and definitely exercise and move more than I did previously, but I found the joy in moving and therefore it’s not so much of a chore, but rather something I feel incomplete without.

I’ve upped my workout time and often end up doing 30 to 45 minutes a day, but sometimes, when I just don’t feel like it, I end up only doing something for 10 to 20 minutes and that’s still enough. So, I’ve lost another 3 kg/6.6 lbs since the last wrap-up, which makes me feel confident that I can reach my desired goal by my 30th birthday.

Here’s the latest workout video I’ve been coming back to, especially with Taylor Swift’s release of Midnights:

This Spooky Season offered great Spooky TV!

There were so many great seasonal shows this last month! I loved the latest adaptations of Vampire Academy and Interview with the Vampire. Two very different shows, but both offering me everything I wanted from them. However, there is another adaptation that I feel got completely lost in the sheer amount of content that is being released as of late – The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself! The show is based on the book Half Bad by Sally Green, which I’ve read eons ago and can’t remember in detail, but still recognized in the show. It was fantastically paced, had super interesting character dynamics and would have been a perfect Halloween watch. I don’t see a lot of people talking about it, but I really wish more would watch it. It has some seriously f- up stuff happen it, but I would love to see what they do with another season.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF OCTOBER 2022

I’ll never know how to express my utter love for everyone who keeps visiting this corner of the interwebs, even when I barely post any new content. I genuinely adore you! Here are the most popular posts of October.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    No surprise there, right?
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    This actually makes a lot of sense, if you think about it being the release month for the sequel. I’m glad people find this post helpful!
  3. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    No clue what sparked the resurgence of this post.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Yeah, why not? He’s always interesting I suppose.
  5. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (Book Review)
    (originally posted October 2016)
    So, clearly I read this book way before it become a TikTok sensation and when I, myself, was still much younger. It’s the only Hoover book I’ve ever read and while I apparently enjoyed it back then, I’m not sure, I would still like it as much now? It’s wild to me that a post from 6 years ago is getting that much traffic.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This is only a fraction of all the great content that my fellow bloggers put out into the blogosphere in October. Still, I hope you’ll give them a visit and share the love!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a wonderful spooky season and are now enjoying your November! Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Any particular reading plans or otherwise? Let’s chat!

September 2022 Wrap-Up

So, I’ve made no secret out of the fact that I was very busy in September and things (on the blog and elsewhere) didn’t exactly always go according to “plan”. I did, however, start reading the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells and I love them. Their short format was ideal for my schedule and even though I didn’t get super far, I’m happy to be in the middle of the third book by now. I’ll write a whole post on them, once I’ve finished reading the books that are out so far!

  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells (5 stars)
  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (5 stars)

 

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

Now, with me only having read novellas all of September, and not many at that either, my reading challenges have suffered a little. I’m still ahead in terms of the total book goal I set for myself, just because I’ve accrued a nice buffer in previous months. The page count goal though? Not looking great …

A graph showing that I have read 36 out of my 45 book reading goal and 9503 pages out of 15000 pages. This means I am two books ahead of schedule but 1839 pages behind on my page goal.

 

In Other News

As I’ve now mentioned a lot, I was booked and busy in September. A lot of it had to do with work, because I’ve had quite a lot of hours scheduled and will continue to work a bit more than usual until the end of the year. That in itself is a bit tiring, but I made some other lifestyle changes and they just really took up a lot of my time in addition to that. I quite enjoyed the format of last month’s wrap-up (where I definitely had more to talk about, check it out here, if you missed it), so I’m going to stick to it.

If you don’t want to read about my weight loss journey, you should probably skip this portion of the wrap-up. I get it, put yourself first!

Lifestyle Changes

With working from home and just not having taken the best care of myself, I’ve gained quite a lot of weight over the past year. Every body looks different and needs different things, but I just didn’t feel comfortable in mine anymore. As I’ve mentioned last month, I got a Fitbit and that was the start of my weight loss journey.

I wanted to make sure that whatever changes I made, they would be sustainable and that I wouldn’t be miserable. I really found joy in movement again and could still (mostly) eat whatever I wanted, as long as it was in moderation. I’ve definitely become the boring friend who talks about calories and workouts and how many steps I got in too much, but this takes up so much of my time that I think it makes sense that it occupies so much of my mind.

In my mind, I’m kind of still stuck pre-pandemic at being 27 years old, but in reality I will turn 30 in less than a year. I’m now working out six times a week for about 30 minutes each and have lost 2 kg/4.4 pounds in a month, which doesn’t seem like an unhealthy or rapid weight loss. I’ve decided I will make sure I’m the hottest and most comfortable I’ve ever been once I turn 30. It’s a ridiculous goal, but mostly I just want to keep having fun with this journey, because right now, it IS fun.

This is one of the videos that got me started, as it is very beginner friendly and I personally just also really like Harry Styles’ music:

Writing My Fantasy Novel

I think I’ve been dreaming more about writing this book than actually sitting down and writing it. Still, I’m going to keep including my WIP in the monthly-wrap ups for accountability. I’ve worked so hard on the outline, there’s no way I’m just going to let it disappear in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again. I’m currently at 1,131 words, which isn’t great, but it’s something.

This is legit the slowest I’ve ever written anything and somehow I don’t feel like I’ve really found the right voice for it yet, which is why this is taking so long. BUT I’m not giving up. It’s just hard to find the time and mental capacity to sit down and write after work and work outs.

Nick Miller from New Girl sitting in front of his laptop and saying "I got nothing" as he attempts to write his novel.

I Found a New Favorite Poet

I don’t know if you’ve ever fallen in love with someone you don’t know through their writing, but it has happened to me. I got so obsessed with some of the poems, I transcribes them into one of my gazillion notebooks, just to have them with me whenever I want to revisit them. You cannot imagine how much I would love to share some of this person’s writing with you, but I can’t. Some of you I might have confided in with his identity, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing it on here, because I’m really not entirely certain how he feels about his poetry getting out, despite him being in the public eye quite a bit.

He’s brilliant, vulnerable, poignant and relatable, but he doesn’t wish to share his stuff with the broad public right now. He might secretly be working on a poetry collection that I’m pretty sure will eventually get published AND WHEN THAT DAY COMES – YOU WON’T HEAR ME SHUT UP ABOUT IT!

I really wish I knew how to write poetry, but that’s a skill that has always escaped me.

I Watched All the Gen Z Content

We’ve established earlier on that time stops for no one and I’m approaching 30 fast. I’m a millennial through and through, but somehow I still got entranced by Gen Z content. In terms of movies, I thought Do Revenge was formidable and so much fun (even if the last quarter of the movie was a bit rushed) and I also completely got sucked in the world of Heartbreak High. Netflix’ hold on me was strong this past month! Please, give me more!!

the cast of Heartbreak High sitting on rocks by the ocean
credit: Netflix

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF SEPTEMBER 2022

Since I wasn’t very active this month, views definitely dropped by quite a lot. Here are the top visited posts of September though:

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    I still have no clue why this one is so popular. I’ve tried searching for it on google, but didn’t actually find anything.
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    The sequel releases this month and I CANNOT WAIT!
  3. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for him comes and goes in waves.
  4. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    I imagine it might have something to do with The Last of Us trailer release.
  5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Book Review)
    (originally posted December 2021)
    More people watched the movie so they might have wanted to know what the book was about? I definitely didn’t promote it anymore.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I’m terribly sorry, but I’ve not gotten any better at blog-hopping. If you have a post you would like me to check out, make sure to link it in the comments!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ll have a productive yet chill October! I’m really looking forward to the spooky season, despite not having a costume yet …

August 2022 Wrap-Up

I started August really motivated to blog, which, in hindsight, is not reflected at all in the content I provided. I don’t know what exactly happened, but I got busy? First things first though, let’s check out the books I read during August. I thought I wouldn’t have anything to show in this section, but there’s actually a lot – including some new favorites! I indulged in some poetry and audiobooks though, which is very unlike myself.

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I have no idea why this is so shocking to me, but I’m actually doing really well on my reading challenge still. I know I just showed how many books I read this past month, which was a sum that was actually a lot for me in general, but I always feel like I’m behind somehow. In reality, I’m ahead by 4-5 books (depending on whether you look at Goodreads or Storygraph for the info), but unfortunately, I’m behind several hundred pages on my page goal. Still, it could be worse. I just need to not read poetry and short stories.

A graph showing 76% (34 books out of 45 books) read. Brilliant! You are ahead by 4 books!

A graph showing 61% (34 books), 9,201 pages out of 15,000 pages read.  785 pages more until you're caught up! You've got this!

 

In Other News

As stated in the intro of this post, I was actually really motivated to get creative this month, but somehow I didn’t end up doing much on the blog. Still, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a busy, busy gal! Here are some of my monthly highlights from August!

My birthday!

I “celebrated” my 29th birthday at the beginning of August. I’m not trying to say it in a weird way just to be weird, but I didn’t throw a party or anything like that. Instead, I took some time off work, had my parents visit with my grandmother – who saw my apartment for the first time since I moved in last October, donated to a local charity and relaxed. Creating a fuzz around a number isn’t my thing, but I guess I’m going to have to do something when I turn 30 next year. We’ll see …

I DMed my first DnD game!

I never thought that being a Dungeon Master (or Game Master, if you prefer that term) would be easy, but dang it was hard! I coerced my cousins into playing with me and I made miniatures for their characters as well as other NPCs and enemies, created maps (that were slightly off scale), tried to remember everyone’s powers, abilities and stats and did my best to explain rules that I didn’t always fully understand myself. It wasn’t necessarily chaotic, but there was 100% room for improvement. So, while I’m glad I did it, please, someone else be the Game Master next time, okay?

various miniature Dungeons and Dragons character made out of paper

I got a Fitbit!

Promise, this is not going to turn into a commercial and I’m pretty sure I gave away so many rights to my data when I signed up, but I’m super happy to have a Fitbit now. It’s a fitness bracelet that monitors and tracks various health and exercise data and I feel like that was a push I needed to get more active again. Working from home has taken its toll and while I was grateful for the safety measures that were implemented at my work, I feel so much better when I have a reason to get out of the house. Let’s see how long my fascination with it will last. The first 1.5 weeks have been great so far!

I finished the Outline for my Fantasy WIP!

THIS is something I’m super proud of! I’ve really put in the time and effort, despite being a very impatient person, to create an outline I can work with. Of course, there will be some fine tuning of certain elements as I go along, but I now have somewhat of a “character bible”, an explanation for my society, government, geographical make-up, magical system and religion of my world AND a super solid plot structure. I’m about to dive into the actual writing process and I hope to make progress with it at a steady pace as well.

I’m not yet ready to talk details, but here’s my main character (which I shared last month too) as a reminder:

A girl with pointy ears, light blue skin, almost white hair with faint traces of pink in a lilac dress looking off into the distance, holding a book tight to her chest.
The main character vibes are strong with her.

Because this is already much longer than usual, I will forgo sharing the most popular posts of the month (you’ve heard about all of them before) as well as my favorites of the month (The Sandman) and posts from around the blogosphere. I hope you understand and vow to bring those back again next month, when I’ve hopefully had more time to blog hop and dive into what everyone else was up to!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all will have a great start into the month of September! I, for one, can’t wait to be able to wear layers more often again.

July 2022 Wrap-Up

July has come and gone and now we’re in my birthday month, which isn’t something I particularly celebrate, but still always feel the need to mention. Most of July, I was in a massive reading slump. All the books I did end up finishing (we’re going to ignore that I technically read the last pages of one of them on August 1), I read towards the final days of the month. It’s not a big haul, but here is what I read:

  • Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn by Matthew Mercer/Hannah Rose/James J. Haeck (5 stars)
    True to my Critical Role obsession, I couldn’t resist getting this book to further delve into the world of Exandria. It was an early birthday present from my parents, but I have like zero restraint and immediately checked it out instead of waiting. If you aren’t necessarily interested in running your own D&D campaign in Tal’Dorei, this is still a great tool for worldbuilding in my eyes.
  • Walking Gentry Home by Alora Young (5 stars)
  • Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid (3 stars)

Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn  Walking Gentry Home: A Memoir of My Foremothers in Verse  Before Takeoff

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

Surprisingly enough, I’m still doing well on my reading challenge. I’m two books ahead in order to reach my goal in terms of number of books. The challenge that I’m not doing so well on is the one for pages read. I’m more or less 1K pages behind, but weirdly I’m not worried about it. There’s still lots of books I want to read this year and some of them are quite chunky.
As for August, I don’t really have a plan or reading schedule, but I did get approved for an ARC for Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid, so that’s on the menu for sure.

Two graphs showing the progress on my reading challenges. One is for the number of books I want to read in 2022, where I'm currently at 28 out of 45 books read (62% complete). The other one is for pages read with a goal of 15000 pages and 7886 read at the moment (53% complete).

July wasn’t any less busy for me than June, if I’m being honest it was maybe even more busy. Part of it has to do with me taking on more hours at work until the end of the year, which didn’t seem like much of a change at first, but has turned out to have more of an effect on my energy levels than predicted. Still, I’m working on creating routines for myself to rest, relax and still get things done that I want to do.

Here’s a progress report on my summer plans:

  • I’m really, really bad at roller skating, but I have every intention of keeping at it. I honestly need to make more time for it, but doing it all by myself is just a bit boring at times.
  • My D&D session with my cousins is fast approaching, but I still have loads to prepare. I think I’m building it up in my head a bit more than necessary, but oh well, fingers crossed it’s just going to be fun in the end.
  • I binged Brandon Sanderson’s 2020 lectures on creative writing (which you can find here) and have now started outlining a standalone Fantasy novel I plan to write over the course of the rest of the year. I don’t really want to talk about specifics yet, maybe once I’m farther down the line. I’ve just kept thinking about Soulswift and D&D and how much I love Fantasy adventures. We’ll see if I can finally stick with something again. Here’s my main character (based on a D&D character I created for myself).

A girl with pointy ears, light blue skin, almost white hair with faint traces of pink in a lilac dress looking off into the distance, holding a book tight to her chest.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF JULY 2022

I know these lists look really similar every month, but I was actually surprised by how many reviews made it into the top 5 posts of July list!

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Book Review)
    (originally posted December 2021)
    There’s something ironic about me refusing to promote the book and movie ever since I learned about the author’s past (which I hadn’t mentioned in my review, because I didn’t know about it) and now the post is taking off regardless?
  2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    It’s my most consistently visited post, I think.
  3. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    I’m assuming it has to do with the recent release of The Gray Man?
  4. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (ARC Review)
    (originally posted May 2022)
    It makes me beyond happy to see this post be so popular. It’s one of my most favorite reads of the year so far!
  5. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    Still going strong with my love for the Atlas Six!

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

It’s still Critical Role. I don’t know why you would expect it to be anything else, because it consumes almost all my waking thoughts. I wish I could have been at SDCC 2022, just to soak up the energy in the room with them.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Again, due to me being so busy, I was really bad at keeping up with what everyone else was doing. I hope to be able to take some more time for that this month.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


I wish you all a great start into the month of August! My birthday is tomorrow, so I have high hopes that we’re all going to have a good time. 

June 2022 Wrap-Up

I don’t know about you, but June was a stressful month for me. I went on a bit of a mini-hiatus, which feels pretty silly to say considering that I still posted 3-4 times a week, but none of it felt very original. I more or less went through the motions, even though I had ideas for … well, more. If you were looking for bookish content in particular, dang it, I was not delivering.

In all of June, I read ONE book, which was fantastic, but I still didn’t feel like picking up anything else. Honestly, I unintentionally read a series of books that dealt with grief and a parent being sick/dying and it was just A LOT. I needed a bit of a break. However, This Time Tomorrow by Emma Staub was amazing and I have no regrets in reading it. 4.5 out of 5 stars!

This Time Tomorrow

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

Obviously, after such a barren reading month, I’m not all caught up on my reading goals anymore. Funnily enough, I’m still two books ahead of schedule, but the page count … not looking great. I’m not too worried, because I try not to let these challenges pressure me, but I hope I will actually get to read some more in July.

As I said, June was a busy, busy month for me. There was work, family and just personal stuff. It felt like there was always something happening, so I deliberately focused on simple joys and avoided being online too much. Can’t say that’s super easy when your literal job is working with social media, but I definitely turned it down in my private life. Now, I think I have a better handle on things and am looking forward to getting back into my routines or creating new ones.

Here’s a couple plans for the summer:

  • I finally bought my roller skates and while I can barely go more than a couple steps at a time, I’m determined to learn this skill. In my head it’s a really fun, outdoors-y activity and I need more of those.
  • As many of you have noticed, I got a bit obsessed with D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) and I’m actually going to host my own game – a one-shot based on the campaign the kiddos played in the first season of Stranger Things – sometime in August. I don’t have any maps or such, but I want to get crafty and make this a really memorable game for my cousins, who I’ve convinced to join me in this adventure. It’s kind of silly to DM a game first time you play it, but I’m gonna do it anyway.
  • Find a new go to bar/coffeeshop/hangout-place, because when I was Vancouver I loved being a regular at certain places. I need to learn more about the area I live in now and explore my options.

Something that also can’t stay unmentioned is the fact that Life and Other Disasters turned NINE YEARS OLD this past month! I still can’t quite believe that I’ve been doing this for so long (or that I pretty much forgot about the anniversary), but I’m proud of myself for sticking to this for so long. If you want to check out my celebratory post and a little Q&A click here.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF JUNE 2022

I’m going to keep sharing this little insight into my stats until someone tells me to stop, which hasn’t happened yet. So, let’s take a peek at what was most popular in June:

  1. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    The ARCs for the sequel, The Atlas Paradox, are out in the world. I need to get my hands on one somehow, because I cannot wait to continue reading this story.
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    With the game coming to a close, I guess people were looking it up more again, but I only reviewed the first couple chapters and not the whole thing.
  3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    It’s always listed, kind of reassuring.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    I’m going to take a big guess and assume this is because of the release of Lightyear and the infamous puppy interview.
  5. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    I don’t actually know if there was a particular reason Pedro got searched more, but you won’t find me complaining.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

I’m going to say two words: Critical Role! Okay, I’m going to say more than that, but I don’t think you all realize that ever since I discovered CR mid-June, I’ve watched more than 100+ hours of their content on YouTube. I also went and splurged in the EU Critical Role store, which is stocked terribly compared to the others! Please, someone, anyone who might read this and has a say in the matter, restock the items I want to buy. I really wanted to have Caduceus’ cardigan and the Keyleth dice set. PLEASE!!!
I already have a bucket hat, water bottle, Vox Machina and Mighty Nine dice sets as well as a chibi pin of my best boy – Dorian Storm. I AM OBSESSED!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I’ve been absolutely terrible at blog hopping, I really didn’t do much. If there’s a post you’re particularly fond of (your own or someone else’s), please don’t hesitate to link me up in the comments.

MY OTHER POSTS

MS MARVEL REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


I wish you all a pleasant and stress-free July! I hope it’s a good one. Let’s chat!