What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #70

As I’ve recently started my vacation, I’ve also binged more and more TV shows and movies. I thought it was about time I’d get you all caught up, before this post gets out of hand. I did find so many things I liked!

The Witcher (Season 2)

It’s been two whole years since the last season and I, once again, binged it all in one sitting. I don’t know what it is exactly, but this season didn’t work as well for me as the previous one. That’s not to say it was bad, because it wasn’t, but it also didn’t excite me as much. This time around, there were no timeline shenanigans and I felt the final twist was somewhat predictable (at least the thing I imagined happened to be exactly the thing that was the final frame?).

To me, we got to spend more time with characters last season, getting to know them and their fears and dreams in detail, while it felt more rushed this time around. I’m glad we got a focus on Ciri, because I couldn’t quite grasp her before and she feels much more well-rounded as a character now. Still, there was a kind of emotional disconnect from me to the characters in general, despite several bonding moments that were clearly meant to evoke some sort of feeling. You’d think Daddy Geralt would work more for me, but it just felt a little bland.

There was a clear story-thread throughout the entire season, less “monster of the episode”-type stuff, but I’m still confused about some revelations or developments. I’d very much like to continue with the story as a whole, but I hope the break won’t be too long. (I very much understand why it took that long and I do not blame them for keeping their production, crew and cast safe! I want to make it very clear that I am pro Covid-safety and stopping work during a pandemic.)

Little hint: If you stay past the credits of the finale episode, you’ll get a first glimpse at the spin-off The Witcher: Blood Origin!

The Big Leap (Season 1)

I loved this show with my whole heart. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me want to dance and sing. While it works (kind of) as a self-contained mini-series, I’d very much appreciate another season. This show totally works for you, if you like a show about reality shows, but make it fictional and dramatized. The characters were absolutely brilliant and lovable and so very easy to let into your heart. I have so many favorite moments and dynamics. At the end of the day, I can only say that it was beautiful and human and I hope people watch it online now that it’s on hulu (or Disney+ if you’re in Europe. Sorry, not sure about other territories).

The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 1)

I 100% didn’t expect to enjoy this show as much as I did. I thought it was just going to be some comedy about sex, but it really wasn’t. It had a lot of depth, while still providing quite a bit of humor. I’m rooting for these girls and I’m happy to announce that Season 2 was already confirmed, so I don’t actually have to worry about whether I have to prematurely say goodbye to characters I adore again. There’s just so many themes that get picked up that I don’t even know where to start. I especially liked Bela’s ambitions to become a comedy writer, but was heartbroken about some developments. Kimberley is a favorite. She tries so hard, but definitely says the wrong thing a lot. Her story focuses quite a bit on being inexperienced and poor surrounded by much worldlier people with money and influence. Leighton has this whole sexual identity crisis, which was done very realistically in my eyes and lastly, there’s Whitney. I liked her, but I felt her story arc was the least developed.

Lost in Space (Season 3)

This was the final season of the show and it was a good one. Not AS good as previous ones, but it gave us a satisfying ending.

I think most of my issues with the season were the fact that the Robinsons kept getting separated and that it all just felt a little bit rushed. Maybe that’s because they had more planned and needed to cram it all into one season or maybe it just happened, because sometimes that’s how it goes. Either way, it was lovely to see them all grow up and go through it one last time. Especially my baby Will is now a really tall and lanky teen – when did this happen!? I might have cried during an episode …

The Hating Game

Disclaimer: I have not read the book!

I had so much fun watching this movie? I know there were changes and people weren’t happy. I also know that the male lead casting was questionable? I didn’t really feel a spark watching the trailer either, but they worked really well off of each other once you watch the entire movie. I think romances are often predictable and this didn’t exactly feel like an exception, but I was entertained throughout. Solid movie!


There’s currently not too many weekly shows that I’m following aside from The Wheel of Time and Hawkeye, which are both ending next week. Hence, I spared you my list of weekly shows. What did you think of my mini-reviews? What are you watching? Let’s chat!

Thursday Movie Picks: New to the City

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week’s theme is “New to the City“, which I kind of like? Often, although not always, it’s reminiscent of the “fish out of water” trope, which can be just a lot of fun, when done right. A lot of the time, I think this theme kind of holds the promise of someone wanting to fulfill their dreams and only thinking that’s possible in a larger city. I already have a couple movies coming to mind, so, without further ado, let’s get started!

Burlesque

I don’t know where exactly Ali lived before, but she sure wasn’t as prepared for Los Angeles as she would have liked to be. The movie definitely has some flaws, but I’ve watched it so many times and always enjoyed it. As far as movies with singers as leads go, this really isn’t half bad!

Coyote Ugly

When I first watched Burlesque, it actually reminded me a lot of Coyote Ugly, so it’s only right I put that movie on the list for this week as well. I do kind of wonder about what kinds of movies I watched as a kid and what I liked? Questionable taste? Maybe! I haven’t seen Coyote Ugly in a while, but from what I remember, I think it brought home some good points.

Cheaper by the Dozen

I’ve watched this so many times as a kid! I think as an only child, I sometimes glorified these big families, but I also always cried when they didn’t pay attention to Mark. Well, either way, they moved from a rural area, where they had more like a farm, to Chicago or something.


What are some movies that involve a move to the city? What did you think of my picks? Let’s talk about that!

The Joy of Christmas Book Tag!

I’m not the biggest Christmas person, but I do find my friends’ and family’s excitement for it infectious. So, I want to thank Caro for tagging me for the Joy of Christmas Book Tag! It was originally created by Sam @Sam’s Nonsense back in 2015 and has therefore been around for a bit. I’ve decided to not personally tag anyone, but if you want to do this tag yourself, please do go ahead!!! Also, I hope no one expects me to answer the prompts with Christmas-themed books, because I’ve maybe read about two or three set around that time only …

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

I’ve talked about these books before, but I cannot stress enough how excited I am for their release. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (this is obviously not the final cover below, but it will be revealed soon) is an adult romance book about a ghostwriter, who has some literal ghosts! The author described one of the characters being inspired (looks-wise) by Lee Pace and I’m here for it! Also, Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li is SO high up on my list of most anticipated books of 2022. I’m here for all the heists and taking back what has been stolen.

The Dead Romantics    Portrait of a Thief

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing its praises? 

I’ve gotten absolutely OBSESSED with The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. I don’t know what happened exactly, but that book came to me and hasn’t let me go since. I purchased some official character art prints, which are hung up in my childhood bedroom (haven’t gotten around to bringing them to the new flat yet) and I keep waiting and hoping that the sequel will be just as brilliant and this book was. The characters are just complex and impeccable and intriguing. I just need more of them.

“Funny how that worked; the innocent fragility of being human. There were so many ways to break and so few of them heroic or noble.”

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world-building?

I can’t help but gush some more about Soulswift in this department. For a standalone Fantasy novel, it never felt overwhelming or too confusing in the world-building department. It was a great mix of magic and religion and I sometimes wish I could read that book with fresh eyes again.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

I’m not big on classics and there are very few I want to read. In fact, I’d say the only ones I really enjoyed were Jane Austen’s Persuasion and the Russian madness that is The Master and Margarita! I’m really struggling to think of much more …

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

I actually, maybe already know that I’m getting it. But maybe I won’t. Although, I’m pretty sure my parents already ordered it. No clue when this started, but I’m a huge Stanley Tucci fan and I have his cookbook already (The Tucci Table), but now I’m (hopefully) about to receive his memoir called Taste!

Taste: My Life through Food

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

This was a very recent read, but Love, Lists & Fancy Ships was really cute and heart-warming. The romance was absolutely precious, but even more than that, I cherished the family moments. There are some sad scenes too, but when you leave that book, it’s definitely with a smile.

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

I’m just gonna drop some … I have no consistent taste, but click on the covers to read my reviews!

Malibu Rising Take Me with You When You Go Watch Over Me Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?

Again, I’m not a big Christmas person, but I do like getting together with my family. I like wearing lots of layers, hot chocolate or loads of tea. I like bundling up with my blankets and watching some snow fall. I like the smell of cinnamon and sugar in the air from all the sweets and cookies. I like the deep green color of a lot of the decorations!


I hope you enjoyed this tag! Again, feel free to consider yourself tagged, if you want to take a shot at it too! What did you think of my answers?

Thursday Movie Picks: Rags to Riches

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today’s theme is all about movies that feature the Rags to Riches trope! I wouldn’t say I’m actively seeking out films with that particular story progression, but I don’t mind it either. There’s already a couple ideas swirling around in my head, so let’s get started with the list.

Catch Me If You Can

I love this movie and have seen it so many times, I have lost count. You could argue that DiCaprio’s character isn’t exactly rich by the end of it, but he still amassed quite some wealth with his cons. I was trying to think of something a little more unconventional.

A Knight’s Tale

Poor squire rises up to be a real knight? Not sure how much actual money is involved in knighthood, but I’m sure he got some riches by the end of it. I also just enjoy the movie because of its various anachronisms.

Sweet Home Alabama

Reese Witherspoon’s character becoming a successful designer and her high school sweetheart becoming successful with his own business, when they both thought they couldn’t afford anything fancy back in the day – I like it! I also like that the money was just helpful (which it is), but not the thing they needed the most.

Maid in Manhattan

With the upcoming release of the comic book adaptation of Marry Me with Jennifer Lopez as the lead, I was just reminded that I really quite enjoy her romance movies. So, this ended up on the list.


Of course, movies like Aladdin, Cinderella (both those titles in all their different iterations) and Annie would have worked just as well. What are some of your picks and what did you think of mine?

Hawkeye: Episode 4 “Partners, Am I Right?” Review

It’s Wednesday and we’re back with another Marvel, or in this particular case Hawkeye, review for episode 4 of the season – Partners, Am I Right? Please beware of spoilers from here on out!

Kate Bishop with a bow and arrow
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

As Kate feels ever more involved in her “partnership” with Hawkeye, Clint comes to the realization that he has to cut ties with her if he wants to keep her safe.

My thoughts?

The fourth episode of the season has usually held some kind of twist or surprise for us in previous shows (Wanda proving that she controls Westview, John bloodying the shield, the revelation that the Time Lords aren’t real …) and the formula still held true for Hawkeye. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a surprise in this case, because everyone was waiting for it to happen, but it was still used as a sort of turning point in the show. I don’t know whether to appreciate the consistency in storytelling across Marvel show properties or be extremely frustrated with their predictability.

Read More »

Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?

Pedro Pascal and me

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Pedro Pascal. All the information is taken from various social media posts and interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome back to a new installment of this very special reader compatibility feature or celeb book club, as I like to call it! In case you missed the previous ones, don’t hesitate to check out the following posts:
Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?

As I’ve mentioned many times before, in this series, I read the favorite books of actors and determine whether we would be a good match based on those results alone. All of this is done with the sole intention of it being fun and not taken too seriously.


Read More »

The End of the Year Book Tag – 2021

I don’t do this tag every year, but whenever the fancy strikes me, I try to include it in the final month. If you want to check out my End of the Year Book Tag from 2020, just click here. It always feels a bit surreal that it’s already so late in the year that it makes sense to wrap things up and look ahead. Let’s get started!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

YES! I’m currently in the midst of reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and I cannot wait to be done with it, because that means I can finally post my reading compatibility post with Pedro Pascal! I love the feature and intend to do more reading experiments in the next year as well, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle at times, especially when books aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Do you have an autumnal (Spring) book to transition into the end of the year?

I stand by my answer from last year, meaning I don’t really plan my reads according to seasonal themes and topics. I could at least provide some sort of answer the last time, but I genuinely can’t think of anything that fits the prompt this time around.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I neither think I will get around to it, nor do I even want to attempt it, but I think The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling has probably gotten my attention most from the December releases. The official release date is December 9, 2021.

The Coldest Touch

Death drew them together. Life could tear them apart.
Elise is cursed. Every time she touches someone, she experiences how they will die. And when she predicts, but is unable to prevent, her brother’s death, Elise is desperate to escape her terrible gift.
Then she meets Claire, a vampire tasked with helping Elise master her rare powers – and recruiting her to the Veil, a secret organisation determined to protect the paranormal world at all cost.
At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death.
As Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder – can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unravelling her brother’s mysterious death?

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I’ve not been a particularly fast reader these past months, so I have no idea what’s realistically possible in this final month, but aside from the aforementioned One Hundred Years of Solitude, there’s definitely three books I own that I’d like to get to! Those books are: Where the Crawdads Sing, Take Me Home Tonight and Seven Days in June

Where the Crawdads Sing Take Me Home Tonight Seven Days in June

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite of the year?

I’ve actually forgotten to mention If We Were Villains in this post so far, but I have a copy at home and I don’t know why I keep putting off reading it. All my friends love it, dark academia is my jam and it sounds so very promising. Maybe that’s exactly it though, I have high expectations for it and I don’t want to see them being crushed.

If We Were Villains

Have you already started making reading plans for 2022?

I notoriously do not really keep up with new releases but there are a few books I’m beyond excited for!

Portrait of a Thief

Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.
Will Chen plans to steal them back.
A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.
His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A conman: Irene Chen, Will’s sister and a public policy major at Duke, who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering student who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down.
Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

Heist stories are always fun and I can really see myself loving Portrait of a Thief! The fact that they take back stolen art from Western museums just makes it all the better. Also, please, look at that cover!

The Dead Romantics

Ghost meets The Bold Type in this sparkling adult debut about a disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a copy of Dead Romantics! (no pun intended!) The book is technically available for request on NetGalley, but in case you haven’t heard yet, they started geo-blocking some titles. So, when I go on the site, it won’t even show up in the search results, robbing me even of the option to simply wish for it. But I suppose, I just have to remain patient.

Lastly, as I continue to be obsessed with The Wheel of Time show on Amazon, I’m getting more and more tempted to read the books. I’m just so enamored by the characters, but I’m also afraid that I’d be terribly bored by the books. They seem to have a rocky start … I’d still recommend watching the series though, even without prior knowledge of the 14 books with 700+ pages each!


That’s it from me! What are your year-end-reading-plans? Are you excited for 2022? Let’s chat!