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.

My Top TV Shows of 2022

Top TV Shows of the year

We’ve covered the top movies and books of 2022, so now it’s time for the most extensive post – my top TV shows of the year! Usually, I’d split this one up into two different posts, one for the TV shows that have been running for a longer time and one for the most recent releases, but I’ve really tried to contain myself. It’s fairly long still, but I did my best to narrow it done. Be prepared for a bunch of honorable mentions!

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My Top Books of 2022

Top Books of the year

Yesterday, I showed you a list of my top movies. Today, we’re here to discuss my top books of 2022! First things first, I need to point out that not all of these books were 2022 releases. For the first time since I’m making this list, I have not distinguished between fiction and non-fiction, although I will have a separate list for poetry collections.

Below you will find my top books out of the 45 I read. If you look at their content, you will find a very clear pattern throughout the themes of the majority of these reads. Enjoy!

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My Top Movies of 2022

Top Movies of the Year

As announced in the December 2022 wrap-up, I’m now starting with my rankings and review of the year 2022. As always, I will have separate posts for movies, TV shows and books. However, after a brief Twitter poll, I’m really trying to contain myself and not make everything uber-lengthy.

Today we’re starting with my top movies of 2022. Most of you know that I’m more of a TV person rather than someone who watches a ton of movies, but these films deserve to be talked about. I think for the first time in … ever, all the movies mentioned were released in 2022 (what is happening!?). I might add some releases from previous years into the honorable mentions list though. If you want to keep up to date with my movie viewing schedule, don’t hesitate to add me on Letterboxd! I’m very diligent with movies I’ve watched for the first time, not so much with my many rewatches though.

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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!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Dec 26/2022-Jan 1/2023)

Trailers You Might Have Missed This Week

Welcome back to Life and Other Disasters in 2023! It’s a whole new year, can you believe it? The blog will be full of reminiscing posts about 2022 for the upcoming week, but I couldn’t stop doing this blog staple today. I know it’s not the most exciting type of post, but I’m nothing if not consistent when it comes to my weekly movie and TV trailers! Although, be warned – there’s literally almost nothing here today!

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Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #49

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

With work and me trying to reach my reading goal before the end of the year, I definitely haven’t watched as much as last week. Regardless, lets talk about it!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

1883 (limited series)

Yes, I did spend another week watching more Yellowstone related content and I HAVE NO REGRETS. Elsa Dutton is a freaking icon, because she was just a teen if we’re being honest and some of her decisions were real immature, but she was still one of the best this family has ever had. I knew what was going to happen because of the literal first episode and I was still rooting for some kind of story change the entire series.

Anyway, Dutton women are cursed, the family should give back the land to the indigenous people, because James literally said they could have it back after 7 generations and Tate Dutton is the 7th generation. Alrighty, Taylor Sheridan may have a real freaky side in the way he makes his characters suffer and tries to show the ugly truth of history, but dang … he got me hooked with his shows. The Yellowstone cinematic universe is my everything.

The Witcher: Blood Origin (limited series)

I don’t have that much to say. I thought it was a fun show and I sometimes just wished I could spend more time with the characters. I genuinely just wanted more of all of them, more of what tied them together, more of their backstory, more of their feelings for each other. I felt those bonds, despite the short run time, but I really would have loved to get a chance to explore that even more on the screen itself. 

No clue if this is based on the actual backstory in the books, but I thought it was interesting. I’m really interested in Season 3 of the regular Witcher show now.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

National Treasure (Season 1)

I swear to you, if Jake Austin Walker is playing a traitorous douche-canoe, we’re going to have a problem!

1923 (Season 1)

Spencer Dutton and Alexandra are going to be THE ship for me on the show. But I already know this isn’t going to end well.

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

Everyone is excited that Georgina Sparks is back, but I’ve never liked her, so this is actual not good for me at all.

Mythic Quest (Season 3)

I think there’s one more episode? Unfortunately, not my favorite season so far.

MOVIES

As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

A Quiet Place

This was actually a rewatch, because I still haven’t watched the second part, which just dropped in my Netflix region. So, I wanted to refresh my memory on the plot of the first one and I still think the movie was brilliant. Silence can be such an efficient tool in filmmaking and they utilized it and sound in return to perfection. Can’t wait to finally watch the sequel soon!

Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!

TV Shows That Got Cancelled Too Soon – I AM SAD!

TV Shows that got cancelled too soon ... now I'm sad ...

Every year, I tell myself “Don’t get invested. You’ll just fall in love with another show that won’t last.” and every year, I don’t listen to myself. So, as a sort of cathartic experience, I decided to talk about all my lost loves. I wasn’t equally as invested in all of these – like, I’ll definitely get over a lot of them until they become a distant memory – but some still sting. Let’s just take a look!

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Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #48

Where I ramble about all the TV shows and movies I’ve watched in the past week ….

I’m sorry for my absence this week. I’ve been sick and well … still am (not sure if it’s the flu or just a very persistent cold, I just know it’s not the rona …) and was quite preoccupied with pre-holiday stuff. I couldn’t let it slide to not post a weekly wrap-up of what I’ve been watching though. So, let’s check out some movies and shows and let me wish you a happy festive season!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Yellowstone (Season 3-the latest ep. of Season 5)

I’m not actually going to rattle on too long about the show. I always have to be in the right mood for Yellowstone, but when I am, oh boy … I just binge the heck out of it. There will be a 5-minute-sequence of these people just cowboying and doing work on the ranch and I’ll happily watch them? I don’t know what has happened to me, but I probably just miss horseback-riding again.

Anyway, the season 3 finale was wild and the show has seriously mellowed out since then. With season 5 being 16 episodes long, I expect a serious showdown between Beth and Jamie by the end of it. The thing is though … I couldn’t possibly care less about Jamie if I tried. I don’t want him to succeed, I just want him to move to another state and follow his ambitions there, so I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I’d rather watch a spin-off show set on the 6666 ranch.

Emily in Paris (Season 3)

I’ll admit it without shame that I was a person who used to hate-watch Emily in Paris. The characters always used to be insufferable and the people from France were portrayed as their worst stereotypes. I was always like “this is slander and ridiculous!”, but then this season really surprised me. Emily stayed out of business that wasn’t her own, most people made fairly decent decisions and the French people actually spoke in French with each other. Did … did the showrunners listen to peoples complaints?

Genuinely, this was the least annoying season so far and I’m actually excited for what comes next! I still don’t like everyone or support all decisions, but Season 3 worked. And well at that. 

Also, Luc is the best character. It’s not up for debate.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

National Treasure (Season 1)

I continue to enjoy this show, despite it not being like the movies. You just have to adjust your expectations, I think. I’m also praying to the TV gods that I will get to love Jake Austin Walker’s character throughout the entire run of the show. He’s usually prone to be cast as a douche.

1923 (Season 1)

This is another Yellowstone prequel show. I hadn’t seen the previous one, but Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford are strong arguments.

Gossip Girl (Season 2)

I’m sad they went there with Audrey. It feels like it’s the beginning of the end of the triad.
Also, why make Obie’s family German, when none of these actors speak the language? It’s painful to listen to, considering that they’re supposedly fluent/it’s their mother tongue.

Mythic Quest (Season 3)

Love me sitcoms that can do heavy moments well. It’s what makes Mythic Quest so good.

MOVIES

As always, don’t forget to add me on Letterboxd if you want to be up to date on all my movie experiences! 

Catherine Called Birdy

100% not a fan of Lena Dunham. In fact, she was the reason I pondered whether I should watch this movie at all, but then I saw the trailer again and couldn’t resist. I’m so glad I watched Catherine Called Birdy. It’s a beautifully funny yet touching coming-of-age tale and acted so well on all parts. I have a soft spot for Joe Alwyn (his voice is so freaking soothing), so his involvement was a major plus for me, but Bella Ramsey was the clear standout. I haven’t read the book, but I kind of want to now and can definitely see why people would love this story so much.

Boxing Day

I’ve made it my mission to watch new-to-me Christmas movies this season that weren’t ridiculously Hallmark-y and Boxing Day delivered for that prompt. It still had flaws, because the main guy was not worth all that trouble and I will side with Lisa forever, but I had a good time. That’s what we want from a movie, right?

The Thing About Harry

Disregarding the stupid bi/pan stereotypes, this was such a cute movie. The chemistry worked and I was really rooting for them. Due to the cast being who they are, I now also see the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy in a whole new light. I’m having ideas, if you know what I mean?

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Knives Out is one of those movies that I’ve watched more times than I can actually count. Because of the high profile cast and the subversion of expectations, it was one of my few joys of 2020 and has been fun to rewatch ever since. Now, I knew I shouldn’t go into Glass Onion with expectations that were too high, because how could you possibly recreate that? Rian Johnson did it again though. While Knives Out has a special place in my heart, I had the best of times watching (and rewatching) Glass Onion. I just love the structure of these films so much and that they get big names actors for even the smallest cameos. I hope we get hundreds more of these movies and Benoit Blanc helping the right kind of people.

Klaus

Klaus is my #1 Christmas movie and I insist on watching it every single year. There’s never a dry eye in the house when I watch it, no matter how often I’ve already seen it. The animation is perfection, the characters and their development amazing and it just has SO. MUCH. HEART! It’s my biggest recommendation of the season.

Again, I’m wishing you happy holidays! Did you watch anything I’ve watched? Are there some movies/shows I should check out? Let’s talk about that!