April 2022 Wrap-Up

April, true to its name, was a wild month for me. I really surprised myself with the amount of books I read, even though I’m still a couple books behind what I wanted to achieve. I’ve been working hard on getting ready for the next installment in the reading experiment series and I think hope you will all love it! Let’s take a look at some books I devoured:

  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (1 star)
    Utter nonesense.
  • For Every One by Jason Reynolds (5 stars)
    So beautiful and timely for me, I broke out into tears.
  • Notes on Camp by Susan Sontag (3 stars)
    Not entirely applicable today anymore, but still interesting enough.
  • You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski (2 stars)
    A reread that didn’t work any better the second time around.
  • Essays in Love by Alain de Botton (2 stars)
    As much as I like de Botton’s style of writing, I do not vibe with his statements.
  • Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield (4 stars)
    A really beautiful tribute to a loved one.
  • My Policeman by Bethan Roberts (2.5 stars)
    Pretty iffy for the most part.

One True Loves In Watermelon Sugar For Every One Notes on Camp You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense Essays In Love Love Is a Mix Tape: Life, Loss, and What I Listened To My Policeman

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’m 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 terms of stats, I’m really on top of my reading goals and even have some leeway. However, and this is my predicament, I’m quite on a time crunch with three more books, which I sort of have to finish by May 15. I don’t know if I took on too much, but I’m going to try my best to get it done. Maybe the above list partly gives away who the reading experiment will be about, but I just cannot wait to actually share it with you!

Reading stats taken from The Storygraph App for my progress on my yearly reading goals

 

I’ve complained a lot these past months and you know what? I just don’t wanna do that anymore. April was full of surprises – some good, some bad – and that’s just how life goes sometimes. It wasn’t my most creative month in terms of blogging, writing or drawing, but I can feel that hunger coming back. That need to write down a story or capture an image in my own style. I’d say that’s a good sign and maybe if things calm down a little over the summer, I’ll get a chance to do more again.

Speaking of summer – I’ve made quite the plans for myself. I want to teach myself how to rollerskate! I know how to iceskate … in theory. I haven’t done it in a really long time, but I need to get back into finding activities to do outside. And while I really enjoy my regular trips to the zoo, as soon as the weather gets better it’s just packed and I have no desire to be among the masses. So … now I just need to find a shop that sells rollerskates here (harder than you might think), because I don’t want to order them online and gamble on the size fitting.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF APRIL 2022

I hope you won’t mind that I’m continuing to share the top posts of the month, but I just want to thank everyone for hyping up archive posts and giving my content some longevity.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    I’d really love to know what makes this such an evergreen review, but I’m alright with it either way.
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    It brings me so much joy that this post helps people decide whether The Atlas Six is a good fit for them!
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    I’m assuming this is still an aftereffect of all the press for Pam & Tommy and Fresh?
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    We’re all just patiently waiting for the release of the final chapter
  5. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    I think every time an actor has a new project out (taking a wild guess at it being “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent“), it brings more people to these kind of posts.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

This VERY clearly has to go to Heartstopper! I cannot remember the last time I was so enarmored with a show and felt so happy watching it. At first, I was a bit worried that I might be too old for it and that it might hinder me from really getting into it, but I ended up just falling head over heels for the entire thing.

The main cast of the show Heartstopper
credit: Netflix

A lot of the time these days, queer representation in media is either super traumatic, dark and gritty or glorifies the coming out experience that is rare for most people in real life. With Hearstopper, it really felt like they balanced genuine struggles with wholesome and positive vibes. You knew not everything was going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time, but simultaneously, it had a precious and uplifting message. I’m glad kids growing up now get to see content like it. Also, I have officially adopted Nick Nelson as my fictional son. I’m sure his brother August Flynn will be happy to welcome him in the family.

Nick Nelson portrayed by Kit Connor
credit: Netflix, he’s just my fave!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Please also visit some fellow bloggers and share the love! Here are some posts I enjoyed in the past month:

MY OTHER POSTS

MOON KNIGHT REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all a lovely and not too wild April! Here’s to a brilliant May ahead of us!

March 2022 Wrap-Up

March didn’t really go according to plan. Not that I had an actual plan, but, you know … I thought it would go by with a couple less hiccups. For the most part, I was in a massive reading slump and only rereading one of my favorites from last year got me back into the mood to pick up more stories. Here’s what I ultimately got to:

  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (5 stars, reread)
    While I’ve read the self-published version last year, I took it upon myself to annotate and highlight the traditionally published edition this past month to create a post telling YOU if the book is something you might enjoy. I hope you’ll find the post enlightening.
  • All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie (2.5 stars)
    As far as novellas go, I’ve read better. It’s historical with elements of magic, but it just felt so clinical and detached.
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (3.5 stars)
    I’m going to review the book on here eventually, I just want to combine it with my thoughts on the movie, which will release on April 22.

The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1) All the Horses of Iceland Along for the Ride

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’m 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.

For the most part of the last month, I was massively behind on all my reading goals, but I’m doing alright at the moment and have a mini-buffer even. I have not made much progress with The Ten Thousand Doors of January (still only about 24% into the story), but I’ve been flying through One True Loves (66%) and think I’ll finish it easily this weekend. After that I want to focus on a new reading experiment, which to the dismay of some, won’t be the Henry Cavill one just yet. You’ll see what I’ve chosen instead soon!

storygraph reading challenge progress update for March

 

I’m exhausted! I’ve had the worst couple of weeks of insomnia and constant headaches and I have no idea why (I say that like there hasn’t been an onslaught of things going on in my private life that have stressed me out). All of *that* has contributed to me not being at my blogging best and I downgraded from 3-4 posts per week to just 2 for most of March. It might not seem like it to you, but for me, that’s almost a mini-hiatus. I legit did the bare minimum.

On a more pleasant note, after months of not doing anything, I actually picked up a brush again did a couple drawings! I did a couple things, which you can check out on my art insta, but here’s a little taste of me drawing Jonathan Bailey (yes, the very Bridgerton one).

watercolor drawing by Kat Impossible of actor Jonathan Bailey

I also went ahead and got myself an annual pass for the local zoo and I’ve only gone twice so far, but I’m loving it. Truly, it’s the perfect way to go outside and spend some time wandering around in the fresh air and seeing some great animals. As always, I’m drawn to the jellyfish in the aquarium, but I also love visiting “my” bird.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

I’ve done it these past couple of months and I will continue to do it to show the longevity of blog posts. It never ceases to amaze me which posts people are drawn to even after such a long time.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    The two posts actually have the exact same amount of views. I will never quite understand what draws people to that specific book review, but I know VERY well why the Sebastian Stan post has blown up once again. There’s the release of Fresh, but also him mentioning Alain de Botton in many an interview for the movie and me having picked that author for the reading experiment with him.
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    I genuinely hope that the last chapter will release soon, because I can see how many people click on the episode tracker when they visit.
  3. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    It’s the only new post and I’m glad it’s so well received. That book means a lot to me and I know it’s not for everyone, so I hope this post will help people figure out if it’s for them.
  4. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    Today his movie The Bubble released on Netflix, but I think the increase in popularity is due to the Nicholas Cage movie releasing this year. The trailers and interviews looked hilarious.
  5. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (Book Review)
    (originally posted September 2021)
    The traditionally published version of the book released this past month, so I guess people were just curious. I think it’s funny that my book reviews are performing so well, when those are notoriously the posts that are supposed to be the least traction gaining ones.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Obviously, my love for The Atlas Six was reawakened big time, but I think it’s fair to say that my mind was mostly occupied by the anticipation for the new Bridgerton season and then actually getting to watch it. Surprisingly, I was also delighted at the new season of Sanditon. I’m very attached to Mr. Colbourne and think it’s hilarious that Theo James was replaced by someone who was also in the Divergent franchise (although with a much smaller part). It’s a true win for my regency love story yearning heart!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I was not as active this past month and apologize for that, but here are some posts I loved.

MY OTHER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ve had a better March than me. Let’s talk!

February 2022 Wrap-Up

Despite February having been a lot and me choosing to repress some stuff that is happening in reality (I know, it’s a kind of privilege), it was actually a pretty decent reading month for me. I got to everything I had set my eyes on and even a little more. So, at least in that department, I genuinely can’t complain much right now, even if most of the books wer only mediocre. Here’s what I read:

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Prosper's Demon by K.J. Parker

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’m 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.

As I’ve now said a lot, I’m using Storygraph really regularly now and it’s growing on me. I’m also low-key crushing my reading challenges and it’s making me happy. For a while there, I thought I had aimed too high with 15K words for this year, but it’s looking good. I’m now reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January (about 6% into the story) and even though it had mixed reviews, I’m enjoying it. I’m not even going to attempt to start a new reading experiment in March, I will try to alternate those.

I think it’s fairly understandable to say that I’m on edge right now. The Ukrainian border is closer to where I live than the other side of my own (very tiny) country. Geographically, this is probably one of the closest wars I have had to witness and I feel like I live in a 24/7 news cycle. At the same time, I’m confused and angered by some of the rhetoric used in media and by politicians alike, especially when it comes to refugees in comparison to coverage about previous countries that needed aid. I wish I could share some good resources here, but the ones I trust are all in German so … please, just be aware that there’s a lot of misinformation going around and be careful. Take care of yourselves!

Other than that, there’s things going on in my private life I want to talk about even less, BUT the weather is getting better. Yes, this is what it has come to. I’m talking about the weather … I can really feel it lift my spirits though and I’m hoping to get out more. I miss having places to go to, especially since I’ve been working from home in my one room apartment since mid-November now. So, this is honestly a good sign!

It also sort of started me imagining going on vacation for the first time in forever this year. I refuse to go on a plane or anywhere that is difficult to reach, but maybe a Berlin visit is due! I miss my second (or third or fourth) home. If I go, I want to go by train, because it’s such a nice deceleration to life and without the stress of how much luggage you can take in a carry on for a flight and such. I’m not sure when I’ll go, but I’m making all the plans for 2022.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

When I’m on other platforms and judging by my stats page, blogging has changed a lot over the years. I feel like it’s more of a second platform for many, next to video or image content on socials. Still, I’m dedicating this year to showing how valuable and kind of long term blogging as a medium is by sharing my top performing posts each month. (Hint: they are rarely ever the new ones!)

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Do I know why this is the most popular book review I’ve ever written? Heck no. I wish I did, but I’m glad it’s doing so well and finding an audience. Even if I wasn’t 100% convinced by the book …
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This game, I wish more people would play it so that I could talk about it with them. And also, that they’ll finally release the final chapter.
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    Look, with Pam & Tommy releasing, I just think a lot of people are rediscovering Sebastian Stan.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for Chris always remains in waves.
  5. Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted June 2021)
    He almost got beat by Pedro Pascal for 5th place. It as SO close. But the reading experiments are just a huge draw to the blog.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Speaking of reading experiments, while I love doing them, I love publishing them even more! There’s just something so very satisfying about getting all the necessary reading done, comparing tastes and trying to find common ground with strangers based on nothing other than books. One of my favorite parts is also trying to find the thing that connects all the books, to dive into the psyche of the celebs a little and see what draws them to the material. It’s such a joy! I know I posted the latest installment with Lupita Nyong’o at an inopportune time, but I hope it doesn’t flop.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I love this community, so please share that love by also checking out the posts of fellow bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


Hope February was kind to you and that March will treat you well! Let’s chat in the comments!

This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers!

A while ago, I saw a post over at Lais @The Bookish Skies comparing Brazilian and American book covers and I was super intrigued by the idea. Somehow, I forgot about it though, or other things just became more pressing, until I watched Jack Edwards and Steph Bohrer compare UK and US book covers over on booktube. I just knew, I had to do this for German covers (and titles? Cause they often change them?) before I’d forget it again. So, in short, we’re going to compare UK and US book covers with those published on the German market! I don’t know who does it better, but this post might give us an indication.

(This was really inspired by all the people above, please check out their content!)

ROUND #1

       

I don’t remember if the left cover is the British or the US version, but whichever one it is, but I fully intend to finally read the book this year and that’s the version I own (I think).

For once, they did not actually change the title, but I legit couldn’t find a cover image without the silly “BookTok sensation” sticker. When they’re not actual stickers and cannot be removed from the book, I often feel like they might just become my villain origin story.

In general, there’s just something more mysterious, luxurious and enticing about the English language cover. This round clearly goes to the US/UK!

ROUND #2

       

Okay, where do I even start? They stuck to translating the title correctly, but that’s about where I stop liking the German cover.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a very slow paced, atmospheric book. It’s about prejudice and perseverance. It’s about love and life and family. There’s a lot of harsh realities and even a murder mystery, but I feel like the German cover leaned into that last bit way too hard. Somehow, the darker color scheme makes it reminiscent of crime and thriller books rather than the celebration of nature and societal commentary it is. Again, points go to the English language cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #3

        

There are a couple different variants of the English language cover, but they’re mostly in the realm of what is shown above. Please, do get ready for the translation of the German title though – I still can’t believe they called it that: “Destiny is a lousy traitor

While I think the German title sort of relates to the story, I just don’t know where they got that particular phrase from. It feels clunky (in German) and I would have never guessed it’s supposed to be TFIOS. The rest of the German cover is also just so random. 1) they ignore the stars in the OG title, but put them on the cover, 2) there’s a random city skyline? and 3) Is that a dandelion floating about?

The English cover isn’t particularly creative, but I feel calmer looking at it. English language covers keep winning.

ROUND #4

        

I chose the blue cover, because it’s the one I own. I know there are different versions out there, but it’s what’s on my shelf, so it’s what I’m going to judge it on.

I kind of like the German one more, but wish the head wasn’t part of it? I’m just confused, is that supposed to be Achilles? Either way, it looks a little more exciting than the blue cover, which is just very plain. So, while I don’t feel compelled to give either one a point, this one reluctantly goes to the German cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #5

        

They tried to do entirely too much with the German cover! Why do they always want to pack half the plot into the imagery, when a nice understated font can be so much more enticing. I don’t even know if the person in the crystal ball (where is that even coming from) is supposed to be Addie or Luc. I feel like this just leads you astray, because so much of the story actually takes place in the now. This is a disaster … English language cover wins again!

Read my review of the book here!


That’s it for today! The UK/US covers easily won with 4-1 points! If I ever do this again (should I?), I will have to make sure that I do a better job at finding nice German covers. Although … there are several reasons I don’t own many German editions and it’s apparently not just the language …


What did you think of this post? Would you like to see more comparisons? Let’s chat!

The Book Blogger Memory Challenge!

I was not actually tagged for the Book Blogger Memory Challenge, however, I saw it over at dinipandareads and it just looked like SO much fun! Well, it also looked kind of difficult, but definitely more fun than anything else. The tag was originally created by Laura @ Laura’s Book Reviews. From what I saw, Laura is not active on that blog anymore though.

THE RULES

  • You have to answer the prompts without using the internet or looking at your bookshelves.
  • Your answers have to all come from memory!
  • Make sure to link to the person who originally tagged you (well, I linked to dini’s blog above)
  • Once your done, you can tag five other people if you’d like.

THE PROMPTS

Name a book written by an author called Michael

You know things are starting out well when you are itching to run to your bookshelf, because you’ve been staring at the prompt for a solid fifteen minutes. Guess I got lucky though, because I finally had an epiphany. After thinking I didn’t even know any Michaels anymore, it came to me – Michael Ende! One of my favorite childhood authors, he was responsible for the Never Ending Story as well as an all time classic – Momo.

Momo by Michael Ende

Name a book with a dragon on the cover

I haven’t actually read it, but I was super into the movie back in the day. Eragon! It was just the first thing that came to mind and felt so very fitting.

Name a book about a character called George

Too bad I can’t list TV shows, because I would have immediately said Nancy Drew …

Uhm, I guess George Weasley from the HP series by her who shall not be named? I always did like the twins though. They were fun characters.

Name a book written by an author with the surname Smith

I KNOW SOMETHING FOR THIS! The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle series were both written by L. J. Smith! It’s weird to me to think that I read both and watched both. I definitely always preferred the Secret Circle though and that never even had a real chance on TV.

I was DEVASTATED when they took Nick from me.

Name a book set in Australia

I’m fairly certain that The Light Between Oceans is set in Australia. I don’t remember much about the book and despite loving the cast, I never watched the movie adaptation either. But I do recall it being in Australia. My brain is so weird sometimes.

Name a book with the name of a month in the title

I just read this, so it would have been embarrassing not to remember, but we have a winner in Seven Days in June! I really enjoyed it too, so I’m glad I get to use it for the challenge.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Name a book with a knife on the cover

The Knife of Never Letting Go? It’s been on my TBR for forever. I still haven’t watched the movie adaptation, because I wanted to read the books first, but I’m not sure either is happening any time soon. Also, didn’t the movie flop completely?

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Name a book with the word “one” in the title

Hmmm … I think there’s actually quite a few of those on my shelves. Without looking, I think the last one I read was One Hundred Years of Solitude for my reading experiment with Pedro Pascal. That man is a great actor, but I did not enjoy the book at all.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Name a book with an eponymous title

I’m honestly not sure I understand what “eponymous” means. Is it “just” books named after the characters and places in them? I’m going to count this as a FAIL just because I don’t feel my brain is up for this right now.

Name a book turned into a movie

Please, every other book is getting adapted these days. I have a whole long post on Book to Screen Adaptations for 2022 and it doesn’t even include everything there is. I’ll just pick the one I’m most excited for, which is Where the Crawdads Sing.

I TAG THEE

Since I wasn’t actually, officially tagged for this, I want to leave it open to YOU! If this sounds like something fun to do on your blog, please don’t hesitate and consider yourself tagged!


What did you think of the tag? Do you want to give it a try? Would you have been able to answer everything? Let’s chat!

Writing Life: Valentine’s Day Write Tag!

As promised, I’m trying to add more writing content to the blog again. The Valentine’s Day Write Tag is a creation of yours truly to help you get to know your characters better. I have previously done this for my WIP Arcadia (you can check that out here) and decided it would be fun to revive it with Valentine’s coming up in a couple days. It’s all easy enough, but let’s revise the “rules”!

RULES

  • If you were tagged, thank the person who tagged you!
  • Please always link back to the original post! (I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    I’ll be doing this tag for BUB (I talked about it here)! It’s a flatshare romance set in Vancouver, where bookseller Raeleen has to deal with a new flatmate, assistant director Nick, while her best friend is abroad and she just got dumped.
  • Don’t use just one character for all answers if possible!

MY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?

Since BUB (Break Up Buddy) is essentially a friends to lovers arc, I’d think that Raeleen and Nick would go out and do some ridiculously cliché Valentine’s activities together – as friends. They’d have a good time and maybe even have some really intimate moments, but mostly they’d just have a good laugh at pretending to be a couple for a day. Which they can do very convincingly … a bit too well for it not to be true, one might say.

Who is the most likely to shamelessly go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?

Jemma, Raeleen’s best friend, is an incredibly bold and independent person. She generally cringes at anything overtly romantic, so she would just treat this day like any other one.

One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?

Okay, once they’re actually together, I could see Nick doing that for Raeleen. They often have the radio on in the bookshop she’s working at and Nick would do it as a bit of a joke, but then pick an actually really sweet song. Maybe this one:

Is there a character who would organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?

I’m sure that someone would be up for Galentine’s Day instead, but I can’t think of any character who would go full out ANTI Valentine’s.

What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?

Raeleen loves words and books and someone noticing the smaller things. She would, however, absolute hate a grand gesture. The one thing that could totally win her over though would be an annotated copy of her favorite book with the time to discuss the material.

Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?

Alrighty, so … there’s this one character in the book – Prosper Reed – who’s this very handsome, young and charming bestselling author. I could see him do that as part of a publicity stunt, but also because he likes to do nice things for people.

What are your main character’s favorite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)

Raeleen is always hoping they play You’ve Got Mail at one of the local indie theaters for Valentine’s. There’s plenty of great movies on Netflix, but she can do that any day of the week. And with a potential love interest who works in film, it’s only natural they both enjoy the actual vibes of a good old cinema.

Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?

The question should rather be – who isn’t ready for all the chocolate on sale? Sam, Nick’s brother, might be the only one who’s more into sourpatch kids and gummy worms than chocolate, but the entire cast probably has a sweet tooth.

Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of situationship going on?

Hunter, Raeleen’s ex-boyfriend, usually goes from one relationship to another. If he doesn’t have a date, that would be highly confusing for him.

Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

The List of Questions (so it’s easier to copy and paste)

  • If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?
  • Who is the most likely to shamelessly go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?
  • One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?
  • Is there a character who would organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?
  • What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?
  • Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?
  • What are your main character’s favorite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)
  • Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?
  • Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of situationship going on?
  • Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

THE LINK UP!

I will add links to posts here, if anyone decides to participate!

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923


I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments what you thought and whether you’re going to participate yourself!

All My 2022 Goals! (New ideas, plans and needing YOUR input!)

It has happened, I’ve given in! I’ve made resolutions for the year 2022, which are neither quantifiable nor necessarily something one can track, but I’ve still made them. I’m someone who very much decides things on a whim, so setting goals for an entire year is super off-brand for me. Nonetheless, there’s a couple things I’d at least like to work towards in 2022 and seeing all my friends and fellow bloggers post their amazing resolutions and goals, I figured I should join in as well. Seen as I don’t like to put undue pressure on myself though, I’m going to try and see this more as a list of intentions than things I *have* to accomplish.

READING

I’ve set my reading goal for 2022 to 45 books on Goodreads as well as Storygraph. I know that the latter offers a lot of different challenges to participate in, but I don’t want to make this too hard for myself. The goal I chose is lower than the number of books I read in 2021, but still something I consider challenging with my work and life schedule otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to spruce it up a little.

Read more diversely! 

This is genuinely always a goal of mine, but with the reading experiments and the restraints that came with that in the second half of 2021, I have to admit that everything was a bit … white. In the books I’ve chosen for myself, I’ve noticed more authors of color, but I still want to up that number (only 12 out of the 50 books I read were written by non-white people).

It’s not just that though! I’d also like to have a wider variety of characters in terms of sexuality, body image, mental health, disability, etc. in my future books. I’ve never shied away from reading LGBT+ content, but last year seemed a bit bland in that department as well.

Read more books in German!

German, for those of you who don’t know, is my primary language. I don’t particularly enjoy reading in that language, but I feel like I may be prejudiced from my time at school? I want to give this a try and chose nothing too overwhelming. I’m aiming to read 1-3 books max. 

BLOGGING

As I’ve mentioned in my “Year in Review” post (which you can check out here), I have a very solid and consistent blogging schedule. I usually have about 3-5 posts up per week, but I can see that changing a little bit in 2022. No worries, the Sunday Trailer posts will keep coming. They’ve been a staple for years now, but there’s likely going to be a shift otherwise.

Which regular features will change?

Well, I won’t be doing Thursday Movie Picks anymore, because while I enjoyed myself this past year, I’m just not that much of a movie person. I feel way more at home with my TV shows, but even in that department, I’ve watched a lot less in 2021 and have no idea where I’m going. I just don’t think I have the appropriate amount of movies in my personal watchlist that would justify continuing with it. There was a point where I just constantly reused films.

Also, I am a little unclear on the whole Marvel Wednesday posts. Granted, they took a break on several occasions anyway, but while I’m aware of the planned Marvel releases for 2022, I don’t know if Disney+ will stick to Wednesdays for their shows (I did prefer Fridays, if I’m being honest) or when exactly they’ll air anyway. And there’s just not enough new movies or content to talk about weekly. So, let me know in the comments if you’d like me to continue with my episode and movie recaps! I’m sure I can fit it in, it’s just a matter of interest, which has waned considerably with each release since WandaVision.

What’s planned? What is new?

Seen as the reader compatibility series/the celeb book club is so well received, I already have two more posts planned. However, I also want to broaden and develop that feature, because I feel it fits the “Life and Other Disasters” brand so well. Initially, I wanted to read the favorite book of each actor from a show or something like that, but logistically, that didn’t pan out. I just don’t have the pull to get the information from the cast directly and the internet only provides so much. I do hope to grow the feature regardless and have some more ideas. If there’s an actor/actress/musician/youtuber/celeb you’d like to compare reading tastes with, let me know and I’ll see if I can add them to my list!

I also need another weekly or at least monthly feature I can participate in, but I haven’t found the right fit for me yet. I might go with something TV and movie related again, but I was actually thinking of maybe looking for a writerly link up! Back in the day, I used to participate in some tags for writers and even created my own. The thing is, potentially, I might have to create something for myself. This is still open as of now, but would any of you writers be interested in a monthly tag to help explore your WIP and characters? If there’s something like that out there, feel free to point me in the right direction ,but otherwise I’m really considering creating one of my own.

WRITING

Writing, as in doing anything for my works in progress, my personal novel-projects, in 2021 was … uhm … how can I put this? Non-existent?
I actually outlined something for NaNoWriMo, but then didn’t follow through and hated every word I ever wrote. I do miss the rush of creating my own characters, dialogue and worlds and I really, really, really want to make a conscious effort to just write in 2022. It doesn’t have to be anything quantifiable as in a certain number of words, it doesn’t have to be writing every day, just something. Anything. A chapter maybe!

There’s one story in particular that’s haunting me and that I’d really like to get on the page, but I have to start from scratch, because I’m not happy with the way the first chapters are now. It’s annoying how hindering it can be when you have written several thousand words and you can’t bring yourself to toss them, even though you know it’s necessary, ultimately putting you in a stalemate with yourself. I did create some nice aesthetics though …

    


Do you have some goals or intentions for 2022? What did you think of mine? I DO NEED YOUR INPUT! Let’s chat!

December 2021 Wrap-Up / The Year in Review

I finished the final month of 2021 strong by reading 6 books. This may not seem like a lot to some people, but if I take back a look at the past year, that was a really solid month for me in terms of books. I’m really happy with that and it made me finish my Goodreads challenge with a neat 50 books in total. Let’s take a look!

One Hundred Years of Solitude Daisy Jones & The Six Saga, Vol. 1 Where the Crawdads Sing Taste: My Life through Food Weather Girl

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’m trying to find my footing as well. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As is tradition, I’ll share parts of my reading year. As I’m still struggling with the desktop interface of Storygraph a little bit (I hear the app works better), I have to forego their stats for now, even though they’re magnificent. They even show you what kinds of moods and pacing you were most drawn to, but I’ll just stick to the simpler one curated by Goodreads for now (you can find the full post here).

I originally set the goal to read 35 books (yes, I aim for achievable), but managed to read a total of 50 books (as mentioned above already), which in this particular case translated to 17,255 pages. My reading experiments really motivated me, but I also started a new job that involved a lengthy commute for the first couple of months, which allowed for way more reading time. My shortest book was actually a novella called Galatea by the ever magnificent Madeline Miller. I’m not surprised to find that the longest one was Anna Karenina. It did feel like forever.

The average book I read was about 345 pages long. Honestly, that tracks with previous years, because around 300 pages is the length I feel most comfortable with. I do plan to try and read some lengthier books in 2022 though … we shall see if I actually manage to go through with it. As for my average rating, it’s exactly the same as last year with 3.7 stars! I have gotten more critical over the years and hardly ever give 5 star ratings, if I don’t absolutely adore and love the book, but at the same time, I do know what I like and tend to find books that fit into what I enjoy.

2021 was … something.

I remember clearly, the hope I harbored for 2021 to be better than 2020 and in some regards it really was. I found a great place to work at with colleagues I absolutely love to be around, I found an apartment for myself and finally moved out from my parent’s place. I should not complain and yet … 2021 was hard! Maybe one of the hardest years I had to face ever with a lot of personal dreams getting crushed (goodbye, my beloved Canada) and devastating events that drained my spirits. I don’t want to get into it, but for a time there, it was just one blow after the other. The fact that we’re now going into the third year of the panini isn’t helping either … BUT, and this is just my sunny disposition coming through, I refuse to let that drag me down in 2022. I’ll dust myself off and just get right back to it. I’d like to think that things happen for a reason, that you’re always right where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be. And when it doesn’t feel like it, just fake it until it does *shrug*.

So, on to more pleasant things! I was really consistent with my blogging in 2021. With a few exceptions, I always managed to post at least 3-4 times a week, which would have been unimaginable in some of the past years. I’m still not back to the crazy posting schedule from 2016, where I double and triple posted some days, but I have found my groove and would like to continue that into the new year. I want to thank each and every one who has visited my corner of the internet and especially those that stuck around! My gratitude for your support knows no bounds!
Here are some updated blog stats for you:

  • The blog currently has 2,871 WordPress followers and a couple people via mail as well. I’ve made the decision to wait until the 3K mark for another giveaway on the blog. Money is tight, but I definitely want to celebrate that milestone once we hit it!
  • There have been 20% more views in 2021 than in the previous year, which I know is vague, but has me thrilled!
  • While I’ve written about 1,490 posts for this blog, I don’t want you to go digging too far into the past. I’ve started to tidy up a little and removed some of the older postings. Sometimes I just changed my opinion on them, other times I don’t feel like it fits the content on here anymore. Either way, I’m hoping to not have too many dead links, but I’m working on it.
  • Once again, I’d also like to give a huge thanks and shout-out to my top commenters! The fact that people keep showing up makes my heart sing and my day better. Please feel free to show them some love in return: Brittani, Caro, Marie, Rami and The Orang-Utan Librarian.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2021

I’m going to start with the posts that I wrote in 2021 and that were most popular and list some of the most viewed archive posts below! If you want to know more about a post, simply click on the title!

Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)? – Genuinely ALL my reading experiments (I’ve also done this with Sebastian Stan, Chris Evans and Pedro Pascal so far) were so well received. I did time this one particularly well with the release of the Loki series, so I get why it had the absolute most clicks, but you guys were here for the celeb book club and I love that! I don’t have too many original features on here, so I’m happy that my one original idea took off so well.

8 Years of Blogging – Reintroducing Myself! – Yes, I have been doing this for a very long time and since my readership is constantly changing, I thought it was time to reintroduce myself. The feedback and support was absolutley lovely.

WandaVision: Episode 1 & 2 Review – So many people were here for this show, but also really, really confused. I hope my reviews and recaps shed some light and didn’t just confuse people further. I did stray into theories like so many others from time to time.

credit: Marvel Studios

Book to Screen Adaptations 2021 – This post was SO much work and a lot of the release dates got changed up again, but it was too on brand for the blog not to do it. Since it was so well received, would you be interested in me having another go at this for 2022? 

MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:

MY 2021 RANKINGS

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve waited to publish this post until I had all my yearly rankings up! There’s a lot on there, but the chances that I forgot something are still pretty high. Anyway, this should be an accurate representation of my favorite movies, TV shows and books from the last year.

MY OTHER DECEMBER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

TRAILER POSTS


Now, I hope you’ve already had a brilliant start into the year 2022 and that it will be kind to you! Please let me know which content you liked on the blog last year, so I can work and plan for everything that comes next! THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE LIFE AND OTHER DISASTERS COMMUNITY!!!

 

November 2021 Wrap-Up

Can you believe we are about to head into the final month of 2021? In part, this year really dragged on but simultaneously, it also just wooshed by. However, we’re still in November now and I’d like to start wrapping up the month by talking about some books I read!

  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia/Gabriel Picolo (4 stars)
    This is the third installment of this particular run of Teen Titans and I’m still enjoying myself. The art style is sweet, but not too cutesy. There’s honestly not *that* much happening in the story, but I like the characters, although some might argue that they aren’t always portrayed how we might know them. The next comic will be about Robin and I’m looking forward to that change.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (3 stars)
    Honestly, I’m just not that much of a fan of the story. More about that in an upcoming post!
  • Love, Lists & Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz (4 stars)

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven Jane Eyre Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

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

Again, I would also like to mention that I have created a Storygraph profile and try to link to the books on that platform as well when I do my reviews. Feel free to add me as well here, but know that I’m struggling with the navigation on the web version a little bit. I can’t use the app on my phone (I have zero storage left), but I’m not vibing with the desktop version as much. Still, the stats are very cool and I want to support the site!

So, I have a couple things to confess. First of all, I did not end up participating in NaNoWriMo after all. I was really excited at the beginning of the month, but then I just got busy and distracted by other things, dropping my writing entirely. It’s sad, because I even did an outline for the most important plot points and am generally passionate about the story, but I’m really not happy with my writing and the quality I put out there. So, I didn’t want to be dissatisfied and just stopped. I’ll write and edit a whole book eventually … I think … here’s how I spent my time instead:

However, I did spend some time getting back into drawing. While Eternals is not my favorite Marvel movie, I fell head over heels in love with Druig and Makkari and I couldn’t stop myself from creating some art. It’s been half a year of me not picking up a brush and if I had more time, I’d love to get into this more regularly again. It’s just that it takes roughly 8 hours to complete a piece and that means there’s little else I can do on that day, so I often don’t want to spend my weekends or days off just with that.

I’m forever happy to have Lauren Ridloff be Makkari and therefore giving us the first deaf superhero in the MCU, paving the way for better representation in the genre. I’m also very glad to have a hard of hearing Hawkeye now and that Echo is getting her own show soon.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Aside from Drukkari having stolen my heart, I really truly earnestly am obsessed with the Amazon adaptation of Wheel of Time! The show is absolutely fantastic, it even has me out here considering if I should read 14 books with 700+ pages each, because I cannot stand the one week wait between episodes. (But let’s be real for a moment, I’m not actually going to do it. I don’t have time for this!)

There’s so many characters I already love, but I’m particularly sad to have learned that Barney Harris, who is portraying Mat, was recast for Season 2. I know that no one owes me or us an explanation, but the secrecy around the departure has me worried and a bit sad. He is really the perfect Mat and his successor has big shoes to fill, but most of all, I just hope Harris is alright? I’m definitely overthinking this, but I get so easily attached sometimes.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I’m still not the best at blog-hopping, but I’m trying! Please go and show some love to these amazing blogs and bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS (HALLOWEEN EDITION)

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a good November and wish you all the best for this upcoming December! Let’s talk some more in the comments!

October 2021 Wrap-Up

Welcome to this little wrap-up, which we’re going to do a little different. I see no point in starting it off with what I’ve been reading, because it was literally just one book and it’s part of the reading experiment, so there won’t be a separate review anyway. I know I said I’d post a new reading experiment in October, but there was just no way I could have finished it on time, so I stopped trying at some point. My hopes are still up for November, but I make no promises at this point. However, to make the wait a little bit more fun, I’m telling you who the reading experiment is with this time around – Pedro Pascal! I think you’re going to enjoy that post! (or at least I hope so)

As bad as a reading month as October was for me, I really got a lot done in terms of moving to my new flat! I have all my furniture, pretty much all my books, clothes, toiletries, kitchen gadgets, drawing and writing gear – so, in less words, I’m all settled in! I’ve been living at the new place pretty much the entire month already, just staying at my parents to grab more boxes etc. on the weekends. I was really fortunate to not have to move *everything* all at once, but the vastly diminished commute to work meant that I just didn’t schedule in as much reading time as I used to. I have to find my groove again.

So, what else is new? I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year! I know many of you are well aware that I only finished NaNo once before and often stopped doing it somewhere midway through it. I don’t think participation is a must and that there really can be circumstances that prevent you from fully being able to commit. Having said that, in case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a yearly event where writers try to write an entire 50K word-novel in the span of the month. It’s not about perfection or a brilliant first draft, but rather to have a rough draft ready to work with by the end of it all. I spent quite a lot of time plotting and creating a character arc, which means this is legit the most prepared I’ve ever been. I won’t talk about the plot or any details, but if you are interested, I will do weekly updates? Either way, feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the site, if you want to be able to keep track or send messages! You can find my profile here.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

My favorite thing all month, and the show I was looking forward to the most, remained The Big Leap! Every single week, I cannot wait to watch what happens next. All the relationships and the story move so fast, but I can’t get enough of them and I’d really like to see more still. I hope it will be available somewhere to binge and attract a bigger audience once the season is out in full.

Gabby from the Big Leap
Gabby is my favorite character! She is amazing!

MY OTHER POSTS

Usually, I’d preface this section of the post with a little look at what was going on elsewhere in the blogosphere, but just like reading, I haven’t had much time to go blog-hopping. Feel free to link to your favorite posts (of yourself or someone else) in the comments and I’ll happily take a look. Here’s to hoping I’ll get around to more in Novemeber, although I have to say I’m proud I kept up a blogging schedule of a minimum of three posts per week.

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

BOOKISH CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS (HALLOWEEN EDITION)

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a great time at Halloween and that November will be a fun and busy and kind to you! Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo as well? Let’s talk!