The Year in Review – 2022

The year in review

So, with all my ranking concluded, there’s nothing more to do than look at the entirety of 2022 in review. There’s actually a lot to talk about and dissect, because 2022 was the first year I made some resolutions (which you can check out HERE, if you missed them). We’ll compare goals, check out the most popular features on the blog and talk about life in general. Let’s get started!

READING

I have a Goodreads and a StoryGraph account, although I’m really more of a fan of the statistics from the latter. They’re just so much more extensive, even if the page count is sometimes a little off. It’s tradition for me to share some of the stats, so let’s dive right in.

I finished 45 books with roughly 11,700 pages total. In comparison to last year, that is a lot less, but I also had a lot less time. I reached the reading goal I set in terms of the total amount of books on the final day of December 2022, but I unfortunately didn’t make it to the 15,000 pages I had set my eyes on.

A graph showing the books and amount of pages I read throughout the year 2022.

What I enjoy about the stats from the StoryGraph is that they show you so much more than just pages or minutes or number of books. They really focus on the mood of the stories, the pacing, the language and so much more. I would have never guessed that I mostly read books that involve romance for example, but I now have a detailed graphs showing me my most read genres.

I read 13 books from the romance genre, 10 contemporaries, 8 books from the Fantasy and Poetry genre each and 6 were general literature.

I ended up mostly reading medium-paced books (58%) and books with less than 300 pages (also 58%). I’m not surprised at that revelation at all, since it was the year of novellas for me. Something I’m really proud of is the fact that 29% of my reads were non-fiction. I wouldn’t say that I previously scoffed at non-fiction books, but I always found them harder to enjoy or connect to, but now I’m actively seeking them out. I can see that trend continue in 2023.

Ultimately my average rating is very similar to previous years. I once again ended up at 3.7 star-rating on average, which is the third year in a row.

Did I stick to my reading resolutions for 2022?

I didn’t have that many resolutions aside from the traditional Goodreads/StoryGraph reading goals, but I wanted to read more books in German and read more diversely. So, how did I do with that?

My plan was to read 1-3 books in German and I DID THAT! It was only one book, but I did read Stella by Takis Würger and even reviewed it on the blog (check out the post HERE). The book surprised me in that I basically flew through it and found reading it fairly easy, but it was still disappointing content … you can’t win them all.

The “read more diversely”-goal is harder to quantify and I can definitely still do better. 12 out of the 39 authors I’ve read books from in 2022 were non-white. That’s only a very slight improvement from the previous year and I know that this is going to remain a goal for future years. I can definitely tell that it helps when I don’t do reading experiments though …


For a complete list of my favorite books of 2022, click HERE!


WATCHING

There’s not really a good way to track all my media consumption, although I adore Letterboxd for movies. Since we all know that I watch more TV shows than movies though, their stats are welcome, but not nearly enough.

Either way, just for fun, I will share some Letterboxd stats as well! Apparently I watched 74 films, although I must admit that I maybe didn’t log all my rewatches … anyway, if we’re going by that number, these movies amounted to 132 hours of uninterrupted screen time. Since that only amounts to roughly 5.5 days, it actually doesn’t feel like all that much.

What came as a bit of surprise to me were my most watched actor and director. Dave Bautista starred in Glass Onion, Thor: Love and Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Dune. We could surely debate about the legitimacy of these stats, because is the cameo in Love and Thunder noteworthy? Does the Guardians Holiday special count as a real movie? Either way, I like how invested Bautista is in just honing his craft. I’m very excited for Knock at the Cabin. Denis Villeneuve made it onto my list, because I watched Dune and rewatched Arrival. I guess that is fair.

Dave Bautista was my most watched actor and Denis Villeneuve my most watched director in 2022


You can find all my favorite movies of 2022 HERE and all my top TV shows HERE!


WRITING

I failed so hard at all the writing goals I set for myself. I plotted a whole Fantasy novel. I dug up all the material I had from that one finished Romantic Comedy draft, so I could finally edit it. I made aesthetics and playlists, but … I just didn’t write. Doing things in my head is easy, I love to fantasize about all that stuff. But as soon as I sit down to write? My mind goes blank, I have zero motivation and just literally want to do anything else. It makes me sad, because I used to love to write, now I can’t make it work. AND I TRIED! I even set up a dedicated time to write, just 30 minutes a day (and more if things were going well), but nothing came of it. So, I dropped it …

Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail" wildly gesturing with his hands, because he got nothing to reply

BLOGGING

Life and Other Disasters has been such a huge part of my life for so long, it was strange to see it thrive in numbers, but for engagement to keep dwindling in 2022. I’ve heard similar from old and new blogging buddies alike, with a lot of discussion about “the death of blogging” swirling around the internet. Today, I don’t want to focus on the sad aspects though and rather celebrate the community we DO have.

First things first, I was really consistent again and don’t want to break with tradition. Here are some updated blog stats:

  • We’re less than 50 WordPress subscribers away from 3,000! I can’t believe that many people care about my ramblings.
  • I’ve written less posts (159 total) but had another 20% increase in views. I think I’m getting better at SEO, but I’m really just winging it. So, this is an unexpected delight.
  • I want to thank every single person who reads my posts, leaves a like or even takes the time to comment! You cannot imagine how much these interactions, however small, mean to me, because it’s my favorite part about blogging. It makes me feel less like screaming into a void, but rather sharing my thoughts and ideas with friends all over the world. A special shout out to my top-commentors CaroMarieRami, Sophie, Deanna and Bruce.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2022

These are all posts that I wrote in 2022 and that were popular with the internet. The archive posts (so everything I published prior to 2022) will be listed below without much comment.

Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)/Does The Atlas Paradox suffer from Second Book Syndrome? – This was the year of Olivie Blake and I’ve personally read three of her books as well as the YA book she published under a different name. I get why the internet is so enamored with her writing, I like it too, but sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the hype and to manage expectations. I hope I helped with my posts!

Should You Read the Atlas Six?

Along for the Ride: Book vs. Movie – I think the only reason this comparison was successful was due to the fact that I posted it on the release day of the Netflix movie. Sometimes I just work ridiculously fast!

Movie poster of Along for the Ride with the text "book vs. movie"

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (Book Review) – How cool is it that book reviews are doing so well? I remember times when reviews could not compete with tags and challenges or even simple TBR posts, but this year has proven me wrong. Reviews are still very much relevant!

Ranking All the Morgan Matson Books! – As I’ve slowly moved away from YA, I couldn’t help but highlight one of my favorite YA authors – Morgan Matson. I might grow out of that age range, but her books are cherished regardless.

Ranking All the Morgan Matson Books

Are Harry Styles and I compatible (readers)? – I don’t know if it’s because of the celebs I picked or the feature just not being that interesting anymore, but the celeb book club posts have not been doing particularly well this past year, which was part of the reason that I stopped doing them. I mean, it’s hard to never get to pick what you want to read and just have to rely on other people’s taste anyway, but I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to give it another go in 2023.

MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:

LIFE

I’m scared to wish for better for the new year, because life seems to take it as a challenge to make it worse somehow. Every year, I feel like I shouldn’t complain, because I know that a lot of people have it a lot worse than me. I have a steady job (even if I sometimes wish it would pay more), I have colleagues I adore and that make work fun, I have a loving family and friends all around the world I can turn to. And yet, life is hard and keeps throwing particularly difficult challenges my way.
There were a lot of health scares in my family in 2022 and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was terrified for months and months. I found less joy in things I used to love to do – such as binging TV, drawing my portraits or doing other creative work. Instead, I turned to long walks by myself and working out. (Eeew, teen me would not recognize herself.) I guess health (mental and physical) has become much more important to me as I’ve gotten older and that’s something I’m going to continue to work on in the years to come.

I have no idea where 2023 will take me, but I’m trying to go in with an open mind, a positive attitude but low expectations. Life is gonna do whatever it wants, you can’t plan for it. You can put things out into the universe and set things in motion, but in the end, it feels like what’s going to happen is going to happen. I just hope to see us all come out happy on the other side.

So, from me to all of you – THANK YOU for another fabulous year here on Life and Other Disasters! I literally couldn’t do this without you and am forever grateful for the relationships forged and the bonds made.

December 2022 Wrap-Up

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

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

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

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

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on StoryGraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

In Other News

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

Binging TV is my coping mechanism

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

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

My Weightloss Journey

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

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

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

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF DECEMBER 2022

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

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

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


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

November 2022 Wrap-Up

November Wrap-Up

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

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

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

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

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

 

In Other News

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

Twitter Went Into Titanic Mode

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

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

The Atlas Paradox Released

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

Does the Atlas Paradox suffer from second book syndrome?

I Accidentally Played a Game for 15 Hours Straight

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

I Got a New Show to Obsess Over

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

My Weightloss Journey Continues Some More

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

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

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

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

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF NOVEMBER 2022

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

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

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


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

September 2022 Wrap-Up

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

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

 

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

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

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

 

In Other News

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

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

Lifestyle Changes

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

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

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

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

Writing My Fantasy Novel

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

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

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

I Found a New Favorite Poet

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

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

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

I Watched All the Gen Z Content

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

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

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF SEPTEMBER 2022

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

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

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


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

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!

8 Years of Blogging – Reintroducing Myself!

Can you believe it? I certainly can’t, which is why I once again forgot this blogiversary was coming up. I always vaguely remember that it’s sometime in early June, but when the WordPress notification tells me “You registered 8 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.”, I am always, always, always surprised and caught off guard.

After blogging for such a long time (really, who would have thought?), it’s tricky to come up with something new for these kind of celebratory posts. I’ve done countless Q&A’s, giveaways, challenges … it’s starting to repeat too much. But, my friend The Orang-utan Librarian has thankfully given me a great idea for what I could do. My style, the content of the blog, me as a person, have all changed over the years and so has the audience here. Some of you have been along for the ride from pretty much the beginning and others have only joined our little community recently. I cherish all of you and thought it was time (and hopefully also fun) to reintroduce myself!

ME, MYSELF AND I

all of the other portraits were drawn by yours truly!

To get some of the basics out of the way: I’m a girl in her late 20s, currently living in Austria. It’s where I’m from originally, but I’ve also lived in Germany, France, the US and Canada before, which is why I always put the “currently” in front of whatever place I’m at. You never truly know where you’ll end up … or at least I don’t.

This blog has gone through several changes since I’ve started it. I’ve purchased the lifeandotherdisasters.com domain a couple years back and haven’t regretted it yet. It somehow made everything more real, confirmed that this was my place and mine alone! There comes a certain freedom with that. Now, when we talk about the content though, I’ve always heavily focused on TV shows, movies and books. Sometimes I will sprinkle in some insights on writing or life or whatever comes to mind, but those topics I mentioned before are definitely the pillars.

But back to talking about myself (couldn’t sound more narcissistic if I tried) – here are a couple things I love:

  • I adore drawing portraits of people! As you can see above (or on my art insta), it’s really all I do. Landscapes, animals, abstract creative musings – none of that has ever really interested me. I love figuring out the shadows and proportions of faces and have found my favorite medium in watercolors. If you ever want to read more about my process, I wrote a handy post, which you can find here!
  • My friends have called me the Queen of TV for ages now, mostly because I’m great at giving show recommendations tailored to people’s specific taste, maybe because I’ve been on TV like four times already, but also because it’s actually my field of work … kinda. I’ve studied film-, TV- and media-production (which couldn’t sound more vague), but that gave me a great foundation regarding the economic side of the film biz. I’ve since worked in film distribution, casting, event management, marketing, PR, press and much more. I feel so at home in this area and am forever grateful that I get to make it a career, even if it’s still a work in process and has been halted due to the pandemic.

Actual quote from a previous employer: The fact that [Ms Katja] follows the world of film and TV outside of the workplace makes her an inspiring interlocutor.

  • My most favorite place in the whole world is Vancouver (in British Columbia, although I’ve been to the one in Washington State as well). It has the ocean, mountains, forests and a downtown area with skyscrapers. It’s on the bigger side in terms of people who live there (at least for Canada), but super easy to get around. I’ve made such great friends there and just had the best of times. It also helped that it’s considered Hollywood North, which means there were loads of film and television sets to visit.
  • I’ve always loved to devour and tell stories. Those two things just sort of go hand in hand for me and I would never want to miss either from my life. I don’t know if I’d want to pursue a life as a published author, but there has never been a time where I didn’t want to share my stories with the world. So, we shall see where my road leads to here. I think I have a couple really good tales still in me.
  • I’ve done about three workshops for acting and I love it. It’s truly a craft in my eyes and I enjoy it a lot, despite not being great at it. There’s people who can just let go, but I always hold back. There’s emotions I have a really hard time letting roam, but I learned (despite usually being very camera shy) that I adore camera acting. Many people love being on stage and I’m the complete opposite. I love the intricacies and detail that goes into camera acting. Your smallest movements get detected, you can do the same scene over and over in a million different ways, it’s entirely different than when you have to project to a large audience in a room and you only get one shot to do it right. But still, I could never do this as a job.
me at one of my workshops several years ago
  • I’ve gone to several comedy and improv shows and there are few things that bring me more joy, but I always find them funnier when I’m in the room than when I watch a taping or recording of it. There’s definitely times when I think I have a terrible sense of humor, but when you’re in a room full of laughter, it’s just the best and such an infectious atmosphere!

I hope you now feel like you’ve learned something new or know more about me than you did before. It’s a very personal post, but so is this freaking milestone I still can’t believe is true. The fact that I already (accidentally) paid for the domain for next year means I’ll also be sticking around. Sorry, hope you’re not getting tired of me yet!


So, that’s it! All of this is me and I would love for you to (re)introduce yourself in the comments! Let’s start a little discourse here!

May 2021 Wrap-Up

Time’s just flying by and I have lost all track of what’s happening. I did, however, read an astonishing amount of books this past month, which was only possible because some of those were no more than 40 pages and included a lot of poetry collections, but still … I read a bunch! I love that for me. Let’s check out what was on my list:

  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (3 stars)
  • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (3 stars)
    It is astonishing to me that, after 2,000 years, we still struggle with similar problems. This series of short essays wasn’t always something I agreed with, but it raised some very interesting points.
  • Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav (4 stars)
    This poetry collection was so easy to get into. I found a lot of passages I could identify with, while others were so specific that it almost felt like intruding on someone’s personal life.
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    This is “just” a printed version of the inaugural poem Amanda Gorman wrote, with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Nothing beats watching her perform it though.
  • Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill (5 stars)
    Another poetry collection, this one with a focus on the year 2020. I found it very emotional to read and do not recommend it if you don’t want to be reminded of the pain of the pandemic (which we’re still in).
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • Galatea by Madeline Miller (3 stars)
    Miller’s short story – Galatea – is bound to break your heart, like most of her writing will.

The Nature of Witches  On The Shortness Of Life: De Brevitate Vitae (A New Translation with Image Gallery and Seneca Biography) (Stoics In Their Own Words Book 4)  Love Looks Pretty on You  The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem  Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and Light  Malibu Rising  Galatea

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.

So, what’s new? I have further reduced my time on social media (although it’s still easy to reach me via DMs if there’s ever something I need to know or you want to talk about) and it has been very freeing. I barely check my timeline, I tweet something every other day and then log off again and just enjoy not giving my opinion on all things? It’s not that I have nothing to say or talk about, but … does the whole world need to know? The answer is likely “no”, so I reduce my interactions mostly to brief reactions about what I’ve watched recently. It honestly works for me.

I haven’t drawn or done much creatively once more and I’m not sure June will be the month for that either. It’s going to hold a lot of changes for me and we shall see how that might also affect my blogging schedule (been going “strong” with at least 2 posts each week minimum). For now, it looks like the Canada thing needs to be buried, which saddens me but is something I’ll just have to deal with. I think a lot of lives have been interrupted/disrupted/changed during the past year and if letting go of that dream is what it means for me, then it could have been much worse I suppose.

During the past months, my blogging friend Stephanie @Adventures of a Bibliophile has really inspired me with her reading experiments. Be it about books she read based on her zodiac sign or letting Buzzfeed decide her next reads, it is always sure to be fun and a unique to her experience. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to copy her, but I have started my very own reading experiment. I wanted it to be something that felt very true to me and that you would all hopefully enjoy as well. I’m not ready to disclose what exactly my post will entail, but having written about it here will give me that accountability to go through with it! I’M SO EXCITED!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Since I spent less time on social media apps, you might think I spent less time in front of screens, but that’s not entirely true. I still watched a whole lot, for example also the TV adaptation of Panic by Lauren Oliver. Fair warning, I forgot everything there was about the plot, except for random details, but I had a good time. The concept of the game within the story is pretty reckless and stupid, all of it is a very teen angst filled show, but I was entertained.

I’ve also started to delve into fan fiction a bit, just because I think it’s such an amazing outlet for all the creative people out there. I love reading my friends’ takes on Charmed (which are often better than canon) such as katasstropheee‘s or amandapanda425‘s works (to just name a few). But also all things Marvel related, where I’m especially excited to see the Why Me? fic continued once the Loki show will air. Reimagining already existing worlds can be so satisfying and I might try my own hand at it while my motivation for my original novels is lacking.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS BOOKISH STUFF

TRAILER POSTS


What are some things that shaped your May? What are you looking forward to in June? Let’s chat a little bit and I hope you are all happy and healthy!

Discussion Time: Blogger Identity

There’s many reasons why people follow blogs. The content and the design are obvious starting points, but most people stay for the person – the way the blogger writes and interacts with others on and off the blog. Even if you never meet these people off-screen, you feel connected to them and maybe even like part of their life. But sometimes life happens, priorities change and so does the focus of some bloggers’ posts. Do you still keep following them or do you lose interest? Let’s talk about that!

If you had asked me a couple months ago, I would have proudly said I am a book blogger. However, considering the percentage of book related posts in comparison to the ones about TV, films and/or writing, I am just not sure that’s still true. I haven’t read a single book in the past weeks and even more noticeably, I don’t particularly miss it. Usually, a reading slump would go hand in hand with a little blogging hiatus, but this time around I don’t want to stop blogging. I just don’t necessarily want to talk about books. So what does that make me?

I never made a big deal out of branding my blog a book blog. The name “Life and Other Disasters” is pretty general (for once a good decision) and I feel like it’s applicable for whatever I decide to post about. Then again, I know that the biggest junk of my readership started following this blog when I started to put a bigger emphasis on books. I am not saying I won’t talk books at all now, but I do feel like most of my posts are either about life events, TV obsessions or just general thought experiments. While I do have a couple regular readers who comment and like whatever I write about (I appreciate you guys so, so much by the way, you are my driving force! <3), I have noticed a decline in my stats. Of course, I can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with my content or simply bad timing and the general irregularity with which I post? I very well know that stats aren’t what really counts, interaction is far more important, but I think everyone who says they aren’t paying attention to them at all is a pretty little liar. The most unhealthy thing is to compare yourself and your blog to others, but lately, I just feel like everyone keeps passing me by. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have no intention of stopping, but seeing everyone else reach those blogging goals that I needed years for in a matter of months is just kind of demotivating. I am very happy for those people, they are my friends, my community, but at the same time I keep wondering what I am doing wrong. It invokes this sense of detachment and makes me want to engage less, even though that is exactly the opposite of what would be helpful when you are trying to get your stats up again.

A big focus of blogging has also shifted to social media platforms. This is where people can showcase even more of their personality and engage with their audience. I would go so far as to say that as a modern-day blogger, you need Twitter and Instagram. I especially used to love Twitter when I first joined, it gave you such easy access to a huge amount of people with the same interests as you, but now … whenever I go online I just see a bunch of threads talking about controversial topics or complaining about one thing or another. Those are all really valid and most of the time about important topics that need to be called out, however, I am not the kind of person to engage in such conversations. I don’t feel like I have anything to add and I really don’t want to talk over people who might be more affected by the topics than me. So, I am basically just sharing random writing and life updates that don’t seem like a very valuable contribution or something people are actually interested in.

I realize my posts have become increasingly rambly, but sometimes you just have to write things off your chest. I am in a real blogger identity crisis, not sure where I am headed with my content and not sure if I am still part of the community I love so very much. I know that I am not alone in feeling that way, because I have talked to some people who’ve been doing this for a while as well and there is a shift in the blogging world. At least that’s what I experience from my little corner of the interwebs. I am definitely curious to see where this all goes.

Have you ever been in a blogger identity crisis? Do you follow blogs even if they talk about other things than the stuff they started out with? Let’s chat!