July 2022 Wrap-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a progress report on my summer plans:

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

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

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF JULY 2022

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

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

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

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

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

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

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


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

9 Years of Blogging – some reflections and a Q&A!

A scrap of paper taped to a light brown background with a dried yellow flower. The writing on the paper says "9 years of blogging - some reflections and a Q&A"

I’ve been blogging on Life and Other Disasters for 9 YEARS now. Can you believe it? I certainly have to say it to myself quite a lot, because it sure hasn’t sunk in yet. It has become increasingly harder to think of something entertaining and new for these celebratory milestones. Last year, I re-introduced myself, just because I felt like there were a lot of new people in the blogosphere that I wasn’t as close with as the ones I started out with … who kept dwindling away.

However, I really have to highlight how grateful I am for every single person who stops by, leaves a like or even comments. I know that there’s bigger and maybe more trendy and flashier blogs and social media accounts out there, but I love this little corner of the internet that I’ve built for myself with you all. I get to come here and just talk (or more like ramble) about the things I love or that are currently on my mind and that is such a gift. I’ve made some real connections over the years and found my kindred spirits through this medium, knowing that we otherwise would have likely never crossed paths. All of this is so special to me!

Still, after all those years, you kind of lose track of anniversaries and such, so this post is a little improvised. On a whim, I decided to ask my Twitter followers if they had questions I could use for a Q&A and they delivered! Thanks for showing up in my time of need. Ahead are some really contemplative musings on blogging, so I hope you enjoy them!

It's a WordPress badge, showing the blue W of the site with the text "Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered 9 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging."
You’d think they’d change the text or make it somehow more special after a couple years, but nope … same badge as always.

The Q&A

Please don’t hesitate to visit the blogs of the people who asked questions! I will link back to each of them!

How have you been blogging for so long? (Chelle’s Book Ramblings)

I just … never stopped? I’ve definitely had ups and downs, times where I only managed to post once a week at most (which is low for me), but I still stuck with it and there’s no concrete reason to it. My perspective definitely changed after I bought my domain name, because then money was involved and I didn’t want to have spent it on something I wasn’t using? But also, at this point, I don’t really know if I even could stop blogging altogether. I’ve been doing it for almost a decade and it’s part of me?

This is just how I live now?

What inspired you to start blogging? (Naty’s Bookshelf)

Good question! I actually had a blog prior to this one. It was over on blogspot and just focusing on TV shows alone. I didn’t really love the platform and abandoned it after a couple weeks, but I was still yearning for someplace to just ramble about all the things I frequently got obsessed with. 

Then, one day, we had to do a project for uni, where we had to create a blog for class. I offered to sign up on WordPress for my group and then I secretly created a second blog for myself. I barely told anyone, in case it would fail and I’d abandon it again. It still took ages until there was real interaction on it, but I enjoyed the interface and everything much better and stuck with it.

Best thing that happened to you thanks to blogging? (Drizzle and Hurricane Books)

Meeting you! Making some real friends! If anyone had told me that I’d meet so many great people on here and that I’d make some genuinely long-lasting connections, I wouldn’t have believed it at first. Now, there’s just so many friends I talk to on a regular basis about much more than just blogging that I adore and couldn’t imagine my life without.

What did blogging teach you about yourself? (Drizzle and Hurricane Books)

Oh, quite a lot, I’d say! Here are some examples:

  • It helped me express my thoughts and feelings. I especially think that I’ve worked on my English language skills (particularly in writing) and expressing critical thoughts more clearly. There’s still room for improvement, but it definitely helped me know what I want my style to be.
  • No matter how niche you think your interests are, there’s likely someone else out there in the interwebs, who likes the same stuff.
  • Some thoughts and ideas don’t need to be shared and it’s okay to change your mind.

3 books you discovered thanks to the community and adore? (Drizzle and Hurricane Books)

I’m afraid I don’t have the names of the people that recommended these books to me specifically, but hype in the community in general was the reason I picked up the following books, which eventually turned into favorites:

Which blog posts do you find most fulfilling to write and why? (My Midnight Musing)

I wouldn’t say I’m the most creative blogger in general. I have a couple weekly features (such as my trailer round-ups and recaps of what’s I’ve been watching as well as Marvel reviews, when shows are on), but I feel like I really thrive when I have unique ideas … which doesn’t happen too often.

At the moment, I’m quite pleased with the compatible reader series (check out the latest one here) or the celeb book club (which you can find here), because they combine my interest for reading with TV and movies. They usually take a very long time and sometimes are frustrating to get through, but in the end, I’m always proud of stepping out of my comfort zone and giving it some serious thought.

What advice would you give to people thinking of joining the blogosphere? (My Midnight Musing)

I think there’s loads to consider once you’ve been at it for a while, but in the beginning? Here’s a few things I would tell every newbie:

  • Write about what YOU want to talk about and not what you think others want to read about.
  • Don’t be an island! If you want to be part of the community, go to other people’s blogs and engage in a meaningful way (that means no simple “great post!” comments). It might not always be reciprocated, but if you click with people it will happen naturally.
  • Other platforms will always grow faster, because they are flashier. Be patient, blogging is a long game.

If you could magically change something about your blog or the way blogging works in general, what would you change? (the wordy habitat

I think a lot of us have felt engagement on our blogs dwindling over the past years. I’ve tried to be really motivated and not just get views, but also to interact with people, but it just hasn’t been the same as say … 5-6 years ago. I’m happy for everyone who can report differently from their blogs, but it’s just what I’ve been witnessing. But, and that’s the important part, connecting and talking with people has always been my favorite part of this whole venture.

So, if I could change anything, I would wish for more engagement or that engagement might be easier? Sometimes I wonder if the whole “signing up to leave a comment” etc. and being on so many different platforms makes it less likely for people to interact.


I hope you enjoyed this little exploration into my innermost blogging thoughts! If there’s anything more you would like to know, feel free to ask in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer you there!

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!