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!

October 2022 Wrap-Up

October was a complete disaster on the blog. Even though I posted my usual two posts per week, I really felt like I was on some sort of hiatus, doing the bare minimum. Somehow, I just didn’t find the time to read anything until the very end of the month (currently, I’m knee-deep into Babel and The Atlas Paradox and loving it!). So, here’s what I ended up finishing:

  • Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (4 stars)
    This is the third installment in the Murderbot Diaries and while it wasn’t my favorite, the series is still excellent. I hope you won’t mind that I wait to review the books until I finish the series (up to the book it is out right now) and am able to do it in one go.
  • LVOE: Poems, Epigrams & Aphorisms by Atticus (4 stars)
    I first encountered poetry by Atticus while I was in Canada and I still enjoy it. It’s not always as deep as others, but it leaves me with a nice and warm feeling.

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3) LVOE: Poems, Epigrams & Aphorisms

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 had built up quite a comfortable buffer for my reading challenges, which has gone entirely to waste these past two months. I’m still sort of on track with the number of books, but I highly doubt I will reach my (for me, quite ambitious) page count goal. Even with Babel and The Atlas Paradox, it’s a stretch.

Two bars showing my reading progression this year so far until the end of October 2022. I have managed to stay on track for the number of books (45) I want to read and am currently at 84%. I am behind 2556 pages on my page count goal of 15000 pages for the year, which leaves me at 67%.

 

In Other News

October was once again a very busy month. We had presidential elections in my country, loads of my friends and family members had their birthdays and name days (yes, we “celebrate” those too) and in general, I feel like there was just always something going on. I’ve thought about this just recently, but I can’t even recall the last time I was bored. It legit doesn’t happen to me anymore. Once again, I’m sticking to the format of dividing up the month into segments and telling you about them separately.

Writing My Fantasy Novel

I have made ZERO progress. I’m not even sure I opened the document during October, if I’m being completely honest. It’s not that I lost interest in it, I just feel like I’m more in a reading rather than writing mood at the moment. However, having said that, it is NaNoWriMo. I have no intention of rushing through the novel, but maybe it will help me just work on it on a daily basis? That would be nice. But we all know I have the worst track record with sticking to NaNoWriMo …

I Still Have the Same Favorite Poet

Last month, I heavily teased that I fell in love with the writing of a certain poet, who kept his work out of the public eye. Funny story, the person is actually a former boxer now actor and while his Instagram is still private, he has decided to share some of his work on TikTok. Now, I quite enjoyed having his words all to myself (this is an exaggeration, he did share it with several hundred people before as well), but if you are curious and want to check out Kieron Moore’s poetry for yourself, you can do so here.

I Played Foretales

One of my favorite voice actors I share a birthday with (serious shout out to the legend that is Travis Willingham) promoted the latest game he did voice work for and I immediately wanted to check it out. I don’t have a proper gaming set up, I only have my laptop, that’s not really made for a lot of processing work. Regardless, Foretales is a really cool story-driven RPG card game. I enjoy games where my decisions have an impact on the story and certain paths are blocked or opened, depending on what I did prior. I have to admit that I sometimes got stuck on really silly things and was frustrated when I had to redo chapters, but overall, it was a lot of fun. You can find more info on it on Steam here.

My Weightloss Journey Continues

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!

As I keep at my regular cardio workouts and still haven’t gone on a diet – on the contrary, I think I’m eating more now than ever before and I notice it in my budget – I continue to slowly but steadily loose weight. The most important thing to me is that what I do remains something that is sustainable. There’s no use in starving yourself or overworking, just to go back to “normal” and reversing all that progress. I feel like what I’m doing does push me to go out more and definitely exercise and move more than I did previously, but I found the joy in moving and therefore it’s not so much of a chore, but rather something I feel incomplete without.

I’ve upped my workout time and often end up doing 30 to 45 minutes a day, but sometimes, when I just don’t feel like it, I end up only doing something for 10 to 20 minutes and that’s still enough. So, I’ve lost another 3 kg/6.6 lbs since the last wrap-up, which makes me feel confident that I can reach my desired goal by my 30th birthday.

Here’s the latest workout video I’ve been coming back to, especially with Taylor Swift’s release of Midnights:

This Spooky Season offered great Spooky TV!

There were so many great seasonal shows this last month! I loved the latest adaptations of Vampire Academy and Interview with the Vampire. Two very different shows, but both offering me everything I wanted from them. However, there is another adaptation that I feel got completely lost in the sheer amount of content that is being released as of late – The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself! The show is based on the book Half Bad by Sally Green, which I’ve read eons ago and can’t remember in detail, but still recognized in the show. It was fantastically paced, had super interesting character dynamics and would have been a perfect Halloween watch. I don’t see a lot of people talking about it, but I really wish more would watch it. It has some seriously f- up stuff happen it, but I would love to see what they do with another season.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF OCTOBER 2022

I’ll never know how to express my utter love for everyone who keeps visiting this corner of the interwebs, even when I barely post any new content. I genuinely adore you! Here are the most popular posts of October.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    No surprise there, right?
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    This actually makes a lot of sense, if you think about it being the release month for the sequel. I’m glad people find this post helpful!
  3. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    No clue what sparked the resurgence of this post.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Yeah, why not? He’s always interesting I suppose.
  5. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (Book Review)
    (originally posted October 2016)
    So, clearly I read this book way before it become a TikTok sensation and when I, myself, was still much younger. It’s the only Hoover book I’ve ever read and while I apparently enjoyed it back then, I’m not sure, I would still like it as much now? It’s wild to me that a post from 6 years ago is getting that much traffic.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This is only a fraction of all the great content that my fellow bloggers put out into the blogosphere in October. Still, I hope you’ll give them a visit and share the love!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a wonderful spooky season and are now enjoying your November! Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Any particular reading plans or otherwise? Let’s chat!

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 …

August 2022 Wrap-Up

I started August really motivated to blog, which, in hindsight, is not reflected at all in the content I provided. I don’t know what exactly happened, but I got busy? First things first though, let’s check out the books I read during August. I thought I wouldn’t have anything to show in this section, but there’s actually a lot – including some new favorites! I indulged in some poetry and audiobooks though, which is very unlike myself.

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 have no idea why this is so shocking to me, but I’m actually doing really well on my reading challenge still. I know I just showed how many books I read this past month, which was a sum that was actually a lot for me in general, but I always feel like I’m behind somehow. In reality, I’m ahead by 4-5 books (depending on whether you look at Goodreads or Storygraph for the info), but unfortunately, I’m behind several hundred pages on my page goal. Still, it could be worse. I just need to not read poetry and short stories.

A graph showing 76% (34 books out of 45 books) read. Brilliant! You are ahead by 4 books!

A graph showing 61% (34 books), 9,201 pages out of 15,000 pages read.  785 pages more until you're caught up! You've got this!

 

In Other News

As stated in the intro of this post, I was actually really motivated to get creative this month, but somehow I didn’t end up doing much on the blog. Still, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a busy, busy gal! Here are some of my monthly highlights from August!

My birthday!

I “celebrated” my 29th birthday at the beginning of August. I’m not trying to say it in a weird way just to be weird, but I didn’t throw a party or anything like that. Instead, I took some time off work, had my parents visit with my grandmother – who saw my apartment for the first time since I moved in last October, donated to a local charity and relaxed. Creating a fuzz around a number isn’t my thing, but I guess I’m going to have to do something when I turn 30 next year. We’ll see …

I DMed my first DnD game!

I never thought that being a Dungeon Master (or Game Master, if you prefer that term) would be easy, but dang it was hard! I coerced my cousins into playing with me and I made miniatures for their characters as well as other NPCs and enemies, created maps (that were slightly off scale), tried to remember everyone’s powers, abilities and stats and did my best to explain rules that I didn’t always fully understand myself. It wasn’t necessarily chaotic, but there was 100% room for improvement. So, while I’m glad I did it, please, someone else be the Game Master next time, okay?

various miniature Dungeons and Dragons character made out of paper

I got a Fitbit!

Promise, this is not going to turn into a commercial and I’m pretty sure I gave away so many rights to my data when I signed up, but I’m super happy to have a Fitbit now. It’s a fitness bracelet that monitors and tracks various health and exercise data and I feel like that was a push I needed to get more active again. Working from home has taken its toll and while I was grateful for the safety measures that were implemented at my work, I feel so much better when I have a reason to get out of the house. Let’s see how long my fascination with it will last. The first 1.5 weeks have been great so far!

I finished the Outline for my Fantasy WIP!

THIS is something I’m super proud of! I’ve really put in the time and effort, despite being a very impatient person, to create an outline I can work with. Of course, there will be some fine tuning of certain elements as I go along, but I now have somewhat of a “character bible”, an explanation for my society, government, geographical make-up, magical system and religion of my world AND a super solid plot structure. I’m about to dive into the actual writing process and I hope to make progress with it at a steady pace as well.

I’m not yet ready to talk details, but here’s my main character (which I shared last month too) as a reminder:

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.
The main character vibes are strong with her.

Because this is already much longer than usual, I will forgo sharing the most popular posts of the month (you’ve heard about all of them before) as well as my favorites of the month (The Sandman) and posts from around the blogosphere. I hope you understand and vow to bring those back again next month, when I’ve hopefully had more time to blog hop and dive into what everyone else was up to!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all will have a great start into the month of September! I, for one, can’t wait to be able to wear layers more often again.

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. 

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2022

I keep saying this so often, but I do these tags super irregularly. However, I took the time to put something up last year and want to try and keep this going … So, this is me doing the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag on the most semi-regular basis ever. Enjoy!

*By clicking on the covers, you’ll be re-directed to the Goodreads pages of the books!*

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2022

Tough call, tough call. I’ve had some really lovely reads this year already. One of the books that I was most excited about and that luckily turned out to be just phenomenal is The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston. I’m so glad I got to read that book! It had me crying, laughing and falling in love with the characters.

The Dead Romantics

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2022

Wow, I genuinely haven’t read a single sequel so far this year. I might continue with the Wayward Children series, which I thought had a fantastic start! I’ve mentioned it before though, but the books are super expensive, so I don’t have an actual plan on when I will get to the continuation.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

I’ve read only a couple pages of an ARC for Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid so far, so I’m going to count it for this prompt. It sounds like something right up my alley, it’s just been a time issue so far and the book was only released a couple weeks ago.

Before Takeoff

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Okay, do I really need to say it? I have to say it! The Atlas Paradox! I’m one of the biggest fangirls of this series (as proven by this post) and cannot wait to finally get my babies from the Atlas Six back. I miss them so much, even if most of the story is just vibes.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Hmmm … I suppose Watermelon Sugar was a disappointment. I don’t really understand how it has so many fans, because it makes zero sense. It just says … nothing.

In Watermelon Sugar

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson was … unexpected. Told in second person POV, I don’t necessarily think it’s for everyone, but I found it really immersive and touching. I can see great things from this author!

Open Water

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

Tia Williams convinced me and gained me as a fan with Seven Days in June! No doubt about it! Her writing had such excellent humor, but also so much heart and realness. I’m looking forward to reading more books by her.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Not me having to reuse an answer by picking The Dead Romantics again, but – BENJI ANDOR!!! The man is amazingly attentive, but also driven and a literary editor. I just loved his whole vibe and wish we had gotten more of him in the book. Like, that’s my complaint, not enough Benji.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

I’m picking a lot of books that deal with the death and/or sickness of a parent. It’s like these stories just find me and every single one of them made me cry. The latest one was This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub – absolutely fantastic with a sci-fi twist!

This Time Tomorrow

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

My Mechanical Romance was penned by the same author as The Atlas Six, however, under a different pseudonym. I just love the writing style so much, even though I’ve sort of stepped away from YA a little bit as of late. It had girls in STEM, rivals to lovers and just really cute conversations. I smiled through so many parts of it.

My Mechanical Romance

FAVORITE BOOK TO SCREEN ADAPTATION

I have to name two, I can’t stop myself! One for a TV show and one for a movie, because … this is all I ever talk about, right? You can’t just make me choose. Also, I want to note that these are adaptations that I’ve actually read prior to watching, otherwise my selection might have been different.

TV Show: Conversations with Friends – it was really faithful to the material again, just like Normal People, but also expanded on everything and made it a little more in depth or relatable. These characters are still very much flawed, but not as exhausting as in the books. At least to me. Read my full post here.

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

Movie: Along for the Ride – this was my first experience with a Sarah Dessen story and while I wasn’t super impressed, I really enjoyed the movie. It was cute and lovely and from the looks of it, Netflix keeps pumping out YA adaptations, so, I’m here for it. You can find my full length thoughts here.

FAVORITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

I know that people would likely suspect that my favorite post of the year so far would be one of my many reading experiments, but it’s actually a spin-off feature in the realm of my blog celeb book club – Books I’d Recommend to Celebs Based on THEIR Taste!
I always complain that I think that the actors pick rubbish books and that I could give them better reads and I stand by that. It was so fun to come up with recommendations based on what I had learned about them and I hope to do more along the lines of this soon.

Celeb Book Club

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Have you SEEN the character illustrations in The Atlas Six? Gorgeous. Beautiful. Memorable. My faves.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

I don’t like to put that kind of pressure on myself, so I’ve done away with “must reads”. Whatever the mood strikes and maybe some stories for experiments. We shall see.

I TAG THEE

I tag whoever wants to do this as well! If that’s you, then I tag YOU!!!


What did you think of my answers for the prompts this year? How is your reading year going so far? Let’s catch up in the comments!

May 2022 Wrap-Up

a header image in blue and green tones with blurry book covers and the writing "May Wrap-Up"

It kind of feels surreal to me that May has already come and gone. I don’t know why, but mentally, I’m probably still stuck in April? Anyway, it was a pretty decent month for me? Nothing too out of the ordinary, but let’s start with the usual – the books I’ve read!

Norwegian Wood Conversations with Friends The Dead Romantics My Mechanical Romance

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.

As far as my reading goals go, I have to say that I’m very pleased with myself. I’m still ahead in terms of books and pages, similarly to last month. I enjoy not really feeling pressured by a looming backlog or anything like that. It has been such a solid year for me so far.

An image showing a reading goal for 2022 of 45 books with a current track record of 53%/24 books completed. Also, a pages goal for 2022 of 15,000 pages, with 45%/6,752 pages already read.

A blurry background of book spines with the writing "In Other News" over it.

I’d love to tell you something exciting about the past month, but there wasn’t that much happening. I did, however, end up meeting up with one of my closest friends from my time in Canada (who is coincidentally from Germany, a neighboring country of mine). It has been FIVE whole years, but I couldn’t be happier for having seen her again after all this time! It still felt the same, as if we had just talked the day before. I really do be missing people and social contacts …

Some of you may also remember that I moved into an apartment by myself by the end of last year. Well, now, like half a year later, I finally have some plates and cutlery with more than two matching pieces. I could, technically, host up to six people. I doubt I’m gonna do it, but I feel like I’m nailing this adulting stuff by just having the option now.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF MAY 2022

As every month, I’d like to take the time to spotlight which posts drew the biggest crowd to the blog. It was a surprise to me how different the top 5 looked to previous months.

  1. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that this post was thriving. First of all, I love this book, but secondly, I like seeing posts I put a lot of time in be succesful.
  2. Along for the Ride Book vs. Movie
    This is a new post where I compare Sarah Dessen’s story and its Netflix’ adaptation. Pleased it found an audience!
  3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    It’s not number 1 this time, but it’s still here!
  4. Are Harry Styles and I compatible (readers)?
    This post took forever, so I’m glad it wasn’t a waste of time. I did think, with the album release, it might be even more interesting to people, but I’m pleased with what I got.
  5. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    While this was a reading experiment that wasn’t performing particularly well for a long time, it sure is gaining momentum now.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

WHERE DO I EVEN START!? Most of you probably already noticed that I went down a bit of a rabbit hole in terms of new Star Trek content and I absolutely fell in love with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds! Is my crush on Anson Mount as the very charismatic but also kind of funny Captain Pike involved in this development? Well … yeah, very likely. But I’ve really come to love this whole universe.

Secondly, we got to see Vol. 1 of Season 4 of Stranger Things and I binged it all after work on release day. I literally didn’t think there were enough hours in the day to finish it, but somehow I couldn’t be stopped and earned myself a massive headache – totally worth it though! A season that is much more horror than before, but that had me completely spellbound. Now, if my favorite characters (new additions included) could all survive, I’d be very grateful!

I finally, finally, finally finished my Harry Styles reading experiment. It’s always so satisfying when you get done with one of these and this one in particular took ages. I don’t know why I decided to read almost double the books I usually do, but I did … it was a wild ride.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention The Dead Romantics! That book was on my most anticipated books of 2022 list for the longest time and I’m so happy to report that it didn’t disappoint. There’s nothing better than a book being exactly what you need at a certain moment and The Dead Romantics certainly filled that role.

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 had a great May and that June will be kind to you! Did you do something special last month? Any plans for the summer? Let’s chat!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #19

I will be honest with you, I’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube, but not so much watching actual shows and movies, so the post will be fairly short this week. Enjoy!

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Halo (Season 1)

Not going to lie, this show was SUCH a surprise to me! I guess I was craving more sci-fi content, but the game “Halo”, which this show is partly based on (which in turn was based on books, from what I’ve learned), has exactly zero appeal to me, so I’m not entirely clear on why I finally watched it. Maybe the fact that Pablo Schreiber has a lead role? He’s a big draw for me ever since he played Mad Sweeney.

Anyway, I’m so glad I knew absolutely nothing going in! Legit the best decision ever, because I had so much fun, while most gaming fans hated it or at least were deeply unhappy with certain elements that I ultimately had zero problem with. I definitely think it could have expanded on the world- and relationship-building some more. It’s fairly slow-told, so there was room for more depth, but I’m happy with this first season.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Season 1)

The fact that there’s only 10 episode in the first season feels like some sort of crime. I mean … it just keeps getting better as we get to know these characters on a deeper level. You can’t put all of that in one season and then make me wait forever, it at least needs double.

I’m still obsessed, as you can see!

My crew!

MOVIES

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

Star Trek (2009)

This was a rewatch, I think that should be pointed out first. In fact, I’ve seen this movie so many times, I lost count a while ago. Star Trek (2009) was my proper introduction to the Star Trek universe and part of why I never was interested in any of the prior material. I just wanted *those* actors and no one else. Now my stance has visibly changed and I’m not as attached to them as I was, although I still see Chris Pine as my personal James T. Kirk favorite. Either way, I’m looking forward to them finally doing another movie. Maybe I’ll rewatch the others as well …


Did you watch any of the things I mentioned or do you plan to? I’ve now decided to continue watching Star Trek: Discovery, just because the weekly wait for Strange New Worlds is the worst. Let’s talk about that!

Kat’s Weekly TV & Movie Recap #18

You won’t believe it, but I’ve watched stuff again! I know, big shocker! Well, before I draw this out any longer, let’s get started.

FINISHED TV SHOWS/SEASONS

Conversations with Friends (limited series)

I’ve been feverishly waiting for this show to release. After the massive success of Normal People and the complicated feelings I have towards it, I knew that this was going to be either hit or miss with me. While I think the show has some serious pacing issues, it managed to capture the Sally Rooney vibes perfectly again. Check out my full thoughts on the book and the show here.

Star Trek: Discovery (Season 1-2)

I fell into a bit of a Star Trek hole after checking out Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and not getting some of the backstory, so I just binged two seasons of Discovery. Honestly, I really liked it. I understand the people who would have preferred a more episodic approach instead of these complicated seasonal arcs, but I still loved the characters. Sure, Michael basically being the chose one got a tinsy bit repetitive after a while, but she is a beautiful and complex character and I understand and support the focus being on her. Meanwhile, I don’t understand the criticism of this “not being Star Trek”, because if I got the chance to adapt something anew, I’d also like to put my own spin on things. I don’t feel like it betrayed anything crucial, although I’ve never been a serious Trekkie.

I can’t say that I will continue with the remaining seasons, at least not for now. I think I’d prefer to stick to the crew of the Enterprise for the time being.

WEEKLY TV SHOWS

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Season 1)

This show is my everything right now. Seriously the highlight of my week, I just love having my Captain Pike around. (And the rest of the crew as well .. obviously.)

Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise smirking into the camera and saying "Hit it" before the starship jumps into warp.

9-1-1: Lone Star (Season 3)

The season finale was really solid, although I thought that the season as a whole focused a bit too much on Owen as a character. I just don’t think he’s actually that interesting, even though the incident from his childhood was masterfully done. Really got me emotional.

9-1-1 (Season 5)

I don’t really know what Lucy added as a character other than to have Buck’s character development be ruined a little bit? This season had some ups and downs, but I still love it and am looking forward to more.

MOVIES

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

Senior Year

I know that Rebel Wilson’s humor isn’t for everyone, but I enjoyed the movie. I get the common comparison to Never Been Kissed, although the creepy element is taken out in that everyone is very much aware that she is an adult woman and not a teenager. Generally, I wouldn’t say that there is too big of a focus on romance though. It was actually just cute and wholesome for the most part, despite some cringey jokes.


Did you watch any of the things I mentioned or do you plan to? Let’s talk about that!