December 2021 Wrap-Up / The Year in Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 was … something.

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

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

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

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2021

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

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

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

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

credit: Marvel Studios

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

MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES:

MY 2021 RANKINGS

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

MY OTHER DECEMBER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

TRAILER POSTS


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

 

December 2020 Wrap-Up / The Year in Review

I concluded the last year by reading a decent 5 more books. Considering that I went back to reading more in 2020 than in previous years, but still not a staggering amount, I am quite happy with that. I definitely managed to pass my Goodreads reading goal even earlier than that already, so, at least there was no “end of the year”-pressure involved. Here’s my December books:

The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1) The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue This Is How You Lose the Time War Beartown (Beartown, #1) This Is Not a Ghost Story

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 you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

Because this has also turned into a bit of a tradition on here, I’ll also share parts of my reading year (curated by Goodreads) with you again. You can check out the full post here. I know there are now a couple really interesting other platforms that offer even better statistics etc. and I plan to look into that for 2021 (e.g. Storygraph), but for now, Goodreads it is.

My plan for 2020 was to read 30 books and I ended up passing that goal and reading a total of 40 books, which translates to 12,586 pages in my specific case. I’ve had more time to read, for obvious reasons, than in past years, but I also still gravitate towards books of medium length rather than huge tomes. I don’t know how I more or less inhaled them in my younger days. My shortest “book” in 2020 was a single issue of Deadpool. Usually, I only put entire volumes towards my reading goals, but I only had that one and it was listed, so … I put it in too.

Lastly, my average rating has increased again. I always do try to actively choose books I might like instead of going for cover fancy as I used to do. I also managed to not get a single 1-star-book in 2020, so, there’s always that.

2020 was A YEAR.

2020 was full of loss and waiting and restrictions. I know it hasn’t been easy on anyone and I truly wish that more people had been empathetic enough to follow pretty simple rules to get this contained quicker instead of dragging it out for so long. I have found myself in a rather privileged position, having been able to stay with my parents when my plans to emigrate to Canada fell through. I really do not want to get into the personal details of my year, but let’s just say it felt like I was stuck in limbo for most of it. But I am tired of talking about it and thinking about it, because I can’t change much aside from doing my part in staying home and keeping others safe. I do not intend to put any kind of pressure or expectations on 2021, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have the tiny hope of it being better again.

Having had so much time, I was able to have more time for the blog again. Not all things were bad! I am so very grateful for everyone who has made my year better by engaging and getting my stats up again, since 2019 was the worst blogging year. It has made me feel more connected to the community again and I appreciated that endlessly. Here’s some updated info:

  • The blog now has more than 2,666 WordPress followers, which is awesome. I did not grow in an excessive amount, but that anyone actually cares about my super random rambles – it’s forever a mystery to me.
  • This very post is post #1,245. I should probably go all the way back to my early days and maybe put some posts on private that weren’t of great quality, but that’s going to be quite the task.
  • Once again, I’d also like to give a huge thanks and shout-out to my top commenters! You keep showing up and making my day better and it means so much to me! So, please feel free to show some love to RamiLoisThe Orang-utan LibrarianRae, Becks and Marie!

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2020

(click on the title of the post to read the full thing!)

Something Different: Duskwood (Game) – I never talk about any sort of game, well I never did, but maybe I should reconsider that stance! My post about the mobile app Duskwood was by far the most clicked post in all of 2020. I still encourage anyone who wants to play a free chat-based mystery game to check it out (although I did splurge on a pass).

Movies and TV Shows for Book Lovers – I mean, the title says it all and the topic pretty much combines all my passions aka books, movies and TV shows. I really hope the post included some content you weren’t already aware of.

Kiss, Marry, Kill: TV Edition 2020 – You all love that feature so much, it’s literally in the top posts every single year, no matter the theme I choose. I think you all like to see me squirm, because I never want to off any of the characters that get picked.

A Discovery of Witches: Book vs. TV Show: These are my favourite posts to write and although they don’t always garner a lot of comments, they do get a lot of clicks, which makes me think that people enjoy the comparisons. On a side note, I am also very pumped for the new season, which starts in a less than two weeks.

Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily (Book Review) – Nothing warms my heart more than to see an actual book review among the top clicked posts. We all know that despite blogs being all about reviews, they are often not the posts that garner any kind of attention. This makes it feel worthwhile.

MY 2020 RANKINGS

I’ve also gone through the trouble of ranking all the content I read and watched in the past year. I am pretty sure I missed stuff (how did I not even mention the second season of the Boys!?), but it still is a pretty accurate reflection of my viewing and reading preferences. Here are the links in case you missed them:

MY OTHER DECEMBER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

TRAILER POSTS


Now, before we leave this dreadful year behind: were there some posts you really enjoyed on my blog this past year? Finally, I hope we all have a better, healthy and prosperous 2021! THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THE COMMUNITY ON HERE!

My Top 10 Movies of 2019

Here we are! Today is the day that I finally finish all my 2019 rankings. As you should be able to guess from the title of the post, it’s about movies I have watched in 2019. I tried my best to mostly include releases from last year, but let me warn you, it’s not my best list ever. I only watched Parasite in 2020 for example. Also, a lot of movies haven’t been out in my territories yet and yeah … don’t judge me too harshly.

10. Instant Family

I need silly content sometimes and I have an absolute soft spot for adoption/foster home stories, especially the ones with a positive message and happy end. So yeah, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea and maybe you won’t find it funny, but I loved how heartwarming it was.

9. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu 

This movie was by no means perfect, but there was something interesting about it. I really enjoyed seeing the pokémon animated in a real life setting and Ryan Reynolds voicing one of them was just the cherry on top. I think I’d like it if there were sequels to this for sure.

8. The Goldfinch

This movie would have been better served as a limited series, giving every character the time and respect to slowly explore their story. This way it was rushed and confusing at times, but something about it still gripped me. Also, the cinematography was beautiful.

7. The King

When I think of Timothée, I think of a boy. I never expected to watch a scene where he plays a king talking to his men on a battlefield, giving a speech that carries through rows and rows of people and believe his performance, but I did. And it was brilliant! (Most of all, shout out to Joel Edgerton, who was involved in so many parts of the making of this movie though and carried big parts of it.)

6. Long Shot

Maybe not the most obvious choice, but I found this movie funny and poignant? I was really sad that it flopped almost everywhere, because I never like Seth Rogen films, but I liked this one a lot. He works so well with Charlize Theron and it’s a sort of romantic comedy without too much romance and really current jokes.

5. Klaus

If you add any new Christmas movie to your yearly watch list, please, let it be this one. I didn’t just like the animation style, but I absolutely, with all my heart, adored the storyline. I swear, by the end of it, I was in tears and had no regrets.

4. Yesterday

I know that we had Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody and whatnot last year, but … I haven’t actually seen them yet. There is just something that always makes me worry about these biopics not being what I want them to be. Yesterday had it far easier in that department, because while they really dug into the legacy of the Beatles, they made it a whole story of their own. I liked how creative that felt and I really, really liked the cast.

3. The Party’s Just Beginning

This movie is best enjoyed with a lot of trigger warnings concerning graphic scenes of a suicide and warnings about depression. I watched it while I was in a bad place and it didn’t exactly help, but this movie was really great nonetheless. I am so proud of Karen Gillan for pouring her heart into this project and having it set in Scotland none the less!

2. Someone, Somewhere

Yes, I put a French movie in this post! It’s a love story without being a love story at all. It’s about how hard it is for single people in this day and age, especially in a big city. It’s about how you have to have your life in order for you to be able to share it with anyone else. It basically spoke to everything my heart and brain thinks daily.

1. Brittany Runs a Marathon

It’s supposed to be funny, but I cried my way through a lot of parts of this movie. Don’t let the trailer fool you, it’s not about how you have to lose weight in order to become a “better person”. That’s not what happened to Brittany at all, she turned into a bitch as soon as she was skinny if you ask me, but just like the last movie, it’s a lot about how you have to find a way to live with yourself. Also, it’s really motivational. I hate running and I wanted to run for days afterwards.

Honorable Mentions

As you’ve seen these past couple of days, I like to give a shoutout to some movies that haven’t made it in the ranking. Here we go:

  • Shazam!
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Captain Marvel
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Aladdin
  • Always Be My Maybe
  • Good Boys
  • Last Christmas
  • Someone Great
  • Love at Second Sight
  • Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood
  • Otherhood

Also, because I watched a lot of German content, I also want to specifically mention some movies worth checking out here:

  • Der Junge muss an die frische Luft/All About Me
  • Golden Twenties
  • Cleo
  • Traumfabrik
  • Nirgendwo
  • Trautmann/The Keeper
  • Rate Your Date
  • O Beautiful Night

That’s it! What did you think of that list? Any surprises on it? Let’s chat!

December Wrap-Up – 2018 in Rewind

It’s no secret that I haven’t been reading much these past months. I am glad to say that I managed to read at least 3 books (two of which were comics) in December. It’s more than I have read in a long time, so I am still quite content. If you’ve missed my mini-reviews, you can read them all here.

  • Heart of Gold (Act I) by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner (5 stars)
  • Venustransit by Hamed Eshrat (3 stars)
  • Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter (4.5 stars)

Heart of Gold Act I  Venustransit  Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)

Just like in old times, click on the book cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

And even though there really isn’t as much to show as there was in previous years, I still want to share my reading statistics from Goodreads with you! (If you have a Goodreads account of your own, you should be able to find these stats on the right hand side of your profile.)

It has been the lowest amount of books in YEARS for me. As a bookworm/bookdragon, I am not entirely happy with that number, but then again, it’s the most I could have done in 2018. It may not be as much as others have managed, but there are people out there who read 1-2 books a year and they’d surely think I was crazy for reading so much. There’s always two sides to each story.

In addition, I am not surprised my shortest book was THIS short. I have started to read more and more graphic novels and comics and a lot of the time they don’t have an enormous page count. But tomes like Obsidian are rare for me anyway. I whole-heartedly agree with my average page number, because around 300 pages is truly what I feel most comfortable with length-wise with a book.

Lastly, my average rating has also gotten lower in 2018. I was usually somewhere just about 4 and this is the first year that I have ended up below that average. It’s nothing bad per se, it’s still a really high rating overall, but it also means that I wasn’t as good at picking my reads this year. Here’s to hoping 2019 I will get back on track!

2018 once again was a year of very irregular blogging for me. Aside from the trailer posts, I have really struggled to find a work-life-balance that includes this little corner of the internet. No matter how much I tried, I was unable to do more than the bare minimum and engage with everyone (especially on their platforms) the way I wanted to. Still, you showed up anyway and kept this blog from plummeting into nothingness and I am so very grateful for that! 

Just like 2017, this year was also a strange one. Some really amazing stuff has happened, but in the end, 2018 leaves a bitter taste behind. The general atmosphere was filled with loads of anxiety, stress, frustration and sometimes helplessness. I genuinely hope that 2019 will have an overall better vibe, because we all deserve a break, but I don’t want to leave it on a bad note and rather celebrate some really amazing milestones instead.

  • The blog currently has 2,267 WordPress followers, a number that kept growing even when my posts dwindled. Add the 31 people who follow me via e-mail and we are SO close to 2,300. What a nice number!
  • This is post #999, so I will start the new year with a fantastic milestone!
  • I really, really want to give a shout-out to my top commenters, because they are such lovely people and always brighten my day. Thank you Marie, The Orang-utan Librarian, Caro, Savannah, Beth, Marta and Rami!

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2018

(click on the title of the post to read it!)

Midnight Sun by Trish Cook (Book Review + Movie Trailer): I am honestly a little bit surprised that my most visited post is a book review, especially for a book that was written FOR a movie and not the other way round. I can’t say this was a favourite read of mine, but I am glad people seem to be curious about it nonetheless.

Still Star-Crossed: Book vs. TV Show: This review was actually written in 2017, but I think it actually got more views this year than when I actually wrote it. I guess people miss a cool historical show with POC characters. Who can blame them?

The Netflix Book Tag: We all love Netflix. No surprise here!

How I See Myself as a Fictional Character: This post was actually one of the most fun to write for me this year, so I am very, very happy to see it resonated well. Eden Rhodes will forever be my alter ego!

Your WIP in Gifs Tag: It seriously warms my heart to know that people want to know more about Arcadia. I don’t know if the success of the post is due to the gifs or not, but I am elated either way. (In case you missed it, I also did my WIP in Gifs for the #witchyWIP, click here to check out that post!)

MY (DECEMBER) POSTS

Lastly, here is what I’ve written this past month:

WRITING RELATED

TV SHOW RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you had great holidays if you celebrated and even more so, I hope you have a great start into the new year! Do you have any resolutions for 2019? I am going to do best of lists for 2018 in the upcoming days, with a special focus on TV shows and books. I hope you’ll enjoy those posts as well!