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!!!

 

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

I do these tags really irregularly, but I took the time to put something up last year and had a lot of fun with it. So, this is my attempt at bringing the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag back on a more regular basis. As in yearly. Hopefully.

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

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2021

SoulswiftI’ve only given 5 stars to ONE (fiction) book this year, so I feel like that has to be the one I mention for this prompt? I’m talking about Soulswift, a breathtaking and soul-crushing standalone fantasy novel here. I’m honestly still shocked that not more people have discovered this book yet.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2021

King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)The only books that were part of a series that I read this year were the Grishaverse books. I don’t feel super happy giving King of Scars this spot on the post, because I wasn’t actually as happy with it as I would have liked to be, but it’s the only one that makes sense. I should read more series again maybe …

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

For the Wolf (Wilderwood, #1)For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten is 100% up there! The book just sounds like it would be right up my alley and I’m really excited to dive into it once I can get my hands on a copy!

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

The Taking of Jake LivingstonI don’t know when this happened or why it really even happened, but I found myself drawn to more horror-esque books these past years. It’s such a weird change for me, because I literally hate being terrified, but apparently I don’t hate being just a little freaked out? I don’t know, but I’m super hyped to read The Taking of Jake Livingston.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

My Year AbroadI was so very sad to not have connected with My Year Abroad. I felt like there should have been enough basis from my real life experiences to make this book an outstanding read for me, but somehow, I just wasn’t the right reader for it. I saw a lot of people enjoy the style of writing, while I found it a bit dragging and difficult to get through.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Any Human HeartHonestly, before I started reading Any Human Heart, I really didn’t believe I was going to like it. I had read (or at least attempted to read) another book by the same author and I was incredibly bored. With this one though, despite me not really liking the main character, I felt it had so much emotion. In the end, I really enjoyed the journey we had together.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

You all know how much I adore Morgan Matson and how I will devour anything she writes? Well, I found an author with a similar style of writing, who evokes the same feelings in me. Through The Summer of Broken Rules, K.L. Walther managed to capture my heart and I would love to read future books by the author. This one transported me right to a summery vacation destination, so I’m here for more.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

The Summer of Broken RulesTo further elaborate the previous answer, I really, really enjoyed The Summer of Broken Rules because it introduced me to Wit. He’s such a lovely love interest and I don’t know how else to put it. I like caring, at times dorky guys with a healthy dose of humor and he provides all that!

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Malibu RisingHmmm … that’s a tough one. I met some great characters throughout the year so far, but I think I might have to give this one to Nina Riva from Malibu Rising. I don’t know how to explain it, but I found a lot of myself in her, which made me feel uncomfortable at times. But I also loved it?

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Ugh, I hate repeating answers so much, but Malibu Rising it is again. That book lost me a little bit in parts of the second half, but I felt a really big emotional connection to it and it definitely had me well up a couple times. Something about the setting and the family theme just got to me more than I expected.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Hana Khan Carries OnWhile Hana Khan Carries On definitely has some more serious elements to it that weren’t always easy to handle, Hana’s passion for her podcast and a career in the world of radio had be so excited and happy to keep reading this book. The fact that she also has a “You’ve Got Mail”-style romance was just the cherry on top.

FAVOURITE BOOK TO SCREEN ADAPTATION

Okay, this just HAS to be Shadow and Bone! Despite some flaws, the casting of this show was impeccable and gave us so much fun and heartwarming new content for the Grishaverse. I mean, that show made me utterly fall in love with Mal and while I liked him in the books (contrary to most of the fandom, I think), I ADORED the boy on the show. Cannot wait for season 2!

You can read more of my thoughts on the show here!

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

This is also super easy to answer for me, which is rare to be honest. I’m not trying to say that I’m not usually proud of my own content, but I was especially happy to publish my “Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?” post a few weeks back. It is now developing into a full blown series, where I read the favorite books of celebs and see if we would be a match or not. I think it’s such a fun feature that combines my love for reading with my admiration of all things TV and film. I hope you enjoy reading it just a fraction of how much I loved creating this post/future series.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and LightLast year, I mentioned a poetry collection for this special prompt and I’m going to stick with that again this year. I think Where Hope Comes From is such a gorgeous book inside and out! It was written during the times of Covid, so I understand if not everyone is up for that emotional exploration, but I think it was really beautiful.

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

If We Were Villains

Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)

SO. VERY. MANY. But just because I’m a terrible person and haven’t read the books I mentioned in 2020 yet. I’m going to put those exact same ones here again.

If We Were Villains and Dark Age. are still on my shelf and I have no excuse as to why I haven’t picked them up. Literally none. (Other than the fact that the size of Dark Age scares me.)

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 of the tag? How is your reading year going so far? Let’s talk!!

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!

The End of the Year Book Tag – 2020

Can you believe we are at the stage of the year where tags like this make sense? I saw the End of the Year Book Tag over at Sofii’s A Book. A Thought. blog and she was happy to let me steal it. I know I am nowhere near my reading numbers from a couple years ago, but I am actually pretty content with what I managed to get to in 2020. Let’s see what the questions hold!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Beartown (Beartown, #1)     This Is How You Lose the Time War

I am currently reading Beartown (which I started in October but got busy and wanted to give more attention to) and This Is How You Lose the Time War (which is utterly confusing). Realistically, I think I can finish both of them, I just have to be willing to make the time now.

Do you have an autumnal (Spring) book to transition into the end of the year?

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2)

I have to say that I don’t really plan ahead my reading like that, or go for certain seasonal themes. I could see how people would like something more colourful for winter or so on, but I can’t say I’ve been looking into that. However, I still have Take a Hint, Dani Brown ready on my kindle, which is sure to warm my heart!

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Admission

First of all, I am not super aware of when books release these days. Secondly, I think most of the books I was curious about already released. For example Admission by Julie Buxbaum. I quite enjoyed that one and it got published at the beginning of the month!

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

This Is Not a Ghost Story Soulswift Normal People: The Scripts

Aside from the ones I mentioned above, I am not sure how much I will actually be able to manage. I mean … there’s like two weeks left of the year and I don’t think I have it in me to read five books in total. However, IF I miraculously make it, the ones mentioned above are on my priority list.
This is Not a Ghost Story was recommended to people who enjoyed the Haunting of Bly Manor and I don’t know in what aspect it will be like the show, but I was too curious not to check it out. Also, it has a stunning cover, isn’t too long and ties into me wanting to get out of my reading comfort zone more.
Soulswift is along the lines of theological-esque fantasy and I am very much into that.
Normal People: The Scripts is like the Fleabag scripts aka it is a hardcover copy of all the scripts from the show. I love-hated the regular book in a weird way, but I am still 100% obsessed with it, so, I figured it would be a great addition to my library.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite of the year?

There’s obviously no way to know for sure, but Beartown ticks all the boxes to become a favourite! It’s sports-related, has a tight-knit small town community, drama, beautiful beautiful quotes. I swear I have put so many sticky notes into that book already.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Ace of Spades

I don’t really make reading plans as much. I do intend to up my Goodreads Challenge from 30 (which I managed well this year) to 35 books. But I also saw the tweet below and the illustration and comparison to Dair and I am really into the idea of reading Ace of Spades next year!


I hope you enjoyed this! I have found myself liking tags that aren’t too long as of late, so I hope you liked reading it too. Let me know some of your thoughts on the tag or feel free to steal it yourself!

December 2019 Wrap-Up / The Year in Review

I read a whopping 8 books in December, which was 100% a personal record for the year. I just really, really wanted to reach my adjusted Goodreads goal and with those books I did. Here’s the recent ones I read:

The Dire King (Jackaby, #4) Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5) Find Me The Pisces Animals Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1) P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

As per usual, when you click on the covers, you’ll get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! For the books that I have written reviews for, you can find them by clicking on the titles above.

Because I did this last year, I am also going to share my entire year of reading with you. Goodreads is really great at putting together a fun summary to share with everyone and I am going to do that here in parts, but you can find my entire results here.

I didn’t read a massive amount of books in 2019, but I am quite content with it looking back at the year. I was really busy with work and had literal months where I didn’t pick up a single book, so I am glad to have gotten to a total of 26 books! However, I have noticed that I started to gravitate more towards shorter to medium-length books and entirely avoided epic series. There were also quite a couple comic books and novellas featured, if you look at my reading list as a whole.

Finally, my average rating for the books I read was 3.5, which is 0.4 stars lower than in the previous year. Considering that I read 10 books less and actively tried to look at books more critically without giving away high ratings as willy nilly as I have done in the past, I am also not disappointed with this result.

2019 wasn’t the easiest of years for me for a multitude of reasons that I don’t want to get into. I am not going to lie to you though, it did reflect heavily in my blogging habits and the resulting stats. I have been struggling more than usual to deliver steady content and it showed by being the worst year in blogging since 2014 (having started the blog in 2013). I don’t want to whine about it, and even though I strongly believe that stats aren’t everything, it has affected my relationship with the blog a little bit. I am still so very grateful for everyone who stuck around, even when there were sometimes weeks of only trailer posts and nothing else. I don’t really know if I can promise to do better in 2020, but I am not willing to give up just yet.

  • The blog currently has 2,470 WordPress followers, a number that keeps growing slowly but steadily. If I add the people who have followed via mail, we have surpassed 2,500 easily.
  • This is post #1113, so there is really a lot to plow through if you want to do a deep dive into the archives of Life and Other Disasters.
  • I really, really want to give a shout-out to my top commenters, because the interaction is what makes blogging so great and worthwhile. So, huge thank you to Rami, Lois, The Orang-utan Librarian, Rae, Caro and Marie!!

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2019

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

Kiss, Marry, Kill – Marvel Edition: It was a big year for Marvel, so I am not surprised that it was a draw in terms of blog posts. The fact that this one was more about the actors than the characters didn’t really seem to deter anyone either.

The Rook: Book vs. TV Show: It makes me so happy to know that these book to screen comparison posts do so well, because I know that a lot of us bloggers struggle with the performance of review posts. The fact that this is one of my favourite shows of the year is just an added bonus!

Kiss, Marry, Kill: TV Edition: Y’all really like to know who I would kiss, marry or kill it seems? All I can say about that is that I really, really struggle with the last part with every single edition of this post I did. And … I think this was the 5th installment already?

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #3: I’ve started this series either late in 2018 or early 2019 and toyed around with the format, making little adjustments here and there for a while. I am glad it resonates with people, although I have no idea why this one in particular did well.

Random Movie Recommendations: Karen Gillan Edition: Yay for all of you being as big Karen Gillan enthusiasts as I am! That’s probably the reason this post was interesting to some people out there.

MY 2019 RANKINGS

Last but not least, here are all the links for my 2019 rankings for movies, books and TV shows in case you missed them the past couple of days!

I hope you had a great start into the year 2020 so far! Is there something you really liked on the blog in 2019 and want to see more of in the new year? Let’s chat!