A Year in Review – 2020

Hello everyone!

It’s been a couple hours since 2021 over here in Quebec (Canada) and I wanted to publish this post before my annual “Goodbye XXXX – Hello XXXX” post. I sort of realized that this year’s post would’ve been insanely huge and the only solution was to split it into two, so here I am!

BOOKS.

When it comes to reading, I have completely outdone myself in ways that I would’ve probably never saw coming. This year was the first year where I fully embraced my love for manga and, consequently, saw a dramatic increase in my annual count. It is also the first year where I finally decided to have an open mind regarding digital books (including digital comic books) and this too contributed to my sudden spike in reading in Q4 of 2020. Seeing how the month of October served as the perfect month of reading for me, I think that I will try and simulate my reading lifestyle of that month for the entire year of 2021, paving the way to what might be an even better year of reading than what 2020 allowed me to accomplish!

And to be a bit more precise, that’s around 44 novels, 113 manga, and 170 comic books!

With over 72,617 pages read, 222 average pages per book, and an average rating of 3.4, it’s safe to say that the year has allowed me to put a lot of my time into reading! Of course, these numbers don’t mean much when comic books and manga are included! ๐Ÿ˜‰

TOP BOOKS

These were all spread out throughout the year and made sure to remind me that great books could come knocking at your door when you least expect them to. I do have to mention that completing the Lightbringer series was a huge highlight for me this year, especially when the series only got better with EACH book!!! โค

TOP COMICS

My standards for excellent graphic novel story-telling did get higher this year and I noticed that there aren’t many of the over 170 stories I’ve read that really excel at it. Thankfully these showed up and made sure to remind me what stories I can ALWAYS revisit if I wanted to be mind-blown. ๐Ÿ˜‰

TOP MANGA

Rekindling my love for manga was one of the best things I ever did last year and this year allowed me to fully embrace them. I have to give a special shout-out to Kaiju No. 8, a new Shonen that has yet to be officially released in English that could prove to be the next big thing to come! It’s really that good! ๐Ÿ˜€

MOVIES.

When it comes to watching movies, this year continued my decision to significantly cut down on TV series and it proved to be extremely satisfying. I’ve watched 155 movies which includes a dozen of shorts. I’m honestly very happy of the final result. It allowed me finally check out some classic movies that I’ve always been meaning to watch, to plug in a couple of bad ones that caught everyone and their grandma’s attention for all the wrong reasons, and discover new ones that I never knew were this good! Here’s a gallery of all the movies I saw and their respective ratings (see my profile on Letterboxd for more information).

2020 has allowed me to conclude that I will always prefer movies to TV series, not to say that I won’t check out critically-acclaimed series that catch my attention (especially if I love the creators behind it). What I also loved doing in 2020 was check out the old filmography of directors I love (from Dennis Villeneuve to Christopher Nolan), watching some of their earlier works allowed me to see how they evolved as creators and it’s quite fascinating!

TOP 5 MOVIES

Of all the movies that I saw, these stood out for me and they deserve all the attention of the world for various reasons. The Dark Knight would’ve also made the cut but since it was my Nth rewatch, I had to give the spotlight to others. ๐Ÿ˜‰

TV SERIES.

Funny thing here is that, besides Ozark, the other four were shows that I told myself I would check out in 2020 and I barely saw anything else! Guess I really didn’t want to dip my toe in any more TV series than necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

VIDEO GAMES.

While a lot of the gaming community’s attention was put on The Last of Us Part II, I would easily, hands down, give it to Hades, an indie dungeon crawler. I’ll probably share a review of it this year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

LIFE.

The year has been filled with many nasty surprises. No one could’ve guessed how bad it would’ve gotten and it’s not surprising. We just wanted to started the new decade in style. Thankfully, there is plenty to be proud of this year and I hope this annual exercise of introspection has led many of you guys to reflect on the things you believe in, on who you are, and who you want to be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The moment things went downhill back in March 2020, I already had a feeling that the best place for refuge was within one’s self. The chaos around us reminded us that humanity was not without flaws and that sometimes, you need to take a step back to understand why things were as they were. The simplest solution to escape this reality before tackling it, whether it was through responsibilities or work, was through our hobbies and that led me to focus my routine and myself around the things I love, especially reading and blogging.

I’ve probably repeated this often throughout the past years but I really saw my blog as an extension of my life. The best part of it all is you guys. โค Exchanging with you guys kept me sane, allowed me to embrace my love for the things I love doing, and to have fun sharing a passion that you might or might not have interest in. This also led me to love what I do with my blog. The energy and the time I put in it is entirely thanks to your support, your presence, and your interest. Although this blog used to be a two-player territory, I feel like I’ve kept it alive through raw passion over the past years and I plan on giving back through continued interaction, absolute kindness, and lots of Batman. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve always known that my content wasn’t always something that would interest every single person out there but to know that I can still talk about them without being ignored or getting rocks tossed at me puts a smile on my face.

There are lot of other spheres in life that saw a dramatic end due to global crises but I know that when things get back on track, so will I. Throughout 2020 (and even now, in 2021), I think the most important thing is to follow your heart and take care of yourself rather than hunt for superficial goals. We all have responsibilities of all kinds but to handle them, you need to take care of yourself first. With that being said, remember that happiness starts with a smile. ๐Ÿ˜€


Happy New Year, everyone!

Stay safe and read another book! ๐Ÿ˜‰

my gifs batman new year's eve the new batman adventures james gordon  wouldyouliketoseemymask โ€ข

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69 comments

  • What a fantastic summary of your reads and what you’ve watched as well as life in 2020. I am so glad to know your corner of the internet exists and always appreciate your content โค thanks for being awesome!
    When I looked at your rankings, I had to swallow hard haha not only did I have to extend my TV show rankings from Top 10 to Top 20, I also had to split it in two categories of "new TV shows" (meaning stuff that first aired in 2020) and "ongoing shows" (which just means they started airing at another time and might even have finished in 2020). And let me tell you, I still struggled to narrow it down to 20 each hahaha but at least I saw Dark on yours. That warmed my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Kat! I really appreciate it. I hope that your own corners (as much your blog than your artistic endeavour) prove to be as successful as ever this year too!

      Pffft hahahahaha I’m not surprised at all! I don’t know how you do it but you binge through TV series at the speed of light hahaha! I hope that 2021 will allow you to check out even more series throughout the year! Stay safe and awesome, Kat! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the kind words, Lashaan!

        I logically know that I spend a ridiculous amount of time on shows and nothing else, but I often also catch myself thinking “why do people not take more time to watch shows?”. It doesn’t make sense haha

        Liked by 1 person

  • What a wonderful post! And Iโ€™m happy to also see some older content among your favourites.
    155 movies is really impressive! We rarely watch any, just because they have to be really good to keep my attention ๐Ÿ™ˆ

    Liked by 2 people

  • Film critics may have several problems, but one thing they do I wish game critics did is force indie productions and AAA productions to compete on the same playing field. As it stands, game critics tend to sell out to the highest bidder, which explains why the Game Awards has an indie category as opposed to simply allowing them to compete for “Game of the Year” alongside the AAA productions. Indeed, from what Iโ€™ve heard Hades was the real MVP of the year when it comes to gaming โ€“ not The Last of Us Part II. I definitely want to check it out, although then again, Supergiant Games has a really good track record in general.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s quite sad that they weren’t on the same battleground as AAA titles but I’m glad that gamers can still know, play, and judge for themselves if they are indeed worth a GOTY title, and I think, for Hades, it was the case. I do hope you get the chance to try it out yourself but I find that they outdid themselves with this game’s formula and it probably gave them a huge surge of motivation for future projects, if not just $$$$! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • It looks like you had a great reading and blogging year! And with varying degrees of lockdowns and restrictions, reading and blogging seem to have been the perfect hobbies, since they can both be done at home. Still, I am quite impressed with your statistics both for reading and watching. Despite of spending a lot more time at home than usual, I don’t think, I have read more books compared to other years.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts during 2020 (including this one!) and look forward to see what you come up with in 2021!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much! And I too have enjoyed my time with your own posts exposing various fascinating reads ever since we both connected through one of Murakami’s books! ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope that 2021 will prove to be the year where you’ll get around to reading as many or more books and do all the things you hope to complete too. Stays safe! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Nicely written, what a great review of the year, and one that kept a very positive outlook. I love seeing some of our favorites overlap (Lord of the Rings, Kabuki, Parasite) and how some of your favorites are ones I’ve not yet read or watched but have very high hopes for. I plan to start reading Addie LaRue very soon, and I’m hoping to start adding manga to my reading repertoire this year. I can’t wait to see what this year brings with regards to reading and watching, and I look forward to sharing opinions and comments with you. And I have tried tossing rocks your way on occasion, but all I ever got were strange looks from folks in my neighborhood. Ah well, I guess this year I’ll stick to reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, my friend! I’m convinced that I stole such a positive view of life from you and your always-smiling (just look at the emojis you tend to use!) and kind nature. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m glad to hear your interest in Addie LaRue and I hope your expectations won’t kill it! I also hope that you’ll be diving in some good classic manga throughout the year and look forward to seeing how that adventure goes for you! Hahahah I hope 2021 will allow us to experience new and old things in their most complete and full forms. Thank you again, as always, for being the wonderful being you are and for sticking around my posts!

      Like

  • These are some wise words for the New Year! Congratulations on your amazing reading stats, you read all that, seen these movies, played the games, posted all the posts and lived your regular life… I couldn’t do that all in one year, that I know for sure.

    Thank you for all the amazing posts and your friendly presence here and on Re-Enchantment! A splendid 2021 to you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sure you could achieve just as much while sipping some pina colada by a beach in some country while being on vacation! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for being a wonderful friend, for connecting with me, and sharing your thoughts on everything and anything. I hope that 2021 will prove to be the year where you’ll be able to make time for all the things you want to do and that we will continue our interactions throughout the year too! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • hahahaa. Great manga numbers!

    You have impressed me this year with your continued dogged blogging even while balancing a lot of non-blog stuff. What’s more, you always projected an atmosphere of calm control here on your blog so I was not worried about you burning out and leaving. I’ve also had some really fantastic conversations here (Doom stuff springs instantly to mind) and I’d like to thank you for introducing subjects that made it possible.

    I am also very glad that the Lightbringer series ended up working so well for you. It is always a nice ego boost to see someone else love the books you love too ๐Ÿ˜€

    155 movies boggles my mind. That’s almost a movie every other day. I’m not sure I could do that if I tried! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Good job on surviving life in general. May 2021 be a bit easier…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haahah I’m loving the inflated numbers thanks to it. ๐Ÿ˜› I wonder if I can beat these numbers in 2021. Add in those cute Yotsuba manga volumes that I’ll probably devour through, it should be another good year, on top of finishing up Shaman King soon.

      Thanks for the kind words, sir. I try not to let much affect my time on the blog and everything I want to share/do here. It has been too recomforting and cathartic to belong here and to stay active with people I genuinely care about. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank YOU for making everything possible by being yourself too.

      Hhahahaha I totally understand. I would’ve had a similar feeling IF… and only IF…. Kingdom Come or Blackwing had not had such a beautiful polar-opposite effect on you, for example hahahahaah

      Yep! It’s a record based on the little collected data I got on my cinema-consumption but I bet Ol’10 has maybe 800 movies compiled for the year, if you ask me hahahaha

      Happy New Year and I hope 2021 will prove to be much, much, less intense and filled with obstacles! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you believe in yourself, you can do ANYTHING. Even read a lot of manga ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Always glad to be myself. Of course, sometimes I tweak it, but hey, that’s part of being anonymous online, right?

        Oh man, those books. It is just amazing how we can read similar stuff, love it, then read something else and have 180degree difference in opinion. Just goes to show you can’t put all your reviewing eggs in one basket.

        I was going to say that I do bet Ol’10 packs in over 400 movie reviews a year. So who knows how many he actually watches. I should ask him that sometime.

        Thank you. I look forward to continuing to hang around here ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  • I always especially enjoy your reflective posts! Congrats on a great reading year! Thank goodness for books in 2020! Looking forward to a Happy โ€œhopefulโ€ New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Blogging and reading helped me deal with the pandemic too. Stopped me from worrying too much.
    That’s interesting, but it wasn’t until you mentioned it above that I realize that I’ve also began to think of my blog as an extension of myself, like a digital part of me, I guess.
    It’s always great to come by here to get recommendations or just insight into something interesting you’ve read or seen lately. And you seem to have had a great reading year in 2020. That’s a lot of stuff read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it must’ve helped so many to look at their blogs (or create one) to remain connected to people, worlds, and things that they love. For those who have been blogging for a while, it must’ve felt like home too, especially when things just keep on going out here. Also makes us wonder if everyone is okay and doing fine too.

      Thank you for always being around and for sticking around to my posts, Zezee! It has been a pleasure for these past years to interact with you and to discover new things through each other’s posts! Hope 2021 will bring you amazing things! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  • Happy new year! That’s a great roundup! One thing I wish I had done more in 2020 is watch more movies and TV, but there never seems to be enough time. Hoping to find more of a balance this year between books, film, and games!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year to you too, Mogsy! It’s a wild process to balance them all but one that ultimately feels very rewarding when you find the right balance. Hope you get around to reading/watching/playing everything you want this year! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  • I love your positive outlook, Lashaan! Blogging is definitely a great way to stay connected and have inner happiness during a crisis. I hope you have a fantastic 2021๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  • Happy New Year Lashaan!
    While it’s true that 2020 was indeed a “year of hell” – to borrow one of ST: Voyager’s titles ๐Ÿ˜‰ – it’s also true that having a special mind-place where to take refuge, as it proved the case for book- and other media-lovers, was the best way to keep one’s sanity as intact as possible, and I agree with you that this wonderful bookish community has been one of the places where I could forget for a while the madness going on in the outside world.
    Here’s to a better year, and the hope that we’ll all be able to look back on this with a lighter spirit…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year, Maddalena! I hope this year brings you a lot of fantastic titles and fun shows to follow as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m really glad that we got to stay connected and share our love for SFF throughout the year and I hope this ultimate refuge will continue to be phenomenal for both of us! Kick off the year with a smile and stay awesome and safe, Maddalena! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • ใ‚ใ‘ใพใ—ใฆใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‰ Happy New Year! Can you read Japanese, Lashaan? With your big interest in manga, I wondered if you had studied the language? Especially when you mentioned “Kaiju No. 8”. I struggle to read a lot of the kanji, so I’m not able to fully understand manga in Japanese๐Ÿ˜… I’ve been too lazy to study reading and writing the language beyond the basics. When I discovered you need to be able to read and understand at least 2000 kanji to read a newspaper, I got scared๐Ÿ˜ฒ Excuses, excuses.

    Anyway, there are some really cool selections in your wrap-up of 2020. I’m always impressed with how much you read and review. Do you have access to Bookstooge’s time machine?… It will be interesting to check out some of the new Batman comics being released in January and February during DC’s Future State event. Are you going to read any?

    Thanks again for your comments and generosity. All the very best for 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year to you too, Wakizashi! No, I can’t hahaha I only have some general knowledge of commonly used words or expressions that I learned through anime shows and movies in my life hahahah I had to ask my girlfriend who loves to learn the language to tell me what you wrote there! ๐Ÿ˜› It amazes me how these kanji even convey so many words yet learning them is not easy either! If there’s one language I would’ve loved to learn as a kid, it would’ve been Japanese though.

      Hahahahah I wish I had his time machine! I don’t know how some people do it but I don’t think I can reach such numbers unless I give up a gazillion other things I love to do too.

      I am following the whole Future State event but I won’t pick up each issue as they come out though. Knowing DC from previous events, I’m sure many of them won’t be that great. I’ll patiently wait for a collected edition or wait to see what those comics will lead to afterward hahah If I do try some out, it would probably be The Next Batman and the Dark Detective ones for sure hahaha

      Thank YOU for sticking around and I hope the very best for you too during 2021, sir! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Happy New Year, Lashaan! Hats off to you for getting so much reading and watching done hahaha. I always love the reassuring tones of your wrap-ups! I hope this year is generally more peaceful and happy for you ๐Ÿ™‚!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can only highly recommend incorporating graphic novels into your reading schedule. They make for excellent tongue cleansers, especially after bad books (if you ever even run into those hahaha)! And yes! Check out Ghost of Tsushima for sure! It was an excellent contender to Game of the Year in 2020 too. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Love seeing Hades make it to your list of gaming highlights. I must admit I’ve never had so much fun dying in a game.

    I’m still very much a novice when it comes to manga, so I would love any recommendations you could send my way.

    Your summary of 2020 is spot on. I am so thankful to the blogging community and your content is always so engaging and on point.

    Here’s to a brighter and kinder 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah I’m so used to dying being fun because of all the Souls game, which made Hades stand out by making it PURPOSEFULLY fun to die!!!! What a fantastic game that should’ve gotten GOTY from EVERYONE. ๐Ÿ˜›

      I think you’re on a good track and that any of the five series I mentioned here could be great ones for you. Check out My Hero Academia for another fantastic ongoing series, if you haven’t already!

      Happy New Year, Lois! I hope 2021 will prove to be the year where we both kick procrastination in the butt and achieve all the goals we set ourselves! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  • Happy New Year, Lashaan!!! ๐Ÿฅณ
    Amazing stats here – congrats!
    On a movie note, I know I said it before, but I do love Amadeus, it’s one of my favorites! As for the TV series, you know my fave by now ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  • I nearly fell off my chair when I saw your Goodread book count Lashaan, thanks for specifying that it wasn’t just novels, it definitely made me feel a bit better ๐Ÿ˜‚ But don’t worry, the day that I won’t be impressed by the amount of reading you do in a year, month or day hasn’t come yet – and don’t worry, I won’t throw rocks at you for that ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m also very glad to see that Frankenstein Junior made your top 5 of movies ๐Ÿ˜ Anyway, in uncertain times, going back to one’s hobby or passion is always a great way to take a step back and find some piece within, though hopefully next year will prove to be better in every aspect! Have a great 2021 Lashaan! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha my numbers are always insane until people realize how many actual novels are read. Then again, I never expect to break away from the 40-50 novels per year considering their length and how insane I find anyone who can read 1 book per week or more! ๐Ÿ˜› And yes, Frankenstein Jr. was my beginning of the discovery of Mel Brooks’ filmography! I still have a couple more of his movies to check out before having seen them all though hahaha I do hope that you’ll be able to achieve as many things as you plan to in 2021, Juliette! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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