Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld, or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest.

**Edit: 12/10/2017 I found out River Quest was closing!  Sad Day 😦 **

My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also, I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strikeout through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also, feel free to comment with various board games that I can add to the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Star Wars Destiny
  4. Ticket To Ride
  5. Monsters & Other Childish Things
  6. Red Dragon Inn
  7. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  8. Star Wars X-Wing
  9. Red Dragon Inn 4
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Takenoko
  23. Code Names
  24. Shadow Hunters 
  25. Dixit
  26. Doctor Who Time of the Daleks
  27. Fury of Dracula
  28. Dead of Winter
  29. Hogwarts Deck Building Game

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

[Image is a book cover. It's called "Legends & Lattes" Travis Baldree. It features a pink skined woman with horns on the left holding a plate with a cinnamon roll. To the right is an ogre woman holding a huge mug filled with coffee.

Legends & Lattes was one of the most hyped books that I had on my TBR. Every person who read this book described it as if Animal Crossing met Dungeons & Dragons. This sounds right up my alley. I received my copy of Legends & Lattes for Christmas this year and was saving it for January, so there was something I could look forward to in my least favorite months of the year. Legends & Lattes didn’t disappoint, it was the coziest Fantasy book I have ever read.

Viv is finished with her adventuring days. After collecting bounties, she wants to retire to a more peaceful career; building and maintaining a coffee shop. She hires several citizens from Thune who provide their different talents and areas of expertise to grow the business. Although Viv wants to retire, her old adventuring crew won’t let her go that easy.

It should be no surprise that I loved Legends & Lattes. I loved Viv. She’s an orc, so she gives off an intimidating presence no matter where she goes. Once Viv opens this coffee shop, she seems to let down her guard and helps create an open atmosphere in Thune. I liked learning about all the regulars who come to the shop. There’s Pendry, the bard who plays music. Hemington, the college student. Amity is a dire-cat who sleeps in the shop and acts as a protector of sorts. Besides the customers, there’s Tandri, Cal, and Thimble who all play a role in building Legends & Lattes. Each of the characters fit into the story and was easy to keep track of.

While I liked Legends & Lattes, it felt like there wasn’t a driving plot. Each chapter was about Viv expanding her shop, learning a new beverage, or Thimble creating a new recipe. There was conflict throughout the later half of the book, but it sometimes felt a little slow. I think I was hoping for a perfect blend of a coffee shop cozy atmosphere and a driven plot throughout the book.

Legends & Lattes would be a perfect book recommendation for those who are wanting to get into reading Fantasy but don’t want something complex. I loved the scenery throughout the book and can’t wait to see if Travis Baldree will expand on this in any future books.

Vampire the Masquerade – Coteries of New York

[Image is a video game home screen. It says "Vampire the Masquerade"off to the left. Beneath the title, it has options listed vertically: New Game, Load, Settings, Credits, Exit" To the right, it shows a young haired woman with vampire fangs as she's licking her finger. It appears there is blood on her finger]

I have talked quite a bit about Dungeons & Dragons as I’m in a long-term campaign now, but one of my other favorite roleplaying games is Vampire the Masquerade. I first played Vampire the Masquerade at Gen Con and I was immediately intrigued. While browsing through Steam, I found these Vampire the Masquerade visual novel games. I played Vampire the Masquerade Shadows of New York back in 2021 without realizing that there was a game that took place before Shadows of New York. I carved out time to play Coteries of New York and I loved how this game ties into Shadows of New York.

[Image shows three pictures of people in a vertical column. Off to the right it says "Ventrue" with a description below: "The aristocratic Blue Bloods embody wealth, sovereignty, and control. A top-level corporate executive will join their ranks tonight".

I noticed that in Vampire the Masquerade Coteries of New York, I was able to choose my clan. The three options were: Brujah, Ventrue, and Toreador. Each clan has different personality characteristics. I opted for Ventrue to start even though I usually favor the Toreador. In most of my campaigns, I pick the Toreador clan for my character. Since there are different clan options, the game has a different start. For Ventrue, my character talks about her corporate life and how it’s a grind. She’s asked to go to a work meeting at a fancy bar. She awakes with no memory of the meeting and with a burning hunger. After feeding on a waiter, she’s rescued by Q’adir al-Asmai, a sheriff who resides in New York. After being brought in front of a trial, she’s taken under the wing of Sophie Langley, a prominent figure, who wants to teach our character how to act and behave in vampire society.

First of all, I felt that there is a lot more replayability in this game versus Shadows of New York. There are numerous side quests to interact with and the game is set up where there isn’t enough time to meet everyone while the main story unfolds. There are still several side characters who I wasn’t able to interact as much with. The side quests vary such as investigating a serial killer to confronting a reporter who’s gathering intel on Sophie. I do plan on playing through the game at least two more times with the other clans. There might not be that much of a difference in the story, but I want to unlock the steam achievements.

With Coteries of New York coming before Shadows of New York, this game sets up the next game perfectly. I wish I played them in order because I do think it would have been much more satisfying. I do recommend playing the games in chronological order as it interweaves the games together and you see the same side characters pop up in both games.

As always, Coteries of New York is visually stunning. The way worldbuilding is explained in the Vampire the Masquerade rules, your character sees the world through a darker lens. The games match that tone. Each scene is darker and the shapes in the background will move. For example, I was in a parking garage, and out of the corner of my eye, I would see a shadow move through a window. It’s unsettling.

I loved playing through Coteries of New York. I think I liked this game more than Shadows of New York, but I still liked playing through them both. Both games are developed by Draw Distance and I hope the studio would consider making more Vampire games.

Wizards of the Coast OGL Controversy

Since I have been regularly playing roleplaying games, I have been trying to keep up to date on any news or game releases coming from the TTRPG (Tabletop Role Playing Game) community. As one would have it, there has been a huge piece of news that I have seen being discussed everywhere. It relates to Wizards of the Coast (WotC) / Hasbro and their OGL (open gaming license) stance. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what the controversy was, but now that I have dug into it more, I can see why fans were angry. I wanted to delve into this a bit more as I think this is something that everyone should be aware of if they play Dungeons & Dragons on a regular basis.

To start off, an Open Gaming License is a copyright license where players can stream, discuss, and play Dungeons & Dragons without fear of violating copyright laws or being sued. I think about Not Another DnD Podcast being able to exist without WotC coming to them for using their game without their permission. While many Dungeons & Dragons streamers play the game using the rules created by WotC the worlds that are created are entirely built by the streamers. It makes it complicated to try and regulate that since a lot of this world-building is original.

Moving into the controversy, there was a leak online where WotC was considering modifying its OGL. WotC was contemplating adding a caveat that if streamers made a certain profit from playing Dungeons & Dragons, they would have to report that to WotC. WotC would reserve the right to take a portion of the profits. Based on the article I linked above, it looks like the dollar amount was $50,000. Additionally, any creators earning more than $750,000 would pay a 25% royalty to WotC.

If the above is true, who cares? Why is this a bad thing? My first thought on this is that it doesn’t make sense to me. In my opinion, if players buy roleplaying books, those books and any creations from the books are owned by the players. I think one of the biggest ways to help invite or welcome new players is for people to see the game being played in pop culture. This in turn can help increase profit for WotC since new roleplayers will buy the books. Another thought that occurred to me is how greedy this feels. 25% royalty may not seem like a lot for those making above $750,000, but it still equates to $187,500 that WotC would collect. The streamers who do make that much in profit are often trying to do this as a full-time job, so they would need to pay taxes on the profits they make. Based on all this, it feels more like a punishment than a good thing coming from WotC. Another fear that I had in reviewing all of this is how this could change. If WotC made this change and it was accepted, they could, in theory, lower the dollar threshold. They could make an amendment and say that anyone who makes $10,000 in profit would now be included. This wouldn’t go over with fans, but it could happen if this change to the OGL was successful.

The reaction to this has been furious and quick. Fans canceled their D&D Beyond subscriptions along with encouraging players to try other roleplaying games. Paizo, the game company behind Pathfinder and Starfinder made a statement that they would keep their OGL the same. WotC did release a statement on January 13th where they mentioned listening to fans and providing an update to their OGL which so far, doesn’t include the above changes. Personally, I feel disappointed that WotC tried to be sneaky about it as they wouldn’t have the profits without the players in the community. It feels greedy to me and I don’t want content creators to be impacted by this.

If you’re still left with questions, I’ll link a few additional articles that I was reading through when I put together this post. In summary, I think WotC shouldn’t enact these changes as it would impact content creators.

Insider – Dungeons & Dragons Change

Polygon – Wizards of the Coast Licensing

Gizmodo – Open Gaming License

Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower

[Image is a PC game cover. There is a castle with a gate and entrance in the background. The game says "Nancy Drew Treasure in the Royal Tower". In between Nancy and Drew there is black figure of a young woman.]

For the past two weekends in a row, I have been able to devote time to playing through a Nancy Drew game. In general, most of the Nancy Drew games take me 4-5 hours to complete, so it’s been nice having that time to set toward each game. Playing Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower, this might be one of my least favorite Nancy Drew games I have played thus far.

Nancy is on a ski vacation in Wisconsin. As a side note, who goes to Wisconsin for skiing? This isn’t important to the game’s plot, but I thought it was kind of odd. Anyway, Nancy is snowed in her resort and is told that the library was broken into and vandalized. Additionally, Nancy is alerted to treasures and secrets in the tower which prompts her to investigate.

I mentioned how this was one of my least favorite Nancy Drew games that I have played. First of all, there isn’t a journal in this game. In my previous post, I mentioned how in some games, Nancy has her journal that tracks her tasks. This game doesn’t have this, so it was more for me to keep track of what Nancy had to complete or figure out. Another slightly annoying part of this game was the alarm clock. In some of the Nancy Drew games where Nancy is isolated in one location, she can only meet with certain characters at certain times. This means that Nancy has to go to her room, and set her alarm, so she can wake up and talk with the characters. I found myself spending much of the game navigating back to her room and setting her alarm. I found this to be repetitive and time-consuming. The final thing I wanted to add was how I found this game to be more boring than the other Nancy Drew games. Nancy was often doing errands for the characters instead of solving puzzles or playing mini-games. It felt like I was grinding through the tasks versus actually enjoying how the tasks came together.

There was one moment in the game when I couldn’t but laugh. Earlier on, Nancy finds fake passports in one of the character’s bags. Nancy brings it up to that character and that character laughs it off. That character ended up being the culprit. I laugh because if you were to find fake passports, that’s a red flag. It’s funny because in some Nancy Drew games, I end up predicting who the culprit is and this was one of them.

While Nancy Drew: Treasure in the Royal Tower was okay, it still puts me closer to completing all the games. I have one more Nancy Drew game in my library before I have to buy the next bunch. As mentioned previously, all the Nancy Drew PC games can be purchased on Steam.

The Vox Machina Chapter is Complete – Critical Role

Last weekend, I sat down to watch Critical Role Episode #115 “The Chapter Closes” This was the final episode in Critical Role’s first campaign, Vox Machina. According to a Reddit thread, the full campaign of Vox Machina is about 447 hours which includes all their episodes. To say that I have watched all 447 hours is incredible. I started Critical Role toward the beginning of 2021 without knowing what I was diving into. I can’t believe I have gotten to this point! I wanted to talk a little about Vox Machina and some observations I had. There will be slight spoilers of the campaign down below.

My first thought after finishing Vox Machina was how much the characters grew over 115 episodes. All the characters had some sort of character growth as they matured and learned from the adventures. The first character that I thought of was Scanlan. Scanlan (played by Sam Riegel) was a flirtatious, wise-cracking character who always seemed to break the tension. He would make sexist and somewhat indecent jokes throughout the episodes. Once Scanlan discovered he had a daughter, he became a bit more humbled. Once Scanlan died and was brought back, he separated from Vox Machina and went on his own. I loved this arc! I think Scanlan was taken for granted by Vox Machina and I’m glad that Scanlan called Vox Machina out on that. Towards the end of the campaign, Scanlan admits his love for Pike (played by Ashley Johnson) and it’s hinted that Scanlan and Pike marry. Scanlan towards the beginning of the campaign wasn’t on my radar, but now he has quickly become one of the most interesting characters.

Besides Scanlan, Percy (played by Taliesin Jaffe) was another standout character. Percy was angry and bent on revenge for the death of his family. He made a lot of terrible decisions in order to get revenge. Halfway through the campaign, Percy and Vex (played by Laura Bailey) admit their feelings for each other. Vex softens Percy and helps Percy to move through his grief. Percy originally was the first character in Vox Machina that I paid the most attention to.

As I watched the last episode, I absolutely was crying throughout the first half of the episode. The emotion on everyone’s faces made it that much more believable. It’s clear that the cast of Critical Role became their characters and had that strong attachment to playing them each week.

Now that I finished watching Vox Machina, what’s next? There are three one-shots that feature Vox Machina that I am planning to watch sometime this week (The Search for Grog, The Search for Bob, and Dalen’s Closet). The Amazon Prime series, The Legends of Vox Machina has season #2 coming out on January 20th which I intend to watch. Once all of that is completed, I will officially start watching campaign #2, Mighty Nein. If I had to predict, I probably won’t start until February since I still have a lot of content left even if it’s not the main campaign.

I’m so happy that I started watching Critical Role. It’s been fun to experience the full universe that Matt Mercer has built.

Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon

[Image features a video game cover. It says "Nancy Drew Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon" In between Nancy and Drew is a black figure of a young woman holding a magnifying glass. In the background is a steam train"

It’s been a little bit since I wrote a Nancy Drew PC game review. I had a few of the Nancy Drew games in my Steam library, but I wasn’t in the mood to play them. The Nancy Drew games are fun to play, but can sometimes be a bit cumbersome with all the puzzles and mental brain power it takes to finish the game. I took a break and now that 2023 has started, I found myself going back to them. The latest Nancy Drew game I played was Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon

For those who are unfamiliar, in 2020 I set a goal to play every single Nancy Drew PC game. The Nancy Drew PC games are some of the most challenging games I have played. My husband jokes that he can tell that I’m playing them when he sees me near my laptop with a notepad in my hand. With the Nancy Drew puzzles, they are often so intricate that I have to write things down that might come up in the game later. While the Nancy Drew games might be aimed at a younger audience, I think they can be enjoyed by anyone at any age because of the difficult nature of the games.

Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon begins in a train car where Nancy is invited by The Hardy Boys to unravel the mystery of Jake Hurley, who stepped off the train and was never seen again. When Nancy is introduced to the other guests on the train, one of them disappears! Nancy must find the missing guest along with collecting clues into Jake Hurley’s life and disappearance.

The setting in the Nancy Drew games is pretty important because I think it serves as a gauge of how much I will like this particular game versus the other games I played. I liked how this game took place on the train. There was a lot to explore and several hidden items to collect. The train car felt antique, so in a lot of ways it felt like Nancy was back in the early 1900s. Another component of the Nancy Drew games is the characters or in most cases the suspects. Sometimes it feels pretty clear who the culprit is while other times it comes across as a surprise. There seemed to be something about each character that created a motive as to who would want to figure out what happened to Jake Hurley and what that notoriety would do for them. It helps create more suspense while playing the game.

The gameplay for the Nancy Drew games varies slightly. In some games, Nancy has a journal, and every time she encounters a puzzle, barrier, or other obstacles, she logs it in her journal as a task. Once the task is completed, the player can check off the task. Some Nancy Drew games have the journal while others don’t. I love that Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon had Nancy’s journal. It’s so much easier to track what I have left to do along with how much of the game I have left. I wish every Nancy Drew game had a journal because it makes the game much more enjoyable.

Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon was definitely one of the more fun Nancy Drew games I have played thus far. If you’re interested in playing the Nancy Drew games, you can find most if not all of them on Steam.

Pop Culture New Year’s Resolutions – 2023

Last year, I wrote about my “Pop Culture New Year’s Resolutions” and I wanted to repeat that for 2023. I’m not a big New Year’s Resolutions person, to begin with, but I like the concept of making goals that are centered around my hobbies, interests, and fandoms. I’ll start by summarizing my resolutions from 2022 before ending with my new resolutions in 2023.

2022 New Year’s Resolutions

  • Watch at least 3 different Anime Series (EOY) – I read two different mangas but didn’t end up watching much anime.
  • Start Watching Mighty Nein, Critical Role’s second campaign – I’m so close to being done with Vox Machina but didn’t make it in time to begin Mighty Nein in 2022
  • Attend an Out of State Convention I Have Never Been to Before – This one didn’t happen either. I go back and forth on this goal and I’ll explain in a little bit why that is.
  • Play and Complete 4 Different PS4 or Console Games – Completed! I think I will carry this one into 2023.
  • Play through Marvel’s Spider-Man on a Tougher Difficulty – I decided halfway through the year that I wanted to move this to 2023 since Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is coming out this Fall.

I wanted to break down a few of these resolutions I had. The first resolution came from wanting to use my Funimation subscription. It takes me a long time to watch TV shows and I found it a lot easier to read manga than watch anime. I ended up canceling my Funimation subscription halfway through the year since I wasn’t utilizing it. In the future, I think I will stick to reading manga as I find that’s a lot more doable for me.

For Critical Role, I decided that I didn’t want to rush through Vox Machina because I wanted to fully enjoy it. I’m currently on episode #111, so I’m close to fully finishing the series (there are 115 episodes total). After I finish them all, I want to watch the Amazon Prime series The Legends of Vox Machina along with the one-shots associated. Once that’s completed then I will start watching Mighty Nein.

Regarding the “Attend an Out of State Convention” I mentioned how I go back and forth on this. While I think it would be fun to attend a convention in a state that I have never been to before, attending a convention would take up a full travel day. This could be a day that I could explore or hike and I’m not sure if attending a convention would be worth it to miss out on being a tourist in a new city. This might be a resolution I will put on hold for now and focus on attending local conventions instead.

As far as my video game resolutions, I do want to carry these over into 2023 as gaming is a hobby of mine that I don’t want to lose.

With all of that being said, here are my resolutions for 2023:

Start Watching Mighty Nein

Read 100 Books, Comics, Graphic Novels, etc.

Play 4 Different PS4 or Console Games

Play Through Marvel’s Spider-Man on a Tougher Difficulty

Rewatch Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor Who Series + Tennant’s Series by End of the Year

Happy New Year! If you have specific pop culture resolutions, I’d love to hear your resolutions in the comments.

2022 Pop Culture Year in Review

Happy New Year! 2022 was a jam-packed year full of various trips, weddings, and surprises. As I reflect on all the memories made in 2022, I can safely say that 2022 was a great year.

Movies I Watched:

  • Shang Chi
  • Black Widow
  • Licorice Pizza
  • The Batman
  • Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness
  • Top Gun Maverick
  • Black Adam
  • Morbius

If there was a film that would be “the movie” of 2022, it would easily be Top Gun Maverick. I went to see Top Gun twice in theaters. My mom saw Top Gun 6 times in theaters. Top Gun was pivotal as it made going to see a movie in theaters so fun especially after the lull of the pandemic. I wouldn’t be surprised if I rewatched Top Gun in 2023 as my husband hasn’t seen it yet.

Besides Top Gun, I loved The Batman. Robert Pattinson knocked it out of the park and I liked how this movie felt like a “Detective Batman” adaptation.

TV Shows I Watched:

  • Dopesick
  • Euphoria
  • Castle
  • Peacemaker
  • Moon Knight
  • Kenobi
  • The Kardashians
  • Bridgerton
  • Critical Role
  • She-Hulk
  • Ms. Marvel

I think if I had to choose my favorite TV show that I watched this year, I think it would be Moon Knight. Moon Knight was grittier and I loved Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy) as Scarlet Scarab. I’d love to see her pop up in other Marvel adaptations. Besides Moon Knight, I liked Peacemaker a lot which is interesting because Peacemaker was one of my least favorite characters in The Suicide Squad movie. I think Vigilante (played by Freddie Stroma) stole the show with his dark humor and one-liners.

One surprise for me was how much I enjoyed Bridgerton. I’m not normally a big Victorian-era TV show person, but I found myself truly invested in the show. I’m looking forward to Penelope’s (played by Nicola Coughlan) season even though I’m not a fan of Penelope and Colin together because he seems toxic.

The last show I wanted to mention was Dopesick. Dopesick was a Hulu miniseries that focused on the Opioid epidemic. The acting in this is superb and finishing the show left me frustrated since the Purdue family will more than likely not face repercussions for what they started.

Video Games I Played:

  • Nancy Drew Secrets of the Old Clock
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Donut Country
  • LEGO The Skywalker Saga
  • Backbone
  • Disney’s Dreamlight Valley
  • Hidden Through Time DLC
  • Overwatch 2
  • The Quarry
  • LEGO DC Supervillains
  • Nancy Drew: The Final Scene

My favorite game of 2022 was The Quarry. I like Supermassive’s games because they have just enough horror and jump scares where I can play them without having to cover my eyes too much. I played The Quarry Halloween weekend with the lights off and it was perfect.

I didn’t play as many Steam games this year as I did in previous years, but I want to get that going again. With the Steam sale, I plan on picking up a few games on my wishlist. I have a few Nancy Drew games still left to play.

I played a lot of Overwatch 2 which I have to admit, I was expecting more from the game. I’m trying to play new characters as I usually always play as either Zarya or D.Va. I recently discovered Brigitte and she might be my new go-to character.

Gaming in 2022:

  • Taught my mom how to play Exploding Kittens
  • Curse of Strahd campaign
  • Adventurer’s League with Zehiri
  • Doctor Who Fluxx
  • Star Wars Villainous
  • Hunt a Killer – Motel
  • Goodcritters

One highlight in 2022 was playing Curse of Strahd every other Thursday. Our campaign is still ongoing since we haven’t gone after Strahd yet. It’s been fun to meet new people and see my character shine. If this campaign wraps, I will be joining another new campaign. Besides Curse of Strahd, I am still playing in Adventurer’s League sessions. I usually play in a session every few months due to monthly obligations. I am planning on playing in a session later this month.

If I had to pick, I think Star Wars Villainous was my favorite new game I played in 2022. I love Star Wars board games to begin with and I liked how easy this was to learn.

Graphic Novels / Comics I Read This Year:

  • Moon Knight Vol #1 – Jed Mackay
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #1 – Alyssa Wong
  • The Weatherman Vol #1 – Jody LeHeup
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #2 – Alyssa Wong
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra Vol #3 – Alyssa Wong
  • Peacemaker – Garth Ennis
  • Teen Titans Beast Boy – Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo
  • Hawkeye Issues #1 – #3 – Marieke Nijkamp
  • Vampire Emmy & Garbage Girl – Pat Shand
  • The Last Session #1 – Jasmine Walls
  • The Death of Doctor Strange Blade – Danny Lore
  • Birds of Prey Manhunt – Chuck Dixon
  • Plume Vol #1 – K Lynn Smith
  • Batman Year One – Frank Miller
  • Daredevil Woman Without Fear Issues #1 & #2 – Chip Zdarsky
  • Batman Killing Time #1 & #2 Tom King
  • Critical Role Vox Machina III #1 – #5 – Jody Houser
  • Aquamen #1 – Chuck Brown
  • World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw #1 – #3 – Danny Lore
  • Ms. Marvel #1 – #5 – Samira Ahmed
  • She-Hulk #1 – #7 – Rainbow Rowell
  • Manhattan Projects Vol #3 – Jonathan Hickman
  • Star Wars Princess Leia Vol #1 – Mark Waid
  • Star Wars Obi-Wan #1 – Christopher Cantwell
  • Star Wars Poe Dameron Vol #2 – #4 – Charles Soule
  • Han Solo & Chewbacca #1 – #5 – Marc Guggenheim
  • I Am Not Starfire – Mariko Tamaki
  • Star Wars Crimson Reign #1 , #2 & #4 – Charles Soule
  • DC Pride 2022
  • March Book #1 – John Lewis
  • Miskatonic High #1 – Mike Shea
  • Ice Cream Man Vol #1 – W. Maxwell Prince
  • Bettie Page #1 – #4 – Ani-Mia
  • For Goodness Sake Vol #3 – K Lynn Smith
  • Preacher Vol #1 Garth Ennis
  • Star Wars The High Republic Vol #1 – Daniel Jose Older
  • Stake #1 – David Byrne
  • Captain Carter #2 – #4 – Jamie McKelvie
  • Constantine – Kami Garcia
  • Delicious in Dungeon Vol #1 – Ryoko Kui
  • The Ridler #1 Paul Dano
  • Deadpool #1 – Alyssa Wong
  • Blade Vampire Nation #1 – Mark Russell
  • Ms. Marvel & Venom #1 – Jody Houser
  • Batgirls #1 2022 Annual – Becky Cloonan
  • Teen Titans Beast Boy Loves Raven – Kami Garcia
  • Nightmare of the Living Cat – Hawkman

It took me a long time to fully type out this list. When I skim through the list, there are a few comics that stand out to me. I started reading Moon Knight in anticipation of the show. I’m seeing some repetitions such as Alyssa Wong as they wrote Doctor Aphra and Deadpool along with Kami Garcia’s YA DC graphic novels. My favorite new series that I read was The Last Session which is about college friends getting together to finish their DnD campaign. Other memorable series include Captain Carter, Plume, She-Hulk, and Nightmare of the Living Cat.

2022 Pop Culture Moments

  • Don’t Worry Darling Drama.
  • Lizzo playing James Madison’s old flute
  • James Gunn & Peter Safran reorganizing DC

Podcasts:

I split my time between working from home and working in the office. When I work in the office, I listen to podcasts. The two podcasts that I discovered this year have kept me entertained throughout the workday. Three Black Halflings is a podcast that focuses on diversity within role-playing games. Force Toast is a Star Wars podcast that I listen to. It’s one of the few podcasts that I have found that focuses on Star Wars books and comics.

Catchiest Song in 2022:

I was looking through my Top Songs in 2022 playlist on Spotify and I know for a fact that I listened to I Ain’t Worried by OneRepublic so many times throughout the year. It’s so catchy.

Conventions I Attended in 2022:

The only convention I attended this year was Twin Cities Con in November. I hope to attend more conventions in 2023.

Personal Memories

Top Three Memories of 2022:

Road Trips

Buying a House

Weddings!

2022 End of Year Book Survey

2022 was a great reading year for me. I read a total of 104 books, single-issue comics, graphic novels, and manga. 104!? I can’t believe I hit the triple digits. Since I started tracking my reading on Goodreads, I have gotten into a good rhythm in making time to read along with figuring out the types of books and genres that interest me the most. Every year, I participate in Perpetual Page Turner‘s End of Year Book Survey. It’s one of the most detailed book surveys that I have found. I always look forward to writing each post as it helps me review the books I read and pick the books that stood out to me the most.

**2022 Reading Stats**

Number of Books Read: 104

Number of Re-Reads: 2. I re-read Columbine by Dave Cullen and Dracula by Bram Stoker. I read both of these books in high school, so it was time for a re-read. I typically re-read books when either it’s been at least five years since I originally read the book or if I pick up the book from my shelf and I don’t fully remember the plot of the book.

Genre You Read the Most From: Doing a quick scan through my Goodreads, I felt that I read more Fantasy and Non-Fiction this year.

[Image says "Best in Books" in silver font]

1. Best Book in 2022

[Book Cover. At the top it says "New York Times Best Seller" After that, it says "Lucy Foley The Guest List" There's a small quote underneath that says "You'd Kill To Be On It' The picture shows a dark and stormy island with a tower on the top of the island]

I read a lot of good books this year. As I scanned through my list, I had at least five books that I rated five stars throughout the year. I had to ponder on this one for a while, but in the end, I chose The Guest List by Lucy Foley. The Guest List is a wedding thriller where the guests travel to an island off the coast of Ireland. The groom is found murdered and secrets are revealed leading up to his demise. I liked the build-up, the setting, and reading how everything was so interconnected. The Guest List kept me invested throughout and reminded me why mysteries and thrillers are one of my favorite genres to read.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

[Book Cover. The Book is titled 'One to Watch" It shows a woman from her back as she's holding a ring behind her."

One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London had such a good premise. It was a romance centered on Bea, a plus-size woman going on a Bachelorette show to find love. I didn’t buy into the end romance and there was a cheating side plot which I wasn’t a big fan of. There was also a side plot where one of the producers slept with a contestant on the show which I found completely unprofessional. I wanted to like this, but I felt the book went in a completely different direction than what I was looking for.

3. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2022?

[Book Cover. It says "In My Dreams I Hold A Knife and below it says Ashley Winstead" It shows gold ribbon with a scissors cutting through the lower part of the ribbon]

Ashley Winstead who wrote In My Dreams I Hold A Knife is an author on my radar. This book was so good. In My Dreams, I Hold A Knife centered on a group of college friends who met up at a college reunion. They are confronted with their past as one of their friends was murdered during their tenure at their university. Ashley Winstead did write a book this year titled The Last Housewife which is centered around a cult. I didn’t read it this year because I didn’t see a paperback copy and I’m not a fan of hardcover. I could see myself picking up The Last Housewife sometime next year.

4. Favorite Cover Of A Book You Read in 2022?

[Image is a book cover titled "The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner" The text is in a perfume bottle of sorts. The perfume bottle is outlined in gold. Beautiful flowers surround the corner of the cover]

The Lost Apothecary was a book I purchased late last year solely on the cover alone. Out of all the books, I read this year, this cover is gorgeous.

5. Most Thought-Provoking Book / Life-Changing Book of 2022

[Book Cover. At the top it says "#1 New York Times Best Seller. A little bit lower it says "I'm Glad My Mom Died Jennette McCurdy" It shows a woman holding a pink urn with streamers poking out of it]

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy was a heartbreaking book to read. I grew up with the Nickelodeon shows and I remember watching iCarly when it aired. It came as a shock to me to read this book and hear what Jennette endured from her mom. I couldn’t imagine my mom forcing me into acting at a young age. There were a lot of graphic descriptions in this coming from Jennette especially when she detailed her eating disorder. Child actors have to endure so much at a young age and I think this helped add on to the need to protect child actors and change the industry altogether.

6. OTP (One True Pairing) Of The Year

[Image shows a full moon with two people on a witch's broom. The cover appears to be dark at night. The title says "The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling"]

Vivienne and Rhys in The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling are my OTP. They belonged together.

7. Newest Fictional Crush From A Book You Read in 2022?

[Book Cover. Title of the book is called "Well Met Jen DeLuca. It shows two people standing near each other]

The first person I thought of was Simon from Well Met by Jen DeLuca. Simon’s family runs this Renaissance Faire every year and is running around the Faire in costume. Simon seems so sweet, and a little nerdy which makes him easy to have a crush on.

8. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read?

[Book Cover. It's a book with black, white, and red. The title of the book is "The Killing Code by Ellie Marney"

The Killing Code by Ellie Marney was another great book that I read this year. It was fun to read about the code breakers and learn more about this particular time in history. I’m not usually a big historical fiction type of reader, but this was an exception.

9. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

[Book Cover. It says "Razorblade Tears A Novel S.A. Cosby"]

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby is the book that sat with me long after I finished reading it. The book centers on two dads who find out that their sons were murdered. Their sons had been in a relationship together which neither of them supported because of their beliefs on homosexuality. The dads team up to find out who killed their sons and get revenge. I think what hurt the most for me was these dads couldn’t accept their sons when they were alive and ended up completely changing their views by the end of the book. It sucks that it happened after their sons died. This book reminded me that this type of environment and hatred is still alive in certain parts of the US.

[Image says "Your Blogging/Bookish Life"]

1. Favorite Post You Wrote in 2022?

My favorite book-related post was Writing Tropes That Aren’t For Me. I wrote this post in July as I was contemplating different books I read and why I liked or disliked reading them. It helped me recognize some tropes that I see pop up in books and my feelings towards those tropes when I came across them.

2. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2022?

I think the moments that I keep coming back to are all the books I picked up while traveling. I stopped in several bookstores and museum gift shops. I have several non-fiction books on my TBR that I hope to read in 2023. I love purchasing books as souvenirs. It helps me learn about other areas outside of where I live along with parts of history that I haven’t read about in a while.

3. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges Or Goals That You Had Set For Yourself At The Beginning Of The Year?

I don’t necessarily set reading goals, however, I’m still in awe that I made it past 100 books. This is the most I have ever read and I’m so proud of myself for making the time to read.

[Image says "Looking Ahead"]

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2022 But Will Be Your Number #1 Priority In 2023?

Honestly, I ended up reading everything that I wanted to this year. My in-laws bought me a few books for Christmas that I plan on reading in January which will be a good way to start off the year. I may write a post about my post-Christmas TBR, so I can share all the books I received on Christmas.

2. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish In Your Reading / Blogging Life in 2023?

The only goal that I would have is to read 100 books in 2023. I’m impressed that I was able to get there this year, so I want to see if I can do it again next year.

Happy Reading! Let me know in the comments what your favorite book was that you read this year.

Henry Cavill Out as Superman – State of the DC Film Universe

Merry Christmas! I wasn’t sure whether I should write a Holiday-Themed blog post, but I decided against it. I had this blog topic on my mind for a while and figured today would be as good of a day as any to write this. There have been a lot of DCrelated announcements now that James Gunn, along with Peter Safran, are the CEOs of DC Films. There is a lot that’s been up in the air as it seems that James Gunn is inheriting a mess of a franchise. With the recent announcements, there is a lot to unpack.

I think the biggest announcement is easily about Henry Cavill. Henry Cavill posted on Instagram that he wouldn’t be returning as Superman. James Gunn followed up on this saying that they were aiming to create a younger Superman story. This news couldn’t be more disheartening. With the release of Black Adam, Henry Cavill appeared in the post-credits scene which implied that he would be back in the role. YIKES. I think Henry Cavill’s Superman statement was professional especially given the context. Both me and my husband liked Henry Cavill as Superman as we thought he was a good fit for the role and it seemed like Henry genuinely enjoyed being in this universe. I’m not exactly a fan of a younger Superman story because it has been done before. I think it would have been much more interesting to feature a veteran Superman who has been through some traumatic events but got through it.

With Henry Cavill out, where is Gal Gadot in all this? I loved Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman and I was hoping that she was going to be carried over into James Gunn’s plan. Patty Jenkins released a statement where she stated it wasn’t her decision to walk away and she would have loved to do a third film. While I didn’t love WW84, I still would have liked to see Gal Gadot return. Besides Patty Jenkins, it’s been announced that the Wonder Woman cameo was cut from The Flash which I think is safe to say that Gal Gadot is out of this new universe.

To be clear, I don’t think James Gunn has an easy job. He has to enter an already messy situation and figure out a way to move forward. It’s unfortunate that this is going to be a full reset instead of potentially merging everything together. If you are a DC fan, I would love to know what you think about this in the comments.