My year in review

My Film Year in Review and my Film-Related Goals of 2020

In 2019 I watched a lot of films but not too many that I got overwhelmed with meeting a self-enforced target. In total I watched 242 different films, 251 films including rewatches. I saw 76 films at the cinema as well. I have a full list of all the films I watched here and I also put together a list of my Top Ten Favourite Films of 2019 last week for your reading pleasure – I’d recommend all of my favourites to anyone, no matter their taste in films.

With the film-related goals I set myself it was a bit of a mixed bag. One of the reasons I wanted to not put pressure on myself to watch films every day and hit a ridiculously high target, was so I could watch the many TV shows I’ve missed or got half way though and not feel guilty about it. In the end I didn’t watch many TV shows at all. In fact, I watched one and a half. I watched all of Stranger Things season three which I loved and binge-watched over a weekend. You can see what I thought on Twitter as I did some spoiler-free live-tweeting. I also started to rewatch Shadowhunters as the last series came out so thought it would be nice to rewatch it from the beginning and by the time I did that the new episodes would be out. It didn’t quite work like that because I’m someone who just stops watching TV shows even when I’m enjoying them. I got near to the end of series 2 so I only really have a season left to watch and half of it will be new to me. Maybe in 2020 I will finish my rewatch and live tweeting of one of my favourite shows.

I did complete the 52 Films by Women challenge once again. I watched 56 films directed by women (all of which happened to be first time watches) and I watched 71 films that were written by women. However, I didn’t watch very many of my unwatched DVD’s and Blu-rays, and in fact I bought more and now have over 80 unwatched films.

Now it’s time for the fun stats stuff. I have a Pro membership on Letterboxd which allows you to see all your film-viewing stats and I love it.

My most watched actors of 2019 were:

I rewatched and reviewed the Fast & Furious franchise (which I adore) so that’s why almost half the actors here are from at least one of those films. I made the effort to watch a lot of Brie Larson and Keira Knightley films so that’s why they’ve gotten a spot. I rewatched the sequel Star Wars trilogy, the Lord of the Rings, the Transformer trilogy and the John Wick trilogy so that explains people like Keanu Reeves, Andy Serkis and Hugo Weaving a couple of the other actors, but some people like Jim Broadbent and Joan Cusack were a surprise.

My most watched directors also show off the fact I watched a lot of Fast and Furious (Justin Lin), Star Wars (J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson) and Transformers films (Michael Bay). I like how Antoine Fuqua makes an appearance once again (he’s one of my favourite directors) and I tend to rewatch his films fairly often. It’s a shame there’s only one woman on this list. I watched four of Mira Nair’s films that I hadn’t seen before but while I watched over 50 films directed by women, I think she was the only female director I watched multiple films from.

So what are my film-related goals of 2020? I’m going to continue to watch what I want, when I want, and not feel like I have to watch a film every day when I’d rather be reading or discover a new TV show (that I’ll only watch half of before stopping even when I’m enjoying it). I definitely want to finish watching Shadowhunters and if I manage to get through a couple of other TV shows that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages in 2020 that’d be great. I think The Alienist returns this year and as that’s like the one show besides Stranger Things that I’ve watched in its entirety recently, I’m definitely looking forward to that.

I want to complete the 52 Films by Women challenge for both directors and screenwriters again. I have been doing (and completing) this challenge since 2016 so it’d be cool to make it a fifth year in a row.

I will once again say I want to get my unwatched DVD’s and Blu-rays down. As I said, I have over 80 of them to get through but I do have a plan to tackle this! It is going to be related to the A-Z in April Challenge but more will be revealed in the Spring. I not only have a Clint Eastwood boxset to get through, but an Alfred Hitchcock one as well now so maybe I’ll make some headway with those this year.

Do you have any film-related goals for 2020? How easy/difficult do you find it is to make time to sit down and watch a film?

My Reading in 2019 and my Bookish Goals for 2020

It’s the start of a new year which means it’s time to look back at the past one. Today I’m looking at what I read last year, if I met my goals and what my reading plans are for this year. In 2019 I read 72 books (bang on the same amount as 2018 funnily enough) which beat my Goodreads goal of 52 books, and I reviewed 46 of them which beat my goal of reviewing 26. You can find a full list of what I read here (the links go to the reviews) and I shared what are my top ten favourite books of the year earlier this week. The OWLs and the NEWTs readathons certainly helped me have good reading months, and in June I was on holiday where I read 8 books in 10 days.

I didn’t really have reading challenges or goals for 2019 – especially compared to 2018 when I had like three things I signed up for! In 2019 I continued to put £1 in a pot for every book I read meaning I had £72 to put in the bank. I’m sure I’ll use that money to buy more books. I continued with the Read the World Project and almost half of all the books I read in 2019 counted towards that project. I read 35 from different countries. Once again, I tried to get my TBR down to 50 books from 100 books and after Christmas gifts, my TBR now stands at 85 books. So at least it went down!

I always try to keep an equal split of male/female authors that I read and I succeeded at that in 2019. In fact, it was more female heavy which is fine by me. In 2019 I also kept track of whether the books I was reading were by white authors or authors of colour. In my goals last year I said I wanted at least 25% of the books I read to be by people of colour. I’m happy to say I achieved that and 40% of the books I read (which makes 29 of them) were by people of colour. I think my Read the World project definitely helps with this.

Now for my reading goals of 2020.

My reading goals aren’t that different to what they’ve been the last few years to be honest. I’m going to continue to put a £1 in a jar for every book I read, and I’m going to increase my Goodreads challenge goal a bit and want to read at least 60 books and to review at least 30 of them. I also want to continue to read books from at least an equal split of men and women authors, and to have at least 30% of the books I read are by people of colour. I’ll also say (once again) that I’d like to get my TBR down to 50 books. I did make some headway with my TBR in 2019 so I hope I can continue that trend, or at least be more open to unhauling books I have no interest in anymore. I’m not signing up to any year-long challenges but I think I will join many readathons throughout the year to give me that extra push to read.

In 2019 I hit 100 countries read for my Read the World Project! I’m so happy with that number but I do have 122 countries to read in the next 21 months if I want to meet myself imposed deadline. I own books for 6 more countries, but I have many more on my radar so reading books for my Read the World project will definitely be a priority this year. Really, I need to read at least 60 books for this challenge to make my deadline of reading a book from every country in the world before my 30th birthday. I’m not sure if that’ll happen but I hope it will. If you have any suggestions for books from around the world, I’d love to hear them! You can see what countries I’ve already read here.

Those are my reading goals for 2020. Do you have any reading goals for the year? I’m always interested in the reading goals people set themselves and if they have any tips or tricks to help them achieve them.

My Reading in 2018 and Goals for 2019

Slightly later than usual (but it’s still the first half of January so it’s all good) but here’s where I look back on what and how I read in 2018 and my reading plans for 2019. In 2018 I read 72 books which beat my goal of 52 books and I reviewed 55 of them which was way better than my goal of reviewing 26 of them. You can find all the books I read here, and I posted my Top Ten books of 2018 earlier this month here.

I had a fair few reading challenges and goals for 2018 and I completed most of them. I continued to put £1 in a jar for every book I read so that gave me £72 to put in the bank at the end of the year which was a nice bonus. I continued with my Read the World Project and 31 of the books I read in 2018 were for that project.

I signed up for three reading challenges in 2018 because I love being overconfident! They were the Beat the Backlist Challenge which even though the majority of what I read was backlist, I’d always forget to put reviews on Amazon and/or link the reviews on the host’s site, so I didn’t really complete that challenge in that sense though I did surpass my target of 30 back list books. Then there was the A-Z Reading Challenge and the Monthly Motif Challenge – I completed both of those which I was really happy about.

I tried to get my TBR down to 50 books – I say “tried” but I’m not sure I really did. I acquired 53 books in 2018, from buying them myself, gifts or subscription boxes, and I read 28 of them. The other books I read were a mixture of books I owned pre-2018 and books from the library – I really embraced the library and borrowing audiobooks from there this year. I didn’t really get my TBR down at all; I started 2018 with 100 books on my TBR and finished it with 100 books on my TBR so at least it didn’t grow any bigger! It was a bit of a bummer though because looking at the numbers it did nothing about the unread books I own even though I did read a lot. Oh well! Maybe I’m destined to have piles of books around me!

It wasn’t a goal, but I do like to keep track of who’s writing what I’m writing. I always aim to have an equal split between male and female authors and I couldn’t have gotten a more even split in 2018 if I’d tried!

Now for my reading goals in 2019.

I’m keeping it super simple this year. I haven’t signed up for any reading challenges and I don’t plan to. I’m setting my reading goal at 52 books again and that I’ll review at least 26 of them. I think it’s good to at least set some achievable goals.

I’m going to continue to put £1 in a jar for every book I read as it’s a nice little financial boost at the end of the year, and I will once again aim to get down to 50 unread books on my TBR. It’s kind of a tradition at this point to say that so I might as well continue. It would be good if I could keep an equal split of male and female authors though I don’t mind if there’s more women authors as I do tend to read more books by women. Also, I’m thinking about tracking the split between white authors and authors of colour, I’d hope that at least 25% of the books I read are by non-white authors.

I think my main reading goal for 2019 is to focus on my Read the World Project. From the outset I wanted to read a book from every country in the world before I was 30. That’s in 2 years and 9 months-ish and I have about 150 countries left to read so I need to read about 50 books from around the world this year in order to make a dent. I own 14 books that are for this project and I’m definitely going to be getting more from the library, even in physical or audio form.

There’s my reading goals for 2019. Do you have any reading goals for the year? Or are you being a bit more relaxed about reading this year? I’d love to know about your reading goals and any tricks you might have to help achieve them.

My Film Year in Review and my Film Related Goals of 2019

To say I had a good year when it comes to films in 2018 would be an understatement. Amazingly, I watched 365 different films in 2018! This wasn’t an intended goal but by around March/April time, when I was looking at my Letterboxd diary, I realised that I’d watched more films than days in the year so far. After that I decided to try and keep that up and try and hit 365 films. You can see a list of all the films I watched here and my Top Ten Favourite films of 2018 are here.

As for my film-related goals that I actually set, I did pretty well with those too. I wanted to complete the 52 Films by Women challenge for both directors and screenwriters and thanks to the number of films I watched, I managed to get way over 52 films for both directors and screenwriters. I watched 75 films directed by women (you can see the full list of them here) and 112 films that were written by women – my list of those films are on Letterboxd here.

I wanted to cut down on my unwatched DVD’s/Blu-Rays but that didn’t really happen, mainly because I fully embraced Netflix and Amazon Prime this year. I mentioned that I wanted to watch the rest of my Clint Eastwood boxset which didn’t happen, but I watched about 4 of those films so I’ve got over 20 films left to watch.

I have a Pro membership on Letterboxd and I love looking at the stats it gives me for the year.

My most watched actors were:

I started rewatching all the films in the MCU at the end of December 2017 so that rewatch continued into 2018. I watched The AvengersAvengers: Infinity War in 2018 so that’s why there’s 8 actors here who have been in at least one MCU film. I also rewatched the Harry Potter series so that counts for most of the rest of the actors on the list really. Though I did use Netflix and Amazon Prime to find and watch films starring Robert Downey Jr., Daniel Brühl, Jeremy Renner, Emma Thompson and Michelle Monaghan because I like all of those people and wanted to fill in the gaps of their filmographies I’d yet to see.

My most watched directors of the year also show how I rewatched the Harry Potter series and that I rewatched a lot of the MCU in 2018. While I watched over 70 films directed by women, very few of them were by the same director, or if they were, I watched two films by them so they didn’t make this list. For instance, the two films I watched that were directed by Ryan Fleck, It’s Kind of a Funny Story and Mississippi Grind, were also directed by Anna Boden but she didn’t manage to fit on the list.

Now for my film-related goals of 2019. While I’m very proud of the fact I watched 365 films last year, I don’t want to put pressure on myself to watch that many again or even more than that. I think I’m going to be more laid back with my film watching this year. I still want to see new films, but I also want to watch some of the many TV shows I missed last year and not feel bad that I’m watching a show instead of spending the same amount of time watching 5 films.

I want to complete the 52 Films by Women challenge for both directors and screenwriters again. I love how that challenge can push me out of my comfort zone and make me really think about what I’m watching. Plus now that I have, and properly use, Netflix and Amazon Prime it’s so much easier to find films that are made by women.

I didn’t buy many new DVD’s/Blu-Ray’s last year, or if I did I watched them almost straightaway, so I have almost 70 unwatched films on my shelves and in boxsets so if I could get that down by half that’d be nice. Maybe 2019 will be the year I finish my Clint Eastwood boxset?!

Do you have any film-related goals for 2019?

My Reading in 2017 and Goals for 2018

It’s the first week of January so that means it’s time to look back on the reading I did last year. In 2017 I read 70 books (beating my goal of 50) and reviewed 51 of them, beating my goal to review 25 of them – you can find all the books I read here. There were some pretty great ones too, so you can find my top ten books of 2017 here.

I had some other reading-related goals that I mostly completed. I put £1 in a jar for every book I read so I finished the year with £70 to put into my bank account – it’s going towards fun stuff like rent. I also continued with my Read the World Project with 29 of the books I read in 2017 being for that project.

I did want to finish 2017 with 50 books or less on my TBR but that didn’t happen. I started the year with 87 books and finished it with 100. Oops! This was from a combination of subscription boxes and generally poor impulse control when there were deals on either in a bookshop or on Amazon.

Now this wasn’t a goal or anything, but I do like to have a look at who’s writing what I read. I generally aim to have an even split between male and female authors and in 2017 I read slightly more books by women. The 10% both come from a mixture of short story collections and graphic novels.

Now I’m looking towards the future and my reading goals for 2018.

I’m keeping them relatively simple, though this year I’ve signed up for a couple of reading challenges as well to keep me on my toes.

Broadly speaking, I want to read at least 52 books in 2018 and review at least half of them. I’m going to continue to put £1 in a jar for every book I read so I can have a nice bonus at the end of the year again and once again I’m going to say I will try and get my TBR down to 50 books. I think I need to be a bit honest with myself about some of my books, if I don’t think I’m going to read them I need to send them on to a new home, whether that friends or a charity shop. I’d like to also keep a 50/50 split of male and female authors read in 2018, but if I read more books by women I wont be too annoyed. I will also being continuing with my Read the World Project. I’m going to have to be reading more books from around the world this year if I want to complete this task in the next four years – I’ve got about 160 countries left to go!

As I mentioned before I’ve signed up to some reading challenges this year – three of them. They are the Beat the Backlist, where the aim is to read as many of the books sitting on your shelves that were published before 2018, the A to Z Reading Challenge, where you’ve got to read 26 books that start with every letter of the alphabet, and the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge which is to read a book each month that fits the theme set. You can find out more about all these challenges here.

So those are my reading goals for 2018. Do you set yourself yearly reading goals? If you do, I wish you the best of luck and I hope you read some awesome books this year.

My Film Year in Review and my Film-Related Goals of 2018

I had a very good year when it comes to films in 2017. I watched 218 different films and went to the cinema 61 times. You can find a list of all the films I watched in 2017 here and my Top Ten Favourite films of the year here.

I only had a few film-related goals for 2017. They were to take part and complete the 52 Films by Women project for both directors and screenwriters again which I was successful in. I watched 54 films directed by women in 2017, you can find them all here, and 11 of them I saw at the cinema, 5 more than I saw in the cinema in 2016. I don’t know if that’s down to my taste in films or it’s a small sign that the movie industry is getting that bit more inclusive but it’s definitely a good thing. I also watched 60 films that were written or co-written by women in 2017 and you can see what films they were here.

I also wanted to watch more of my unwatched DVD’s and Blu-ray’s but that didn’t really happen. I did watch some of them, and didn’t buy as many as I usually do, but Netflix and Amazon Prime have become my first choice when I want to watch a film, which doesn’t help with my unwatched physical film problem.

I’ve been looking at my stats for 2017 on Letterboxd, mainly my most watched actors and directors of the year, which I always find quite interesting.

My most watched actors were:

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My Reading in 2016 and Goals for 2017

So this is kind of a little late compared to when I normally post this sort of thing but it’s still the first week of January so let’s go with it.

My reading in 2016 was a bit of a mixed bag. I started very strong, reading 4-6 books each month but towards the end of the year I couldn’t really get into any book I was picking up and I started a new job so I had to figure out my new day-to-day work/life balance.

Still, I read some great books in 2016 and you can check out my ten favourite books here.

I had some reading goals for 2016, some I completed and some I didn’t. I surpassed my target of reading 40 books and I in fact read 58 so I was very happy with that and I reviewed 34 of those books, beating my target of 26 reviews.

I signed up to the Bookish Bingo Challenge hosted by The Girly Geek at the start of the year and while I enjoyed the challenge I only completed 24 of the 35 squares. That’s still over half and to be honest, I didn’t really base my reading around the challenge, I read what I liked and then had a look at the bingo card every now and then to see if anything fit on a square. I don’t think I’ll be signing up for any challenges like that this year, but I will be starting the Read the World Project – a wonderful challenge you can find more about here.

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