A Year in Review – 2022

Hello everyone!

It’s that time of the year when I take a moment to look back on the best stuff I’ve consumed in 2022 and share it all with you guys!

BOOKS.

When it comes to reading, I can’t complain that I was able to get through what I wanted to get through. Unlike previous years, I focused on reading books I owned or picking up books that I wanted to read, instead of getting all antsy or riled up about new releases. As someone who has bathed for a long time in advance review copies and whatnot, I found this year incredibly comforting and I don’t think I’ll change anything of it anymore going forward.

This year, at the moment of publishing this post, I read 226 books. To give you guys a better idea, there:

23 novels (10,2%);
10 audiobooks (4,4%);
73 graphic novels (32,3%);
120 manga volumes (53,1%).

TOP BOOKS

I got through some goodies this year and ended the year with two Witcher books that both turned out as adventurous as I’d hoped they’d be! I began the year with Hesse’s Siddhartha and enjoyed the introspective journey. I also made the first Gulag volume my ultimate summer read and had a blast getting through it. At this rate, I might make each volume a summer read or something. Some would think I’m insane. And then there’s Frankl’s magnum opus which really shows a unique way to interpret life.

TOP COMICS

The only one that snatched five stars from me is the third The Walking Dead compendium. I’m pretty excited to get around to the fourth and final compendium in 2023. I also recently got around to reading the latest volume of Debbie Tung’s work which tackled anxiety in a beautiful and visual way. I’m currently working my way through the Deadly Class series and am having fun with these stories although the YA school-setting drama does get annoying here and then. Zdarsky’s Daredevil run is another highlight this year. I’m pretty glad that the man is getting more opportunities now. I couldn’t end the year without mentioning a Batman graphic novel so I picked Night Cries as my favourite read. The painting artwork and the unique subject matter made for a beautiful read. It reminds me that there are still great stories that can be told about the Caped Crusader.

TOP MANGA

I’m really glad that I rekindled my love for manga/anime a couple of years ago. It has been such a blast rereading old favourites and being up-to-date with new ones. This year, I reread the whole Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series and loved the experience. I’m also rereading Naruto but the progress has been stalled by my reading partner (my girlfriend)–sorry, I had to expose you here–but I can’t be wrong in thinking that we’ll get it done in 2023 with only a couple of more volumes to go. Two ongoing series that are still incredible to this day and that I love getting through but dread their end, especially the first one, are My Hero Academia (now at volume 36) and Kaiju No. 8 (now at volume 8).

MOVIES.

I further cemented the idea that I’m a movie guy than a TV series person this year. My love for cinema continued to grow this year and am quite excited to keep this up throughout 2023. This year, I got around to watching 135 movies (around 11 per month). It’s less than the previous year but a number that I’m quite comfortable with, considering everything else I do in my life. Here’s a gallery of all the movies I saw and their respective ratings (see my profile on Letterboxd for more information).

You can flip through the slideshow to see the rest of the movies!

TOP 5 MOVIES

The only one that got all five stars for me this year is Everything Everywhere All at Once and, honestly, if you haven’t seen it, you have to! The other four that stood out for me are, obviously The Batman, I mean, come on! I also got around to watching Marcel and found out that the buzz around this little fellow is well worth your time! I got around to finally watching the epic and super long classic, The Sound of Music, and what a movie that was! Earlier in the year, I also saw the Korean movie I Saw the Devil which probably was the goriest yet most philosophical movie on revenge.

VIDEO GAMES.

Both Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarök are my picks for Game of the Year, this year. I also started to replay the Uncharted franchise, the remastered versions, and both the first and the second games are as amazing as I remember them to be. I got around to finishing up the last Doom: Eternal game and I look forward to when (or if) there will be a new one. And, of course, the wonderful world of Horizon, with its new sequel, Forbidden West, was a blast to get through!

LIFE.

I’m really content with how 2022 turned out. With it beginning with us becoming homeowners and setting up the place to fit with who we are, it really allowed us to start fresh, with the foundation that we wanted to have for the rest of the year. The year allowed us to learn a new routine, to become responsible in so many different spheres of our lives, and to organize ourselves as we wish to.

The year also served as a pseudo-sabbatical year from anything related to the university and I really feel like it did a lot of good for my conscious to simply enjoy life to the fullest. The coming year will probably be a whole different challenge but I look forward to taking it on head first. Work, however, allowed me to really grow, cement my own reputation and expertise in my domain, and enjoy what I do, knowing what it will all serve in the end.

I ended up doing way more traveling than ever thought I would but considering the years before were mostly troubled by the presence of a pandemic, I’m glad that I was able to discover new places around the world, from the States to Europe. Add in the monthly random country project, and I find myself learning new things all the time, more than I ever did in a while. Speaking of learning, my progress with the Italian language is also going smoothly and I find it pretty cool to have that in my utility belt.

One thing’s for sure, it was quite the journey this year to try and establish a new routine that worked for me and I find that it was a success in the end. I hope that throughout 2023, I’ll be able to continue doing the things I love and avoid any form of unnecessary disappointment.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that 2022 was also the year where this blog, Roars and Echoes, was created. Despite having blogged for over seven years, I am beyond happy to have made that mood and to have this digital space for myself, to be able to interact with all of you awesome folks, and to know that I can use this environment as a creative outlet.

I wish you all a wonderful new year, blooming with new resolutions and dreams, and I hope you’ll all take a moment to reflect on this past year, remember all the people you care about, and take some time for yourself to appreciate how much you’ve grown.


Happy New Year, everyone!

Stay safe and read another book! 😉

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48 thoughts on “A Year in Review – 2022

  1. So had you never seen the sound of music before? Just wondering how you got through growing up without at least seeing it on tv on some holiday. But anyway, glad you’ve got that landmark under your belt 🙂

    And congrats on hitting your goal of 225. I like how you broke down the various formats. I’m thinking maybe I should start doing that for ’23. With novels, short stories, comics and manga/graphic novels, it can be a bit misleading to others to say “Bookstooge read X”.

    While I am sorry for the circumstances that led to the creation of Roars & Echoes, I am glad you kept on blogging. I can’t remember, which rss feeder do you use again? Is it Feedly?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve only seen scenes of it here and there but I honestly don’t recall it getting many reruns on TV growing up. It might have something to do with who had the rights to the movie or something cause, in comparison, I might have seen The Wizard of Oz 20430432x times.

      Yep, I thought I’d break it up like that so that everyone understands how I balance out my reading across the year. I imagine I could reach 50-75 novels a year if I stopped comics/manga altogether, for example hahah Choices, right? 😛 I do have to say that its also annoying that I count omnibuses as 1 book when they actually contain multiple stories.

      Don’t be sorry. I’m 200% happy that it allowed me to have Roars & Echoes. Sure, I lose some statistical numbers as a result of it but those things don’t matter when now I have my own space with my own statistics that better represent me and what I want to achieve.

      I never really looked into any other RSS reader and still use the WordPress one. I’ve tried Feedly once but wasn’t able to stick to it hahah

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      1. I’ll bet rights issues WAS a big reason. Bleeding hollywood.

        Choices indeed. I like the idea because of reading the individual issues of comics. There is a HUGE difference between a 24page issue of Bone and a tankouban (spelling?) of One Piece. And there’s an even bigger difference between a volume of One Piece and a novel by Wodehouse 🙂 Given that is why I record the pages and words, but there are times I think that is lost on people and they just see the one big number. So thanks for inspiring a little bit of change in how I’m going to do things in ’23. I need all the inspiration I get at the moment 🙂

        It is good that your courage is high about the blog. I think you do an excellent job and it is always fun to read your thoughts and interact with you. Looking forward to more of it in ’23.

        Huh, that’s weird. But that’s what happens when I follow over 40 people. Trying to keep track of details is beyond me and I either lose stuff or mix it up. Good to know. you still use the WP reader. I just get so frustrated with WP sometimes that I want to quit it all and then it takes me days to settle down and get calm and rational again 😀 Which is why I try never to make a big blogging decision when I’m upset!

        I just realized I hadn’t said anything about your movies. I know you’re not a movie blogger (and if I’m honest, I’m glad. I get enough with the couple of other people I follow who are) but my goodness, how do you fit that many in? That’s roughly 2-3 every week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Then again, it’s either every studio for itself or one of them buys them all (see Disney…) and I don’t think we’ll ever find a perfect formula for all that anytime soon with all the different streaming services and how much $$$$ they bring in…

        Glad to inspire! You’ve done the same in my reading and blogging over the past years and I think I can safely say that your own discipline has given me motivation too. 😀

        I honestly don’t know what’s ideal when it comes to RSS readers and I don’t think I’ve got enough time to figure out a system that’s better than what I do right now. It would be nice if there was an easier way to find people committed to their blog and interact with them but it seems more complicated with each year that passes by hahah

        I can see how tired of movie reviews you must be considering that you’re following a couple of machines in that niche who pump out reviews more than breaths per day! I couldn’t start reviewing everything I watch simply because I don’t have enough time to write up that many posts. Same for all the books/comics that I read but don’t review on here. There aren’t enough days in a year for all that hahah As for how I do it.. It’s just a habit at this point. After supper, there’s always a moment where I can fit a movie, reading, or gaming. I just need to pick the one that I feel like doing and by the end of the year, I’ll have done a nice amount of each! 😀

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  2. I really would like to play Elden Ring (love the music) and God of War: Ragnarök (so curious) once I get used to using a Playstation. How do you manage to work in time for gaming among the reading, TV watching, blogging, and working too? I’m really curious and have been asking friends I know who game to get some tips. Since getting my PS4 in 2021 or so, I think I’ve used it twice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I highly recommend them both if you ever get the chance. They’re amazing worlds with different gameplay mechanics. There’s just so much to love. Hahahah it’s insane time management experience over the past years. I always have an ideal moment for all of those. Gaming, nowadays, usually comes right after work for an hour or two and on weekends, depending on social plans. I’ve also got everything set up in a way that if I ever want to play, it’s easy to turn everything on and start playing. It might be one the keys to be able to play often! 😀

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  3. Happy New Year lashaan! 226 books is amazing! I also love that you watched Tangled which is my favorite Disney movie! Also all the travels this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your list of top books. I’m right there with you regarding The Witcher books, I loved them both, as well. And though I’ve not read the others I do have ebooks of them all and hope to read each one (in good part due to your reviews).

    I don’t recall if we talked about this but what did you think of Amelie? I absolutely loved that movie and would like to do a rewatch at some point. And I’m always up for a rewatch of Paprika, one of my favorite anime and favorite creators. Dead Poet Society is another I have very fond memories of, but it was so long ago a rewatch is definitely due. I just added Everything Everywhere All at Once to the top of my queue. And great to see you watching The Sound of Music. An absolute classic.

    I’m very glad to hear both how well 2022 was for you and also how much you’re looking forward to the new challenges of 2023. I love your continuously positive attitude. It’s truly inspiring and one of the many things that keeps me coming back here for each new post. Have a great year, Lashaan, and thanks for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are so much fun to get through! I wanted to maintain the momentum and pick up the next book (a full novel) but ended up diving into Middle-Earth first. I do plan on continuing The Witcher books and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next!

      I found Amélie to be a comforting and spellbinding adventure into the Parisian landscape through the eyes of the shy, awkward, and lovely Amélie. I loved how she also learns to embrace the opportunity of love, while her story emphasizes the beauty of life through the little things that make it so discretely whimsical and enchanting. I never saw the movie before and had a good time with it.

      Paprika was awesome! I plan on checking out Millenium Actress next by Satoshi Kon (have you seen that one?) and at some point Paranoia Agent. Dead Poet Society is a classic. I’m really glad I got around to checking it out. A nice healthy dose of Robin Williams is never a bad thing after all. And what a beautiful message at the core of it too. I hope you try out Everything Everywhere All at Once. It gets my vote for Best Picture in 2022, without a doubt.

      Thank you for sticking around with me for another year, my friend. It has been a blast to exchange with you on absolutely everything again. I always do look forward to your thoughts and even your answers to my questions on your hobby. You will always be my go-to reference when it comes to photography, no questions asked! 😀 Happy New Year and stay safe, Todd!

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      1. I have seen Millennium Actress. I don’t remember many details but I do recall enjoying it. You can tell it’s one of Satoshi Kon’s works. But I don’t think I’ve seen all of Paranoia Agent yet, just bits and pieces. It looks crazy and is a series that’s long been on my list. If all goes as planned I should see Everything Everywhere All at Once either this month or next month. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You had a fun, diverse year, Lashaan, nice! I hope 2023 will be even better. Great selection of all the Top 5s, I definitely agree on the books, and the movies I’ve seen (also, I need to read more comics next year). I hope you’ll like the rest of the Witcher (and do not even try to watch the latest spin-off show… that’s something simply dumb, and ugly)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, man. I appreciate it. I saw Origin came out and was curious to see what they’ll do with the universe but it sounds like it’s a complete waste of time. Maybe once I’m done with the books, I’ll venture there and roast it or something. I hope January will prove to be a good year for you, sir. Stay safe and happy reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw Sound of Music for the first time myself last year. It was a bit long for my tastes at times, but overall it’s very good and well deserving of its classic musical status.

    As for games, I bought a PS5 with some of the money I saved with my bathroom renovation due to some changed plans. I haven’t got too far in God of War Ragnorok yet, but it’s very good so far. Also played Doom: Eternal a few months back. Such a fun game.

    Also, it’s worth congratulating you again on becoming a homeowner. I’ll be celebrating my 4-year home ownership anniversary this June.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure was a lengthy movie! Then again, for a musical, I’m okay with it and I can’t say many musicals succeed as well as it does today.

      I hope you have a blast working your way through Ragnarok. What a wonderful masterpiece it is. I do want to get more Doom in the future. They got an awesome formula to work it!

      Thanks! 4 years is an even more impressive achievement, especially considering all the renovations you had to do! Happy new year!

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      1. I wouldn’t say I needed to do those renovations. I just wanted to.

        I hope they make more Doom games in the current style as well. I admit that Doom 3 is actually my favourite of the Doom games, even if it’s not as popular as the rest, but I’ve enjoyed all of the mainline Doom games I’ve played so far. I’m planning a play through of Doom 64 sometime after I finish God of War: Ragnorok and a replay of Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight (just figured out how to make it work on a modern PC). That was the first FPS game I ever played, and even if it hasn’t aged well in several ways, it’s still quite nostalgic to me.

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  7. Happy New Year, Lashaan! Seems like this year was very fulfilling and rich for you, which is amazing! I was really pleasantly surprised to see The Sound of Music in your top movies of the year, so allow me to suggest that you visit Austria next time you come to Europe, so that you can visit the city wher they shot it 😛 As for reading the ”Gulag” series in summer, you do you ahah!
    Anyway, I hope 2023 turns out to be as exciting as the previous year, if not more!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so happy to hear that you are content with how 2022 turned out for you and am really proud of you for daring to make the move with Roars and Echoes. I think it definitely paid off!
    I always love to see these wrap-up posts by everyone, as it’s so interesting to see what people consider their highlights of the year. I, for example, didn’t expect to see Siddhartha or The Sound of Music here, but there they are haha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great year for you, Lashaan!!! 😀
    Love to see the love for DB and DBZ, Kaiju no 8 and Naruto! Our manga tastes seem very much aligned! 😉
    Also, love the love for the Witcher! These short stories are superb! 😀

    Good luck in 2023, and all the best to you and your girlfriend!

    Liked by 1 person

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