This might have been the hardest year of my life, yet I don’t think I’ve come away from this year with any significant things I’d change. I’m also entering 2024 fairly optimistic about the future and excited to I think hopefully have a great year.

Now obviously, I took a couple years off from doing this. I haven’t been writing blog posts or much of anything in the mean time. As noted this was an incredibly challenging year for reasons that I don’t think I want to get into here, but suffice to say I’ve done a lot of self reflecting this year and have ended up in a pretty good place. I think I managed to make somem nice time to enjoy the things and people I love, and I think that overall it was a positive year for me, despite all that happened.

Notably a change that’s happened in the last couple of years is that I really don’t have any sort of social media where I might go to post this. I browse reddit as a timekiller but otherwise, I really don’t engage on any of the other big sites, just the occasional browsing. So I guess this post is really more for me than anyone else.


Music was very odd for me this year. There were a handful of new releases in 2023 that I did really enjoy and resonated with me, but I would say the majority of my listening was towards discovering or rediscovering older albums.

In addition - because I haven’t written one of these in a while, I’m also just going to document albums from previous years that I’ve enjoyed, laid out probably by year until at a certain point I’ll just sorta list out specific mentions of either albums/artists that meant a lot to me this year or in the last couple.

None of these are ordered by preference, just alphabetical by album


  • No Joy - Spanish Love Songs
  • The Brightest Days - Origami Angel
  • the whaler - Home Is Where
  • Why Would I Watch - Hot Mulligan

These were all released this year and absolutely resonated with me. Multiple listens, know the words, feel it in my soul, etc. All banger albums, some of these discovered after release (Spanish Love Songs) others I listened as they came out.


  • 40z. to Fresno - Joyce Manor
  • Being Funny In A Foreign Language - The 1975
  • Expert In A Dying Field - The Beths
  • Little Green House - Anxious
  • Pool Kids - Pool Kids
  • The Lakes of Zones B and C - Emperor X

I think I listened to most if not all of these in 2022 but they definitely carried through into 2023 for me. I think these all made it into rotation in some way.


  • Absolutely - Dijon
  • Draw Down The Moon - Foxing
  • Gami Gang - Origami Angel
  • GLOW ON - Turnstile
  • Graceful Rage - Harmony Woods
  • I Became Birds - Home Is Where
  • I Won’t Reach Out To You - Hot Mulligan
  • Internet Breath - Hey, ily!
  • Whole Damn Body - Los Campesinos!

Interestingly, this year is fairly split between albums that I listened to in 2021 and ones that I discovered later. Some of these did not quite make it into regular rotation but are still albums that I have listened to quite a few times.


Going to do a nice little comparison here and only include albums that I’ve now enjoyed that were not on my 2020 list

  • Brave Faces Everyone - Spanish Love Songs
  • Generator - Vasudeva
  • No Drive - I Love Your Lifestyle
  • This Place Sucks Ass - PUP
  • you’ll be fine - Hot Mulligan

Some of these are bands I got into after 2020 - others are albums from bands that I just missed in 2020 and picked up later down the way. If we’re moving past 2020 the list is probably long and continually moving, so lets just say that I still like a lot of the bands I liked in 2020 plus more.


My goal was to try and read 2 books per month this year. With the shit year that I ended up having the fact that I even got close is honestly great. In previous years I’d tried to read 1 book a month and had failed at achieving that, so I’m pretty happy with the 17 I ended up at. This year I did read the most books I’ve read since 2020 - which I think is a testament to how improved my mental health is at this point in spite of the challenging year.

Because I haven’t written for previous years - I’ll do the same thing for books that I did for music which is to list some favorites that I read in 2022/2021 that I would have included in those year end lists. No runner ups for those years though.

2020 Books

2023 Favorites

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue - V.E. Schwab
  • Just Like Home - Sarah Gailey
  • Figures Unseen: Selected Stories - Steve Rasnic Tem
  • The Cabinet - Un-su Kim

Obiously one of these stands out as not in my usual genre (horror) of book, but I really have to say that the Invisible Life was one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory. I’ve waxed poetic about it to people that have asked what I’ve read (also because they usually don’t want to hear about horror). Otherwise, the other books were all wonderful reads.

2023 Runner Ups

  • Ninth House - Leigh Bardugo
  • Hell Bent - Leigh Bardugo
  • Mordew - Alex Pheby
  • Nettle & Bone - T. Kingfisher
  • The Decagon House Murders - Yukito Ayatsuji

These are all books that I very much enjoyed but wouldn’t rate quite as highly either as other books by the same author or just in general enjoyment for me. Still very much enjoyed all of them but just a step below these other ones. I’m happy with the amount of reading I did this year, in spite of a large dearth of reading in the spring due to life circumstances

2022 Favorites

  • Mexican Gothic - Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories Vol. 1 - Valancourt Books
  • The Village of Eight Graves - Seishi Yokomizo
  • Bunny - Mona Awad
  • The Hollow Places - T. Kingfisher
  • Death on Gokumon Island - Seishi Yokomizo
  • The Elementals - Michael McDowell

2022 was a great year for reading for me. I really enjoyed a lot of books and that was partially the reason for my optimistic 2 books a month goal. Would have been easier to hit if I found more books like these to be honest!

2021 Favorites

  • The Honjin Murders - Seishi Yokomizo
  • Mongrels - Stephen Graham Jones
  • Normal - Warren Ellis

I will not name the book that killed 2021 reading for me, because it’s from an author I otherwise enjoy but suffice to say most of the year was spent slogging through an absolutely terrible read.


I don’t usually include games here! To be honest I think that’s because previously most games were just a distraction from DOTA. While that still rung true this year, although I’m moving back away from dota, I actually spent a lot of the last couple years playing some other games.

I’m going to again lump games into year that I first played them/purchased them, and I’m pretty much just going to do steam games. For the switch - I think I got Kirby and that’s probably the only new switch game I’ve bought since Smash or Splatoon.

Got in 2023

  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Your Only Move Is HUSTLE
  • Against The Storm
  • Lethal Company
  • Severed Steel
  • Counter Strike 2

Biggest standout for me is Against The Storm - has become a new staple game for me. Currently grinding up Prestiges - up to 10 - extremely fun to play, scratches an insatiable itch between strategy/colony games that the replayability/roguelike-ness just absolutely magnifies.

Honorable Mention: SF6 was disappointing, not super fun, and have not really played it much since release.

Got in 2022

  • Vampire Survivors
  • Inscryption
  • Neon White
  • Northgard
  • Dome Keeper
  • Dwarf Fortress
  • Rounds

Inscryption and Neon White were both absolutely amazing new releases in 2022. Northgard filled my strategy itch prior to Against The Storm being on my radar and the rest I think are self explanatory. Multiversus sucked.

Anyway, steam doesn’t do reviews prior to that and I’m too lazy to dig through my purchase history to figure it out.

Been a couple years, did a lot, enjoyed a lot of things. The other half of this my therapist told me to do was to reflect on things I’m proud of myself for acheiving or doing this year, which I will do, privately.

Happy new year.