2018 ranked | songs I’ve played on repeat part 2

Last week, I posted my first ‘songs I’ve played on repeat’ post featuring some of my most listened to K-pop songs of 2018. I realized it best to split the posts up when I tried to write down all the songs I feel deserve a place in this ‘2018 ranked’ post. I listen to music all the time, so I didn’t think it fair to only choose 10 songs in total. While I talked solely about K-pop last week, I’ll talk about music from other countries today.

Here are some more songs I kept playing last year! These weren’t all released in 2018, I just listened to them last year. Thank the universe I live alone so I don’t have to annoy anyone else by constantly listening to the same songs. 

Moulin Rouge – El Tango de Roxanne

I don’t know why I suddenly became obsessed with this song in 2018, since I didn’t even rewatch the movie. This song is just so epic, and I could listen to it again and again. Especially the part where everyone is screaming at the end and it’s just one powerful battle in your ears.

PENTATONIX – Havana

I know everyone got sick and tired of listening to Havana, but Pentatonix released their cover of the song in February 2018 and I absolutely adore it. I always love their songs because their harmonies are truly out of this world, but this one has stuck with me throughout the entire year.

BLØF ft. Geike Arnaert – Zoutelande

I know this song was released at the end of 2017, but even in 2018 you couldn’t go anywhere in Belgium without hearing this song on the radio. It grew on me, and I still listen to it every now and then. I also heard Zoutelande has seen quite the increase in tourism after the release of this song!

The Weeknd – Call Out My Name

Another artist who can do no wrong in terms of music, in my opinion. I don’t even know what to say at this point, because I’m sure absolutely everyone has heard this song before. If you haven’t, how is that possible?

Avicii – Feeling Good

This song was used in an episode of Sense8, and I had to look it up immediately so I could add it to my playlist. It’s an incredible cover of Nina Simone’s song Feeling Good, and the way they blended the song with the show itself was mind-blowing.

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

A song that’s 5 or 6 years old this time around! I don’t know why I suddenly started listening to Do I Wanna Know? again, but it happened.

Lady Gaga – Always Remember Us This Way

You knew I’d have a song from A Star is Born on this list, didn’t you? I watched this movie last year, and this song truly touched me. To me, it was the second most memorable song of the entire movie. Although a lot of people preferred Shallow, I thought Always Remember Us This Way was the right song to add to my playlist.

Lovers in the night
Poets trying to write
We don’t know how to rhyme
But, damn, we try
But all I really know
You’re where I wanna go
The part of me that’s you will never die

Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes – A Million Dreams

Another song from a musical, I’m well aware. I actually prefer this cover by Matt Bloyd and Colton Haynes to the original. If you didn’t know, A Million Dreams originally comes from the movie The Greatest Showman, which I’d highly recommend watching if you haven’t done so already.

The Oh Hellos – Hello My Old Heart

I came across this song in a Spotify playlist with music ideal for calming baths – I can’t remember the actual title, sorry. I think this song is quite ‘old’ already since this video was posted in 2011 but I had never heard it before. It’s absolutely beautiful though.

Ariana Grande – God Is a Woman

Could I really make a list without adding Ariana Grande to it? While I’d say her song thank u, next was even more popular than this one, I’m quite partial to God is a woman.


There you have it! An additional few songs I kept on playing in 2018. It’s a mix of old and new songs, which I’m really happy with. Have you heard these songs before? Which are your most played songs of the year?

2018 ranked | songs I’ve played on repeat – K-pop edition

Obviously, this edition of ‘ranked 2018’ will be a bit different. I can’t post all the music I listened to in 2018 from my least favorite to favorite because the post would be endless. Just the thought of doing that gives me nightmares… Instead, I’ll talk about some of my favorite songs of the year! The ones I’ve played over and over again, and don’t seem to get sick of.

Not all of these songs were released in 2018, I just happened to listen to them during said year. I also didn’t rank them, so I guess this is an unranked episode of ranked.

When I started compiling this list, I realized just how many songs I’ve truly loved this year and knew I had to split this up in several posts… This is part 1: the K-pop edition.

NCT U – Baby Don’t Stop

The long-awaited comeback of Ten. Baby Don’t Stop and Boss are the songs that truly got me into NCT’s music. I wasn’t a huge fan of their previous songs, aside from Cherry Bomb, but this one absolutely blew me away. Ten and Taeyong’s chemistry is through the roof, they work so well together. This song came out in February 2018 and I’ve been listening to it ever since.

NCT U – BOSS

Like I mentioned earlier, Boss is one of the songs that actually introduced me to NCT. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t listen to them much. I knew from the first second of this video that this song would be more my style, and I wasn’t wrong. I finally learned the members’ names after Boss, and that’s when I fell into the black hole that’s called being a fan of this group.

EXO – Electric Kiss

I know that this is technically a Japanese release and album, but EXO is still a Korean group so I’m putting it in the K-pop category. I feel like so many people skip over Electric Kiss because it wasn’t a full MV/a Korean release but I absolutely love this song. It’s one of my favorites from EXO, to be honest. Plus, the dance practice is so satisfying to watch.

EXO – Love Shot

The comeback we’d been waiting for. I know they came back with Tempo after a year (more than a year?) and I do love that song as well. However, it’s not as catchy as Love Shot. This song got stuck in my head constantly after its release in December. Sidenote: can we appreciate how good everyone looks in this MV? But especially Kyungsoo. There, I said it.

Stray Kids – District 9

2018 was truly the year of Stray Kids. This group is so talented and hardworking, I can’t believe they only debuted last year. They’ve created some of my favorite songs, and the messages they put out to the world are wonderful. District 9 is a song that always manages to hype me up.

Stray Kids – Voices

Like I said before, the messages Stray Kids put out in the world through their songs are fantastic. If you haven’t listened to their music yet, please give this song a try. Don’t forget to turn on CC to read the English subtitles!

MONSTA X – Destroyer

In June 2018, I was lucky enough to see Monsta X in concert in Amsterdam. I can’t give you an MV of Destroyer because it wasn’t a title track and therefore doesn’t have one. However, this is one of my all-time favorite Monsta X songs. Partially influenced by I.M, since his rap verse in Destroyer is my favorite.

MONSTA X – Tropical Night

I wasn’t really aware of this song’s existence before going to the concert in June. When they performed it, however, the atmosphere and vibe the song created was so incredibly nice. I’ve been listening to it ever since, and it always puts me in a good mood.

DAY6 – I Need Somebody

If I had to choose 2 DAY6 songs to listen to for the rest of my life, I Need Somebody would be one of them. This song gets me every time. It never fails to make me emotional. It honestly feels like I’m listening to it for the first time every single time. Besides, the lyrics are so relateable.

DAY6 – I Like You

Before you ask, yes, this would be my second pick. I Like You was the song that made me a fan of DAY6. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, and I’ll continue to do so for years. It’s just SO BEAUTIFUL.

DAY6 – Shoot Me

And finally, a 2018 DAY6 release. Shoot Me is once again very different than their previous songs. I feel like DAY6 changes the style and genre of their songs with every comeback, yet they never fail to sound like a ‘DAY6’ song either. They haven’t had a single comeback I didn’t love. I’m fairly certain they’re incapable of making bad songs.

iKON – Killing Me

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to Killing Me. I know that Love Scenario is their most popular song, but I don’t love it that much. Killing Me is more my style. If you haven’t listened to iKon’s music before, maybe give this one a go! Also, B.I looks so good in this MV. He truly is killing me.

Mamamoo – Egotistic

MAMAMOO is probably my favorite girl group at the moment. Their songs are catchy and beautiful, their harmonies incredible, and the amount of talent these women have is out of this world. Egotistic is one of my favorite songs from MAMAMOO, and I listened to it countless times in 2018. Can’t forget to mention how insanely gorgeous they all are. Girl crush right here.

ASTRO – Always You

Always You was quite a different release for ASTRO. The group tends to focus on more of a ‘cute vibe’ which is evident in their songs Baby and Crazy, Sexy, Cool. Their previous releases had been upbeat and adorable. Always You has a more serious tone, as it’s a message from the group to their fans. Thank you for waiting for us, I’m sorry we couldn’t be back earlier. Due to the problems the management of their company, Fantagio, had faced.

Chanyeol x Sehun – We Young

MORE EXO! Well, part of EXO… Chanyeol and Sehun came out with their own song last year, and I was here for it. This song is upbeat and fun, which is exactly what I needed. Don’t sleep on this release, everyone!

SUPER JUNIOR – Otra Vez

K-pop and Latin music combined their powers in Super Junior and Reik’s Otra Vez. Super Junior has been around for quite a long time, and here’s the reason why. They still make fantastic music!

ATEEZ – Pirate King

Rookies on the list! ATEEZ debuted in late 2018 with the songs Pirate King and Treasure. I absolutely love both debut songs, but I listened to Pirate King a tad more often. These guys are so talented, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for them. P.S. they’ve already released a new song Say My Name which is fantastic too. 2019 is clearly going to be their year.

Sunmi – Siren

Is Sunmi the only solo artist on this list? Well, she deserves a spot of her own because this woman is fierce. Gashina might be her most famous release but I adore Siren too. She came out with this song in September 2018, and it has been playing on repeat in my head ever since.

Big Bang – BAE BAE

Bae Bae might be the oldest song on this list, but I couldn’t not include it. Every K-pop fan has heard of Big Bang, the ‘Kings of K-pop’. While I was familiar with them and knew some of their songs, I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know all that much about them. I started listening to Bae Bae after going to The Rose’s concert in Berlin where they performed a cover of this song. It has such a good vibe! Never mind this weird af music video though. I’ll definitely rectify my past mistakes and learn more about Big Bang in 2019.


Obviously, I listened to a lot more K-pop songs than only these but I think it’s safe to say my 2018 was shaped by these songs. I’ll make a part 2 of this list soon where I’ll talk about the other music (thus not K-pop) I listened to in the past year. Have you listened to any of these songs? Who’s your favorite artist? Let’s talk about it!

 

My favorite books of the year | best in books (2018)

It’s time for my most anticipated blog post of the year. Even though it’s already 2019 and I’m really the only one anticipating its release. Anyway! Today, I’m talking about my favorite books of the past year. I didn’t create this list with a specific number in mind. I simply went through the books I read in 2018 and picked out the ones I truly loved, and I still think about today. Not every book I gave 5 stars will be on this list. I can’t really explain why that is, but I hope you’ll understand. These are the BEST books I read in 2018 – not necessarily released in the past year.

Titles of the books/series will take you to the Goodreads page.

BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR BY MARK LAWRENCE

This year I fell in love with Mark Lawrence’s writing. Specifically, his Book of the Ancestor series. Red Sister was one of the first books I read in 2018 and it completely blew my mind. It’s a series about assassin nuns, spy nuns, and magic-wielding nuns that focuses on Nona. When the books start Nona is very young (around 8 I think) and you watch her grow up and train at the Convent of Sweet Mercy. It’s SO GOOD. After loving the first book, I was afraid Grey Sister wouldn’t live up to my expectation. Color me surprised when I ended up loving it just as much/even more than I did the first book. I can’t wait for the release of the last book, Holy Sister.

Read my review of Red sister here.
Read my review of Grey Sister here.

IF WE WERE VILLAINS BY M.L. RIO

This book caught me by surprise. I picked it up on a whim at the library because it was described as ideal for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. You may know that said book is one of my all-time favorites, so reading that made me take it with me. It blew my mind! It was so good. I had never heard anyone talk about  If We Were Villains before, although I’ve seen some more reviews pop up in the past 6 months. If you don’t know what this is about, it follows a guy called Oliver who just served 10 years for a murder he may or may not have committed. The victim? One of his conservatory friends. They all attended the same elite conservatory where they studied Shakespeare. Seriously, read this.

Read my review of If We Were Villains here.

THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET BY BECKY CHAMBERS

I can’t count the amount of times this book was recommended to me before I bought myself a copy. It was on every science fiction recommendation list. It was on every LGBT+ SFF recommendation list. After reading it, I can see why. This is a very slow-paced science fiction novel, focused more on character development than action. You follow the crew of the Wayfarer as they take on a big job – they tunnel wormholes through space. If somehow you haven’t read this, please give it a try. Even if you don’t like science fiction!

I was going to link my review here, but then realized I never actually wrote one. Oops.

PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE

Prepare to feel your heart break in a million little pieces while reading this novel. If you don’t know, this is an adult fiction book set in Korea and Japan spanning 8 decades. It follows multiple generations of a Korean family as they try to survive in trying times. I’ll just say it now: not many good things happen in their lives. This is a SAD book. But it’s absolutely brilliant at the same time. Plus, it’ll teach you some of Korea’s history as well as their relationship with Japan – during and after its annexation of Korea.

Read my review of Pachinko here.

THE KISS QUOTIENT BY HELEN HOANG

I think this book left such an impact on me because it’s the first romance book I’ve truly loved in a while. It’s centered around Stella and Michael. It has an #ownvoices autistic storyline as Stella has Asperger’s and the love interest, Michael, is Vietnamese-Swedish. It’s sweet, sexy and absolutely wonderful. I read it in the span of a few hours on the train because I just couldn’t put it down.

Also didn’t write a review of this one apparently. Get yourself together, Jolien.

EVERY FALLING STAR BY SUNGJU LEE & SUSAN MCCLELLAND

This is an autobiography I picked up at YALC during the summer, and I knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible. In Every Falling Star, Sungju Lee describes his life growing up in North Korea and his eventual escape from the country. It pretty much reads like a YA fiction book, and I had to keep reminding myself that his actually happened to him. As a child, he lived in Pyongyang and had a pretty pampered (and indoctrinated) life. Until his family was forced to move to the countryside and exiled into poverty. Sungju Lee ended up alone on the streets at age 12, stealing and begging to survive. It is a book everyone should read. I especially enjoyed hearing his thoughts on what the West (and South Korea, China, etc.) should do to prepare for an eventual reunification of Korea.

Read my review of Every Falling Star here.

THE HATE U GIVE BY ANGIE THOMAS

I know everyone already read this book in 2017 but I didn’t, okay? I’m apparently a procrastinator like that. Which is odd because I don’t tend to procrastinate much in other aspects of my life? I listened to the audiobook of The Hate U Give which I would highly recommend. I don’t think I need to say too much about this, as I’m certain most of you have already read it.

ILLUMINAE BY JAY KRISTOFF & AMIE KAUFMAN

I didn’t think I would ever read this book. I know everyone and their mother raved about this YA science fiction novel, but it just didn’t seem like a book I’d enjoy. I randomly decided to read it on a day I had to spent about 7 hours on public transport because the audiobook was available on Scribd. I’m so glad I gave it a chance! It was absolutely epic, and the audiobook is one of the best I’ve ever listened to.

THE FIFTH SEASON BY N.K. JEMISIN

Last year, I read two books from her Inheritance series and absolutely loved them. When I realized that everyone raves about this series, Broken Earth, in particular I knew I had to read it too. This book was phenomenal. I don’t quite know how to talk about it without spoiling anything, so I’ll just say this has become one of my favorite SFF books and I need you all to read it too. It’s probably best to go into it knowing as little as possible so you can discover everything by yourself.

THE WAY OF KINGS BY BRANDON SANDERSON

I finally conquered this giant book! It was worth every second. Once again, I don’t know how to explain this story to you all… It’s a high fantasy novel told through multiple POVs. It’s got magic, battle, royalty, schemes, assassins, long lost legendary Knights, and epic swords. Honestly, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted.

NIGHT BY ELIE WIESEL

I’m ending my list with my most recent read on here, and the one I’ll be thinking about for months/years to come. This is a short autobiography in which Elie Wiesel talks about his deportation to and life in Auschwitz-Birkenau. It made me feel like vomiting at times, because I find it so hard to read what humans put other humans through. But it’s important to read books like these, and talk about them, especially in these times. Not only is fascism and hate on the rise again, the number of concentration camp survivors is dwindling. We can’t forget their stories, and need to remember it happened only a few generations ago.


My favorite books of 2018. It feels weird to say that, and truly end this (reading) year! Have you read any of these? What were your favorite novels of 2018?

Movies I Watched | Best of 2017

I’ve talked about my favorite books of 2017 before, and now it’s time to address movies. Just like with my reading list, these movies were not all released in 2017. I just happened to watch them in the past year! Let’s get started. 

These are not ranked, by the way. Just a random order.

Wonder Woman // Who is surprised this made it to my list? ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. I don’t think I need to explain this pick. I loved it. I love Gal Gadot -she is the most precious human being on this planet.

Lion // This movie was so emotional. Even more so because this was based on a true story! If you somehow haven’t seen this one, please go do so.

Moana // I finally watched Moana. I know! I should’ve watched it a long time ago, but I didn’t. It was featured on so many ‘best of 2016’ lists though, so I knew I had to give it a go. I did, and now it’s featured on this list… The music was stuck in my head for months afterwards.

The Big Sick // This may be my favorite rom-com that’s been put out in a while. I think this is especially touching because this was based on Kumal’s life -and he portrays himself in the movie as well. 

Baby Driver // This is the most surprising one on my list. I don’t usually love stories centered around cars/car chases. For example, I’ve never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies because they just don’t appeal to me. But the trailer for this one looked amazing. So I watched it. And it blew me away. Ansel Elgort is absolutely genius as Baby! The way music is woven into this story is beautiful, and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for a while now. I also adored Lily James -another surprise because I didn’t really like her in Cinderella. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! I will re-watch this movie again and again, I think. 

Call Me By Your Name // Shoot me, because the feelings are too much. If you don’t know what this is about, this is the story of Elio (17) and Oliver (I think he’s like 24?). Oliver accepts an internship with Elio’s father in Northern Italy during the summer and lives with them. It’s a beautiful love story. I may have fallen in love with Elio (or Timothée Chalamet). I love that it’s a LGBT+ romance story, but it’s not about coming out or family drama or cheating. It’s just a story of first love.

dunkirk

Dunkirk // I watched this in theaters with my parents, because my dad loves movies that are WWII-related (he also loves history books and documentaries on the topic) so I thought this would be perfect for him. Dunkirk actually isn’t that far away from where we live: about a 2 hour drive! I would say that this isn’t a movie to watch when you feel like having a relaxed movie night. Watching Dunkirk is a very stressful experience. I was on edge the entire time I was watching this, because you truly feel like you’re there on that beach with the soldiers, dying. 

That’s it! I didn’t watch that many movies in 2017, but these were my absolutele favorite ones. I’m aiming to watch many more in 2018 and I’ve already created a list of movies I am most anticipating. I’ll be posting that one soon, so we can fangirl about the upcoming movies together.


Have you seen any of these movies?
Which movies are on your best-of-2017 list?

My Favorite Reads of 2017

It’s time to announce my favorite books of 2017! As always, these were not necessarily published in 2017, I just happened to read them this year. I don’t stick to a specific number either. Instead I pick and choose the ones that stand out to me most. Let’s get into it! 

I’m not counting re-reads for this!

 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // This is probably no surprise, because I’ve been raving about it ever since I read it in the first half of the year. I loved the story, Frances was incredibly relateable and I appreciate the conversation on asexuality and demisexality here!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // This one hit me hard. It’s such an important book on rape, trauma and rape culture. It addresses slut-shaming and victim-blaming in a way I believe is really important for teenagers to read.

 

Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop // This series is probably going to be in every favorites list, for as long as it goes on.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // There’s a lot more contemporary in this list than I expected there to be. I think for me personally, Molly was a main character I could relate to. It may even have been the first time I could understand a girl so well. Plus, Reid!

 

Assassin’s Quest (Farseer #3) by Robin Hobb // Love this trilogy! This was actually my favorite of the three. I adore the Fool, and Nighteyes.

Am I Normal Yet (Spinster Club #1) by Holly Bourne // More contemporary! This is such an important novel on female friendship, feminism, dating and OCD.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon // One word: adorable. This was such a cute story! It made me smile multiple times while reading and has ensured that I will pick up anything Sandhya Menon will write. 

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown // I don’t read a lot of sci fi, but this book is so popular I had to give it a go. And I ended up loving it! It is quite brutal and violent, but as far as a rebellion story goes, I think that vibe fits it really well. 

 

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb // More Robin Hobb! I just started her Liveship Traders trilogy, which comes after the Farseer one in her Realm of the Elderlings series. The most interesting part? Ships that come alive!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // This is an incredible historical fiction novel. It’s funny, witty yet addresses tough topics such as abuse, sexism, disability, etc too. The romance between Monty and his best friend Percy was so cute as well. 

jane eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë // A classic on my favorites list… Who would’ve thought? This classic managed to surprise me. I thought it was going to be boring/a struggle to get through because it’s not very short. But I flew through it and absolutely adored it! It might be my favorite classic so far (not counting The Lord of the Rings). 


There you go, my favorite reads of the year!
Have you read any of these? 

What were your favorite reads of 2017?

 

 

Some of my favorite non-fiction reads

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’m not really reading anything at the moment. I’m probably in the worst reading slump I have ever been in (it’s been about 3 months now) and it doesn’t look like it’s about to end. I’m especially sad about this because I really wanted to participate in Non Fiction November again. Since I can’t do that, I thought I’d just make a post and video on my favorite non fiction reads so far. 

Quiet by Susan Cain // This may well be my favorite non fiction book ever. Mostly because I read it at the time in my life when I needed it most. This book is about introverts, and how we can thrive in a western society that values extroverts. At university, I really struggled with balancing my health and what I wanted with my friends and what everyone else was doing. Reading this helped me understand what being an introvert is, and how that isn’t a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. 

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin // I received this book as a gift from Inge (thank you!) and I really enjoyed it. I do think that Gretchen Rubin is privileged, which is why she was able to do this whole year-long happiness project in the first place. But I really liked some of the things she said, like making an interest-list so you can keep track of every little thing that piques your interest (and look into it later without forgetting).

The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal // I read this book because I listened to her Ted Talk (which I’d highly recommend you do as well). The idea that changing your mindset on stress could be beneficial for your body and mind is intriguing to me. 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // This is only 50 pages, which means that there’s no excuse not to read it. It’s such an important read!

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg // I like reading about things like habits! I’m always trying to improve my routines and habits, so I can lead a healthier life. This was a really interesting and easy read, that I’d highly recommend. 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui // This is a graphic memoir on Thi Bui and her family. It portrays her family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States. First of all, the artwork here is beautiful. And then there’s the story. I don’t really know much about Vietnam, so this memoir taught me a lot. There’s a lot of pain and hurt in this story, so be prepared for that when you pick it up.


I haven’t read that much non fiction, but these are some of my favorites so far. Have you read any of these? Which non fiction books are your faves?