The 53 Books I have Read This Year

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This year, with the help of a eBook Reader and a Library Card, I’ve surpassed my goal to read 52 books (that’s one a week) in 2016.

I read everything cover to cover. Some of them weren’t so great but I always finish a book. In doing so, my mind was opened and I learned a lot about the lives of different people (I have a huge fascination with North Korea now), different ways of viewing the world, laughed and cried.

I love reading and I’ll continue to do so in 2017 (with probably the same goal because it is a realistic gauge of books). Follow my reading adventure on Goodreads @tianafeng

Here is a list of all the books I read starting from the most recent.

  1. This is Happy by Camilla Gibb.
  2. I’m Just A Person by Tig Notaro
  3. Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
  4. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  5. The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee
  6. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  7. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  8. Porcelain: A Memoir by Moby
  9. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  10. Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Hidden Child Survivors of the Holocaust by R.D. Rosen
  11. Bloom: navigating life and style by Estée Lalonde
  12. Now I Know More: The Revealing Stories Behind Even More of the World’s Most Interesting Facts by Dan Lewis
  13. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
  14. Something to food about: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs by Questlove
  15. Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
  16. A Kim Jong Il Production by Paul Fischer
  17. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper
  18. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  19. On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
  20. Oh Myyy! by George Takei
  21. Open City by Teju Cole
  22. Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
  23. The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
  24. QR Codes Kill Kittens by Scott Stratten
  25. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
  26. The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan W Watts
  27. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
  28. The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook
  29. The Dogs I Have Kissed by Trista Mateer
  30. Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect by Matthew D Lieberman
  31. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
  32. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
  33. Nowhere With You: The East Coast Anthems of Joel Plaskett, The Emergency and Thrush Hermit by Josh O’Kane
  34. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
  35. Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by H. Edgar Schein
  36. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  37. The Crossing by Michael Connelly
  38. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nicholas Nassim Taleb
  39. This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  40. Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
  41. Mo’ Meta Blues by Questlove
  42. Between the World and Me by Ta-neshi Coates
  43. Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love Meaning and Math by Daniel Tammet
  44. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
  45. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
  46. The Ravenous Brain by Daniel Bor
  47. Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything by Kio Stark
  48. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  49. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  50. The Door by Magda Szabo
  51. Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers by Nick Offerman
  52. People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jenn Mann
  53. Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal

Let me know what books I should check out in 2017. I’m up for anything!

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Belkin Apple Watch and Phone Dock

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My life is full of charging cables for all sorts of devices: my e-reader, my laptop, my phone, my watch. In my bachelor apartment, it is really hard to walk anywhere without tripping over some kind of chord.

So it was perfect that my dad got me a Belkin charging dock that can do both my Apple Watch and iPhone and have one less cable on the ground!
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2016 Wasn’t So Bad

This year has been full of horrible public events: beloved celebrity deaths (David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Carrie Fisher etc.), Brexit, Donald Trump being voted as the next President of the USA.

People blame the year. I know I have tweeted a fair amount of “Fuck 2016″s.

Why is that?

I think it’s because we hope and believe that 2017 will be better.

The thing is we can’t change things we can’t control (celebrity lifespans).

If we look into our own individual lives, this year wasn’t so bad. I had many new adventures, got to see my best friend and her newborn baby, eat delicious food, and achieve a few of my personal goals of the year.

It’s up to us to make 2017 better. We can decide what things we can control and how we can achieve them.

Carrie Fisher Was A Strong Princess

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Carrie Fisher died yesterday from a heart attack at the age of 60. She was most known to the entire world as Princess Leia from Star Wars.

To boys, she was an object of their fantasy, but to women, she was a feisty but powerful person both in the films and in real life.

“You don’t have to always be comfortable. You don’t have to like everything you do,” Fisher said in one of her last interviews with Rolling Stone. She was an outspoken hero of mental health, an early figure who helped decrease the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

She was also against sexist standards and body shaming. “Stop debating whether I aged well,” she said in the Guardian.

She taught me to be open and brave. She taught thousands of girls that we can be both the beautiful princess and a fearless leader.

Momofuku Shoto

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Nash and I always book an indulgent dinner when we’re celebrating something, so we decided on Momofuku Shoto for our Christmas date.

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There’s no à la carte menu, only a tasting menu for $120, full of surprises if you’ve never been. We were seated with others around an open kitchen where we curiously watched as the chefs in front of us shuffled about. We also spoiled ourselves with the $85 drink pairing, meticulously curated drinks for many  of the courses. I didn’t take a photos of most of the bottles because I was too busy listening to why each drink went so well with the dish! The world of drinks is still a mystery to me.

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Our first snack was a Chawanmushi, an egg custard that was delicate and smooth.

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Then we had a smoked mackerel fritter.

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And an anchovy puff. All three of these snacks went with a white ale from Japan called Hitachino’s Nest.

Those were just the snacks! Here are the mains:

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Striped bass – kale, pink peppercorn, habanero
Drink pairing –  Chardonnay, Domaine Baud: Blank de Blancs

The bass was super fresh and I would not think to ever pair it with kale, but it worked and provided a compliment of texture.

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Dry aged sirloin- tokyo turnip, mustard green
Drink pairing – Junmai Miyasaka Brewing Co.: Okuden Kanzukuri

I loved the crunchy texture of the flakes of rice in the beef.

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Lobster- sea urchin, diver scallop
Drink pairing – 2013 Chardonnay, Pearl Morisette: Cuvee Metis

There was an impressive emulsion of the lobster shell that made me want to learn food science. There was a delicate heat to this dish that paired so well with the chardonnay.

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Noodle- lamb, sichuan, celery
Drink pairing – 2014 Pinos Gris, J.M. Sohler: Grand Cru Winzenberg

The lamb was so tender, and noodles perfectly cooked.

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Cod – wild rice, ginger, chive
Drink pairing – 2011 Marsanne + Friends, Chateau Lascaux 

This cod melted in my mouth and I loved the broth so much I sipped it straight from the bowl when (I thought) no one was looking.

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There was a palette cleanser after the cod of sourdough bread and sweet sorghum butter.

dscf4496Muscovy duck – cabbage, kabocha, sorghum
Drink pairing – 2014 Syrah, Frederic Brouca, Faugeres

The roasted kabocha (a winter squash) was one of my favourite parts of this dish. The duck was also delectable.

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Welsh Rarebit – 5 year old cheddar, comté, truffle

Real truffles are always a treat and this fried cheese was to die for.

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I started eating this before I took a photo so… this is not what it looked like
Raisin– chocolate, orange

I have a secret: I hate raisins, but the fact that they transformed an ingredient I hated into a delicious ice cream with lovely flavour profile proves their mastery of tastes.

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Leche flan

The desserts were all paired with: Barolo Chinato Cocchi from Italy.

We were very impressed with every part of our meal at Momofuku Shoto. It was fun and exquisite. We haven’t been to the other restaurants in the family yet, but we’re excited to try them too!

Momofuku Shōtō Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I Got An Akai MPK Mini for Christmas

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For Christmas, one of the things Nash got me was an Akai MPK Mini, my first MIDI keyboard. I still don’t know much about music production but now I have no excuse not to try it!

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I started to teach myself Ableton with the help of Lynda.com (free Premium subscription with a Toronto Library Card). Maybe one day I will have a complete song to share with all of you!

Bf gave me Christmas present early. Let's make some noise 😎

A post shared by Tiana Feng (@tianafeng) on

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas! Hope your weekend has been filled with fun time with your loved ones.

I Went to Ripley’s Aquarium!

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I went to Ripley’s Aquarium for the first time on Thursday. I won tickets from a contest that I didn’t actually enter (I used a hashtag for a music festival and unknowingly won stuff).

Anyways, here are some photos of exotic fish and the inner world of Ripley’s.

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My First Poké at Big Tuna

I tried Hawaiian Poké for the first time this week at Big Tune Poké Bar. I had the Big Katuna with Japanese rice. It had crunchy veggies and ponzu flavoured fresh tuna. I added avocado for $1 extra. It was all super fresh tasting!

The only thing I was slightly confused about was there seemed to be a plethora of veggies and toppings available on the board but I wasn’t really offered a choice on what I wanted.

Otherwise, I’m totally into poké and can’t wait to try more around the city!
Big Tuna Poké Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Presenting a Show January 20th!

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I’m presenting a show January 20th with Exclaim! as part of their 25th anniversary and Silver Dollar’s Class of 2017 series. Find out more on the Facebook event page!