I thought I’d be able to keep up with reading at least a book a week, like I had in 2016, but 2017 was full of a lot of twists and turns that kept me busy.
The books I read this year tended to be much longer as well. Here are all 49 ordered from most recently read:
- The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero
- Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 by Lizzy Goodman
- Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson
- Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti
- Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race by Naban Ruthnum
- Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevigne
- Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
- In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
- Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
- Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America by Samhita Mukopadhyay
- Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self by Alex Tizon
- Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter
- Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
- The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
- All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers by Alana Massey
- American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton
- The Only Pirate at the Party by Linsey Sterling
- The Canadaland Guide to Canada by Jesse Brown
- This is Where It Ends by Marieke Jijkamp
- 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
- Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev
- Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work by Sarah Vermunt
- Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together by Ardent Rose
- Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness by Shawn Micallef
- You Don’t Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent
- Bowie by Simon Critchley
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
- The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
- The Girls by Emma Cline
- Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott
- The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake
- One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
- Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
- So Sad Today by Melissa Broder
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
- You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice by Tom Vanderbilt
- Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
- The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
- How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell
- Mister Monkey by Francise Prose
- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Ariana Huffington
- The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
- Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
- Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
- Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil
- The Promise of Canada: 150 Years–Building a Great Country One Idea at a Time by Charlotte Gray
- Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty by Ben Ratliff
- Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett
You can find what I thought of all these books on Goodreads. I’m already well on my way to reading through 2018, with a lot of books on hold at the library.
Let me know what books you’ve enjoyed in 2017! I’m always open to suggestions on what to read next.
Jenny Lawson, the writer of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend It Never Happened, recently released a colouring book called You Are Here. It’s full of beautiful drawings by Lawson as well as tidbits of humour and advice.
I love it so much. The drawings are not like any other colouring book you’ve ever seen and the quotes make me laugh, learn and possibly cry.
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.
- This is Happy by Camilla Gibb.
- I’m Just A Person by Tig Notaro
- Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
- The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
- The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee
- An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
- China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
- Porcelain: A Memoir by Moby
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
- Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Hidden Child Survivors of the Holocaust by R.D. Rosen
- Bloom: navigating life and style by Estée Lalonde
- Now I Know More: The Revealing Stories Behind Even More of the World’s Most Interesting Facts by Dan Lewis
- Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
- Something to food about: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs by Questlove
- Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
- A Kim Jong Il Production by Paul Fischer
- The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
- Oh Myyy! by George Takei
- Open City by Teju Cole
- Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
- The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
- QR Codes Kill Kittens by Scott Stratten
- The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
- The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan W Watts
- Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
- The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook
- The Dogs I Have Kissed by Trista Mateer
- Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect by Matthew D Lieberman
- The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
- I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
- Nowhere With You: The East Coast Anthems of Joel Plaskett, The Emergency and Thrush Hermit by Josh O’Kane
- The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
- Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by H. Edgar Schein
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
- The Crossing by Michael Connelly
- Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nicholas Nassim Taleb
- This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
- Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
- Mo’ Meta Blues by Questlove
- Between the World and Me by Ta-neshi Coates
- Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love Meaning and Math by Daniel Tammet
- The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
- So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
- The Ravenous Brain by Daniel Bor
- Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything by Kio Stark
- Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
- Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
- The Door by Magda Szabo
- Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers by Nick Offerman
- People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jenn Mann
- Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal
Let me know what books I should check out in 2017. I’m up for anything!
My friend Jimena recently Kickstarted the first in a series of books for girls. Queens Girls are stories of real women turned into fairy tales in hopes of inspiring girls to follow their dreams. They want to break the stereotypical roles girls are usually put into in stories: the caretaker or the love interest.
With each book purchase, they’ll also donate it to a child struggling to dream. I love this idea!
The first one will be of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman in the world to get a pilot’s license.
The illustrations are beautiful and I can’t wait to see what else they will release.
Check out their Kickstarter for more info!
This is super dorky but I am so excited to finally have a Toronto Library card. In Toronto, if you don’t have one (it is free), you’re totally missing out. Besides checking out books here are a variety of things you can get access to with a card!
– Borrow digital eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and more
– Use practise rooms, theatres and meeting rooms
– Attend classes
– get limited tickets to museums for free (check local library weekly in the morning for availability)
– 3D printer
– Access a recording studio
– Digital Design workspaces
– Free access to online learning libraries such as Lynda, Safari, Mango and Gale
I recently finished Josh O’Kane’s Nowhere With You, a biography of Canadian singer Joel Plaskett. I read it swiftly as it was very easy to pick up. It beautiful romanticized the East Coast and I have a vast appreciation for the music and industry that has come from there.
It’s so hard to make a living making music without leaving home for the big city, something I don’t actually have much experience in as I am lucky enough to be from the city (kind of). I love how O’Kane told the stories of how certain songs were made, the events attached to them and the circumstances of Plaskett’s album. It made me appreciate the music even more than I already do.
I liked the general themes of Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here, more than the execution of the story.
In this book, as crazy events unfold in the background by Indie Kids (yes there are strange mystical hipsters), Mikey and his friends live somewhat ordinary lives as teenagers about to graduate high school. Mikey wants to find out what is going on, why the Indie Kids are dying, but realizes throughout that he isn’t, and doesn’t need to be the hero of this story.
My gripes with this book is that while I tried to sympathize with Mikey and his OCD, he eventually became super annoying. A lot of it read like someone constantly feeling sorry for himself for not having the girl of his dreams, or way too fixated on being jealous of Nathan, when it was obvious he didn’t need to be.
I also didn’t find the characters that relatable. Sure they suffered things like anorexia, OCD, and teen love but it read at times like it was written for someone without that much experience in the area. In the end it was a bit tedious to finish.
I just finished Fooled by Randomness, a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. For some reason I didn’t expect it to delve so deep into stock markets but I gained a lot of interesting perspectives on probability and the role of randomness.
It made me more critical of what I read in the media. Often scientific articles skew facts by reading data in a way that suits their topic.
“Expect the unexpected” is one takeaway from the book. For example, we always read that murderers “were nice people” or that the success rate of something is 98%, but don’t forget someone has to be in the 2%, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you don’t see something, does it mean it doesn’t exist?
I just finished Michael Pollan’s book Cooked (also part Netflix series) which delves into the wonderful magic of cooked food through the four basic elements: water, fire, air and earth.
I now have a new-found appreciation for the magic of making my own food and the reasons that we should all be a more active producer, rather than consumer of food. Food is more than just sustenance to keep us alive. It can be a social ritual. A way to eat healthier. One of my favourite challenges was this: we can eat any food we want (even junk), but make everything yourself.
It will cut down on the amount of junk you will eat because it’s hard to make chips, ice cream, cake etc all at once. In addition, the process will make it more likely that you are eating real food rather than processed junk (that may or may not be real food).
Pollan takes us through the laborious process of barbequing a whole pig, making bread, braising, pickling, making beer and more. I was fascinated by the steps of each and though I’d never regularly make any of those, I think it would be fun to try once. The satisfaction of creating something from beginning to end has a strange appeal to me. It’s like building a complicated lego set, takes concentration but you end up with something cool (or in this case tasty) in the end!
This book has made me enjoy cooking and look for ways to make it more than just a necessity. After all, there are limitless things create (and eat) out there.
My sister gave me this fantastic cookbook for my birthday that features recipes from famous restaurants around Toronto. She also bought me a stainless steel pan that I can stick in the oven (which means I can make better steak and pork chops).
I’ve become obsessed with the process of cooking and enjoying creating new things and I can’t wait to delve into the recipes in this book!