The 49 Books I Read in 2017

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:

  1. The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero
  2. Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 by Lizzy Goodman
  3. Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson
  4. Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti
  5. Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race by Naban Ruthnum
  6. Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevigne
  7. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  8. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
  9. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  10. Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America by Samhita Mukopadhyay
  11. Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self by Alex Tizon
  12. Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter
  13. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
  14. The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
  15. All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers by Alana Massey
  16. American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton
  17. The Only Pirate at the Party by Linsey Sterling
  18. The Canadaland Guide to Canada by Jesse Brown
  19. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Jijkamp
  20. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
  21. Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev
  22. Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work by Sarah Vermunt
  23. Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together by Ardent Rose
  24. Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness by Shawn Micallef
  25. You Don’t Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent
  26. Bowie by Simon Critchley
  27. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  28. The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
  29. The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
  30. The Girls by Emma Cline
  31. Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott
  32. The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake
  33. One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
  34. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
  35. So Sad Today by Melissa Broder
  36. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
  37. You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice by Tom Vanderbilt
  38. Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
  39. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  40. How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell
  41. Mister Monkey by Francise Prose
  42. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Ariana Huffington
  43. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
  44. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
  45. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
  46. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil
  47. The Promise of Canada: 150 Years–Building a Great Country One Idea at a Time by Charlotte Gray
  48. Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty by Ben Ratliff
  49. 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.


You Are Here by Jenny Lawson

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.


The 53 Books I have Read This Year


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!


Queens Girls


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!


I Got A Toronto Library Card!


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


Nowhere With You

Came home to this in the mail! Can't wait to read it @joshokane @joelplaskett

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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.


The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

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.


Fooled By Randomness

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?




A Journey Through Food With Michael Pollan: Cooked

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.


Cooking Toronto!

Thanks @liviafeng for these cooking weapons! Time to make some delicious things

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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!