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.
My Simpsons Books is still alive and kicking. There are so many it never ends.
Here are some recent favourites
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!
My Simpsons Books tumblr is still very alive and well. I never seem to run out of books to post! The show is a gold mine of books in every episode.
Here are a few more favourites:
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 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?
Today I went to my first ever book signing. Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) was making her only Canadian stop for her new release Furiously Happy, which shares her stories on depression and mental illness in the most authentic (and somehow hilarious) way possible. Lawson as a writer has made me appreciate the bizarre, weird and sometimes hard-to-get-through moments in life. As someone who has depressive moments, this book (and her other/blog) has helped me see those times in a different way and acknowledge that I’m not alone in this fight.
I arrived 2 hours early to the 7pm book signing and was too awkward to ask anyone how things worked so I left for 15 minutes to get food. Little did I know, when I came back (at 5:15pm), people were already seated and I was put in group 3 here in the back. I underestimated that her fans would probably be just as OCD as I was.
Jenny read us the first two chapters of the book and answered questions from the crowd. I found her very humble and down to earth. Also just as hilarious as the book. She basically talks like she writes.
After answering some questions from the crowd, she signed all our books and took photos with us! She took the time have a short chat with each person as they came up. She’s such a kindhearted person and I could tell she loved hearing how we connected with the book. Here’s my super awkward photo with her.
My book signed.
Also I couldn’t help taking a photo with Rory.
I’m a workaholic. I’m guilty of glorifying busy. I rarely let myself truly do nothing. I read on my commutes to and from work. I take my lunch breaks at my desk (so I can blog or get my work done) and when I get home I manage all my blog e-mails, edit photographs or write some more.
If I take the time to watch TV (without actively doing something else), or play video games, I feel a bit guilty inside. I feel like there’s always something more important I could be doing (including the newly added responsibility of household chores) or going (shows, friends etc). By the time I get to bed, I’m exhausted. Sleep is the only time I’m truly doing nothing.
This is a habit, I want to break. Recently, I read Jeremy Dean’s book Making Habits, Breaking Habits and in doing so I became more aware of the pattern of actions I take every day. I also learned that there’s only so many habits you can force yourself to do at once without a break, or it lowers productivity. Therefore, taking appropriate breaks are important and may lead to better output.
For now on, I’ll let myself have those mental breaks, watch an episode of something on Netflix, go for walks or literally sit in a chair and do nothing. Sometimes my best work happens during those types of events. In fact, I pretty much wrote this post in my head while showering.