Miscellaneous, Worth a Read

Books I read 2017: Part I

August 13, 2017
When I was in elementary school, my friends and I would trade journals where we’d write about our personal data, like name, date of birth, favourite food, hobbies. Everyone had these journals and we’d trade with each other until we got a complete set of data. At the end of the year, you’ll end up knowing more information that necessary on all your classmates. I’m not sure why this was such a huge trend. Anyways, I’d always listed “Reading” as one of my hobbies. Everything else may change, but “Reading” is always constant.

I didn’t get to read as many books as I’d like for the first 6 months of the year mainly because I needed to keep distraction away as I was poring over my certification manual and boring policies on clinical research. I know by now that if you hand me a book, I’d spend all my free time reading it and that’s something I can’t afford to do when I already paid a ridiculous $600 to write that exam (I NEEDED to pass!)

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha 

Like Gretchen Rubin’s Everyday Habit, Neil takes the age-old concept of finding happiness and modernized it so that it becomes practical and applicable to our lives today. Written with the same with and style as The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation takes a look at what is happiness and how we can attain it in our lives, complete with the practical tools to do so. Hint: the answer is not what you’d expect.

It’s a great read to start the year and I think it sums up majority of the lessons I learned about myself and the world around me in 2016.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub 

Two families going through a rough patch in their relationships and everything else that comes with it, from a restaurant that burns down to a one-hit wonder that eventually got turned into a biopic. Modern Lovers is about different stages of love and self discovery.  It took me so long to finish this book mainly because I thought it was boring and the plot moved very slowly.

Truly Madly Guilty by Lianne Moriarty 

It’s a story about three families living in suburbia connected to each other through a tragedy. Moriarty does a great job in keeping you curious until the very end when she finally reveals what actually happened. Each character narrates the event and everything surrounding it from their own point of view, peppered with whatever background problems their struggling with in their own personal or family life. It’s a very good read, suspenseful even if it feels like a drag at times (Like, seriously, tell me what happens already!!)

The Wealthy Renter by Alex Avery 

As a young professional living in Toronto, the thought of buying a property has crossed my mind more than a few times. I am currently renting a shared apartment with my brother and neither of us feel there is an urgent need to move. Our rent isn’t too expensive and I love our place. But with my friends and acquaintances buying a house/condo left, right, and centre (at this crazy price!), I can’t help to think that I probably should get into the market as well. Plus, people are always saying “renting is paying someone else’s mortgage”.

Avery goes into details and make compelling arguments about choosing the right housing needs for yourself. The book leans towards supporting renters but it is in no way bad-mouth homeowners.  He did a great job laying down the facts and the factors to consider  before we lock ourselves down into  a mortgage.

Canada is a nation of home owners; everybody from our parents to the government wants us to buy,  so it’s easy to see why renting gets a bad rep. Avery explains why this is and how we can be renters yet still manage and invest our money smartly.

Oh and that whole bit about “renting is paying someone else’s mortgage”? Yea, there is no truth in that.

The Real Thing – Ellen McCarthy 

Ellen McCarthy is a wedding reporter for the Washington Post. I put her book on hold as soon as I read about her here. I love, love, LOVE reading love stories and relationship things so I devoured this book as soon as I got it. It’s filled with love, heartbreak, and second chances. It’s both happy and sad. Ultimately, it shows you how enduring and capable our human hearts are. It’s beautiful.

The Improbability of Love – Helen Rothschild 

It’s witty, charming, and heartbreaking at the same time. I actually did not finish this book, so I don’t know how it ends. BUT I do know I thoroughly enjoyed it and almost cried when I had to return it. I couldn’t extend it as someone else already had it on hold at the library. Annie found a painting in an old antique store and bought it for some insignificant Pound. Little did she know how valuable the painting actually is, how its former owners are kings and aristocrats all over Europe, and how dark of  a past the panting carries. I love that Rothschild also gives the painting its own narrative, which came as an unexpected surprise. I mean, if paintings can talk, I wouldn’t expect it to talk that way, you know.

Paris for one and other stories – Jojo Moyes 

I saw this on the shelf of the library and picked it up because I was desperate for a reading material. It was OK. There are a bunch of short stories in the book, none of which I can recall right now.

Millionaire Teacher: The nine rules of wealth you should have learned in school – Andrew Hallam.

I’m always interested to learn more about personal finance. I listened to this podcast and looked for the book as soon as I finished. I feel like this should be a mandatory high school course, to have someone teach you how to handle your money, how to save and invest not only in mutual funds, but to also venture into ETFs. That’s exactly what Hallam writes about in this book. It’s written primarily for those who have an established savings program but are looking for more ways to grow their money. Your answer: ETFs. Hallam writes extensively about how to build a portfolio of stocks and bonds while staying away from managed mutual funds. He is convinced that ETFs is the way to grow wealth and I am inclined to agree. Now, to build that portfolio…

I’m currently reading The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs and I’m waiting for a few more books down the line, like Sophie Kinsella’s newest My Not So Perfect Life and I can’t wait to get my hands on Matt Goulding’s Rice Noodle Fish!!

What are you reading? Any more book recommendations? 


  • Reply Lisa September 2, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Reading is a hobby, at least. I used to write that playing piano was my favourite sport. ;)

    I am currently reading Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull (the founder of Pixar) and I really like it! It is about how to manage a creative team but also how to allow for creativity in your own work/endeavours.

    • Reply Pauline September 3, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Yes! I put this on hold at the library :)

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