Books, Film, Podcasts (2017)


Link to 2016’s list


Currently reading:

How To Read Water by Tristan Gooley
林高微型小说 by Lin Gao
Memoirs of A Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada
War & Peace by Leo Tolstoly; translated by Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear (anyone wants to join me in this?)


Harry Potter heptalogy (6-17 Jan)
Autumn by Ali Smith (20 Jan)
Capital by John Lanchester (26 Jan)

Note: After watching Fantastic Beasts to celebrate the submission of another essay on 4 Jan, I delved into the first reread of all the books. I admit feeling quite ashamed for not catching up on the literature I should be reading instead and thus kept reading only to night time — but really, there are no regrets. It was a lovely way to return to the basics of storytelling: to share stories, capture imagination, wonder and wander. Beyond that, J.K. Rowling’s tenacity, brilliance and humour has solidified yet another lighthouse for the times when murky waters of doubt and chaos swell beyond control.

On Being: Robin Wall Kimmerer — The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life
On Being: Michael Longly The Vitality of Ordinary Things 
On Being: Mary Karr — Astonished by the Human Comedy
On Being: Frank Wilczek — Why Is The World So Beautiful?
On Being: Leonard Klodinow — Randomness and Choice


Small Island by Andrea Levy (2 Feb)
White Horse by Yan Ge; translated by Nicky Harman (2 Feb)
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (9 Feb)
The Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (16 Feb)
The Invisibility Cloak by Ge Fei; translated by Canaan Morse (19 Feb)

On Being: Alain de Botton — A School of Life for Atheists
TED Radio Hour — Spoken and Unspoken
TED Radio Hour — Why We Lie
The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice — Ian McEwan Reads “My Purple Scented Novel”
On Being: Mathew Sanford — The Body’s Grace
The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice — Colin Barrett Reads “Anhenoia, Here I Come”


The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing (2 Mar)
The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi (18 Mar)
Colourless Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami; translated by Philip Gabriel (29 Mar)
The Vegetarian by Han Kang; translated by Deborah Smith (reread; 31 Mar)

On Being: Richard Davidson — Investigating Healthy Minds
On Being: Yo-Yo Ma — Music Happens Between the Notes


I Am China by Xiaolu Guo (16 April)

What a choppy month, dealing with a tenacious illness, deadlines, and London trips & visiting friends.
Am currently a mixture of journals and books in incomplete spurts, as it usually goes with assignment deadlines and the looming dissertation (I can’t quite escape its shadow):

Various old issues of Granta
London Observed by Doris Lessing
《我與我自己的二三事》by 英培安; together with
Trivialities About Me and Myself; translated by Howard Goldblatt
Translation and Creativity, edited by Perteghella and Loffredo
The Translator as Writer, edited by Bassnett and Bush
Writing Degree Zero by Roland Barthes
Frontier Taiwan: An Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry, edited by Michelle Yet and N.G.D. Malmaqvist
Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry, edited by Michelle Yeh

The Guardian Books — Han Kang, podcast interview
The Guardian Books — The art of editing
The Guardian Books — The biography of a paperback


(lapse of updates due to travelling as well as a SOAS conference)

My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (9 June)
History-Geography by Karin Karakaşlı; co-translated by Canan Marasligil and Sarah Howe

The Guardian Books — Poetry, music and identity with Sarah Howe, Emmy the Great and Solomon OB
The Guardian Books — Rewriting the Qur’an and rereading Hanya Yanagihara
TED Radio Hour — 7 Deadly Sins


A Sheltered Woman by Yiyun Li
Translation Beyond Metaphor: On Petrarch, grief, and my mother by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue

TED Talks Daily — Inside the mind of a master procrastinator
TED Talks Daily — The surprising habits of original thinkers
TED Talks Daily — The magic ingredient that brings Pixar movies to life
TED Talks Daily — The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure
TED Talks Daily — Wisdowm from great writers on every year of life
The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice — Yiyun Li Reads “A Small Flame”
On Being: Ellen Langer — Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness
On Being: Mary Oliver — Listening to the World


Academic reading:
Concepts of language (Wittgenstein), mental spaces (Fauconnier), heterotopia (Foucault); cognitive poetics, stylistics, translating from Chinese, Chinese poetry; Barthes on image; OED, a paradise for nerds and geeks

A partial bibliography can be viewed here.

In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
London Observed by Doris Lessing
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (17 Sept)

Yeng Pway Ngon, Tang Jui Piow, Louise Glück, George Szirtes, Jee Leong Koh, Shuntarō Tanikawa

On Being: John O’Donohue — The Inner Landscape of Beauty [UNEDITED]** (one of the best)


Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (4 Oct)
Death Wish by Gwee Li Sui (30 Oct)

November & December

M Train by Patti Smith (1 Nov)
Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe
the space of city trees by Arthur Yap
放逐与追逐 by Chia Joo Ming
The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
Dream Storeys by Clara Chow
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi




Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (4 Jan)
Breathless (9 Jan)
Silence (16 Jan)
Jackie (23 Jan)
La La Land (30 Jan)
Toni Erdmann (5 Feb)
The Apartment (20 Feb)
Mommy (21 Feb)
Dancer: Sergei Polunin (2 Mar)
It’s Only The End Of The World (3 Mar)
Elle (20 Mar)
Amélie (2 April)
The Sense of An Ending (20 April)
The Handmaiden (30 April)
Lady Macbeth (6 May)
Jules and Jim (13 May)
The Other Side of Hope (1 June)
My Beautiful Laundrette (18 June)
NT Live: Rosencrantz And Guildenstern (2 July)
The Beguiled (14 July)
The Big Sick (29 July)
The Levelling (1 Aug)
Kedi (8 Aug)
God’s Own Country (15 Sept)
Voyage à travers le cinéma français (17 Sept)
Young & Fabulous 《最佳伙扮》(22 Sept)
The Red Turtle (22 Sept)
Mr & Mme Adelman (22 Sept)
The Circle (22 Sept)
The Foreigner (4 Oct)
Singapore Gaga + Invisible City (8 Oct)
SGIFF: Singapore Panorama Shorts (28 Nov)
SGIFF: The White Girl (28 Nov)
Ce Qui Nous Le (29 Nov)
SGIFF: Short Film Showcase 1 & 2 (1 Dec)
Demain (27 Dec)
The Artist (28 Dec)
The Promise (29 Dec)
Detroit (30 Dec)
Battle of the Sexes (31 Dec)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (1 Dec)