Book Review: The Book of Two Ways

“Life asked death, “Why do people love me but hate you?”
Death responded, “Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.” —Unknown

― Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways
The Book of Two Ways – isn’t this a gorgeous cover?

Jodi Picoult returns with another masterpiece which revolves around family, love and moral choices.

Dawn Edelstein’s job revolves around death. She is a death doula, someone who accompanies her clients through the death process and manages what comes after.

Source: Michael Vershinin (Pexels)

When the plane she is in suddenly tumbles out of the sky, Dawn’s life flashes before her eyes. She doesn’t think of her husband, Brian, or her daughter, Meret. Instead she thinks of her lover 15 years ago, Wyatt, whom she met while she was a Yale Egyptology student.

Dawn survives the crash, but not without unknowing what she knew — that deep in her heart, it dwells upon the “what ifs” of her previous life with Wyatt.

What follows is a narrative of a split timeline in Dawn’s life.

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Weekly Gratitude :: 8 November 2020

I’m a few hours late to write and publish this, but that’s okay! Read on for my Weekly Gratitude post:

2 November – 8 November 2020

1. I am grateful that I’ve had the time and energy to whip up 2 homecooked dinners last week. I went a little kimchi-crazy and dished up Korean dishes on 2 different nights. They were yummy!

(Left) Kimchi Fried Rice (Right) Kimchi Stir-fried Pork Belly and Meatballs Soup
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Book Review: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone is a book that I never thought of picking up originally. 

While searching for new reads during the partial lockdown in Malaysia, I visited Lit Books, an independent bookstore in Selangor. Piled in a stack on the counter was this bright yellow book with an eye-catching illustration on the front cover. I asked Elaine Lau, co-founder of Lit Books, if it was any good and she replied that she found it “very good, surprisingly” and that it totally wasn’t preachy or “self-helpish”. 

Self-help is one of my favourite genres, so of course I was intrigued. I bought it for RM62.90 and read it in July. Read on for my review.

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Weekly Gratitude :: 1 November 2020

So, I’ve decided to start a Weekly Gratitude post for my blog. 

Every week, on a Sunday, I’ll list down the things I am grateful for in the past week. It could be the little things, like appreciation of the mundane stuff (but are still beautiful in my mind) or it could be the huge, mega things that rock my world! 

I promise not to make my Weekly Gratitude list full of only achievements and happy things. Sad stuff or things that did not go well might make it into the list too, because they point me to what I could have done better or help me reflect on the beautiful things I may have taken for granted.

I’m beginning this on 1 November 2020. So here it goes!

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6 Things I Learned from Kerlijne (and our travels)

Image source: blog.virtuoso.com

In early May 2018, just after I left my full-time job, I took a few days off to be a tourist in my own country, Malaysia. My travel companion was Kerlijne (pronounced ‘Caroline’), a Belgian colleague who is currently working in China. Kerlijne has worked in China since her Chinese studies in sinology. As I was contributing regularly to the e-newsletter at the China regional office where she is based, I communicated with her regularly via Skype.

Since I started working with her, I found her to be an open, friendly and sometimes comical character and we hit it off straight away. Our friendship deepened over time, and we decided to plan a trip together. It was my lucky day when she decided to come and visit me in Malaysia so that we could explore the sites together!

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Haiku (Feb – Apr 2017)

16 April 2017

Flowers, forest walk
And a lake, a cute squirrel
Brings me love and joy

I float in the lake
Healed by the sun, sea and sand
Universal bliss

9 April 2017

A power failure
Chance to unplug and focus
On air and stillness

9 April 2017

Girls get together
Games, banter and baked goodies
Grateful for the love

16 March 2017

The body crashes
Into an ill weakened state;
Time for a good rest

5 March 2017

A sudden downpour
Water flows, rises and forms
Large puddles, a flood

22 February 2017

Coconut chips, with
dried and sweet cranberries, stirred
into my warm oats

21 February 2017

Coconut milk rice
Spicy sambal, nuts and egg
Tickle my tastebuds

Our Experience at Cantaloupe Sky Dining’s Big Sunday Lunch

I’ve always had a secret dream to be a food reviewer/blogger, but often find myself failing at taking beautiful photos of food as I just can’t wait to taste it! Good eats, I’ve realised, is something that must look good for the eyes, as well as the palate.

I believe that food reviewers are armed with 3 things: (1) a good camera + decent photography skills (2) an eye for detail (3) a good memory to recall how certain foods apply to the taste buds, not just at present but also in comparison to others they have tasted in the past.

I’m not a professional food reviewer, but sometimes I pretend to be one when I come across great food in a good location. It also serves as my personal recommendation for you to try out some unique cuisine which won’t create a dent in your wallet. Read on for today’s experience.

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From Dust to Dusk

Hello readers! I’m back after a short hiatus.

So, what kept me busy? In July, there was a personal trip with friends to celebrate our other halves’ 40th birthday. Following that, my family and I travelled to Phuket for the wedding of my second cousin. September beckoned next with some long holidays, so my hubby and I went on a short getaway to Bukit Tinggi, Pahang. I’ve also been busy writing up a series of articles about my trip to Central Vietnam earlier this year. I plan to feature more Travel posts in my blog, but have been overcome by the procrastinating devil. But rest assured, I’ve saved a few blog posts in the Draft which I will publish very soon!

I have also been busy continuing with my decluttering the KonMari way. I’m glad to say that I managed to get out of my decluttering rut, moved past Kitchen and now I’m onto Accessories/ Jewellery and will move onto Sentimental items soon. (By the way, the reason those words are bold is because these are actually sub-categories in the KonMari method. If you don’t know about the method already, here’s a good intro article by Dr. Christiane Northrup.)

While driving home from work last week, I saw this absolutely gorgeous sunset in my neighbourhood. I am always in awe with sunsets, they make me so happy and wistful at the same time. There’s something about the changing of day to night which is so magical, I think. Right after I took the photo, I wrote a short fictional prose for the photo. Go on, read it and tell me what do you think?


Sister Day, Brother Night

Day lit up the sky in fiery hues and dressed itself in golden tones in honour of its last hour awake. She will not go without a grand celebration. Soon, she must gently step aside for Night to enter, sashaying in with grace. Night carries with him the velvety blanket of darkness, quickly enshrouding the sky, merely dotting it with pinholes of starlight and reflections of planets afar.

“Have a good run,” Day said to Night, winking her last light at him as she exits gracefully.

“Have a good rest,” Night replied, as he blew a light breeze to cool her down. “I shall see you, sister, in 12 hours,” he whispered. “Sweet dreams.”

Book Review: Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern

Rosie and Alex are classmates and the best of friends since they were 5 years old. They love to hang out with each other, tell each other everything and have decided they will be best friends for life. They don’t seem to need other good friends to spend time with or anyone else they can pour their hearts out to. All up to the age of 17 when Alex has to move to the U.S. because his father got a job there. Hence, distance comes between them as best friends and possible romantic interests for now, but not before making a pact to apply to colleges in the same city of Boston together. Until Rosie gets pregnant at 18 and everything changes.


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