Live Well and Be Happy

We are now into the middle of 2021. How have we lived the past 18 months amid the pandemic? I’m sure we all have stories to tell. I believe we have, at varying degrees, experienced anxiety, fear, doubts and disbelief of the atrocities that happened in the world the past year and a half. Notwithstanding, I hope we also find new experiences; increased adaptability; resilience that we were unaware of; openness to change; and, joy in small simple things.

For me, taking time off to enjoy nature through walks and hikes (and a little cycling) not only reminds me of the beauty that surrounds us, it also begs my body to exercise. While I enjoy the mundane routines in staying home, I do miss the freedom to just get out and meet people - the catching up with friends over lunch; the cuppa in the afternoons with or without friends. The chunk of time I used to plan overseas trips became the slack I need to fill my mental space and my longing void. It’s a dilemma of being content with the aimless leisure and the incredible lightness of being. However, undeniably, I am blessed.

At the point of writing this, the pandemic numbers seem to be easing and we could look forward to less restrictive social activities soon. Smile.

As always, we look forward to receiving your contribution. Be it written articles, poems, photographs, or activities that you wish to share, we will be pleased to publish them on AutumnLife. If you have read an interesting book, please contribute to our Book Corner.


June 2021

Book Corner

Welcome to our Book Corner. We welcome members to contribute any book reviews or recommend any good books they have read recently. Click here to contribute. 

The Garden of Evening Mists

Review by: Francis Pavri

If you want to read something “local” try these two books – The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng and Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw. Although not “domestic local”, the settings of the books are in Malaysia and China, both of which are somewhat familiar. Use of Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese are peppered throughout the texts.

Both writers Tan Twan Eng and Tash Aw have very similar backgrounds. Both are Malaysians and did the early education there. Both went to read Law in England and practiced for a while. Both then became full time writers as a result of their very successful writing. They are also about the same age.

These two books have both been long listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Tan’s book is set in Malaysia (mainly Cameron Highlands) – about a Malaysian girl Teoh Yun Ling whose sister suffered severe treatment during the Japanese Occupation. The story relates how she slowly came to terms with it with the help of a Aritomo a former gardener of the Imperial Emperor of Japan, who helped her create a garden in her sister’s memory. 

His writing is exquisite. For example, this is how he describes the art of Taiji. 

She moved with such slowness that I felt I was watching time being stretched out, the world around us sucked in by her energy as she went through a series of motions, one flowing seamlessly into another, water pouring into water, air merging with air. She executed the moves with such grace and controlled power that she seemed to be gliding inside spheres of reduced gravity.

This book is available from the National Library Singapore.

The Garden of Evening Mists – Call Number: English TAN



Additional Info

  • Book Author: Tan Twan Eng
More in this category: Five Star Billionaire »

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