You are reading the book review session of the blog! I really hope you have been keeping up with the #ReadingChallenge? These reviews will be published weekly now because I’m eager to wrap up the challenge, but I do post other books that I’m reading on Instagram, so you should definitely check out @lipglossmaffia for more book recommendations and reviews. I have also started a virtual bookclub on Whatsapp, if you would like to join, just send me an email with your phone number at email@example.com. Meanwhile, if you would like to keep up with the challenge, here is the 2017 reading challenge.
For my nineteenth pick, I chose…
*A Book Published The Year I Was Born(1988)
Title: The Alchemist
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Philosophy
My Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars
BLURB: Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho is an international phenomenon. It was first published more than 25 years ago. Since then, more than 100 million copies have been sold and it’s been translated into 80 languages. It has remained on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 370 weeks. It’s a fable about a Spanish shepherd whose parents want him to be a priest. But instead he takes a journey searching for buried treasure in Egypt.
The Alchemist has all the qualities of a childhood fable; the boy who was helped by older and wiser people to follow his heart and realise his destiny, learning many lessons along the way. However it is not condescending in the way it teaches; it is a tale about following your dreams rather than a cautionary fairy tale. The lands Santiago crosses seem rich and vibrant and the third person narrative suits the story, even though it is primarily about Santiago.
What I liked about this book: It wasn’t just a story to me; something about the tale really touched my heart. I know it’s only a book but I did feel that the lessons learned by Santiago were something that is perhaps missing from more modern literature and films and so I found the book very inspiring.
What I didn’t like about this book: Throughout the story Santiago is trying to find the treasure that he dreamed about so the ending was maybe a bit of an anti-climax for me.
I’ve seen people expressing divergent and at times extreme views on The Alchemist. I’d like to mention what I felt after reading this. The book, which is narrated as a simple story, has various deep teachings and messages. One of them that I learnt was that if you have to achieve something big, you have to get out of your comfort zone, your territory and venture into uncharted territory. Nothing great comes out from remaining where one has been and that one has to constantly move on. Second thing that I learnt was that being at a particular place or point of time in your life, you know that place is not your calling and you need to move on, you MUST move on. Even if people around you desperately want you, you may be the apple of their eyes and have a certain skill set which is unique to you vis-a-vis that place, none of it is going to remain the same way for long if you do not belong to that place. All these positives will come to pass and by the time you realize this, you may unfortunately lose the chances that you earlier had.
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