The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
This book is: beautiful.
Other elements: fate, destiny, following your dreams, love.
Read it: if you enjoy a healthy dose of magical realism.
Overall rating: 9/10
“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 points 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 transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.”
This book is like a mandala. I know right away when I look at it that it’s beautiful and I like how it makes me feel, but I can’t see all of the details and patterns at first. The more time I spend gazing at it and letting it show me its secrets, the more I understand. I may never understand all of it, but I find it really fascinating and soothing.
There’s a lot in this book about listening to the language of the world and following your Personal Legend. I found this part to be subtly inspiring, and it prompted some introspection.
More than anything, I just enjoyed this book. I love how it’s written, I love the gentle story it tells and the rhythm of its syntax. It’s not a page turner. It didn’t keep me up at night. I also am not sure if I fully understood it. But every time I read some of it, it relaxed me and I felt peaceful and happy. I look forward to reading it again someday.
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Reading your post makes me want to reread this book! I think it’s definitely a book that gets richer and richer the more you read it and what you get out of it will change depending on life-stage/what you need to hear.
I thought the Personal Legend idea was so interesting/thought-provoking.
Diamonds in the Library says
I read it because of your recommendation, so I think it’s very fitting if my review inspires you to re-read it. I really did like it – it’s definitely a good one for a re-read.