Every once in a while there is a book that takes you by surprise and absolutely captivates your imagination. It's the first sign of falling in love...with a book. You become totally engrossed in the novel's world. You cringe with the hero, you cry with the hero, you fall with the hero. The Alchemist allows you to do all of this and more and takes you on a journey of faith, perseverance, and most importantly of self-discovery.

It looks like an outstretched hand. It sounds like the Lord of the Rings theme song (you know the one they play whenever there's an inspiring moment that involves Frodo and Sam). But, it feels like a calling. A beckoning telling you to live a better life in whatever shape or form it might be, despite challenges and roadblocks (literal or metaphorical or personal) that might inhibit you from making the leap.

The Alchemist * is warm, inspiring, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. It felt like you were reading a story once shared by word of mouth, that would give hope and guidance to the weary travellers gathered around the warm fire, under a starry sky. With time, weary travellers have been replaced by weary commuters, like me, and that's really where I found the motivation to finally start reading it. And I'm totally glad that I did. For, it's more than a great story. It's a promise to keep our inner spirit alive and to enjoy life's little things as they pass us by. Oh, and to always look for signs.

The tale is a comforting one for anyone wanting to, but fearing (or having doubts) about partaking on a new endeavour or passion. It's filled with nuggets of wisdom useful for both you and our hero as he wanders along his chosen path to find untold literal and metaphorical riches. The story is set across the desert landscape, but as our hero learns, even the harshest of places, harbour the sweetest of surprises. So, our little adventurer emerges out the other end of it, I find that both he and I were made all the better for it, as his quest causes him to meet all kinds of people, experience his worst fears, but like all good journeys, teaches him a lot about himself.

Favourite quotes
"Hunches," his mother used to call them. The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it's all written there."


" 'It's called the principle of favorability. When you play your cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner's luck.' 'Why is that?' 'Because there is a force that wants you to realize your Personal Legend; it whets your appetite with a taste of success.'"

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A Book for the Faith Leapers and Ambitious Wanderers: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

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