On My Bookshelf: Community Recs No. 3

Cartoon stack of multicolored books.

I really enjoyed reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because the story is more than just turning lead into gold. This story describes the adventure of a shepherd who finds his treasure, but gains infinitely more than a chest of jewels. The storyline itself is simple.

A shepherd from Spain named Santiago goes on a quest to discover a fantastic treasure waiting for him in Egypt. On his journey, he meets different people from different cultures and languages, but there is one language that everything knows: It is the language of all people and all things. It is the Universe showing him the signs to his own Personal Legend. Anyone can follow the signs to their Personal Legend if they know how to observe or listen to them.

There is one scene that really resonated with me in the book, where Santiago learns to communicate with the desert, the wind, and the sun and tries to explain love in a way that they would understand. I won’t give too much away, but this scene describes something I try to do when I go out hiking. I don’t try to explain love to the elements, but there are times on the trail when I see something so magnificent and powerful and ancient that I need to stop and breathe. I would wait and feel everything around me until I could see the land change as if someone had pressed the fast-forward button on a movie. I could sit on top of a cliff watching the Precambrian ocean push the sand forward and backward to grow sand dunes on the ocean floor, or watch a massive hill crumble under immense pressure and release a lake into the small valley where I stood. It was very easy to place myself in Santiago’s robes and converse with the seemingly infinite desert about the romantic connection between all living and nonliving things.

This story emphasizes that we all have a choice of how we live our lives, even when things seem desperate or out of our control. We all have the choice to live our best lives, but we also need the courage and motivation to follow through with them.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure stories and needs some motivation to explore the world outside their house/apartment. It’s a short, easy read with your cup of tea in the morning.

About Me

My name is Samantha Pérez. I am currently a graduate student in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Minnesota. I love camping, hiking, rock climbing, dancing, and tasting teas. I grew up reading Harry Potter, Eragon, The Book of Deacon trilogy, The Seven Realms series, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Iron Fey series, and The Sevenwaters trilogy…If you haven’t noticed, I am really into fantasy series. I am trying to get back in the habit of reading books again, and I’m hoping this blog encourages me to read a book for pure leisure more often.

Published by modcasters

We’re a group of graduate students studying English Literature and Language on a mission to discuss literature, provide access to those on the deafness and/or blindness spectrum, and rock mustachios.

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