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Monthly Archives : July 2016

the_alchemist

Top 5 Paulo Coelho Books

the_alchemist_paulo_coelho_040313_marg0d69Paulo Coelho is a great author. Ever wondered which of his books to read first? Which ones give you a great sense of Paulo Coelho’s style? Which ones have the best storyline? The best message? The best reads?
Well, here are my suggestions as to the best books by Paulo Coelho and therefore definitely the ones to read first! Enjoy!
#1 Veronika Decides to Die
No, not The Alchemist (although that too is brilliant), but Veronika Decides to Die. Despite having read both books over and over again, Veronika Decides to Die is still my favourite and number 1 recommend. While the Alchemist is a story of following one’s dreams, Veronika Decides to Die deals with the question of life and madness. What is madness? The value of life? Do we take it for granted? In his unique and amazing style, Paulo Coelho explores these issues in a way that keeps you 100% entertained and wanting more. You won’t put it down until you finish!!
#2 The Alchemist
The book that made him internationally famous, it has been critically acclaimed and translated into numerous languages. A favourite and a classic, just about everyone who has read any Paulo Coelho has read this. A great novel of adventure, following one’s dreams and of determination and faith, it is the ultimate pick-me-up book, and therefore makes number two on the list. If you’re ever feeling down, read The Alchemist!
#3 Eleven Minutes
This book is a tale of a Brazilian girl who goes to Switzerland with an ‘agent’ who misleads her into working as a dancer in his bar. Being determined to come back to Brazil having ‘made it’, she chooses not to return until she has made enough money and done enough to go back without having ‘lost face’. Her journey is full of choices- which will she make? A great tale of perspective, right and wrong, love and ultimately choice. As always, Coelho leaves the judgment up to you yet raises important issues in such an entertaining way.
#4 Brida
#5 The Fifth Mountain
the devil wears prada

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

WeisbergerL_DevilWearsPradaA delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.

Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of Runway magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts Prada! Armani! Versace! at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.

http://www.goodreads.com

“I soon came to realize that Hope – along with every other anorexicallty skinny girl in the office, and most of the guys – was able to accurately evaluate other people’s weight. It was just when it came time to look in the mirror that everyone genuinely saw a wildebeest staring back.” (pg 174) 

“It seems that I can see other people and say they look good but when it comes to me (no matter how much I loose) I always see something wrong.”

the_alchemist_paulo_coelho

Quotes From “Aleph” By Paulo Coelho

41jt+mHq-jLfrom WilfridWong.com

I enjoy reading Paulo Coelho’s novels. They are always inspirational. Or simply put – food for the soul. To be frank, I enjoy reading some of his earlier works better than his recent ones. Hence my expectation for “Aleph” was not that high. This book surprises me on several fronts.

First, it is quite a page turner, which is not usually the case of Paulo Coelho’s books.

Second, it seems genuine, pouring out from author’s personal experience. After some research (and to    my horror as you will find out in just a bit), while “Aleph” may not have accounted for all that has    happened, what is written is 100% bibliography based on a true story.

Hence, depending on your moral compass, it could be inspirational for some, troubling for others.

The center theme of “Aleph” can easily be related by many. Routines wear us down. Great losses in    life too may dip us into an emotional abyss. We may find faith and then lose it along the way. Or regrets in our past and worries in our future too can weigh us down. How then can we get out of this? A pilgrimage, as suggested by the author, may have the answer we need.

In “Aleph”, the 59 years old Paulo Coelho has taken a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway to meet his     readers across Russia. During his journey, a 21 years old Turkish girl Hilal has insisted to travel with     Paulo and his team of editor, distributor, and translator. Coelho (who is married) and Hilal became physically, emotionally, and spiritually close that even with my rather liberate mindset, I was finding it a bit uncomfortable to read. But it is what it is. Two people performed rituals together in an intimate setting. And if you buy into the concept of reincarnation, that two lifetimes ago, Coelho and Hilal were lovers, that past and present are one, I suppose it is OK to be that close. A bit confusing if you are an outsider. But say for a moment that reincarnation does exist and we do happen to meet with the same people through time and space, perhaps what Coelho and Hilal have done is beautiful. It is certainly romantic to read. I love you like a river, said him to her. That is probably the most artistic thing a married man can say to his admirer (and lover from another lifetime).

There are quite a few quotes that are memorable, that I can relate and would like to share with you.

1. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.

2. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been, it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.

3. People never leave, we are always here in our past and future lives.

I think the first quote is self-explanatory. What we do at present matters the most. The next two are to help us coping with losses.

4. Although sometimes, we need to be strangers to ourselves. Then the hidden light in our soul will illuminate what we need to see.

What it means, I suppose, is that in order to rediscover ourselves, we need to look pass what has become so familiar. Examine our lives in the eyes of a stranger in a detached manner.

5. Now each morning, when your mind is still empty, devote a little time to the Divine … Inhale deeply and ask for all the blessings in the air to enter your body and fill every cell. Then exhale slowly, projecting happiness and peace around you. Repeat this ten times. You’ll be helping to heal yourself and contributing to healing the world as well.

I have not tried the above method. It may work out better than screaming out loud into the mirror every morning and say: This is going to be a great day!

6. Walking is doing wonders for body and soul. I’m completely focused on the present moment, for that is where all signs, parallel worlds and miracles are to be found. Time really doesn’t exist.
When I was young, I used to walk a lot, in great distance. My mother used to call me Walkman. I agree with Paulo that walking does wonders for our bodies and souls. Ideas do hit me. But I have yet to encounter lovers from my past incarnations that way.

7. Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.

8. Anyone who knows God cannot describe Him. Anyone who can describe God does not know Him.

Both quotes are again self-explanatory. But it does take some time to fully internalize.

9. Love is beyond time, or, rather, love is both time and space, but all focused on one single constantly evolving point – the Aleph.

That, is the Aleph. You may need to read the book in order to understand what he says.

10. We can never wound the soul, just as we can never wound God, but we become imprisoned by our memories, and that makes our lives wretched, even when we have everything we need in order to be happy.

On face level, this quote can be useful to most. But after reading the book, I think that the author may refer to memories of our past lives. I am not ready to believe in reincarnation (as yet). Having said that, we should be reminded that we have everything we need to be happy. And those things are within our reach.

11. Is it possible to deviate from the path God has made? Yes, but it’s always a mistake. Is it possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experienced it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.
This is probably one of my favorite quotes. We shall always seek to experience, accept the pain as it comes, and follow God’s will.

Last but not the least, there is one quote to share. I agree wholeheartedly.

12. Like the children we will never ever cease to be.