Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Speaking Volumes Selection for April 2009: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

I believe that the right book finds you at exactly the moment you need it. With thousands of people around the globe in dire straights for a variety of reasons, there’s never been a better time to look within. This month, our book club selection takes readers on one character’s thrilling voyage within. Our selection is Paul Coelho’s “The Alchemist.”

The story is a mythical tale with parallels to our everyday lives. It is the story of Santiago, a young boy in Spain and his quest to discover his personal legend. He is guided by dreams and the way events in his life unfold. Besides the book’s poetic quality, the story aims to help everyone understand that each life has a purpose and it seeks to help us understand how to find it.

Author Paul Coehlo is a Brazilian journalist, actor, theater director turned novelist. In 1986, he walked the famed Christian pilgrimage path in northern Spain, known as the Santiago de Compostela. A year later he documented his walk in the book, “The Pilgrimage” – a book I read and fueled my own passion to walk the same path later this year in June. A year later, Coehlo wrote “The Alchemist.”

Despite initial slow sales, the book is now one of the single most successful books in modern literature. Last year, the book celebrated its 20th anniversary with an announcement that actor Lawrence Fishbourne and producer Harvey Weinstein would make the book into a movie. The book has been on a bestseller lists in 74 countries, and so far has sold 35 million copies. In 2008, it earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for most translated book in the world – 67 languages.

Join us Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at Carolina Place Mall to discuss this exciting work. Please RSVP by e-mailing bookclub@carolinaweeklynewsgroup.com.

-Alison Woo

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