"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." - Charles William EliotI can't imagine my life without books. That moment when you sit down with a brand new book, turn to the first page, and enter the story.... so good. So is being able to talk about that story with friends, thanks to The Blended Blog's Virtual Book Club.
This month we had four titles to choose from: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Today we're doing a link up book review, so be sure to stop by The Blended Blog and discover something new for your reading list. It's not too late to join the club, so fill out this form to get in on the fun.
I was so excited to see The Alchemist as a choice for March. I read this book for the first time in an Honors English class at college, way back in 1989. The professor was so enthusiastic about the story, but I remember being less than impressed. This time around, with many more life lessons under my belt, I got the message.
Santiago, a shepherd boy, has been experiencing a recurring dream about travelling to the Egyptian Pyramids to find a great treasure. He finally decides to sell his flock and set off on the journey. Along the way he meets many characters, some who aid him and some who hinder his path.
The Alchemist really spoke to me, and tied in with the lessons in another recent read, The Universe Has Your Back. Lessons about being positive, never giving up, living in the present moment, and overcoming fear. That last one touched me the most:
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."Over and over in my life, I've found that my worry about something is always worse than the eventual outcome. Yet I continue to let anxiety lead the way. Maybe Santiago and his beautiful journey will finally be the answer. I give The Alchemist all my thumbs up!
I also wanted to give a shout out to another book I read this month: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. Ever since my trip to France last fall, anything with Paris in the title grabs my attention.
This story follows Monsieur Perdu, who owns a floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine. He takes pride in finding just the right book for each reader, to help mend what ails them. But M. Perdu has never dealt with his own heartbreak. After finally reading a letter left behind by his great love, he impulsively decides to sail his barge down river to the South of France, in the hopes of discovering the rest of the story.
When I posted a picture of The Little Paris Bookshop on Instagram, several people commented that they hadn't finished the book because it was difficult to get into.
I agree. The first few chapters are a little depressing and strange and slow. But please, read this book. By page 49, you'll be hooked. By page 149 you'll be loving the cruise down the Seine. And by the end you'll be crying, because this book has such a beautiful, uplifting, special story to tell. More thumbs up!
Now head over to The Blended Blog!