Nov 15th, 2010 by Lisa
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is about listening to your heart and believing in your dreams. This fable tells the story of an Andalucian shepherd named Santiago who travels to Morocco and then to the pyramids of Egypt to find his treasure. Along the way he learns many life lessons that you will find brings inspiration to your own life.
Some of the amazing life lessons to take from The Alchemist:
- The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
- When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
- No matter what he does, every person on Earth plays a central role in the history of the world.
- Work on improving the present and the future will be better.
- When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
- One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
Book Club Ideas for The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
For inspiration for a Moroccan themed book club party, Marilyn and I went to Moroccan Bites Tagine Cuisine in San Antonio, Texas.
Here are some pictures we took of the Moroccan decorations in the restaurant:
A white and black stone can be used to represent Urim and Thummim. These were given to Santiago by the king who removed them from his breastplate. The black signifies ‘yes’ and the white ‘no’.
What to Wear
Book Club Menu for The Alchemist
This Moroccan menu is based on the delicious dishes we ate at Moroccan Bites Tagine Cuisine. Our waitress was the daughter of the cook, who moved from Morocco to San Antonio in 2006. She enlightened us about the customs in Morocco.
A washing basin will be brought to the table before the meal is served. You hold your hands over the basin while water is poured over them. Dry your hands on the towel provided. Then scoop the food with a piece of bread or the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand.
Our hummus was served with whole chickpeas like a soup. Here is a tasty Hasa Al Hummus (Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe) from Go To Health.
Lamb Shank Tagine
|Tagines are North African signature slow cooked stews known for their blend of warm and sweet flavors. They get their name from the distinctive clay pots in which they are braised at low temperatures. The conical shape of these pots traps condensation allowing the dish to retain its moisture and flavor.|
Our Lamb Shank Tagine from Moroccan Bites was braised in typical spices and onions with almonds, sesame seeds, and prunes glazed in rosewater, cinnamon and sugar. Absolutely mouthwatering – the meat just fell off the bone.
The Chicken Pastilla from Moroccan Bites is made from seasoned shredded chicken mixed with eggs and almonds, and tucked inside a flaky phyllo dough dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon. The mix of the sweet and savory flavors were heavenly.
Book Club Resources for The Alchemist
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.62 stars (233,801 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4 stars (1612 reviews)|
|Barnes & Noble: 4.5 stars (996 ratings)|
|My Rating: 4 stars|
- “A remarkable tale about the most magical of all journeys: the quest to fulfill one’s destiny.” - Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within
- “The Alchemist” is an exciting novel that bursts with optimism; it is the kind of novel that tells you that everything is possible as long as you really want it to happen. That may sound like an oversimplified version of new-age philosophy and mysticism, but as Coelho states “simple things are the most valuable and only wise people appreciate them”. – Nabou.com
- “The Alchemist is one of those “esoteric” feeling books that makes you feel like life is vivid again”. – Happy Publishing
- “The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it’s full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams. The cumulative effect is like hearing a wonderful bedtime story from an inspirational psychiatrist”. - Publisher’s Weekly
Purchase The Alchemist at your favorite bookseller
Paulo Coelhowas born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1947.
In 1996, Coelho founded the Paulo Coelho Institute, which provides aid to children and elderly people with financial problems. In September 2007, Coelho was named a Messenger of Peace to the United Nations.
- Member of the Board of the Shimon Peres Center for Peace
- UNESCO special counsellor for “Intercultural Dialogues and Spiritual Convergences”
- Board Member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
- Member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters
- Member of INI International Advisory Council – HARVARD INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATION INITIATIVE
- Member of the Board, Doha Center of Media Freedom
- Advisory Board Member, Maybach Foundation
On May 9, 2006, Paulo Coehlo was awarded the “The Honorable Award of the President of the Republic” by the President of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov.
For other books by Paulo Coehlo, click here.
Beyond the Book
I read this book during the time we were planning this website. It was perfect. There were some quotes that literally took my breath away and gave me the motivation to continue to wake up at 4 am so I could work on the site before the kids woke up. One of the main themes of the book is that despite cynicism and fear you must continue to work toward your dreams…something I needed to keep reminding myself when I wanted to quit. This is one of those books that I will reread every year or two.
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