AtoZ, Blog Challenge, Books

[A] The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho #AtoZchallenge

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Who hasn’t heard of the Alchemist? Its one super popular book and I happened to pick it up at an airport many moons ago. By the time my flight landed, I was through with the book and stunned into an appreciation of my life. This book changed my perception of seeing reality and made me more accepting of life.

Title: The Alchemist

Author:  Paulo Coehlo

Genre: Philosophical and mystical fiction

Publication: Harper Collins

#atozchallenge-Alchemist-author-Brazilian-destiny-fiction-life lessons-Paulo Cohelo-universePaulo Coehlo is a Brazilian writer who wrote The Alchemist in 1987. Though initially this book didn’t do well, its popularity picked pace in the later years and today it’s on the top spot in bestselling lists of over 70 countries. Other noted books by the author are Eleven minutes, Veronika decides to die, Witches of Portobello.


The Alchemist is the story of Santiago a young shepherd in the Andalusian Mountains, who has a vivid and recurring dream. It’s translated by a fortune-teller who tells him to go follow it to find the buried treasures. The tale follows him on this journey wherein he encounters people and events that shape up his decisions and lead him to make some riches and relationships. He meets more people on this path who encourage him to fulfil his dreams, some even merging their journey with his.

He finds friends, money and love in this undertaking – only to lose all in one way or the other.  When he finally reaches the spot of the buried treasure, he meets a man who tells him of a dream that he keeps having of hidden treasures under a tree in a church in a far of land. His description of the spot makes Santiago realise that it’s the church in his hometown and he returns to dig under it to unearth the riches. He then returns to reunite with his love and set up a life with her.

Lasting Impression on me:

The core theme running in The Alchemist  is “When one wants something, the entire Universe conspires in helping one to achieve it.” Every day we get numerous choices but the decision to choose which one lies with us and that is what defines our life’s path for us. The concept of destiny is underlined by the fact that Santiago had to travel that entire journey to realise that what he seeks, lies buried from where he started. And every person he met who pushed him to fulfil his dream was the Universe egging him on by presenting him the opportunities.

Each person has their own journey to accomplish in this life and this has been set for them by their destiny; they alone can walk their path to fulfil it. We garner a close circle of well-wishers; only after learning who are not our friends. We learn to trust and analyse motives at the same time, of the people we interact with. We make judgements and decisions based with what we have and where we are at that point in life.

I found this very relevant with my life’s events – be it relationships, physical needs, money, love, happiness, job, car, travel – everything that came my way was what I wanted with all my heart. Any half-hearted attempt at wanting something usually ended in a failure. And everything was because of my choices; because of the decisions that I made.

My Rating:

The Alchemist is a must read for everyone who believes in destiny and wishes to find fulfilment in their life. ****

If you have read this book, I would love to hear your views on it. Have you read other books by Paulo Coehlo? What do you think of his writings?


I am on a no-book-buying pact as I am pretty much broke; not to mention that I am running out of space as well!! But incase anyone wants to trade their books or send me gifts, please do check out my Wishlist on Amazon & Want to read on Goodreads.

* This post contains affiliate links and if you click to buy from here, I will earn some referral fee amount *

Coming up tomorrow is [B] for Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.

The A to Z Challenge is created by  Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out
and co-hosted by

Alex J. Cavanaugh of Alex J. Cavanaugh

Jeremy Hawkins of Hollywood Nuts

Heather M. Gardner of  The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virág of The Multicolored Diary

John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing

J Lenni Dorner of  Blog of J. Lenni Dorner

Some of my previous  posts you might be interested in catching up on

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45 thoughts on “[A] The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho #AtoZchallenge

    1. Oh thats sad to hear Namy; but I like the older and wiser bit 😉 I loved this book in my first read itself!

  1. I read this book in my late teens and must confess I wasn’t a fan of it then. I don’t know if I read it now, I’ll look at it differently. I was quite the pessimist and still am a bit cynical though trying to be open to the universe. I’m not sure if that’s what also affected my views of the book and the message.

    Good luck with the challenge. Will attempt to read as much as I can! 🙂

    1. Ohhhhh! Thats sad to read that you feel you are a pessimist Sanch! I dont think you are though. You sail through life with such determination and fight back any and every oppression. Same goes for cynical- dont be so hard on yourself.. As for this book, I have loved reading it everytime as the message only goes deeper. I have come to realise that I am where I am supposed to be in life and there is nothing wrong with it – just need to work on things to make them better/work! Hang in there girl – the universe is amazingly bountiful and sensitive to you.
      I am reading “Wonder” these days and there is this thought by Jack Will – that the Universe looks after everyone whether its an abandoned dog or a boy with a funny face – the universe doesnt let them be alone. Otherwise how come they both ended up with such loving parents/household who think the world of them.
      I am looking forward to your comments on my other reads- I think tomorrow’s will excite you!!!

    1. Ah thats the fate of so many books on my shelves too – I also keep telling myself “someday”…… 😉

  2. This is was one difficult book to read for me. It took me a while to actually soak in the actual essence of it. nevertheless, must say, I did have take aways from the book, and wouldnt mind reading it again.

  3. I read this book as a part of the precribed list of to be read books while preparing for my interviews a decade back. At that time I was glad that I read it. But I understand the meaning of its core message (the one that talks about the universe conspiring in your favor ?) only now. Never before have I felt so drawn to the message than now.

    1. I believe all books and messages come to us just when we are feeling for it. I remember seeing the movie Eat, Love, pray initially and practically hated it. Years later, I could so relate to it and since then ahve watched it a number of times. It reasonates with me. Same is with books I guesss 🙂

  4. Aha! This is my favourite book and the first book of Paulo Coelho that I had read. It is so inspiring and has some really profound life lessons. My favorite is , “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
    5 Reasons Why Adventure Travel is Good For You #AtoZChallenge

    1. Thats a great quote from the book too Shilpa and yes equally profound. I too love this book and have been meaning to do a re-read soon!

  5. Woah! First of all, did you make that painting because I have never seen a cover like that. Like you, my takeaway from that book revolved around the ‘when you want something, the world conspires…’ idea it put forward. For me, I loved this book and ‘Veronika decides to die’ the most from his. I haven’t read his last few books so I can’t comment on those.

    1. Thanks for thinking I have the knack for drawing this up Roshan 😉 Its actually I think the original cover of this book and I found it on the net! I loved it too for it truly looks mystical and represents the book topic so so well. This is the only book of his that I liked; wasnt too impressed with Veronika decides to die!

    1. Hey thats so so good to hear Andi; this is myu favourite book too and I am glad it became my first post 🙂

  6. That a brilliant book to start with the challenge! It’s so inspiring but when I first read the book which was ages ago, I couldn’t make anything out of it. Meh :/ But then I re-read recently and Man was I impressed! Happy A to Z, Shalzy 🙂

    1. I know this book can be initially a bit too heavy but it has some solid life lessons to imbibe in one’s life. Glad you re read it Shalzzz! 🙂

  7. I had read this book twice. Once as it was in my list for some exam when I hardly understood much out of it and read second time to understand it better. I took the message as “Find happiness within you instead of searching everywhere and end back to same start”. I hardly read books and this is one of the book which I read completely and twice 🙂

    1. Oh yes that is another very big lesson from this book Shilpa; glad you stopped by and added that here! 🙂

  8. Hari OM
    Coelho was one of the writers I devoured in my earlier years as I sought the philosophy which would stablise and confirm my journey towards a goal which seemed improbable. The essence of his writings I would now read through the lens of Vedanta; we all search for that which is with us already, like the glasses on the head, or the keys in the pocket. The greatest treasure is to know the Truth fo who we are… What a fantastic book to start your series Shalini!!! YAM xx
    (For this challenge only, I have opened WP site which you may prefer to visit rather than the Blogger one…)

    1. Thanks so much Yamini and am so happy to note that this book as the first has been loved by all! “Read through the lens of vedanta” sounds very intriguing – I would love to know more about it please.
      I have been going to the WP site only now – thanks for making it easier to visit and share!

  9. I had read this book about four years ago, and I remember reading certain paragraphs again and again. Every sentence was so quotable and relatable. I liked it a lot. It is such a short book yet packs in so much of impact.

    1. You got that right Pratikshya; its a small book but packs a solid punch for sure! I am happy to note how this book is truly a favourite with so so many peeps! 🙂

  10. Oh! I have read this and it is no doubt one of my most loved books. I have been thinking of rereading it again sometime soon. Indeed I’m a firm believer of destiny and universe fullfilling our every desire just that we want it with all our heart!

  11. I loved reading this book. I think I read it last year only, but I realized what the hype was all about. It’s inspiring and I agree that our choices makes our path and often we overlook the happiness that lies right in front of us while yearning for something far away.
    All the best for the challenge, dear 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Anmol; I am glad you did get to read this book as in my opinion this is a must-read for everyone atleast once in their lives. 🙂

  12. What you highlighted, was exactly my key takeaway from the book. This book did make a lasting impression on me, so much so that it’s been over a decade and half since I read it, and yet the message is fresh and relevant in my mind even today.

    1. I know what you mean Shanaya; my last two copies were gifted by me to visiting peeps as they were intrigued by it. Time I went shopping for another copy of it. Oh wait I am on a self imposed ban of not buying books. Ok Will hope for a gift of it from someone soonest! 🙂

  13. I loved this book most by Paulo Cohelo. Lot of new thoughts of introspection and contemplation when I read it. A great recommendation for readers to start the challenge with.

    1. Thanks so much Shesha; glad to note this book is a big hit with so many. Made my first post for the challenge a hugely successful one 🙂

    1. Do give it another shot Kala and I suggest reading it in short bursts. I hope you do get around to reading it again 🙂

    1. I loved this cover and downloaded it from the net. Mine is a different one too but I think this was the original one. Yes this books takes a little getting used to but it has a very powerful message.

  14. I first read this book when I was in high school. I was bored to death and stopped halfway. But then I read it again a couple of years back. Trust me, it blew my mind. It has life lessons which will totally change your perspective. I make it a point to read it atleast once every year. Great post!

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