“I didn’t need to waste my time just for this,” he said.

“I told you that your dream was a difficult one. It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them. And since I am not wise, I have had to learn other arts, such as the reading of palms.”

– Page 17, The Alchemist, Paul Coelho

Happy new month, everyone! And just like that the first quarter of the year is gone. Hope you made the most of it.

In April, I read Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist. I’d been meaning to read it for awhile because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it from friends. So, the book is about a young shepherd man, Santiago, who was hungry for more than just tending sheep so he goes in search of treasure – to achieve his Personal Legend. So he sells his sheep, faces a few setbacks on the way and meets a gypsy woman, an old man, the love of his life (Fatima) and an alchemist who guide him towards his destiny/Personal Legend.

I was tickled to find several Biblical references and symbols in this book. The old man he had met was the King of Salem, Melchizedek who Abraham paid tithe to in Genesis 14:17- 19. To guide Santiago, Melchizedek gave him two precious stones from his breastplate called the Urim and Thummim. Both stones are worn by Jewish priests for divination (ref Exodus 28:30).

“I’m already used to the way things are. Before you came, I was thinking about how much time I had wasted in the same place, while my friends had moved on, and either went bankrupt or did better than they had before. It made me very depressed. Now, I can see that it hasn’t been too bad. The shop is exactly the size I always wanted it to be. I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.” – (Page 59)

One thing that runs through the entire book is the pursuit of purpose (or Personal Legend as it is called in the book). When looking to fulfill Personal Legend, Santiago had to sell his sheep, give up everything he was familiar. He met a shop owner along the way who was discontent to stay but too afraid to leave the familiar for the unknown. I could print the above quote and frame it just remind myself of how silly comfort zones are.

 

“Don’t say anything,” Fatima interrupted. “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving” – (Page 123)

Simple books always win in my opinion. This book was super easy to read

Was the author successful in carrying out the overall purposes of the book? Definitely

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes

Rating: 4/5

My recommendations for this month are:

1. Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin

3. Foreign Gods – Okey Ndibe
Dont forget you only have to read one book.
Before we get to your reviews I’m glad to announce  that we have another partner onboard. The awesome people at Africareeds.com have decided to give all you book lovers 10% discount on any purchase made on their site. All you have to do is use this promo code when checking out: NAKEDCONVOS10. So you see, now you have absolutely no excuse.
Time to hear from you:
What book did you read?
Summarise
Evaluate and critique the book
Wrap up with the strengths and weaknesses and mention if you would recommend the book to other people
Give a numerical score/rating.

Responses

  1. meena
    I read this book a couple of months ago, definitely left a lasting impression. You know that feeling you get when you read a book and suddenly you see the world differently? Although there were parts of it i found unsettling and weird but all the same, it was a very good read. Nice review..
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      1. Meena
        Yes, a few actually (I’ve had a lot of free time lol). Jane Eyre, Re-read Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea (yes I still love Anne!), The Count of Monte Cristo and now I’m on Kane and Abel. Have you read any of these?
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        1. SeryxMe
          Kane and Abel is one of my favorite reads. Read it more than 10 years back and now I re-downloaded the e-version just to read again. Sadly, I’ve been very lazy about reading these last few years. I hope you’ll do a review of the book this month.
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          1. Ibukun Post author
            Who wrote Kane and Abel? I might be reading Talent is Overrated this month though. Haven’t quite decided yet
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          2. SeryxMe
            Jeffery Archer. I admit, I’m not usually particular about authors. That is except Grisham and Ludlum (both of whom I have an almost complete collection of ebooks I’m yet to read through). But I really liked Kane and Abel.
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  2. Mikeinioluwa
    Read three books last month: a Children Short Story Collection; 25 Things To Know Before Age 25 by Tobi Delly, and Kenneth W. Hagin’s Soaring With The Eagles.

    It was all fun. Reading is fun, anyway

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      1. Mikeinioluwa
        No…no softcopy. It’s one of these Enid Blyton’s works. I’m reading virtually anything (fantasy, thriller, crime, scifi, children’s books, christian novels) these days ’cause I want to know how to write anything!
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    1. Ibukun Post author
      Oad, realised that the bottom part of this post didn’t publish initially. Just added it. Thanks for pointing that out.
      What will you be reading this month?
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  3. Exclusive
    I read Season of Crimson blossoms last month. I also read The Scarlet thread.

    Season of Crimson blossoms was a story about a woman who had lived life to the ripe age of 55 but had never really owned her sexuaility the way she wanted to. A thief changed the course of her story and set off a domino effect that eventually culminated in a life-altering moment.

    The book touches a bit on the rifts that are caused by religious differences and how they affect individual and communal living.

    It is a good book, especially seeing as it is Abubakar’s first novel. I would definitely recommend it to someone as a good read.

    PS: Some of us aren’t Christians and were lost with your Alchemist review and it’s correlation to some biblical content. I know I was.

    Great review, Ibukun. The Alchemist is definitely a classic.

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    1. Ibukun Post author
      This is me hoping the thief did not change the course of her life by raping her considering the fact that you were talking about her sexuality in the previous sentence.

      Typical for me to assume everyone understands my biblical references sometimes – sorry! Who was Seas of Crimson written by?

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  4. Exclusive
    It was written by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

    Quite the contrary. They mutually agreed to explore each other’s bodies.

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