Book Of The Month January: The Alchemist

Book Of The Month January: The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Book of Month for January is The Alchemist! This book is about a young shepherd named Santiago who has a recurring dream every time he sleeps under a sycamore tree inside a ruined church. In the dream, a child comes to him and tells him to seek treasure at the foot of Egyptian pyramids. Santiago seeks help from a fortune teller which also tells him the same, that he should head to Egypt. Now confused, Santiago ponders on If he should abandon his sheep and duties as a shepherd to seek his dream and how he would even get to Egypt considering that was poor as well. The young man runs into a strange, old, magical man named Melchizedek who tells him it's his Personal Legend to go seek his dream.

Santiago listens to the old man and sells everything to start his adventure and go through hell trying to reach his goal. Along the way, he is robbed and has no choice but to work for a crystal merchant. Noticing his struggles, the merchant teaches him some life lessons and tells him to keep moving toward his Personal Legend as he wished he did the same. Santiago acknowledged him, and in response, encouraged the merchant to take risks with his shop, which resulted in both of them becoming rich within a year. Santiago uses his money to continue his Personal Legend and heads back out in search of it. He ultimately goes through more hardships and faces near death multiple times to reach his goal, regardless he continues forward, and in the end, was successful in reaching the treasure he had seen so many times in his dream.   

The reason I recommend this book is that of its compelling storyline and indirect way of telling the reader to always follow your dreams, and take risks, giving examples of what would happen if you did and did not. Early in the story, the book explains what a Personal Legend is, which is something you always wanted to accomplish in life; it is thought up when you are young, when everything is clear and possible. In reality, everyone has thought of a Personal Legend of their own but because of society, and struggles in life, people give up on them and live a life that society deems is "safe and secure" but ultimately leaves a person drained and overall depressed with their life. The Alchemist reminds you through a story to always pursue your goals, regardless of any obstacles, because it'll always be worthwhile in the end.

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