Thursday, September 9, 2010

Books to live by.

I'm a word nerd. A book addict. A bibliophile. But there's one book that I will always and forever (and once more, just for feeling) give people as a gift.

It's The Alchemist by the amazing Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.

It's not my favorite book by him. (That honor goes to Veronika Decides to Die.) But I can't help but feel like it's one of those books that sticks with you and finds a way of being pulled off your shelf when you need it the most. The ideas of following a journey, personal legends and the decisions that come with marching through life _ not just as a passive participant but as an actor _ are just so, so poignant. And powerful.

Some of my favorite quotes come from this book:

"When you want something, all the world conspires in helping you to achieve it."

"He had worked for an entire year to make a dream come true, and that dream, minute by minute, was becoming less important. Maybe because that wasn't really his dream."

"We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand."

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself."

I love this book so much I made my friend Sebastian, who is currently kicking it in New York City for a few weeks, buy it immediately. Or else face bodily harm.

As you can see from this picture he sent me today, he wisely obliged.

So, tell me my dear blog peeps... What about you? What's your favorite book to give people? Why?


ginny said...

well, in college it was Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique." So waspy midwesterns -- chicks and dudes -- were getting my (outdated?) feminist propaganda when a coffeetable book would have been better. Maybe explains why i have no friends from college. ?

Noodles said...

Great book!! My friend who first gave me The Alchemist also gave me the Vagina Monologues. I will always and forever thank her.

The Modern Gal said...

I love that book. I could probably stand to read it again now.

I don't give books often, because I never know if other people will read certain books the way I do, but I have gifted "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" a few times because it's just cute, and I think it's got bits everyone can enjoy and relate to.