Perlego Book of the Month: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Finding the right book to read can be challenging, and so here at UNYP we have collaborated with the online library Perlego to present the Book of the Month. For this month, we have chosen The Alchemist by Portuguese novelist Paulo Coelho.


We are aware of the fact that everyone has different preferences and book tastes; however, sometimes it is important to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you are not a big fan of novels or Coelho in particular, this book could be a good opportunity to widen your literature horizons. 


Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist in 1988, and it became the best-selling Portuguese-language book of all time. Over thirty years since the publication of the book, readers are still learning from its wisdom.


“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”


Coelho’s philosophical novel “The Alchemist” entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most translated book in the world – it was published in sixty-seven languages. The plot of the work is based on the folklore of various cultures, and crosses the genres of adventure literature, fantasy, and esoteric novels.


The book tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd from Andalusia. He lives a mundane life until one day he is struck by an unusual vision. Santiago sees the Egyptian pyramids and learns that an incredible treasure is hidden in them. He follows his vision towards a wonderful fate. 


“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now”


The book is dedicated to perseverance in achieving a dream. The author reflects on the factors that prevent people from doing this, and this is the main problem of the book. The book highlights several obstacles which prevent people from achieving their dreams. The first one is choice; it is important to make the right choices to achieve the dream. The second is the fear of failure; this can destroy people’s motivation. The third is the fear of success; people who succeed can become afraid of losing their dream and their will to live. Finally, the fourth is true love.


Start using our online library Perlego and find more book inspiration! Contact UNYP Library to set up your student access. 

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