Wednesday, April 28

Book review: The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Reviewed by Rox

After hearing so much about The Alchemist, I was expecting something very different. I expected a long, intense and involved book, with endless pages and sophisticated prose. What I finally realised once I was a few pages in however, is that the real power of The Alchemist is its pure simplicity... it doesn't need to be anything more than what it is, and that is a story for anyone who has ever had a dream.

The Alchemist follows the journey of Santiago, a shepherd boy from Spain. After having a mysterious dream, Santiago begins an epic trip across the sea to Egypt in search of a treasure beneath the pyramids. Along the way, he learns the secret of the Language of the World, and discovers how to listen to his heart.

Hope, dreams, courage and faith are just some of the key themes that this book delivers... in a sense it has a similar message to The Little Prince, and as a fable it is more than the simple story of a boy in search of a treasure - it is also a reminder about following our paths, our hearts and hopes, and finding our destiny in life, whatever it may be.

It is no wonder that The Alchemist is one of the most translated book in the world - regardless of language, country or religion, this is one book that everyone should read in their life!

Thursday, April 22

New Stephenie Meyer book (novella)

"Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion." - Amazon.com

"The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" is being released on 5 June 2010. I am rather excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. I love a good teen novel and I am a big fan of the Twilight book series, so I am pretty sure I will enjoy this book :)

Are you going to read this book?

Thursday, April 15

Book review: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Reviewed by Liesbeth

There are some books you read, where you just think, yes, that’s exactly how it is for me, that’s exactly what life is like. The Elegance of the Hedgehog is one of those books, and this is a testament to not only the author Muriel Barbery, but also to Alison Anderson who translated the book so perfectly from its original French.

For me the best parts of the book were those that described the friendship between the heroine and her closest friend. At one stage, they meet for tea, and Barbery writes: “We sit and converse a while longer, in the calm space of an old friendship.” I just love that phrase. The calm space of an old friendship is often where I am at my happiest, knowing I can be 100% myself with my dearest old friends. Barbery really knows how to capture these little life moments without being clich├ęd or dull.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog to me was kind of like a big sister book – it challenges you to think, but it rewards you for it as well. Some chapters dabble in philosophy, and they ask you to think in new ways, or get your head around what might at first seem like a tricky concept. But if you persevere it really is worth it.

These philosophical chapters are interspersed with intriguing plot development and charming quirky characters who really make the book come alive, and at times made me laugh out loud. Overall it is a lovely warm book, that makes you laugh and think in equal measures. It deserves to be read on sunny Saturday mornings at a Parisian style coffee shop.