#AprilAtoZ Challenge A – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The blogging from A to Z April Challenge is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.


This book has had a huge impact on my life, but I find it really difficult to write a review without spoiling it for future readers. Because of this, the following is from the blurb. Rarely do I simply copy the blurb for a summary but nothing I could write about this book  could describe it any better.

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world.  This story, dazzling in it’s powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. 

Along the way, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself King, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.  No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way.  But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods, turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. 

Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts. 

My Thoughts

“Every few decades a book comes along that changes the lives of it’s readers forever”.

The above quote was written at the top of the back cover and it really does ring true for me. After I read  the book, I couldn’t help but read that sentence over and over. At the risk of sounding ‘hippy dippy’, I knew that this book would have a huge impact on my life.

Three of my favourite quotes from The Alchemist

  • “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to realise his dream”
  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve – the fear of failure
  • “The secret of life though, is to fall seven times, and to get up eight times”.

The edition of The Alchemist that I have contains an Introduction from Paulo Coelho. At the end of the book there is a readers guide and an interview with the author which I found really interesting.


Since that first reading, about eight years ago, I have read the Alchemist every year, in early January.  This is when I set my goals for the coming year, and particularly for the first three months of the year. 

As with the first time I read it, with every subsequent reading, I feel very inspired.  The Alchemist empowers me to be able to set goals that are outside my comfort zone, and to quiet those voices in my head that tell me that there is no way I could reach those goals.  With every reading I get something new out of it. Whether it’s a quote that I hadn’t noticed in previous readings or a thought that comes to me while reading.

There are many readers and reviewers who really dislike The Alchemist and I can understand why that could be. Some see it as a self-help book, but I see it as much more than that. For me The Alchemist is  the book that I hold dearest.

My Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About The Author

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.

In the following year, The Alchemist was released. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time.

Published by Harper Collins in 1993. Softcover 167 pages. Mystical fiction.
Originally published in Brazil in 1988 in Portugese.
Later translated into English and many other languages.

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

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25 thoughts on “#AprilAtoZ Challenge A – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  1. It begins! Your post is my first to read for this year’s A to Z Challenge. This sounds like a book for me! I’ve been searching out resources that proclaim positive thinking and fulfilling dreams and this sounds like a book in that vein. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great A to Z April!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read the Alchemist. When Coelho became popular in Poland, I came across another book of his – Veronika Decides to Die. It was a pleasant read, but it didn’t turn me into a fan, so it’s interesting for me to see how you come back to the book and what impact it had (has 🙂 ) on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Best of luck for your challenge, I have started reading books few months back and I can’t tell you how excited I’m to hold my new books. The Alchemist is my favorite book and has inspired me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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