- Kara Rockwell
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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different--and far more satisfying--than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams. (from the publisher)
If you like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, you may also like these titles:
All Over the Map by Laura Fraser
The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Italian Affair" buys readers the plane tickets and takes them in search of adventure and romance, as Fraser wonders whether it's possible, in midlife, to have it all. (catalog summary)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his 'meaningless' life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: 'Why was I here?' (catalog summary)
The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert
In The Last American Man, acclaimed journalist and fiction writer Elizabeth Gilbert offers a fresh cultural examination of contemporary American male identity and the uniquely American desire to return to the wilderness. Gilbert explores what pushed men to settle the frontier West in the nineteenth century and delves into the history of American utopian communities. But her primary focus is on the fascinating true story of Eustace Conway, who left his comfortable suburban home at the age of seventeen to move into the Appalachian Mountains, where for the last twenty years he has lived off the land. Conway's romantic character challenges all our assumptions about what it means to be a man today; he is a symbol of much that we feel our men should be, but rarely are. From his example, Gilbert delivers an intriguing exploration into the meaning of American manhood and-from the point of view of a woman-refracts masculine American identity in all its conflicting elements. (catalog summary)
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran's musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death. (catalog summary)
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
This classic of twentieth-century literature chronicles the spiritual evolution of a man living in India at the time of the Buddha--a spiritual journey that has inspired generations of readers. Here is a fresh translation from Sherab Chödzin Kohn, a gifted translator and longtime student of Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. Kohn's flowing, poetic translation conveys the philosophical and spiritual nuances of Hesse's text, paying special attention to the qualities of meditation experience. This edition also includes an introduction exploring Hesse's own spiritual journey as evidenced in his journals and personal letters. (catalog summary)
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations--One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
Three Cups of Tea traces Mortenson's decade-long odyssey to build schools (especially for girls), throughout the region that gave birth to the Taliban and sanctuary to Al Qaeda. In a region where Americans are often feared and hated, he has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself--at last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. (from publisher description)
A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins.
With his own feelings echoing the disillusionment of his whole generation, Peter Jenkins set out with his dog Cooper to walk across America and find out what his country was really about. Along the way, Jenkins' faith and pride in his country -- and himself -- were tested and ultimately restored. (Catalog Summary)
Virginia Johnson, CRRL's web services librarian, also reviewed the book here.