Book Review: The Alchemist

“To realize one’s own destiny is a person’s only obligation.”

~ Paulo Coelho

My choice for book club this month, The Alchemist, is a story about a young shepherd who goes on a journey in search of treasure buried near the Pyramids of Egypt. This classic book uses his journey to articulate the need to follow one’s inner voice, to pursue your dreams, and have faith along the journey of life.

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Book Review: The Count of Monte Cristo

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words — Wait and Hope.”

~ Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas in the mid-1800s, is a timeless piece of literary fiction and one of his most famous works alongside The Three Musketeers. Largely unbeknownst to the general public, Dumas co-wrote this book, and many others, with the ghostwriter August Maquet. The 19th century produced so many world class writers and philosophers who so finely addressed the important questions of humanity and powerfully articulated the atmosphere of the times, and Dumas is no exception.

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Book Review: A Man’s Search for Meaning

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

~ Viktor E. Frankl, A Man’s Search for Meaning

I recently joined a book club, and the book for my first session was A Man’s Search for Meaning, a book I had purchased many months ago and never got around to. It is one that I knew I would enjoy given its psychological and existential themes, and it did not disappoint. I learned much from this short yet powerful book, and its relevance is everlasting.

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The Prince

“He who believes that new benefits will cause great personages to forget old injuries is deceived.”

~ Niccolò Machiavelli

Considered one of the 6 cardinal virtues of Hinduism, forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offence, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Well at least that’s the textbook definition anyways. However, incorporated into the DNA of man is the desire to stay ahead of the competition, to maximize chances of survival. I bought a book yesterday, The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, which turned on a metaphorical light bulb in my head. The book explains the art of statecraft, of holding and governing principalities, and the virtues and behaviours that a ‘new prince’ (or any leader for that matter) should exhibit to maintain rule over his dominion.

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