*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Americanah, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a novel that I’ve seen here and there over the last few years (it was published in 2013), but never felt any draw to read. It was one of those novels that I presumed I knew about by the cover and title, so I passed on it because by those two things alone I was sure I wouldn’t really like it. Anyone else do that? Only me?
I quickly prejudged that this was our era’s Things Fall Apart, but Americanah, while also written by a Nigerian author, is not the same at all. It wasn’t until I saw another bookstagram account asking for opinions on the book and the dozens of replies from readers saying they loved it, that I decided to read it.
It’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, or other similar books, but I’ve struggled lately to read heavy, literary works and, at 600 pages long, Americanah is no easy feat for many readers.
If the length and depth deter you, let me encourage to try the audiobook. Often when I’m struggling to get into or through a book, the audio version is a life saver. That said, Americanah is just old enough now that most book clubs will easily find it at the local library.Continue reading
*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Alchemist, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
The Alchemist is a novel that reads like a centuries-old tale, although it was first published in 1988. It is the masterpiece of Paulo Coelho who has written many other great novels. A short book at around 200 pages, it contains a depth of wisdom that has catapulted it to the top of many book clubs’ lists.
The main character, primarily referred to as “the boy,” has a good life at the beginning of the book, but he yearns for more. He longs to travel, to break free of his barriers, and to be more than a shepherd. When he learns of a treasure near the Egyptian pyramids, he takes the chance and begins a long journey towards achieving his dreams.
It sounds like your normal adventure quest story, but Paulo Coelho injects what would be a face-the-obstacles-to-find-the-treasure set of events with timeless wisdom about fate, dreams, God, and personal fulfillment. Riddled with terms such as Personal Legend, Language of the World, Soul of the World and more, Coehlo challenges the reader to examine his own life and consider what comforts he has exchanged for fulfillment.
The Alchemist is a thought-provoking novel that makes a great book club discussion and is definitely worth a read (or two). If your book club hasn’t read it or if it’s been a few years since you have, it might be time to pick up this novel by the brilliant Coehlo. If you have read The Alchemist and aren’t looking to revisit it, consider these other novels where Coehlo tackles equally deep subjects.Continue reading