I felt very risqué this week because I went to two different bookstores and bought two different books.
This is something I rarely do.
It seems so much more economical to go to the library, or go to a used bookstore, or borrow something from a friend, or order it cheaply on Amazon. I did not of these things. I walked into Barnes & Noble on Monday and bought China Rich Girlfriend, the next novel in the Crazy Rich Asians‘ trilogy. And then a few days later, I perused the many isles of the Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, and bought myself The Alchemist – something I’m honestly pretty surprised I haven’t read before.
Honestly – that surprise comes not from an expectation that I am or should be well read, but rather the reality that I know my big whomping crush for most of junior high considered it his favorite book, and I’m honestly not sure why that alone didn’t prompt me to read it and think it was my favorite as well.
The Alchemist has been wonderful so far, and a nice offset to the wildly “rom-com” books I’ve been consuming lately. Weirdly, for all I’ve heard about the book, I really had no idea what it was even about before I started reading it. I’ve found myself happily drawn into the comforting arms of a fantasy fable – I feel the same feelings I felt when I read Stardust for the first time, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane (or apparently anything by Neil Gaiman, lol). As of this afternoon, I just finished Part 1, where Santiago (having sold his flock, traveled to Africa, and been tricked out of all of his money) agrees to take up work at a crystal shop.
Some favorite lines so far:
“When I sat down to write The Alchemist, all I knew is that I wanted to write about my soul […] And my heart and soul is your heart and soul.”
“Even if my neighbor doesn’t understand my religion or understand my politics, he can understand my story. If he can understand my story, then he’s never too far from me”
(These first two selections were actually from Coelho’s Forward for the 25th Anniversary addition of The Alchemist, published in 2014. Get’s you excited to read it already, doesn’t it?)
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“People say strange things, the boy thought. Sometimes it’s better to be with the sheep, who don’t say anything. And better still to be alone with one’s books […] But when you’re talking to people, they say some things that are so strange that you don’t know how to continue the conversation.”
“For her, every day was the same, and when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
Back on my usual shit (not shit, it’s incredible) – Netflix has a beautiful new lil rom-com called To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. So cute!! After watching it, I immediately googled it and discovered it’s based on a novel by none other than Jenny Han! Jenny Han, who wrote Shug, a book I was obsessed with in 7th grade! I hadn’t kept up much with her career after I grew out of her target demographic, but I’m so happy this movie brought her back to me!
What a wonderful woman. She just get’s the dreamy rom-com mentality, the little tropes we all love to watch, when they’re done correctly. This story was fun and a smiley and everything I want when I’m looking to escape real life stress and lose myself in a story.
Additional shout outs to director Susan Johnson and screenwriter Sophia Alvarez – so pleased that these women brought this story to visual life.
Shifting gears, just want to give MYSELF a shoutout for running 7 miles this week!! I was correct last week, thinking that it would help to not run over the weekend so that I could restart this week feeling fresh. I ran 3 miles on Monday! Which felt great, because I was nearly halfway done with my weekly goal by the end of the “first” day of the week – wild.
(I mean that said, I still had to DRAG MYSELF OFF THE GROUND on Sunday night to finish my last few miles that I – duh – saved until the very last moment. But! I did it. And now that it’s over, that’s all that I’m caring to count.)
Cover of the week: The Water, by Johnny Flynn
Honestly, my version ain’t great – scratchy and I waited to do it too late and just wanted to get it done!! But it’s a really really lovely song, sung by a very lovely artist! Here’s a link to a live version (incidentally, the one I play on my computer at least once a week – SO GOOD).
I chose to cover this song for a few reasons:
- I couldn’t even think of a song to cover, but I opened up my memos app on my phone and discovered an old recording I made – just my voice, no instruments. I figured it would be nice to actually play!
- Very simple to play lol.
- After I decided to go with it, realized it talks about water (duh) and The Alchemist talks a good amount about sheep just wanting to eat and drink water… so…. there’s a tie in? Sure.
This has been a post!
PS – A thought I had tonight, but I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate it into the rest of the post, so I’ll just stick it down here:
You will not be delicately handed what you want. You have to fight for it, and sometimes that means walking away from something or someone who will never meet your needs, desires, justified expectations.