What I Think About “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho

AlephAleph by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I admit, I was baffled at first. I bought this book sometime in May 2013 and found the first three pages a jumble of words. So I let it sit on the shelf for over a year and decided to start reading it on my way to the office last Tuesday. Then I begun to understand Paulo Coelho’s intention to take the reader with him on his journey towards self-discovery. When he started talking about reincarnation, a topic that have always intrigued me, I fell in love.

In this book, the author talks about finding his passion in connecting with the persons and things around him, which he thinks got lost, in his journey via the Trans-Siberian railway. In this trip, he met Hilal, who he later found out is the same woman he loved five hundred years ago. Together, they discovered an Aleph, which helped Coelho explain why Hilal feels so attracted to him.

Like Coelho’s other works, this book is filled with uplifting words. Among my favorites is this one:

“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you want to do. Seek out people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes and who, therefore, do make mistakes. Because of that, their work often isn’t recognized, but they are precisely the kind of people who change the world and, after many mistakes, do something that will transform their own community completely.”

Reading Aleph made me wonder again about the existence of reincarnation. This is a fascinating thing for me because I myself am amazed about how and why I feel so “at-home” just by looking at pictures of London. I feel this inner peace and bliss that makes me feel like I’ve had quite a lovely lifetime in there before when in fact, I’ve never been out of the country (in this lifetime, at least). Did I spend one of my past lives in London before, or is the lifetime I am living in now preparing (or promising) me that I am going to be in London in my next?

Maybe I should stop thinking about the past and future lives. One of the things that this book taught me is to live and believe in the present. Life is one rainy forest and we have to deal not only with the rain, but with the creatures that God has put in the jungle with us. This book taught me to never stop dreaming because in the end, only the dreamers can survive the never-ending chaos in the forest. I want to be a dreamer who fights until the end to realize my dreams because…


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An Insatiable Hunger for Reading

Catching a whiff of the grass-like tang of a paperback always invigorates me.

Jeez! I must have been so busy these past three months that I was not able to post anything on my blog! I’m a terrible blogger.

Yes, I was extremely busy. To save myself from boredom while in line for the lousy MRT (sorry, MRTA, but I am not alone in having that opinion) and to have something to occupy my thoughts before I sleep at night, I always have a friend made of board and paper to accompany me.

So, for the last three months, I was away to visit Westeros and check what’s going on with Daenerys in Slaver’s Bay. (Caution: The next two sentences contain spoilers. If you want to, just keep reading. You have been forewarned.) Westeros is now in more turmoil than ever, with Cersei back in the Red Keep after the humiliating events in the Sept of Baelor and Jon Snow might be dead. Slaver’s Bay is also in chaos and Daenerys just fell to the hands of the enemy. In addition to the The Song of Ice and Fire series, I have also read Rainbow Rowell’s “Eleanor & Park” and “Attachments”, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, and Robert Galbraith’s “The Cuckoo’s Calling”. Presently, I am in the middle of Winter’s Tale and the first volume of Sherlock Holmes.

Let me share some of my favorite passages from these novels that became part of my life.

This one is from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the book that once again reminded me how it is to see the world from a child’s point of view.

George R. R. Martin made me smile when I came to this point in A Dance with Dragons.

Eleanor & Park is a realistic love story. A far cry from the typical love-at-first-sight novels and TV programs we are used to.

John Green did a great work with Looking for Alaska. I’m soon to be 25 years old while the characters in it are only sixteen to eighteen but I admit that I still mull over what the future holds for me.

It’s easy to get absorbed to these books. I love books, I love stories, I love reading. I love the way books make me think and escape into a different world. I wonder why some people do not enjoy reading books. I guess they are doing it the wrong way.

When Wavelengths Meet

I received this text message from a friend:

Ate Che-Che, why is Gus like that? I’m gonna cry!

And I immediately sent her a consoling reply, telling her that life is not always a happily-ever-after tale, knowing that she is referring to the ending of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Who said that bookworms are antisocial? We are not. We just choose the people we want to talk to. Try to visit a book’s Facebook page or Instagram account, you will see millions of readers sharing their thoughts about the characters, the plot, the author, how the book was creatively written, how a certain event can be related to real-life situations, and how an ideology being discussed impacts a person’s ethics.

It’s wonderful how books can make people connect instantly. Someone will start a quote from a book and every nerd in the room will follow suit. And thank God for the Internet, a single hashtag will direct you to thousands of feeds for a certain fiction character.

That’s enough blabber for me today. Let me get back to Westeros. The Season 4 of Game of Thrones will air this April and I have to finish the books first.