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review 2020-02-25 04:42
The Alchemist (audiobook) by Paulo Coelho, narrated by Jeremy Irons
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Santiago is an Andalusian shepherd boy who's on his way to see a girl he once met and fell a little in love with. Before he gets there, however, some stuff happens that I can only vaguely recall. Something about a fortune teller, who tells him that a dream he had about the pyramids in Egypt will lead him to a great treasure. A mysterious man who turns out to be something more convinces Santiago to abandon his ordinary and comfortable life as a shepherd and begin his quest - the pursuit of his Personal Legend.

I'm making a conscious effort to get through more books in my collection that I figure I'll probably be okay with either selling or donating when I'm done. This seemed like a good candidate - I picked up a copy ages ago at a conference, and while it seemed vaguely interesting, it wasn't the sort of thing I'd normally read. When I saw that my library owned the audiobook version via Overdrive, I figured that'd be the perfect way to get through it. I'd listen to it, use my paper copy to help me with any name spellings or other details in my review, and then offload it.

Audiobook was probably the best way to go. Jeremy Irons' voice was wonderful to listen to and made the four hours of listening time almost bearable.

That said, I hated this book. Hated it. Had it actually been a fantasy adventure about a boy on a quest for treasure, I might have liked it a bit more, but in reality this was more a self-help book in story form.

Its basic message was this: if you listen to your heart, follow your dreams, and go after your goals with everything you've got, there's nothing you can't accomplish. The entire universe will assist you. The only thing that can stop you is fear of failure.

It's a cruel message. It says "If you're not managing to succeed at this thing you're trying so hard to accomplish, it means that the problem is you. You're somehow still not doing enough, not trying enough, not wanting it enough." It's such an insidious lie, and it made me angry that Coelho had chosen to build an entire world around it.

Santiago really could accomplish anything he wanted to, just by putting his whole heart and soul into his quest. Any other boy might have starved to death after selling all his sheep to go after a treasure he'd seen in a dream, but not Santiago. Every experience he had and every person he met was just another lesson or sign that would lead him to his ultimate goal, his Personal Legend. Thieves left him penniless and theoretically hungry, but he was never truly in danger of starving as long as he kept his goal in sight. At one point he was beaten, but the pain might as well have been a light bruising for all the attention Santiago paid it. Everything always came back to his stupid Personal Legend, the only thing that seemed to leave any sort of lasting impact on him, except maybe Fatima. But more on Fatima later.

In the real world, a person can put everything they have into their goal, pursue their dreams with all their heart and soul, do everything right...and still not succeed. This is not an indicator that they didn't work hard enough or want their dream badly enough, as The Alchemist would suggest. Maybe they didn't have a rich friend or family member who could give them an interest-free loan. Maybe they got sick and suddenly had their health and medical bills to worry about. Maybe they had a family to support and didn't want to be complete jerks towards their loved ones (families didn't seem to factor into this whole Personal Legend thing at all - basically, if they really loved you and supported you, they'd take care of themselves until you accomplished your Personal Legend).

Which brings me back to Fatima, the young woman of the desert Santiago fell in love with (no relation to the young woman he was initially kind of in love with but utterly forgot later on). Her Personal Legend, if I remember correctly, was Santiago. All she had to do was wait in the desert for him. That's it. Why did Santiago's Personal Legend involve a multi-year quest that he had to actively participate in, while Fatima's just required her to exist and be pretty and unmarried? And then, when Santiago left to pursue his Personal Legend, she had to sit and patiently wait for him to come back, however long that might take. They had only spoken a few times and definitely weren't married, so she was basically just waiting for a near-stranger. It was Coelho's version of a soulmate romance. Man, I wish I'd been reading an actual soulmate romance novel rather than this book.

All in all, I don't recommend this, not even with Jeremy Irons' wonderful narration.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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url 2019-09-09 06:35
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review 2019-04-08 20:42
The Engineer
The Engineer (Irons #1) - Luc Brahy,Tristan Roulot

It's been a while since I finished a book, had sort of a reading slump with work being so busy. I hope to pick up the normal pace soon though.

 

-----------

 

The beginning of this graphic novel was really strong, so much so that I had high hopes for the rest. While it was definitely entertaining it was basically a not so nice guy investigating a bridge collapse. Which was nice but only so much exciting.

The main character has a tragic back story but it was difficult to really like him. I'm curious however to see where it is going from here. The art was not superb but nice enough. I would like to read the next volume.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2018-07-02 09:59
Steam Generator Irons Sales Global Market Analysis, Segments, Key Players, Trends and Forecast 2018

This report studies the global Steam Generator Irons market status and forecast, categorizes the global Steam Generator Irons market size (value & volume) by key players, type, application, and region. This report focuses on the top players in North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia India and Other regions (Middle East & Africa, Central & South America).

 

A steam generator iron is a clothes iron that creates steam while it is in use to increase its effectiveness on your clothes. The steam is able to penetrate into the fabric of the clothing. This makes it more flexible and makes wrinkles and creases easier to remove.

 

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Europe has the largest global export quantity and manufacturers in Steam Generator Irons market, while the China is the second sales volume market for Steam Generator Irons in 2016.

Steam Generator Irons technology is very mature now, and new enterprises can not surpass existing famous brands on reputation or design in the short term. So, the study group recommends the new entrants need to be considered carefully before enter into this field.

 

The global Steam Generator Irons market is valued at 2650 million US$ in 2017 and will reach 2960 million US$ by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 1.4% during 2018-2025.

 

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The major players covered in this report
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review 2017-07-16 00:00
Beautiful Beast
Beautiful Beast - Aubrey Irons Beautiful Beast - Aubrey Irons I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Beautiful Beast is a gorgeous hot mess. That's a compliment. I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but I want to say up front, that the story goes between POVs, and switches between time periods. So if that's an issue for you, know before you go in that the entire book is written this way. It's a selling point for me, because seeing the story unfold from two different sides and going back to the beginning to see where things began... well, that's delicious.

Bastion is just the worst. As the book begins, nobody likes him. Mostly because he's a huge ass, and he's fresh off a major incident that alienated him from his friends. The feeling is new to him, because he's used to being one of the community's "Crown Princes" (pun intended)



Anastasia has never been impressed with Bastian's wealth or standing, and as soon as she could, she left and didn't look back. When she gets called back because her father is injured, Bastion is quick to tell her that he considers the damage to the property her father's fault, and if she doesn't stay, her father's job is in jeopardy. Of course, this doesn't endear him to Ana - it makes things much, much worse.

He takes every opportunity to be hateful towards her, and Ana responds with spite that she's built up over the years of their sniping. Bastion clearly doesn't have the best motives in asking her back, but Ana can't figure out what they are.

The picture unravels slowly as the other characters reveal bits and pieces, and Ana sees many different sides to Bastion. Not all good, and not all bad. He's definitely done some SUPER shady things over the years, but that doesn't negate the fact that they have a connection that can't be ignored.

I gather my wits as I look up into those eyes, and I know I could stop this.
…But we both know I won’t.
Because I’m weak with him. Because Bastian Crown makes me lose all sense of my sensibilities.
Because I’m addicted to the way he can break me so sweetly, apparently.
My hands tighten on his forearm, and instead of pushing him away, I pull.


I was MESMERIZED by this story, and I cannot recommend it enough. If you're intrigued by anything you read here, please pick it up and give it a shot. It deserves all five of the stars I give.
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