Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: alchemist
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-08 13:33
The Secret of the Alchemist
The Secret of the Alchemist - Colm Holland

by Colm Holland


This is a book unlike anything I've seen before. It is written by someone who was in the publishing industry when The Alchemist by Paul Coelho first came out in English translation. The introduction explains how the author was in charge of determining which new releases would fill the scarce shelves of the Australian book market and after reading the manuscript of Coelho's book, saw a bestseller and ordered an unprecedented number of copies.


But that isn't all. It goes on to tell how a meeting with Coelho led to a mystical experience and understanding of the book far beyond a story of a shepherd discovering his true will. That mystical revelation and subsequent changes to the author's life, from a fiction story, is what this book is all about.


At the time of writing this review I haven't read The Alchemist, though it's on my tbr. I wondered many times while reading, did Coelho intend to speak in allegory for deeper meanings or did Holland read his own mystical journey into what was intended only as a hero's journey story? I have no answer to that, but it apparently worked well for Holland and put his life on a satisfying track.


The explanation of the stages of spiritual Alchemy was worth the read alone. The "Dark night of the soul", enlightenment, then active phases might have come out of a book in the Mind, Body, Spirit section and perhaps that is where this one will be categorised. Much of it is personal to the author, yet the journey has similar stages to anyone following this spiritual path, whatever symbols they couch it in.


An interesting read and well-written so that it kept interest.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-04-25 00:26
Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss
NO EXIT a gripping thriller full of heart-stopping twists - William Taylor Adams

I am hoping to get 2 books completed during Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.   Enjoy the weekend all and happy reading!

Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-03-26 04:56
Time travelling tales
The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate - Ted Chiang

Very 1001 Nights style with a matrioshka element. Revisits a bit the determinism theme of "Story of your life", but the final message is somewhat kinder.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-03-09 02:55
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Valley of White Petals (book, vol. 3) by Makoto Inoue, original concept by Hiromu Arakawa, translated by Alexander O. Smith with Rich Amtower
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Valley of the White Petals - Rich Amtower,Makoto Inoue,Alexander O. Smith

Edward and Alphonse Elric are essentially forced to do a bit of work for Colonel Mustang in this one. Mustang is super busy but has also been tasked with monitoring a little town called Wisteria and writing up a report, so he delegates the Wisteria report to Edward.

Wisteria turns out to be a mysterious place. Everyone seems to think it's a desert utopia, the kind of place no one ever leaves. The only people allowed in are those who have nowhere else to go. Raygen, the alchemist who founded the town, explains that it operates under the law of equivalent exchange. As long as everyone works and contributes, they'll have a place to stay and food to eat. The harder jobs, like mining gemstones that are later sold outside Wisteria, pay better, but there's also easier work available in the local tavern and elsewhere around town. It seems perfect, until Edward investigates a little more.

This book had a decent message

and was basically an argument for Universal Basic Income, health care for all, etc. It was about as subtle as a sledgehammer, though, and even then it didn't quite go far enough. Yes, Wisteria had several weak, elderly, and/or frail people who couldn't do their "fair share," but I was surprised that Inoue didn't underscore the message by having one of the town's top earners, maybe Neil, injure himself on the job and experience a sudden fall from grace.

(spoiler show)

I might have liked this more if it hadn't felt so much like I'd already read it. Raygen, Wisteria, and Ruby reminded me a lot of Father Cornello, Reole/Liore, and Rose. Since that was one of the earliest storylines in the series, it surprised me that neither Ed nor Al were reminded of any of it themselves. True, Wisteria's secret was different than Reole/Liore's, but it was the same basic setup, a miraculously wonderful town controlled by a charismatic leader who wasn't as kind as he appeared to be. Both Ruby and Rose were tied to their respective charismatic leaders by their painful pasts.

I did like that Inoue paid a bit more attention to Alphonse than usual. Wisteria and its citizens prompted Alphonse to think more deeply about his goals and his feelings about his new body vs. his old one. And I really enjoyed the conversation Ed and Al had about any feelings of guilt Ed might still be carrying around. It reminded me that these two are probably my top favorite manga/anime siblings.

Translation-wise, either I just wasn't in the right mood or this one was a bit stiffer than the previous two.

This didn't really offer anything new and didn't work as well for me as the previous two novels, but it was still relatively decent.


A handful of black-and-white illustrations, one full-color illustration, an author afterword, and a short afterword by Hiromu Arakawa, complete with a couple sketches.


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

Like Reblog Comment
text 2020-03-06 13:08
Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 217 pages.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Valley of the White Petals - Rich Amtower,Makoto Inoue,Alexander O. Smith

This book is basically an argument for Universal Basic Income, health care for all, etc. Ed and Al find a little town that seems like paradise, until they discover what happens when people are too old, sick, and/or weak to work.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?