Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This book reminds me an awful lot of Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson. The Alchemist is about a shepherd, Santiago, and his mission to fulfill his Personal Legend. He first learns of his Personal Legend through dreams about the Pyramids. He meets a gypsy woman, an old king, a crystal shop owner, his love, and the alchemist. Each help him on his journey to fulfill his Personal Legend. Bear in mind, though, Santiago is not sure what his Personal Legend is; all he knows is that he must achieve it. Coelho interweaves Biblical references and speaks about God and also New Age/Wiccan beliefs of sand, wind, sun, etc. Nevertheless, the one thing that the author wants the reader to take away at the end of this book is that it should not just be the treasure found (fulfilling your Personal Legend), but the journey to accomplish it is where you learn about yourself and the people that help you on your way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman has done it again. The author of The Five Love Languages provides insight on how to start a marriage a little less rocky than his. He refers to his previous work, and even gives synoposes of them. Each chapter ends with questions to discussion with your significant other, and they would certainly open the door to great dialogue and hopefully a meeting of the minds. His Bible/God/Christianity references are minimal (aside from a chapter on church and spirituality), in case anyone is concerned about that. Also included is an appendix for the serious dating couple and a list of questions devoted strictly to them. It is obvious that this book can be utilized at any stage of a marriage, but is especially meant to enable pre-marital chats about things that are too often glossed over or just "assumed," like who cleans the toilet and other chores. The money management chapter is extensive, and rightfully so, since a majority of couples' arguments are over money. This book goes over many aspects in a very straightforward manner, and has questions I will certainly discuss with my S.O.