The ABA Book Club Reviews – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Hi friend!

Every month we review and recommend a great book for you to practice reading in English. The language in these books is not complex from a literary point of view, but they do require a certain level of understanding.

The book we will be recommending today is The Alchemist, a novel by Paulo Coelho. It was published in 2006. It is a fable, a short story that is intended to teach a lesson.

It is is very, very well known and we are sure you have heard of it before! It was originally written in Portuguese but it has been translated into hundreds of languages.

Reading Level Lower Intermediate
Genre Fiction
Length (pages) 197
Original Date of Publishing 2006


The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

The Alchemist is full of beautiful quotes:

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them”

“If you’re brave to say ‘good bye’, life will reward you with a new ‘hello'”

“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to get it”

“Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something it’s because that desire originated in the full of the universe. It’s your mission on Earth”


Shepherd – a person whose job is to take care of sheep.

Yearn – to feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something.

Alchemist – a person who has a power that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way.

Fateful – having important results.

Encounter – to have or experience (problems, difficulties, etc.).

Omens – something that is believed to be a sign or warning of something that will happen in the future.

Strewn – to spread or scatter things over or on the ground or some other surface.

Wise – having or showing wisdom or knowledge usually from learning or experiencing many things.

Reward – to give money or another kind of payment to (someone or something) for something good that has been done.

Conspires – to secretly plan with someone to do something.

Mission – a task or job that someone is given to do.


To read more reviews and find out where to buy this book, if you think you’d enjoy reading it, visit Goodreads.

the alchemist

Do you have a special book you would recommend to your friends? Let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *