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Title: Aleph

Writer: Paulo Coelho

Publisher:Knopf (2011)

Pages: 269 p

Free book from Times Bookstore

Reading PauloCoelho’s books mean we have to be prepared taken on a journey. Chasing a dream in The Alchemist, choosing a path in By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, or simply celebrating the meaning of life in Veronika Decides To Die.

His latest book, Aleph, offered a quite different experience. This time,Paulo asked us to embark on a very personal journey-his self discovery. It begins when Paulo has reached a stagnant state of his spiritual life. All his routines have made him forgetting the meaning of faith, the joy of new spirit, and the passion of doing what he really loves.

Paulo then decided to travel, feel the outside world and revitalize his energy. One of his most drastic moments is when he’s hopping on the Trans-Siberian Railway and crossing the big continent by train, traveling 9,288 km from Moscow to Vladivostok,a city by the Pacific Ocean. During this journey, Paulo encountered many lessons from many interesting characters, from Yao,his wise translator, to Hilal, the talented young woman whom he loved five hundred years ago, but was betrayed by him in a very bad way. Through Hilal, Paulo seeks forgiveness, and tries to find a way to renew his love and find his happiness, by visiting and learning from his past. At first, Hilal seemed  so annoying with her persistence and stubbornness. Luckily, Paulo could lull us to start caring about Hilal the way he does.

What strikes me the most about this novel is while it is full of Paulo’s personal touch, yet I could relate with the story a lot, even though in many different ways. Why am I doing what I’m doing now? Have I lived a life worth to live? Where’s my passion now, buried under various tasks and routines? Paulo, as usual, has given me points to think about, and I’m suddenly tempted to embark on my own personal journey, be the king of my kingdom, and finally find the Aleph.

If you want to know more about this book, please join me in Aleph Book Discussion with The Urban Mama, Goodreads Indonesia, Berburu Centre, and Times Bookstores, October 29, in Kemang Village. Or, if you just want to grab the book, feel free to drop by in your nearest Times Bookstores =)