Reading List | The Alchemist + The Unlikely Pilgrimage
Welcome to the Atlas Addict Reading List! Each month we’ll be reading and reviewing travel and/or culturally-themed books. Feel free to tell us your thoughts and comments!
By Kate Klassa
Coelho’s book has been featured on many “essential travel reads” lists, and it’s worth the read. Though short – less than 200 pages – and simple, it’s an engaging read about following your dreams despite the circumstances. The Alchemist follows an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago as he travels from Spain to Egypt to find buried treasure at the Pyramids. He suffers many misadventures along the way – robbers, love, war – yet learns valuable lessons from each one, and the end finds even more than he imagined.
Though the title sounds like a memoir written by someone who unexpectedly decides to go out into the world to find themselves, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is instead a sweet, uplifting story of a man who receives a letter from an old friend saying she is dying from cancer. He initially sends a letter with his condolences, but then decides to walk 500 miles across England to see her one last time, convinced that his journey will save her. He spends his time reminiscing about his past mistakes and memories, and meets a number of interesting characters along the way. Harold Fry is an endearing, engaging read that keeps readers rooting for the characters even as they reveal their flaws.