“The Zahir” and an Audible for the Halloween Season

“The Zahir” and an Audible for the Halloween Season

Happy October! I hope you all are looking forward to fall as much as I am. For one thing it’s starting to cool down here in Florida, which is something we Florida people look forward to at this point in the year. Plus, it means Halloween is around the corner. I got my decorations out early this year, two skeletons we’ve named Tooth-Picken’ Joe and Maria. Maria serves her purpose well, and startles my husband every time he passes by because he thinks some creep is standing at the door.

I have two things to share book-wise this month.

Book recommendation #1 The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho is a hoot. Yes, it’s thought-provoking and philosophical and probably not meant to be funny, and yet it is, in the way that life can be funny and ironic. For example, the first scene grabbed me, when the narrator gets questioned about the disappearance of his wife, because when the police asks for his alibi, the narrator reluctantly reveals he had spent the night with another woman. Oops!

The story follows this renowned (somewhat cowardly) writer as he embarks on his quest to find his missing wife. Along the way he traverses different countries (Kazakhstan) and encounters various (homeless, degenerate) people along the way. He begins to question everything that’s led him to be the man he’s become, for better or worse, and comes to understand, something along the lines that life is about living, not just going through the motions. The ending is frankly up to the interpretation of the reader. There’s a lot of mysticism and philosophy baked into the narrative and it certainly had me thinking about why I make the choices I make. Not too many writers can get one thinking that way, but Paulo Coelho does; it might be my favorite book I’ve read this year. If you happen to give it a go, let me know what you take away.

And this wouldn’t be much of a book club letter if I didn’t share something for the Halloween season. Right now, I’m re-reading ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker. Yes, this is the same Dracula you may have had on your reading list in High School. The Audible version is entertaining, performed by an ensemble cast, and best of all it’s included with an Audible subscription if you have one. It’s technically “free,” or free-ish. If you want to get into the Halloween spirit and read about the vampire that inspired all vampires to come, download the Audible. The chapters introducing Dracula are a lot of fun.