This online literary guide has everything you need to study the book. This course includes vocabulary, grammar, discussion questions, rabbit trails, and a writing project. It is perfect for a month of high school-level language arts.
I could probably digress further, but I wish to leave room for your own thoughts on all of this, and anything else that intrigued you, while reading the first twelve chapters of the book. Here are a few questions to ponder, please feel free to discuss in the comment section:
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And then there is alchemy, both scientific and spiritual, to tackle. To be fair to each, they should be dealt with separately, then addressed together so as to underscore the similarities. There are specific alchemists mentioned in the book whose biographies might be interesting to my audience, yet I fear boring the masses with my enthusiasm.
During his quests, Santiago meets an Englishman in the deserts of Egypt. The Englishman read countless books on alchemy ( science on transforming metals ) and was in the quest to understand how to turn ordinary metal into gold. Though he read many books and learned the subject for years, he never actually practiced it for the fear of failure. In his quest to find an alchemist in the deserts to guide him, he understood deep within that he just has to try. It was his fear of failure that stopped him from trying for many years.
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Oprah's Book Club was a book discussion club segment of the American talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, highlighting books chosen by host Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey started the book club in 1996, selecting a new book, usually a novel, for viewers to read and discuss each month. In total, the club recommended 70 books during its 15 years.
Due to the book club's widespread popularity, many obscure titles have become very popular bestsellers, increasing sales in some cases by as many as several million copies. Al Greco, a Fordham University marketing professor, estimated the total sales of the 70 \"Oprah editions\" at over 55 million copies.
The book club's first selection on September 17, 1996, was the then recently published novel The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Winfrey discontinued the book club for one year in 2002, stating that she could not keep up with the required reading while still searching for contemporary novels that she enjoyed. After its revival in 2003, books were selected on a more limited basis (three or four a year).
The October 2007 selection was Love in the Time of Cholera, a 1985 novel by Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez, greatly furthering not only the influence of the author in North America, but that of his translator Edith Grossman. Another work by Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was a previous selection for the book club in 2004.
In a 2014 paper by economist Craig L. Garthwaite published in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, it was reported that while the book club increased sales of individual titles in the list, it caused a short-term overall decrease in sales for the book industry as a whole after each selection was announced. Since Oprah's selections were longer and more difficult classics that demanded greater time and energy to read, those people who were reading Oprah's books were not buying their usual fare of genre books: \"there were statistically significant decreases for mysteries and action/adventure novels. Romances also saw a sales decline,\" following an Oprah endorsement. In the 12 weeks following an endorsement, \"weekly adult fiction book sales decreased by a statistically significant 2.5 percent.\"
There is something so relentlessly therapeutic, so consciously self-improving about the book club that it seems antithetical to discussions of serious literature. Literature should disturb the mind and derange the senses; it can be palliative, but it is not meant to be the easy, soothing one that Oprah would make it.
Jonathan Franzen felt conflicted about his book The Corrections being chosen as a book club selection. After the announcement was made, he expressed distaste with being in the company of other Oprah's Book Club authors, saying in an interview that Winfrey had \"picked some good books, but she's picked enough schmaltzy, one-dimensional ones that I cringe, myself, even though I think she's really smart and she's really fighting the good fight.\" Franzen added that his novel was a \"hard book for that audience.\"
Following the criticism Franzen was uninvited from the televised book club dinner, and he apologized profusely. When Franzen was not invited back, he suggested that perhaps he and Winfrey could still have dinner but not on TV, but Winfrey was all booked up, and her spokesperson said she was moving on.
In 2010, Oprah chose another of Franzen's books, Freedom, for her book club. She said that after she read a copy of the book Franzen had sent her with a note, she called the author and gained his permission. Oprah said, \"we have a little history this author and I\", but called the book \"a masterpiece\", and according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, she \"seems to have forgiven the bestselling author after their 2001 kerfuffle\".
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