Archive for the ‘Paulo Coelho’ Category

Malala Yousafzai: By the Book

September 12, 2014

The activist and co-author of “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” relished “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the first book she read in the hospital when recovering from an attack by the Taliban. New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor will continue the conversation with Malala Yousafzai at a Times Talk this evening; click here to watch it live or afterwards.

Malala Yousafzai Credit Illustration by Jillian Tamaki

Malala Yousafzai Credit Illustration by Jillian Tamaki

What book are you reading right now?

I’ve been reading “Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck, which is on the school curriculum. It’s a short book, but it is filled with so much. It really reflects the situation of 1930s America. I was fascinated to learn how women were treated at the time, and what life was like for poor itinerant workers. Books can capture injustices in a way that stays with you and makes you want to do something about them. That’s why they are so powerful.

What’s the last truly great book you read?

“The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho. I like it because it is hopeful and inspiring. It tells the story of a boy who embarks on a journey to find a treasure, but as he goes along, he learns from every part of his journey and every person he meets. In the end, he finds his treasure in a very interesting place. His story tells you that you should believe in yourself and continue your journey.

Who are your favorite contemporary writers?

Who are your favorite contemporary writers?

Deborah Ellis (author of “Parvana’s Journey”) and Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner”). Both tell stories about young characters in difficult circumstances, having to make hard choices and having to find strength. They accurately depict war-torn regions. I like writers who can show me worlds I know nothing about, but my favorites are those who create characters or worlds which feel realistic and familiar to me, or who can make me feel inspired. I discovered Deborah Ellis’s books in the school library after my head teacher encouraged me to go beyond the school curriculum and look for books I might enjoy. This wasn’t long after I arrived in Britain, and I was missing my friends terribly. Reading about Afghanistan made me feel like being back at home. This is the power of books. They can take you to places which are beyond reach.

And your favorite writers of all time?

Paulo Coelho.

What books would you recommend for young people hoping to understand the plight of girls and women in Pakistan today?

“Mud City,” part of the “Parvana’s Journey” series by Deborah Ellis. I was gripped by this series and couldn’t drag myself away from it. Ellis beautifully captures childhood in war-torn Afghanistan and Pakistan. The stories are very moving.

Is there one book you wish all girls would read? One all students would read?

All girls: “The Breadwinner,” by Deborah Ellis. The book tells the story of a young girl who takes on the challenge of saving her family. I think it’s important for girls everywhere to learn how women are treated in some societies. But even though Parvana is treated as lesser than boys and men, she never feels that way. She believes in herself and is stronger to fight against hunger, fear and war. Girls like her are an inspiration. “The Breadwinner” reminds us how courageous and strong women are around the world.

All students should read “The Kite Runner.” It shows you should not judge other people by external things. And it shows loyalty and friendship.

Were there particular books that helped you get through the recovery process after the attack on you by the Taliban?

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was the first book I read in the hospital. I had been having headaches and couldn’t read or focus properly for a while. It is a lovely book, and it was given to me by Gordon Brown — he sent me 25 books, and this was my favorite.

Which books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelves?

“A Brief History of Time,” by Stephen Hawking. I read it during a period when life in Swat was very hard. I distracted myself from the fear and terrorism by thinking about things like how the universe began and whether time travel is possible. I enjoy science, and I’m a very curious person. I always want to know the reason behind everything, big or small.

What was the last book to make you laugh?

“The Little Prince.” It is a very clever book, and in the beginning it’s extremely funny.

The last book that made you cry?

I never cry reading a book.

The last book that made you furious?

Mine! The editing was really hard. Especially because we wanted to get everything right in a very short period of time. The workdays were very long, but it was worth it in the end.

What are your childhood memories of books and reading?

One of the first books I read is called “Meena,” about a girl who stood up for women’s rights and education in Afghanistan. I also read a biography about Martin Luther King Jr., written for children.

But I didn’t read a lot of books when I was young. In our country, many children don’t attend school or learn how to read. Those who do usually read only textbooks. In our classes, we focused more on history, science and mathematics than literature. Many people couldn’t afford books. Most books were secondhand, used by many children before. In Pakistan even schools own very few books. I was lucky to have a father who valued education and thought it was important that I knew how to read. I read eight or nine books in Swat, and I was considered to be a bookish girl! Here [in Birmingham, England] girls have read hundreds of books.

One of the most memorable moments in my life was when I was asked to open the Library of Birmingham, Europe’s largest new library. I had never seen so many books and all of them freely available to members of the public. If only children in Pakistan had such easy access to books! People of Birmingham are very lucky to have such a wonderful library.

If you could require the American president to read one book, what would it be?

If you could require the American president to read one book, what would it be?

I would like to suggest him to read many books. He should read “The Kite Runner,” too. And “The Little Prince.” Or maybe “The Alchemist,” if he would like to get away from his real world into the imaginary world of “The Alchemist.”

If you could require the prime minister of Pakistan to read one book, what would it be?

I would suggest him to read “Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns.”

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

The Alchemist.”

And the worst?

I think it would be disrespectful to say that, but I did read a book recently which I thought was the worst.

What was the last book you put down without finishing?

Someone gave me a book to help me in improving my English. I read a few pages, and I didn’t really like that book and decided not to read it, as it had no suspense. A book should have suspense and grab you right from the beginning.

What are you planning to read next?

“An Inspector Calls.” It’s actually a play that I saw and enjoyed. It is part of the English syllabus, and I want to read it as well.

Originally published New York Times.

Porcupines and Solidarity

September 7, 2014

Porcupines and Solidarity — Paulo Coelho

illustrations — Ken Crane

Synchronicity: I was reading Adultery this afternoon. The story revolves around Laura, a journalist who has lost meaning in her life. She reads Porcupines and Solidarity to her children.

Waterstone’s Alton: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

September 6, 2014
Adultery

Adultery

If Paulo Coelho’s latest book was on display, I could not see. I asked at the counter.

They did not know, and I was asked for the title.

Adultery.

I was taken to where it was spine showing not cover, with new titles.

They said they had sold a few. I would assume, people in the know, as not on prominent display.

I would have expected a bookshop to know of an international best seller from an international best selling author, but they did not.

Last Sunday, Adultery entered the New York Time’s best seller list at No2. The Alchemist was at No2 in the charts for paperbacks. Sunday, Paulo Coelho is a guest of Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday.

WHSmith Aldershot: Jo Nesbo’s latest book

September 5, 2014

Looking in Morrisons last week, I noticed Police, latest book from Jo Nesbo was half price.

If same offer in WHSmith, with 20% off voucher, then an even better deal.

I checked WHSmith Guildford last week on a fruitless search for Adultery, latest book from Paulo Coelho, on offer in WHSmith only you cannot find it, if they did have it and sold it, they do not restock. Where I had a bizarre conversation with thick-as-two-short-planks deputy manger who tried to tell me it was only ‘opinion’ Adultery an international best seller.

WHSmith Guildford, Police buy one get one half price. Not such a good deal.

It was therefore a surprise to see on Monday, Police still at half price in WHSmith Aldershot.

I looked in again today. A chart of paperbacks, Police that was at No1, now not shown in the charts. It could not have dropped out within the space of a week.

I looked around, found a second chart of paperbacks, where it was still shown at No1, and had a half price stickers. At least one had a half price sticker, the others had no stickers.

I also noticed, where shelved, buy one get one £1-99 (or something similar).

To be on the safe side, I took the one with the half price sticker to the counter.

Yes, it was half price, and yes, the second £1-99. I got a further 20% off with 20% off voucher.

This time I was given a get £5 off if you spend £15 voucher. Better even than a 20% off voucher if you spend £15, as getting third off, ie 33% off.

I queried, why was it shown buy one get one half price in WHSmith Guildford, to be told different stores had different prices.

I then asked did they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book? I had looked Monday, and not found where previously two copies had been randomly shelved.

No, they had not restocked when they sold their two copies when Adultery was published mid-August.

Unbelievable, an international best seller, from an international best selling author, Adultery entered New York Times best-seller last last Sunday at No2. This Sunday, Paulo Coelho a guest of Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday, first part of a two-part interview. An international best-seller that was on special offer in WHSmith (though no longer), that was not on display, those stores that had when they sold their copies, failed to restock.

Police, half price in some WHSmith stores, but not all. WHSith on-line, a higher price than in-store.

Jamie’s Comfort Food is on display at half price in WHSmith. It can be bought cheaper in Sainsbury’s.

I buy books, I was buying books. It was made very clear to me the store was closed, and I was politely asked to leave.

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain. The only surprise is that they remain in businesses.

WHSmith would make a classic case study in a businesses school on how not to.

Paulo Coelho on Super Soul Sunday

September 4, 2014

On Sunday, Paulo Coelho will be a guest of Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday, 11am ET/PT.

The Alchemist, his best-known book, originally did not sell in Brazil, and was dropped by the publisher.

He knocked on doors, and eventually found a publisher who was willing to take a risk, even though he was publishing a book, another publisher dropped.

Three years later when the book was already a half a million copies in Brazil, Paulo asked his publisher ‘Why did you accept a book that was already published and it was a flop?’ He replied ‘I don’t know.’

The Alchemist has gone on to sell 70 million copies.

Last week it was No2 in the New York Times best-seller list. It had recorded three-hundred and eighteen continuous weeks in the New York Times best seller list.

Adultery, his latest book published last week, entered the New York Times best-seller list at No2.

Adultery No2 in New York Times best-seller list

August 31, 2014
Adultery No2 New York Times

Adultery No2 New York Times

OMG! Tomorrow in the NY Times list – #2 in Hardcover and Paperback !!! — Paulo Coelho

An amazing achievement by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, two books simultaneously at No2 in the New York Times best-seller lists.

US is biggest English speaking market and Paulo Coelho has two books at Number Two.

Adultery was published in the English language, 14 August 2014 in UK and 19 August 2014 in US.

Adultery is today Number Two in the New York Times best seller list for hardbacks.

Adulterio en español el número uno.

The Alchemist was was first published in 1986. Twenty six years later, it is today Number Two in the New York Times best seller list for paperbacks. It has now recorded three-hundred and eighteen continuous weeks in the New York Times best seller list.

According to deputy manager of WHSmith Guildford, it is opinion Adultery a best seller.

According to deputy manager of WHSmith Guildford, it is opinion Paulo Coelho best selling author.

Waterstone’s Guildford: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 29, 2014
Adultery I feel as if I were entering a  tunnel I've never travelled before, one that leads from cynicism to passion,  from irony to surrender.

Adultery I feel as if I were entering a tunnel I’ve never travelled before, one that leads from cynicism to passion, from irony to surrender.

After my appalling experience in WHSmith Guildford, I look in Waterstone’s Guildford, do they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

Waterstone’s much better.

I cannot see with new releases. I ask a very helpful young lady with flowers in her hair.

She says yes, they have, and takes me to a display table, where I had not thought to look.

None there. A colleague tells her all sold, more have come in. She tells me it is selling well, four sold that week, and seven more have just been delivered. She also tells me she had started reading Adultery and it was very good. She offers to go and unpack a copy for me, it will only take a few minutes, if I do not mind waiting. I say no, I am literally starving, and must go off and get some lunch.

I tell her of my appalling experience in WHSmith Guildford and thank her for being so helpful.

I had looked in Waterstone’s Guildford prior to publication of Adultery, and told a member of staff I knew that it was an international best-seller. Heed must have been taken, as she said she would pass it on.

Contrast with WHSmith, an international best-seller, on special offer, and yet they do not bother to stock, if they do not on prominent display, and if they sell their only copies, they do not restock.

WHSmith Guildford: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 29, 2014
Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I've survived storms before.

Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I’ve survived storms before.

Each time I think, it cannot get any worse at WHSmith, they prove me wrong.

WHSmith Guildford, would they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I negotiate all the obstacles and obstructions between the entrance and the escalator, and go up to the first floor.

I look in all the obvious places, latest releases, special offers. I draw a blank. Nada.

I seek help from a member of staff. She actually knows what I am after, or another member of staff does, I am taken to where it is seemingly randomly filed. All of one copy.

She pulls it out and hands it to me. Noticing the absence of a half price sticker, I ask is it still on special offer? I am told no, the offer has ended.

Thinking this cannot be, it only was published a couple of weeks ago, I take the book to another member of staff. He scans the book and confirms what I have been told.

A single copy of Adultery, and no longer on special offer.

This beggars belief, a best-seller on special offer, nowhere has it in stock, then when I find a store that has a copy, a single copy it no longer is on offer.

I ask for the manager. Floor manager? No, store manager.

No manager to be found, I settle for deputy manager.

A bizarre conversation then ensues. I am told I should have come to this store not other stores where they did not have a copy. I am then told it does not sell, and it is my opinion that it is a best-seller!

Jamie’s Comfort Food, latest cookbook from Jamie Oliver. Displayed in the window, on special offer at price half price, on display in-store. At half price, better off walking across the road to Waterstone’s, where at least they know about books. Or if you want it less than half price, walk up the High Street to Sainsbury’s, where it is £12-99 (same price as Amazon).

I walk out of the store in disgust.

Fact: International best-seller.

Fact: Second print run in US in less than a week.

Fact: In Sunday Times best-seller list.

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business. WHSmith has become a laughing stock. But I doubt they even care.

Adultery, published earlier this month, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, or it was, but either not in stock, or where they have sold, have not bothered to restock, then when found, no longer on special offer!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Farnborough: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 29, 2014
Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I've survived storms before.

Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I’ve survived storms before.

Just when I think WHSmith can not get any worse (WHSmith Lincoln, WHSmith Camberley, WHSmith Farnham), WHSmith Farnborough once again proves me wrong.

Did they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I look in all the obvious places, latest releases, special offers, even where it had been randomly filed over a week ago. I draw a blank. Nada.

A member of staff sees me looking lost, and offers to help.

Now there is a rarity, a helpful member of staff.

I say what I am looking for, he does not know, and goes off to ask another member of staff.

He returns with the answer, we had two copies, we sold them.

Now I think it fair to say, Adultery, Paulo Coelho’s latest book is not a rare limited edition. It is an international best-seller, last week in the Sunday Times best-seller list, WHSmith Farnborough sells their only two copies, but fails to re-order. A best-seller they have on special offer, only they do not bother to stock!

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business. WHSmith has become a laughing stock. But I doubt they even care.

Adultery, published earlier this month, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, they have failed to restock the copies sold, let alone on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

Waterstone’s Winchester: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 27, 2014
Adultery Why is Love is more important than Faith?

Adultery Why is Love more important than Faith?

Would Waterstone’s Winchester have Paulo Coelho’s latest book, would it be on prominent display?

I looked where latest hardbacks were on display. I could not see Adultery.

I asked at the counter. A helpful man, he said yes, we do have, Paulo Coelho books are upstairs, but should be here with latest releases.

We looked, and I spotted before he did. Three, maybe four copies.

I asked was it selling.

He said yes, slowly slowly.


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