Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Inspirations

Inspirations: Selections from Classic Literature by Paulo Coelho

Publication Date: October 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: Classics
ISBN-13: 9780141194004

(Received for review from Penguin)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound

If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:

Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library

Author's Website:
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Synopsis (Flipkart):

"Anthology" comes from the Greek word that stands for garland - a bouquet of flowers. An anthology then should be a sort of reminder of something else, a small token of something much larger. In the case of flowers they bring with their fragrance and colorfulness the reminder of the fields, of a season. Coeho's anthology, therefore, is not only a collection of texts or poems, but a gift, something arranging according to his sensitivities, to give to others. The selection of books presented in this volume have been chosen as if from a vast field of flowers, stretching infinitely into time's horizon. Coelho's selection is ordered in to the four elements, symbolizing both our world on all it's directions, and the way we dwell in this world, the way we say it. In "Earth" we find writers as diverse as Oscar Wilde and D.H. Lawerence; in "Air" Nelson Mandela and Gabriel Garcia Marquez; in "Fire" Rumi and Mary Shelley; in "Water" Hans Christian Anderson and Machiavelli.


I have always been a great lover of Classic literature. The masters seem to have a way of getting across their point that is sometimes lost in today's literature. Paulo Coelho is one of the most read author's in the world and now he has put together an anthology that includes extracts from many classic author's like Bram Stoker, Hans Christian Anderson and Mary Shelley.

This book is divided into four sections based on the four elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Each section has extracts from texts written by classic authors, based on that theme. Some of the selections I had read before and others were new to me. I found the division of the book essential to understanding why he chose each piece for inclusion in the anthology.

This is a very eclectic collection of work including fiction and non-fiction pieces. Coelho has done a wonderful job of putting it together and giving the reader several snippets from the classics. There is quite a range of interests and genres featured and I think it will appeal to lovers of the classics as well as to a broader range of readers who are interested, but not necessarily committed to reading all of these works.

Some of my favorites from the collection include snippets from Mary Shelley's, Frankenstein and Lewis Caroll's, Through the Looking Glass. I also enjoyed Sun Tzu's selection from The Art of War and George Orwell's, 1984. An anthology like this one is sure get people interested in reading the entirety of these pieces once they've had a taste. It's like a prelude to what's to come if they want to take the time to read further.

I liked this anthology a lot. I have read Coelho's book, The Alchemist and really identified with his "voice". It comes through also in his selections for this anthology. I recommend it those who already love the classics and to readers who are looking for classics they might be interested in.

Inspirations is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho broke sacred ground - and crossed over into worldwide fame as an author - with his symbolic masterpiece, The Alchemist. Since then, Coelho has dedicated his work to the ideal of helping people to follow their wildest dreams.

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