The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky."Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."
Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book.
It tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.
The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
At the age of eleven, Daniel Sempere awakens early one morning, screaming. He has suddenly realized that he has forgotten his mother's face. His devoted father, a seller of used books, comforts him, and as dawn breaks, he decides to take him on his first visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a secret, maze-like library where books "no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands." By tradition, each visitor to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, on his first visit, has to choose a book—any book—and adopt it, guaranteeing that it will never disappear.
Written by Julian Carax, The Shadow of the Wind is the story of a man's quest to find the father he never knew, to recapture his lost youth, and to lay to rest the ghosts of a lost love. Totally captivated by the book, Daniel later tries to find out more about its mysterious author and locate additional novels, but he discovers that some other unknown seeker is also searching for Carax's books—in order to burn them.
p.s. Zafon has just written a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind called The Angel's Game for release May 18. Can't wait!