The Zahir - Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa This book has a rather interesting story for me, more interesting than most, lol. I picked this book to read as my Z book for an A-Z Title Challenge. Coinciding with that two things happened. First, one of my book groups here on GR decided to read it as a group read, and then a bunch of my friends decided to read The Alchemist at the same time. With the due date for this one looming, I ended up reading the two books back to back, and I have to highly recommend doing that. While The Alchemist is a philosophy book told in a story, The Zahir is a story that tells how that philosophy worked in one characters life. It has a more real life setting than The Alchemist, and reading the two of them together made each one both more enjoyable and more cohesive. I have laughingly told people that it was karma, or destiny, or fate that I read the two together, and I feel that Mr. Coelho would get a kick out of that.

The central character in the book is a nameless famous writer (just like the shepherd in The Alchemist is nameless). At the beginning of the book we find that his wife has disappeared, and it is soon apparent that she has left him. From there the story takes us through his personal struggles to understand why she left, and to pick up the pieces of his life. Along the way we meet some interesting characters, most notably his girlfriend Marie and Mikhail, a friend of his missing wife's.

This book just flowed for me. It was an easy read. I enjoyed the story line and the way that the events played out in the book. I especially liked the character of Mikhail, and reading about his life story. The other thing that I really likes was the author's references to the philosophy espoused in The Alchemist. Maybe because this books seemed more like a true story, less like a myth, I found it even a little bit more enjoyable than The Alchemist. I would give it 4.5 stars if I could.