*The Witch of Portobello

by Paulo Coelho | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780007251889 Global Overview for this book
Registered by jneni on 10/26/2008
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9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by jneni on Sunday, October 26, 2008
This is the 2nd Paulo Coelho book that I picked up. It is a tale about a 'witch' called Athena. Usually, Coelho's books talk a lot about inner-self-searching and themes that deal with spirituality. This one, I felt, was a bit too much to me. It goes too deep into talking about the feminism of God. As I was reading, I found myself getting more and more confused. Who is the Goddess that Coelho was referring to in the book? He is a Catholic, or at least, if I'm not mistaken he is a self-proclaimed Catholic, but Jehovah is not a 'Goddess', never a feminine God. Well, at least, Jehovah is never like the kind of God that Coelho described. Either way, this book is way too spiritual for me. I picked it up thinking that I will find a good read, instead I felt that I was given a lecture or a preaching (not a teaching).

I'm ready to give it out to anyone who's interested in this.

Journal Entry 2 by jneni on Sunday, February 08, 2009
This book is now turning into a bookray. It is always open for new readers :) Please either sign up HERE or PM me if you would like to join!

1. When you receive the book, please journal it properly.
2. Please do not take too long to read the book. If you think that you have no time to read when you are next on the list, please PM me so I can make arrangements accordingly and place you at the bottom of the list.
3. After you have finished reading the book, please PM the next person on the list for their mailing information.
4. As this is a bookray, I hope this book will travel as much as it could :) If you are the last person on the list (and if I can't seem to find someone else yet), please help out to find the next interested reader.

Here are the people who signed up to join the bookray:

teenie-K (Canada/NA)
Bug2004 (US only)
Shroffland (US only)
Rrrcaron (US/Int'l)
DitteL (EU)
Kalise (EU)
LaPitchoune (EU)
Gunvor (EU/Int'l)
Solskinn (EU/Int'l)
Mozette (Aus/Int'l)

Journal Entry 3 by jneni at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Friday, February 27, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (2/27/2009 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



Ok I dropped this in the mail, however.. I just realized I made a huge mistake. It's going by surface (I'm sending some other surprises in surface) so I am praying that it will not reach Natgirl101 too late...

Otherwise, this ring has just STARTED!

Journal Entry 4 by Bug2004 from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Saturday, August 22, 2009
Re'cvd today. Will get to it as quick as I can. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 5 by Bug2004 from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Tuesday, January 05, 2010
A good read. I agree that at times it was a bit confusing, but I enjoyed it overall.

This will be moving by the weekend. Thanks for sharing and I'm terribly sorry for holding it for so long!

Journal Entry 6 by Shroffland from Snellville, Georgia USA on Monday, January 25, 2010
This arrived in the mail today! I do have several TBR's to finish before I can start this one, but I'm really hoping to get it moving again within a month. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 7 by Shroffland at -- Mailed, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (3/16/2010 UTC) at -- Mailed, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA



Sending this on to the next reader in the Ray. An interesting story about a modern seeker of wisdom who finds she can empower others to experience the divine, but that this power also brings out fear and violence.

Thought provoking and a bit unsettling.

Journal Entry 8 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I received this book in the mail today. I have a book in progress, but this will be next!

Journal Entry 9 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I really enjoyed this book. Coello has a way of really making you think, lol. I loved how it ended, wrapped up nicely. Sending on to next reader.

Journal Entry 10 by DitteL from Næstved, Storstrøms Amt Denmark on Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Arrived today. I'll start reading it as soon as I finish my current read.

Journal Entry 11 by DitteL from Næstved, Storstrøms Amt Denmark on Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I'd hoped that I'd been able to finish reading this book sooner, but first life got in the way and when I finally started to read it, it couldn't really grab my attention.
I've read quite a few Coelho books and I've tired of his stories. In my prespective it's the same story over and over again, about a person going on a journey to find themself. Thus, this will probably be the last Coelho book I'll read for a while. Who knows I'll might return to this authorship later on.

I've already got the addy for the next reader, and the book will continue its journey within this week.

Journal Entry 12 by DitteL at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, April 24, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (4/24/2010 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



On its way to the next reader. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 13 by kalise from St. Florian bei Linz, Oberösterreich Austria on Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The book is with me here in Austria. Thanks for sending, Dittel! And thanks for giving me the opportunity to read it, jneni.

Journal Entry 14 by kalise from St. Florian bei Linz, Oberösterreich Austria on Thursday, May 06, 2010
Ok let’s see whether I got this right. The story is about a young woman questing for her identity, which, after a harrowing experience with the church, leads her to reject the Christian male and rule-bound God, ultimately to find herself in the sacred feminine or earth mother (or vice versa, she finds the Goddess within herself). The message being that we find purpose in life by embracing the earth Goddess – worshipping through dance, apparently. In this sense the otherwise self-professing Catholic Coelho totally subscribes to neo-paganism, which seems to be a paradox – how can the two be compatible ?? - I agree with jneni that this is confusing.

The quest for the “sacred feminine” in conflict with institutionalized Christianity seems to be a fashionable topic these days (Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, anyone?). I read it with polite interest but (shrug shoulders)… I find the debate as to God’s gender & “finding the female face of God” rather irrelevant. To me, personally, God is love and love is beyond gender. Maybe I am just not getting the point of the book, who knows.

I did enjoy the intellectual depth of this book (it certainly makes one think), and the surprising twist at the end. Even though I can’t identify with the book’s premise, I find it interesting. But it never carried me away like his master work, The Alchemist, or Veronica decides to die, both of which left an impact on me. I may not always agree with him, but nevertheless…. I still think Coelho is a brilliant spiritual writer and I do intend to read more of his works.

Am going to send the book on to the next reader ASAP.

Journal Entry 15 by kalise at Linz, Oberösterreich Austria on Friday, May 07, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (5/7/2010 UTC) at Linz, Oberösterreich Austria



on to LaPitchoune in Finland!

Journal Entry 16 by LaPitchoune from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, May 17, 2010
Ding-Dong! The Witch is here! Thanks for posting it, Kalise! I'm always glad to receive items from Austria, since it is one of my favourite countries! I hope everything is well there in Linz, with the spring and upcoming summer and all.

Anyways, having read only 'The Devil and Miss Prym' I am a relatively inexperienced reader of Paulo Coelho. He has achieved a legendary status as a world-famous author. Everyone seems to be reading his books, but somehow, according to what I've read (commentaries, blurbs and this one single novel) they seem a little flat to me in all their all-embracing, edgeless life/wisdom propaganda. I wanted to give him another chance, and maybe yet another after that (I have signed in another ring after this).

I'll try to get started asap.

Journal Entry 17 by LaPitchoune at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, June 03, 2010
Even if some bits were cheesy and even a little embarrassing, this book was still way better than The Devil and Miss Prym, which was just too naive to comprehend. The strogest merits befall on the early development of Athena's character. What follows is the contemplation of a wider message Coelho is so often guilty of. *shudder*

Briefly, the bits and pieces of information we get from different characters concerning Athena form a jigsaw puzzle that is actually interesting, but when Coelho starts pondering the value of clichés like money, life and love, well, it's the same flavorless cotton candy all over again. Sure, it's important to remind people of their importance, but couldn't using less of these particular & self-evident words sometimes produce a more invigorating effect?

My favourite details were the task to imagine a purpose, message and story behind every piece of paper piled on one's desk (p.136). What suits bookcrossers especially well is the part where Coelho blames people of storing books on the shelves. Why must we gather possession? Haven't we learned anything by reading them (p.154)?

Thanks for the ring. Off to the next reader soon.

Journal Entry 18 by gunvor at Søborg, København Amt Denmark on Monday, June 07, 2010
I recieved the book today and was really surprised. I thought I had cancelled on this ray as I recieved it from another bookcrosser some time ago and started my own ray, sorry for not passing the message properly jneni. Anyway, thanks for sharing and I will pass it along to the next reader to enjoy. In the link below you can read my (and others) review and I had mixed feelings about it.


Journal Entry 19 by gunvor at ~ An Exchange!, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (6/16/2010 UTC) at ~ An Exchange!, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases


The book is on its way downunder to Mozette, as solskinn passed.
Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 20 by Mozette at Logan City, Queensland Australia on Thursday, June 24, 2010
This one showed up in my mailbox today. I've been looking forward to reading it sometime this year for this bookring/ray. Thank you for including me jneni.

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