If you are searching for inspiring reads that leave a meaningful message or reflection for your life, in this article we present you with the best books by Paulo Coelho. Before we present our selection for you, we invite you to read a short biography of this author that will serve to get to know him better.
Paulo Coelho is a celebrated author, best known for his acclaimed novel “The Alchemist”. He was born in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
With over 30 books to his name and 320 million copies sold across 170 countries, Paulo Coelho has become one of the world’s most widely read authors. His works have been translated into 80 languages and have been enjoyed by readers all over the world.
In 2007, Paulo was appointed as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. This role has allowed him to continue promoting intercultural dialogue and to focus on the needs of children. He is also a proud member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and has received over 115 awards and honors for his contributions to literature, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Grinzane Cavour Book Award, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur.
Other notable works by Paulo Coelho include “The Pilgrimage”, “Brida”, “The Supreme Gift”, “The Valkyries”, “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept”, “Maktub”, “The Fifth Mountain”, “Manual of the Warrior of Light”, “Veronika Decides to Die”, and many more. With his inspiring messages and touching stories, Paulo Coelho continues to captivate readers around the world.
5 Good Reasons to Read Books by Paulo Coelho
- Inspiring themes: Paulo Coelho’s books often explore themes of spirituality, self-discovery, and personal growth, inspiring readers to reflect on their own lives and make positive changes.
- Engaging storytelling: Coelho is a masterful storyteller who weaves together intriguing plots, relatable characters, and thought-provoking themes, making his books enjoyable reads for anyone looking to be transported to a different world.
- Widely popular: Coelho’s books have been translated into 81 languages and have sold over 225 million copies worldwide, making him one of the most widely read and beloved authors of our time.
- Simple language: Coelho’s writing is simple and easy to understand, making his books accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds.
- Variety of genres: While best known for his spiritual and philosophical works like “The Alchemist,” Coelho has written in a variety of genres, including historical fiction, romance, and thriller, so there is something for everyone in his extensive catalog.
Paulo Coelho’s Books in Chronological Order
The Pilgrimage (1987)
A Journey of a Lifetime
The Pilgrimage set the foundation for Paulo Coelho’s international bestseller, The Alchemist. These two books complement each other and to truly understand one, you must read the other.
Join Coelho on his captivating journey along the Road to Santiago. This enlightening parable explores the quest for finding one’s own path and ultimately demonstrates that the extraordinary can be found in the ordinary and simple things in life. This book combines elements of adventure and self-discovery, offering a spellbinding and insightful read.
The Alchemist (1988)
The Timeless Tale of Self-Discovery
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the unforgettable international bestseller, The Alchemist, with this special edition featuring a new Foreword by the author, Paulo Coelho.
The Alchemist weaves magic, mysticism, wisdom, and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, captivating millions of readers worldwide and transforming lives across generations.
Follow Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, as he sets out on a journey to fulfill his desires and find a worldly treasure. But what he discovers is a richness far beyond what he could have ever imagined. This mystical story teaches us the importance of listening to our hearts, embracing opportunities, interpreting life’s signs, and, most importantly, pursuing our dreams
Embark on a Journey of Magic and Self-Discovery with Brida
According to Paulo Coelho, Brida is a novel that delves into the world of sorcery and the young woman’s journey to explore different magical traditions. The themes of the Great Mother, pagan religions, and the perceptions of love are central to this spellbinding tale.
Brida, a beautiful young Irish woman, sets out on a quest for knowledge and encounters a wise man and a woman who teach her important lessons along the way. They recognize her potential and guide her, but ultimately, it is up to Brida to make her own journey of discovery. Experience the magic and wonder of this captivating novel, filled with wisdom and self-discovery.
The Supreme Gift (1991)
“I realized the true meaning of love after reading Henry Drummond’s sermon,” says Paulo Coelho. “My life changed greatly after I read this book and tried to put its teachings into practice.”
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am nothing.” This famous quote from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians is known to many, but do we truly comprehend its message?
In the late 19th century, young missionary Henry Drummond was asked to replace a famous preacher. Though he struggled to captivate his audience at first, they soon became enchanted by his interpretation of St. Paul’s words.
The sermon, titled The Greatest Thing in the World, has become a classic and is considered one of the most beautiful texts ever written on love. Drummond identified nine key elements of love: patience, kindness, generosity, humility, gentleness, dedication, tolerance, sincerity, and innocence.
Contrary to popular belief, the greatest spiritual treasure is not faith, but love. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this emotion is undoubtedly the most fulfilling way to live.
In The Supreme Gift, Paulo Coelho adapts Henry Drummond’s text, offering a practical and powerful message that will help us incorporate love into our daily lives and experience its transformative power.
The Valkyries (1992)
The Power of Love Transforms the World
Why do we sometimes harm the things we hold most dear? Paulo Coelho tackles this question in this touching tale about his own encounter with his past. In The Valkyries, Paulo and his wife, Cristina, embark on a 40-day journey through the rugged and stunning Mojave Desert, where they meet the Valkyries, mysterious women warriors who travel on motorcycles. With its blend of exotic locations, thrilling adventure, and poignant storytelling,
The Valkyries is a true-to-life odyssey that showcases Coelho’s mastery of fiction. It’s a modern-day adventure and a meaningful reminder to let go of the past and embrace the future with faith.
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994)
The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” is a powerful and deeply moving tale from Paulo Coelho. The story explores the depth of love and life through the reunion of two young lovers after 11 years apart.
Pilar, once a devoted childhood friend, has become a strong and independent woman, while her former lover has grown into a charismatic spiritual leader seeking refuge from his own inner conflicts.
As they embark on a journey together, long-buried demons of blame and resentment surface, testing their love and relationship. However, in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, they are given the chance to reexamine their special relationship in the face of life’s biggest questions.
This is a poignant and richly poetic story that will leave readers moved and inspired.
The Fifth Mountain (1996)
In The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho transports readers back to the 9th century and the tumultuous Middle East, where the prophet Elijah must cling to his faith amidst a world of chaos and turmoil. He faces challenges from tyrannical rulers, pagan gods, and constant instability.
But Elijah’s story is a testament to perseverance and hope, showing that even in the darkest of moments, the human spirit has the power to endure. This inspiring novel is based on an event that had a profound impact on Coelho’s own life, reminding us that tragedy should not be seen as a punishment, but as a test of our resolve.
With its captivating narrative and graceful prose, The Fifth Mountain teaches and inspires like no other novel. It is a timeless tale, steeped in history, yet its message continues to resonate with readers today. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable journey.
The Manual of the Warrior of Light (1997)
Embrace Your Inner Warrior
In Warrior of the Light, Paulo Coelho shares a powerful collection of reflections that invite readers to discover their own path to personal fulfillment. With the same unique insight and lyrical prose that captivated millions in The Alchemist, Coelho explores the themes of hope, courage, and destiny.
Become the Warrior of the Light
This uplifting and transformative book is a call to action for anyone seeking to live their best life, accept challenges with grace, and embrace the uncertain journey of self-discovery. Coelho shows us how to rise to our full potential and become the Warrior of the Light within us.
Veronika Decides to Die (1998)
A Search for Meaning in Life
Veronika, a 24-year-old woman with a seemingly perfect life, is missing something. On a cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills with the intention of ending her life. But instead, she wakes up in a mental hospital, where she is told that she only has days left to live.
Based on Paulo Coelho’s own experiences, Veronika Decides to Die explores the concept of madness and shines a light on individuals who do not fit into society’s mold. This thought-provoking novel is a bold and illuminating tale of a young woman at a crossroads between despair and liberation. Veronika Decides to Die celebrates each day as a new opportunity for renewal and encourages readers to embrace the beauty of life.
The Devil and Miss Prym (2000)
Discover the Depths of Human Nature
The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coelho, explores the timeless question of the balance between good and evil within human nature. Set in the small village of Viscos, this captivating tale follows a community divided by fear, cowardice, and greed, and a man tormented by the ghost of his past. With the arrival of a stranger searching for answers to his own questions, the village is drawn into a suspenseful and disturbing battle between good and evil, forcing its inhabitants to face their own moral choices.
As described by The Guardian, The Devil and Miss Prym is “a simple tale, with the meaning of life and spiritual guidance at its core.” This thought-provoking novel is not just a page-turner, but a journey of self-discovery and a poetic reflection on the essence of the human being. It invites us to delve into the depths of our own humanity and ask the question that has plagued us all: Are we truly good or evil at heart?
Eleven Minutes (2003)
A Journey of Self-Discovery and Love
Eleven Minutes is a captivating novel by Paulo Coelho that tells the story of Maria, a young woman from a Brazilian village who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and love. Despite experiencing heartbreak at a young age, Maria never loses hope in finding true love and sets out to fulfill her dreams in Geneva. However, life takes her down a different path, as she becomes a prostitute.
The book explores the themes of love and self-discovery, as Maria meets a handsome painter and must decide between embracing pleasure for its own sake or risking everything to pursue her inner light and the possibility of true love. With its unique blend of heartbreak and hope, Eleven Minutes casts a spell that will leave readers inspired and moved.
The Zahir (2005)
A tale of obsession and self-discovery, The Zahir by Paulo Coelho captivates its readers with stunning originality and an elegant way with words. The narrator, a successful novelist living in Paris, is faced with the disappearance of his wife of ten years, Esther, a war correspondent, along with her friend, Mikhail. The narrator embarks on a journey to uncover the truth and possibly reunite with his lost love, but instead finds something unexpected about himself.
With its themes of obsession, love, and the search for self-discovery, The Zahir is more than just a captivating story. It is a journey of the soul and a reminder of the potential that obsession holds to fulfill our dreams and destroy them.
The Witch of Portobello (2006)
What does it take to stay true to ourselves, even when we’re not sure of who we are? This is the central theme in Paulo Coelho’s powerful novel, The Witch of Portobello. The story is about a mysterious woman named Athena, told through the perspectives of those who knew her well or only briefly.
The Witch of Portobello is an enchanting tale that will change the way readers view love, passion, happiness, and self-sacrifice.
Like the Flowing River (2006)
“Like the Flowing River” is a collection of stories, thoughts, and experiences from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. Published from articles he wrote for international newspapers over a period of seven years, this book offers a glimpse into Coelho’s philosophy on life.
Through his insightful reflections, he touches on a range of topics, including solitude, love, self-discovery, and the journey of life. With his signature humor and passion, Coelho explores the human condition and invites readers to reflect on their own experiences.
Timeless and appealing to a broad audience, this book is a testament to the brilliance of one of the world’s greatest writers. Coelho writes, “This journey has taken me to many places and caused me to change countries more often than I change shoes, as Bertolt Brecht used to say. The pages that follow contain accounts of some of my own experiences, stories others have shared with me, and thoughts I’ve had while traveling the river of my life.
The Winner Stands Alone (2008)
“The Winner Stands Alone” is a thrilling tale of love and obsession set against the backdrop of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Paulo Coelho takes us on a journey through the lives of the superclass – the elite of the fashion and cinema world – where money, power, and fame are the ultimate prizes.
The novel introduces us to a cast of characters, including Igor, a wealthy Russian millionaire; Hamid, a powerful fashion tycoon from the Middle East; Gabriela, an ambitious American actress; Savoy, a determined criminal detective; and Jasmine, a young woman on the brink of a successful modeling career.
As each character navigates the glittering world of the film festival, they are faced with the challenge of finding their own personal dream among the many prefabricated ones. Who will succeed in making their dream a reality? The Winner Stands Alone is a captivating and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition and the lengths we will go to in pursuit of success.
Discover the Power of Self-Discovery
In “Aleph,” international best-selling author Paulo Coelho embarks on a journey of spiritual renewal and self-discovery.
Facing a crisis of faith, he sets off to Africa and travels through Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway in search of a path to revitalize his energy and passion. Along the way, he meets Hilal, a gifted young violinist who was once the love of his life, but whose betrayal still haunts him.
Together, they embark on a mystical journey through time and space, learning the importance of love, forgiveness, and courage in overcoming life’s challenges.
This beautiful and inspiring novel invites readers to reflect on their own personal journeys and to consider if they are truly where they want to be. “Aleph” is more than a book; it’s a life-changing experience.
Manuscript Found in Accra (2012)
The Quest for Inner Peace: The Manuscript Found in Accra
On July 14, 1099, the gates of Jerusalem await the arrival of the invading crusaders. Inside the city walls, a diverse group of people gathers to hear the wisdom of the Copt, a mysterious figure known for his insightful words. As the townspeople face their fears, the Copt reminds them to focus on their daily lives and the struggles they have overcome, rather than the war and uncertainty outside.
The people ask questions about defeat, struggle, and the nature of their enemies, and delve into topics such as loyalty, solitude, and the will to change. They also reflect on the deeper questions of life, including success, beauty, love, wisdom, sex, and elegance. The Copt ultimately offers the answer that success is found in the peace of one’s soul.
Centuries later, The Manuscript Found in Accra, written by Paulo Coelho, reveals that our true identity, fears, and hopes come from within and not from the challenges of the world around us. The wise words of the Copt offer a timeless record of human values and a reminder of the importance of inner peace.
Uncover the Meaning of Life and Happiness with Adultery
In Adultery, Paulo Coelho, the acclaimed author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, delves into the theme of self-discovery and the search for balance between routine and desire. The novel follows the protagonist’s journey as she struggles with the feeling of losing touch with herself and the urge to change. Through thought-provoking questions and introspective moments, Adultery challenges readers to re-evaluate their own lives and find happiness in the midst of life’s uncertainties.
The Spy (2016)
In the novel, “The Spy” by Paulo Coelho, the bestselling author of “The Alchemist” and “Adultery,” brings the captivating story of Mata Hari to life.
She was one of history’s most enigmatic women, whose only crime was to be an independent woman. When Mata Hari arrived in Paris, she was penniless, but soon rose to fame as a celebrated dancer and courtesan, captivating audiences and the era’s wealthiest and most powerful men.
However, as war consumed the country and paranoia spread, Mata Hari’s lifestyle led to suspicion, and in 1917 she was arrested on charges of espionage.
Told through her final letter, “The Spy” offers a powerful and unforgettable portrayal of a woman who dared to challenge societal norms and paid the ultimate price.
In Hippie, Paulo Coelho transports readers back to a time of peace-seeking and self-discovery. The bestselling author draws upon his own life experiences to follow the journey of two young travelers, Paulo, a Brazilian aspiring writer, and Karla, a Dutch woman in her twenties. Both set out on the fabled hippie trail to Nepal in search of fulfillment.
Their paths cross in Amsterdam, where Karla convinces Paulo to join her on the Magic Bus, a journey that takes them from Amsterdam to Istanbul and across Central Asia to Kathmandu. During their trip, Paulo and Karla fall in love and are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives.
Hippie explores the themes of love, self-discovery, and the search for purpose through the eyes of these two characters as they navigate their way through a time of change and upheaval. With its compelling storytelling, this novel is a must-read for fans of Paulo Coelho and those seeking a captivating and thought-provoking journey of the heart and soul.
The Archer (2020)
Discover the timeless lessons of life and purpose in The Archer, the latest masterpiece from Paulo Coelho, the internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist. Beautifully illustrated by Christoph Niemann, this book tells the story of Tetsuya, a former archer renowned for his exceptional skills, and the young boy who comes seeking his guidance.
As Tetsuya shares his wisdom and experiences with the boy, he teaches him the art of the bow and the principles of a meaningful life. Paulo Coelho’s message is clear: living a life disconnected from the soul and fear of failure leads to unfulfillment, but taking risks, cultivating courage, and embracing the journey that fate has in store can bring true fulfillment.
With his signature style, Paulo Coelho shares the key ingredients for a rewarding life: dedication, passion, purpose, reflection, the willingness to fail, and the drive to make a difference. The Archer is a must-read for anyone seeking to live a life of purpose and meaning.