Paulo Coelho- the name itself is an epitome of inspiration to many. His books with its soul-stirring stories of great might, courage, and inspiration have been a constant driving force in the life of many including personalities like Malala Yousafzai. Paulo Coelho’s life can make a novel in itself. He has fought through thick and thin including death, madness, and depression. When he was in his twenties, he dropped out of law school to travel in and about South America. After his return, he decided to become a journalist. Thereafter after his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, he made up his mind to pursue his career as a writer.
Books by Paulo Coelho have been translated innumerable times and have sold more than 175 million copies worldwide. Moreover, Coelho has won more than 115 international accolades for his work. Words fall short to describe this writing marvel.
We have compiled a list of best books by Paulo Coelho exclusively for you!
First published in 1988, this book is based on the life of a shepherd boy named Santiago. Santiago decides to travel away from his homeland Spain to the treacherous Egyptian desert in search of a hidden treasure. His hunt for the treasure makes him meet numerous people on his way including a Gypsy woman, an alchemist, and a king. All the people that he meets in the path of his journey point towards a treasure that transcends Santiago himself!
Santiago’s journey begins as a result of finding materialistic pleasures of the world but ends up being a self introspective journey instead! This journey will teach you a lot as you read this book. Santiago’s dreams and aspirations become your own and you connect with him deeply!
This is known as one of the best books by Paulo Coelho. Spun around the life of Maria, Eleven Minutes is a compelling read that questions the present notions of love, sex, prostitution, and so on. Our protagonist Maria is a young girl from a Brazillian village whose first encounter with love leaves her heartbroken. After having her heart shattered at such a tender age, she gives up on the idea of true love and a chance meeting leads her to Rio and then Geneva.
As the story progresses, we see Maria meeting a handsome budding painter who challenges her whole perception of love. With each page, we see Maria striving towards a path of self-awakening and enlightenment, but will she achieve it? The book answers it for you!
First published in 2008, this book revolves around the life of an Irish girl named Brida who wants to acquire all the knowledge in the world. Her thirst for knowledge and wisdom leads her on a life-changing path that helps her meet people who share great intellect and experience with her. She gets accustomed to the knowledge of the spiritual world via a man who lives in the forest, and a woman who teaches her how to survive in the world and live happily.
As covered in other best books by Paulo Coelho, this one also has themes of love, pain, pain, and desire. Brida is faced with the dilemma of choosing between her desire of becoming a witch or to continue on her path. Read this book to find out!
Veronica Decides to Die
In Coelho’s latest book, we see him knitting a plot that is quite different from his other stories. Partially inspired by the incidents of his own life, our protagonist Veronica has a seemingly perfect life with boyfriends, a supportive family, a dream job, and so on. Until one day she wakes up to feel this deep void within herself and so she decides to die with the help of several sleeping pills.
However, she does not die but wakes up in a mental hospital with only a few days to live on. During these days, she experiences a serious sense of self-awakening by talking to others around her. She feels anger, fear, curiosity, love, and so on. With Veronica, you will feel a transformation within you!
Maktub is a collection of short, profound, and interesting stories by the master storyteller, Paulo Coelho. Each story is so refined and magnificent in its little way that it is sure to move you. The narration is very smooth which makes this an easy read. The book is a short one but very impactful. Maktub means, “it is written”. This book brings out this idea about everything being already decided for us. It is for us to experience it all as we move ahead in life.
Maktub gives you hope for betterment, restores your faith in yourself and God, and helps you find your true self during the whole journey. This one is highly recommended for all the best books by Paulo Coelho.
The Devil and Miss Prym
This book was first published in Brazil in 2000. When you read this one, you will feel as if you are reading an allegorical story. Several Biblical references along with various symbols are a part of this beautiful tale. Though you may be familiar with most of them the way it is narrated is truly magnificent and deserves your attention.
The story is about a remote village of Viscos wherein a mysterious stranger arrives with eleven gold bars and a notebook in his backpack. He is seeking answers to some questions that have haunted him for life: Are humans good or evil? Will he ever find the answer to his question? Read this endearing tale to find out about the same. This one will truly stay with you for long.
By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept
Do you remember your first love? Do you think teenage love lasts? What if you are united with your teenage love out of the blue? This book answers all these questions. Our protagonist while attending a seminar, gets reunited with her past lover who has now turned to spirituality to bury all his dormant thoughts and desires. This reunion after eleven years evokes feelings of guilt, resentment, and hatred once again. Will they overcome it?
Narrated from the perspective of Pillar, this book is for anyone who has ever been in love or seeking love in life right now! It is one of the most heart-warming love stories ever told making it one of the best books by Paulo Coelho.
The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom
The Pilgrimage is the book that captures the author’s pilgrimage to a place named Santiago de Compostela. We may have mentioned it earlier and how it served as a life-changing journey for Coelho that made him follow his life long passion for becoming a writer. Coelho elaborates on the same. This journey made him understand the true essence of life and helped him discover himself!
Coelho has a guide alongside to accompany him on his journey. His guide who goes by the alias Petrus teaches him quiet a lot including mediation exercises, the philosophical outlook of love, life, and so on. All in all, it brings about a remarkable change in Coelho and he returns as a changed man. A must-read if you love Paulo Coelho books!
This book was written in Portuguese first and has been translated into more than 44 languages ever since. The story is centered around the life of the best-selling author who lives in Paris. He has everything that one can aspire for: money, fame, luxury, and everything in between. His life changes when his wife of eleven years, Esther suddenly disappears. It is suspected that she ran away with Mikhail who may or may not be her lover.
Furthermore, our protagonist meets Mikhail who promises the author that he will help him in reuniting with his wife. In the quest to find his wife, he discovers himself. The themes of love, loss, passion, and obsession form the backbone of this story. A compelling read with an engaging storyline!
The Witch of Portobello
First published in 2007, The Witch of Portobello takes into account the life story of Athena, who was born in Transylvania to a Romani mother who belonged to a gypsy tribe. Since she was a result of a love affair without marriage, she was abandoned by her mother and later adopted by a Lebanese couple. This book tells us her story from the perspective of everyone who knew her and maybe did not. The mysterious aura of Athena casts a strong spell on everyone who has ever known her and it can be evident in this work.
The different perspectives offered by Coelho to help us shape Athena’s life makes the narrative very layered. It is up to the reader to form a picture of Athena in their mind by taking in some perspectives or discarding the others as per their wish. That is particularly the beauty of the best books by Paulo Coelho!
If you enjoyed this review, you will also enjoy our blog on “Best Books by Ruskin Bond, here.