12 Books Like the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho You Need to Read

Books Like the Alchemist

Whether it’s the traveling to the Middle East, self-discovery theme, or philosophical teachings, The Alchemist sure left a mark on you. So, if you enjoyed Paulo Coehlo’s book, this selection of books like the Alchemist will be right up your alley. 

Sometimes, all we need is to step back, think life through, and just break up from the fast-paced realities of life. But, what I love most about The Alchemist are the important and memorable lessons it taught me about life.

If you love Paulo Coelho’s book as much as I did, below are 12 books like the Alchemist you need to read next.

Philosophical Books Like The Alchemist

On the hunt for more fiction books like the Alchemist that are beautifully written with philosophical undertones? Check these books.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel Books like the Alchemist

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi is an excellent choice for those looking for more life-changing books similar to The Alchemist. It was also a critically acclaimed movie in 2012.

We follow a boy, Pi, who is the sole human survivor of a tragic shipwreck. He finds himself in a lifeboat, lost at sea, with a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and a Bengal tiger. He recounts his harrowing days at the sea and how he strived to survive his life-threatening journey.

It’s a novel that beautifully weaves together fantastical prose, philosophical depth, and elements of self-exploration.


The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

2. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran is one of the most translated literary works—translated over a hundred languages, in history. Like The Alchemist, this book is also set in the Middle East. 

It tells the story of the prophet who is about to embark on a ship to return home. He is stopped by a group of people with whom he begins discussions about life and the human condition.

It’s a beautiful collection of poems, with each chapter dealing with different topics from love, eating and drinking, joy and sorrow, self-knowledge, to death. As far as books like The Alchemist go, The Prophet is a philosophical, spiritual, and inspirational classic to add to your list.


Self-Discovery Books Like The Alchemist

Try these books listed if you want more books like the Alchemist about traveling to different places and seeking personal legend.

The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

3. The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

Those looking for more life-changing writings of Paulo Coelho can sure make The Pilgrimage their next read. 

It’s an enthralling account of Coelho’s journey from northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Like The Alchemist, it’s a parable exploring the need to forge one’s path. 

And in the end, it’s discovering that you’ll always find the extraordinary in the ordinary and simple ways of ordinary people. It’s a part adventure story, part self-discovery guide, a perfect work of enchantment and insight.


Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

4. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is another book that heavily explores the meaning of life.

It tells a tale of a wealthy and privileged Indian who abandons his material possessions, searching for spiritual enlightenment and knowledge. On his journey, he meets different people who teach him valuable lessons that lead to finding his personal legend. 

This book contains largely philosophical and spiritual elements, just like other books similar to The Alchemist.


The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

5. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is another worthy read and much more literal than other books like The Alchemist. 

It tells an extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer, who after having a heart attack, seeks to fix the spiritual crisis of his out-of-sync life. He then embarks on a long journey that leads him to an ancient culture, where he learns teachings that will forever change his perspective on life.

Much like other books like the Alchemist, this book teaches about pursuing passion, purpose, and peace.


Fable Books Similar to The Alchemist

If you loved how The Alchemist reads like an ancient myth or fable, or its simplistic, direct, and descriptive writing style, you’d love these reads, too.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

6. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince is an enduring classic cherished universally by children and adults alike. Like The Alchemist, this book has timeless lessons on innocence and love. 

It tells the story of a pilot who crash-landed in the Sahara desert. He meets a little prince from another world who tells him about his travels across the universe. The little prince will teach him the secret of what is really important in life, changing the world forever for him and his readers.


Aesop's Fables Books like the Alchemist

7. The Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables

Who can forget the famous fables, “The Tortoise and the Hare” or “The Ants and the Grasshopper?” Reading Aesop’s Fables is like listening to the King of Salem in the Alchemist—full of words of wisdom. 

Aesop’s Fables is a collection of great fables expressing wisdom and said to be written by a Greek slave and storyteller. Though Aesop’s Fables has been used widely to teach children morals, it’s a much enjoyable read for adults.


Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen

8. Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen

The tale we’ve grown up with will never grow old and will continue to teach us life’s greatest lessons. Much like The Alchemist, Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen is packed with memorable characters, compelling tales, and life lessons relevant today as it ever was.

Some of the most famous tales include “The Little Mermaid,” “The Snow Queen,” “The Little Match Girl,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”


Other Fiction Books

Explore other books like The Alchemist, from historical fiction, fantasy to inspirational novels.

The Kite Runner Books like The Alchemist

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is a beloved classic set in Afghanistan. It follows a heartbreaking story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy, Amir, and the son of his father’s servant, Hassan. 

The Russian invasion forces Amir’s family to flee to America. Years later, Amir realizes he must go back to Afghanistan to find one thing his new world can’t offer him: redemption. 

Neither is this book a travel story nor a novel with philosophical teachings, but it has a similar writing style and is as thought-provoking as other books similar to The Alchemist. 

It’s a remarkable and emotional book; however, it contains offensive language and graphic content, so it’s not advised for young readers.


One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García

10. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

If you’re looking for books similar to The Alchemist that offers themes of magic, adventure, humor, time, and fate, give this literary work a try. 

It tells the story of the seven generations of the Buendia family in the mythical town of Macondo. It tells the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in a unique literary style known as magical realism.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven Books like the Alchemist

11. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

I know we’ve mentioned lots of classics in this list, so here’s a more contemporary book like The Alchemist. 

I love this book, as much as I loved Albom’s best-selling novel, Tuesdays with Morrie. It tells great lessons about unexpected connections in our lives and explores themes about the afterlife. 

Eddie, a wounded war veteran and an old man, always thought he had lived a meaningless life. On his 83rd birthday, he is killed in a tragic accident while saving a young girl from a falling cart. He finds himself in the afterlife, where heaven is different from what he knew. 

He meets five people who revisit his connection with him on earth; they help Eddie realize the unseen connections of his seemingly unfulfilled earthly life.


All the Light We Cannot See Books like the Alchemist

12. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See is a highly acclaimed novel in its own right and an excellent book about humanity. This book has parts fun and parts tear-jerking.

Marie-Laure LeBlanc evacuates Paris with her father after he is entrusted with a valuable jewel. She becomes part of the French resistance effort and uses a contraband radio to broadcast information to the Allies.

In Germany, Werner Pfennig, a young boy, is pressed into military service and becomes part of a team assigned to locate and destroy anti-German radio broadcasts.

A series of events interweaves the lives of these two teenagers as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. 


Looking for more book lists?

If you’re looking to branch out of philosophical or self-discovery books, here are some highly recommended fantasy books for you Best Fairy Tale Characters and Fairy Tale Retellings | 20+ Books

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