The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho,

Book cover of The Alchemist

Book description

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that…


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Why read it?

14 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Alchemist is a perfect example of visionary/metaphysical fiction that transcends the boundaries of the five senses and opens readers to new thoughts and ideas. Combining the visible with the invisible, the ordinary with the sacred, The Alchemist tells the inspiring story of a shepherd boy’s journey to self-actualization. As a reader, I experienced first-hand the wisdom of the adage, “Listen to your heart” and was reminded that there is opportunity all around me if only I open my mind and heart to the omens scattered along my life path.

Oh, Santiago! If only all of us could listen to the wisdom of our hearts...if we could acknowledge the obstacles and omens on our path, and learn from them. Then, as you have, we may find that our dreams would not be so elusive. Like a fable or parable, Coelho in his simplicity of storytelling inspires the reader to search for the wisdom that will lessen the burden of the complexities of life and make it a masterpiece.

The way I look at it, Santiago’s quest, dressed in magic and fantasy, is very much like our daily journey. We all…

This hugely-popular inspirational book is about looking for treasure and discovering that real treasure isn’t what we think. It’s a great story that makes you contemplate what really matters and turns our own journeys inward toward matters of the heart. The themes are more universal than Christian, but contain wisdom applicable to all readers. I recommend this book to spiritual seekers who need a little extra inspiration along the way.

From Rick's list on fantasy that has a spiritual theme.

The theme of this book delights me because it endorses my belief that we have control over our lives. Early in the book an old king tells a shepherd boy that being at the mercy of fate is the world’s greatest lie. He says it’s up to each person to establish their own destiny, and then all the universe conspires to help them achieve it. He tells the boy to dream, to yearn for everything he’d like to see happen in his life. Discoveries made in the field of quantum physics suggest there are several possible outcomes in life and…

From Carolyn's list on dreams and dreaming.

Another beautiful classic that will make anyone want to pack their bags and leave to discover the wonders of the world. Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, dreams about a treasure hidden by the Pyramids of Egypt. After he meets the old king of Salem, who offers him magical stones to help him along his path, he embarks on an enchanting trip across the Mediterranean. We are taught about the importance of following dreams, overcoming difficulties, and being open to what life throws at us. Santiago finds his one true love, learns alchemy, crosses endless deserts, escapes thieves, and earns what…

Do you believe in omens and treasures? Have you ever followed your heart, while being willing to lose everything chasing after your dream? Santiago, a young man on a quest to find his treasure that he dreamt about. Meeting kings, trade merchants, and scholars along his journey. Pointing him in the right direction, at the right time. All the while listening to that voice in his mind. Telling him to fear not and go forward. 

And when you want something, all the world conspires in helping you to achieve it. A must-read for anyone who is a dreamer and dreams…

From Marc's list on to let go and let God.

The Alchemist was gifted to me at a really important crossroads in my life, and it was just what I needed to read: an uplifting, insightful read about the meaning of life set in Southern Spain and North Africa with a touch of magical realism. The philosophical insights made me stop and think and take stock of my own life, and that reflection helped me propel myself into harmony with myself by beginning the shift I needed to make in my thoughts and perceptions. The historical implications of the setting also inspired me to examine our history and the psychology…

This is a story that makes you think about where you are in life and question if you’re on the right path for you. I first read this book in 1998 when I had just started college, I was studying applied languages and information technology when in fact, I wanted to study the arts. I love the simplicity of the storyline, this story taught me to listen to my heart and follow my own path. It helped me to overcome self-doubt and gave me the courage to study theatre and belief that I could be a writer.

From Dominic's list on following your dreams.

I did not fall in love right away with The Alchemist. In fact, it took a good ten years between the first and the second time I read it to fully resonate with me. I needed to follow my own “personal legend” to begin with. It takes courage to remove the layers of our limiting beliefs and of our expectations. Yet, the greatest treasures await: enlightenment, personal growth, and state of flow. When I read the book again, I had chills. Just like Santiago, I knew to listen to my heart and recognize the signs. Just like him, I…

From Anna's list on courage and the way of the heart.

Who doesn’t love a book about travel, treasure hunting, magic, and following your dreams? But it is so much more than that. This is one of those books that stays with you. And if you read it at the right moment, it stirs something up inside of you that empowers you and helps you to feel like, despite all the obstacles, the universe may be on your side after all. 

For me, The Alchemist was given as a gift after I announced my husband and I would be moving from our hometown to pursue a new life across the country.…

From Brooke's list on to inspire a big life change.

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