10 books like The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Alchemist. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is an eerily evocative novel in which two Victorian mansions present with sinister apparitions. Jane’s first terrifying ghostly encounter occurs in Gatesfield Hall when a wicked aunt locks her in the red room, haunted by her deceased uncle. After years in the harsh world of Lowood Institute for orphaned girls, she becomes the governess at Thornfield Hall. Jane falls in love with the dashing but brooding Edward Rochester, though also senses a mysterious, foreboding presence within the walls of his Thornfield home. On their wedding day, after discovering Rochester is still married to a madwoman he keeps locked in the attic, Jane flees Thornfield to an uncertain future.

I love that Bronte created a strong, independent female character, rare in Victorian times, and still delivered a satisfying ending.

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…


Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer,

Book cover of Into the Wild

This is a controversial choice by Alaska standards. Many of my fellow Alaskans can’t help but find fault with the main character, Christopher McCandless, for his seemingly reckless and cavalier attitude while venturing into the wilds of our state, or what they see as Krakauer’s idealizing of the young McCandless’ misadventures. But having come to Alaska as a young man myself, in search of something, some inner meaning, and truth, I can definitely relate to both McCandless’ plight as well as Krakauer’s, which the author describes in great detail. It’s a search for answers many young people face, that some of us seek in the hinterland, among nature’s raw and often austere beauty, a journey that ultimately, I believe the three of us share. In the end, this is an amazing homage to the outdoors and our sometimes-tenuous connection to it.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Into the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Krakauer’s page-turning bestseller explores a famed missing person mystery while unraveling the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

"Terrifying... Eloquent... A heart-rending drama of human yearning." —New York Times

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all…

The River of Doubt

By Candice Millard,

Book cover of The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

After soundly losing the 1912 presidential election to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt wants to cleanse his mind and spirit. Rather than take a cushy ‘round-the-world cruise, he attempts the first unmapped trip down a rapids-choked, piranha-infested tributary of the Amazon. The name “River of Doubt” perhaps should have deterred him. But Teddy and his mates press on and persevere through disease, drownings, starvation, death, and Indigenous Indian attacks; providing Candice Millard with fodder for her wonderfully gritty book.

How hair-raising an adventure was it? Shortly after a frazzled Roosevelt returns to the comforts of home, two expeditions set out to duplicate his feat. One group quickly gets spooked by Indians shooting poison arrows and bails. The other expedition? Millard notes, “Its members were never seen again.”

The River of Doubt

By Candice Millard,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The River of Doubt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1912, shortly after losing his bid to spend a third term as American President to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt with his son Kermit, a Brazilian guide and a band of camaradas set off deep into the Amazon jungle and a very uncertain fate. Although Roosevelt did eventually return from THE RIVER OF DOUBT, he and his companions faced treacherous cataracts as well as the dangerous indigenous population of the Amazon. He became severely ill on the journey, nearly dying in the jungle from a blood infection and malaria. A mere five years later Roosevelt did die of related issues.…

The Wall

By Marlen Haushofer,

Book cover of The Wall

This story has stayed with me for years. A woman takes a holiday in the Austrian mountains and wakes up to an inexplicable new reality—she’s totally alone in the world, so it seems, and has to learn to fend for herself. We journey into the unknown with her as she reports on the mental and physical challenges of her new daily life… and it stirs up so many interesting questions about who we are without connection and community, and where meaning can be found in the most stripped-back life.

The Wall

By Marlen Haushofer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Wall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk — of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the…

Sailing Alone Around the World

By Joshua Slocum,

Book cover of Sailing Alone Around the World

One of the great pure sailors of all time was Joshua Slocum. Born in 1844 in eastern Canada he remains one of the most renowned sailors of all time—deservedly, because he completed the first documented circumnavigation of the world alone in a sailboat. A severe-looking man in maturity with a completely bald head and a very full goatee. His four children were born at sea on his ships. And his adventures literally around the world are too numerous to enumerate here. Suffice to say, this was a man “rocked in the cradle of the deep,” with saltwater in his veins.

Toward the turn of the century, in his early fifties, he decided to build a small sailing vessel and sail alone around the world. It was the seminal moment in his life, and he’d describe it beautifully in this marvelous tale. Slocum faced all the perils one would expect: terrible…

Sailing Alone Around the World

By Joshua Slocum,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sailing Alone Around the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The classic of its kind." —Travel World
"One of the most readable books in the whole library of adventure." —Sports Illustrated
"The finest single-handed adventure story yet written." —Seafarer
Challenged by an expert who said it couldn't be done, Joshua Slocum, an indomitable New England sea captain, set out in April of 1895 to prove that a man could sail alone around the world. 46,000 miles and a little over 3 years later, the proof was complete: Captain Slocum had performed the epic "first" single-handedly in a trusty 34-foot sloop called the "Spray." This is Slocum's own account of his…


Chocolat

By Joanne Harris,

Book cover of Chocolat

I love stories about women who stand up for themselves against manipulative authoritarians, especially women who can do so with a sense of humor. Add to that, a bit of magic, and you’ve got me hooked. Chocolat does both in such a satisfying way that it has become one of my all-time favorite reads.

Chocolat

By Joanne Harris,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Chocolat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Even before it was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris' New York Times bestselling novel Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate.

In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne's uncanny perception of its buyer's private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parish no longer…

The Power of Now

By Eckhart Tolle,

Book cover of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

I discovered this transformational book when I was in my early 30s. At the time, I was holding onto deep emotional pain from traumatic experiences I had endured throughout my childhood and adolescence. Tolle helped me realize that I was causing myself needless suffering by reliving past events over and over in my mind. The Power of Now drills down on the unnecessary misery we humans inflict on ourselves by either reliving the past or worrying about the future instead of living fully in the present—which is the only thing any of us can control or change. This wisdom-packed book was a godsend for me and helped me to refocus my attention on the now when my eyesight began closing in on me and I found myself gripped with fear over the future that awaited me. 

The Power of Now

By Eckhart Tolle,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Power of Now as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**CHOSEN BY OPRAH AS ONE OF HER 'BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH'**

The international bestselling spiritual book, now with a new look for its 20th anniversary. Eckhart Tolle demonstrates how to live a healthier, happier, mindful life by living in the present moment.

************

'I keep Eckhart's book at my bedside. I think it's essential spiritual teaching. It's one of the most valuable books I've ever read.' Oprah Winfrey

To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart…


The Mists of Avalon

By Marion Zimmer Bradley,

Book cover of The Mists of Avalon

What an audacious book – a retelling of the King Arthur legend from the women’s point of view. Part history, part fantasy, this book rang true to me in its portrayal of the power of the divine feminine. The female characters own their sexuality and the strength inherent to being a woman. I loved getting deliciously lost in Bradley’s imagination of the mystical skills of our ancient mothers. To this day, I wonder if she might have been writing about reality, not fantasy, and it is our present generation that has lost touch with our astonishing female powers.

The Mists of Avalon

By Marion Zimmer Bradley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Mists of Avalon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is the tragic tale of the rise and fall of Camelot - but seen through the eyes of Camelot's women: The devout Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen; Vivane, High priestess of Avalon and the Lady of the Lake; above all, Morgaine, possessor of the sight, the wise, the wise-woman fated to bring ruin on them all...

Circe

By Madeline Miller,

Book cover of Circe

Set in the ancient realm of Greek mythology, Madeline Miller gives her novel a surprisingly contemporary feeling. By recounting the tales of the witch Circe, daughter of the titan Helios, this book celebrates the strength of a woman who stands against the anger and vengefulness of mortals and Olympian gods, drawing strength from the nature of the island of Aiaia where she has been banished. While becoming skilled in Pharmaka, the art of doing witchcraft with herbs grown where gods have died, Circe meets legendary figures like Daedalus, Odysseus, Jason, and famed gods like Apollo and Athena. Circe is an ode to ancient myths and teaches us to break free from conformity, fight for what we love, and use nature to heal ourselves and the rest of the world. 

Circe

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Circe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…

Tao Te Ching

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator), Toinette Lippe (translator)

Book cover of Tao Te Ching

There’s a class of books sometimes called “ancient texts” or “accumulated wisdom.” The idea is that they represent distilled knowledge that was passed down orally for hundreds or thousands of years before the invention of writing froze them in their present forms. To represent this collection, I’ve chosen the Tao Te Ching. It’s short — 81 brief chapters — and talks about things that concern us today, like how to handle anxiety and how to lead groups of people. But a word of caution: These texts will repay serious study and contemplation, but don’t take them too seriously. For one thing, compare two translations and you’ll wonder if they’re working from the same ancient manuscript. And for another, embrace the notion that once you think “this is it,” then it isn’t it (another ancient idea to ponder). 

Tao Te Ching

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator), Toinette Lippe (translator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known…

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