5 Most Inspirational Books to Read if You Loved The Alchemist

Novels that leave a mark

5 Most Inspirational Books to Read if You Loved The Alchemist
Photo by Engin_Akyurt on Pixabay

Novels that leave a mark

Paulo Coelho’s enduring classic, The Alchemist, has a unique staying power. Originally published in 1988, this novel continues to inspire millions of readers all over the world. Aside from its beautiful fictional prose, the message of spiritual self-help is what has made this book truly life-changing.

Since I read the book in 2011, I have been a fan of the author’s style and how powerfully he delivers his message. I have also been on the lookout for other such works of fiction that will inspire you and will remain an unforgettable read.

In this article, I have listed five of the most inspirational books you will surely enjoy if you like Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. For the sake of maintaining variety, I’ve not included Paulo Coelho’s other works on this list. Nevertheless, all of these are brilliant uplifting reads. I hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as I did.

(Note: The links mentioned in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these books through these links, it will help me earn a small amount of money — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)

Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse

Written by Nobel Prize winner, Hermann Hesse, this book follows Siddhartha, the young and brilliant son of a Brahmin in ancient India. He goes on a spiritual journey that ultimately teaches him about the essence of peace, contentment, and Nirvana. Throughout the various stages of his journey, Siddhartha finds valuable lessons in everyone he interacts with, and each lesson brings him closer to his ultimate goal of finding truth and self-discovery.

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”

Why you should read it

Hesse’s brilliant prose has the ability to completely suck a reader in. The way this book has connected with so many readers across the globe is testament to the universal nature of the story. Siddhartha’s journey has the ability to transcend all human barriers and touch the deepest parts of one’s soul. Aside form being an amazing read, this book feels like a deeply personal one and I think everyone will get something different out of reading it.

Purchase the book here.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Part-fantasy adventure, part-inspirational, this book follows the escapedes of sixteen-year-old Pi, the sole human survivor of a tragic shipwreck. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with a cunning hyena, a hurt zebra, a maternal orangutan, and a temperamental tiger, this is a truly gripping tale of the harrowing 200+ days Pi spent lost at sea.

Writing a review about this book is pointless because once you are done reading, you will realise this book is not the story of Pi, but perhaps the story of you, of your journey, and every reader will interpret it in a different way.

“The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?”

Why you should read it

The prose is brilliant and the imagery is vivid, but more than that, read this simple story for its potentially life-altering consequences it might have on you. Different readers will perceive it in different ways, and the most I can say is that the effects it will leave on you depends on the way you chose to understand this book.

But most of all, read it for the pearls of wisdom the author has strewn generously throughout the novel:

“Doubt is useful for a while…But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”

Purchase the book here.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

This is one of those books that makes you think about life — what you’re missing out, and the beauty you could be passing by every day without really paying it any attention. Tuesdays with Morrie makes you introspect without being overly preachy about it.

The underlying theme of the book is how dying changes a person’s perspective towards life, and how so many people carry on with their days simply existing, and not living. It leaves the reader with a lot of food for thought about the importance of kindness, compassion, and the importance of doing what one’s heart wills.

“Life is a series of pulls back and forth… A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match…Which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins”

Why you should read it

Tuesdays With Morrie remains one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking books I have read. I believe everyone should read this at least once for the immaculate way in which in condenses all the key messages of life in a short read. After all, sometimes the most impactful messages are the simple ones.

Purchase the book here.

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. There are 26 chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

“Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”

Why you should read it

This book promises to be a devastating and awe-inspiring read. Towards the end, you will be moved beyond words. As you let Gibran’s poems wash over you, you will realise in your heart how familiar they are. Maybe not the words, but the meanings behind them. The message is this book is something that you have been surrounded with all your life — like air — but never noticed its presence.

Purchase the book here.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being By Milan Kundera

The novel traces the lives of two couples during the Soviet occupation of Prague, during the late 1960’s. On the surface of it, this is the story of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover.

When you delve in deeper, this book brilliantly portrays two most fundamental and often conflictual desires that drive the human psyche — the desire for commitment and the desire for freedom.

“Perhaps if they had stayed together longer, Sabina and Franz would have begun to understand the words they used. Gradually, timorously, their vocabularies would have come together, like bashful lovers, and the music of one would have begun to intersect with the music of the other. But it was too late now.”

Why you should read it

This is a book that has the potential to profoundly affect its readers. It will change you, at least a little. It will affect your view of life; how you see the world. It will help you better understand beauty and love. The author recognizes and represents the hold love can have over one’s heart, at the same time how psychological and manipulatable it can be.

Purchase the book here.

More by Anangsha Alammyan in Books Are Our Superpower:

5 Must-Read Fantasy Books by Women
The most epic high fantasy recommendations by female authors
10 Uplifting Books To Brighten Your Day
The best feel-good books to make you happy and relaxed
4 Popular Books I Didn’t Quite Enjoy
And what you can read instead

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