9 Best Paulo Coelho Books Of All Time

Are you looking for a list of the best Paulo Coelho books? Take a look at a few examples below, and consider adding them to your reading list.

Paulo Coelho is widely considered one of the best Brazilian writers. From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, his books have sold millions of copies, and he has put numerous titles on the bestseller list. He has served as an inspiration to countless future generations of writers, and his books have reverberated with people of all ages.

Popular Paulo Coelho Books

Best Paulo Coelho Books

If you would like to dive into the works of Paulo Coelho, take a look at a few examples below.

1. The Alchemist

Many people would agree that The Alchemist, which was released in 1988, is the best book by Coelho. It is undoubtedly his most influential. The book follows a young shepherd from Spain named Santiago as he travels through the Andalusian area.

Santiago takes his sheep and herds them into an abandoned church to protect them. He also has a dream that he will one day discover treasure and the pyramids of Egypt. Santiago goes on a fantastic journey from Andalusia to Africa.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it searches for its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
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The Alchemist: 25th Anniversary Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 09/09/2014 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

2. The Devil and Miss Prym

This novel was published in 2000, and it showcased how Coelho feels about humanity. Throughout the story, the reader is left wondering, are people good or bad? This question does not have a set answer, but it is something that Coelho explores as the book unfolds.

The story takes place in a small town in France. The main character is Chantal Prym. She serves as the bartender of the village.

Even though she is a good person, she knows there is more to life. As the story moves along, she meets different people along the way. All of them show another side of humanity.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Paulo Coelho, The Devil, and Miss Prym
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The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation (P.S.)
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 08/03/2021 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

3. Manuscript Found in Accra

This 1974 novel, Manuscript Found in Accra, follows the story of an archaeologist who uncovers an ancient manuscript in Accra, which is part of Ghana today. The manuscript focuses on Muslims, Jews, and Christians living together in Jerusalem. At the same time, they prepare for their imminent deaths as part of the Crusades.

Even though the story takes place hundreds of years ago, it is still incredibly realistic. There are lots of fearful citizens in town, and they face a variety of hardships.

Check out our guide on the best Michael Crichton books.

“And if I’m alone in bed, I will go to the window, look up at the sky, and feel certain that loneliness is a lie because the Universe is there to keep me company.”

Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra
Manuscript Found in Accra
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 12/31/2013 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

4. The Witch of Portobello

The Witch of Portobello became a bestseller in 2006, landing on The New York Times bestseller list. In this book, Coelho explores many burning questions that humanity still has to answer. In particular, the book tackles a difficult question: how is it possible for us to stay true to ourselves when we don’t know what that looks like for us?

The book explores the story of a young woman in Transylvania named Athena. The book has a variety of flashbacks, and there are numerous twists and turns as it unfolds.

“The day is made up of 24 hours and an infinite number of moments. We need to be aware of those moments and make the most of them regardless of whether we’re busy doing something or contemplating life.”

Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello
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The Witch of Portobello: A Novel (P.S.)
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 312 Pages - 08/03/2021 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

5. The Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage is one of the first books Coelho wrote. It was published in 1987, and it is based on his adventure as he crossed from one side of Spain to the other, where he underwent personal growth. 

At the beginning of the adventure, the main character wants to join this group. He has dreamed of joining this group ever since he was a child. Before he is allowed to join this group, he needs to go on a journey to find a sword. The journey is where he learns more about himself.

“When you are moving toward an objective,” said Petrus, “it is very important to pay attention to the road. The road teaches us the best way to get there, and the road enriches us as we walk its length.”

Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom (Plus)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 10/13/2009 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

6. Veronika Decides to Die

Veronika Decides to Die, released in 1998, is a thought-provoking novel that focuses on a woman from Slovenia. Even though it appears as though her life is perfect, it is not. She tries to take her own life and eventually wakes up in a psychiatric hospital. 

She develops a variety of health conditions even though her suicide attempt failed. The story focuses on how Veronika responds to her new life and the impact of her decisions. Coelho spent some of his life in a similar environment and drew from his experience. 

“You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that, in my view, is a serious illness. God chose you to be different. Why are you disappointing God with this kind of attitude?”

Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die
Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 08/03/2021 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

7. Like the Flowing River

Like the Flowing River might not be Coelho’s most well-known book, but it is undoubtedly unique. This is a collection of short stories, notes, poems, and anecdotes published in 2007. 

The goal is to ask the reader to think about some of the biggest questions in life. What is death like? Where did nature come from? What is the meaning of life? You are not expected to answer these questions as the stories unfold, but you are expected to think about them.

“It is part of the human nature always to judge others very severely and, when the wind turns against us, always to find an excuse for our misdeeds, or to blame someone else for our mistakes.”

Paulo Coelho, Like the Flowing River
Like the Flowing River
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 254 Pages - 11/27/2013 (Publication Date) - Sant Jordi Asociados (Publisher)

8. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

This is easily one of Coelho’s most famous books; it came out in 1994. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is a devastating story that focuses on a scholar who has become depressed. She is tired of the routine, the monotony, and the boredom; despite all of our hard work, nothing in her life has changed.

Eventually, she discovered that an old friend had become a popular spiritual leader—all of a sudden, the book blossoms into a love story. It focuses on the strength of love, and it teaches people how to persevere throughout all of life’s issues.

“If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now? Then I will either wait for him or forget him.”

Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
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By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of Forgiveness
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 180 Pages - 08/03/2021 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

9. Brida

Brida is a fantasy novel released in 1990, all about self-discovery. The main character is a woman looking for knowledge. She believed that knowledge would fulfill her, and there is a lot of magical realism throughout this book.

Even though it takes place in a fantasy world, there are a lot of real-life issues and questions that this book tackles. Many psychological dilemmas occur throughout this story, and Coelho uses them to address some of the most significant problems facing humanity.

“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. It would help if you had sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are God’s tools to show us how.”

Paulo Coelho, Brida
Brida: A Novel (P.S.)
  • Coelho, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 08/03/2021 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

The Final Word On The Best Paulo Coelho Books

These are a few of the best Paulo Coelho books you should check out. He is one of the most accomplished Brazilian authors in history, and you can take a deeper dive into his works with these titles. Consider expanding your horizons with these great titles.

Further Reading

If you liked this guide on the best Paulo Coehlo books, you might also enjoy this list of the best suspense authors

You might also be interested in our explainer on the best horror authors

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