Back to the list

Seven books of Paulo Coelho that shaped my attitude in life

 I started reading the books of Paulo Coelho when I was first year college.

And since then, I began to appreciate the timeless wisdom he shares in his novels.

After reading the first book, I got hooked and started to collect all his available books in the nearby National Bookstore.

In this article, I would like to share the top seven books of him that greatly influenced my perspectives in life.

Let`s go and look at their overviews and some of the famous quotes from them.

1. Alchemist

A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho. 

Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. 

His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. 

Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.


“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
“Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.”
“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”
“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”
“If you start by promising what you don't even have yet, you'll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”

2. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept:  A Novel of Forgiveness

This is a poignant, richly poetic story that reflects the depth of love and life. 

Rarely does adolescent love reach its full potential, but what happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? 

Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. 

She has learned well how to bury her feelings . . . and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts. 

Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. 

But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a most special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life's biggest questions.


“Love is a trap. When it appears, we see only its light, not its shadows.”
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation.”
“Love like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots keeping itself alive.”
“Life takes us by surprise and orders us to move toward the unknown -even when we don't want to and when we think we don't need to.”
“God always offers us a second chance in life.”
“Happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided.”
“To love is to lose control.”
“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”
“Go and get your things,' he said. 'Dreams mean work.”
“Love doesn't need to be discussed; it has its own voice and speaks for itself.”

3. Eleven Minutes

Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. 

At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . ." 

A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. 

Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. 

In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness - sexual pleasure for its own sake - or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.


“Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone.”
“Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.”
“The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.”
“Dreaming is very pleasant as long as you are not forced to put your dreams into practice.”
“Considering the way the world is, one happy day is almost a miracle.”
“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”
“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.”
“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
“No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”

4. The Fifth Mountain

In the ninth century b.c., the Phoenician princess Jezebel orders the execution of all the prophets who refuse to worship the pagan god Baal. 

Commanded by an angel of God to flee Israel, Elijah seeks safety in the land of Zarephath, where he unexpectedly finds true love with a young widow. 

But this newfound rapture is to be cut short, and Elijah sees all of his hopes and dreams irrevocably erased as he is swept into a whirlwind of events that threatens his very existence. 

Written with the same masterful prose and clarity of vision that made The Alchemist an international phenomenon, The Fifth Mountain is a quietly moving account of a man touched by the hand of God who must triumph over his frustrations in a soul-shattering trial of faith.


“Sadness does not last forever when we walk in the direction of that which we always desired.”
“Stop thinking about life and choose to live it”
“All life battles teach us something, even those we lose”
“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.”
“There is no tragedy, only the unavoidable. Everything has its reason for being: you only need to distinguish what is temporary from what is lasting.”
“The Lord heareth the prayers of those who ask to put aside hatred. But he is deaf to those who would flee from love.”
“...and I discovered something: the meaning of my life was whatever I wanted it to be.”
“Make whatever decision you wish but never forget one thing: all of you are much better than you believed. Take advantage of the chance that tragedy has given you; not everyone is capable of doing so”

5. The Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage paved the way to Paulo Coehlo's international bestselling novel The Alchemist. 

In many ways, these two volumes are companions—to truly comprehend one, you must read the other. 

Step inside this captivating account of Paulo Coehlo's pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. 

This fascinating parable explores the need to find one's own path. 

In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. 

Part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery, this compelling tale delivers the perfect combination of enchantment and insight.


“The Good Fight is the one that we fight in the name of our dreams.”
“The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats.”
“It's a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.”
“We always have a tendency to see those things that do not exist and to be blind to the great lessons that are right there before our eyes.” 
“We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body.”
“Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.”
“Death is our constant companion, and it is death that gives each person's life its true meaning.”
“Once a problem is solved, its simplicity is amazing.”
“It has been said that there is no such thing as coincidence in this world.”
“When in doubt, just take the next small step”

6. Brida

Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. 

Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. 

She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. 

As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. 

This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. 

It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.


“Being human means having doubts and yet still continuing on your path.”
“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”
“Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
“Choosing a path means having to miss out on others”
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
“How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.”
“When you’re in love, you’re capable of learning everything and knowing things you had never dared even to think, because love is the key to understanding of all the the mysteries.”
“Finding one important thing in your life doesn’t mean you have togive up all the other important things.”
“Feelings do not grow old along with the body. Feelings form part of a world I don’t know, but it’s a world where there’s no time, so space, no frontiers.”
“The night is just a part of the day”
“Do not try to explain feelings. Live everything intensely and treasure what you feel as a gift from God.”
“Sometimes the best of gods gift's arrive by the shattering of all the window panes.”
“Every moment in life is an act of faith”

7. Aleph

In his most personal novel to date, internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. 

Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. 

As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again—to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him. 

Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. 

Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. 

A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. 

Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life’s inevitable challenges. 

Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.


“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.”
“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage”
“What hurts us is what heals us”
“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.”
“Only two things can reveal life's great secrets: suffering and love.”
“If you conquer yourself, then you conquer the world”
“Suffering comes from desire, not from pain.”
“If you spend too much time trying to find out what is good or bad about someone else, you'll forget your own soul and end up exhausted and defeated by the energy you have wasted in judging others.”
“You don't need to climb a mountain to know that it's high.”
“To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.”
“It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.”
“Words are tears that have been written down. Tears are words that need to be shed. Without them, joy loses all its brilliance and sadness has no end.”
“Only children believe they're capable of everything.”
“If you want to see a rainbow you have to learn to see the rain.”
“When we're focused on what we want, things begin to slot perfectly into place.”
“Each time we embrace someone warmly, we gain an extra day of life.”
“A life without a cause is a life without effect.”
“If I believe I will win, then victory will believe in me.”
“God only allows us to see such things when he wants something to change”
“It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you'll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experiencing it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.”

How about you, what is your favorite book/s of Paulo Coelho?

What are some of the famous line you still remember from your favorite novel of him?

We`ll be happy to learn from you.

Thank you in advance.