So you’ve read the Alchemist and most definitely enjoyed it that you looked for books similar to it; but unlike you who loved it, I think it was a-okay novel although I loved the philosophical and adventure part of the novel.
After reading I wondered “Are there more books like or better than the Alchemist?” and Viola! I found many impressive books and I’ve added just a few of those in this article. I believe you might love these books if you’ve read and liked the Alchemist.
Here are the best Alternatives if Alchemist:
Author: Robin Sharma.
The Monk who sold his Ferrari like The Alchemist is about finding and fulfilling your destiny. This book is a self-help book written by Robin Sharma from his personal experiences when he left his career as a lawyer at age of 25 a.k.a a bildungsroman.
When I heard the title, I was expecting a Tibetian monk to buy a Ferrari but later selling it due to poor road conditions (or crashing it) and learning a valuable lesson but the story follows 2 friends Julian Martin and John. Julian narrates his story about how he survived a heart attack and later quit his profession as a lawyer and began looking for a higher meaning of life and how he sold his holiday home and his Ferrari (hence the title) to travel to the Himalayas for spiritual enlightenment.
You’ll absolutely love the quotes and message of this book; you can even call it a life-changing novel but it loses brownie points at the format in which it has been presented. If you’re one of the few people who sincerely loved it, then try other books by Robin Sharma, they’re also named The monk who sold his Ferrari with minor changes and additions.
Author: Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner is one of the few books that was recommended to me nearly 15 times before I gave it a try and I felt like an idiot for not reading it earlier; now whenever I hear the line “For You, a thousand times over” it gives me chills. Sure, the story is mildly like the Alchemist if you take into consideration the traveling part but the overall story is a lot better than the Alchemist.
The story starts with Amir who has been running from his past and his sin returns to them when he receives a call from a family friend from Pakistan. Amir and his childhood friend Hussain lived in Kabul (Afghanistan) before the rise of the Taliban regime. Amir used to be a naughty weak guy while Hussain was quite skilled and kind despite his looks, they both loved Kite fighting (I did too but sadly not anymore) and Hussain was simply too skilled at it. But one day Amir wins the local kite fighting match and hopes to make his father proud. Hussain runs to get the last kite cut by Amir but things take a turn for worse from here. Give it a try and find out more, I’m quite sure you won’t regret reading it.
After Kite Runner, try a Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini.
Author: Yann Martel.
You must’ve been living on Pluto if you haven’t heard of this book or more appropriately the movie considering the movie was nominated 11 times and won 4 awards at the 84th Academy Awards.
When you read this book, don’t miss out on the Author’s word in the beginning as it helps in making the story more believable. The story revolves around Pi (Piscine Molitor Patel); okay! hold on! We need to talk about his name before anything else. Piscine Molitor Patel was named by his father as a tribute to a swimming pool in France! Who does that? Elon Musk…
Anyways, after he introduces himself in the class, his name goes from Piscine to pissing real quickly, hence he changes it to mathematics term Pi. The main story revolves around his teen years, first love, heartbreak, packing up, and the sea voyage…
The book has many notable things, like Pi’s obsession over religion and a tiger with a better name than the protagonist himself (just to name a few)
The real story starts when the ship sinks due to the storm; Pi finds his family dead and himself on a little dinghy boat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal Tiger. He survives 227 days adrift on the ocean and while he was blind due to the exposure, he finds another castaway man who becomes Richard Parker’s meal.
Although it is a work of fiction; I can help but believe that everything in this is true. If you’re looking for books like the Alchemist then you need to try this one.
Author: Jon Krakauer.
While the majority of the books here are works of fiction–Into the wild is a nonfiction novel. Apparently, it is an expansion of a 9,000 words article written by Jon Krakauer.
This book is too much like the Alchemist albeit the fact that here the author hunts for a man who was found dead after spending and burning all his possessions and money and setting for an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. He survives nearly 113 days in Alaska before dying due to eating the wrong seeds. According to his journal, he had wanted to leave but found his paths either boggy or blocked by the raging rivers of melted snow and in the end, he had to eat whatever he found.
The book is awesome, but sometimes it feels like you’re reading a newspaper instead of a novel. It took me longer than necessary to finish this book and I can understand why this book is often assigned by schools and colleges. This book is a good alternative for the Alchemist if you like Nonfiction works.
Author: Robert M. Pirsig.
This might be the Best title for a book I’ve ever heard and this book is actually a fictional autobiography of the Author himself.
The book is good, but definitely not my cup of tea… for me, it was like listening to Weeknd or Metallica and my head starting its philosophical talks, that’s downright annoying and that’s how this book is. It takes a lot of focus to read this book but there are some nice quotes and messages in this book that make this book worthwhile.
The story revolves around a duo of father and son traveling across the U.S.A and the father often talks about philosophical things, about how he overcame depression and his dreams.
And the biggest bummer of this book is… it doesn’t have anything related to Eastern philosophy nor with motorcycle maintenance (might’ve been better if it did).
Author: Paulo Coelho.
If you’re looking for books like the Alchemist, then why not look up other books by the same author? The Pilgrimage is quite similar to the Alchemist or should I say; the Alchemist is quite similar to the Pilgrimage as it is the first book written by the Author. This book is about the author himself and here you can clearly see his growth as a writer. This book is a collection of Paulo Coelho’s experiences as he made his way to Santiago de Compostela on a pilgrimage.
Like the Alchemist, this book too gives off the adventurous vibe. During 1986, Paulo is asked to embark on a pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago after he fails during his initiation into the order of Regnus Agnus Mundi.
This book is about how during the journey he learns about the simplicity of life and how it transforms him. He travels with a guide named Petrus and Petrus shows him the art of meditation and mystical thoughts and philosophies.
Although the book is good, it falls short of expectations as it is slightly unclear; I kept wondering what exactly is “RAM” and what’re their traditions?
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
You might have read it in your childhood, and if not, then you need to. This is a beautiful children’s novel that addresses the themes of Friendship, Love, Loss, and Loneliness. Even though it is a children’s novel you must read it in case you haven’t as it depicts human nature and life in utmost precision.
The narrator often shows people his drawing of a snake eating an elephant to see if he can talk about fanciful things to them or reasonable things. I think this part is especially important as it sheds light on how adults change as they grow up. The narrator becomes a pilot and one day he crashes in the Sahara desert.
He meets a golden-haired boy, who is nicknamed the little prince who happens to be quite curious and questions things a lot (every kid ever). The narrator tests the little prince by showing him his drawing of a snake eating an elephant and to his surprise, the prince answers correctly and then the prince asks the narrator to draw him a sheep.
While the narrator is repairing his place, the little prince starts telling the narrator about his home and himself. The little prince happens to be from a small planet known as Asteroid B612 and has been visiting many Planets including Earth. He shares some incredible stories about his journey with the narrator.
The little prince falls in love with a rose and he later thinks that the rose is taking advantage of him so he decides to leave the planet.
The little prince tells the narrator about meeting a king with no subject and who only gives simple orders like the Sun to set or to rise, about an Alcoholic man who drinks to forget the shame of drinking and about a businessman who has forgotten the beauty of the stars just because they provide him money.
And after that, he visits the earth. He discovers what makes his rose unique, whom he left on his planet. In this book the author tries to remind us to be a little less grown-up, to see through our heart, and to use our imagination and not something that the society is trying to teach us about money and being an efficient machine. If you’re still looking for books like the Alchemist, then try this one right away
Author: Hermann Hesse.
You might be thinking that it’s a biography of Gautam Buddha, but it is not; Siddhartha is a fictional character. It’s a story of a wealthy Indian who went through various stages of life in search of serenity (sounds like Gautama Buddha after all).
Siddhartha, a smart and talented boy who is loved by all, grown up in a brahmin family. But as he grew up he felt that there was something missing. He leaves his father and starts his own journey towards self-enlightenment. His childhood friend, Govinda accompanies him.
They become part of Samanas, a group of wandering Ascetic. They became homeless, did fasts, gave up all their personal possessions, and did meditation. But peace did not come. When they hear about Gautam buddha, they seek guidance. Govinda joins Buddha discipleship while Siddhartha goes on his own quest. He met a ferryman, Vasudeva who values friendship over money.
He helped Siddhartha in crossing the river without asking for a single penny. He then proceeded towards city life, where Siddhartha found a beautiful woman Kamala, who told him that he needs to become wealthy then she will teach him the art of love.
He agrees and at the request of Kamala, he meets a merchant and starts learning about business. Soon he becomes a wealthy man and Kamala’s lover. But after noticing the lack of fulfillment, he leaves it all and returns back to the river, where he continues his journey of finding peace and enlightenment. The theme that follows in Siddhartha is self-discovery which is similar to the theme of the alchemist.
Author: André Gide.
You most definitely might know André Gide is, if not– André Gide is the winner of the Nobel prize in literature. As Urien’s Voyage is one of his earlier works, it is slightly unrefined compared to his other novels but unlike his other novels, this one is closest to the symbolism.
This book is about how Urien and his companions departed on a sea voyage from the teeming waters of the Sargasso to the frozen Arctic in Orion and how the fantastic adventure transformed the crew.
Author: Richard Bach.
This book brings back memories (it’s going to be a long read for you), I come from a family where Reading and Writing was strictly for study purposes and I genuinely loved reading and writing anything apart from studies, I had 2 books full of short stories, quotes, and random titbits but I had to turn them to ashes.
Later on, my Homeroom teacher found my new storybook and she came to know that my parents don’t like me writing stories and spending hours and hours in books so she told me to follow my heart and not to kill my talent. Later on, I received Jonathan Livingston the Seagull from the teacher and I loved it. I finished it in 1 and a half hours and the teacher was shocked while my library teacher just rolled her eyes (Library teacher never believed I read fast even when I read right in front of her).
The story is about how a Seagull thinks differently and strives to find the greater meaning of life instead of simply fighting for food and sleeping. Jonathan is cast out from his tribe for breaking their rules. Jonathan Livingston flies off to somewhere else and perfects his art of flying till his death.
The book doesn’t end with his death, in fact, the story begins there. He is taken to heaven or so he thinks of it and there are just a bunch of seagulls who happened to be practicing every move he ever tried and many unknown to him. There Livingston the Seagull learns even further and decides to return to the earth to help the fellow seagulls like himself.
As for my parents, they haven’t still accepted my career choice but hey! I’m Jonathan Livingston (one of them) the Seagull of this world.
Thank you for reading and pardon me for adding my personal experiences, although I felt that they must be told here. I believe that everyone has had adventures, crazy dreams, and stories to tell. And if you’ve got anything to share or suggest, write us below in the comments.