If you are looking for books like The Alchemist, this will be a post for you. Maybe you are looking for a book that will fill that void that The Alchemist left, or you want to branch out to other books that would help you to better understand yourself.
In this list are my personal suggestions. So do not expect the same titles that the Amazon algorithm proposes to you.
The books on this list gave me the right piece of knowledge at the right time, and I believe they can do the same for you.
What a book like The Alchemist should be like?
What is The Alchemist about? Why it so popular? Well, it is a motivational or even self-help book, hidden in literature. Rather than being all over the place with “5 steps to change your life” it is telling you a story on which you project your own issues and your life.
Since you searched for books like the Alchemist, I suppose there are no spoilers if I quickly recap the main plot.
The main protagonist, Santiago, has a re-occurring dream about a fortune hidden under Egyptian pyramids. A fortune teller interprets this as a prophecy, so Santiago tries to reach the pyramids. After facing many adversities he reaches the pyramids and starts looking for the treasure from his dream. In the end, he learns that the actual treasure was hidden right under his feet in the village where he had his dream.
There are many interpretations of meaning. For myself I see these following themes:
- While it always seems that the grass is greener elsewhere. It is not true. Your success is right under your feet. You are just failing to see it and get influenced by people.
- You can’t transfer experience, you can only obtain it yourself. Even if somebody told Santiago that the treasure is right there next to him, he may not have believed it. Sometimes you just have to walk that road before you understand it all.
- There will be obstacles, troubles, and failures. It is not a question of if they will be there, but rather how many of them you will have to endure. No matter the answer, you just have to go through it.
- If you make you mind to accomplish something, your surroundings will bind to your plan.
So when searching for books like The Alchemist, in my mind those are the main themes. I would also like to add, reading one or two motivational, self-help books is good. But reading to many of them is a waste of time.
The Alchemist is a very “high-level” story where everyone finds something for themselves. In my list of books similar to The Alchemist, I will provide resources on the themes that The Alchemist covered. Rather than just giving you the books that will give you the same story to project your life on.
Books like The Alchemist
As mentioned, in this list you will find books that will move you further in various themes set by The Alchemist, rather than providing you with the same content but with a different cover.
So do not expect to find other various books telling you story that will help you in your soul searching. The goal is to go from theory to action. The Alchemist is an abstract tale, so the next books have to be that bridge between an abstract story and a skill-guide.
Let’s make the transition smooth by listing a couple of books similar to The Alchemist in their overall message.
The Richest Man in Babylon, by George Samuel Clarson
The Richest Man in Babylon gives you basic financial advice through a story. In the same manner, as The Alchemist gave you life.
Through the book, king Arkad shares various stories illustrating principles of how to build wealth.
There are no groundbreaking ideas, chances are that you already knew that. But this book will help you to understand that is really matters and what real-life implications might these habits have.
All the advice is given through an ancient parable, which helps you (the book hopes) to understand better the importance of those principles.
It is a small book that you can read in a couple of days easily. A great addition to your path after you finished the Alchemist.
Triology of Desire, by Theodore Dreiser
The trilogy is compiled of three books, The Financier, The Titan, and The Stoic. While the Richest Man in Babylon was directed at teaching you about financial management, this trilogy does not have this goal.
It is centered around Frank Cowperwood and his life from youth till his death. The trilogy is about three phases of Frank’s life, with particular attention to the way he handled business. This is also a reason why it made the list of books similar to The Alchemist.
Rather than directly tell you what to do and what not to do, it just shows you a life of a person and various implications of his choices. It also shows you how he handled his business. If you will be reading it, you will of course find several parts where it was purely about luck, rather than Cowperwood skills or personal traits. But as it was said “The more I work, the luckier I get.” you must take some action before you can take your chances with luck.
Imagine how wise and knowledgeable would you be if you would be able to live and remember tens or hundreds of lives. “The person who reads lives a thousand lives. The one who does not lives only one” – that is a perfect fit for a reason to read this trilogy.
Now let’s move further on our imaginary bridge between self-help books and action taking books.
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
As the next step in your own Santiago journey, it is time to change the way you look at things. This book will help you with that.
Success is about your mindset, there are no doubts about it. This book will teach you how to set your mindset correctly. There is no need to read another 15 books about motivation and positive thinking, this one will do.
Some people expect things to happen if they just think positive thoughts. That is of course utter nonsense. If you will just think about it – nothing will change, you must take enormous, scary, humongous amounts of action to make things moving.
The Alchemist spoke about believing in something. Think and Grow Rich will show you how to believe in the things that are right for you.
But in order to be ready to really put yourself on that path, and most importantly to not step away from it – your mindset and thoughts must be ready to support you.
The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson
One of the most profound knowledge that many are missing: compounded discipline will make you successful.
Nothing happens overnight, Rome was not built in a day (cliche, I know) not even a house can be built in a day (or if it can – it would be a shabby one). You can not expect things to change for you overnight, in a week, in a month, or even in a year.
Small improvements, done every day, will compound over time into a life-changing path. In the same way, small errors every day will compound to a changing path but in a much worse way.
The books explain this concept in detail, doing a great job of it. The Alchemist is partially about one’s life path. The Slight Edge explains while discipline is crucial.
There are many interesting books out there, this list might have gone on and on. Sure, admittedly these books are not exactly LIKE The Alchemist, but once you already grasped the concepts that are listed in The Alchemist, why spend time re-reading variations of the same thoughts?
Similar books like The Alchemist must move you forward in your life.
The Alchemist gives you a base to start your personal growth. It leaves you with questions about yourself and your potential future. But the answers to that question are no in books that are similar to The Alchemist.
If you are trying to progress in any activity – doing sports, playing musical instruments, trying yourself at art, you have to constantly increase the difficulty.
In sports, it called progressive overload. The idea is simple; if you do just 10 pushups each day, you will not improve. But if you will increase the number of pushups by one each day, you will make great progress.
The same applies to your mind and personal traits. If you will be re-learning the same information, you will get nowhere. You must constantly push yourself to widen your horizons.
Each new book that you read, should give you new branches of information to research. So rather than reading books that are like The Alchemist, you should take the ideas and expand on them further through new books.
Hopefully, in this post, I gave you some ideas on where to go next in your personal and professional development journey!