The life story of Paulo Coelho may be a book in and of itself. During his teens, his parents committed him to a psychiatric facility. They believed that his unruly behavior was a sign of mental illness. There he was subjected to the traumas of electroshock therapy.
Coelho dropped out of school in his twenties to travel around South America with a goal to become a journalist. However, after a life-changing pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, he decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Through his works, he invites readers to reflect on their life and analyze their decisions and habits.
Here is a list of five Paulo Coelho books you must read :
The Alchemist, Coelho’s most influential novel, is recommended by millions of people. The protagonist of the novel is Santiago, an adolescent shepherd from Andalusia (modern-day Spain).
This is an incredible work of fiction about magic, fate, dreams, and omens. This book emphasizes self-assurance, reflection, overcoming adversity, and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. This book will make you think about your ambitions and aims, and you’ll wonder why you confine yourself to safe and familiar situations when you can achieve amazing things. The message is simple and uncomplicated, yet it will stick with you for a long time. This is a book that everyone should read and then pass on to others.
Maria is a young Brazilian girl who works as a shop assistant in a fabric store. While on vacation in Rio de Janeiro for a week, a Swiss man approaches her on the beach at Copacabana. He offers her a position as a cabaret performer in Geneva. While this may appear to be the start of a fairy tale, the truth is quite different. Maria succumbs to prostitution and does it without guilt. Despite her numerous adventures, she meets a young painter who is as perplexed as she. In this compelling and daring new novel, Paulo Coelho compassionately examines the sacred essence of love and sex, urging us to confront our own biases and demons and embrace our own “inner light.”
When his wife vanishes without a trace, a great writer abandons all of his life’s convictions. He will travel from Paris to Central Asia, crossing the steppe and the desert, searching for something that will give his life more meaning. Paulo Coelho revisits old stories and far-off traditions to recall themes of love, the voyage of self-knowledge, and the roots of belief. He speaks of isolation and independence and ponders man’s future quest for stability, love, and spirituality.
The Witch of Portobello
When war broke out in her homeland, Athena, the adopted daughter of a wealthy Lebanese family, moved to London. She falls in love with a man at university and, as a result, becomes pregnant. Despite their families’ wishes, the young couple overcomes hurdles and marries, but their romance does not endure. All this time, Athena can’t stop thinking about the woman who gave birth to her. She wanted to find her and understand what prompted her to leave her child. What she discovers along the way will change the course of her life and the lives of others she cares about.
Veronika Decides to Die
Veronika is a Slovenian woman who looks to have it all on the surface. However, she attempts suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills a few pages in. She then wakes up at a mental facility. Although the overdose did not kill her, it did leave her with a heart condition. Veronika learns that the institution has a sense of freedom rather than being scared and worried.
She has complete autonomy over what she says and does. Along the process, Veronika learns to make the best of life and not see the worst in everything. Coelho’s experience in psychiatric hospitals is explored in-depth in this book. But, more crucially, the theme of insanity is present throughout the narrative.
Is it true that people with mental illnesses are insane? Is it the perspective of the outer world that gives them that appearance? Coelho wrestles with these recurrent philosophical concerns once more.
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