Paulo Coelho is a widely read writer of self improvement books that are presented in parable form. He is most noted for "The Alchemist," which has sold millions of copies and holds the world record for number of language translations of a book by a living author.
Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947 in Brazil. He wanted to be
a writer from an early age, but his family did not appreciate his
ambitions. He was introverted and determined to follow his own path,
but that got him committed to a mental institution by the time he
was sixteen years old. He escaped from there three times before he
was finally released when he was twenty.
Agreeing to obey his parents' wishes, Coelho gave up his dream to be a writer and went to law school instead. He lasted about a year until he dropped out, became a hippie, and traveled throughout the world.
In 1986, Paulo Coelho walked the Road of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and that changed the course of his life. He experienced a spiritual awakening and later wrote of his experiences in his book, "The Pilgrimage." He decided to finally pursue his dream of being a writer and his career took off quickly and won him worldwide recognition and acclaim.
More and more books are also becoming available as ebooks and audibles.
Here are a few links to some of the most popular ebook readers on Amazon.com:
"The Alchemist" is an allegorical novel about a
shepherd's journey to Egypt in search of treasure. The philosophy
behind the book is that when you want something, the universe
conspires to help you obtain it. The theme running through the book
is the importance of finding one's destiny. While it tells a
fictional story, this is considered to be a self improvement book
because of the lessons it teaches. It has won much acclaim
throughout the world. A successful stage production was based upon
the book in India and there are plans to turn it into a major motion
picture in the U.S. This work by Paulo Coelho was published in 1988
and is available as a book, ebook, and audio book.
"The Pilgrimage" was published in 1988 and is available as a book, ebook, and audio book. This is a parable by Paulo Coelho about the need to find one's path in life. Coelho shows that the most profound aspects of life are found in the simple acts of every day people. It is in part autobiographical, and an account of some of Coelho's experiences during a pilgrimage across Spain to Santiago de Compostela. It also includes self improvement advice and exercises that he was taught during that time to enhance his spiritual progress.
"Brida" was published in 1990 and is a book, ebook, and audio book. Brida is a young Irish girl who is in search of her destiny. A wise man teaches her how to overcome fear and a woman teaches her to tune into the music of the world.
"The Valkyries" was published in 1992 and is a book, ebook, and audio book. It is an autobiography that is told in the third person. The story centers around the relationship between Paulo and his wife. It is the tale of his trip into the Mojave Desert with his wife to meet the Valkyries, and his guardian angle.
"Warrior of the Light: A Manual" was originally published in 1997 and is a book and ebook that contains a collection of essays and philosophical stories that inspires readers and guides them towards spiritual development.
"By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of Forgiveness" was published in 1994 and is a book, ebook, and audio book. It is part one of the "On the Seventh Day" trilogy. This book tells the story of a young girl seeking meaning in life. She teams up with a childhood sweetheart and sets off on a spiritual quest through the French Pyrenees.
"Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption" was published in 1998 and is a book, ebook, and audio book. The story draws from events in Coelho's own life, particularly his experiences in mental institutions. This is the tale of a 24 year old girl who seems to have it all, but decides she is going to kill herself. It is a story of individuals who do not fit into society's molds of normal. This is part two of the "On the Seventh Day" trilogy.
"The Fifth Mountain" was published in 1996 and can be read as a book or ebook. This book by Paulo Coelho has a religious tone. It is the story of Elijah from the Bible and deals with concepts such as rebelling against God, thinking for oneself, human self-confidence, and self-fulfillment through serving others. Coelho suggests that through his advanced level of spiritual awareness, Elijah was able to have a powerful experience with God.
"The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation" is part three of the "On the Seventh Day" trilogy. In this work Paulo Coelho deals with good vs. evil and whether people are naturally bad. The story characters deal with everyday life choices and the consequences of them, as they struggle with temptation and fear. This book was published in 2000 and is available as a book, ebook, and audio book.
"Eleven Minutes" is a book by Paulo Coelho that explores love and pain through the eyes of a young girl who was crushed by love and turned to a life of prostitution. She must eventually decide if she will turn her back on the dark path she has chosen, let her inner light shine, and risk her heart on love. This book was published in 2003 and is available as an ebook, book, and audio book.
"The Zahir" was published in 2005 and is available as a book, ebook, and audio book. It is the tale of a pilgrimage and deals with loss, love, and obsession. It draws on events from Coelho's own life and explores the meaning of life and love as the narrator travels from Paris to Kazakhstan.
"Witch of Portobello" was published in 2007. It is a book, audio book, and ebook. This story is about a woman who was orphaned and then later adopted by a wealthy couple. It is about the search for one's true self and opening up to the energy of the world. It touches on the goddess religion, love, and the feminine Divine.
"Life: Selected Quotations" was published in 2007. It is a beautifully illustrated book that is filled with quotes and insights taken from other works by Paulo Coelho. It makes a nice gift book and is ideal for self improvement enthusiasts who want to understand Coelho's work a little better.
"Aleph" was published in 2010 and is available as a book, ebook, and audio book. This work is about transforming your life and rewriting your destiny. It is an autobiographical tale of Paulo's attempt to deal with a crisis of faith. He embarks on a journey of spiritual renewal and travels through Asia and Europe on a mystical voyage that transcends time and space.
Paulo Coelho has influenced people all around the world through the self improvement advice he offers in his books. He has received numerous awards.
Some of the most prestigious include being named a UN Messenger of Peace, being named to the Board of Shimon Peres Center for Peace, receiving the Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur from France, being a special counselor for UNESCO, being named to the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and being named to the board of the Doha Center of Media Freedom.
Paulo Coelho continues to live in Brazil where he founded the Paulo Coelho Institute that provides financial support to disadvantaged children and elderly living in Brazil. The funds come from the royalties earned from his books and from donations.
With over 90 million of his books being read in over 150 countries, Coelho has had a huge impact on spiritual seekers around the globe.
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