Audiobooks Like 'The Alchemist' to Expand Your Horizons

Embarking on a spiritual journey of self-exploration? Check out our list of the best books like The Alchemist to bring along.

Since it was published in 1988, The Alchemist has remained a universally relatable work about what it means to find yourself and reach enlightenment. The tale of young Santiago following his fortune to achieve self-actualization has enraptured audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Paulo Coelho’s simple but profound writing style leaves listeners captivated—a style only heightened by the impeccable narrative performance of prolific stage and screen actor Jeremy Irons. 

If you’re one of the countless fans who’ve fallen in love with this title and find yourself wanting more, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of inspiring stories similar to The Alchemist.

Siddhartha

Nobel Prize winner Herman Hesse’s most famous and influential novel, Siddhartha contains many of the same core elements as The Alchemist—among them, a young protagonist seeking the meaning of existence all while wrestling with the obstacles and temptations of everyday life.  Despite being born and raised in a loving, safe, and privileged home, Siddhartha desires adventure and a deeper understanding of the world. The journey that follows takes him to extremes, from time with a group of strict ascetics to an unexpected dive into an opulent life of excess, all in an attempt to understand how business, love, and spirituality factor in the path to true understanding. Even after speaking with the reigning Buddha of the time, deemed the most enlightened being on Earth, Siddartha continues on his journey, asks his own questions, and seeks his own answers. It serves as a timeless reminder to us all: enlightenment is just as much about the path as it is the destination.

Life of Pi

Told from the perspective of a teenage boy, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is, like The Alchemist, a fable of a journey filled with magic and danger. The son of a zookeeper, young Pi Patel has a seemingly endless knowledge of animals, a passion for stories, and faith in a Higher Power—he practices three religions. His adventure begins on a cargo ship, when his family sets out from India to North America, along with four zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks, and Pi winds up on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with the other survivors: a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger. Soon, only Pi and the formidable tiger remain, stranded at sea together for more than 200 days. Ultimately, regardless of what really happened, Pi owes his life to the power of storytelling—and his resilient spirit. Vikas Adams won an Earphones Award for his performance of this incredible novel; listeners describe his narration as “outstanding” and absolutely amazing.

The Celestine Prophecy

Following the unexpected philosophical journey of a nameless adventurer, The Celestine Prophecy begins deep in the jungle of Peru with the discovery of an ancient manuscript. The mysterious text contains a profound revelation: nine insights that hold the key to finding true spiritual fulfillment and helping mankind live in peace and harmony. This premise is similar to what Santiago searches for in The Alchemist, but with a significant difference. While Coelho emphasizes aimlessness as part of the process, James Redfield not only reveals the secrets to making the world a better place, but also highlights structured paths available to us all—if we cultivate the discipline to follow them. Yet, even when the answers are right in front of us, that doesn’t guarantee understanding, let alone success—the willingness to accept and follow the teachings, as well as grow along the way, is critical. Narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips, The Celestine Prophecy reminds listeners to keep a weather eye on the path ahead to a brighter tomorrow.

The Little Prince

Self-exploration is not reserved for adults: children have their own journeys of discovery. The titular little prince, like Santiago, must leave home—in his case, an asteroid—to find fulfillment. Stung by a betrayal, he sets out to explore other planets, searching for insight and a cure for his loneliness. He ultimately lands on Earth in the middle of the Sahara desert. Here, he meets a pilot whose plane has crashed, and finds a friend. Serving as the story’s narrator, the pilot recounts the prince’s journey across neighboring asteroid planets and into the narrow-minded world of grown-ups. On his travels, the prince meets six adults, ranging from a king to a drunkard. All live alone and are consumed by pointless pursuits, from ordering people around to striving to own the stars. While on Earth, the prince learns to forgive and see the world with his heart. Though written for children, The Little Prince offers lessons for all ages and makes for a great family listen. Humphrey Bower narrates this modern classic and, to quote one delighted parent, his performance "was like listening to a grandfather telling a bedtime story."

The Secret

The only nonfiction title on our list, The Secret provides real-life examples and a practical perspective on the quest for fulfillment. Author Rhonda Byrne was plagued with numerous personal tragedies before she encountered the results of a mindset employed by Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Einstein, and other great thinkers and high achievers. Like attracts like, so think happy thoughts and happy things will come to you, right? Easier said than done. The Secret serves as a proof of concept narrative for the law of attraction, supported by panels of experts and reams of advice. Just as Santiago was compelled to achieve the higher calling of his personal legend, The Secret demonstrates how the power to fulfill your destiny is truly within you.

The Time Keeper

Time is elusive—we never feel like we have enough—yet it’s the basis for everything we know as humans: seasons, workweeks, appointments, how long your current audiobook is, and beyond. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a world where time isn’t counted meticulously, and either coveted or squandered. Mitch Albom’s fictional account follows the man who first dared defy God, time-wise: the inventor of the clock. Here, listeners encounter a slightly different religious authority than in The Alchemist, but with its own amount of authoritative guidance. As punishment, he spends 600 years in solitude, stuck listening to the wails of those asking for more time. When he’s finally allowed free, he’s tasked with using his wisdom to help two individuals—a suicidal teen and a terminally ill man desperate to cheat death—understand the true power of time. Dan Stevens’ expert narration aids in Father Time’s mission to help the world understand the ultimate gift of time when used wisely.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The New Complete Edition

All beings experience their own means of self-exploration and achievement of personal legend, even seagulls. Jonathan Livingston Seagull follows the avian search for meaning. Along the way, Jonathan meets other prophetic gulls and expands his knowledge of the world, but never settles in his flight. He teaches listeners that true self-exploration is a never-ending process—no journey is ever complete but simply a transition into the next. This audiobook serves as a healthy reminder for human listeners to spread their wings and fly to new heights.

The Map of Salt and Stars

The Map of Salt and Stars follows two girls separated by 800 years: Nour is struggling with the loss of her father, the trials of immigration, and impending war in the 21st century; Rawiya is a widow’s daughter faced with alleviating her mother’s poverty and seeking out her personal fortune during medieval times. Both girls must find themselves during trying times—just as, in The Alchemist, Fatima must conduct her own journey of discovery while staying in one place. Though living centuries apart, their paths mirror each other as they search, ultimately finding that home means being taken far away from it. For Nour, home is shattered by violence, while Rawiya willingly leaves her home in order to achieve her destiny and save her family. Listening to each girl’s journey as they travel along identical paths in different worlds gives us the opportunity to compare our own journeys and reflect on how they fit into the fabric of time.

The Murmur of Bees

Prophecies and divine symbols commonly appear in journeys of self-exploration, and The Murmur of Bees incorporates this theme from a unique perspective. Set during the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, this audiobook showcases self-exploration and spiritual growth against the thematic backdrop of magical realism. A baby is discovered under a bridge in a small village, strangely covered in a coat of bees. When most villagers denounce the infant as a sign from the devil or bad luck, one family takes him in and adopts him as their own. As a result, they’re rewarded by his magical abilities: he can see into the future and assists others in times of crisis. While this listen deals with painfully real human problems—a terrifying disease, as well as intolerance and fear of differences—it reminds us of the importance of seeing the magic and acknowledging the miracles all around us, especially in times of trouble.

The Water Dancer (Oprah’s Book Club)

Born in Virginia as one of the “Tasked” (Ta-Nehisi Coates’s euphemism for slavery), Hiram Walker is gifted with a photographic memory and the supernatural ability to survive nearly anything. By being in contact with water and summoning a powerful emotional memory, Hiram can travel through space in a split second—a power he accidentally unleashes in the throes of a near drowning. His discovery of this power leads Hiram to become involved in the Underground Railroad, embarking on a journey that is deeply personal yet also universal—a journey he shares with all of the other Tasked and, in many ways, with every African-American born since. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s fiction debut offers a unique perspective on a human atrocity we’re all familiar with: the ultimate violation of basic human rights and dignity. Narrator Joe Morton brings a solemnity to the story that drives home its profound messages, while the magical elements of Hiram’s journey add a layer of complexity and wonder to this remarkable novel.

The Shadow of the Wind

A young boy mourning the loss of his mother, Daniel finds solace in an abandoned book: The Shadow of the Wind. A sort of story within a story, Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s work follows Daniel as he gets absorbed in this book and embarks on a quest to find more books by the author. However, his journey soon transforms into one of mystery and danger—leading him to a realization that the world is often not what it seems. Veteran narrator Jonathan Davis brings his expertise to Daniel’s search and does a flawless job of helping listeners experience this personal journey of growth and adventure.

The Starless Sea

Graduate school can be a life-changing journey—you’re finding your place in the world and discovering yourself. But for the grad student at the center of The Starless Sea, the journey is truly epic. While browsing in the library, Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a strange book hidden in the stacks. He’s enthralled by its tales, and then suddenly taken aback by something within in its pages: a story from his own childhood. Ready or not, Zachary, much like Santiago in The Alchemist, is about to embark on a startling journey of incredible adventure and self-discovery. Keeping the revelations coming, this audiobook reflects the immense growth Zachary experiences throughout his journey to find himself, while reminding listeners to keep their eyes and ears open for the magical, mystical, and mysterious—they might just teach us something.

The Book of Speculation

As the final title on our list drives home, our search for meaning and journeys of self-exploration are typically beyond our control—though we may take the first step, the path ahead is filled with unknowns. A young librarian on the verge of losing his job, Simon Watson lives alone in his deteriorating family home long after his parents have died; his sister—a circus performer—never visits or calls. One day, a mysterious package arrives from an antiquarian bookseller. Inside is a history of a traveling circus from the 1700s. Along with the story of doomed lovers, it recounts strange, mystical, and terrifying happenings—and mentions his grandmother by name. As he reads on, Simon begins to wonder: Why have so many women in his family, including his mother, died in the same dreadful fashion? Is there a curse on his family? And is his sister doomed? The Book of Speculation ultimately leaves us with this timely reminder: while our personal journeys may differ, we all have more in common than most of us think.

Siddhartha

Nobel Prize winner Herman Hesse’s most famous and influential novel, Siddhartha contains many of the same core elements as The Alchemist—among them, a young protagonist seeking the meaning of existence all while wrestling with the obstacles and temptations of everyday life.  Despite being born and raised in a loving, safe, and privileged home, Siddhartha desires adventure and a deeper understanding of the world. The journey that follows takes him to extremes, from time with a group of strict ascetics to an unexpected dive into an opulent life of excess, all in an attempt to understand how business, love, and spirituality factor in the path to true understanding. Even after speaking with the reigning Buddha of the time, deemed the most enlightened being on Earth, Siddartha continues on his journey, asks his own questions, and seeks his own answers. It serves as a timeless reminder to us all: enlightenment is just as much about the path as it is the destination.

Life of Pi

Told from the perspective of a teenage boy, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is, like The Alchemist, a fable of a journey filled with magic and danger. The son of a zookeeper, young Pi Patel has a seemingly endless knowledge of animals, a passion for stories, and faith in a Higher Power—he practices three religions. His adventure begins on a cargo ship, when his family sets out from India to North America, along with four zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks, and Pi winds up on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with the other survivors: a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger. Soon, only Pi and the formidable tiger remain, stranded at sea together for more than 200 days. Ultimately, regardless of what really happened, Pi owes his life to the power of storytelling—and his resilient spirit. Vikas Adams won an Earphones Award for his performance of this incredible novel; listeners describe his narration as “outstanding” and absolutely amazing.

The Celestine Prophecy

Following the unexpected philosophical journey of a nameless adventurer, The Celestine Prophecy begins deep in the jungle of Peru with the discovery of an ancient manuscript. The mysterious text contains a profound revelation: nine insights that hold the key to finding true spiritual fulfillment and helping mankind live in peace and harmony. This premise is similar to what Santiago searches for in The Alchemist, but with a significant difference. While Coelho emphasizes aimlessness as part of the process, James Redfield not only reveals the secrets to making the world a better place, but also highlights structured paths available to us all—if we cultivate the discipline to follow them. Yet, even when the answers are right in front of us, that doesn’t guarantee understanding, let alone success—the willingness to accept and follow the teachings, as well as grow along the way, is critical. Narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips, The Celestine Prophecy reminds listeners to keep a weather eye on the path ahead to a brighter tomorrow.

The Little Prince

Self-exploration is not reserved for adults: children have their own journeys of discovery. The titular little prince, like Santiago, must leave home—in his case, an asteroid—to find fulfillment. Stung by a betrayal, he sets out to explore other planets, searching for insight and a cure for his loneliness. He ultimately lands on Earth in the middle of the Sahara desert. Here, he meets a pilot whose plane has crashed, and finds a friend. Serving as the story’s narrator, the pilot recounts the prince’s journey across neighboring asteroid planets and into the narrow-minded world of grown-ups. On his travels, the prince meets six adults, ranging from a king to a drunkard. All live alone and are consumed by pointless pursuits, from ordering people around to striving to own the stars. While on Earth, the prince learns to forgive and see the world with his heart. Though written for children, The Little Prince offers lessons for all ages and makes for a great family listen. Humphrey Bower narrates this modern classic and, to quote one delighted parent, his performance "was like listening to a grandfather telling a bedtime story."

The Secret

The only nonfiction title on our list, The Secret provides real-life examples and a practical perspective on the quest for fulfillment. Author Rhonda Byrne was plagued with numerous personal tragedies before she encountered the results of a mindset employed by Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Einstein, and other great thinkers and high achievers. Like attracts like, so think happy thoughts and happy things will come to you, right? Easier said than done. The Secret serves as a proof of concept narrative for the law of attraction, supported by panels of experts and reams of advice. Just as Santiago was compelled to achieve the higher calling of his personal legend, The Secret demonstrates how the power to fulfill your destiny is truly within you.

The Time Keeper

Time is elusive—we never feel like we have enough—yet it’s the basis for everything we know as humans: seasons, workweeks, appointments, how long your current audiobook is, and beyond. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a world where time isn’t counted meticulously, and either coveted or squandered. Mitch Albom’s fictional account follows the man who first dared defy God, time-wise: the inventor of the clock. Here, listeners encounter a slightly different religious authority than in The Alchemist, but with its own amount of authoritative guidance. As punishment, he spends 600 years in solitude, stuck listening to the wails of those asking for more time. When he’s finally allowed free, he’s tasked with using his wisdom to help two individuals—a suicidal teen and a terminally ill man desperate to cheat death—understand the true power of time. Dan Stevens’ expert narration aids in Father Time’s mission to help the world understand the ultimate gift of time when used wisely.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The New Complete Edition

All beings experience their own means of self-exploration and achievement of personal legend, even seagulls. Jonathan Livingston Seagull follows the avian search for meaning. Along the way, Jonathan meets other prophetic gulls and expands his knowledge of the world, but never settles in his flight. He teaches listeners that true self-exploration is a never-ending process—no journey is ever complete but simply a transition into the next. This audiobook serves as a healthy reminder for human listeners to spread their wings and fly to new heights.

The Map of Salt and Stars

The Map of Salt and Stars follows two girls separated by 800 years: Nour is struggling with the loss of her father, the trials of immigration, and impending war in the 21st century; Rawiya is a widow’s daughter faced with alleviating her mother’s poverty and seeking out her personal fortune during medieval times. Both girls must find themselves during trying times—just as, in The Alchemist, Fatima must conduct her own journey of discovery while staying in one place. Though living centuries apart, their paths mirror each other as they search, ultimately finding that home means being taken far away from it. For Nour, home is shattered by violence, while Rawiya willingly leaves her home in order to achieve her destiny and save her family. Listening to each girl’s journey as they travel along identical paths in different worlds gives us the opportunity to compare our own journeys and reflect on how they fit into the fabric of time.

The Murmur of Bees

Prophecies and divine symbols commonly appear in journeys of self-exploration, and The Murmur of Bees incorporates this theme from a unique perspective. Set during the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, this audiobook showcases self-exploration and spiritual growth against the thematic backdrop of magical realism. A baby is discovered under a bridge in a small village, strangely covered in a coat of bees. When most villagers denounce the infant as a sign from the devil or bad luck, one family takes him in and adopts him as their own. As a result, they’re rewarded by his magical abilities: he can see into the future and assists others in times of crisis. While this listen deals with painfully real human problems—a terrifying disease, as well as intolerance and fear of differences—it reminds us of the importance of seeing the magic and acknowledging the miracles all around us, especially in times of trouble.

The Water Dancer (Oprah’s Book Club)

Born in Virginia as one of the “Tasked” (Ta-Nehisi Coates’s euphemism for slavery), Hiram Walker is gifted with a photographic memory and the supernatural ability to survive nearly anything. By being in contact with water and summoning a powerful emotional memory, Hiram can travel through space in a split second—a power he accidentally unleashes in the throes of a near drowning. His discovery of this power leads Hiram to become involved in the Underground Railroad, embarking on a journey that is deeply personal yet also universal—a journey he shares with all of the other Tasked and, in many ways, with every African-American born since. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s fiction debut offers a unique perspective on a human atrocity we’re all familiar with: the ultimate violation of basic human rights and dignity. Narrator Joe Morton brings a solemnity to the story that drives home its profound messages, while the magical elements of Hiram’s journey add a layer of complexity and wonder to this remarkable novel.

The Shadow of the Wind

A young boy mourning the loss of his mother, Daniel finds solace in an abandoned book: The Shadow of the Wind. A sort of story within a story, Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s work follows Daniel as he gets absorbed in this book and embarks on a quest to find more books by the author. However, his journey soon transforms into one of mystery and danger—leading him to a realization that the world is often not what it seems. Veteran narrator Jonathan Davis brings his expertise to Daniel’s search and does a flawless job of helping listeners experience this personal journey of growth and adventure.

The Starless Sea

Graduate school can be a life-changing journey—you’re finding your place in the world and discovering yourself. But for the grad student at the center of The Starless Sea, the journey is truly epic. While browsing in the library, Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a strange book hidden in the stacks. He’s enthralled by its tales, and then suddenly taken aback by something within in its pages: a story from his own childhood. Ready or not, Zachary, much like Santiago in The Alchemist, is about to embark on a startling journey of incredible adventure and self-discovery. Keeping the revelations coming, this audiobook reflects the immense growth Zachary experiences throughout his journey to find himself, while reminding listeners to keep their eyes and ears open for the magical, mystical, and mysterious—they might just teach us something.

The Book of Speculation

As the final title on our list drives home, our search for meaning and journeys of self-exploration are typically beyond our control—though we may take the first step, the path ahead is filled with unknowns. A young librarian on the verge of losing his job, Simon Watson lives alone in his deteriorating family home long after his parents have died; his sister—a circus performer—never visits or calls. One day, a mysterious package arrives from an antiquarian bookseller. Inside is a history of a traveling circus from the 1700s. Along with the story of doomed lovers, it recounts strange, mystical, and terrifying happenings—and mentions his grandmother by name. As he reads on, Simon begins to wonder: Why have so many women in his family, including his mother, died in the same dreadful fashion? Is there a curse on his family? And is his sister doomed? The Book of Speculation ultimately leaves us with this timely reminder: while our personal journeys may differ, we all have more in common than most of us think.

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