I think after “The Alchemist” and “The Zahir” I would vote for “The Fifth Mountain” (though my mother would go about it in the reverse order). It was a grown up fairytale, beautifully written and inspiring.
At first I thought it was a retelling of a story so old. But Paulo Coelho’s style of writing is unique. The emphasis is on the truths of life rather than on the story. The can be really seen in the final chapter of the book where he describes the story quickly and finishes it off when I expected any other writer to describe it in detail. But for Coelho it is not required since he already conveyed the message he intended to when he started with this book.
But I believe this is the only book which is not really autobiographical (of course Veronika was not himself but yet it was a real woman called Veronika).
But now I must find “The Manual of the Warrior of Light” which is mentioned in this book.