Why should you read these ’25 selected books to read in your 20s’?
If you are 20 years old then you are in an interesting decade. It is an age when you just crossed the teenage boundary and entered into an adult. But the reality is that you have no idea about adult life. So it is a confusing time.
That’s why you need someone to guide you, something to motivate you. Everybody knows books are the best guider and companion in the world. One good book can change your whole life. Books have always something to give you. The more you read books in your lifetime, the more you broads your horizons, find a new perspective.
Here are 25 selected books to read in your 20s that will show path whatever your problem is. Let’s dig into deep…
1. All The Single Ladies
Author: Rebecca Traister
Why I recommend this book: If you are a young single woman, you should read this book. The book is all about single women’s problems like sex, economic, race, emotional lives, etc. It is a book that is written based on research and interviews of single women of America. It traces the history of unmarried and late-married women in America through their social, political, and economic means.
By reading this book, you will understand what might be your future problems, what types of problems you might have to face. It can help you to prepare yourself for the battle of life in the near future.
2. How Should A Person Be?
Author: Sheila Heti
Why I recommend this book: How should a person be? Yes, that is the question that people are looking for since human civilization. Although the question is very simple, the answer is very complex. Because it depends on man to man. So there is no simple answer to that question.
Here, in this book, Sheila Heti has tried to find an answer to her personal experience and thoughts. The book is a novel of many identities like an autobiography of the mind, a postmodern self-help notebook, and a young woman artist’s fictionalized portrait.
‘How Should A Person Be?’ includes not only real people but also their emails and conversations. It seeks answer between real life and art, a meditation on ugliness rather than beauty, and reality rather than fiction. Although the author did not answer the questions, she tried to find an engaging new way of asking it.
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Why I recommend this book: What will you do if you lost your mother and end the marriage at the age of 22? Most of us will be broken, depressed. Yes, it’s not easy to be strong both physically and mentally in these situations. We think, there is no light and hope in front of us.
Here, Strayed has shown us, how to overcome that situation. She did ‘let go’ everything. Forgetting the sorrows that broke her heart, she decided to heal by hiking. She started her hike from the Mexican border through Oregon to the Pacific Crest Trail.
You will find details of the thrilling, scary, and unforgettable journey that filled with female strength and busted hiking boots while you read the book. I think it will inspire you to do something adventurous or something positive that uplift your life.
4. Years of Yes
Author: Shonda Rhimes
Why I recommend this book: I can say if this book doesn’t motivate you to live life a little more, nothing will. Because ‘Year of Yes’ is a book of self-help, a huge powerful motivational talk.
Shonda Rhimes wrote and described everything so attractive way you will think deeply about them. According to her, money, power, and accolades do not equal to self-love and acceptance. It is a book that explains when you should say ‘yes’ and when shouldn’t. You will find your insight and thoughts that can develop your leadership skills, improve your self-esteem, and get the motivation to go after your goal. Lastly, ‘Year of Yes’ is fun to read book. You will enjoy it while reading it.
Author: Toni Morrison
Why I recommend this book: When we are young, most of us don’t realize the boundless love of our parents. When they forbid us to do something, we think they don’t love us, they are pushing us. But the reality is that there is no one in the universe who loves us more than our father and mother. Love for a child only realizes when someone gets a child.
‘Beloved’ is a wonderful novel and an ideal example of a parent’s love. The story is inspired by true events. The story is about Sethe and her daughter. They escaped from slavery and go to Ohio to start a new life. Morrison has clearly narrated how Sethe had to fight to protect her children.
It is a must-read book if you’re in 20s. You will feel parental love and why should you obey your parents. It will change your perspective view to your parents.
6. The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Why I recommend this book: I think ‘The Alchemist’ is the most famous and popular book on the list. Most book lovers know about it. Somehow if you don’t know what the book is about, this short introduction is only for you.
No matter what your age is, ‘The Alchemist’ is a modern classic that deserves a read. The story begins with Santiago and his adventurous travels. Most of us, we talk much, listen less. That’s why we can’t feel the root of a problem. We don’t listen to what our heart is saying.
Here, Coelho tells us how important to listen to your heart is and why should we follow them. He inspires us, we should follow our dream and never give up chasing that goal. This is a must-read book for everyone of any age.
7. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Author: Dave Eggers
Why I recommend this book: Life is uncertain. We don’t know when will the devil-like death come to us and destroy our normal lifestyle. The primary story of ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ is Eggers’s learning to be both brother and parent to Toph. The story begins with Eggers, Toph, and Beth dealing with their mother and father’s cancer sickness. After their parent’s death, their lives become complicated.
Eggers’s had to take responsibility for his eight years ole brother Toph. In the early 20s, he has to raise his brother as if he were his own. His life can no longer involve things like stay out all night, join the party, bring girls at home, etc. that many 20-year-olds would like to do.
It is a book that teaches you how life can change you and your lifestyle, how to become more caring and careful. I think every young should read this book.
8. Fates and Furies
Author: Lauren Groff
Why I recommend this book: If you think, it is a love storybook, I will say, it is more than love. Love can’t fulfill life, there are more things need to live a happy life.
Lotto and Mathilde are 22 years old. After a few weeks of dating, they decided to get married. And they did it. No one believed, their marriage will last long. But surprisingly, the couple passed their 25 years of marriage.
How did they make it successful? During their marriage life, they navigated joy and sorrow, failure, and success. So it will not bore you to read, rather it will make a strong connection with you. Simply, ‘Fate and Furies’ is a book of life.
9. Between The World And Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Why I recommend this book: What is the caste system in America? What it is like to be black in the United States? ‘Between the World and Me’ will tell you the feelings, problems, and hopes of a black.
The book is actually a letter that was written by Nehisi Coates to her teen son. She explained what the reality of a black in America is. There are many things that we don’t know about black or we don’t take it seriously. Color discrimination is a serious problem we should think about it deeply.
Every young people should read this book. Because they are the builders of a country. Anyone who could use a reminder of the subtle—and not so subtle—ways people of color are discriminated against every day.
10. A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Why I recommend this book: After graduating, what will I do? Every college student has this question in mind. Some have so much fear and nervousness about their future that makes them depressed.
‘A Little Life’ is here to eliminate that fear. It will turn your negativity into positivity. The story is about four graduates from a small college in Massachusetts. They went to New York to start their dream career. But life is not as simple as we wish. Many problems like a relationship, ego, corporate life, and career, etc. made their life messed-up.
If you are the 20s or 20 plus, be ready for the battle of life. The more you learn balancing life, the more you will succeed. It can be a helpful book for your life journey.
Why I recommend this book: We all know Michelle Obama. But do we know her behind the success story? How did she become a leader and successful in advocacy? How much struggle she had to find her calling? In this biography book, she has uncovered problems that she faced and expressed the way to overcome.
Your hard work will take you to your dream – that is what she learned in her life. One important message she delivered in this book that it is never too late to change your direction. It’s all up to you.
If you want to know how to be successful in life, then this book can be your ideal adviser and guide.
12. The Fall
Author: Albert Camus
Why I recommend this book: To recognize and identify what’s right and what’s wrong is the most critical thing in life. The painful moments we face because of our wrong decision. Consequently, the right decision makes our life happy. Most of the time, our decisions control our incidents.
If your age is 20, then it can be said that you have no clear idea about the basic foundation of life. You don’t know what should do and what shouldn’t. This book will lead you to question on moralities, good, bad, do and don’t.
Deep thinking can make your thoughts more wisely. So if any book that can change your thoughts, you should collect it and read it. I think The Fall is that type of book.
13. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Diaz
Why I recommend this book: Once you are captured by pessimism, it will not easy to recoil from that negative concept. Every time you face a problem, it will take you to the deep of desperation.
‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ might be your true and powerful friend who can cure you from that mental condition. Junot Diaz has successfully described the story. It will make you cry. But one thing sure that it will definitely make you a little bit braver to face problems.
Escaping from problems doesn’t solve your problem. Doing this, you might protect yourself for a while, but it will come to you in a more extreme way. So all we need to have the gut to stand up against the problems. Read this book, you will get enough courage to be strong and brave.
14. The Myths of Happiness
Author: Sonja Lyubomirsky
Why I recommend this book: Is it really true that if we reach the top of success, we will finally attain happiness? Do success really brings happiness in life? ‘The Myths of Happiness’ is based on this interesting topic.
Sonja Lyubomirsky explains how this ‘black-and-white vision’ of happiness limits our growth potential and discourages us from finding an upside to any negative situation. She reminds us that we are more adaptable than we think. Actually our mindset is the main matter that brings happiness in our lives and our circumstances are not a big issue.
It is a book that tells you what the things are that connected with happiness. And Of course, it is a worthy book that deeply related to life.
15. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Author: Mark Manson
Why I recommend this book: The concept of this book is totally different from other self-development books. Since our childhood, we have been listening that positivity is the key to happiness. Interestingly, Mark Manson told the world the opposite.
The best thing about reading books is you will get different types of ideas and knowledge. This self-development book will make you realize that you have so many f*ck to give. Actually the most important part is choosing the right one giving that will make you happier and healthier. You should remember, that worth giving should be realistic and grounding.
You will never regret reading these types of interesting and influential books. No doubt, ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ is a worthy book for building your future.
16. Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Why I recommend this book: If a book is fun to read and words of wisdom, then it is listed on the top chart. Yes, ‘Yes Please’ is also that kind of book which has both of these ingredients. Amy Poehler did a great job as she did on screen.
Actually ‘Yes Please’ is a book that has everything. You will find a lot of hilarious collection of poems, lists, essays, mantras, advice, and photographs, etc. You will get so many inspirational and motivational elements that make your thoughts meaningful. There are many other motivational books, but Poehler’s style of presentation is different. She delivers each story full of fun that you will laugh and fall in love with her writings.
17. Modern Romance: An Investigation
Author: Aziz Ansari
Why I recommend this book: At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love to make life happier. We meet people, talk to each other, start date, and get into relationships. All because we hope, we need someone to share our deep thoughts.
Today it is natural and very easy to get engaged in a relationship. But a few decades ago, it was like a dream. It was not easy to find a soul mate. Now we have many sources like online matchmaker sites, different types of social media, easy to communicate, etc. to find someone. Among all of the facilities, there are so many people who are frustrated in their love life.
Aziz Ansari in his comedy-experimental book ‘Modern Romance: An Investigation’ has clearly presented to the readers. He along with his team did many interviews both online and offline. They identified the problems of modern romance.
This book will make you smile and think. As a young, you should read the book to uncover the romance mania of the present day.
18. The Defining Decade
Author: Meg Jay
Why I recommend this book: Dr. Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist. He wisely inputs science and real-life stories in his renowned book ‘The Defining Decade’. Many people say that your 20s don’t really matter. It is the time to enjoy, fun, rock, and roll. The problem is young people at this age, forget their main focusing point while having fun.
He explains very clearly that our personalities, relationships, and identities can change more in this decade than any other time in our lives. So we should be more careful and thoughtful. If we do any mistake, it can fritter away our whole life.
To realize the importance of the 20s, you should read this book. It can help you to understand the connection between your present and future.
19. The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost
Author: Rachel Friedman
Why I recommend this book: Most people do the same things after graduation. They look for a job to settle life, get married, have children, and lastly retire from everything. Is it really need or have to follow everyone?
Rachel Friedman in her book ‘The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost’ offers up her own story to prove that there are many alternative routes to a fulfilling life. You do not need to follow that common rule.
After graduation, she bought a one-way ticket to Ireland. Within one year, she traveled three continents and filled her life with love and new friendships. Simply it is a book that tells you, you should live for you, not for others. If you live for others, you will find no interest and interaction in life.
If you have something uncommon in your mind, you can read this book. It will inspire you to be brave and take a decision according to your heart.
20. The Namesake
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Why I recommend this book: Different countries different cultures, customs, and rites. So when someone migrates from one country to another country, he/she has to face many problems. Some can adapt with these new experiences and some can’t.
‘The Namesake’ is all about migration. The story is started with the Ganguli family who migrated from Calcutta to Cambridge. The American culture is totally different from Indian culture. Here, Lahiri examines the nuances of feeling being caught between conflicting cultures with religious, social, and ideological differences.
While you read the book, regardless of your cultural background, you’ll see yourself in both generations of the family as the novel jumps between timelines. You will feel your migrant friend’s mental condition and problems. Or, if you are going abroad to study or other purposes, it is a worthy book to read.
21. Design Your Future
Author: Dominick Quartuccio
Why I recommend this book: When we are 20s, sometimes it’s easy for us to feel like life is happening to us. There is nothing but you, yes, only you can build your future. Dominick Quartuccio shows us that path.
You will find the right way to break through our ‘self-imposed ceilings’ and start consciously designing our own futures. Quartuccio challenges readers to reclaim control of their lives by realizing their hidden beliefs and breaking up their self-destructive patterns.
No doubt, this book is a treasure of helpful advice for the 20s and more than 20s. If you wish to control your future and for any occurrence, you have lost your hope, you should read this book.
22. Very Good Live
Author: J.K. Rowling
Why I recommend this book: The life story of J. K. Rowling is as interesting as much painful. This book is not her full life story. But she tells here her post-graduate experiences and also addresses some important challenges of life.
In 2008 at Harvard University, she was honored to deliver her commencement speech. This book is full of wisdom words, full of inspiration. If you are depressed or disappointment in yourself, ‘Very Good Lives’ will be your turning point to change your perspective views on life. She explained, why we should embrace failure and use our imaginations to better ourselves and others.
23. The Secret History
Author: Donna Tartt
Why I recommend this book: The best thing in this book is Greek mythology and wonderful quotes. In your college life, when you are graduating, you have plenty of time to study and get knowledge, you should include this book on your reading list.
I believe, one good quote can change your entire life. Here you will find some powerful quotes and historical mythologies that can change your mindset.
24. Tiny Beautiful Things
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Why I recommend this book: At first Cheryl Strayed wrote anonymously advice column on the website—The Rumpus. Her column was quite popular. Now she comes with her ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’.
A good psychoanalyst does two things: one is listening, and another is dissecting. In Tiny Beautiful Things, Strayed does both adeptly and perfectly. Whatever your problem is, it might be your lover cheats you, lose a family member, can’t pay the bills, or your sex life goes wrong, it can be anything. This book will help you, give that courage to turn your life. This book is a balm for everything that life throws our way.
25. The Doctor Is In
Author: Ruth Westheimer
Why I recommend this book: Dr. Ruth is a famous and trusted sex therapist. She has a lot of experience in a hard time in life. But she learned how to stand up against deep pain and loss.
‘The Doctor Is In’ is not only an advice or suggestion book but also a real-life experience book. She has endured more than her share of hardships, from surviving the Holocaust to working as a sniper during Israel’s War of Independence. Her inspiring tales will make you think of reconsidering how you think about life and love. She learned how to live a life of joy and shared that knowledge and experience with the readers in ‘The Doctor Is In’.
Final Thoughts on Books to read in Your 20s
I know there are so many good books out of the box. But I think these are the best and perfect for 20 years old boys and girls. Because I tried to collect from each category so that you can find an answer to whatever your problem is.
Did you like the list of Books to Read in Your 20s? Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below. Or if you have any other thoughts, let us know. Thank you. Be mindful, be happy.