Top ten books to read in your 20s

Your twenties are a place of discovery and exploration. Where better to learn and grow than in good book? Here is our top ten choices for books you need to read in your 20s!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert (2010)

Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2010 memoir/guide is all about living creatively beyond fear. Readers are encouraged to embrace creativity without the burden of perfectionism and enjoy the process. It provides an empowering push we all need in our lives, especially in the mess that is our 20s. 

Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life, and Let Go of Your Fear: Gilbert, Elizabeth: 9781408866757: Books

2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)

Trigger Warning: This book contains deeply distressing themes

This novel follows the story of four friends as they navigate their life journeys and the complexities of adulthood. It’s amazing writing, soulful characters and heart-breaking story creates a book that you will cry over. Finishing this book can genuinely be classed as an achievement.

A Little Life: The Million-Copy Bestseller: Yanagihara, Hanya: 9781447294832: Book

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits – James Clear (2018)

James Clear uses behavioural science to back up his advice for how to form good habits, break bad ones and take back control of your life. It includes accounts from athletes, artists and professionals at the top of their field. If you want to fix your life and become a productivity machine, this book will teach you how.

Atomic Habits: the life-changing million-copy #1 bestseller: Clear, James: 0679771430653: Books

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Fear of Flying – Erica Jong (1973)

Fear of Flying is a ground-breaking piece of fiction that changed the trajectory of the feminist movement in the 70s. It offers an unapologetic look at female sexuality and liberation. It remains a significant work everyone should read in their 20s, a time where you navigate similar terrains of self-expression and introspective evaluation.

Fear of Flying: Jong, Erica: 9780749396053: Books

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari (2011)

Sapiens offers a ground-breaking overview of our history as a species, following our creation and evolution. From the Stone Age to the twenty-first century. A mix of anthropology, psychology, philosophy and biology explains how we came to be where we are and where we are going. It’s a thought-provoking exploration of history yet engaging and accessible. 

Sapiens: THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER: Harari, Yuval Noah: 9780099590088: Books

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion (2005)

Joan Didion’s best seller provides an intimate recount of the year following her husband’s sudden death and her daughters hospitalisation. It’s raw, honest and personal with themes of grief and resilience interwoven in the pages. This book is not only a masterclass in writing, but a lesson in appreciating every moment of your life. 

The Year of Magical Thinking: Didion, Joan: 9780007216857: Books

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People – Sally Rooney (2018)

The story of Connell and Marianne has captured the hearts of people around the world since its release. Its characters are the personification of the complex journey of becoming an adult while it explores the dynamics of relationships and intimacy. It’s the perfect book to read while you navigate adulthood.

Normal People: One million copies sold : Rooney, Sally: Books

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion – Jia Tolentino (2019)

A thought-provoking collection of essays, Jia Tolentino critiques modern-day culture and society through her reflections of things like the internet and beauty standards. Each essay will leave you with a new lens to look at life through.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion: Tolentino, Jia: 9780008294953: Books

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh (2018)

The story of a woman’s efforts to sleep for an entire year. This book is provocative and powerful, it offers dark humour as a way to cope with the struggles of young adulthood and modern life. Its wit and social commentary make it a stand out book that earns it’s place on your shelf.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation: The cult New York Times bestseller: Moshfegh, Ottessa: 9781784707422: Books

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (1996)

Last on our list, this classic is returning to our screens for the most recent adaptation and we’re reminded why it is the perfect book for your 20s. It is charming, funny and heart-warming, a perfect modern take on a classic. Bridget Jones’ self-deprecating diary entries have been resonating with young adults since the 90s. It’s an honest (sometimes too honest) depiction of your 20s.

Bridget Jones’s Diary: the hilarious and addictive smash-hit from the original singleton: Fielding, Helen: 9781447288930: Books

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