10 Books to Read in Your Twenties for Self Growth
By: Valeria Ramos
As you embark on your twenties, you’re at an age where you’re discovering your true identity, building your career, and making lifelong memories. This is a perfect time to explore your interests, expand your knowledge, and enrich your perspective by diving into some of the best books available.
Whether you’re an avid reader or a novice, here are ten books that are worth your time and attention:
10 Books to Read in Your Twenties
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
This modern classic is a must-read for any twenty-something looking for inspiration and guidance. The book follows the journey of Santiago, a shepherd boy who embarks on a quest to find his personal legend or life’s purpose.
Why You Should Read It: This tale of self-discovery and following one’s dreams is a timeless reminder of the importance of listening to your heart and taking risks.
“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
“The Four Agreements” is a must-read for twenty-somethings because it offers four simple but powerful principles to live by that can help young adults develop healthier relationships, improve their communication skills, and build a strong sense of self. These principles are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.
Why You Should Read It: This book can help you cultivate a strong work ethic, build confidence, and avoid regret, all while navigating the challenges of adulthood and building a fulfilling life.
“1984” by George Orwell
Every twenty-something should read “1984” because it provides a powerful warning about the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of defending individual freedom and autonomy. Set in a dystopian future, the story follows the protagonist, Winston Smith, as he rebels against the oppressive government of Oceania, which controls every aspect of citizens’ lives and manipulates reality to maintain its power. Through its depiction of surveillance, propaganda, and censorship, “1984” remains a chilling reminder of the fragility of democracy and the need to remain vigilant against the erosion of civil liberties.
Why You Should Read It: This book is a reminder to young adults that our freedoms are not guaranteed and that we must actively work to defend them to ensure a free and just society.
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey
This book is a great resource for anyone looking to improve their personal and professional life. Covey’s seven habits include being proactive, setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and practicing effective communication.
Why You Should Read It: The lessons in this book can help you become a more effective and productive individual.
“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
“A Man Called Ove” provides a poignant and heartwarming portrayal of life’s challenges, highlighting the importance of human connection, empathy, and compassion. The story follows the grumpy but endearing Ove, who has given up on life and is ready to end it all, but his plan is constantly disrupted by the people around him who need his help. Through these interactions, Ove learns to see the value in life, find meaning in the little things, and connect with others on a deeper level.
Why You Should Read It: This book is a reminder to young adults that life is full of ups and downs and that compassion, kindness, and community can help us through even the toughest times.
“The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay
This popular book offers practical and inspiring advice on how to make the most of your twenties. The book challenges the notion that your twenties are a time for exploration and argues that this decade is actually the most important time for personal and professional development. Author Meg Jay draws on her years of experience as a clinical psychologist to offer insights into the challenges facing young adults, from choosing a career to building meaningful relationships.
Why You Should Read It: This book offers a roadmap for navigating the challenges of this decade, making the most of this defining time, and setting yourself up for a successful future.
“The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom
Next, every twenty-something should read “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” because it provides a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of the meaning of life and the impact that our actions have on others. The story follows Eddie, an aging maintenance worker at an amusement park, who dies in a tragic accident and finds himself in heaven, where he meets five people whose lives he unknowingly affected. Through these encounters, Eddie learns important life lessons about forgiveness, love, and the interconnectedness of all things.
Why You Should Read It: This book is a reminder to young adults that every action has consequences and that even small acts of kindness can have a profound impact on the world around us.
“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath
This classic novel offers a poignant and insightful portrayal of the challenges facing young women in a patriarchal society. Through the story of protagonist Esther Greenwood’s descent into mental illness, author Sylvia Plath explores themes of identity, self-discovery, and the pressures of societal expectations. Plath’s vivid writing of the protagonist’s experiences makes this a must-read for anyone grappling with their own mental health or looking to understand the challenges others face.
Why You Should Read It: This book is a powerful reminder of the importance of mental health, self-care, and the need to challenge gender norms and societal pressures to live a fulfilling life.
“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
“Fahrenheit 451” provides a thought-provoking commentary on the dangers of censorship, conformity, and the power of knowledge. Set in a future where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found, the story follows the protagonist, Guy Montag, as he begins to question the oppressive regime he has always served. Through its depiction of a society that values instant gratification over critical thinking, “Fahrenheit 451” remains a powerful reminder of the importance of intellectual freedom and the need to challenge societal norms.
Why You Should Read It: This book is a call to action for young adults to embrace curiosity, question authority, and defend the right to seek and share knowledge.
“Atomic Habits” by James Clear
Finally, every twenty-something should read “Atomic Habits” because it offers practical and actionable strategies for building good habits and breaking bad ones. The book breaks down the science of habit formation into simple, easy-to-understand principles, helping readers to identify the underlying causes of their habits and develop strategies for making lasting change. This book is a reminder to young adults that the key to success is not in making big, dramatic changes, but in consistently making small, incremental improvements to our daily habits and routines.
Why You Should Read It: By adopting the principles outlined in this book, readers can build the habits they need to achieve their goals and live their best lives.
These ten books are just a few of the many great reads available to you that can help you navigate this decade with greater purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.
Whether you’re looking to build good habits, explore your passions, or find your place in the world, these books offer something for everyone. So, take some time to read, reflect, and learn from the wisdom of these authors, and you may just find that your twenties are the defining decade of your life.