1. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
Why it’s bettering: Learn the importance of not getting too caught up with material things.
2. The Defining Decade, by Meg Jay
Why it’s bettering: Figure out how to make your twenties matter and go after what you want. Watch her TED talk here.
3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl
Why it’s bettering: Reading about Viktor Frankl’s life as a Holocaust survivor will help you figure out what matters in life.
4. Every book Malcolm Galdwell wrote ever.
Why it’s bettering: Read these if you want to reconsider how every day things like success, business, and coolness work.
5. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra
Why it’s bettering: Seven simple tips to being a better person (Chopra wants you to chill out and accept the present as a gift).
6. The Joy of Sex, by Alex Comfort
Why it’s bettering: It’s like a detailed cookbook of sex.
7. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
Why it’s bettering: Learn how you can hack your life and make habits that work.
8. Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward
Why it’s bettering: Men We Reaped makes you appreciate all the things you take for granted.
9. Franklin and Winston, by Jon Meacham
Why it’s bettering: Learn more about the decisions that shaped how the world operates today.
10. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, by Andy Warhol
Why it’s bettering: Get a glimpse into one of the most creative minds of the last 50 years.
11. I Am Your Sister, by Audre Lorde
Why it’s bettering: Audre Lorde will encourage you to speak up for yourself.
12. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
Why it’s bettering: Oscar Wao’s life shows how you can make the most of being an outsider.
13. The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath
Why it’s bettering: This is a nod to not neglecting your mental well-being.
14. Blankets by Craig Thompson
Why it’s bettering: Get some tips about living life responsibly as a young adult (it is also very visually pleasing).
15. The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
Why it’s bettering: Get a fuller picture of how racism played a role in shaping America.
16. Discipline and Punish, by Michel Foucault
Why it’s bettering: See how the prison system affects the way you live your life.
17. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
Why it’s bettering: Show how following your passions leads to happiness.
18. Gender Trouble, by Judith Butler
Why it’s bettering: Get a better understanding of how you could express your gender.
19. The Queer Art of Failure, by Judith Halberstam
Why it’s bettering: Figure out what kind of success you want out of life.
20. How I Got to Be Perfect, by Jean Kerr
Why it’s bettering: See how things are easier if you find a way to laugh at them.