20 Books That Make You A Better Twentysomething

Every day I read so I can succeed.

1. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

McClelland and Stewart

Why it’s bettering: Learn the importance of not getting too caught up with material things.

2. The Defining Decade, by Meg Jay

Grand Central Publishing

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

Beacon Press

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.

Little, Brown and Company

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

New World Library / Amber-Allen Publishing

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

Crown Publishing Group

Why it’s bettering: It’s like a detailed cookbook of sex.

7. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Random House

Random House


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

Random House

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

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

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

Oxford University Press

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

Penguin Books

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

Top Shelf

Top Shelf


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

Dial Press

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

Random House Publishing

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

Duke University Press

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.

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