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35 Books You Need To Read In Your Twenties

From Cheryl Strayed's Wild to Amy Poehler's Yes Please, these are the books you need to get through your own roaring twenties. Inspired by this post.

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3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

A 1950s classic, this novel is the embodiment of the terrifying energy young people feel after launching into the world on their own.

Submitted by Malena Dinwoodie, Facebook

4. My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock

When life as she knew it ended, the author embarked on a "Year of Fear," deciding to take Eleanor Roosevelt's advice to "Do one thing every day that scares you."

Submitted by Brie Lowrey, Facebook

5. The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia by David Stuart MacLean

A memoir of a man's struggle to rebuild his life after suffering from amnesia while also dealing with the depression that comes along with it.

Submitted by Claire Koleske, Facebook

6. Beloved by Toni Morrison

Haunting, gripping, beautiful, this novel is the story of the lingering effects of slavery and how characters, once freed, come to terms with their past, their present, and their future.

Submitted by Deborah Czarnecki, Facebook

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7. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Shortly after graduating from college in 2012, Marina Keegan died tragically in a car accident, leaving behind a trove of beautiful short stories. The title essay is a look at the unique experience of college and, given the circumstances, a poignant reminder of the preciousness of life itself.

Submitted by Julianna Haubner, Facebook

8. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Listening to elders give advice isn't always easy. Tuesdays with Morrie turns the trope on its head, as an old college professor offers profound advice on life's greatest lessons — and even the meaning of life itself.

Submitted by Megan Jordan, Facebook

9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Set in a dystopian, totalitarian state, The Handmaid's Tale is the story of one woman's struggle for self-determination against all odds and at the risk of losing the very life she seeks to define.

Submitted by dnolley14

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12. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Learning that it's OK to ask for help is one of life's hardest, yet most important lessons. Your twenties are a difficult time. Better to learn that lesson now.

Submitted by sydneys11

13. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot wonders what happens when books — with their idealized depictions of love — and college — strange utopias that they are — come to an end.

Submitted by marcelac4ad45c69c

14. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

In a world teeming with distractions and notifications, Thoreau's decision "to live deliberately" may be more important now than ever before.

Submitted by Brianna Sunflower, Facebook

15. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

The author's sometimes frighteningly honest stories offer an insightful take on the world we live in now. By a twentysomething, for twentysomethings.

Submitted by savannahdub

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17. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

A reminder to appreciate your family, to travel, and to seize opportunities — because you never know how quickly your life can change.

Submitted by Mary Iannone, Facebook

19. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

A brilliant novel that explores the idea of going on a journey and discovering who you truly are. Like Strayed's Wild, it's a reminder of the connectedness of travel and self-discovery.

Submitted by tashamelina

20. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Your twenties matter. A lot. The Defining Decade is an accessible, scientific look at how to make the most of them and set yourself up for the life you actually want.

Submitted by amandaat

21. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

What happens in the future when the world becomes so dark that people exclusively seek out an online utopia? Even more, what happens when users are pulled back into the ugly world they've been avoiding?

Submitted by Stacey Grant

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22. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Maugham's masterpiece ponders three elements of love — love for oneself, love for someone else, and the love of others — in a way that's still relevant today.

Submitted by samanthaadamsmiller

24. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

A look back on the strange, unfortunate, even wacky circumstances of young adulthood. A reminder of the importance of perspective — that, if nothing else, you'll have some great stories down the road.

Submitted by Zev Palatnik, Facebook

25. Exit Here by Jason Myers

Exit Here is not a happily-ever-after story, but it is an honest look at what happens when you realize your life isn't exactly everything you've always dreamed it would be.

Submitted by Bailey Butts, Facebook

26. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

A story of one woman's perseverance against setbacks of all kinds. A story that makes "you think it just might be possible to get a handle on this old world after all."

Submitted by Leo Francis Valdez, Facebook

27. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

A single day in the life of a single man, yet a beautifully complex story of loss, grief, and the joy that persists even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Submitted by elizabethmelissafloyd

28. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

The insanity of your twenties can distort your perception of time. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a deeply profound look at the nature of time, history, solitude, and an ever-present past.

Submitted by Deborah Czarnecki, Facebook

29. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Your twenties are a tumultuous time. Here's a guidebook on taking things step by step — and making your dreams come true.

Submitted by Joshua Anahonak, Facebook

30. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

A contemplation on an inescapable, cyclical past and a future that's new, different, and uniquely one's own.

Submitted by Karen Canfield Maskens, Facebook

33. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

Who among us hasn't wondered if it's our actual destiny to be alone? Giordano's novel contemplates this solitude, as well as its opposite and the dance between the two.

Submitted by Stephanie Allison, Facebook

34. The Fall by Albert Camus

A look at the nature of truth and an exploration of what it means to be "good." The Fall brings to life the soul-crushing idealism that twentysomething post-grads face — and the sense of loss that comes with it.

Submitted by VeryRare

35. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Advice, but not the unsolicited kind a parent would give you — more like the entertaining kind you actually want about things you actually care about.

Submitted by Tatiana Hernandez, Facebook

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