Books to Read in your Twenties
I’m a twenty-three year old girl living alone in London on an average wage with no boyfriend or girlfriend and a curated group of friends.
I read a lot of books.
Here are some books that I recommend you read in your twenties, because in some way or another they helped or reassured me.
1. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
A recent favourite of mine. A book about a thirty-nine-year-old woman who is still affected by the choices and events that happened to her in her twenties. Namely dropping out of her master’s degree, questioning her sexuality, dealing with family trauma and self-worth.
Set in Brooklyn this poetic, visceral read is incredibly hard to put down and a well worth settling down on the sofa/bed with a cup of coffee for a couple of hours to read.
2. F*ck I’m in my Twenties by Emma Koenig
This hilarious book of doodles that perfectly describes your twenties is fantastic. Delightfully honest you will be giggling and nodding aplenty. Not to mention pleased that someone has experienced the same things as you.
3. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
A tragic and beautiful collection of short stories and essays by Marina Keegan who sadly lost her life in a car accident. This book will remind you of those feelings of hope you had for your dreams upon leaving school and encourages you to fulfil them in case something bad ever happens.
4. Living the Dream by Lauren Berry
A favourite of mine from last year. A fictional story about two friends in their late twenties who are both disillusioned with their own lives but jealous of the others.
One of the girls moves home from America after a failed relationship and career and is forced to get creative in her lifestyle choices. The other friend has been stuck in the same dead-end job since the end of university but when she is offered a promotion she realises it’s time she did something about her life.
5. Hot Mess by Lucy Vine
A story which ends with the main character not getting into a relationship, although she spends the entire novel dreaming of a man. Not a spoiler – just a general observation and reason to read this realistic and singleton friendly novel.
6. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
A soul-touching novel about relationships in your twenties. From the perspective of an Irish girl called Frances who befriends a young couple, with her best friend and sometimes lover Bobbi. A mess of complicated relationships, desires and future plans, this book questions everything you’ll come across in your twenties, in a deep and dark way. Addictive reading.
7. Promising Young Woman by Caroline O’Donoghue
An adrift twenty-something advertiser is given the opportunity to advance her career and accidentally begins an affair with her middle-aged boss. DIscussing topics of sex, feminism, creativity and mental health this incredible novel packs a punch. A fine feat from newcomer to fiction Caroline O’Donoghue.
8. Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
Some hard-hitting advice for anyone starting out in their career, or simply looking for their first career. Like a big sister in your pocket, this book can help you calm your nerves before an interview, succeed in a big pitch or simply motivate you to get going.
9. #Girlboss by Sophie Amoruso
A manifesto for women who might not think their succeeding, but can actually do anything they want. Motivational, creative and interesting. Learn from some of the top women of recent industry in how to get that idea of yours out there.
10. Eat, Sweat, Play by Anna Kessel
Looking to get fit, or stay fit, after years of physical education and walking to the bus? This is the book for you. Extremely rousing and incredibly interesting I can’t recommend this book enough. It will make you want to join a gym, tell your friends about it and clear out your fridge. All while feeling great.
There are my top ten recommendations for books to read in your twenties. These are generally women-related – because I am a woman – but I’ve read all of them and recommend them heartily. Each of them has helped me with an element of my twenties: confidence, fitness or simply for being relatable.
You can read my other recommendations of podcasts to listen to in your twenties as well.
Let me know what books you would recommend in the comments below. Happy reading.