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TW/CW, this article mentions the topic of sexual assault. 


Being in your 20’s already comes with a lot of changes and responsibilities. Many people consider your 20’s as your ‘selfish’ years; the time to fully immerse yourself into everything possible. Do what you love without the feeling of judgment. It’s the decade to start figuring out who you are and who you want to be. There is no right way to live your life, everyone’s path is different because everyone has their own purpose and passions that they aspire to. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but building the new” (Socrates).

These books will give you a new perspective on life in a time you need it most.

Here’s a list of ten books to read in your 20s...


Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, who struggles to comfortably identify with her two cultures. With her job at a national newspaper, it becomes difficult for her to fit in because she is constantly comparing herself to those around her. Like many people in their twenties, there are the neverending questions of “Who am I? Who do I want to be? What is my purpose?” Queenie is an honest journey of self-exploration and the acceptance to be unapologetically you.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant likes to keep to herself and embrace her individuality due to her lack of social skills. Everything changes when she meets Raymond, a caring and outgoing tech guy from her office. Raymond leaves his heart out on the table which helps Eleanor to become more open and repair her damaged past. She learns that she is worthy of friendship and even finding love. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine shows the vulnerability of opening up yourself to someone and finding yourself and your purpose. 


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

A heartfelt coming-of-age story and haunted mystery. Kya Clark is somewhat of an outcast known as the “Marsh Girl” who haunted Barkley Cove. In late 1969, Chase Andrews was found dead and the locals immediately suspected Kya. However, Kya doesn’t let the town define her, she takes pride in who she is as a pure naturalist. She finds her purpose without the influence of those around her. The combination of a coming-of-age and mystery creates a real page-turner that you will struggle to put down. 

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Know My Name by Chanel Miller

This author was most recognized under the name “Emily Doe” who shocked millions with a letter. Brock Turner was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford University’s campus and was later sentenced to only six months in jail. Her victim impact statement went completely viral where it was then read on the Congress floor. It inspired change in California law and inspired more people to share their stories and experiences. Know My Name allows Chanel to reclaim her and her story of trauma, perseverance, and the overarching power of words. Her story shares her complete vulnerability and courage to move through her struggles to live a full life. Healing is a long and tumultuous journey that can turn into resilience and strength to get through it all.


The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements provides a practical guide to personal freedom. Throughout our day, we go through self-limiting beliefs that take away our happiness and turns it into suffering. Miguel Ruiz offers a powerful code of conduct to experience the freedom of true happiness, love, and self-acceptance. 


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

A powerful memoir by Glennon Doyle explores the joy in the little things and the journey of trusting who you are and who you want to be without the voices of others. Throughout, Glennon struggles to find her voice. She was constantly desiring approval and praise from others instead of finding that in herself. When she finally came to that realization, she started living for herself. Untamed shows us the power of having trust in yourself and how to embrace your voice without the feelings of discontent. 


Power vs Force by David R. Hawkins

What is the difference between power and force? David R. Hawkins discusses the hidden determinants of human behavior and the psychology behind it all. His studies of human behavior are supported by theoretical concepts from physics, dynamics, and chaos theory. Power vs. Force is a very detailed and thought-provoking read to get you thinking about human consciousness, and how we are influenced by our environment as well as those around us.


Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza

Joe Dispenza is an international researcher and educator. In this book, he combines all the studies of physics, neuroscience, chemistry, biology, and genetics to show and explain what is truly possible when creating your reality. Joe bridges the gap between science and spirituality to create the necessary tools to make a change in your overall outlook on your life. Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself provides a different perspective to allow yourself to understand things with an open-mind that could inspire you to change your life. 


It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst discusses finding unexpected strength when disappointments leave you shattered. With her own experiences and discoveries, she helps us to overcome these painful situations, how to process them, perseverance, shift our negative mindset, and know-how to help others in these situations. Not only does Lysa encourage us to go on this journey but also how to aid others in turning self-doubt into strength through faith. 


The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

M. Scott Peck’s first book The Road Less Traveled discovers new psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth. Peck notes that self-actualization is the highest purpose in life and addresses that without hardships there would be no growth and nothing to achieve and overcome. Peck studies the elements of psychotherapy as a practice in both love and spiritual growth. The Road Less Traveled helps you to find your path in life even though it might look different than others.

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This list of books has the potential to inspire, encourage, and change a person’s whole perspective on life. Your 20’s is a time for development and self-reflection. It’s important to stay open-minded to other perspectives and learn that you are not alone on this journey of self-discovery. Remind yourself that it’s okay to be selfish and set up boundaries for yourself because this is your time to find your purpose in who you want to be. 

Angela Sampers is a Public Relations and Advertising major with a minor in Journalism at DePaul University, she has an overflowing passion for writing. She enjoys spending time with friends, rock climbing, baking, and finding a new book to read.
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