My Favorite Books That Everyone Should Read in their 20's

I have always loved to read, be it magazines, books or newspapers. This past summer I fell back into that comfort of snuggling up with a good book. Although, given that I spend my summers in Houston, Texas-- there really wasn’t snuggling, so much as floating around the pool ~Elle Woods~ style.

It got pretty boring staring mindlessly into the sun, so I *stole* my sisters library card and explored the stacks at my local library. 

  1. 1. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

    I have seen this book on numerous different “Books to Read in your 20’s” lists on Pinterest. I decided to check this book out first and see what all the hype was about. It was very relatable and I definitely see why it’s a must read for twenty-somethings, it follows a few main characters through their post-college graduation life. It discusses various topics such as relationships, divorce, friendships, and all that goes with learning to stand on your own two feet once you land that first job in a new city! 

  2. 2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

    This was by far the best novel I read over the summer. I would say this was my number one recommended “classic” book I read-- maybe even this far in my life. I have raved about this book to everyone. It is a great discourse on mental health, especially given that when it was first published (1963), Plath published under pseudonym Victoria Lucas. This novel is semi-biographical and she was afraid of the backlash it might receive given that this topic was avoided at all costs during the time of publication. 

  3. 3. Big Magic by Elizabth Gilbert 

    Big Magic was another book that was very popular on the must reads for twenty-somethings and apparently my puppy too! This one did not disappoint, it really helped me tap into my creativity. Big Magic is all about going outside of your comfort zone and tapping into your untouched potential. I know here at Penn State there is a new English class that is offered solely based off of this book and trying new things. 

  4. 4. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

    The Happiness Project was by far my absolute favorite book that I read this summer. It is all about doing at least one new thing a month that makes you happy. Rubin begins the book by making a list of her top twelve commandments for herself that she must follow everyday in order to have a happy day. She also discusses “secrets of adulthood” she has discovered thus far in her life and “eight splendid truths” she has discovered as well. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It truly did help me recognize how certain little things can affect the outcome of my day and makes me a happier person. 

  5. 5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    I honestly had never heard of this book until I began my research on all of the best books to read in your 20’s. This seems almost like it’s a cult classic, I finished this in maybe three days, I could not put it down. The plot was so interesting and the meaning behind it was even more fascinating-- I don’t want to give away too many details because this is a MUST READ. 

Although I read an absurd amount of books this summer, and still have some in the works-- being back in the real world of being a full-time student and all! I am so excited for Thanksgiving and winter break to roll around so I can get back to my favorite activity. Are there any books you’ve read that I should indulge in as well? Please let me know!