our 20s are a time to learn and grow, to explore and figure out who you are and who you want to be. Which is no small task! If you're struggling to figure things out, you're not alone. And turning to people and characters who have been there, done that can be a great way to get through the crazy decade that is your 20s.

Here are a few of our top picks of books about being in your 20s, including:

  • Self help books that will guide you as you navigate the tumultuous waters of being an adult
  • New literary fiction that's inspiring us to be our best selves
  • Myths and stories for a new generation of adult women

1. You are a Badass

You are a Badass Book
With a little bit of wit and a buttload of wisdom, this book will instigate motivation and action. Image Courtesy of Amazon.

You are a Badass. From just the title alone, one can gather that this book is honest, bold, and direct. Similar to a good friend who shares with you the good and the bad and the brutally honest truth, this book intertwines humor, self awareness, and perspective to induce action.

  1. Self Awareness: You must understand your own happiness to enact change. Then, you   must have the willpower to do so--if you care enough, you can change
  2. Perspective: Changing your outlook on day to day occurrences changes your perspective on life. Remind yourself of what you are thankful for. “Should” or “could” statements are useless–if you want to change, you will!
  3. Action: With a positive outlook and determination, you can make a change in your life. Be mindful that change requires time and consistency to succeed.

With a 4.7 Amazon rating, You are a Badass is a book for the hesitant go-getters and young adults who don’t know exactly where they are in life but are excited to find out.

2. Women Who Run With the Wolves

Book Women Who Run With the Wolves
Estes uses her own hispanic heritage to explain the messages of the ancient tales she tells. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Through the most notable tales and myths of the “wild woman archetype,” Pinkola Estés invoices passion, anger, humility, and honesty in her novel, “Women Who Run With the Wolves.” Myths like “Bluebeard,” “The Little Match Girl,” and “Zeus” capture the raw reality of women, men, and the differences we possess.

Estés includes explanations about the sexuality, spirituality, and reality of women and the myths that have surrounded us– both good and bad– to bond women together and to find the similarities of us all. With a 4.6 Amazon rating, these legends and tales provoke the dreadful, the dramatic, and the hidden of the unfairness of life, uncovering how we can use these stories to our advantage by understanding the reasons behind these ancient tales.

3. I Will Teach You to be Rich

Book I Will Teach You to be Rich
Learn the best ways to manage money,the easy way. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Financing in your twenties can seem laboring, time-consuming, and deeply complex. Ramit Sethi simplifies the basics of successful financing for early adults. With motivating insights and a humorous spin, this book covers the psychological aspects of spending and saving, and the realities of how easy it can be. Sethi is open and honest about his own personal finances and the tips and tricks he applies to save and spend smartly.

Not only does this book cover the need-to-knows about money, but also the uncomfortable aspects of discussing, sharing, and handling the conversation of money and finances with others. His basic ideas translate to his specific suggestions that are laid out for you to apply.
With a 4.7 Amazon Rating, Sethi’s goal for a successful financial standing is "not having to think about money all the time and being able to travel and work on the things that interest me." Financial success looks different to everyone, and this book exemplifies the best practices for you to thrive in your “rich life.”

4. The Song of Achilles

Book The Song of Achilles
Young women and young men have much to learn from this poetic rendition of the story of Achilles. Image courtesy of Amazon.

This historical fiction novel captures the realities of life, love, rage, and death, telling the tale of Achilles and his mythological Greek counterparts. With vivid descriptors and a poetic twist on the original story of the Greek gods, The Song of Achilles is an intimate read based on finding love and losing it, and the parts in between.

With an Amazon rating of 4.6, this novel puts a dramatic spin on the truths of romance and pain, leaving you in awe of the beautifully crafted writing and detailed descriptions of characters and setting. Although this novel is a wonderful read for any age, twenty-something-year-olds can discover the beautiful realities of love and war through the tale of a Greek relic.

5. Where the Crawdads Sing

The book Where The Crawdads Sing
With raw emotion and the difficult truth, this novel captures a young woman’s mind as she courses through reality. Image Courtesy of Amazon.

Delia Owens chains mystery, honesty, realism and independence together in Where The Crawdads Sing. Following the progress of Kya, a low-class outcast of a small town in North Carolina, the reader gathers the choices and ultimate repercussions and surprises life throws at her.

As a twenty-year old, you watch Kya’s childhood diminish as unchangeable aspects of her life affect her. As she learns and grows, Kya’s choices become more difficult and pragmatic. Kya’s independence and strength as a young woman in the low parts of North Carolina flourish to reveal her true potential. With a touch of crime and mystery, this novel earns a 4.7 Amazon rating as a great slow summer read.

6. 101 questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties

Book 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties
Honesty with a touch of warmth exposes the reader to 101 questions to consider for self-reflection in your 20s. Image courtesy of Amazon.

This adulting 101 book combines a slice of humor with 101 superficial questions that provoke thought, questioning, and self reflection.

A few questions in this book include:

  1. How do I make a choice when I don’t know what to choose?
  2. Do I create or do I complain more?
  3. What is fear keeping me from doing? Is it worth it?

Perfect for your 20-year-old self who is wondering “What am I doing with my life?”, Paul Angone reaches the depth of the reader’s hesitation with practicality and humility.

7. How to Be an Adult in Relationships

Book How to be an Adult in Relationships
With an open mind and self-reflection, you can gain an understanding for your own and others’ reactions to let your relationships flourish. Image courtesy of Amazon.

David Richo builds a foundation for healthy professional and personal relationships with partners, family, friends, and coworkers. Acknowledging the maturity of the reader, Richo explains the different levels of realistic relationships and their tendencies-- “disdain is an appropriate response” for 13-year-olds.

The realities of honesty, empathy, and mindfulness come to a point of maturity, which is the basis of all healthy and respectful relationships. Understanding your own insignificance and realizing that people will be unfair and untruthful will keep your psyche strong and unwavering if you react with integrity and an open mind. With a 4.6 Amazon Rating, this is a great read for young adults wanting to understand their own reactions and how they affect others.

8. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies

book Buy Yourself the Fucking Lilies
Life is too short. Stop making excuses! Image courtesy of Amazon.

Emphasizing time and the limited amount of it we have, Schuster opens readers up to the uncertainties of life and how to approach them. Through full transparency, honesty, and compassion, this novel lays out the realities of the rest of your life--what you do now affects what you always will do. 

With helpful tools and a different perspective, Schuster shares modest tips to achieve a happy life. Conversational, humorous, and down to earth, the author helps the reader to understand and marinate their own choices and decisions, how they handled them, and how to move on, especially considering how short our lives are. Holding a 4.6 Amazon rating, this is a great novel for any young adult looking for some guidance on the past, present, and the future.

The Final Page

Let’s be honest. You probably have no idea what you’re doing in life at the moment and that’s scary. Find peace in the fact that most twenty-somethings feel the same way! With the direction of these 8 books on relationships, finances, and personal growth, you can view young adult life as an exciting new chapter in your life rather than a chihuahua biting at your ankles.

Jun 21, 2023