A must-read list for people in their 20s
Your 20s are the most interesting and crucial decade of your life as you go through different emotions of angst, self-realization, and unpredictability. It's the time when you are stuck between your carefree childhood and adulthood with endless responsibilities, including career, relationships, and finances. Here are the top five books to read in your 20s to get some perspective on life.
Published in 2012, this book is a memoir by Cheryl Strayed that describes her journey of self-discovery as a 22-year-old after the loss of her mother and the end of her marriage. The young Strayed goes on a thrilling 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border through Oregon in 1995. The memoir details her adventurous journey, while depicting female strength.
Written By James Baldwin, this 1956 novel explores the themes of social isolation, sexual identity crisis, gender, masculinity conflicts, and societal expectations. It revolves around a 20-something American man called David living in Paris and his emotions and disappointment with other men in his life. When David meets Giovanni at a Parisian gay bar, he experiences joy and shame at the same time.
Written by Mary McCarthy, The Group was published in 1963 and explores controversial themes of free love, mental illness, homosexuality, and abortion. It follows the lives of eight female friends who graduated from Vassar College in 1933. The story perfectly highlights the highs and lows of adult friendships, starting with the marriage of one of the friends and ending with her funeral in 1940.
Written by Kyle Lucia Wu, this novel explores the themes of identity, acceptance, racism, and complicated family relationships. The story revolves around a biracial Chinese American girl, Willa Chen who grew up in New Jersey. She takes up the job of a nanny with a wealthy white family. Chen starts questioning her existence and childhood after she develops a strong bond with the family.
Written by Hanya Yanagihara, this novel highlights the everyday experience of living with disability, trauma, and chronic pain and its solaces like friendship, travel, and love. The novel tells the story of four graduates from a small college who have moved to New York to follow their dreams. Their relationships deepen as painful secrets from their past emerge. Check out more such book recommendations.