11 Best Books To Read In Your 20s

11 Best Book to Read in your 20's

Explore the realm of best books to read in your 20s from diversified genres and unleash the powerful impact they hold on the rest of your life.

The twenties is a period of life when you are young and have the opportunity to get the key to your desired life. To say the least, your 20s is an interesting decade when you always feel stuck between a journey, from a carefree teenager to a young adult with endless responsibilities.

Your 20’s is an age full of incoherent choices and responsibilities. In such a situation, choosing the right lesson from the best books will help you craft a better idea of the future and a clearer vision of life. Most importantly, books assist as the perfect relic that we’re not alone as we learn to face loss, love, and other life lessons at this period of life. Not finding the best books in your 20’s can be the biggest hurdle in the success of your life.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

– Charles W. Eliot

The following 11 best books to read in your 20s provide knowledge, motivation, and a little humorous relief to help you get through this chaotic decade.

1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

This best-seller can be incredibly visceral and at times disturbing — but it’s deeply moving and heart-wrenching. Excellent read with such intelligence and depth of perception that it will leave the reader with thought-provoking questions. Yanagihara crafts this story with the talent to interrogate the safest and most beautiful extremes of human behavior.

The story follows four graduates from a small college in Massachusetts who move to New York. They were keen to follow their dreams and escape their demons as they make their way in life. Wrenching portraits of their relationships that deepen with time, and the influence of painful secrets from their past. The feeling of navigating through life and relationships in your 20s hits close to home.

2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

A knockout novel and the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction is a meaningful book to read in your 20’s. Adichie is a masterful writer and storyteller, who powerfully and honestly depict the overseas experience for the African diaspora, the discomfiting realities of our times, and the search for identity and a home.

Witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic. A story of two Nigerians, Ifemelu and Obinze, who fall in love but are separated after 9/11, when Ifemelu emigrates to America and Obinze is denied a visa. It’s a poignant love story about a couple finding their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of racial hierarchies in both countries. A bright, bold book with unforgettable power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color and race.

3. Beloved by Toni Morrison

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

Toni Morrison’s finest work, brutally powerful and dazzling. A masterpiece that sets her apart and displays her prodigious talent. Inspired by a true story after the American civil war of maternal love and life after slavery. There is a reason why this book was awarded by the New York Times as “the sole best work of American fiction published in the last twenty-five years.” This amazing book left out hundreds of prominent writers, critics, and editors in this award race.

The story revolves around a woman named Sethe and her daughter after they leave slavery. You will discover how a mother fights to protect her children, leaving a powerful message of perseverance. You might have read it in your high school but it’s time to pick it up again to read in your 20s for a better perspective.

4. How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life by Sheila Heti

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

Heti writes it as part-autobiographical and part literally novel. Where the protagonist travels in search of vivid exploration of life’s significance as well as important questions. Raw answers to most of the queries of your life. Whether it’s an addiction to having artistic buddies or being disrespectful in the name of honesty.

This novel does take a stab at responding to your 20-something life questions “What kind of person should you be?” as well as tackling life’s insignificant questions like “How should a person love?” Broadly fresh, quotable, funny, and lastly inspiring depiction of female friendship. A book that leaves readers to shed a few dozen layers in the service of self-discovery — Wise pick as a books to read in your 20s

5. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

The Year of Magical Thinking is an unforgettable tour de force (fear of strength). The storyline is simply the rollercoaster of Didion’s pain after the death of her husband and in the center of the serious disease of her daughter. Joan Didion shares sentimental emotions like how she cannot give away her husband’s shoes thinking he would come back one day. It is sometimes obstinate and often an indelible portrait of loss and grief.

The book is once steely and precise, yet vague and candid which develops admiration and love in readers’ hearts. Didion clearly speaks with a penetrating account of personal terror and grief. Preternatural poise, unrivaled eye for absurdity—yet obsessively funny sometimes. We can’t think of a book we need more than this books to read in your 20s.

6. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

Rhimes is the founder of some great books to read in your 20s and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and adventurous shows on television today. After reading this book, you won’t believe that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert. Plus, she avoided public appearances and she suffered panic attacks before interviews. 

But the story started when she decided to embrace the challenge, that for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.

An inspiring, poignant, intimate, and hilarious account of saying yes to life. This book explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes. It is also a kind of motivational and self-help book with pieces of advice that concerns not just Rhimes’s readers, but everyone in their 20s—reading this life-changing book hit home.

7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

A book by an overweight geek living with his Dominican-American family in New Jersey, went on to win The Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose is just what a reader in his 20s would want to read.

The story revolves around the life of the title character, whose real name is Oscar de León. Oscar is a Dominican-American who grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, and strived his whole life to find community — a connotation of identity. The great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Díaz’s ability to balance a personal multigenerational story of familial tragedy, with insight, which is also funny; in a nutshell, a good justification for the title of best books to read in your 20s.

8. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

Eggers successfully convey a fictionalized account of being thrust into the role of parent at such a young age. A powerful story about resilience and brotherly love. An ode, in the end, not of woe, though there’s plenty of that too. An epic about family and how family members manage to endure the pain and give strength to each other through all the confusion.

Dave Eggers crafts his story with his trademark humor dripping from every word, letting the reader follow him on the ride from total irresponsibility to adulthood and acceptance. This book is memorable and indeed heartbreaking, leaving the reader touched—and yet strangely fascinated. A very good book to read in your 20s, if you ask us.

9. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

A mixture of Dostoyevsky, Euripides, Easton Ellis, and Waugh, as this multimillion bestseller was described by The New York Times.

The Secret History tells the tale of six odd and conventional classics students at an elite university. Commencing to experiment with the bounds of normal principle and eventually turn on one of their mates by pushing him to his death. Richard, the narrator suddenly discovers himself burdened by some very dark secrets. Finally, The Secret History by Donna Tartt shows us what transpires when boundaries are rotted and life as we know it no longer exists.

A gripping read from the Pulitzer Prize-winner about secrets and relationships as well as coming to terms with life choices is a must-read in your 20s.

10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

Coelho wrote a perfect story book for young adults to drive important lessons about listening to their hearts and following their dreams. The mysterious story of Santiago and his adventurous travels opportunity, making this an excellent read for young adults still feeling insecure about their life’s path in the 20s.

The story follows a Spanish shepherd boy who flees from Egypt, his hometown, in search of buried treasure. Along his journey, he encounters a sequence of colorful characters. But he soon finds out that the real treasure is in the desert but there’s also another treasure buried under his soul. This book allows the readers to conquer their fears, chase their dreams, and don’t clutch under the crushing burden of human existence to just survive. One of the best books to read in your 20s for sure!

11. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

11 Best Books to Read in your 20's

Enthralling and completely immersive, “Tuesday with Morrie” is a book that kind of sneaked up and grabbed people’s hearts over time. A sweet and nourishing book begs to be read aloud.

Albom, the writer of this book, got a chance to meet with his dying college professor, Morrie Schwartz, Who was dying of ALS – or motor neuron disease. Morrie’s fascinating class-like discussions are shared in the book and have already carried out Schwartz’s beautiful wisdom on more than 12 million readers.

Most beautiful thought-provoking books with moving ground life realities, you can always opt for this book to read in your 20s. An elegantly simple story that conveys advice to help the reader make their way through life.

FAQs: Books to Read in Your 20s

1. What is the #1 best-selling book?

The most famous and beloved Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows by J.K.Rowling are the best-selling of all time followed by the Da Vinci Code, crime, thriller, and adventure.

2. What is the hardest book to read?

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce (1939), The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929), and The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer are the top three hardest books of all time to read. But indeed, an interesting book to read.

3. Who has sold the most books ever?

Take a wild guess? Yes! J.K.Rowling, with selling more than 500 million copies worldwide, earning the #1 spot for years in selling the most books ever. Her books and espacially, all parts of Harry Potter are definitely must read books of all time.

4. What is the longest book ever?

“La recherche du temps perdu” by Marcel Proust contains an estimated 9,609,000 characters. The title translates to “Remembrance of Things Past” which has won the title for the longest book ever. Despite this book’s huge lenght, it would be a fun book to read, won’t it?

5. What is the easiest and fun book to read?

Any children’s book is easy and fun to read, but Roald Dahl’s books stay at the top! Out of all his books, our personal favorite and easy to read is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

6. What is a good book to read in 2021?

The aforementioned list of books is a good reading package to satisfy your cravings as a book lover. However, except for that, we also recommend “The Push: A Novel. Pamela Dorman” as justifying the title for good books to read in 2021.


Your 20’s is an age full of questions and dreams as we try to figure out what is life and which character do we want to play? In this situation, trust us when we say a good book serves as a thousand times better assistant to answer all your queries than the internet.

Filled with life-long lessons, astonishing experiments, expert experiences, gold advice, and whatnot — Everything is beautifully wrapped up in those dusky pages.

Book readers have more finely-tuned brains than those who prefer more passive activities. This guide has solved your quest of “what should i read” by giving you top book recommendations. Reading these good books is an investment in yourself. Make the smart move, and crack open some brain juice to craft a better and beautiful life at 20.

Have we missed any best books to read in your 20s? Share your favorites in the comments below that impacts you at this fine line of age. Happy reading!

What do you think?

Written by Abeeha Qasmi

Abeeha is a certified Content Writer and a Business Student. Being a canine enthusiast, she writes well-researched, engaging, and value-packed content. She loves to read & watch fiction-based content when not writing.

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