15 Must-Read Books For Your 20s. The twenties are certainly a time of change, transition, and challenges. It’s a decade full of questions and quests as we try to figure out we want to be.
The following 15 books provide wisdom, inspiration, career advice, relationships advice and sometimes a little comic relief to help you get through this turbulent decade.
1. THE DEFINING DECADE — By Meg Jay
THE DEFINING DECADE is a smart, compassionate and constructive book about the years we cannot afford to miss. It weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely.
2. 101 SECRETS FOR YOUR TWENTIES — By Paul Angone
Every twentysomething needs a little black book of secrets. Our twenties are filled with confusion, terrible jobs, anticipation, disappointment, cubicles, break-ups, transition, quarter-life crisis, loneliness, post-college what the heck, moderate success sandwiched between complete failure. We need a worn and weathered guide stashed somewhere close by to help shed some light on this defining decade.
That guide is this book.
For everyone and anyone who is struggling through becoming an adult. You need 101 Secrets for Your Twenties. This book will encourage, inspire, prompt a plethora of LOLs, and kick-start your life forward with its witty, honest, and hilarious wisdom-stuffed pearls to help you rock life in your twenties.
3. WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL –By Mark H. McCormack
This business classic features straight-talking advice you’ll never hear in school. To this day, McCormack’s business classic remains a must-read for executives and managers at every level. McCormack presents powerful real-world guidance on- the secret life of a deal, management philosophies that don’t work (and one that does), the key to running a meeting—and how to attend one, the positive use of negative reinforcement, proven ways to observe aggressively and take the edge and much more
4. MINDSET: THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS — By Carol S. Dweck
In this brilliant book, it shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavour can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
5. WHY DIDN’T THEY TEACH ME THIS IN SCHOOL –By Cary Siegel
The book includes eight important lessons focusing on 99 principles that will quickly and memorably enhance any individual’s money management acumen.
6.THE SHALLOWS: WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO OUR BRAINS –BY Nicholas Carr
Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.
7. GETTING FROM COLLEGE TO CAREER –By Lindsey Pollak
This is the definitive guide to building the experience, skills, and confidence you need to succeed in the job search, offering action-oriented tips and strategies ranging from the simple to the expert. Getting from College to Career gives you the essential information and guidance you need to get your foot in the door of the real world. Don’t start your first job search without it!
8. TRANSITIONS –By William Bridges
With the understanding born of both personal and professional experience, William Bridges takes readers to step by step through the three stages of any transition: The Ending, The Neutral Zone, and, eventually, The New Beginning. He explains how each stage can be understood and embraced, leading to meaningful and productive movement into a hopeful future. With a new introduction highlighting how the advice in the book continues to apply and is perhaps even more relevant today, and a new chapter devoted to change in the workplace, Transitions will remain the essential guide for coping with the one constant in life: change.
9. YES PLEASE –By Amy Poehler
This book delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry, photographs, mantras and advice. This book will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.
10. PIVOT –By Jenny Blake
This book is for anyone searching for an answer to the question, “What’s next?” Whether you have hit a plateau in your perfect-on-paper job, are considering taking on a new role in your current job, are thinking about starting your own business, or you want to move into a new industry altogether, one thing remains clear: your career success depends on your ability to determine your next best move. If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.
11. THE MYTHS OF HAPPINESS –By Sonja Lyubomirsky
In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky turns an empirical eye to the biggest, messiest moments, providing readers with the clear-eyed vision they need to build the healthiest, most satisfying life. A corrective course on happiness and a call to regard life’s twists and turns with a more open mind, The Myths of Happiness shares practical lessons with life-changing potential.
12. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE –By Dale Carnegie
More than 80 years in print. As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age.
Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
13. QUIET –By Susan Cain
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
14. BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY –By Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
Written by the business world’s new gurus, Blue Ocean Strategy continues to challenge everything you thought you knew about competing in today’s crowded market place. Blue Ocean Strategy is quickly reaching “must read” status among smart business readers.
A landmark work that upends traditional thinking about strategy, this bestselling book charts a bold new path to winning the future. Consider this your guide to creating uncontested market space–and making the competition irrelevant.
15. WAIT, HOW DO I WRITE THIS EMAIL? –By Danny Rubin
Wait, How Do I Write This Email? is a perfect resource for people who need to build relationships and grow into careers. It’s also used in high schools, colleges, workforce development programs and even the Pentagon as part of in communications courses for senior-level personnel.
Page after page, Rubin offers detailed instructions for networking (ex: how to contact alumni from your school) and the job search (ex: how to apply even if the company has no openings at the time).
He also includes smart LinkedIn templates, memorable handwritten notes, the outline for a powerful one-page resume and a fresh cover letter strategy with a focus on storytelling.
Thanks for reading, this was my list on 15 must-read books for your 20s. Go ahead and read!
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