10 Books You Should Read in Your 20s

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If you’re about to be or are in your 20s, this decade of your life is a time for changes and challenges, that can be difficult to navigate while you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you want out of life. It’s easy to feel stuck between wanting to be a carefree teenager and being an adult with countless responsibilities.

A great way to help manage these feelings, relationships and questions is by reading the advice of people who have been there. A book can change ones life and provide one with a new perspective/knowledge.

With the circumstances at hand, there is no better time to open a book (that isn’t required for one of your classes!) and let it teach you something.

Here are some must-reads VALLEY recommends you add to your list.

For Boosts of Confidence…
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is filled with humor, refreshing real-talk and personal stories. Mark Manson gives a raw approach on how to become a happier person by accepting life with all of its flaws included. Manson argues for the embracement of these faults and uncertainties instead of avoiding them. By doing so, this is where you can find your most honest and courageous self.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
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This New York Times bestselling author gives an all-around guide on how to replace self-doubt and self-sabotage by reaching goals and loving oneself in You Are a Badass. Jen Sincero shows readers how to create the life one deserves in the chapters that are filled with inspirational stories and advice.  

The Power of Letting Go by John Purkiss
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The Power of Letting Go brings together the desire of why and how to let go of everything that is holding you back. Whether it be past traumas, relationships, expectations or fear, John Purkiss gives his advice on how to stop feeling stuck in a certain part of life. This read is full of wisdom and helps readers discover a new way of living.

For Self-Love and Relationships
What a Time to Be Alone: The Slumflower’s Guide to Why You Are Already Enough by Chidera Eggeure
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In your 20s, you’ll probably hear the question, “Are you seeing anyone?” at almost every family function. What a Time to Be Alone is a tell-all guide on how being alone is probably the best thing to ever happen to you. Celebrating and empowering yourself in a world that is constantly trying to bring you down is an imminent theme throughout this book. Chidera Eggeure serves as a hype-man, sharing exactly how to take the reins on your own life and be your own best friend.

He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Begrendt and Liz Tuccillo
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He’s Just Not That Into You is a wake-up call to stop constantly looking at your notifications to see if they texted you back. The authors aren’t sugarcoating anything and tell readers that if someone wants you in your life, they’ll make sure you know it — so stop making excuses and wasting your time on them. Recognizing self-worth and refusing to settle is the main idea of this book.

For Managing Money…
Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas
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In an age where social media has become a huge marketing tool, why not take advantage of it? Denise Duffield-Thomas in Chillpreneur teaches readers how to manifest what they desire with hard work and the universe on their side. This book serves as a reminder to stop procrastinating and make your dreams a reality. It’s filled with practical advice and tips on how to manage your money.

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage
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Being on your own in college makes it necessary to learn about your personal finances, but this can be difficult when you don’t have anyone telling you how. The Financial Diet helps readers learn how to deal with credit, how to create a budget, how to live on an entry-level salary and other important tips.

For Memoirs…
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
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Elaine Welteroth, former editor of Teen Vogue, gives a look into her journey as a young Black woman working as editor-in-chief at her publication, and the struggles she has faced along the way. She is known for fueling a movement for change within the media industry and sharing her advice with the world. In More Than Enough, Welteroth highlights personal experiences of growing up, learning self-love and achieving her goals.

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness
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Jonathan Van Ness is known for his role on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, but there are many other sides of him that haven’t been seen before. In this memoir, Over the Top, he speaks on his experiences being bullied as a child, surviving sexual assault, developing a drug addiction and living with H.I.V. This inspirational story of how Vann Ness turned his life around and became the image of self-love and acceptance is a must-read.

The Names of All the Flowers by Melissa Valentine
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Melissa Valentine and her brother Junior were two of six siblings raised by biracial parents in Oakland in the 1990s. As her brother grows up, Valetine finds he is treated differently by society for being a black male. Junior falls victim to gang violence and is murdered before he turns 20-years-old. In The Names of All the Flowers, Valentine shares the haunting account of her family’s pain, the loss many Black families have endured and a call for justice.

There are hundreds of books ready to be read that can offer readers a multitude of perspectives and more! Be sure to check some out at your local library or bookstore.

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