10 Books To Read In Your 20s

Reaching your twenties is an important milestone. This decade represents increased responsibilities as individuals typically learn to function as adults when they enter their twenties.

10 Books To Read In Your 20s

Numerous books can help a person to learn more about themselves and the world around them.

These books are the perfect addition to your reading list when you are in your twenties, as they will help you during the transformational process of becoming an adult.

10 Books To Read In Your 20s

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a widely celebrated novel about love, death, faith, marriage, and society.

People in their twenties will love reading about the exploits of the titular Anna.

In this passionate tale, Anna is a married woman who continuously subverts the societal expectations of Russian society.

Anna pursues an affair with the wealthy Count Vronsky, despite her marriage to Karenin.

They develop an intimate relationship throughout the novel.

This classic novel is an extraordinary examination of Russian society of the late 19th century.


  • Anna Karenina has a thoughtful writing style.
  • Tolstoy offers a deep psychological examination of the characters.
  • The book allows readers to understand the intimate feelings of the characters.


  • Anna Karenina is famously long, which may make it inaccessible to certain readers.

Such A Fun Age

Such a Fun Age: Reese's Book Club (A Novel)

Such a Fun Age is the best-selling debut novel of Kiley Reid. This striking novel focuses on the life of Alix Chamberlain and covers themes such as race and class.

When her black babysitter is confronted by a police officer and accused of kidnapping a white baby, Alix aims to make amends.

When Alix and Emira work together, they soon find out new things about themselves. It provides a unique perspective on privilege.

Focusing on characters in their twenties, Such a Fun Age offers sensational social commentary that readers in their twenties will appreciate.


  • This is a complex novel that offers a refreshing perspective.
  • The social commentary on race and privilege is handled well.


  • Many readers have found the ending to be somewhat lackluster.

The Defining Decade

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now

Though most of the books in this list are fiction, The Defining Decade is a fantastic non-fiction book that will be incredibly useful to people in their twenties.

In this text, Meg Jay explores the erasure of the twenties and how this decade has become filled with misinformation.

Using science and research, Jay then informs people about how they can ensure that they make the most of their twenties.


  • The book is loaded with helpful advice.
  • This is an informative book that is a must-read for twenty-somethings.


  • The advice is not always applicable to all readers.

The Picture Of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of the most celebrated pieces of literature of all time.

Oscar Wilde’s classic novel centers around themes of debauchery, beauty, vanity, and mortality.

When Dorian Gray’s likeness is captured in a stunning portrait, Dorian agrees to sacrifice anything to retain his beauty forever.

The picture alone will bear the effects of Dorian’s aging. Dorian then embarks on a hedonistic life of excess and narcissism.

The book acts as a reminder that youth will not remain forever.

Rather than mourning the loss of youth, the book encourages readers to accept their aging and look for inner beauty.

These are great messages for people to remember as they become older.


  • Wilde delves into fascinating psychological themes.
  • The book has a brilliant gothic atmosphere.
  • Wilde has a gorgeous writing style that will capture the imagination of the reader.


  • The writing can be a little tedious thanks to numerous unnecessary repetitions.

Imposter Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome: A Novel

From the imagination of Kathy Wang, Imposter Syndrome tells the story of two women in the workforce.

This satirical writer focuses on two women who feel like imposters.

Given the prevalence of the psychological experience called imposter syndrome in a person’s 20s, many people in this age bracket will connect with this novel.

Julia Lerner is a major player in Silicon Valley and the COO of Tangerine. However, she is secretly a Russian spy.

Meanwhile, Alice Lu is a lowly analyst who may be the person to expose Julia’s misdeeds.


  • This is a hilarious read.
  • Wang offers great character development.


  • Many plot points are intentionally implausible, which may irritate some readers.

The Roommate

The Roommate (The Shameless Series Book 1)

Rosie Danan’s The Roommate is a steamy romantic comedy. Aside from Clara Wheaton, the Wheaton family is known for its lack of restraint.

However, Clara’s impulse control is put to the test when she moves across the country for her childhood crush.

Yet, Clara soon finds herself living with a handsome stranger named Josh. Will she be able to resist him? Find out by reading The Roommate.

Focusing on the electric chemistry between two twenty-year-olds, this book is sure to be a hit with people in this age group.


  • The Roommate is especially popular with female readers.
  • Clara and Josh have amazing chemistry.


  • Danan’s romantic novel may be too steamy for some readers.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary

If you’re searching for a fun read, you can’t go wrong with the brilliant Bridget Jones’s Diary. This entertaining novel by Helen Fielding is sure to have you laughing out loud.

The book tells the tale of Bridget Jones, a woman in her thirties who is living in London.

This narrative tells the struggles that she faces in a year of her life, including the romantic difficulties that she faces.

Though Bridget is in her thirties, many of the events that occur are incredibly relevant to people in their twenties.


  • Fielding fills the book with witty comedy.
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary covers themes that are relevant to many people.


  • The quirky writing style will not be for everyone.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby: The Original 1925 Edition (A F. Scott Fitzgerald Classic Novel)

The Great Gatsby is an American class that resonates with an assortment of readers, particularly those in their twenties.

Set in 1922, this iconic book by F. Scott Fitzgerald focuses on the grandiose society of the Roaring Twenties.

It highlights the illusion of decadence and the social divide of this period.

Told from the perspective of 29-year-old Nick Carraway, the narrator considers the prospect of turning 30 and future aging.


  • This is an iconic piece of American literature.
  • Jay Gatsby is a fascinating and three-dimensional character.
  • The Great Gatsby is an incredible interrogation of the American Dream.


  • Elements of this 1925 book have not aged well for modern readers.

The Group

The Group: A Novel (Harvest Book)

Next, The Group by Mary McCarthy is a New York Times Best Seller. The book centers around eight close friends and how their lives diverge after they graduate.

This is a phenomenon that many people experience when they reach their twenties.

These educated and privileged women then encounter different challenges in their lives, many of which are tied to sexism.

Thanks to its feminist themes, The Group is especially popular among women in their twenties.

At the heart of this book is the theme of adult friendships, to which many readers can relate.


  • The book tackles important themes, such as sexism, love, and social class.
  • Many of the characters are surprisingly self-aware.
  • The narrative remains relevant despite its publication date of 1963.


  • The Group loses focus at times.

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel

Last but not least, Daisy Jones & The Six is an indulgent bestseller from the imagination of Taylor Jenkins Reid.

In this dynamic book, Reid explores the tumultuous world of the music industry during the 1970s.

The book depicts the relationship between adored singer Daisy Jones and the rock band known as The Six.

There is an electrifying chemistry between the breezy Daisy and the brooding lead singer of the band, Billy Dunne, which threatens to tear the band apart.

With protagonists in their twenties and a focus on the impact of a partying lifestyle, Daisy Jones & The Six is beloved by people in this age range.



  • Some of the band members are not well-fleshed out.

Final Thoughts

The twenties are a formative decade in which a person develops a more independent identity and enters the adult world.

As a result, many readers will want to read books that explore this contradictory decade of increased freedom and responsibility.

If you are in your twenties, it is recommended that you give these brilliant books a shot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 25 Too Late To Start Reading?

No, it is never too late to pick up a book and start becoming an avid reader. The truth is that some people don’t develop a passion for reading until they are a little older.

Can You Read Young Adult Books In Your 20s?

Yes, you can read books aimed at young adults in your twenties. Though these books are designed for a younger audience, you can still enjoy their themes and narratives when you are a few years older.

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Noah Burton