The Quarter-Life Crisis Reading List

The Quarter-Life Crisis Reading List - Reading recommendations for twenty-something women who need to get out of a funk or just want to feel better about life |

1 // Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Mindy Kaling’s collection of essays combines humor with heart and is the perfect read for any twenty-something. I finished this book a devout Mindy Kaling fan and have not missed an episode of The Mindy Project since. Chapters include “Failing at Everything in the Greatest City on Earth”, “Someone Explain One Night Stands to Me”, and “Revenge Fantasies While Jogging”. Don’t miss this book. You’ll read it in one sitting.

2 // He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

A lot of dating happens in your twenties (usually). Sure, this book might be a little cheesy but if you’ve just dumped or been dumped, you need to read this. I picked it up at a thrift store in college at a time when I really needed to read it. The advice is practical and straightforward and written in a non-preachy, fun way. The format is also very different and makes it easy to pick up and put down, reading only a few pages at a time.

3 // Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps: How We’re Different and What to Do About It

I read this in my Gender Differences in Communication class in college. Much of your twenties seems to be about figuring out the opposite sex. The author, a body language expert, and his wife, delve in to the differences between men and women. Don’t take anything too seriously, as the book abounds with some sweeping generalizations. It’s an easy, fun read and it does have some solid research behind the differences between men and women.

4 // Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”

Oh, Lena Dunham. I wish Girls had been on air right when I graduated from college. I would have felt mildly better about moving home, sharing a room with my then 9-year-old sister, and feeling I completely lacked direction and drive.

This book is up next on my reading list and I’m certain it won’t disappoint.

5 // Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood

Author Alida Nugent is the blogger behind the popular blog The Frenemy. She is incredibly snarky and relatable. I’d suggest this book to ladies in their earlier twenties. I read it and enjoyed it but am certain I would have enjoyed it more had I read it about 2 years earlier. Something about feeling like you’re falling on your face and having someone to relate to.

6 // MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend

For anyone who has every moved to a new city where they have zero friends, this book is a great starting point. I found that I got lots of ideas about ways to put myself out there and make new friends in a new city. At the very least, it will make you feel less bad about feeling like you don’t have enough friends. Other people feel that way too!

7 // Yes Please

Amy Poehler didn’t get on SNL until she was 30. I’ll just put that out there from the get-go. It’s inspiring to read about someone who knew what she wanted and went after it, with little hesitation or concern for failure. I admire Amy and she’ll definitely make you laugh out loud with this hilarious, open memoir.

As an aside, if you are a Kindle person, I would not buy this book on Kindle. The book is super high quality with notes, photos, and color. It’s worth it to own the hardcopy.

8 // I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

A great reminder from Nora Ephron (writer of half of your favorite romantic comedies), that the feelings you’re feeling right now might fade but many of those insecurities and quirks will stick with you. And that’s okay.

9 // 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction

This book is much more of a self-help/workbook style. It addresses the “twenties triangle” of “Who am I? What do I want? How do I get what I want?” This book is a great option if you want to actively work on yourself. You’ll find lots of stories about women in their twenties who are just like you, as well as lots of sound advice.

A few to add that I do not own/have not read:

Bossypants – Read it. Loved it. Borrowed it from a friend so it is not pictured.

Girls in White Dresses – I’ve heard this is a great read for ladies who are in that “everyone is getting engaged” period of their lives.

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps – One that Amazon constantly recommends to me based on my purchase of all of the above.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now – I watched Meg Jay’s TED Talk and found it incredibly inspiring. I’m certain her book does not disappoint.

Reading is such an essential part of life and has helped me through my toughest times. Reading can be the perfect distraction and the greatest learning tool. Books can take you on adventures, inspire you, and make you feel alive. Isn’t that exactly what you want in your twenties? And in life? What books would you add to this list?

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