When was the last time you read? No, I don’t mean textbooks and no, your latest issue of Cosmo, doesn’t count. I mean a good book that you could curl up in bed with at the end of the day that keeps you flipping from page to page? Whether you’re a college undergrad running from class to class or you’re well into your twenties working the 9-to-5 shift, at the end of the day, sometimes it’s hard to catch up on leisurely reading. From chick lit to well-being books, here are the top ten books every girl should read in her twenties.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1) by Sophie Kinsella
I know it’s tempting to skip the 300+ pages and just rent out the movie (with popcorn), but Sophie Kinsella is a rich and sassy writer and reading her books is like hearing a best friend tell you about her day. If you’ve ever been tempted to buy to-die-for pumps or that lingerie set in the window of that upscale department store (and every girl has) that you just couldn’t afford, you’ll love this book. It teaches you a thing or two about love and life, not to mention personal finances (can you imagine being thousands of dollars in debt over scarves and shoes…? Yikes).
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
If there’s anything we’ve learned from chick lit, it was most likely thought up first by Jane Austen. I know, I know — again, you’d probably rather rent the movie (and drool over a dark, brooding Matthew Macfadyen a.k.a. Mr. Darcy), but the Keira Knightley on-screen version just doesn’t do the book justice. Elizabeth Bennett didn’t let stiff-necked tea parties, corsets, or the social strata of the 19th century get in the way of love. And, she got the guy in the end. With a little sass and a lot of perseverance, you can get your happily ever after, after all.
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
You might have skimmed over the cover of this book in the shelves at Barnes and Noble recently, but you should rethink this best-selling chick-lit novel. Girls in White Dresses follows the lives of three twenty-something best friends — Isabella, Mary, and Lauren — who embark on their separate life journeys. We watch them through the big-girl realizations we all must make as we enter adulthood — that BFF friendships are not always forever, fairytale romances are few and far-between, and you may not get that dream job you always wanted — all in their twenties. It’s a novel that captures every detail of life in a girl’s twenties and teaches you that you can get through anything with the right amount of heart and sarcasm.
The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
For those of you girls who are wincing at the title, you can relax… it actually has nothing to do with hunting or fishing. In The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Bank’s witty short stories, which follow her from age 14 to well into her thirties, follow heroine Jane Rosenal’s search for what every girl wants in her twenties — a steady boyfriend, a fulfilling career, and self-identity. Throughout the book, Jane tries to make sense of her life by looking to parents and brothers, friends, and ex-boyfriends (not to mention she scours the self-help section) in search of the answer to explain it all. But as we know, there are no answers. And even though she wrote it in the ‘90s, Bank captures what it’s like to leave behind the teen years and be a woman in your twenties today.
Bitches on a Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style by Rosalyn Hoffman
If you’re a bonafide fashionista but your budget is constantly cramping your style, then consider this your go-to guide to personal finances. Wouldn’t we all love to live in a world where you could buy a pair of Christian Louboutin heels and that hot-off-the-runway LBD without a second thought? Blogger Rosalyn Hoffman shows you how to pull together chic, affordable styles and without breaking the bank.
What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins
There’s a lot of things I would tell myself if I could go back in time — things like don’t stress about that job interview, or it’s OK to forfeit a Friday night for myself instead of the kegger party every once in a while, or how that exam I failed in Introduction to Logic freshman semester is not the end of the world (despite how I felt at the time). So if you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say? This question is what inspired writer Ellyn Spragins to approach 41 women, from singer Macy Gray to designer Eileen Fisher and poet Maya Angelou, about what they wish they had known when they were younger. Their collection of letters teaches us their learned life lessons for twenty-something ladies, but without Mom’s preachy, “I told you so.”
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
We’ve all had those moments with Mom — she embarrasses you or judges you, or she just generally doesn’t understand you. The Joy Luck Club is about four women who immigrate from their homeland of China to America to make better lives for themselves. Their daughters, having grown up in America, don’t see eye to eye with their mothers who are culturally and generationally different. You may not always see eye to eye with your mom, but if you read this novel, you might come to better understand that there’s a reason why she’ll always be your best friend.
What Did I Do Wrong? by Liz Pryor
As girls, we always like to say that we’ll be best friends forever (BFFs!), but as every girl knows, that’s not always the case. A break-up with your BFF is always more devastating than a romantic break-up. You’re not alone — Liz Pryor understands you perfectly. After her bestie suddenly stopped returning phone calls and kept blowing her off, magazine columnist Liz Pryor made it her mission to figure out why girls break up with us. If you’re going through a similar situation where a friend has basically dumped you even if without reason, this is a must-read!
20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler
I remember on my 21st birthday. I was out with my friends knocking back margaritas and eating too much pizza when I stopped and thought to myself, “Oh my god, I’m 21? When did that even happen?” I was experiencing what I guess you might call a quarter-life crisis. Author Christine Hassler explores through her book what it means to be a twenty-something girl and how to answer those pesky, if not a little scary, questions — Who am I? What do I want? How do I get it?
Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent by Judy Ford
Breaking up with a boyfriend really sucks, doesn’t it? But after late night talks with your bestie on the phone and after that pint of Ben and Jerry’s is scooped clean, you start to realize that being single is not the end of the world… in fact, it might be the start of something better! For all the twenty-something single ladies out there (cue Beyonce), this book reiterates how great it is to be independent.
What are some of your favorite books?