Here Are 11 Books You MUST Read Before You Hit Your 20’s

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Growing old is not a cake walk and especially before the 20s when your teenage is ending and you’re filled with a passionate intensity and nowhere seems accurate to put your energies in and lack of resources holds you back in certain ways. You’re stuck between your career choices and all the decisions seem wrong to adhere to and at that point in time, all you need is your best friend i.e., books to cope up with everything going on around you.

Life before the 20s is a wild chaotic mess stuck between giving your life a meaning and social pressures, you find yourself stuck in a tightening gyre living an auto-pilot life. Here is a list of books to read before your 20s

1. Tuesdays with Morrie:

Source: Wikipedia

“Life is a series of pulls back and forth… A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match…Which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins” ― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

Listening to elders give advice isn’t always easy, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, hence, turns the view upside down. It’s a powerful narration where a college professor gives his views and profound advice on life’s greatest lessons and even the meaning of life itself. The book itself is a much-needed positivity rush in this anxiety-ridden world.

2. On the road:

Source: Stephanie Nikolopoulos

“But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait to lurk to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

The ideas of freedom, dissatisfaction and longing are what we mostly feel when we come close to the reality of adulthood. Our lives become a constant struggle between monotony and rebellion. Same themes are prevalent in Jack Kerouac’s magical prose. It’s a novel of two free-spirited youngsters and their adventures around the United States.

3. The Bell Jar:


“When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know. “Oh, sure you know,” the photographer said. “She wants,” said Jay Cee wittily, “to be everything.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is an absolute portrayal of how tiresome and mentally exhausting the cognitive process of growing up can be. It deals with the subject of mental illness and constantly boiling inner turmoil of maturation. It’s a cry for freedom and it’s as relatable as it can get.

4. Ashes, Wine and Dust:

Source: Goodreads

“There are no plans, just people fooling themselves by attempting to design their fates and futures. It makes them feel invincible, even if it’s for a transient period of time.” ― Kanza Javed, Ashes, Wine and Dust

Ashes Wine and Dust is a tale of the tribulations of growing up, written in the tone of displacement and disorientation where the main character battles with loss of identity and relations left behind. Hauntingly beautiful, emotional and so sensitive in each page, Ashes Wine and Dust by Kanza Javed can be a relatable treat as Kanza’s prose is closer to home.

5. Man’s search for meaning:

Source: Mighty Girl

“Ultimately, the man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life, he can only respond by being responsible.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Channeling the first-hand life experiences of the World War 2, Man’s search for meaning by Victor Frankl is yet another groundbreaking narration of identifying a purpose in life and feeling positive about it. The book discovers a unique psychotherapeutic method to engage the human mind in positivism and purpose.

6. Nineteen eighty-four:

Source: Culture Addict/History Nerd

“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?” ― George Orwell, 1984

Nineteen eighty-four by George Orwell is a political shocker we all need to understand and realize the horrors of our age. It’s a dystopian novel dealing with the subjects of independence and Identity. The novel is both universal and personal therefore a must read for all the teenagers contemplating life.

7. The Lord of the Rings:

Source: ABC of Success

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

We all need a little fantasy to survive our horrendous reality. The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien and is a perfect escape dealing with the classic struggle between good and evil, adventure and comfort.

8. The Forty Rules of Love:


“East, West, South or North makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey, a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.” ― Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love

This book by Elif Shafak can, perhaps, be a perfect spiritual guide to explore your inner voice within yourself. Its language is simple and pure yet so powerful and calming. The Forty Rules of Love is one of the life-changing books for most of us.

9. The Handmaid’s tale:

Source: Penguin Random House

“All you have to do, I tell myself, is keep your mouth shut and look stupid. It shouldn’t be that hard.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s a tale of a woman’s struggle to gain individuality and independence in a patriarchal society. It’s a true dystopian classic dealing with the presence and manipulation of power in every form.

10. The Alchemist:

Source: Patty Hendrickson

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The Alchemist is, indeed, a timeless novel about following your dreams and not ignoring the voice that comes from deep within your heart. It is written beautifully and the prose is dreamy and almost magical.

11. Pride and Prejudice:

Source: Macmillan Publishers

“We are all fools in love” ― Jane Austen, Pride, and Prejudice

The story witnesses the emotional development of the main character, humorous and profound, the book is an entertaining romance with its witty dialogue. Portraying the genders perfectly it is a moving romance story set in Victorian era.

So, which books are on your wish list? Tell us in the comments section.

Read Also: 10 Best Pakistani Books That Are Acclaimed And Awarded Across The World

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