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The Best Books for Women in Their 20s: An Essential Reading List

Are you a young woman in your 20s, eager to learn and grow? If so, you’re in the right place! This essential reading list of the best books for women in their 20s is designed to empower, transform, and inspire you on your journey to personal growth. Get ready to dive into books that will help you explore your identity, improve your mental health, navigate relationships, and achieve career success. Let’s begin our journey together!

Short Summary

  • Empower yourself with books that promote personal growth and inspire you on your journey of self-development.

  • Gain knowledge, confidence, and success by reading practical advice for career development and financial freedom.

  • Explore your identity through powerful reads about culture, feminism & social justice to help guide your self-discovery & transformation!

Empowering Reads for Personal Growth

Female Reading Book

Personal growth is a lifelong journey, and there’s no better time to start than in your 20s. With the right books, you can explore themes like identity, purpose, relationships, and societal expectations, all while gaining valuable insights and motivation.

From memoirs of inspiring women to fiction with strong female characters and self-help books for confidence and success, this reading list is your ultimate guide to unlocking your full potential and becoming the remarkable woman you were always meant to be.

Memoirs of Inspiring Women

Memoirs of inspiring women offer a unique window into the lives of extraordinary individuals who have faced challenges, defied the odds, and emerged victorious. These stories provide invaluable knowledge and insight, empowering women in their 20s to learn from the experiences of others and gain a better understanding of their own lives.

Titles like “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, and “Educated A Memoir” by Tara Westover are just a few examples of inspiring memoirs that can help you embark on your own journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Not only do these memoirs shed light on the personal and professional lives of the authors, but they also reveal the emotional and spiritual discoveries that have shaped their journeys. Reading these stories will remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles and that you, too, can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness.

So grab a cozy blanket, and a warm cup of tea, and immerse yourself in the everyday lives of these inspiring women.

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Fiction with Strong Female Characters

Fiction has the power to transport us to different worlds, introduce us to unforgettable characters, and teach us valuable life lessons. When you dive into a book with a strong female protagonist, you not only get to experience their journey, but you also gain insights into the struggles and triumphs of women throughout history. Books like “A Well-Behaved Woman” by Therese Anne Fowler, “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho are just a few examples of fiction titles that can empower and inspire you.

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These captivating stories can help you explore themes of self-discovery, personal growth, and the power of asserting one’s own identity. By glimpsing into the personal lives of these remarkable women, you’ll gain a better understanding of the challenges they faced and the strength they showed in overcoming them.

Get ready to be inspired by these powerful stories and embark on your own journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.

Self-Help Books for Confidence and Success

Self-help books can be a game-changer when it comes to building confidence and achieving success. They provide practical strategies and insights to help you overcome obstacles, unlock your full potential, and live your best life. Some must-read titles include “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth, and “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

Big Magic Paperback

Each of these books offers a unique perspective on confidence, success, and personal development, providing you with the tools and motivation you need to take control of your life and achieve your dreams. Whether you’re looking to improve your career, relationships, or mental health, these books will empower you to make positive changes and embrace your true self.

So pick up one (or all) of these awesome life-changing books and get ready to transform your world!

Navigating Relationships and Friendships

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Relationships and friendships are an integral part of our lives, providing us with support, love, and a sense of belonging. In your 20s, it’s crucial to learn how to navigate these connections, whether you’re looking for love, building new friendships, or setting healthy boundaries.

In this section, we’ll recommend books that can help you gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of relationships and friendships, allowing you to create more meaningful connections in your life.

Love and Romance

Finding love and building romantic relationships can be both exciting and challenging. To help you navigate the complexities of love and romance, we recommend books like “Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari, “The Course of Love” by Alain de Botton, and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. These books offer a fresh, humorous perspective on love and relationships, providing you with a better understanding of the modern world of dating and partnerships.

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By diving into these insightful books, you’ll gain valuable knowledge on how to form meaningful romantic connections, communicate effectively with your partner, and understand the intricacies of love.

Remember, love is a journey, and these books will provide you with the tools and insights you need to navigate relationships with confidence and grace.

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Friendships and Support Systems

Strong friendships and support systems are essential for our well-being, offering emotional support, stress relief, and a sense of belonging. In your 20s, it’s important to focus on building and nurturing these connections, as they can have a lasting impact on your life.

Some inspiring books that explore the power of friendships include “The Girls from Corona del Mar” by Rufi Thorpe, “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” by Lorna Landvik, “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan, and “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. These captivating stories will take you on a journey through the lives of various women, exploring the ups and downs of friendship, the importance of support systems, and the challenges that come with building and maintaining meaningful connections.

As you read these books, remember that friendships are an essential part of a fulfilling life, and investing time and effort into these relationships can lead to incredible bonds that last a lifetime.

Recommended Books

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries in relationships and friendships is crucial for maintaining your mental health and ensuring that your connections are healthy and balanced. By learning to establish boundaries, you can protect your well-being and create more fulfilling connections with those around you. Some great books to help you understand and set boundaries include “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend and “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis.

These books provide practical advice and strategies for setting healthy boundaries in various aspects of your life, from personal relationships to work and self-care. By implementing these techniques, you’ll be able to take control of your life, prioritize your needs, and cultivate stronger, more fulfilling connections with others.

Remember, setting boundaries is an act of self-love and an essential step in living a balanced and happy life.

Career and Financial Advice

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Your 20s are a formative time for your career and financial well-being. With so many possibilities and opportunities available, it’s essential to have a strong foundation of knowledge and advice to help you make informed decisions and achieve success.

In this section, we’ll explore books that can help you climb the career ladder, delve into entrepreneurship and side hustles, and master money management and financial freedom.

Climbing the Career Ladder

Lean in

Advancing in your career is an important goal for many young women, and networking, self-promotion, and goal-setting are essential components of career success. Books like “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, “The Ambition Decisions” by Hana Schank, and “Little Black Book” by Otegha Uwagba provide invaluable career advice and insights to help you climb the career ladder and achieve long-term success.

By reading these inspiring books, you’ll learn how to build meaningful relationships, showcase your accomplishments, and set achievable goals for your professional life. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to reaching new heights in your career and making a lasting impact in your chosen field.

Entrepreneurship and Side Hustles

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey or starting a side hustle can be an exciting and rewarding experience. To help you navigate the world of entrepreneurship, we recommend books like “Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur” by Cara Alwill Leyba, “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries, and “#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso.

These books offer practical advice, inspiring stories, and actionable strategies to help you succeed in your entrepreneurial endeavors. From understanding the importance of networking and self-promotion to learning how to create a thriving business, these books will provide you with the knowledge and motivation you need to turn your dreams into reality.

What You Need to Know Before Reading Rich Dad Poor Dad - A Critical Review

Money Management and Financial Freedom

Achieving financial freedom and mastering money management are essential components of living a fulfilling and stress-free life. Books like “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, and “Atomic Habits” by James Clear can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to take control of your finances and unlock the potential of your money.

By following the advice and techniques outlined in these books, you’ll learn how to create a budget, cut expenses, pay off debt, and invest in your future. As you gain control over your finances, you’ll experience peace of mind and the freedom to live life on your own terms.

Mental Health and Self-Care


Mental health and self-care are crucial aspects of living a balanced and fulfilled life. In your 20s, it’s essential to prioritize your mental well-being and cultivate healthy habits that support your overall wellness.

In this section, we’ll explore books that can help you better understand and manage your mental health, practice mindfulness, and meditation, and prioritize self-care and personal well-being.

Understanding and Managing Mental Health

Understanding and managing your mental health is vital for maintaining your overall well-being and happiness. By gaining knowledge about mental health issues, you can identify and address any challenges you may be facing and develop effective coping strategies to improve your mental wellness.

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Some excellent books to help you better understand mental health include “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, “Mind Over Mood” by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky, and “Hope and Help for Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now” by Claire Weekes. These books offer powerful insights into mental health and provide practical advice for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

By reading these inspiring titles, you’ll be better equipped to prioritize your mental well-being and lead a healthier, more balanced life.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can have a profound impact on your mental health and overall well-being. By focusing on the present moment and being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, you can reduce stress, improve concentration, and gain greater self-awareness. Some insightful books that can help you explore mindfulness and meditation include “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle and “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh.

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By incorporating the principles of mindfulness and meditation into your daily life, you’ll experience the amazing benefits these practices have to offer. From enhancing your mental clarity and focus to promoting emotional well-being, mindfulness, and meditation are powerful tools for personal transformation.

Self-Care and Personal Well-Being

Prioritizing self-care and personal well-being is essential for maintaining a balanced and fulfilling life. By taking the time to care for your physical, emotional, and mental health, you can ensure that you’re living your best life and nurturing your overall wellness.

Some inspiring books that focus on self-care and personal well-being include “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, and “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. These books offer practical advice and motivational insights to help you create healthy habits, embrace self-love, and prioritize your well-being.

By making self-care a priority, you’ll be better equipped to manage stress, maintain healthy relationships, and achieve your personal and professional goals.

Exploring Identity and Intersectionality

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Understanding and embracing your identity is an important aspect of personal growth and self-discovery. In your 20s, exploring your cultural identity, delving into feminism and social justice, and embarking on a journey of personal transformation can help you gain a deeper understanding of who you are and your place in the world.

In this section, we’ll recommend books that can help you explore these important topics and gain insights into your own identity.

Cultural Identity and Belonging

Exploring your cultural identity and sense of belonging can provide valuable insights into your heritage, values, and beliefs. By understanding the unique aspects of your cultural background, you can gain a greater appreciation for your own identity and the diverse world around you.

Some thought-provoking books that delve into cultural identity and belonging include “We Take Our Cities with Us: A Memoir” by Sorayya Khan and “On Black Sisters Street: A Novel” by Chika Unigwe. These books offer powerful narratives that explore the complexities of cultural identity and belonging, providing you with a better understanding of your own heritage and the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our world.

By reading these inspiring titles, you’ll be encouraged to embrace your own identity and celebrate the diversity of human beings that enriches our lives.

Feminism and Social Justice

Feminism and social justice are crucial for building a more equitable and just society. By challenging gender roles, stereotypes, and discrimination, feminism encourages us to think differently about gender and work toward social change. Some powerful books that explore feminism and social justice include “Invisible Women” by Caroline Criado Perez, “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay, and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

By reading these powerful books, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the issues that impact women and the importance of advocating for equality and justice. As you explore these topics, you’ll be inspired to join the fight for a more inclusive and equitable world, where everyone has equal rights and opportunities.

Self-Discovery and Personal Transformation

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation is an empowering and life-changing experience. By exploring your values, beliefs, and goals, and embracing new experiences and perspectives, you can unlock your full potential and become the best version of yourself.

Some transformational books to help you on this journey include “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. These inspiring books offer powerful insights and practical advice to help you on your journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.

By embracing change and stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be well on your way to living an authentic and fulfilling life.


In conclusion, this essential reading list for women in their 20s covers a wide range of topics, from personal growth and relationships to career advice and mental health. By diving into these inspiring books, you’ll gain invaluable knowledge, insights, and motivation to help you navigate the challenges and opportunities of your 20s with confidence and grace. As you embark on this exciting journey of self-discovery and personal growth, always remember that the power to transform your life lies within you. So grab a book, get comfortable, and let the adventure begin!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which books should I read before 30?

For those looking to make the most of their time before 30, it’s definitely worth reading classics like E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Henry James’ book. The Portrait of a Lady, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and James Baldwin’s Another Country.

Reading these incredible books will give you an enriching and empowering experience.

What books should I read before 25?

If you want to make the most out of your twenties, reading these 25 books before turning 25 is a great way to start. Whether you’re looking for wisdom, knowledge, or just some entertainment, these books are sure to give you something memorable.

So pick up one of these and start your journey towards an enriched life!

Books every woman should read in her 20s?

Reading these books is a great way to empower yourself and gain knowledge in your twenties. Through the words of some of the most influential women, you can discover invaluable life lessons, learn to make sound decisions, and become the best version of yourself.

From reflection and self-care to career advancement and resilience, the below books will give you the tools to navigate your twenties with confidence and success.

Shalini (1)
My name is Shalini and I love reading a lot. On this blog I review most of the books I have read. Hope you enjoy.
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