Your 20s are a time for figuring out who you are and what you want from life. While the only way to learn is to survive the inevitable cycle of successes and failures, it is always useful to have some guidance along the way. To help you out, we‘ve selected some of our favorite books that likely never made your high school or college reading lists. what you really want are book suggestions and book reviews. You want someone to say Read This, Not That. You want to know the best book club books, the most inspirational nonfiction books, and the books you just can’t put down. Here’s what we think you should read these The best Books everyone should read before turning 30.
The best books everyone should read
Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
One of The best books everyone should read- No author encapsulated and celebrated the American Southwest more engagingly than iconoclast and raconteur Edward Abbey. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness — now nearly a half-century old — is a classic of environmental writing. In this autobiographical work, Abbey chronicles his time as a park ranger and reflects on landscape, culture, politics, tourism, environmental disregard, and degradation — doing so with a unique blend of ornery charm and breathtaking description. Though set in his beloved Southwest, Desert Solitaire beautifully and brashly captures the essence of the American outdoors, replete with disdain for those who’d seek to spoil its natural wonder. – Jeremy G.
‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Regardless of your personal philosophy, there will be times when the world pushes against you and you wonder why it’s worth trying to better yourself and help others.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel is not only a gripping story, but it’s an argument against the nihilism that was popular among Russian intellectual circles in his time.
“Crime and Punishment” is the tale of a 23-year-old man named Raskolnikov who, acting on a nagging urge, murders two old women and then struggles with processing the act.
Dostoyevsky argues that rationalism taken to its extreme ignores the powerful bonds that connect humanity and give us responsibility for each other.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Set in 1956, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead is a letter from the elderly Reverend John Ames to his very young son. Ames has lived all of his life in Gilead, Iowa, and the novel delves into the history of the area through the characters of Ames’s father and grandfather — also ministers, but deeply divided on ideas such as pacifism, duty, and the abolitionist movement. And eventually, when John Ames Boughton, Ames’s namesake, and godson, returns to Gilead, he brings up old tensions and sets events in motion that disturb Ames’s formerly peaceful last days. Gilead is one of the most beautifully written books of the new century thus far, and Robinson’s incredibly insightful grappling with faith, mortality, and what constitutes a meaningful life will resonate with readers across every spectrum.
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
For those with an amorous affair with books, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler may well be the ultimate love letter to the reader. Calvino’s novel is a masterfully created, startlingly unique work of fiction. Told alternately in second-and third-person narratives, the book is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between the author and the reader — weaving together seemingly unrelated tales, all of which relate directly to you, the reader. At its core is an ingenious concept the likes of which could have only come from the unparalleled imagination of Calvino. By the time you reach its dazzling conclusion, you’ll be wishing you could somehow read it again for the very first time.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning is like nothing you’ve ever read before. The first half of the book depicts Dr. Frankl’s four years losing everything in concentration camps — a description so hellish, it leaves you desolate. Shattered by his Holocaust experiences, Frankl struggles to survive after he is freed. In the second half of the book, Frankl shows how that period of his life informs and develops his theory of “logotherapy” — he asserts that life is about finding meaning, what is meaningful to each individual. As excruciating as his experiences are, Frankl’s theory is full of love; he is able to find redemption for himself and others. This book is beautifully life-changing.