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Novels That You Should Read in Your Twenties

by Sharmin Jeet. |


Literature plays a vital role in our lives and most often, we learn our best lessons from the books, novels and anything that we read, be it fiction or non-fiction. If you are not an avid reader, you can always experiment in different genres, before you find what works for you.


Nevertheless, novels and books are able to help you to see perspectives from new, different angles based on stories of others. Especially if you are in your late 20s, where the greatest transition of our lives begins (also infamously known as quarter life crisis) to hit us. Here are a few picks that I believe everyone should read in their twenties or at least once in their life:



1) A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This is a novel about four friends who completed their graduation and making their path in New York City. This is a novel that is well-recommended in spite of it's intense content because it helps to expand the reader’s empathy. It also carries a story that is ready to hit you with reality – often making you realize what seems harmless can turn into a catastrophe. Not only that, Yanagihara also challenges the capability of the readers to understand depression and grief, requiring them to be increasingly empathic with every page they read. Being in your 20s is truly the best time to enhance your empathic ability.


Image: Bridges We Burn


Get yourself a copy here from Kinokuniya.



2) I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The name, Malala is known to many, I'm sure - and there's no secret why this novel is one of my picks!


A memoir written by herself, Malala Yousafzai, shares her story of being shot in the face by the Taliban when she was only 15 years old. After surviving death, Malala became a Pakistani activist for female education and went on to become the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. This is a novel that will take you into the world of a girl living in a village amidst fear but coming out braver with every attack. Her determination almost caused her life but it was the same value that placed her in the face of the world as a role model.


Image: Blonde vs Books

You can find a copy of it here.


3) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

This is a debut memoir of the well-known poetess and author, Maya Angelou which was published after much encouragement from a fellow writer who was also her friend, James Baldwin. This novel is a story of her own struggle with abuse and prejudice during her childhood years but at the same time, Angelou also speaks about the immense freedom she experienced during her juvenile years that guided her to find strength in her distressed situation.


This novel was such a success that Time magazine included it in their list of “All-TIME 100 Nonfiction Books”, making this arguably her most popular work.


Image: Public Insta

You can get it here.


4) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

An old classic, the same novel where Jane Austen’s most famous quotes can be found –

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Image: @bookmyth on Instagram

This is not an ordinary love story but depicts on the main character, Elizabeth Bennett who defines a perfect independent woman who isn’t in the need of a man. This classic novel takes a journey of understanding the stereotypes and realities one faces even in the new modern world. Although the main protagonist is a woman but I believe parts from the novel is totally relatable to almost every late 20s of both genders.


You can find a copy here.



5) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Saving the best for the last as this novel will give you a once in a lifetime, as you get to experience the richness of life and live alongside the personas, through the words of the author.


Anna Karenina is a novel that narrates the relationship between people; providing a deep insight into the psychological condition of a person – interwinding both these aspects, giving you outlooks from different characters including a dog, which is pretty unusual. Tolstoy’s unique writing styles will keep you glued to the end of the novel while making you feel like part of the urban setting of this novel.

Image: tumblr

You can get a copy of this novel here.

These are some of the novels that managed to change a huge portion of my life and being in the late 20s can be quite a challenging period of time hence having the right tools is necessary to make the transition smoother along the way. I hope that maybe either one of these novels will be able to change your perception or inspire one way or another too!


Have you read any of these novels before? Which is your cup of tea?


You can find out more about Sharmin on her Instagram too!

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