Grad school, marriage, home ownership: adulthood starts to get real in your mid-20s, and the onslaught of new responsibilities can feel overwhelming in a hurry. But as always, books are there to make your journey a little easier. There are plenty
books to read before you turn 25 that act as a study guide for adulthood, so you can walk into a networking event, house signing, or wedding chapel with absolute confidence.
Some of these reads will help you learn more about career advancement techniques or practical approaches to personal finance. Others will help you master basic life skills such as cooking or etiquette. And still others will help you just have a laugh about the many stresses and absurdities of adulthood. I mean, we're all just pretending to be grown-ups, right?
So whether you’re preparing to start a family, buy a home, or even adopt a puppy, these books can equip you to go out and adult with the best of them. By rounding out your education with practical advice, you can be super prepared for almost anything life throws at you. After all, there’s a tremendous amount of confidence that comes from being able to act like a card-carrying grown up, even if sometimes you still feel like a kid.
To Get Your Career On Track
The mid-20s are a great time to make huge career advancements, and Sheryl Sandberg's
encourages women to pursue challenges and succeed at work. Backed by personal anecdotes as well as data, Sandberg provides practical advice for women who want to achieve both professional and personal success. Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will To Lead Click here to buy.
If you're ready to take your career in a new direction but aren't sure where to go, Nicholas Lore's
can help you find an occupation tailored to your skills and interests. By using informative diagnostic tests, you can find work that will help you thrive. The Pathfinder Click here to buy.
If the thought of chatting up strangers makes you a bit nervous, then
by Derek Coburn can help you work the room with the best of them. By offering concrete advice on effective ways to connect with others, this book can help you create a helpful network in no time. Networking Is Not Working Click here to buy.
To Get Technical (Skills)
Almost any professional can benefit from basic HTML skills. If nothing else, it looks great on a resume. Jon Duckett 's
is a gorgeously designed book that can get you up and programming in no time. HTML and CSS Click here to buy.
Your photographs on social media are, for better or worse, a sort of marketing tool for your own brand. It makes sense to learn a little bit about photography and move beyond the blurred bathroom selfie. Chris Gatcum's
can help you get the basics down to create stunning portraits and other photographs. The Beginner's Photography Guide Click here to buy.
To Take Control Of Your Finances
Dave Ramsey is a financial guru with a huge following of devoted fans, and his advice in
is as sound as ever. This book offers a no-nonsense plan for paying off all debt, saving well, and avoiding financial pitfalls. The Total Money Makeover Click here to buy.
To Round Out Your Education
Get the real story of American History with James W. Loewen's
. Although most history courses are sanitized, this book gets at the heart of the reality behind everything from Columbus's voyages to 9/11. Lies My Teacher Told Me Click here to buy.
To Find Your Next Adventure
Nerd extraordinaire Steve Kamb encourages everyone to live like a superhero with
. He explains how to travel cheaply, create an Epic Quest List, and even train yourself to be ready for any adventure. Level Up Your Life Click here to buy.
Keeping a clear head in an age of constant distraction can feel like a full-time job, but Mark Williams and Danny Penman's
can help do just that. The book offers Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy techniques to help you maintain a calm focus. Mindfulness Click here to buy.
To Make Impressive Meals
If you're relying on the same rotation of recipes every week, then Mark Bittman's
is a handy resource for cooking almost any dish. This guide will have you whipping up everything from fresh baked brownies to Ratatouille in no time. How to Cook Everything The Basics Click here to buy.
To Seriously Consider Marriage
If you and your significant other are ready to tie the knot, then Susan Piver's
is a fantastic way to make sure you're both on the same page about major life decisions. By talking through everything from the possibility of children to the the best way to handle money, you can learn even more about you and your partner's compatibility. The Hard Questions Click here to buy.
To Wisely Plan For A Wedding
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the wedding industrial complex? Meg Keene's
A Practical Wedding can help you cut through the clutter and arrange a ceremony that works for you. Covering everything from DIY options to budgetary sanity, this guide is a common-sense resource. Click here to buy.
Home ownership is a major milestone, and
Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home will help you decide when to buy a home, how to close the deal, and what constitutes a realistic budget. With a wealth of information from three experts this guide can help you keep a budget and stay sane through the home buying process. Click here to buy.
When you're ready for a four-legged family member of your own, Ian Dunbar's
is a fantastic resource for making your transition to dog owner a smooth one. With the insight from a longtime dog trainer, you can make your dog the best-behaved canine on the block. Before and After Getting Your Puppy Click here to buy.
Arthur I. Blaustein's
Make a Difference can help you sort through the many types of organizations that need your help. Whether you'd like to tutor a child or promote a cause, this book can provide relevant information about the worthwhile organizations that would benefit most from your skills. Click here to buy. by Patricia Rossi will help guide you through everything from play dates to social media invitations. It's a handy resource to help you treat others kindly in both personal and professional situations. Everyday Etiquette Click to buy.
When it's time to put on your big girl pants, Alison Freer's
is there to help. She gets to the point by providing a clear and entertaining guide to a tailored, practical style. This inclusive book will work for any body type, and even includes tips on fixing just about any wardrobe annoyance, like those migrating bra straps. How to Get Dressed Click here to buy.
Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack's
is a fun book of infographics designed to teach you how to pair wine with food, understand the different regions that create wine, and taste a glass to identify its flavors. You'll know a Zinfadel from a Riesling in no time. Wine Folly Click here to buy.
If you'd like to maintain a great reading list but need some suggestions, Nancy Pearl's
will get you on the right path. With categories like "Historical Fiction for Kids of All Ages" and "Too Good to Miss," Pearl provides enough recommendations to keep your Kindle full for years to come. Book Lust Click here to buy.
To Refresh Your Education
If you didn't specialize in a STEM field, all that information about mitosis and moles you learned in high school might begin to fade. To refresh your understanding of the world, Natalie Angier's
covers the essentials of chemistry, biology, astronomy, and more in entertaining, fun prose. The Canon Click here to buy.
Furiously Happy covers the author's longtime struggle with depression and anxiety in a hilarious way that is easy to relate to. Her outlandish stories help normalize the idea of "crazy." Click here to buy.
To Feel Better About Yourself
covers mistakes that were so bad, they became the stuff of legend. After reading about the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 or the potential early Apple investor who missed out on billions earnings, you'll feel much better about literally everything in your own life. Bad Days In History Click here to buy.
Grace Helbig's hilarious
covers her advice on everything a young adult should know about life in the real world. With her natural wit, Helbig's book is full of hilarious stories to keep you laughing and motivated. Grace's Guide Click here to buy. Images: max dallocco /Fotolia