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.
1. To Get Your Career On Track
The mid-20s are a great time to make huge career advancements, and Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will To Lead 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.
2. To Find A Job You Love
3. To Network Like A Boss
If the thought of chatting up strangers makes you a bit nervous, then Networking Is Not Working 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.
4. To Get Technical (Skills)
5. To Take Next-Level Pics
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 The Beginner's Photography Guide can help you get the basics down to create stunning portraits and other photographs.
6. To Take Control Of Your Finances
7. To Round Out Your Education
8. To Find Your Next Adventure
9. To Practice Mindfulness
10. To Make Impressive Meals
11. To Seriously Consider Marriage
If you and your significant other are ready to tie the knot, then Susan Piver's The Hard Questions 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.
12. To Wisely Plan For A Wedding
13. To Go House Hunting
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.
14. To Become A Dog Owner
When you're ready for a four-legged family member of your own, Ian Dunbar's Before and After Getting Your Puppy 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.
15. To Get Ready For Kids
16. To Give Back
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.
17. To Mind Your Manners
18. To Get Handy
19. To Get Dressed
When it's time to put on your big girl pants, Alison Freer's How to Get Dressed 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.
20. To Drink Well
21. To Keep Reading
If you'd like to maintain a great reading list but need some suggestions, Nancy Pearl's Book Lust 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.
22. 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 The Canon covers the essentials of chemistry, biology, astronomy, and more in entertaining, fun prose.
23. To Rethink Normal
24. To Feel Better About Yourself
Michael Farquhar's Bad Days In History 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.