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Intentional Living

Books to Read Before You’re 30.

8 Books to Read in Your 20’s.

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Personal Development Books to Read Before You’re 30.

Oh, 30. The age where one becomes a mature and responsible adult who has everything figured out…until you turn 30, and you realize that age should actually be more around 45 or 50. Or maybe later? Reading can be so healthy for you because it changes and shapes your thoughts, makes you look further, and helps you decide on your own opinions and values, which is a big part of your 20’s. If you are someone who’s life was shaped by books, or perhaps you just feel that the bookshelf in the corner should do more than hold your coffee mug in the morning, these are some books to read that can help you to grow and learn in life, finance, and relationships.

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Thought-provoking reads.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

Who will love it: Concrete thinkers and people who like to plan.

This book is first on the list for a reason. It may be one of the most helpful things I’ve ever read. If you like reading books that offer a new perspective, and show you how to develop your purpose in life with actionable goals, look no further.

That said, it’s a more extended read and can take a while to get through. But it’s so worth it. The best thing about it is that Covey looks at habits – or ways of thinking – that you can use to help with your everyday life and decisions. The author digs deep into the idea that we are responsible for our lives and all that we become, and then he hands out the tools to help you create a life you’re proud of with measurable ways of thinking.

Retire Inspired – Chris Hogan

Who will love it: Finance Nerds and Those Who are Concerned about Retirement.

Chris Hogan is a relatable, fun-loving author who makes finance and retirement savings interesting – which is saying something. If you’ve got a good handle on budgeting but aren’t as confident with your savings and investment goals, this is the perfect place to start.

Hogan helps people realize how much their dream retirements will cost and then tells you exactly how to get there. He completely takes the guesswork out of it and makes the future of your money seem brighter.

He also works with Dave Ramsey, who is all about getting out of debt and budgeting, and you will see a fair amount of his principles in this book. All in all, an encouraging read that will make you look forward to retirement.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Who will love it: Literature buffs and people who need a good laugh.

Ah yes. It is a classic, and it will never cease to be relevant. The parties, the misunderstandings, the jokes – Pride and Prejudice is one of Jane’s best, and today Hollywood continues to churn out remakes with no loss of popularity.

In all seriousness, the issues that this book discusses in story format are still profound. From the first page, you watch the characters make good and bad choices, and marry people they should – or shouldn’t – as the heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, makes sarcastic comments, grave errors, and most of all, learns from her mistakes.

Not to mention the look that this gives into the lives of women years ago. Jane Austen did live during the late 1700s to early 1800s, so she is an excellent source for history on the subject. The Bennett women face the trials of being poor, and the pressures of marrying for money versus love, all while trying to maintain their connections with family and friends. You won’t want to put this one down.

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Books to Read

Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller

Who will love it: Thinkers and Those Who Like the Idea of Challenging Tradition.

This book is a rare read that can flip ideas about faith and God on their heads. It’s the story of Miller’s own life and his thoughts on Christianity as he understood God better while letting go of legalism.

If you love the idea of setting aside tradition to reveal the heart behind why faith matters, this read is for you. It’s funny, moving and very, very honest.

Atomic Habits – James Clear

Who will love it: Busy people, the disorganized, and those who want to achieve their goals.

This read breaks down how to form habits to achieve great success. Clear discusses many ways to create a habit, and shows how building them can help you take control of your time and life.

What I enjoyed most about this one is the practical approach taken. The author makes it seem like forming habits is natural and logical, and it becomes easier to see yourself achieving your goals.

In one of the later chapters, especially, Clear spends time talking about how even a little bit of progress is still progress, which is encouraging. It’s definitely worth the investment.

Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequist

Who will love it: Women with families, female entrepreneurs, and people who want peace in their daily lives.

This book is a huge blessing if you feel overwhelmed by the to-do lists, schedules, and general busyness we all face every day. Niequist writes openly about her struggles with trying to do it all and be everything to everyone, while also offering hope that life isn’t a race.

This read offers a more straightforward, quieter approach to life as an alternative to the mayhem. The author makes you think about your own choices without sounding preachy, and it’s a refreshing perspective in a world that values more instead of less.

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Books to Read in Your 20’s.

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

Who will love it: Entrepreneurs and people interested in how success happens.

Ever wonder why some people, groups, or businesses experience fantastic success, and others fail? This book gives insight into the lives of the world’s most successful people and takes a more in-depth look at how they became that way.

Gladwell is easily one of the best authors the world has seen in a while, plus it’s just fascinating to learn the history of people that run companies or creatives that shaped culture. You’ll walk away thinking differently about success, for sure.

What struck me most was how much continually practicing your craft matters, and how important it is to take the opportunities available to you.

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Who will love it: Adventurers, world travelers, or those who like to get caught up in a great story.

If you want a fantastic read that is exciting and thought-provoking, you’ll love every chapter of this book. It is the real-life story of Cheryl, the author, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. She was alone for most of it and wasn’t even very familiar with hiking when she began. It’s an excellent testament to what you can accomplish through confidence and grit.

I loved this memoir because of how easy it is to connect to the author in her struggles and triumphs. It’s motivating and rewarding to read, and you may come away feeling that you can conquer the world.

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Books and Coffee

This book list contains a mixture of finance, autobiography, and personal development reads. There are many more that I could add, but when I look back over my 20s, these are the ones I remember the most. All of these books can challenge perspectives, change minds, and grow the reader. I hope you find them inspiring.

If you are looking for some other great book lists, try this one or this one.

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