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20 Books Every Woman Must Read In Her 20s

I often ask myself who I would've been had I not read all the books I read. I'd have perhaps been easily shocked by the happenings in the world... easily taken by sweet nothings; easily broken by callous young boys, selfish bosses, and fair-weather friendships; too rigid in morality; unforgiving of imperfection. 

Books make you wiser, I have learned. Even the "trashy" ones. And wisdom is something we must gain from our glorious 20s. Yes, heartbreak will make you wiser, as will terrible jobs and solo trips. But, one can never get cocky about how much one doesn't know. So, to add to your kitty of life lessons, here are 20 books you must read before you hit the big 3.0:

1. The Nine-Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat

What you'll learn: 

That it's okay to have had many lovers, and not been in love. 

 janice pariat

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

What you'll learn: 

How to hold on tight to your identity, aspirations, and strengths in a relationship, at work, and every other aspect of life. 

3. Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal 

What you'll learn: 

That your desire is not dirty. 

erotic stories for punjabi women  

4. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

What you'll learn: 

How not to raise girls. 

5. The Liberation of Sita by C. Vijayasree, P. Lalita Kumari, and T. Vijay Kumar

What you'll learn: 

How to move on from heartbreak.

liberation of sita

6. Chup: Breaking The Silence About Indian Women by Deepa Narayan 

What you'll learn: 

How your voice has been systematically silenced, and why you should raise it more. 

7. Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

What you'll learn: 

That feminism doesn't look the same on everybody. 

feminist don't wear pink and other lies

8. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

What you'll learn: 

That often, it is circumstances that drive one to madness. 

9. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler 

What you'll learn: 

That you must be loud in bed. 

the vagina monologues

10. All About Love by Bell Hooks 

What you'll learn: 

That it's not grownups who love. It's the inner child.  

11. Why Loiter? by Shilpa Phadke

What you'll learn: 

That the path to owning public spaces may be slow, but mustn't be abandoned. 

why loiter shilpa pande

12. Devi, Diva or She-Devil: The Smart Career Woman's Survival Guide by Sudha Menon

What you'll learn: 

That work-life balance is an illusion. 

13. My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem

What you'll learn: 

That people don't want women to travel alone because that would mean they'd come into their own. 

my life on the road gloria steinem

14. The Good Girl's Guide To Being A Dick by Alexandra Reinwarth

What you'll learn: 

An easy formula for saying no: Say "no". 

15. Adele by Leila Slimani 

What you'll learn: 

That women can be devious, too. 

adele leila slimani

16. City Of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

What you'll learn: 

That you must shed the layers of shame that you've been cloaked in. 

17. Lifting The Veil by Ismat Chughtai 

What you'll learn: 

That there's no such thing as a woman void of desire, devoted to duty, and free of contradictions. 

lifting the veil ismat chughtai

18. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

What you'll learn: 

That beauty is a construct, and as constructs go, it is rather subjective. 

19. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

What you'll learn: 

How to be a woman in a man's world. 

the palace of illusions

20. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 

What you'll learn: 

That being a feminist doesn't mean you don't want to be loved. 




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