After reading dozens of “30 Books to Read Before Turning 30” or “30 Books to Read Before You Die” lists to find one that resonates with me, I have decided to simply create my own. Who else knows my wants and needs better than me? My list of the 30 Best Books to Read Before 30 is partly borrowed from other lists, includes older books that I have been wanting to read for a long time and others that I have just discovered or that were recommended by friends. There is a mix of self-improvement and career books, non-fiction, classics and modern literature. If it suits you, feel free to read along or use my list of best books to read before 30 as inspiration for creating your own reading list.

30 Books to Read Before Turning 30

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30 Best Books to Read Before 30

1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

3. You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers

4. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

6. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

7. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion


8. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

9. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

10. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

11. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen

12. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

13. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

14. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky

15. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

16. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

17. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

18. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

19. Instructions to the Cook by Bernard Glassman and Rick Fields

20. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

21. Daytripper by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba

22. 7 Tattoos by Peter Trachtenberg

23. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

24. Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

25. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

26. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

27. The $100 Startup by Chris Gillebeau

28. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

29. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

30. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

What’s on your 30 Before 30 Reading List? If you’ve read any of my picks for the best books to read before 30 list, let me know what you think in the comments!

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