20 Books You Should Read Before You Turn 30

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Category Culture, Lifestyle
Date October 21 2023
Reading Time 3 min.

20 Books You Should Read Before You Turn 30

A good book can change your life but what can be more life-changing than entering your thirties? Although it is hard to prepare for comes after your twenties, it is better to enter that stage of your life equipped with a certain wisdom that literature gives a reader in the most unexpected way. With this in mind, we would like to present you our “required reading” list made specially for the people, who are soon to turn 30.

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara (2015)

Four young men make the transition from college to adult life in New York City, bonding over their mutual struggle to follow their dreams while supporting one of the friends, Jude, who is haunted by the horrors of his orphaned childhood.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (1847)

The new governess of Thornfield Hall finds herself increasingly attracted to her employer, Mr. Rochester until she discovers the skeleton in his closet.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante (2014)

The third part of Ferrantes Neapolitan Novels series about two childhood best friends, Lenu and Lila, whose life choice have made them diverse their paths. While Lenu went on become a successful writer, Lila has separated from her abusive husband and now works at a sausage factory. Despite these drastic differences between their lives, the friendly competition between the women never lets up.

Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy (1874)

The young and independent Bathsheba Everdene inherits a major estate and manages its farming operations while entertaining interest from three very different men: a gentleman farmer, a rogue sergeant and a quiet shepherd.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)

A distant look back on the protagonists experience at a British boarding school that prepared her and her classmates for a mysterious future marked by sacrifice.

The Best of Everything, Rona Jaffe (1958)

Five young women start working as secretaries at a New York publishing house and while some set their career ambitious high, others want to find a good man and settle down.

Quicksand, Nella Larson (1928)

Helga Crane, a mixed-race woman searches for her place in the world, travelling between Copenhagen, Deep South and Harlem. Although she is quite popular among young and promising men, she struggles to make a commitment that will decide her future life.

Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami (1987)

Listening to Norwegian Wood by The Beatles, Toru dwells upon his student days in the 60-s Japan. He is especially haunted by memories of his relationship with Naoko, a beautiful but troubled girl who taught him about love, obsession, and acceptance.

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kessey (1962)

Tyrannical nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electroshock therapy or lobotomisation.

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin (1969)

A lone human emissary Genly Ai travels to a distant planet to facilitate their inclusion in the life of a growing interplanetary civilisation. The inhabitants of Winter, the world that Genly is visiting, spend most of their time genderless.

Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

During his visit in the 1920-s Moscow, the Devil encounters several inhabitants of the newly established communist Russia. His goal is to challenge their beliefs and condemn their behaviour by playing witty tricks on them.

The Suitcase, Sergei Dovlatov (1986)

Dovlatov, a dissident Soviet writer, reminisces his life as he goes through the suitcase that kept his all unlikely earthly possessions.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (1963)

Strongly autobiographical, the story follows a young woman struggling with her mental health.

Childhood, Youth, Dependancy, Tove Ditlevsen (1967-1971)

Growing up in a poor working-class neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Tove always knew she will be a poet someday. When she becomes the poet she always aspired to be her life collapses.

Normal People, Sally Rooney (2018)

As Ireland is recovering from the post-2008 economic downturn, two school friends develop a complex romantic relationship as they follow each other in a prestigious university in Dublin.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (1813)

A turbulent romance between witty but prejudiced Elizabeth Bennett and reserved and proud Mr. Darcy, a rich aristocrat, who met by chance in rural England.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (1960)

Growing up with a middle-aged lawyer father in the 1930s Deep South, Scout learns more about the absurdity and injustices of the world of adults as she slowly comes of age with her older brother Jem.

Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata (2016)

Keiko Furukara has worked all her adult life in a small convenience store on the outskirts of Tokyo. She feels like she is different from everyone and that this is the perfect job for her, because any other job would require her to express her opinion.

Brighton Rock, Graham Greene (1938)

A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Seventeen-year-old Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape justice, he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing Ida Arnold.

The Woman in the Dunes, Kōbō Abe (1962)

An amateur entomologist encounters a strange village buried in the dunes, the inhabitants of which live in deep sand pits. Ending up trapped with a widowed woman in one of the pits, he must endlessly shovel the omnipresent sand that threatens to bury the community of the village.