Please note that this article is long because I wanted to write a detailed article on this topic and share some shareworthy, all-time favorite books I have read thus far, so please bookmark this article so you can also read it piece by piece and come back to it when you want to.
Now, let us begin…
Life is hard because it does not come with a manual. In this article though, I will try my best to give you some for your 20s.
This article is packed with one of the greatest books I recommend reading in your twenties.
As someone in my early twenties, myself I know I want money, job security, Love, I want to travel, gain independence and obviously move out of my grandparents’ house and most importantly, age gracefully and beautiful like Katlego Danke and Halle Berry .
Obtaining all this however, I know can seem like a far-fetched dream or give you anxiety at this age; I know because I have went through the stage whilst I was in Varsity, but it doesn’t have to when you follow guidance, steps and wisdom imparted by authors of these book.
‘Knowledge is power’- If you are sitting and wondering “what things you can do at 20?” or “what should a 20 year old be doing in life?” well, you should start with reading the following 13 books to help you reshape and re-tune your mind into focusing in the right direction to attain all your 20-year goals, and attain the right knowledge on adulting.
Book for beauty
1.Fresh Face- Simple routine for beautiful glowing skin, every day- Mandi Nyambi. M.S
At your twenties, it is important to start taking care of our health and body in order to age gracefully. If at this age you are not serious about considering adopting some healthy habits to take care of your body and skin, by the time you are in your 30s, you might regret not starting early taking care of yourself properly and I doubt any of us want that right?
I am one of the lucky girls blessed with amazing skin, truly I consider myself blessed. I have no acne prone skin, eczema, or any other visible skin conditions I would go above and beyond spending a lot of money to get rid of.
I am often complimented that I have great, beautiful skin, however, ‘great’, ‘beautiful’ skin does also get damaged when neglected and start looking slightly bad or snakeskin like, more especially in winter if not properly taken care of.
Over the years I have chosen to neglect my skin because I did not know any better.
I bought harsh bar soaps I found cheap at the stores and lotions; really, I did not think doing anything else beyond this. My routine was bath and moisturize with whatever. I did not know about ‘exfoliating’, or choosing the products for my skin type etc.
As a result, my skin started to have little sores on my forehead, blemishes, and snakeskin lookalike with heater marks on this winter. This winter I had the worst skin predicament, I then realized that my skin was crying out for help and a call to action.
Thus, I did my research and stumbled upon this book. I found this book to have great tips to restore my skin’s health and glory, and ever since I followed some of the beauty tips from this book, my skin looks better than before. It has an even tone complexion, it is smooth and has less visible blemishes.
This book I highly recommend for beginners looking to start a proper body and skin care routine.
*It has tips for taking care of different skin types.
*A diet for glowing, radiant looking skin.
*Mask and scrub basis to make for yourself at home and instructions to apply them.
N.B: Before applying products on your skin though, first consult with a doctor or at your local clinic or pharmacy, home remedies can be irritant on sensitive skin. I once burned my armpits with lemon trying to lighten them up. Now I test a little bit on skin products before fully applying them on my body.
Currently on Instagram I saw a sponsored ad for a page called lazygirl.za.
Click on the link above and follow the page.
It is a new page and they state that they will be starting a blog on beauty tips for your 20s…yay! Exciting!
They have a few posts up already and I cannot wait for the blog, already I’m loving what has been posted thus far.
Book for personal finance
In early 20s we are prone to reckless money spending and have misconceptions around the topic of money/ personal finance.
Slogans and phrases such as YOLO – ‘you only live once’, ‘I am still young’, ‘life is too short’… etc,(by the way, life is long for as long as you live and reality is that an individual’s life expectancy is 60 years above.) are one of the most misleading misconceptions we have at this age about life and lead to us making the wrong life choices and decisions.
We have lack of financial education and growing up poor also makes it worse because you can get the wrong education about money from the wrong influenzas from the internet or some bad financial books.
Growing up less fortunate makes one desperate for quick money and financial freedom and thus you end up absorbing bad education from bad teachers about personal finances. People telling you to ‘join and trade Forex’, ‘buy property’, ‘get rich at 22’ kind of stuff etc.
2. Manage your money like a fucking grown up- Sam Beckbessinger
Out of all the books I have read about managing your personal finances, I found this the book the best.
This book covers everything as a young person you should know about having a better relationship with your money.
It talks about:
*How to save for retirement (‘pay yourself first’) and leverage whatever money you get or have, even if it is an allowance. There is no little money or an early or late time to start saving for you.
*How to draw up a budget, it also has templates to copy to draw up a budget
*How to deal with black tax at home
*How to invest, diversification in investing and accumulating assets.
*How to use a credit card
*What to consider before buying a house and a car
* Types of insurances that exist and ones that really matter.
* Basics about Taxes in South Africa
*Most importantly though this book I love because it covers the discussion on balancing the relationship between expenditure and income.
Sam also has an aesthetic pleasing, beautiful website that is about all things adulting, handling personal finances and a guide as well about contents in her book.
Here is the link to her website:
“Never invest in a business you can’t understand”- Warren Buffet
“Do not save what is left after spending, but what is left after saving”- Warren Buffet
Book for Love and Spirituality
3. The road less travelled- M. Scott Peck
This book is my all-time favorite book and covers so many topics and amalgams them into one coherent premise.
click here to see review.
Myself I have had my fair share of a break-ups, existential life crisis and spiritual turbulence and the best book to read after a breakup in your 20s, I highly recommend this.
Firstly, most of us in our twenties when we start dating we don’t even know what we want out of a relationship, thus we fumble around and stumble around jumping to the next relationship immediately after the last one when in fact we should be working on finding ourselves and loving ourselves first.
This book is great for self-evaluation and introspection. It delves deep in the notion of love and what love really entails and how to actually realize it. This book is the map to direct you to some self-appreciation, love and spiritual growth. You will learn how to love and establish better , healthy relationships with others and harness the power of your spiritual growth.
Book for habits and productivity
4. The compound effect – Darren Hardy
Checkout the book review here
In your 20s you need to start being cognizant of your habits and how they affect your life. Not just in the present, however even in the long haul as well.
This book will bring you to this awareness and level up your adulting game to the next level.
*You will learn to be organizational
*Understand better your relationships with others and time allocation for every person in your life (time management)
* You will get inspired to stop complaining and start competing.
* You will learn to take ownership and responsibility for your life and lead a progressive and productive life.
*You will comprehend better the power of habits, the ones you are aware of, the ones you are not, and how in overall affect your life.
*You will realize the importance of setting goals in order to measure your success progress. This I also find is an effective procedure to make one aware of when to quit endeavors that are not fruitful and time wasting.
*You will get a guide to how to commit to better habits that you can commit to life long.
The Compound Effect is a book to enlighten us to be cognizant of our habits. From this book I learnt patience. Nothing miraculously happens overnight, habits Compound overtime like saving money.
N.B: This book has templates to copy from and get started with being organized because “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”-Tony Robbins.
I use Microsoft Excel for organizing data in my life and I love that Excel comes with templates to easily work on. Download a daily schedule below template and start filling in your details.
Planning goes a long way, it helpful us not to fumble around like headless chickens throughout the course of the day.
After I read this book, I compiled a spreadsheet and made a daily schedule and alarms for throughout the day to help me with my time management.
I honestly don’t straightly follow the schedule, however before I go to bed, when I look at it on my phone I get to know what I should have done for the day and tick of what has been done, gosh! The solace I find in this is priceless and my life has since changed…man I even feel important now, when I have to meet with people I be like, let me check my schedule like some boss lady.😂
Books for global social issues.
5. Hood Feminism-Mikki Kendall
As a 20 year olds, we need to keep up with global social matters, more especially those that include feminism and masculinity because we are all affected by them, it does not matter what part of the world you are from.
What I learnt from this book though was that even though feminism and masculinity are issues we all face around the world, different ethnic groups and tribes experience them differently and one, mainstream concept is not a one size fits all.
I have never Identified as ‘feminist’ or not, simply because I never really understood what feminism is until I read this book.
This book has been an eye opener, and a voyage into greater understanding of what feminism entails and I now can tell apart sexist slur and actions.
This book is for everyone to read, man nor woman, it is however more important for us young black girls to grasp female marginalization and how it is mostly impactful and stings in the workspace.
This book is relatable for black females and raises issues that young black girls go through and not being addressed enough, issues of poverty and hunger, the kind of environments we grow up in and how they shape our life choices in the fight for economic equality and liberation.
6. Becoming Men- Malose Langa
This book also has a review here, check it out.
It is an interesting book to read in your 20s to understand the dynamics of toxic masculinity, more especially for boys growing up in the hood / townships.
I learnt a lot from this book, I found solace in this book in the narrative that many township boys in South Africa are challenging traditional hegemonic, toxic masculinity with alternative healthy masculinity and thus better men are groomed to be better male figures in society and support feminist movements as well, fighting alongside women for equality.
Knowing there are such books brings joy because boys and girls can read, learn, and understand better misconceptions about masculinity and feminism. For women and men to have better relationships at work, home or any other social setting and have mutual respect for each other, we need to understand each other better, thus I recommend these books to my fellow peers-20-year olds.
Books on the Fourth Industrial Revolution
7. The Singularity is near- Ray Kurzweil
Originally published 2005, This book is a prediction of the future of AI with the amalgamation of human biology.
Since this book was published a long time ago, it is astounding how year 2020, it is much more relatable, and we see the prediction of Singularity (Biology and Technology amalgamation) is here and becoming part of our lives.
Artificial intelligence is part of our daily lives now, steadily we have blended with technology and this book states far more technological advancements that are already happening in other parts of the world.
Let us take a look at the relationships we have with our smartphones and smart devices right now:
*They are our personal assistants.
*Bank cards/ wallets
*Source of communication etc.
Now we are conjoining with our smart devices (artificial intelligence) since all our personal information is encrypted in them. They are becoming a part of us and we are becoming a part of them.
Some futurists/ scholars even state that artificial intelligence as we speak, knows what we like and don’t and if you were to ask your phone about you, it would tell you more about yourself than you would.
Just imagine right now if you were to lose your phone; all your cards, your emails, your school work etc is gone but not gone, it is stored in a cloud system, jam packed with other data that is managed …well let’s say eventually will completely be managed by artificial intelligence.
Blockchain technology/ revolution is also an example of the Singularity premise. Crypto currencies (bitcoin) are said to be the replacement paper money and allow transparent peer-peer transactions digitally.
The blockchain revolution is not limited to disruption of the currency industry though, many industries are said to be affected by it.
Since Blockchain is also a cloud system, it is said to revolutionize individual identity and improve the voting system to avoid corruption and fraudulent identities.
Refer to link below to see more about the Blockchain revolution:
Investopedia.com explains better the Blockchain revolution and how it can be used by different industries to leverage from its capabilities. I have a book in the house called “The Blockchain revolution” by Don & Alex Tapscott.
I have the book but, to be honest, I have not yet committed to fully reading it, I bought it out of my book buying impulses while at University 2018 however, I have not yet finished reading the book. Nonetheless, it is packed with information and uses of the Blockchain technology.
2005 if someone were to give me this book at this age that I am at now, I would have figured the book is fiction, now with the Corona virus though the world has been shook and personally I believe that anything is possible with technological advancement.
Additional information on ‘The singularity is near’, click on below links.
8. How to get to the top of Google -Tim Cameron-Kitchen
According to Sleeknote.com here, it is estimated that e-Commerce is about to grow bigger than the industry it is right now since more people are getting accustomed with online shopping, this then means that more people will also be in search and in need of SEO/ digital marketing help and strategies to grown online businesses or improve businesses appearance online.
Last year in my final year at University for my Communication module, we were required to create blogs a s part of an assignment, we did this just so we could be familiar with the platform so that we would learn how to communicate with people and potential customers online, create and maintain a brand, grow and convert visitors from your website into customers.
Well, I failed my assignment but recently I came across a great guide to help in this department.
This book is great for people in their twenties, exploring or in corporate and looking for knowledge on digital marketing strategies cheap, cheap. As a young woman in her twenties, I am broke and my endeavors to grow my writing passion through blogging are reliant on cheap digital marketing strategies and tips to help me grow my blog, and thus tips from this book can help you too grow an e-Commerce store, blog or your company’s online presence.
This book is a step by step guide to all things SEO (Search Engine Optimization on Google)
*You will learn how to use social media to get backlinks and guest posting gigs from big publications in order to advertise your brand and grow it.
* Details and guides to creating high quality content and marketing it the right way for healthy Search engine optimization.
*You will find ease from the strategies mentioned in the book to link building for domain authority and the perfect website loved by Googling and offering people assistance online.
It is a 2020 version, thus meaning is updated with all digital marketing strategies that are effective to rank high on Google and improve SEO overall health. So if you are in the digital marketing space, a blogger or e-Commerce store owner, give it a try, it might give you some ease in this particular department, plus it is written in plain English and easy to read even for non-native English speakers like me.
Additional free resource:
This book is written by the Exposure Ninja team, they are a company that offers website development services. You can connect with them on their website from this link here and get assistance suited for your budget and needs.
On their website, they offer a free website review also known as a ‘website audit’. Once you have requested the review, they will give you back video review feedback, afterward, you can also download from their website this free eBook HOW TO GET TO THE TOP OF GOOGLE by Tim Cameron-Kitchen.
9. 21 Lessons for the 21st century- Yuval Noah Harari
From a historian perspective, this book discusses the development of human evolution to the current state that we are in right now with regards to Industrial revolution. The author touches on issues around technological advances and ethics around AI and government intervention.
I read this book 2018, back when I was still at University and even now, I still find it the most relevant and a detailed guide to understanding better issues we should be concerned and aware of with regards to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
10. The Four- Scott Galloway
This book unpacks one of the most dominant industries and companies of our time. It unpacks the good and the bad about Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon. For general knowledge about these companies, this book is the one.
It is hilarious, insightful and educational. The last chapter of the book It is advice to the youth about business and successfully competing with “The Four Horsemen”-the four companies as the author refers to in the book if you are an inventor nor aspire being one.
It is advice suited for everyone hence I am recommending the book if you have not read it yet. He gives tips about the joys of exploring early in your twenties, the value of a University degree; reason why it is essential and beneficial.
Books for Women
11. The Nice Girl Syndrome- Beverly Engel
Refer to link over here on book detail. I have written a book review on it.
Women we tend to be susceptible to the ‘nice girl syndrome’ and become too good for our own good. This book is a must read for women in our 20s to help us stand up for selves, remain true to ourselves, take care of our selves emotionally and not tolerate any form of abuse and practice assertiveness.
12. Woman Habits- Shanel Cooper Sykes
This book takes it a notch up with regards to habits, the author states that as women, we need to set goals; write them down on paper; frame them and put them up where we see them every day in order to commit to them.
She states that we need to marry our goals and take vows to truly commit. She then comments that if you quit on your life goals, its like cheating…haha
This book is a self-help guide for women to take care of ourselves with regards to mind, body and spirit and assist us in molding and embracing our femininity qualities.
Book for inspiration.
13. Year of Yes- Shonda Rhimes
I find memoirs the most inspirational books to read, memoirs are moving, they are personal stories of author’s trials and tribulations, and success. Memoirs are relatable human stories; they are comforting because you find solace in understanding that someone has experienced or experiences same predicaments as you.
They open your eyes into a new world of understanding, they teach empathy and compassion. Memoirs are a personal favorite because an author is trying to impart wisdom and knowledge through their life experiences.
This book was published 2015 and it is still relevant now 2020.
Shonda, who is writer of Grey’s Anatomy; Scandal & Executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder, shares her experience of facing her fears and coming out of her shell as an introvert that turned super star.
In her book she states how hard it was writing a non-fiction book about herself, she compared the experience to being naked in public.
In this book you chronicle through her story into becoming a writer and she also shares wisdom for young people trying to find themselves.
Wisdom from the author of “Year of Yes”- Shonda Rhimes:
LESSON ONE: DITCH THE DREAM. BE A DOER, NOT
Maybe you know exactly what you dream of being. Or maybe
You’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just
Have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something
Seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new.
It doesn’t have to fit your version of the perfect job or the perfect life.
Perfect is boring, and dreams are not real. Just …DO. You think, “I wish
Could travel”- you sell your crappy car and buy a ticket and go to
Bangkok right now. I’m serious. You say, “I want to be a writer”-guess
A writer is someone who writes every day. Start writing. Or:
You don’t have a job? Get one. ANY JOB. Don’t sit at home waiting
for the magical dream opportunity.
The book is hilarious!
This time of our lives-the 20s, is time to be cognizant to all we do in order for us to be able to determine for ourselves better futures and pave a better way for our future selves.
This time however is also the most demanding and probably will be the most confusing time of our lives trying to juggle doing things right, well, we cannot do all things right, we are bound to fuck up here and there and that is okay.
Life is a personal marathon and not a race to success, there is never a late or early time to fix things.
Shonda states in her book that the hardest thing about juggling things in her life was juggling being a good mom and excelling in her career.
If she is good at the other, she is bad at the other and thus, she then sacrifices the other focusing on one more than the other.
But because she is aware of this, she knows how to balance the two effectively, therefore, for people in our twenties, it also critical to choose our sacrifices well, if you choose career, just know your love life, you diet or any other department in your life might suffer a bit, if you choose family, maybe the career side might suffer a little bit and vice versa.
So, choose wisely your path, your struggles, your circle of people around you, what you read and do. Have patience, courage and love others the way you love yourself, lastly, net for control, drink H2O.
Thanks for reading!
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