Turning 30 is an epic milestone for any woman. You are embarking on a new decade and have a clearer perspective of who you are and where you are going. You are still young enough to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature–everything is still firm and bouncy–yet old enough to have gained wisdom from experience and developed a healthy respect for Father Time.
And for some reason, at 30, you faintly begin to hear the clock ticking.
We’re here to help.
Below is a list of inspirational books every woman should read before turning 30. This eclectic selection of inspirational books focuses on topics that will assist you in understanding your identity, shaping your worldview, laying the foundation for fulfillment, and assisting you in setting and reaching goals in all aspects of life.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Death is a part of life. And when people die–or we experience death in other aspects of our lives (i.e. loss of job, going through breakups, or moving to a different city)–we need to grieve. However, there are few instructions on how to grieve. This inspirational book is a guide on how to adapt and overcome.
The 21 Day Financial Fast by Michelle Singletary
How we deal with and relate to money is more mental and emotional than most realize or would like to admit. In The 21-Day Financial Fast, Michelle Singletary, award-winning writer and nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, proposes a field-tested financial challenge, while also taking you on a journey of self discovery. This book is not your average financial or money managing how to book. This book guides you in reflecting on your spending habits and examining why you spend the way you do. It makes you take a hard look at your relationship with money.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is a must-read. If you read this in your high school English Literature class, please read it again.
One of the most inspirational books of all time, this epic tale by the iconic Harper Lee, is compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving. It explores the very essence of human behavior–innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. You will laugh and cry, rejoice and mourn. This is not just a book; it is an experience that will leave you questioning your own convictions and searching your soul–two processes that are an essential part of the rite of passage every new 30-year-old should undergo.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
By now you have, or are developing, a pretty good sense of where you would like to go in life. You know the direction you would like your career to head. Getting there may still be a challenge. The Tipping Point is just the book to help you understand how to turn a big idea into reality and how to expand your reach in the market place.
“The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life,” writes author Malcolm Gladwell, “is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren
You are at the perfect age to really digest and apply the materials found in this profoundly thought-provoking and inspirational book. Rick Warren guides you through the process of answering one of life’s most fundamental questions: Why am I here?
In this wildly popular easy read, you are challenged to examine your thinking and find your true purpose in life–whatever that is. The concepts here respect the diversity and individuality of every person and dares you to engage in a quest to find the ultimate purpose for your life.
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
By now you understand that the world is a complicated place. You once thought you had it all figured out, but at 30 you have experienced enough to know that you will never have it all figured out. White Teeth flows along this stream.
This book takes on the big themes–faith, race, gender, history, and culture–with poignancy and humor. This book is witty, yet tangled. The plot is rich, and squares up to the two questions which gnaw at the very roots of our modern condition: Who are we? Why are we here?
Persuasion by Jane Austen
This is a gentle satire that is set in the mid 1800s, but its themes and conflicts truly transcend time. It is described in The Huffington Post as being a “quiet story of youthful impressionability, living with regret, and finding second chances, full of wisdom for those of us suffering life’s first knocks and looking back on our first big mistakes.”
This is not just a simple love story. It combines wit, social criticism and an examination of different kinds of love–the love between friends, the love of one’s own sense of integrity, and the love of a man and a woman–in a tremendously skillful way.