Do you remember summer reading from elementary school? Well, who says that should stop upon graduation. Since wrapping up my time in college, I have spent some time traveling. With that, I have asked many people for book recommendations. I am a big believer that leaders are readers, and that plenty of guidance is found at a park or a coffee shop with a book.

Here is a compilation of books I that recommend for anyone in the midst of the terrifying (but still exciting) twenties.

Creativity/ Dreaming 

Big Magic- Elizabeth Gilbert

I read this entire book in two days because I couldn’t put it down. It essentially feels like a conversation with your best friend about the nitty gritty confusion of following your dreams.  Oh, and did I mention paying the bills in the process? Just read it. 

The Crossroads of Should and Must- Elle Luna

I read this during a plane ride across the country. For those who like visual representations, you will love this. The design of the book is a sketchbook with captions, but the content is incredibly significant. If you feel like you have two paths in front of you, multiple paths, or none at all, this is the book to help you answer the questions of “Where do I go? What do I do with my life?” 

Identity/ Vulnerability

Scary Close- Donald Miller

In this book, Donald Miller talks about vulnerability in a beautiful and personal way. He will speak to your soul and say, “Drop the mask. Be you and then you will realize the beauty of meaningful relationships. Don’t settle for half-hearted intimacy.”

A Prayer Journal- Flannery O’Connor

A breath of fresh air when you don’t know what to say, read the heart of Flannery O’Conner and her prayer life. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s relatable, and it’s beautiful.

Life of the Beloved- Henry Nouwen

This is my favorite book of all time. If you need an identity restoration, this book will focus your heart and mind on the truth that you are the beloved of God, and that is irrevocable.

Love Does- Bob Goff

Bob’s collection of short stories teaches deep life lessons. It will make you laugh, think, and maybe even cry if you are anything like me. It will remind you that the real impact you can make in life comes from what you do in the ordinary moments.

Work-Life/ Productivity

Do Over- Jon Acuff

Acuff walks you through the importance of relationships. Do Over relays simple, practical steps to changing or jump-starting your career. It is never too late for a do-over, and he offers practical guidance for how to start.