Finding yourself as a millennial in a world of millions of other millennials isn’t a simple feat – there are barely any Snapchat usernames or CrossFit memberships left. Though, there is always one place you can find yourself without fail: in the pages of a book. Millennials are undoubtedly the 21st century’s most influential generation, and the future of humanity deserves transformative reading material. We couldn’t imagine a better time to share an electrifying literary and non-fiction mix to inspire millennials to navigate the thrilling waters of adulthood (and own it).
1. The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj ($16): Every millennial needs a little dose of spiritual discovery. This enchanting novel of one American boy’s India travels and transformative journey is pure inspiration. The story of emotional and physical self-discovery will challenge you to open your heart to the world. If you’re a millennial who thrives on wanderlust, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent will take you from the impoverished villages of India and the summit of the Himalayas to the peak of pure bookworm satisfaction.
2. (R)evolution: The Girls Write Now 2016 Anthology by Girls Write Now ($15): This generation of women will be the most influential (and Beyoncé-level boss) the world has ever seen, which is why we’re obsessed with this stunning anthology series. Girls Write Now is a top after-school program in New York City which empowers underprivileged teen girls to reach the summit of their writing potential. This anthology showcases poetry and prose written by these magnificent young voices exploring the theme of “Revolution” — and trust us, the female writers of the future are mesmerizingly brave.
3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany ($18): THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Unless you’re living on the worst planet ever, you probably know this news by now. No summer reading list for millennials is complete without feeding the part of your heart dedicated to Harry Potter. Though not totally written by J.K. Rowling herself, we know this magically nostalgic reading experience will possibly be the highlight of your humble muggle existence.
4. It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow ($21): Millennials navigating adulthood will soon learn that Starbucks and cupcakes aren’t a sustainable diet, unfortunately. Mastering the real world wouldn’t be complete without learning how to cook real food without sacrificing Netflix time. Though we’re still reeling from her other arguably absurd lifestyle recommendations, Gwyneth’s new cookbook is full of stress-free, healthy recipes every millennial can use in their tiny apartment kitchens.
5. The Assistants by Camille Perri ($18): Every young woman entering the corporate world needs this book on their reading resume. Nothing is a career-killer quite like being caught in an embezzlement scam, which is what happens to longtime assistant Tina Fontana when she sneakily pays off her student loans under the guise of her boss’ travel expenses. Tina quickly becomes an advocate and leader for thousands of overeducated and underpaid assistants in Manhattan. This poignant tales puts the spotlight on gender inequalities in a male-dominated corporate world and solidifies one truth: Only women can destroy them.
6. Accidental Soldier by Dorit Sasson ($18): If you think you shocked your parents with your college antics, dual American-Israeli citizen Dorit Sasson decided to drop out of college and join the Israel Defense Forces. From discovering who she is as a woman to learning to survive solely on courage and human faith, her memoir illuminates that her incredibly risky life change led to more than a battlefield.
7. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld ($12): Who said Mr. Darcy couldn’t exist in the millennial world? New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld brings us into the brilliant and enthralling lives of a modern-day Bennet family. Imagine Elizabeth as a magazine writer, Jane as a yoga instructor and Kitty and Lydia immersed in the world of paleo diets. It doesn’t get better. Being hailed as a deliciously playful retelling of Pride and Prejudice for the 21st century, this belongs on every millennial’s bookshelf.
8. I Will Find You by Joanna Connors ($18): In one of the most courageous female perspective’s of the year, I Will Find You is a novel which explores Joanna Connors’ journey of emotional survival after being raped by a stranger. Decades later, she confronts her traumatic past and goes on a transformative journey to uncover the true story of her attacker. What she uncovers not only helps her rediscover herself but also shines light on the dirty truth of rape culture in America — a dim reality every young millennial should be aware of.
9. Will You Won’t You Want Me? by Nora Zelevanksy ($11): If you were one of the few popular kids in high school who skipped the awkward pudgy stage, congratulations. You may fall in love with this book. Marjorie Plum was the reigning queen of her high school class, but 10 years into adulthood and with a stagnated career in the corporate world, she doesn’t feel too hot. Then her high school crush knocks at the door and her cynical new boss decides to fall for her — at the same time. Her life suddenly could take two drastically different paths: the one she always dreamed of and one never imagined. Readers are taken on a laugh-out-loud journey as Marjorie tries to answer the ultimate question: Who does she actually want to be?
10. Hot Milk by Deborah Levy ($20): Every millennial eventually wishes they could solve their parents’ health problems, and the heroine of this story is no different. Hot Milk is the story of one young anthropologist’s insatiable desire to discover the origin of her mother’s illness. As she explores every avenue of scientific possibility, Sofia discovers the reservoir of her own pain, the value in experimenting and what it means to actually be alive.
11. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler ($20): For the fiercely independent millennial girl who fears sacrificing her life for a man, Vinegar Girl may be your peace. In a new spin on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, this gorgeous and comical novel explores the life of Kate Battista and her entanglement with her outlandish father’s latest experiment: preventing his brilliant lab assistant Pyotr from being deported. The men embark on an absurd campaign to win Kate’s help, but are they asking too much from a modern girl? Definitely, and it’s hilarious.
12. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler ($15): New York City can either be the best city in the world or the loneliest place in the world, especially for college graduates and young 20-somethings. Sweetbitter is a modern coming-of-age tale about one lonely girl’s transition from being lost in the city to becoming a woman of power. From the dark world of Manhattan restaurant life to intoxicating love triangles, this novel is sure to fulfill every literary craving.
13. It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson ($8): New York Times bestselling author and YouTube star Shane Dawson is quickly becoming one of our new favorite voices. In his hilarious collection of essays, Shane explores some of the most comically pivotal moments of his offbeat millennial life — from losing his virginity to clashes with famous celebrities. Shane reminds us that learning to laugh at yourself is the difference between a hard life and an incredible one.
14. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney ($16): If Amy Poehler was intoxicated by this novel, we’re sure millennials reading this will share the same sentiment. One theme of human life which doesn’t disappear despite evolution is family drama — it’s everywhere. The Nest is a rousing story of four adult siblings and their thirst for their family’s joint trust fund. The evocative novel illuminates the dangers of personal ambitions and serves as a powerful reminder to all millennials: Never allow money to threaten the bonds of family.
15. Rich and Pretty: A Novel by Rumaan Alam ($16): Can childhood friendships survive into adulthood? This is a heartbreaking question nearly every millennial will face. Sarah and Lauren shared a sister-like bond since elementary school, and from first loves to first jobs, they went through every adulthood milestone together. Now living drastically different lives and harboring secret envies, they can barely manage to have a conversation. In his dazzling debut, Rumaan Alam cleverly and honestly explores if the BFF status can endure the peaks and pitfalls of adult life.
16. Bookish: Adult Coloring Book by Martha Sweeney ($15): Sometimes busy millennials need a more artistic escape, one that combines favorite childhood pastimes with the love for books. That is where adult coloring books come in — something totally underrated but completely socially acceptable. Amazon best-selling author Martha Sweeney’s latest book gives us 40 different designs and enthralling games to get lost in. Go ahead. Grab your crayons and have a fantastic summer.
What’s on your reading list? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
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(Featured image via Getty)