10 Best Books for Adulting
Having one of those days (or months…or years…) when you just feel like your age doesn’t match your ability to capably exist in the world? We’ve all been there, whether it’s puzzling over how to stretch the paycheck until the 31st or realizing you forgot to put toilet paper on the grocery list. When the feelings of inadequacy strike, reach for one of these 10 excellent titles, each affirming in their own way!
General Adulting Advice
- Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Chances are you’ve heard Cheryl Strayed’s name before; she’s the famous author of Wild. (Also one worth checking out!) What you may not know about Strayed is that she’s also the voice behind Dear Sugar, a beloved advice column-turned-podcast. In this book, she shares that seasoned wisdom in a read that’s soothing and helpful for anyone, but maybe especially for people who feel like they need a little extra help getting their lives together.
- Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
Brown turned her popular blog into a full-fledged book in this volume that will delight anyone who just wants advice on adulting from someone who seems like they’ve struggled with it themselves. A millennial herself, Brown gives advice on everything from concrete problems – like finding a mechanic or choosing an apartment – to relationship problems – like how to break up with a friend who’s no good for you – and everything in between.
- Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent
Nugent’s book may not be as chock full of practical advice as Strayed’s or Brown’s, but it’s perfect for when you need that reassurance that you’re not the only one who feels really bad at transitioning into adult life. It’s a comical collection of tales about her own adventures during this transition that will make you feel understood and entertained, and you might just learn from some of Nugent’s mistakes along the way.
Practical Household Tips
This little gem is basically just what it sounds like: a cleaning how-to guide for any mess a millennial might find themselves in. This blurb from the jacket says it all: “With signature sass and straight talk, Jolie takes on questions ranging from the basic—how do I use a mop? —to the esoteric—what should I do when bottles of homebrewed ginger beer explode in my kitchen?”
- Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? by Cary Siegel
This is the rare financial advice book that you won’t feel is over your head and way too complicated if you’re starting from a money-illiterate position. It won’t tell you what stocks to invest in or how to diversify your portfolio, but it will help you understand the kind of attitudes and patterns you can cultivate with your money to help yourself reach financial stability and comfort. As the title indicates, you’ll wish you had learned Siegel’s lessons sooner!
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Monique Tilford
The title of this one might make it sound like it’s going to intimidate you into giving up every fun purchase you might ever want to make, but in reality, this book is much more. It’s been regarded as a classic for decades and has recently been updated for millennials. It’ll help you understand how to develop savings, how to create more money from those savings, and even how to make eco-friendly choices with your money.
- Bitches on a Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style by Rosalyn Hoffman
Written with all the flair of a fashionista, this book serves up tips and tricks for making your money go farther when it comes to style. If it feels impossible to make your wardrobe and home look classy and tasteful on your budget, then pick up Hoffman’s how-to guide. She’ll turn you into a fashion-on-a-budget believer.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Do you ever feel like you’re having trouble getting to who you really are, rather than who everyone seems to want you to be? Pick up Hurtson’s classic novel about Janie Crawford, a young woman who starts out the same way but gradually transforms into a bold, no-fear independent woman who DGAF about anyone’s expectations. There’s a reason that every generation since Hurston wrote this book in the 30s has loved and identified with this brassy, confident heroine.
- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Alvarez’s novel is a modern classic on what it’s like to develop your identity as part of an immigrant family growing up in America. If part of “adulting” for you is juggling the pressure of two different cultures and trying to understand how to relate to the older generation of your family, then this novel is for you.
- Modern Dating: A Field Guide by Chiara Atik
While some dating guides can be more bossy than sympathetic, Atik understands that the modern dating landscape is more complicated than ever before, and she’s not here to give you a list of “do’s” and “don’t’s”. Rather, she wants to help readers know what to expect from certain situations they might find themselves in as they continue to practice “adulting,” like confusing/vague texts, sexts, online dating, one-night stands, and more.
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