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Uh…common theme coming through on my latest posts as of late. I’m turning 30 in 9 months… and it is terrifying to say the least. I don’t care how much people tell me that your 30s are great… they really aren’t. I mean I guess they could be, but I’m so afraid of aging (physically) that with each year I get more and more depressed on my birthday.
One of the few things that keeps me going is that I’m apart of the dopest generation to date. Being a millennial is hard, but being around dope other millennials is a blessing. I’m sure every generation thinks they are the “best”, and look down on the previous or following generations. However millennials have paved the way for many of the best technological advances, literature, art, and more.
We’ve been dealt a shitty economic hand and still have managed to weave gold out of a student loan filled world. I think we should get a reward (and that may simply be because I’m used participation trophies… sue me). As I approach thirty, I do it with a sense of grace, because so far 29 hasn’t been too shabby I must say. Plus I’ve got a set of bomb books I’ve been reading to and from my commute to work. (I’ve finished the Game of Thrones series… it took me a year but it was worth it).
Take a look at the 10 books every millennial should read before they turn 30. And if you are already 30, so what take a gander at this list anyway. There might be something you missed and should catch up on.
10 Books Every Millennial Should Read Before 30
1. “Grit- The Power Of Passion & Perseverance” Angela Duckworth
When you are knocking the door of 30 you realize that your dreams aren’t just going to fall into place. You are going to have to fight for them a bit harder than you would when you were 18 years old. This isn’t a book in story form. It does fall more under a “self help” kind of book which I usually hate. However Grit really helps you wonder/question what is that makes a dream possible: is it your passion or your endurance to achieve it?
2. Go Set A Watchmen– Harper Lee
Um because I’m nostalgic AF and obsessed with all things To Kill A Mockingbird related. I was so excited about this book and apparently so was the rest of the world. I waited almost 6months to get this book from my local library (uh because I’m cheap and a millennial in debt so yes I still use my local public library). Chances are you have had to read “To Kill A Mockingbird” in your JHS or high school days and need to find out what happened to Jem, Scout, and Atticus.
3. The Cursed Child– J.K Rowling
Similarly to “Go Set A Watchmen”, “The Cursed Child” is the followup to the amazingness that was the Harry Potter series. The Cursed Child is written beautifully, and gives you a few hours of magical escape from whatever millennial depressing fun adult activity you’re trying to avoid doing. And it gives you some background on the play you are going to be dying to see on Broadway in 2018, but probably won’t get tickets to. (Oh… don’t worry I’m not salty about it or anything)
4. Americanah– Chimamanda Negozi Adichie
I read this book on a plane to London last year and I came back changed. Anything Chimamanda writes changes me honestly, but Americanah in particular focuses on the difficulties of fitting in to two different cultures at the same time. As a West Indian first generation in the USA the level of relateabilty in every aspect is spot on. The duality you face as an American millennial and your home country can be overwhelming and daunting at times. From looking to “acceptable” love, to employment, wardrobe, appearance… it all ties in beautifully in the pages of Americanah.
5. The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl– Issa Rae
Because who doesn’t love Issa Rae honestly? The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is not only me, it is every black girl that feels that they just don’t fit the mold and hide themselves because of it. Issa provides an avenue to let your freak flag fly to speak and do so with no shame. She makes entering my 30s a whole lot less scary.
6. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
This was another book I read last summer that changed perspective in how I handle life, and those around me. The Alchemist reminds you to protect your energy and embrace your journey. Everyone’s road is different and the same in a sense. It took five years of someone recommending this book to me, and then potentially having to teach it to get me on board. So although I was late to the party, I still arrived. If you’ve already read the Alchemist (in high school perhaps) I recommend either reading it again to get a new set of older eyes and understanding on the text, or reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Similar concepts and ideas told in a similar way yet still refreshingly inspiring.
7. Girl Boss– Sophia Amoruso
This was one of my favorite books for a long time, and one of the few books I often re-read or refer back to when making daily decisions for my business. Girl Boss started a movement that I am so proud picked up speed. Sophia’s story is inspiring and filled with a bunch of stupidity. That is what makes it truly impressive, because that is what our millennial 20s have really been about. Making great strides forward, with tons of stupid decisions as well. Yet and still through the stupidity, coming out a bit wiser and stronger at the end.
8. The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao– Junot Diaz
As you move forward in to your 30s you start to face/ deal not only with your mortality but also your accomplishments. Junot Diaz does a beautiful job of bringing forth the idea that you don’t have to have it all together by a certain point. In fact you can be a complete an utter mess, feel uninspiring and like a failure. Yet still be wondrous and leave a mark behind on this Earth. You never know who you are affecting at any moment. You never know when you’ll take your last breath, so live each day as if it is your last or don’t. Either way your life still matters. At least that’s what I took away form it.
9. Persepolis– Marjane Satrapi
I am such a big fan of teaching novels by women and men of different backgrounds and cultures. I think we as teachers often get stuck in the classic “canon” of the old white male author that we don’t realize there is a whole big world of literature out there that is just important. Persepolis is a graphic novel I had the pleasure of teaching for the first time last year, and will be teaching again this year. It takes on the perspective/ point of view of a girl living life during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It is beautiful, funny, sad, dark and truly worth a read. It also helps give you an inside idea on how other cultures have been affected by genocides and revolutions that our text books often don’t cover or give much attention to.
10. Who Moved My Cheese- Spencer Johnson
I know I know… this book is old AF and doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with the changes of “persevering” pep talks in 2017. I read this book last year on the train and at first was unimpressed. Why? Because I hate self help books. I hate books that teach me “how to live a better life” because there is no one way to do so. But… after thinking about the concepts and themes of the book or several weeks I decided that it was in a sense very helpful. Who Moved My Cheese reminds us to never become complacent. To always pay attention to the signs, because it is very rare that life will pull the rug from under you. We as humans just choose not to pay attention to the signs. This book… essentially has helped me build up my tolerance for change (which I truly still hate honestly). But I’m getting better at expecting and embracing that things don’t always work out but a change in plans isn’t always the end of the world.
What books are you reading that you think should be added? Drop your suggestions below!