10 Books for women to read in Their 20s: Empowering Tales for Young Ladies

As a young woman in your 20s, you’re likely navigating the ups and downs of life, trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in the world. One of the best ways to gain insight, inspiration, and empowerment is through reading books that speak directly to your experiences and struggles. Here are ten must-read books for women to help you embrace your inner strength, challenge societal norms, and live your best life.

Empowering Fiction Books for Women to Read in Their 20s

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott follows the lives of four sisters – Jo, Beth, Meg, and Amy – as they grow up and explore love, loss, and independence in Concord, Massachusetts during the Civil War era. With strong female characters and a focus on self-reliance, this timeless classic is an empowering book for women.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that explores a dystopian society where women’s bodies and reproductive rights are controlled by a patriarchal regime. The story follows the journey of Offred, a handmaid who is forced into sexual servitude and struggles to survive and find her voice in a world that denies her agency and autonomy.

Atwood’s prose paints a vivid picture of a society that is both terrifying and all too familiar. This book is a must-read for young ladies in their 20s looking for empowering tales that challenge societal norms and offer a feminist perspective on the world. It is a call to action, urging readers to fight against oppression and demand equality and justice for all.

Educated by Tara Westover


“Educated” by Tara Westover is a memoir that chronicles the author’s journey from being raised in a rural Idaho home with no formal education to eventually earning a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Westover’s story is one of empowerment, as she learns to embrace her intellectual curiosity and break free from the constraints of her upbringing.

The book offers a powerful reminder that education can be a transformative force, allowing individuals to reclaim their lives and shape their own destinies. For young women in their 20s, “Educated” is an inspiring example of what can be achieved through determination and hard work, encouraging them to pursue their passions and never give up on their dreams.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein is a heart-pounding and emotionally charged novel that follows the story of two young women, Verity and Maddie, who are part of a top-secret mission during World War II. The book is a testament to the strength and bravery of women in the face of adversity, as Verity and Maddie navigate dangerous situations and confront their own fears and doubts.

Through their experiences, the novel highlights the importance of female friendship and solidarity, as well as the power of resistance and activism. For young women in their 20s, “Code Name Verity” offers an inspiring portrayal of women who refuse to accept the status quo and instead choose to take bold action, making it an empowering tale that encourages readers to embrace their own inner strength and resilience.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of readers for centuries. The novel follows the lives of sisters Elizabeth and Jane Bennet as they navigate the complexities of love, relationships, and societal expectations in 19th-century England. Through their experiences, Austen challenges traditional gender roles and stereotypes, offering a powerful critique of the patriarchal society of her time.

The book’s strong female protagonists, witty dialogue, and commentary on class and gender make it a truly empowering read for young women in their 20s. By exploring themes of identity, marriage, and personal fulfillment, “Pride and Prejudice” provides a thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting portrait of women’s lives and experiences, making it a must-read for any young lady looking to be inspired and empowered.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


“Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a powerful and inspiring book that explores the lives of women and their relationship with the natural world. Drawing on ancient folklore and mythology, Estes examines the archetype of the Wild Woman, a symbol of feminine power and instinct. Through her writing, she encourages women to embrace their own wildness and reject societal expectations that stifle their true selves.

The book offers practical advice and spiritual guidance, helping readers to tap into their innate strength and creativity. For young women in their 20s, “Women Who Run With the Wolves” is an empowering read that invites them to explore their own inner wisdom and live life on their own terms. By embracing their wildness, women can discover their full potential and live a life that is authentic and fulfilling.

Circe by Madeleine Miller

“Circe” by Madeline Miller is a captivating and empowering novel that reimagines the ancient Greek myth of Circe, the goddess of magic and sorcery. The book follows Circe’s journey from a lonely and isolated childhood to her rise as a powerful and independent woman, as she discovers her own strength and learns to use her powers to protect herself and those she loves. Through Circe’s story, Miller explores themes of femininity, power, and the struggle for self-acceptance, offering a fresh and exciting perspective on a classic myth.

“Circe” is an inspiring read that encourages women to embrace their own power and potential, and to never be afraid to speak their truth and stand up for themselves. With its strong female lead and messages of self-love and empowerment, “Circe” is a must-read for anyone looking for a compelling and uplifting tale.

We’re All Mad Here by Leigh Raines

“We’re All Mad Here” by Leigh Raines is a refreshing and relatable collection of essays that explore the complexities of mental health, self-care, and womanhood. With humor, vulnerability, and honesty, Raines shares her personal struggles with anxiety, depression, and the pressures of societal expectations, offering a voice to the often-silenced experiences of young women. Through her writing, Raines encourages readers to embrace their own madness and reject the stigma surrounding mental illness, fostering a sense of community and understanding.

For young women in their 20s, “We’re All Mad Here” is an empowering read that validates their feelings and reminds them that they are not alone in their struggles. With its raw and unapologetic approach, this book is a much-needed addition to the conversation around mental health and a powerful reminder that it’s okay to not be okay.

More Books for Women to Read
1.) 6 Best Self-Help Books For Women Recommended Across the World
2.) Self-improvement books for young women
3.) 5 Self-Help Books for Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
4.) 10 Impactful Leadership Books for women

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery


“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery is a beloved classic that has captured the hearts of readers for generations. The story follows the adventures of Anne Shirley, a spirited and imaginative young girl who is sent to live with an elderly brother and sister in Canada. Through her experiences, Anne learns valuable lessons about family, friendship, and the power of imagination.

The book is a celebration of the strength and resilience of women, as Anne faces challenges and overcomes obstacles with courage and determination. “Anne of Green Gables” encourages them to embrace their individuality and follow their dreams, just like Anne. With its positive message and inspiring heroine, this book is a timeless treasure that continues to enchant readers of all ages.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a timeless classic that offers a poignant reflection on the American Dream and the excesses of the Roaring Twenties. Through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a young man who moves to Long Island and becomes entranced by his wealthy neighbor, Jay Gatsby, the book explores themes of love, greed, class, and the corrupting influence of wealth. At its core, “The Great Gatsby” is a cautionary tale about the dangers of chasing after an unattainable dream and the devastating consequences that can result.

For young women, this book serves as a powerful reminder to stay grounded in reality and to avoid getting swept up in the superficial glamour of wealth and status. With its vivid depiction of the Jazz Age and its thought-provoking meditation on the human condition, “The Great Gatsby” remains an essential read for anyone looking to understand the complexities of the human experience.

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