30 Books to Read by 30

Here’s my list of 30 Books to Read by 30!

If you’re not a big reader, focus on this condensed list of 30 books. Chip away at these and you’ll get the big picture without a never-ending pile to slough through.

Need a reason to read each of these selections? I’ll give you the main reason each book made this list so you can understand why they are so important.

So, read these 30 books before you reach 30 years old…

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Because classic literature can teach you about writing and creative processes.

The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Because life isn’t fair to some. Don’t be the one perpetuating inequality.


by Yuval Noah Harari

Because you need to know where you came from to know where you’re going.

The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkein

Because we all need a little adventure in our lives.

The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

Because you should learn to follow your dreams.

A Brief History of Time

by Stephen Hawking

Because the universe around you is more amazing than you know.

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Because injustices will need to be righted in your lifetime, and you will have the power to right them.

Murder on the Orient Express

by Agatha Christie

Because murder mysteries make you question people’s motives and values.


by George Orwell

Because this sci-fi future may not be so far from our own reality.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

by Marie Kondo

Because you need to learn to respect your things and keep a tidy living space.

Invisible Women

by Caroline Criado Perez

Because gender inequality is still a thing. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.


by Tara Westover

Because education doesn’t equal value.

When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

Because life is short. And the time you have is precious.


by Malcolm Gladwell

Because making decisions is quicker than you think.

In Defense of Food

by Michael Pollan

Because you are what you eat. So eat the right things in the right amounts.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by J. K. Rowling

Because magic isn’t real, but it’s nice to pretend for a while.

The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka

Because life is weird. Be prepared for change.

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

Because humanity is destructive.

The Martian

by Andy Weir

Because we may be a multi-planetary species within your lifetime.

Good Omens

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Because we all need a good laugh.


by Angela Duckworth

Because grit is what makes you successful.

Alan Turing: The Enigma

by Andrew Hodges

Because heroes are inspiring and should be studied.

Guns, Germs, and Steel

by Jared Diamond

Because human history will impact our future.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Because family and longevity are important.


by Mary Shelley

Because actions have consequences. This is a lesson you need to learn.


by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Because the way the world sees you is not the only thing you are.


by Toni Morrison

Because racism is still a thing. But you can change that.

Mrs. Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Because creativity and expression in writing are worth learning how to do.

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

Because grief doesn’t have to define you. You can invent your own life.

The Sixth Extinction

by Elizabeth Kolbert

Because your role in the world is bigger than you think.

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