Books to Read Before You’re 40

You survived your 20s and you're not yet over the hill. Here's what to read during your 30s.

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Your 30s can be rough, what with student debt you may still be paying off or big life events happening all around you (people getting married, buying houses, switching up their careers, etc.). But what’s most important to remember is that this decade is an amazing sweet spot in life—you have the wisdom of being past your 20s but you’re not yet experiencing that dreaded “over the hill” feeling. You’re ripe to learn more about yourself and the world around you and do so through the literature you consume—so, here are a smattering of books that we believe everyone should read by the age of 40.

Which books would you add to this list? Which have you read? Which are you adding to your TBR list?

Featured image: Tintim/Twenty20

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About Ilana Masad

Ilana Masad

ILANA MASAD is an Israeli-American writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Printer’s Row, The Toast, The Butter, The Rumpus, Hypertext Magazine, and more. She is the founder of, a podcast for new, emerging, and struggling writers. She is (way too) active on Twitter @ilanaslightly.