So you want to be a better adult. Maybe you’re looking for a book or two for a friend or family member who needs to step it up. Maybe you want to start adulting. Maybe you love to read or are looking for some new books for your bookshelf.
Regardless of your motivation, I’ve got you covered. All of the books on this list have been vetted by reliable sources (read: me and my friends) and make great additions to your adulting library.
In part one, we’ll cover my recommendations and in part 2, we’ll cover the ones my friends suggest. There might be some overlap in the authors but the books are different.
Real Artists Have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa
You might have heard of her for her Twitter activism and some of her viral Medium posts but she also wrote a spectacular book helping you navigate all aspects of adulthood from money to cleaning to work to embracing your weirdness. It’s a perfect primer.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*uck by Sarah Knight
Yes, the title is a riff on the Marie Kondo craze but this book stands on its own. If you want to learn to care less about unimportant things and more about the important ones, if you want to understand why no is a complete sentence, and if you want to learn how to be less stressed by all of it, read this book.
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
She’s basically my go-to on all things life improvement told to me in a practical, relatable way. This book gives you a map for how to organize your life and pull yourself together in pretty much every capacity. Note: she swears A LOT so if that bothers you, pass on both of her books. We can find you some others.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
So. This book. I was not a fan. I think it’s because I don’t have a problem with clutter and getting rid of things BUT if you do, then you absolutely need to read this book. Some of the advice is waaaay out there but if you can take the principle for what it is, and you tweak it to your own preferences and needs, you’ll see a huge change.
$5 Dinners by Erin Chase
These are cookbooks and they taught me how to cook when no one else did. The recipes are simple AF, they’re budget friendly, they’re not made from any weird ingredients you can’t find in your basic grocery store, and there’s something for everyone. If you’re not into cookbooks, make sure to check out her website.
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
I don’t use the word “revolutionize” lightly but this book absolutely revolutionized the way I think about and plan my time. If you struggle with time management or fitting it all in or wondering how you can align your time better with your priorities, this book will fix you. If nothing else, do the time study. You will learn more than you can imagine.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I’m not a big re-reader but I first read this book years ago and it’s definitely due for another go-round. What impacted me the most from this book was the idea of learning to be happier and more content where you are instead of upheaving your entire life, and to do it step by step rather than all at once. It’s definitely something that’s discussed more often now but reading her personal experience resonates differently than just being told to do it.
Quitter, Start, and Do Over all by Jon Acuff
These are 3 separate books, taking up the 8-10 spots on our list of 10. While many are influenced by Gary V or Tim Ferriss when it comes to career-type advice, Jon is more my low-key speed. For me, his advice is easier and more practical to follow and implement and it’s not as in-your-face.
He tackles career advice from all points and angles and winds up being motivating at the same time. He breaks things down into manageable pieces, in all of his books, so that you don’t get overwhelmed or feel the need to do it all RIGHT NOW.
Fun fact: I’m not a huge buyer of books but I own almost all of these so when I say they’re on my shelf, they are literally on my shelf.
So, that’s my list. Next time, we’ll talk about some books my friends recommend. And, if you feel like it, let me know in the comments what books have influenced you and why. Maybe I’ll include it!
Have you read any of these books? Do you have any must-read recommendations? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community.