By the time I was in my last year of high school, I hadn’t read one full novel from start to finish. I found my English class material drab and unrelatable. Besides, I could read the cliffsnotes or skim over the chapters and still have a conversation about the main plot points (and pass the comprehension test), so what was the point?
It wasn’t until I was 17 years old that I started devouring literature. I finished my first book in one day. From that point forward, I couldn’t get enough. As soon as I finished a book I would immediately seek out the closest second-hand book store to get my next fix. I would excitedly burst in, the swoosh from the door rustled dusty pages “Can I help you?” It was usually a middle-aged man with greasy hair behind the counter. I would inhale deeply and take in the smell of old books, as though I were walking into the most opulent store in the world. “Yes” I would smile and get down to business.
I never knew what book I was looking for, I would just start by telling them what book I had just finished, what was going on in my life, what themes I wanted to read about, the things I desperately needed to know. They would always listen very intently, and then bring me to a shelf. “This, this is the one you should read”.
As the years went by and I wrote in my journals, I always listed the books I had read while I had been writing in those pages. It was a personal resource list. I could link books and philosophies to what I was going through, why I made certain decisions. Every book cited their resources, and I was no different. Here are some reading lists from my old journals-
Working on my memoir this week, I have decided to share the books that influenced me most. This is a list of books I think all girls should read as they are becoming themselves and finding their own way in the world. That’s why I titled my list:
20 Books All Girls Should Read Before They’re 25
and here they are…
- Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
- Illusions of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
- Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- Gift From The Sea by Anne Leigh Morrow
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Succulent Wild Woman by SARK
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
- Sexus by Henry Miller
- Fire by Anais Nin
- Many Lives Many Masters by Brian L Weiss
- Seventeen Ways To Eat A Mango by Joshua Kadison
- Spilling Open: The Art Of Becoming Yourself by Sabrina Ward Harrison
- It’s Here Now (Are You?) by Bhagavan Das
- The Heart Of A Woman by Maya Angelou
- Journal of Solitude by May Sarton
- Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
2 thoughts on “20 Books All Girls Should Read Before They’re 25”
GREAT LIST. I have read some of them, own others. I too hated to read fully anything in school that I was assigned or ordered to read (except the Little Prince, which we read in French class. Did you know there are two different English versions now, the original translation from 1943 and some unnecessary updated version from 1995?) I will print this list and even though I am over the age, I am never too old to appreciate a great list.
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I didn’t know that, why do people always do things like that?
Yes, I agree, we are never too old to appreciate good books! 🙂