7 Books You Must Read in Your 30s

Just when you’re beginning to think you’ve seen it all and have your outlook on life totally down-pat, it’s healthy to continue devouring new experiences and perspectives.

Of course, there’s no simpler way to do so than to read as many books as possible! If you’re looking for something to challenge, inspire and move you in your 30s, we’ve got exactly seven good recommendations:

your enlightenedYour Enlightened Mind Wants to Know: Mahayana’s Origins and the Implications for Buddhism by J. M. Walsh

After your raucous twenties, you might find find yourself in a rut, or possibly even disillusioned with the world.

Gaining perspective is essential during these times, and Walsh’s easy and accessible history of Buddhism can keep you grounded as life goes on.





Places: Habitats of a Human Lifetime by Philip Shabecoff

Not quite a memoir, Places is a study of the environment, and how places are shaped by the humans that inhabit them and vice-versa.

And following the footsteps of Shabecoff’s career as a New York Times foreign correspondent, this book is an example of a life well-lived.




My Life in a Nutshell by Tanya J. Peterson

This novel follows Brian, an anxious isolationist who’s closed himself off from social experiences. But suddenly he finds himself with the responsibility of taking care of a young girl who’s made the rounds through various foster homes.

Peterson’s novel reminds us that there is still much we can learn from (and ways to relate to) children.


henry'sHenry’s Re-Entry by Welcome Cole

An excellent midlife-crisis novel, Henry’s Re-Entry shows us a man experiencing what Camus calls the absurdity of existence: a hopelessly bleak, untextured mechanical life.

But after a wild night, Henry finds himself far from home with no recollection how he got there. What we get is an odyssey through New Mexico, in which a whole slew of characters help Henry rekindle that spice of life.



Belated by Elisabeth Russell Taylor

Rendered in beautiful, melancholic language, Taylor’s collection of short stories explore relationships and human connection–but not without a dose of spirituality.

Touching on a range of human emotions such as loss, depression, hope and more, Belated is medicine for the soul and the weary.


tales of a countryTales of a Country Doctor by Paul Carter

Another story of a man finding himself, Tales of a Country Doctor is a memoir on life in the Australian country. We meet a gaggle of colorful characters from different walks of life and living situations, as well as some deep conversation between the narrator and his dog.

Carter’s memoir is touching and fun, and reminds us to keep a good attitude through life’s bumps–a great pick-me-up for anyone.


99jobs99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses by Joe Cottonwood

“If these walls could talk” is a famous cliche–but if they could talk, they might sound like Cottonwood’s memoir.

In this book, Cottonwood writes about his clients as a carpenter, taking us with him inside the private homes he had worked on. We bounce between commonality, the mundane, and downright crazy situations in this book about keeping perspective, persevering and the occasional wackiness of being alive.