Recommended Reading


We recommend the following books to get you started on your journey! Here is the list of top books every twenty-something should read.

Faith

Crazy Love

There’s nothing mediocre about your relationship with God. Go all in. Many of you grade your faith on a curve. I do it often. Your relationship with God isn’t measured by Scripture. It’s measured by the faith of those around you. But this is not the way it’s supposed to be. God calls you to go all in. He calls you to give everything to him. He calls you to be bold, take risks, and love scandalously. Average faith is no faith at all. This book will challenge you to re-imagine your relationship with God. And it will convict you to live boldly in a culture of mediocrity.

Get Resource

Mere Christianity

This is one of Lewis’ most insightful books as well as one of his most difficult. A frank discussion on Christian beliefs, Mere Christianity urges the reader to ask tough questions while examining the Bible from new perspectives. At moments, some may find the material hard to digest, but Lewis’ determined narrations help to pull the reader slowly forward. Even 70 years after it was written, this book continues to inspire Christians in the midst of their walk with God.

Get Resource

Grace

"Grace" is a concept that seems to be lost on most people and, indeed, a lot of young Christians. While this book is not a doctrinal treatise of Grace, it is full of real life examples on how Grace looks in our lives, Grace is the backbone of Christianity, and is what sets it apart from all faiths. Lucado helps everyone to understand how Grace, (not religion), is the absolute only way that we can be acceptable to an all perfect, and holy God.

Get Resource

Humility

A short masterful work regarding humility. Every page made me stop and ask God to help me. Andrew Murray has exposed the root cause of all sin: pride. This form of idolatry – self-worship – can be only dealt with by honestly looking at ourselves through the lens of Christ’s humility. If you feel you have struggled with selfishness, you need this message. Encouraging but convicting. Highly recommended reading for any young person wishing to mature in his or her walk with God.

Get Resource

Pilgrim's Progress

A classic. It is a straightforward allegory of the perils of the Christian life. The main protagonist is literally named Christian, and he is on a literal journey to heaven. But it is also a great portrait of the struggles of the human spirit individually and the human condition collectively. I would put it with such favorite reads of mine as 'The Hobbit' and “Chronicles of Narnia”

Get Resource

Relationships

How to Win Friends and Influence People

This book has remained a bestselling book since the time of the Great Depression for its timeless wisdom. Carnegie’s book, a favorite of legendary investor Warren Buffett’s, is more focused on the psychology behind daily interactions and how to use an understanding of how people work to emerge as a leader and influencer. This is an extraordinary guide to developing essential people skills that will take you from generic cubicle employee to rising star.

Get Resource

Necessary Endings

Cloud instructs us how and when to allow “necessary endings” to fix what’s broken in our personal and professional lives. This book made a world of difference to me when I was trying to work through the "should I stay or should I go" of a long term relationship. Cloud gives you great tips on how to spot a "fool," a "wise man" and the evil people among us; as well as tips on how to deal with them. I found chapters 7 and 8 to be particularly helpful.

Get Resource

Love Does

Author Bob Goff is a social activist, focused on children’s injustices in Uganda and India. His book, Love Does, is a memoir of his very remarkable life, full of unlikely circumstances that led to his present-day success. His life is packed with the extraordinary because he refuses to live life in an average way. When he decides he wants to do something, he does it and he does it with love. His mantra is the title: “Love Does"

Get Resource

Life Together

Life Together is a simple-to-digest guide to what Godly fellowship was intended to be, but which seems to have been lost over the ages. One can roughly divide the book into two conceptual halves - Individual fellowship with God and corporate fellowship with the Body of Christ. The strength of this book is its depth. While only 100+ pages long, it is meaty.

Get Resource

Never Eat Alone

Many young professionals overlook networking because it’s often synonymous with a slick haired guy in a bad suit who's handing out business cards. The fact is, however, that great relationships can be built on sincere connections and respect, and those are the best ways to avoid “Field of Dreams Syndrome”—thinking that if you build it, they will come (they won't.)

Get Resource

Dating & Marriage

Loveology

The best book on dating and sexuality, hands down. The book is chock-full of truth given in a gracious and down to earth manner. I read it in one sitting; I couldn’t put it down. Beginning with the why of marriage, John Mark takes you through the ins and outs of sexuality, love, singleness and what it means to be male and female. To top it off, he ends with an extensive list of Q & A’s on those issues that are vulnerable and real. When I read it, I wanted to pass it out to every twenty-something I knew.

Get Resource

You and Me Forever

This book is the best kind of bait-and-switch. It looks like a marriage book, and it sounds like a marriage book, but it’s not REALLY a book on marriage. It’s really a book about having the eternal view of every aspect of life, including marriage and parenting. It’s a book about seeking first the Kingdom of God and everything else, including a healthy marriage, flowing from that. And it’s about seeing everything you have, including your marriage, as something to be used for the mission of God in this world.

Get Resource

5 Love Languages Single Edition

Every person is wired differently. We all give and receive love in a variety of ways. Chapman, explains how to understand and speak your primary “love language” and how to better your relationships with those around you by being more receptive to their primary “love language." You’ll learn so much about why your past relationships did not work and how to look for compatible personalities for healthier relationships.

Get Resource

The Sacred Search

What if you stopped looking for a “soul mate” and started looking for a “sole mate”—someone who will live out with you the great purpose of God? What if dating isn’t about finding “the one” but making a wise choice so you can better serve the One who loves you most? Thomas will transform the way you look at romantic relationships. Whether you are single, dating, or engaged, Gary’s unique perspective on dating will prepare you for a satisfying, spiritually enriching marriage even before you walk down the aisle.

Get Resource

The Meaning of Marriage

Marriage is clearly a troubled institution in American culture, and that includes even among American Christians. The problem is that so often Christians have accepted the world's definitions of marriage. While many Christian books have been written on marriage, Tim Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage" is one of the best. Keller states in the introduction, "its [the book's] primary goal is to give both married and unmarried people a vision for what marriage is according to the Bible."

Get Resource

Calling/Vocation

Every Good Endeavor

I believe this should be required reading for anyone in the workforce, especially young professionals. Keller’s contention is that everything we do in life matters, and that even our most “secular” activities can be a means of God spreading his grace and provision throughout his earth. This book help you form a theology of work that will help you bridge the Sunday worship and Monday work gap.

Get Resource

Quarter-Life Calling

A book for millennials by a millennial. Francis Hasselbein calls it the “Purpose Driven Life for Millennials.” Quarter-Life Calling is a quick read, packed with so many platinum nuggets, reminders of what really matters, questions to reflect on and discuss and exercises to take note of and do as you work your way to finding your sweet spot. Highly recommend to anyone seeking clarity and purpose in life.

Get Resource

Man’s Search for Meaning

If you're in pain, read this book. If you're scared, read this book. If you are lost, read this book. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian Jew, studied neurology and psychiatry with a focus on depression and suicide years before being arrested and deported by the Nazis in 1942. He defied odds by lasting three years in concentration camps. He lost his parents, brother, and his wife, who was pregnant. Those who survived had one thing in common. They had a WHY.

Get Resource

Let Your Life Speak

This is an incredible self-reflection on the concept of vocation. Drawing on his own experiences, Palmer offers an intimate and honest analysis of his personal story in finding fulfillment. This book that helped me to make some important decisions regarding the direction of my career when I was at a crossroads in my life. With the sage advice, Palmer acts as a guide to vocation by showing the way with the wisdom gained from the walk on his own path.

Get Resource

Just Do Something

There are no shortage of books that teach people how to know and do the will of God, but none is better suited to emerging adults than this one. In a clear and entertaining manner, DeYoung shows how so many people are so wrong in the way they think about God’s will. DeYoung debunks unbiblical ways of understanding God’s will and constructs a simple but biblical alternative: live like Christ.

Get Resource

Career

The Start Up of You

A blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs. Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman show how to accelerate your career in today's competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you. This book isn't about cover letters or resumes. Instead, you will learn the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career.

Get Resource

Millennials Who Manage

++Millennials will be our next great generation of leaders. Today, however, as they move into management, they face difficult practical challenges. This is a complete, research-based guide to overcoming those challenges, delivering outstanding performance, and getting recognized for it. You will gain insight into earning the respect of peers and “elders” that you are now leading, as well as your manager. You will discover you can achieve success your way, without compromising who you are or becoming someone you are not.

Get Resource

Reinventing You

A step-by-step guide to reinventing you. Are you where you want to be professionally? Whether you want to advance faster at your present company, change jobs, or make the jump to a new field entirely, the goal is clear: to build a career that thrives on your unique passions and talents. But to achieve this in today’s competitive job market, it’s almost certain that at some point you’ll need to reinvent yourself professionally. Consider this book your road map for the next phase of your career journey.

Get Resource

Deep Work

If we want to be productive, we have to stay focused on the kinds of projects that add real value to our businesses. But that’s harder than ever today. When I talk with busy leaders, they tell me the biggest productivity challenge they face is constant distraction. The problem is that even if those distractions qualify as work, they don’t add much value. Newport labels most of these activities shallow work. Think about bouncing in and out of email, checking social media, or tweaking lists. This is low concentration work just about anyone can do. Deep work, on the other hand, requires intense focus and concentration.

Get Resource

Rookie Smarts

Ok, so this wasn’t written specifically for millennials, but all of the advice within applies. After all, we are all rookies in a new job at some point. The gist of the book is quite simple: just because you have less experience, that doesn’t mean you can’t outperform the most seasoned employees at your place of employment. The book is all about how to use your newness to your benefit, and includes such tips as focusing on short-term but effective goals that you can achieve with little time. This makes a great gift for a recent college grad.

Get Resource

Personal Finance

The Total Money Makeover

Dave Ramsey is an anti-debt zealot. He made a $4 million fortune by his mid-twenties, and then lost it to bankruptcy. Now he runs a personal-finance empire. He takes a lot of criticism for his support of the debt snowball, but the thing is: his methods work. If you’re struggling with debt, there’s no better starting place than this book.

Get Resource

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

An eighth-grade dropout who spends less than he earns is smarter than a college professor who can't make ends meet, according to Robert Kiyosaki. Furthermore, while working for a steady paycheck can get you started, your best investment of your time and money is to buy property or a business.

Get Resource

Millionaire Next Door

Thomas Stanley and William Danko interviewed and surveyed a pool of millionaires, trying to find common connections to account for their success. They discovered that millionaires live below their means. They budget. They let their adult children make it on their own. And many millionaires are small-business owners. This is one of just a few books to cover both sides of the wealth equation: saving money and earning money. This should be required reading for every twenty-something.

Get Resource

I Will Teach You to Be Rich

This book was originally published in 2009. It became the New York Times Paperback Business Best Seller in the same year. It’s specifically written for readers aged between 20 and 35 years. It explores tips and tricks that will help readers build a stable financial foundation. Sethi has a funny and sarcastic writing style that appeals to the people who have likely never considered resolving their financial problems.

Get Resource

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

Most personal finance books seem to be written with the about-to-retire set in mind. TV star Suze Orman helps millennials navigate the basics of the financial world, like coping with huge student loans and a job market that, for young people, is nearly as dismal as the Great Depression. This is a perfect book for anybody looking for a 101 to finances.

Get Resource

Personal Development

5 Gears

Best book on time management and emotional intelligence. 5 Gears teaches you how to be present, connect more effectively, while being as productive as possible. Twenty-somethings find it so easy to get distracted amongst the busy life. This book will teach you how to shift into the right gear at the right time so that you can grow in your relational intelligence and increase your influence.

Get Resource

So Good that They Can’t Ignore You

Some of the most common advice you'll hear when you're starting out is that if you pursue your passion, the money will follow. One big caveat, argues Newport, is that for most people, mastery of a certain skill can lead to finding your passion, since the mastery of this skill can open new doors and allow you to progress in your career. He's not suggesting you give up on your dreams, but ensure that you pair them with a dose of reality and make yourself valuable in the marketplace.

Get Resource

Slight Edge

So often our inability to make progressive gains in both life and work comes down to a lack of motivation and confidence. Olson teaches us that making just a few small changes in our daily lives can have a mighty impact on what we are able to achieve and accomplish. He teaches us that making just a few small changes in our daily lives can have a mighty impact on what we are able to achieve and accomplish. I wished I read this book 10 years ago.

Get Resource

StrengthsFinder 2.0

StrengthsFinder is a self-assessment and book that helps you identify what you’re really good at doing. Once you’ve identified your strengths the book encourages you to leverage them to maximize your effectiveness & potential instead of constantly trying to improve your weaknesses. It has great tips to help you use your strengths to improve performance and ability to influence others.

Get Resource

Essentialism

Essentialism is the art of prioritizing. And at the heart of prioritizing is elimination. McKeown argues that tradeoffs are the inevitable essence of prioritizing. This is why McKeown discourages well-roundedness. He advises us to apply “tougher criteria to life’s big decisions” so we can weed out less important paths. After reading Essentialism, I'm ruthless with "No," and nothing in my professional life has suffered. If anything, I've gained time, control and peace.

Get Resource

Leadership

The Next Generation Leader

This book challenges twenty-somethings to learn, grow, and lead in ministry or in the marketplace. Here Stanley shares material from his leadership training sessions, developed to address essential leadership qualities such as character, clarity, courage, and competency. This is the perfect guide for any new leader—or for the mentor of a future leader!

Get Resource

Start with Why

Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on Start with Why -- the third most popular TED video of all time. Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others?

Get Resource

Primal Leadership

This is the book that established “emotional intelligence” in the business lexicon—and made it a necessary skill for leaders. Professionals across the globe have embraced Primal Leadership, affirming the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. Its influence has also reached well beyond the business world: the book and its ideas are now used routinely in universities, business and medical schools, and professional training programs, and by a growing legion of professional coaches.

Get Resource

Delivering Happiness

As CEO of Zappo, Tony Hsieh built a massively successful business by doing what everyone else talks about: putting the customer first and hiring the right people. Serving customers and company culture were the main focus. As a result, employees and customers were happy and satisfied. Hsieh was able to dismantle traditional corporate leadership and deliver happiness and loads of profit along the way.

Get Resource

H3 Leadership

H3 Leadership provides a practical road map for implementing and living out twenty transformational habits of a leader—now in paperback. Lomenick shares his hard-earned insights from more than two decades of work alongside thought-leaders such as Jim Collins and Malcom Gladwell, Fortune 500 CEOs, and start-up entrepreneurs. He categorizes twenty essential leadership habits organized into three distinct filters he calls “the 3 Hs”: Humble (Who am I?), Hungry (Where do I want to go?), and Hustle (How will I get there?).

Get Resource

Identity

The Search for Significance

This book is a study about what we usually do to try to feel significant versus the truths in God's Word about where to find our true significance. Those who hope to find happiness and significance through meeting certain standards or gaining approval from certain people will find that it doesn't last. The book leads us to understand ourselves and grasp these truths that show who we really are based on what God says. Then we can get off the who we are based on our performance and other people's opinions treadmill.

Get Resource

The Gift of Being Yourself

In all the search for identity, Benner shows us the path to our true selves, which is nothing apart from God. The call to be yourself; to accept all you are, the good, the bad, the ugly, that's the real you as you are, not pretending to be someone you are not. God is good and loves you even in your fallen state, but
He can't walk beside someone who has not yet come into knowing their true selves.

Get Resource

The Gift of Imperfection

Brené Brown is no ordinary sociologist. Her seminal research on vulnerability, shame and empathy has brought about a whole new understanding of an intricate dimension of human authenticity and worth. This book examines one of the greatest foundations of happiness — our sense of and need for belonging, both with others and in our own skin — and brings to it a level of authenticity and understanding that fundamentally changes the way we relate to ourselves and each other.

Get Resource

Without Rival

Without Rival is incredibly encouraging and a fantastic book for young females (and males) to read. It's empowering and a kind reminder of the truth - we have no rivals when it comes to God's love. There is a place for every beautifully made individual. In this social media drenched society, we are taught to compare ourselves to others...Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. This is an excellent book to help you embrace your God-given identity and gifting.

Get Resource

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Beware, this book comes with homework, but I have no doubt it will be worth it. It's a guide toward becoming a whole person that God can use effectively vs. a stressed-out, overly driven workaholic who isn't doing the Church any good. This book helped me in my journey to wholeness. It helped me realize that unhealed emotional baggage from our past can hinder us from becoming all we are created to be. It helped me identify my gaps.

Get Resource

20-somethings

Defining Decade

The basic premise – your twenties are not a throw-a-way decade. In your 20s, it’s tempting to date random people or be content with dead-end jobs because you’re still young. Meg Jay, a psychologist specializing in treating 20-somethings, explains why that’s not true and shows you how to make the most of your 20s. Watch her TED talk first if you’re not convinced.

Get Resource

101 Secrets For Your Twenties

As the title says, this book is made up of 101 ‘secrets’. Some are wise and practical (#19: Our plans aren’t the problem. Our timeline is.) Others are laugh-out-loud funny even without Angone’s commentary (#5: Don’t ever, ever check Facebook when you’re A. Depressed. B. Drinking. C. Depressed and drinking. D. Unemployed. E. Struggling with being blessed with singleness while some of your friends seem to be blessed with a Brad Pitt lookalike and that blazing white picket fence shining with the glory of the American Dream on steroids. OR – F. Anytime after 9:17 p.m.)

Get Resource

Thoughts for Young Men

Short. Convicting. Easy to read. Relevant. It has convicted me to devote my life completely to God and His work. I am to be constantly in the business of killing sin, even as a youngster. Or else, I will have to endure burning scars of regrets once I reach the afternoon of my life. Ryle is a solid and faithful theologian and pastor. He masterfully weaves deep biblical truths and practicality together to show what true religion looks like. Definitely a must-read for young men.

Get Resource

20-Something, 20-Everything

A perfect resource for 20-somethings hitting the perform storm of a quarter-life crisis. Based on the author’s own experience and interviews with hundreds of women, she shares heartfelt stories on issues from career to parents to boyfriends to babies. Yet she provides practical exercises, too, to enable the twenty-something today to chart a new direction for her own life. Timeless and insightful, this is a must read guide for women in their 20s to create inner balance and take responsibility for their life choices.

Get Resource

20 and Something

20 and Something is for emerging adults and anyone wondering about "those millennials." Twentysomethings today are different than twentysomethings of any other generation. But you already know that—you’re redefining what it looks like to "grow up," contribute to society, and live a meaningful life. Even so, big questions lie ahead—questions about work, calling, marriage, family, faith, and more. How you relate to these institutions will have huge ramifications—for your own life, of course, but also for the rest of society because institutions need new ways of relating to you as well.

Get Resource

Subscribe to Qara