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Signposts for your future self.

For many of us our twenties are full of change – some of life’s defining years. Careers begin, passions are discovered, relationships forged, and grown-up you emerges from the muddle of adolescence. Here are some titles to read in during this formative decade. Books to help you explore where you’ve been, who you are and, ultimately, where you’re going. With contributions from our Facebook community and our colleagues, here are some books to read in your 20s.

  • WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION FROM MARGARET ATWOOD

  • Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. 

  • One of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

  • Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of gypsies on their annual visit to Macondo, the newly founded village where José Arcadio Buendía and his strong-willed wife, Ursula, have started their new life. 

  • 'One of the most important books to have been published since the war' Daily Telegraph

  • Dark secrets, a devastating mystery and the games people play: the gripping new novel from the bestselling author of The House We Grew Up In and The Third Wife.

  • The classic novel spanning every decade of the 20th century, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

  • For readers of Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm, an unforgettably powerful and heart-breaking book about how to live.

  • Inner-suburban Melbourne in the 1970s: a world of communal living, drugs, music and love. In this acclaimed first novel, Helen Garner captures the fluid relationships of a community of friends who are living and loving in new ways.

  • Hot Little Hands contains nine funny, confronting and pitch-perfect stories about stumbling on the fringes of innocence, and the marks desire can leave. Anya, in her fake-leather sneakers and second-hand clothes, just wants to fit in at her Melbourne school.

  • In 1979, Nam Le's family left Vietnam for Australia, an experience that inspires the first and last stories in The Boat. In between, however, Le's imagination lays claim to the world.

  • Hilarious, compelling and sometimes heartbreaking, The Feel-Good Hit of the Year is a memoir about family, addiction and learning how to live with yourself, from a sharp and original new Australian voice.

  • Media star Jamila Rizvi’s exploration of the confidence deficit holding women back, the barriers to career success this can create, and how they might be overcome. Accessible and timely, this is essential reading for millennial women.

  • One of the most shocking novels ever written, Naked Lunch is a cultural landmark, now in a restored edition incorporating Burroughs' notes on the text, alternate drafts and outtakes from the original.

  • What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? This bestselling history of our species challenges everything we know about being human.

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