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20 Of Your Favorite Books About Figuring Your Life Out

S. Zainab Williams

Executive Director, Content

S. Zainab would like to think she bleeds ink but the very idea makes her feel faint. She writes fantasy and horror, and is currently clutching a manuscript while groping in the dark. Find her on Twitter: @szainabwilliams.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, publisher of How To Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick.

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a familiar question we’re all asked as kids. While seemingly harmless, the question has unintended consequences. It can make you feel like you need to choose one job, one passion, one thing to be about. Guess what? You don’t.

Not fitting neatly into a box can be a beautiful thing. How to Be Everything teaches you how to design a life, at any age and stage of your career, that allows you to be fully you, and find the kind of work you’ll love.

Life. It ain’t easy. But at least books exist to help us navigate those tricky corners and comfort us with the knowledge that we aren’t suffering these growing pains in a vacuum.

We asked you to share your favorite books about figuring your life out, and you responded. Here are 20 of your favorites!

The Power of Habit by Laura Vanderkam

Quirkyalone by Sasha Cagen

The New Single Woman by E. Kay Trimberger

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Trip Through Your Wires by Sarah Layden

Last Call in the City of Bridges by Salvatore Pane

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Codependent No More by Melody Beatty

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Love Is A Choice by Paul Meier

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Getting Things Done by David Allen

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz