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Critical Linking

A Reading List for Your Quarter-Life Crisis: Critical Linking, March 29, 2020

Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

Vanessa is a writer, reader and generally bookish Latina from San Diego. If loving Agatha Christie is wrong, she doesn't want to be right. Vanessa’s penchant for books, travel and tea is rivaled only by her serious addictions to milk, avocado and floral lattes. When not reading books or selling them, she can be found blogging, working on her first novel or cozying up at a library.

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“Being a 20-something woman these days can be overwhelming, to say the least. You’re navigating the anxieties of postgrad life as an “adult” (whatever that means), sorting through the ups and downs of dating, trying to hold onto friendships with your girlfriends who may be in different stages of life, and hunting for your dream career. Not to mention comparing yourself to all your Facebook friends who look like they have it all figured out, even though — let’s be honest — they don’t know what they’re doing either. If you’re on the verge of a quarter-life crisis, we’ve selected a collection of books with poignant advice, hilarious personal experiences, and worst-case scenarios to help you get over the my-life-is-hopeless hump — or at least laugh about it!”

This 30-something life in 2020 ain’t exactly cake either! Let me pick up some of these reads. 

“You don’t realize right away, reading the book, what the tradeoff will be. You see Patricia’s life split in two—Pat who follows her heart and runs off to Italy with a woman, and Trish who follows her sense of duty and marries a man—but it takes longer to see how that crack runs through their respective worlds. In the time stream where Trish accepts a proposal from frustrated, closeted academic Mark, the U.S. and a more liberal U.S.S.R. cooperate on space exploration and global disarmament. In the one where Pat rejects Mark and goes on to have a fulfilling career and fall deeply in love with Bee, terrorist attacks and eventually nuclear attacks are common (even the moon is a nuclear base), and the couple lives in fear because their gay relationship is illegal. Which one will she make real? Which idyll—the personal, or the global—can she bear to lose?”

It’s all our fault.

“Even if your family’s spring break plans were canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, your kids can still travel the world—through books. Great novels and amazingly illustrated adventures can immerse them instantly in the culture and history of a place. (Sorry, Instagram.)

So get children exploring while still practicing social distancing through these 18 destinations featured in classic and lesser known books. And don’t be surprised if these stories end up inspiring future real-life travels when it’s time to venture out into the world again.”

The kiddos need escapism too.