The Ultimate and Essential Millennial Reading List

Millennials catch a lot of flak for being a supposedly digitally obsessed generation, but as it turns out, Gen Y actually spends more on books than any other generation, including the longtime leaders in book consumption, the baby boomers. While novels might be a favorite among these young readers, there are a lot of quality non-fiction books out there that can help Millennials navigate everything from finding a job to figuring out what makes them happy. Here are just a few we think Millennials should consider checking out, offering education and insight into a wide range of issues, including those which are posing serious problems for Millennials right now like loan debt and job hunting.

For Millennials and Twentysomethings

These books speak to the Millennial generation, with guidance and information on everything from surviving your twenties to understanding what it means to be Millennial.


Are you loaded with college debt or unsure of how to create a secure financial future for yourself? These books are a great place to start learning the ropes.

College and Post-Graduation

These books will teach you essential skills and help you get more out of the college experience, both before and after graduation.


Learning leadership skills can help you in nearly every aspect of your life, from the personal to the professional. If you need a little guidance on how to become a better leader, these books are excellent reading material.

  • The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner:

    Now in its fourth edition, this book is an essential read for anyone looking to build leadership skills. It’s full of examples and information that can help anyone become a more successful leader.

  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek:

    In this book, you’ll learn what great leaders do that inspires and motivates others and how you can emulate that in your own leadership practice.

  • Millennial Leaders: Success Stories from Today’s Most Brilliant Generation Y Leaders by Bea Fields, Scott Wilder, Jim Bunch, and Rob Newbold:

    Get inspired by leadership stories drawn from other Millennials and get some tips on how to cultivate your own leadership and entrepreneurial abilities to your advantage in this great read.

  • Leadership Principles for Graduates: Create Success in Life One Day at a Time by John Maxwell:

    College grads can find a great step-by-step guide to building leadership strength in this book, offering inspiration, motivation, and guidance that will keep you going towards your goals.

  • Leadership 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves:

    Based on years of research, this book shares what makes an effective leader in today’s modern workplace. The book comes complete with a self-assessment to help you see where you have room to improve.

Career and Business

Starting or changing your career is never an easy road, but these books offer some guidance that can help make it all a little easier, from networking to getting a promotion.


Life for Millennials isn’t all about work. Here are some great reads for relationship advice.

  • It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt:

    Breakups are never easy, but as this book explains, there are times when your ex just isn’t worth pining over. While geared towards women, the book can also offer solid advice for guys who’ve had their hearts broken.

  • MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche:

    One thing many people learn is that after you’re out of college, it becomes really hard to make friends. This book chronicles one woman’s search for a new BFF in a new town, showing it’s not as easy as it was in her younger days.

  • The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels:

    Regardless of where you stand, one thing is for sure: it’s not easy to be a mother today. This book addresses the myth of the perfect mom and helps Millennials figure out how to balance their career and personal goals with being a parent.

  • Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg:

    Communication is a huge part of a relationship and often a deciding factor in whether or not one will work out. This book teaches couples how to talk to one another and to resolve conflicts without resorting to aggressive or hurtful language.

  • Deal Breakers: When To Work On A Relationship And When To Walk Away by Dr. Bethany Marshall:

    Deal breakers: we all have them, but this book explores which are unrealistic and which really are signs that things just won’t work out.

The Mind

Understanding how the brain works can help you thrive at work and in your personal life, so give these great books a read.

  • Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina:

    Learn a bit more about how the brain works, from why we sleep to why multi-tasking is bunk, in this book. The lessons can help you make the most of your brainpower and get more out of work, relationships, and studying.

  • How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer:

    Our decision-making process isn’t easy to understand, nor is it always logical, as you’ll learn from this book by Wired editor, neuroscientist, and plagiarist Jonah Lehrer.

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink:

    You may think you’re motivated by money or success, but what really motivates you to excel may surprise you. Read this book to learn more or check out Pink’s TED talk.

  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath:

    Change is never easy, but some things are harder to change than others. This book provides a framework for making major changes in your life, helpful whether you’re 25 or 75.

Personal Development

These books offer help with finding happiness, following your passion, thinking creatively, and much more.