Whether you’re on the cusp of your twenties or have been riding the wave of adulting for some time now, it’s safe to say that as much as we turn to our friends or TikTok for life advice (guilty), sometimes the best comfort comes in the form of a book.
If you feel isolated in your thoughts or experiences, picking up a book can often act as a comfort blanket that caresses and validates how we feel. There’s nothing more powerful than people sharing their stories and standing in solidarity with one another, even if that simply takes the form of turning the same pages, on opposite sides of the world.
But where to start when choosing a book that just “gets you”? From the perfect depiction of girlhood into womanhood, to educating yourself on the struggles and celebrations of different communities, or learning tools to live a more authentic life, these books may help shape and reshape the complexities of existing as a twentysomething in 2023
…Should we start a Minga book club? ˶ᵔ ᵕ ᵔ˶
Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami dives into contemporary womanhood in Japan, following three women in Tokyo, Natsu, her sister Makiko, and Makiko’s daughter Midoriko. Through their narrations, we are brought into their intimate journey of experiencing changes within their growing bodies and the pressures that accompany this. Kawakami captures the innermost essence of feeling alone in your experiences without realizing the people closest to you are going through something similar. Split into two books, we see the characters deal with puberty, aging, societal expectations, and the realm of bringing children into the world. Through its multifaceted storytelling of generational trauma, existing in the working class and navigating life as a woman, Kawakami still brings humor to everyday female circumstances.
Lead singer of Japanese Breakfast and novelist Michelle Zauner tells of her personal experience with grief due to the loss of her mother, her lived experience as an Asian American, the intricate relationship between mothers and daughters, and how food creates familial bonds and legacies that can harbor intimate memories forever. Exploring the complex emotions of grief, her writing will make your heart ache but bring a sense of comfort at the same time, as she talks about real human emotions that we can all relate to.
Following the lives of twelve different characters, mostly women and non-binary, Everisto explores the intricacies of what it means to be black and British. Hailing from different cultural, professional, sexual, generational and class backgrounds, each character gets their own chapter, although their tales are intertwined and experiences interwoven.
Have you read any of these books? If so, comment below or share your recommendations for our Minga community to read next 👇