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The ReadDown

40 Books to Read Before You’re 40

The books below cover nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to help navigate life in career, in family, or in loss. There are also a few classics that you should have read by now regardless! How many of the below books have you read?
  1. 1

    Unaccustomed Earth

    by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Unaccustomed Earth Book Cover Picture
    Unaccustomed Earth Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2

    The Remains of the Day

    by Kazuo Ishiguro

    The Remains of the Day Book Cover Picture
    The Remains of the Day Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3

    Middlemarch

    by George Eliot

    Middlemarch Book Cover Picture
    Middlemarch Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  5. 5

    The Chosen

    by Chaim Potok

    The Chosen Book Cover Picture
    The Chosen Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6

    A Little Life

    by Hanya Yanagihara

    A Little Life Book Cover Picture
    A Little Life Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7

    The Age of Innocence

    by Edith Wharton

    The Age of Innocence Book Cover Picture
    The Age of Innocence Book Cover Picture

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  8. 8

    American Pastoral

    by Philip Roth

    American Pastoral Book Cover Picture
    American Pastoral Book Cover Picture

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  9. 9

    The Interestings

    by Meg Wolitzer

    The Interestings Book Cover Picture
    The Interestings Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10

    War and Peace

    by Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace Book Cover Picture
    War and Peace Book Cover Picture

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  11. 11

    Dear Life

    by Alice Munro

    Dear Life Book Cover Picture
    Dear Life Book Cover Picture

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  12. 12

    Big Magic

    by Elizabeth Gilbert

    Big Magic Book Cover Picture
    Big Magic Book Cover Picture

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  13. 13

    A House For Mr. Biswas

    by V. S. Naipaul

    A House for Mr. Biswas Book Cover Picture
    A House for Mr. Biswas Book Cover Picture

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  14. 14

    The Razor’s Edge

    by W. Somerset Maugham

    The Razor's Edge Book Cover Picture
    The Razor's Edge Book Cover Picture

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  15. 15

    The Portable Dorothy Parker

    by Dorothy Parker

    The Portable Dorothy Parker Book Cover Picture
    The Portable Dorothy Parker Book Cover Picture

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  16. 16

    Ulysses

    by James Joyce

    Ulysses Book Cover Picture
    Ulysses Book Cover Picture

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  17. 17

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  18. 18

    Man’s Search for Meaning

    by Viktor E. Frankl

    Man's Search for Meaning Book Cover Picture
    Man's Search for Meaning Book Cover Picture

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  19. 19

    The Sea

    by John Banville

    The Sea Book Cover Picture
    The Sea Book Cover Picture

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  20. 20

    Leaves of Grass

    by Walt Whitman

    Leaves of Grass Book Cover Picture
    Leaves of Grass Book Cover Picture

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  21. 21

    Lolita

    by Vladimir Nabokov

    Lolita Book Cover Picture
    Lolita Book Cover Picture

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  22. 22

    A Town Like Alice

    by Nevil Shute

    A Town Like Alice Book Cover Picture
    A Town Like Alice Book Cover Picture

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  23. 23

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  24. 24

    Celebrations

    by Maya Angelou

    Celebrations Book Cover Picture
    Celebrations Book Cover Picture

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  25. 25

    People of the Book

    by Geraldine Brooks

    People of the Book Book Cover Picture
    People of the Book Book Cover Picture

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  26. 26

    Cloud Atlas

    by David Mitchell

    Cloud Atlas Book Cover Picture
    Cloud Atlas Book Cover Picture

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  27. 27

    Wuthering Heights

    by Emily Bronte

    Wuthering Heights Book Cover Picture
    Wuthering Heights Book Cover Picture

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  28. 28

    In Cold Blood

    by Truman Capote

    In Cold Blood Book Cover Picture
    In Cold Blood Book Cover Picture

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  29. 29

    Midnight’s Children

    by Salman Rushdie

    Midnight's Children Book Cover Picture
    Midnight's Children Book Cover Picture

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  30. 30

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  31. 31

    Stag’s Leap

    by Sharon Olds

    Stag's Leap Book Cover Picture
    Stag's Leap Book Cover Picture

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  32. 32

    Great Expectations

    by Charles Dickens

    Great Expectations Book Cover Picture
    Great Expectations Book Cover Picture

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  33. 33

    An American Tragedy

    by Theodore Dreiser

    An American Tragedy Book Cover Picture
    An American Tragedy Book Cover Picture

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  34. 34

    When Breath Becomes Air

    by Paul Kalanithi

    When Breath Becomes Air Book Cover Picture
    When Breath Becomes Air Book Cover Picture

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  35. 35

    The African Trilogy

    by Chinua Achebe

    The African Trilogy Book Cover Picture
    The African Trilogy Book Cover Picture

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  36. 36

    Alexander Hamilton

    by Ron Chernow

    Alexander Hamilton Book Cover Picture
    Alexander Hamilton Book Cover Picture

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  37. 37

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  38. 38

    The Idiot

    by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    The Idiot Book Cover Picture
    The Idiot Book Cover Picture

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  39. 39

    Homegoing

    by Yaa Gyasi

    Homegoing Book Cover Picture
    Homegoing Book Cover Picture

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