There are many characteristics that define the decade from the age of 20 to 30 for women -- inspiring, heartbreaking, educational, meandering to name but a few.

Life may be different for women in their 20s today than at other times -- traditional life events of marriage and children are getting pushed back to later years, and of course, job opportunities that were not around for their mothers are pursued without a second thought.

But despite those changes, some things stay the same -- the wondering about where life is going, the establishment of 'identity' -- whatever it might mean to the individual person -- and the pursuit of love all still remain.

A list recently posted on RetreatByRandomHouse.ca took a look at the books to be read in your twenties, ranging from classic tales of patriarchal control to self-help books on getting over guys (wrote Assistant Manager of Online Marketing Katerina Ortakova in her own defense, "For a lot of ladies, I think their 20′s is a time to figure out relationships and themselves and think about what they want for the rest of their lives…what kind of guy do they want to be with, do they want to get married/have kids, etc.").

What do you think of this list of books for women in their 20s? Have some suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • "Girls In White Dresses," Jennifer Close

    <b>The summary</b>: "Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love--all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers." (<a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10047589-girls-in-white-dresses" target="_hplink">via Goodreads</a>)

  • "Have Him At Hello," Rachel Greenwald

    <b>The summary</b>: "In Have Him at Hello, the author applies her business savvy to the dating world by conducting in-depth "exit interviews" with 1,000 single men, asking why they called back one woman, but not another." (<a href="http://www.rachelgreenwald.com/?id=245" target="_hplink">via Rachel Greenwald's site</a>)

  • "How To Raise A Boyfriend," Rebecca Eckler

    <b>The summary</b>: "How to Raise a Boyfriend presents itself as a humorous guide to educating your man "or any other clueless guy in your life," and includes a Relationship Report Card by which to rate your male partner, based on Eckler's six-year-old daughter's school report card." (<a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/how-to-raise-a-boyfriend-by-rebecca-eckler/article567090/" target="_hplink">via The Globe and Mail</a>)

  • "How To Win Friends And Influence People," Dale Carnegie

    <b>The summary</b>: "Whether you are looking to leave a great impression at a networking event or looking to leave people with a better impression, How to Win Friends and Influence People has lessons that will help to make you the life of the party, the person who just seems to know everyone, or being better at getting people to work in the way you envision." (<a href="http://madamenoire.com/110689/lessons-review-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people/" target="_hplink">via Madame Noire</a>)

  • "It's Called A Breakup Because It's Broken," Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt

    <b>The summary</b>: "Having been there, done that, the authors are genuinely sympathetic about just how painful the loss of a relationship can be, yet at the same time, the provide an oft-necessary 'kick in the pants' on the road to recovery." (<a href="http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?id=3837&type=book&cn=287" target="_hplink">via Mentalhelp.net</a>)

  • "I've Got Your Number," Sophie Kinsella

    <b>The summary</b>: "Our heroine is Poppy Wyatt, an utterly charming if insecure physiotherapist who is engaged to Magnus, a celebrity university lecturer with academic parents who derisively mock those who can't pronounce Proust -- including their future daughter-in-law. The whirlwind romance is endangered after Poppy first loses her emerald engagement ring during a pre-nuptial party and then has her cellphone stolen." (<a href="http://books.usatoday.com/book/sophie-kinsella-ive-got-your-number/r627134" target="_hplink">via USA Today</a>)

  • "Magnified World," Grace O'Connell

    <b>The summary</b>: "This quiet debut novel follows its twenty-three-year-old narrator, Maggie, as she grapples with the recent suicide of her mother, whose clinical depression belies the holistic optimism of her New Age shop, which sells healing crystals and tarot cards." (<a href="http://walrusmagazine.com/articles/2012.06-walrus-reads-magnified-world/" target="_hplink">via The Walrus</a>)

  • "One Day," David Nicholls

    <b>The summary</b>: "[This] witty, affecting novel that checks into two friends one day each year is a frank look at how a friendship evolves over two decades, and how emotions -- affection, lust, love -- wax and wane over time." (<a href="http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/one-day" target="_hplink">via Common Sense Media</a>)

  • "On The Outside Looking Indian," Rupinder Gill

    <b>The summary</b>: "Rupinder Gill is the daughter of immigrant Punjabi parents who were masters at saying no. No sleepovers. No tennis lessons ... Upon turning 30, Gill conceived of a plan to make up for lost time: she decided to spend one year doing all the things other kids got to do, such as learning to swim, having a sleepover, taking dance lessons, getting a dog, going to camp, and visiting Disneyworld." (<a href="http://www.quillandquire.com/reviews/review.cfm?review_id=7251" target="_hplink">via Quill & Quire</a>)

  • "MWF Seeking BFF," Rachel Bertsche

    <b>The summary</b>: "[For" many of us, as a new book points out, 'friend-making is not the natural process it used to be.' Chicago transplant and journalist Rachel Bertsche discovers this the hard way when she finds herself without close friends to speak of two years after moving. She comes up with a game plan to change her situation -- go on one friend date a week over the next year, 52 in all. (<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/books/9585853-421/review-mwf-seeking-bff-by-rachel-bertsche.html" target="_hplink">via Chicago Sun-Times</a>)

  • "Maine," J. Courtney Sullivan

    <b>The summary</b>: "Told from the perspectives of four women from the same family, Maggie, Kathleen and Ann Marie each head to Alice's 60-year-old beach cottage. When family secrets spill, haunted pasts resurface and grudges hold strong, the Kelleher's are forced to face its issues, regardless of how difficult that may be." (<a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/opinion/maine-book-review" target="_hplink">via Marie Claire</a>)

  • "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald

    <b>The summary</b>: "Published in 1925, 'The Great Gatsby', a "consciously artistic achievement", is a study of the power of illusion. It's a deconstruction of our dreams - of romance, of identity, even of consciousness. It's a love story, an American fable and an echo chamber of the 20th century." (<a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-of-a-lifetime-the-great-gatsby-by-f-scott-fitzgerald-2355266.html" target="_hplink">via The Independent</a>)

  • "The Girls," Lori Lansens

    <b>The summary</b>: "'The Girls' tells the story of Rose and Ruby Darlen, who are not only literally but spiritually attached for eternity. Born joined at the head in 1974 to a feckless teenage mother who abandons them, and reared by a delightfully open-minded adoptive couple, the Darlen girls are darling girls, indeed." (<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/books/review/D_Erasmo.t.html?pagewanted=all" target="_hplink">via The New York Times</a>)

  • "Sisterhood Everlasting," Ann Brashares

    <b>The summary</b>: "Tibby, Lena, Bridget, and Carmen [of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series] are all grown up and leading very separate lives although still very much connected to each other through the deep bond of friendship they have shared since being thrown together by their mothers since they were babies." (<a href="http://www.peekingbetweenthepages.com/2012/03/book-review-sisterhood-everlasting-by-ann-brashares.html" target="_hplink">via Peeking Between The Pages</a>)

  • "Pride & Prejudice," Jane Austen

    <b>The summary</b>: "Austen's timeless tale recounts the story of three English families from varying social backgrounds. Austen provides a realistic picture of life in England in the 1800s, including the strict social mores which dictate how a person's life is led--who they can marry, what work they can do, where they can live, and who can tell them what to do." (<a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/arts-entertainment/book-review-pride-and-prejudice-by-jane-austen-60482.html" target="_hplink">via The Epoch Times</a>)

  • "The Handmaid's Tale," Margaret Atwood

    <b>The summary</b>: "The future is bleak according to Margaret Atwood. The novelist's The Handmaid's Tale warns us of a world post-national tragedy where women have no rights and conveniences like technology are greatly restricted." (<a href="http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/book-review-handmaids-tale" target="_hplink">via Do Something</a>)

  • "The Joy Luck Club," Amy Tan

    <b>The summary</b>: "The Joy Luck Club takes us inside the lives of four Chinese women and their American-born daughters. Their stories, both powerful and captivating, tell us of hardship and wealth, hate and love, sadness and rejoicing, fear and hope." (<a href="http://www.teenink.com/reviews/book_reviews/article/1388/The-Joy-Luck-Club/" target="_hplink">via Teen Ink)</a>

  • "The Scarlet Letter," Nathaniel Hawthorne

    <b>The summary</b>: "Set in the mid-1600s in a Puritan village near Boston, MA, The Scarlet Letter chronicles the spiritual journey of Hester Prynne, a married woman who becomes a social outcast when she conceives a child out of wedlock during her husband's long absence." (<a href="http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/scarlet-letter" target="_hplink">via Common Sense Media</a>)

  • "To Kill A Mockingbird," Harper Lee

    <b>The summary</b>: "Set deep in the Depression-era South of the 1930s, the story covers three years in the life of young Jean-Louise "Scout" Finch and her brother Jem... three years marked by the arrest and trial of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely charged with the rape of a white girl." (<a href="http://inkslingerblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/book-review-to-kill-a-mockingbird/" target="_hplink">via The Ink Slinger</a>)

  • Fifty Shades Of Grey

    <b>The summary</b>: ""50 Shades of Grey" follows recent college grad Anastasia Steele as she ventures into a hardcore sexual relationship with older billionaire tycoon Christian Grey. Grey is at once taken by Steele and resolves to have her for himself. But the relationship has a twist, Grey is into sado-masochism and wants Steele to play the submissive to his dominant sexual nature." (<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-50-shades-of-grey-the-new-mom-porn-book-phenomenon-2012-3?op=1" target="_hplink">via Business Insider</a>)