40 Books to Read Before Turning 40

The manual for making your first four decades the most joyful, wise and stress-free of your life.
Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women

217 pages; Modern Library
The first essay in this collection is about being flat-chested and making your way in the world as a woman with no breasts, which was never my problem, even at, like, 10, when I was reading the book. But Ephron was also hilarious, and I didn't know women could talk that way about those kinds of things. The collection felt like a really funny, intimate conversation you could have with one of your best friends. I thought, This is how I want to write. This is the kind of stuff I want to talk about, and this is the way I want to talk about it.
— As told to Sara Nelson