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.
Personal History by Katharine Graham

Personal History

642 pages; Vintage
In her memoir, Graham not only tells her story—of a sheltered childhood, years of happy marriage before her husband's mental illness led him to suicide, her decision to lead The Washington Post—but also gives an insider's take on key moments in 20th-century American politics, like Watergate and the leaking of the Pentagon Papers. "Katharine Graham was a one-of-a-kind American character," says Williams. "But because she operated in what is so often described as a provincial small Southern city in a company town, she wasn't as well known as she probably should have been. Her story is fascinating, and it makes me angry when I hear her described as a female Lou Grant. That's an insult to the gender, to Mrs. Graham—and to Lou Grant."
— Brian Williams