By the numbers
Three recent books focus on life in our teens, 20s and 30s.
Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self (Atria), edited by Joseph Galliano, gathers notes of retrospective advice from such celebrities as Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Aasif Mandvi, J.K. Rowling and Stan Lee.
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now (Twelve) by Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist's explanation of how most critical elements of our lives — brain growth, career path, love life and more — are determined by what we do in our 20s.
Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30 (Hyperion), by the editors of Glamour and Pamela Redmond Satran, is an update of a 15-year-old column by Satran, with contributions by experts and celebrities such as Suze Orman, Katie Couric, Maya Angelou and Taylor Swift (who's looking forward to 30).
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor