Gift these books to a new college grad for a lifetime of guidance, wisdom and inspiration
With their insight, wisdom and sometimes simply the ability to make us smile, books are gifts that keep on giving. Recent graduates entering the real world face new and evolving challenges, and the right book can help them face those challenges with courage and clarity. The best books for college grads can not only kick-start their lives but also help them face new hurdles. If you’re not someone who likes to read physical books or e-books, don’t worry! All of these books are available as Audible audiobooks, which you can purchase on Amazon or in the Audible store with Audible credits. Some of the books in our list can even be downloaded for free using Audible Plus if you have an active subscription.
Books to help grads in the real world
Every graduate embarking on a new chapter of life needs something different. Some need guidance figuring out their career path, while others could benefit from trustworthy financial information. Others may need some gentle advice covering the basics of keeping house.
Whether you gift them an inspiring memoir, a trusted financial guide or a self-help book with a sense of humor, a great graduation gift will sustain them through not just this new chapter but the ones that follow. As the years pass and their lives evolve, they’ll want a resource they can reach for to help them through whatever challenges life throws their way.
Best books for grads
Design thinking leads to useful products and functional spaces, but it can also apply to structuring a meaningful life. Design thinking principles can be put to use at any age, in any life stage, in order to discover more productivity and creativity.
Research professor and author Brene Brown focuses on the idea of leadership in this book. How do you lead well in a culture that believes power must be hoarded and asking questions shows weakness? This book argues for the role of empathy, courage and connection in leadership.
Why are some people more successful and influential than others? This question is the foundation of one of the most popular TED Talks of all time and the basis of “Start with Why.” This book can help readers communicate better and set better goals in their professional lives.
Help a new grad set healthy new habits — or break unhealthy cycles — with this book. Drawing from psychology and neuroscience, “Atomic Habits” can help readers make small changes that amount to big successes.
This unconventional finance book combines practical exercises with mindfulness techniques that tie financial success to the reader’s own beliefs and experiences with money. It’s a great book for anyone feeling left out by traditional financial planning.
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have endured decades of exile, hardship and oppression. This book emerged from five days of discussing a key question: How do we find joy in the midst of suffering? The two luminaries offer guidance to finding lasting happiness in our own lives.
Written by the creator of “The Good Place,” this funny yet thought-provoking book walks readers through more than 2,000 years of philosophy to help them learn how to be better people. It tackles tough and not-so-tough ethical questions so readers are equipped to face challenging real-world issues.
If the new grad in your life has anxiety, ADHD or depression, starting adult life on their own can present extra challenges. This book challenges the morality attached to keeping a spotless house and offers workarounds, shortcuts and practical tips to use time and energy well.
This book uses unexpected success stories from business, sports, entertainment and more to explore how people and organizations make groundbreaking ideas succeed. It helps readers manage their own fear and doubt in order to speak up for their good ideas.
Written by a professor at NYU’s business school, this book presents a fresh perspective on how to be successful and feel fulfilled. Galloway shares his life experience on work-life balance, relationships and more.
Adulthood looks different for this generation, and this book offers advice for young adults struggling with the traditional checklist of adulthood markers. By treating adulthood as a process rather than a checklist, Lythcott-Haims helps readers live more rewarding and confident lives.
Worth checking out
- The antithesis of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” “Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear” by Carl Hiaasen will appeal to grads with a somewhat darker sense of humor.
- The Budgetnista Tiffany Aliche shares financial wisdom in a 10-step plan in “Get Good with Money.”
- “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” by Daniel H. Pink helps break down the science of good timing to help readers live richer lives.
- Help them retrain their brain to creatively problem-solve with “Everything is Figureoutable” by Marie Forleo.
- “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg explores the science of habits and their transformational possibilities.
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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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