10 Book Ideas to Give to a Graduate as a Gift

Graduation time is upon us and there might be a few grad parties for you this spring or summer, but throwing money in a card is a little cliché. Sure, money is nice but nothing says “good luck” like a book filled with funny stories or advice. Money is helpful, but books are more of a fun new twist. So, if sounds like the right gift for your grad, check out this list!


Life After College by Tori Randolph Terhune and Betsy A. Hays

A college degree may seem like the key to happiness, but it may not be. A degree is a great accomplishment in life, but there is so much more to happiness than that. Life After College: Ten Steps to Build a Life You Love, is the must have for the college grad dealing with the “culture shock” when transitioning from college life to the professional world. Tori Randolph Terhune, a college graduate and Betsy Hays, a college professor, provide 10 pieces of easy-to-follow practical advice on everything from time management to budgeting – and drill in the fact that a happy and healthy post-college life is more than just finding a job. Purchase it on Amazon in hardcover for $28.50 or for the Kindle for $22.79.


The Night Before College by Sonya Sones and Ava Tramer

The Night Before College is written in the rhythm and tone of the beloved children’s classic The Night Before Christmas. In only 48 pages, the mother-daughter duo, Sones and Tramer, touch on everything from filling out the FAFSA to touring college campuses – and will bring your college grad back to their childhood while also giving them insight to the road ahead. Snag it on Amazon for $8.99 for hardcover or $7.99 for the Kindle.


How to Survive Your Freshman Year by Mark W. Bernstein

What clubs should I join? Which building should I live in? Where are my classes? Freshman year of college can be hard, but who can answer these questions better than those that have been there: college sophomores. How to Survive Freshman Year offers the advice, experiences and wisdom from hundreds of former college freshmen across the country. Purchase it on Amazon in paperback for $12.82 or the Kindle for $9.99.


Oh, The Places You’ll Eff Up By Joshua Miller

Life in your 20s isn’t going to be perfect. In fact, you’re going to mess up, maybe even a lot. A recent high school graduate might not know it yet, so why not warn them? Oh, The Places You’ll Eff Up is not only a parody of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go, but is also a hilarious graduation keepsake that will remind young adults everywhere that it is OK to make mistakes. Snag it on Amazon for $12.30 in hardcover or $9.99 for the Kindle.


I’ll Miss You Too by Margo E. Woodacre Bane and Steffany Bane

Transitioning from high school to college life can be just as difficult for the parent as it is for the student. Equally as difficult is the student’s ability to understand exactly what their parent is dealing with, as their nest begins to empty. I’ll Miss You Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students can help the relationship between parents and children grow stronger as they learn to cope with the college adventure. Grab this on Amazon for $12.88 or for the Kindle for $9.39.


The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen

Imagine opening the door to your dorm room and seeing your roommate in nothing but their socks. The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, is a hilarious compilation of real-life stories that actually happened, and expert advice on how to deal with awkward situations that may arise in college years. This book is available in paperback on Amazon for $9.75-plus.


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give lectures, but few are quite as powerful as The Last Lecture given by Randy Pausch. Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly before giving the lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” This lecture, however, was not about dying, but rather the importance of overcoming obstacles and seizing every moment. The book combined the humor and intelligence used in his lecture and delivers a message that every college student should hear: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” Snag your copy on Amazon for $6.5
0-plus or $9.99 for the Kindle.


This is Water by Davis Foster Wallace

Inspired by the author’s only speech at the commencement ceremony at Kenyon College in 2005, This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life explains how to keep from living a comfortable life unconsciously and the importance of living a compassionate life. Purchase on Amazon for $15 for the hardcover or $8.89 for the Kindle.


The Everything Healthy College Cookbook by Nicole Cormier

Gross student center food, midnight fast food runs and the dreaded freshman 15 are things of the past with Nicole Cormier’s The Everything Healthy College Cookbook. Keeping your graduate healthy while at college is this book’s goal. With 300 easy-to-make and cheap, healthy options that take minimal time and equipment to prepare, eating well in a dorm is no longer just a dream. Available through Amazon for $11 in paperback and $9.99 for the Kindle.


Breaking Night by Liz Murray

Many people struggle with college life, but few had the struggle of Liz Murray, the author of Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard. Murray was born to drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. She dropped out of high school and by the time she was 15, she was homeless. When her mother died of AIDS, Murray decided to go back to high school. She completed high school in just two years, while homeless, won a scholarship and made it into Harvard. A true story of struggle and commitment, this book proves that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Available in paperback for $15.99 or for the Kindle for $9.99.


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