We’ll always love each other. There are so many things you will do and see, but these thoughtful and inspirational graduation gifts will be read over again and again.
The perfect present for their next chapter
If you want to buy great graduation gifts for the high school and college students in your life, check out this list. In the right place! Everything from inspirational graduation quotes and success stories to advice on how to get a job and live a normal life is in this mix of books. People who just graduated from college will enjoy these 24 books even after the graduation ceremony is over, we think. Nonfiction books, memoirs, and inspirational words of wisdom are all great ways to help people start a new chapter in their lives. You’re sure to find what you need. The best new fiction books are always a good idea to give as a gift. This is especially true for your favorite grad, who needs a break from work and school.
Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations, hand-lettered by Lisa Congdon
All grads will love this:
Why? Because: Some books are meant to be dog-eared and put on your bedside table so you can read them and get help quickly. Others are meant to be shown off. Both of these things can happen. Joan of Arc and Jack Kerouac are just two of the people who have said some very wise things in this collection of illustrations and quotes. There are very few books that look good on a bookshelf in a dorm room or on a coffee table in your first apartment. This is one of them.
Abe Lincoln said, “No matter what you are, be a good one.”
Atomic Habits by James Clear
A good choice for people who want to get things done and dream big:
Why? Because: Big dreams aren’t done overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It helps people break big goals and dreams into steps and habits that they can do. Atomic Habits is simple to read and use, but its simplicity hides its power. If the graduate in your life wants to get healthy, cut down on stress, or start a business from scratch, James Clear has a framework that can help.
“You should be far more concerned with where you are going than with where you are now.”
All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols
Poets and dreamers will love this.
Why? Because: Getting a diploma is both an end and the start of something new. Morgan Harper Nichols has written a book of poems and stories that help people deal with the mixed emotions of transitioning. If you read her short works, you can save them to read again and again. She says there are lessons to be learned from every dead end and new glimmerings of hope every day.
“What if all of your imperfections and flaws were just part of your story, not the whole of who you are?”
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Anyone who is about to start a job
Why? Because: They may get a job with a great resume or letter of recommendation. Good habits and soft skills will help them keep it if they do well at their job, too. It’s one of the best self-help books ever written. It gives people a strong foundation for life and work. Each of the seven habits is explained in detail, with anecdotes to show how they work. Covey’s best-selling book about principles is a great gift for graduates. It’s a checklist and a reference guide.
“Start with the end in mind.”
What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World by Tina Seelig
Graduates who want to learn how to have a growth mindset.
Why? Because: Tina Seelig, a professor at Stanford University, knows that there is no one-size-fits-all way to be a winner. In her book, which is full of stories from students and personal insights, she encourages people to question limiting worldviews, learn how to bounce back from failure, and see the world as a place of limitless opportunities rather than restrictive institutions.
“It’s easy to stay on the beaten path, but it’s often more fun to find out what’s waiting around the corner.”
This Is Water by David Foster Wallace
All grads will love this:
Why? Because: David Foster Wallace only gave one commencement speech in his career, at Kenyon College in 2005. His message was so important that the whole thing was put together in hardcover. In Wallace’s words, what makes them different from the rest of the words? Then, even though he tells them about the boring things that happen in everyday adult life, he says that their new skills can help them stay aware and compassionate as they move forward in their search for success.
Quote: “Simply being aware of what is real and important is all we need to do. We have to keep telling ourselves over and over again: ‘This is water. This is water.'”
Love by Matt de la Peña
People who want a new twist on Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Why? Because: This book’s colorful descriptions, simple language, and beautiful depictions of different people all show the love of a family raising a child to be released into the world. People of all ages are likely to be moved by Love, which the Wall Street Journal said was “lyrical and sensitive.” Quote: “Your loved ones will hold you close and kiss you and send best wishes your way.” You will leave with love, but not good luck.
Bounce by Matthew Syed
Artists and athletes will love this.
Why? Because: Table tennis champion Matthew Syed has written an upbeat guide to success. He uses detailed research and his own stories to dispel the myth that talent is only based on genetics. People who are great artists, composers, and athletes all did a lot of practice. Syed found this out when he looked at the work they did. About 10,000 hours a year. The golfer Gary Player said: “Yes, and the funny thing is, the more I practice, the more luckier I get.”
Get Good with Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole by Tiffany Aliche
Graduates who want to pay off their student loans quickly.
Why? Because: Tiffany Aliche is known online as “The Budgetnista” because she’s good at simplifying complicated personal financial advice into steps that people can take right away, so she’s a big hit. Her methods work for both new and experienced budgeters. Graduates who need to deal with debt, a new budget, and investment opportunities can start with the ideas in this book.
“Financial wholeness is when all of the parts of your financial life work together for your best good, your biggest benefit, and your richest life.”
Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media. by Aliza Licht
Aspirational recent college grads who aren’t sure how they can “make it.”
Why? Because: This is not just a book about how to get a job. It’s a whole mentor in novel form. Aliza Licht, a well-known fashion communications expert, talks about how to build a strong personal brand and how to do well when you’re just starting out in your career. Having coffee and getting advice on your job is just like meeting someone for that. It’s just in written form. If you push people off the ladder to get to the top, you won’t be able to get back down.
Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat
Graduates who want to move from cafeteria food to home-cooked meals.
Why? Because: It’s one thing to know how to make a few recipes. It’s another thing to be good at them. Mastering the art of cooking, such as blending spices, adding heat, and understanding how flavors work together, is a different thing. The no-nonsense approach of Samin Nosrat will help anyone who wants to improve their cooking skills. The book is full of recipes, illustrations, and tips that can be used with any other cookbook that a graduate owns now and in the future, no matter how old or new it is. Use salt and fat to make the food taste better, and acid to make it taste right.