Top 10 Books for New Grads!

If you’re reading this post, I’ll assume that you’re either a) a new grad yourself, or b) family or friends with a new graduate, looking for a present for your loved one.

If you’re the former, CONGRATULATIONS! You did it. Whether it be high school, college, university, or some other form of learning, be proud of your accomplishments! Take it in and enjoy it.


If you’re the latter, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve got ten great recommendations for your new graduate. From the inspirational reads to practical advice, these are ten books that everyone will be the better off having read.

Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art

Based off Neil Gaiman’s 2012 commencement speech at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. In Make Good Art, Gaiman shares his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength. He encourages painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box. This is seriously a must read for anyone graduating from the arts or looking to pursue their artistic passions. It’s unconventional, clever, and so inspiring.

It will also be a part of Neil Gaiman’s latest release, The View from the Cheap Seats, a collection of Gaiman’s best essay on a myriad of topics that will be out later this month! Keep an eye out for it!

Amy Poehler, Yes Please

A smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read from one of our most beloved funny folk. A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haiku, Yes Please cemented Amy Poehler’s place in our hearts as one of our most beloved entertainers, and in our minds as a sharp, insightful, and provocative writer.

Kate White, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve

In I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, Kate White – the gutsy innovator who helped to increase Cosmo’s circulation by half a million copies per month – shares her secrets to success. A witty, wise, straight-talking career guide for women, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is the perfect book for new grads and even established women looking to make a significant career change.

Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In

Based off Sheryl Sandberg’s 2010 TEDTalk, where she discussed women and their unwillingness to dive into their careers. She encouraged women to pursue their career goals, to “sit at the table.” In Lean In, she delves further into these issues. Using a mix of her own personal story and hard facts, this book is a practical, step-by-step guide for women to follow in order to succeed in their careers.

Duckworth - Grit

Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Just recently released, this book by psychologist Angela Duckworth already has massive buzz surrounding it. Duckworth shows that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.” She explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that makes all the difference.

Larry Smith, No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career

No Fears, No Excuses is the latest publication by “career whisperer” Larry Smith. Smith itemizes and dismisses all the usual excuses, fears, and worries that people hide behind when trying to find their true direction. It is the perfect book for any recent graduates who are wondering where they fit into the world, or for mid-career men and women who find themselves heading down the wrong path.

Chris Anderson, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Since taking over TED in the early 2000s, Chris Anderson has tapped the world’s most brilliant individuals to share their expertise. Anderson discovered early on that the key to getting an audience to sit up and pay attention is to condense a presentation into 18 minutes or less, and to heighten its impact with a powerful narrative. In other words, to tell a terrific story. TED Talks is a lively, fun read with great practical application from the man who knows what goes into a great speech.

Jack & Suzy Welch, The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career

The business titans and New York Times bestselling authors return with The Real-Life MBA, an essential guide for everyone in business today that explores the most pressing challenges related to creating winning strategies, leading and managing others, and building a thriving career. Going beyond theories, concepts, and ideologies, they tackle the real stuff of work today.

Veschuren - Bet On Me

Annette Verschuren, Bet on Me: Leading and Succeeding in Business and in Life

This new release and nearly instant bestseller lays out Verschuren’s surprising and inspiring formula for what it takes to lead and succeed in today’s economy: tenacity, the willingness to embrace risk, and an unwavering commitment to remain true to yourself, no matter how unorthodox you may seem. Bet On Me takes readers on one woman’s journey of authentic and transformational leadership.

Conrad - Celebrate

Lauren Conrad, Celebrate

And last (but definitely not least), Lauren Conrad’s Celebrate. It’s an essential guide to entertaining, filled with an inspiring array of lifestyle tips and personal stories and lavishly illustrated with dozens of colour photographs throughout. This book is gorgeous and makes the perfect gift for someone entering into the adult world! And to remind your graduate that their is always a reason to celebrate!

Sometimes a good book is just what you need to get yourself on track. So if you’re a post-grad Savvy Reader, what books did you read upon graduating that helped to guide and shape your future? We’d love some more suggestions!


Follow me on Twitter @allieboballie8


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