Graduation is just around the corner for many high schools and universities and a book is a great gift idea.
I still remember a few of the books I received from my high school graduation!
If you’re looking for great books to give graduates, here are more than a dozen of my favorites.
15 Books for Graduates
The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
I read this book as a new year’s kick off a few years ago and it’s just perfect for a new beginning like graduation! It’s a delightful road map to help you think about what you want from the upcoming season of your life and how you can achieve it in the most effortless way. I love her focus on finding what works for YOU, whether it’s the kind of thing that works for anyone else or not, and her kind, gentle-humored style. Whether you’re new to Kendra or are already a fan of her podcast, this book is terrific.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Bart and I both listened to this book when it first came out and couldn’t stop talking about it for months. It can feel so overwhelming and impossible to change your habits, but this really helps you understand how to make it happen and why the littlest habits make the biggest difference. It kind of feels like one of those books that EVERYONE should read. (Full review here)
Grit by Angela Duckworth
Bart read this book back in graduate school, more than a decade ago, and we still frequently talk about the principles in this book both for our own lives and those of our children. If you’re looking for books to give to graduates that will help them for DECADES, this one is a can’t miss.
Think Again by Adam Grant
I read and LOVED Adam Grant’s book, Originals a few years ago and his new book is equally good – he’s just so good at writing the kinds of books that you can’t stop thinking about. Like Originals, it’s full of fascinating stories and terrific insights, and I truly feel like every parent, business owner, teacher, and . . .okay, human, should read this one. It’s one I’ll be returning to again and again because it’s just so insightful!
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic really was such a tremendously good book that I found incredibly inspiring – it is the perfect thing to read at the beginning of a new season of life, like post-graduation, and it made me feel optimistic, light-hearted, and ready to put in the time to accomplish things that are meaningful to me. And it’s the kind of book where you definitely want to own your own copy, because there is so much good stuff to mark up as you read. (full review here)
We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers
You know I can’t resist a money book and this one was so good and quite different than a lot of the money books I’ve read in the past. It got me so fired up! It’s ultra-readable and really inspired me. It’s also full of practical tips, not just high level information and I kind of thing every woman should read it.
Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
I could not put this book down – it’s a totally different look at time management than I’ve EVER read before. If you’re tired of feeling rushed or like life is just a race toward more and more productivity, this book is for you! It’s probably the most dense book on this list, but I enjoyed reading it a few pages at a time over a couple of months.
This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
If your graduate is moving somewhere new after graduation and is worried about feeling at home in an unfamiliar location, this book is jammed with practical suggestions for digging into your community and local culture and making anywhere feel like home. (Full Review Here)
How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen
This is a really quick read, so perfect for a graduate who you know won’t sit down with a 300 page book. It’s so inspiring about balancing work and life, and getting the most out of both of them and getting clear on what is meaningful and important to you personally.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
One of the things this book talks a lot about is taking off your armor and really engaging with other people and situations, especially the ones that make you uncomfortable or make you automatically want to cast blame, disengage, or react with anger or self-righteousness. For someone entering a new stage of life, this is a gold mine – it really is a book for anyone, I think. (Full review here.)
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
When it comes to habits, this is one of my all-time favorite books. I love how practical it is and especially how she helps you identify what kinds of strategies will work for YOU as you set goals and develop new habits. Plus, I find her writing so delightful and interesting. I love all her books, including The Happiness Project, but this one is definitely my favorite. (Full review here)
Deep Work by Cal Newport
In this age of so much distraction, I love his hands-on ideas for how to really focus and get the things that matter to you done. If you feel pulled in all directions by your phone or social media and like you aren’t able to focus on the projects and work that matters to you (whether that’s a job, writing a novel, your family, or something else entirely), this non-fiction book is so good.
The Power of Fun by Catherine Price
The Power of Fun is broken into two parts – the first part is basically a breakdown of what IS fun (hint: it’s not mindlessly scrolling on TikTok or watching Netflix until all hours of the night) and why we’re so bad at having real fun. The second part of the book is called “How to Have Fun” and it’s PACKED with useful ideas for how to actually make true fun a part of your life. It starts with the Fun Audit and goes through chapters like Find Your Fun and Make Space. The Power of Fun is one of those books where I kind of want to force copies on everyone I know – it’s just SO good and so useful and truly the perfect book to make sure your life includes enjoyment, true fun, and connection. (Full review here.)
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
I’ll probably never stop talking about this book because I love it so much (I’ve read it multiple times). It’s so easy to feel like we’re all so BUSY and that there couldn’t possibly be time to fit in hobbies, rest, or relationships. I love this different look at your schedule and taking real ownership of how you spend your time. If you feel overwhelmed with your routine or like your life is just a hamster wheel of tasks, this book is a must read. Plus, it (Full review here)
Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life by Anne Bogel
Post-graduation life can be filled with so many decisions that it can be overwhelming and this is a wonderful guide to not overthinking all of those choices. It is also a quick read with lots of applicable ideas, so if you’re looking for something that a graduate will actually pick up, this is a great one.
And if you’d like a printable copy of this books for graduates list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!
P.S. If you want even more suggestions, check out these recommendations from my Instagram readers!
if you found this post about books for graduates helpful, you might also like these other posts:
- 13 Picture Books for Graduation (perfect for kids)
- 10 Great Books: My Most Recommended Titles
- 9 Really Good Last Minute Gift Ideas