When it comes to buying a school graduate a gift, nothing beats cash. Ask any graduate what they want as a graduation present and they’ll say CASH! But as responsible adults, its our duty to give them something else. Something that will enlighten, educate, motivate and inspire them to follow their dreams and aspire for something greater.
So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Books we think every graduate must read. Even if they choose to read just one, they’ll be more inspired and you’ve done your job as a loving adult.
The 10 Best Books For A School Graduate
Graduate Gift #10. The Last Lecture
- Randy Pausch
For those who aren’t aware, Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The university has a tradition of inviting professors to give a lecture where they pretend that it is their last chance ever to talk to their students. What would you say? What wisdom would you impart? What are your lessons in life?
For Randy, this was not a hypothetical question. Barely a minute into the lecture he introduced “the elephant in the room”: advanced pancreatic cancer that would kill him in a matter of months. With this revelation out of the way, he gave a talk about achieving your childhood dreams and enabling the dreams of others.
The lecture was so full of optimism, clarity, hope, humour, and sincerity that the YouTube video went viral and a few months later it was published as a book. “The Last Lecture” contains everything that Randy covered in the lecture, plus some other anecdotes and pearls of wisdom from his life and experience. For any school graduate, this book will be very inspiring.
Graduate Gift #9. Einsteins Dreams
- Alan Lightman
Einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905. Everyone should read this book, everyone should give this book away, it should be thrown from rooftops and forced upon youngsters. Einstein in his mad canter towards discovering the most revolutionary idea in science tumbles right down an imaginary wonderland in this book.
What comes out of the recesses is Einstein’s brooding on the nature of time and its relation to our lives in a montage of dreams that stretch our imagination to its limits. Quite simply, it’s a wonderful book, that will make you think, and stay with you for a long time.
Graduate Gift #8. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
- Jared Diamond
In one of Jared Diamond’s earlier books, Guns, Germs and Steel, he explored the role of man’s natural environment in shaping the unique nature of the human societies that emerged in different regions of the world. Now we are presented with the other side of the equation: the role of man’s behavior in shaping the environments in which he lives.
While Professor Diamond seems to go to great lengths to present us with a glimmer of optimism in the face of a substantial body of contrary information, the thrust of this new volume is that today, anybody’s environmental problem is everybody’s problem.
This book is great for reinforcing the idea of being responsible for the environment and living a sustainable life.
Graduate Gift #7. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
- Chris Guillebeau
“The $100 Startup” is a book for any school graduate looking to start a business but needs some inspirational examples of other startups who were successful from a very small initial investment.
Not going into business allows us not to fail. However, this self-protective instinct automatically allows us not to succeed either. The book encourages a quick, no-holds barred start-up, because the leap is what is often the most difficult.
Graduate Gift #6. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
This book was chock full of interesting anecdotes about how people can become dysfunctional due to an inability to successfully manage emotions. It definitely convinced me that emotional intelligence is a worthy skill set to master if one wishes to interact with other people.
As a young school graduate about to enter the business world, a good understanding of emotional intelligence will help them manage the complex relationships required in the modern work environment.
Graduate Gift #5. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
- Anthony Robbins
Anthony Robbins is one of the most well-known self-improvement and motivational speakers. Even though his first book ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ was published more than a decade ago, it still holds immense relevance in today’s world. This is a book packed with plenty of strategies on how to take charge of your emotions, health, relationships and finances. It is a holistic book that offers timeless philosophies that can help you reach your true goals and discover your passion in life.
- Jack Canfield
Going off to college for the first time could be daunting, especially because you don’t know what to expect. I’ve been there and I know the feeling. In the midst of establishing an identity for myself, being homesick, and being surrounded with all the peculiar antics college students are into, you can get a bit lost at times.
This collection of stories from the Chicken Soup series book will be inspiring for your school graduate and it will help them adjust to college life.
Graduate Gift #3. Start Something That Matters
- Blake Mycoskie
Written by the founder of TOMs shoes, who give away a pair of shoes to someone underprivileged, this book is for any graduate who wants to start a business with a conscience. And that is the message of this book — it’s possible to do GREAT things while still earning a living.
Graduate Gift #2. The Art of Happiness
- Dalai Lama XIV
This book is about the concept of happiness and how we attain it. It’s not a self-help book but rather a book about how the Dalai Lama believes that people inherently have the ability to find happiness but we obstruct it with our immaterial and superficial beliefs. This book will give a graduate the essence of this man’s being and his outlook on life. It encompasses many of his core beliefs and serves as an inspiration to everyone, irrespective of religious affiliation or spiritual belief.
Graduate Gift #1. The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality
- Michael Talbot
This book presents anecdotal and scientific evidence in the argument that the universe is actually a combination of various frequencies which our brains then interpret into what we experience as reality.
In the first few chapters Mr. Talbot describes the emerging holographic paradigm in science, drawing on David Bohm’s work in quantum physics and Karl Pribam’s work in neuroscience. The Holographic Universe is a discourse on a new way (paradigm) for viewing life and the Universe, based primarily on revelations from quantum physics. An absolutely fascinating read for any inquisitive graduate.