Best Books for Graduates: 2015

atkins-bookshelf-booksIn late Spring, millions of graduates, cloaked in black gowns, sit patiently in neat rows of folding metal chairs, like penguins basking in the sun’s warm glow. It is commencement in America — an important milestone in the life of young people who, having earned a degree in the hallowed halls of the academe, are now yearning to embark on life’s journey to destinations known and unknown. As they proudly march across the stage, they leave behind adolescence and high school and adolescence and move toward young adulthood and, for most, college. And in just a few years they will be marching across another stage, stepping confidently into the real world.

Soon after a well-deserved summer break, they will be headed back into the classroom to learn about very specific subjects, according to their majors. Back home, parents will begin to learn something new — the difficult process of letting go, to encourage their children’s independence, and begin the gradual transition from parent to mentor. Bookshelf honors these transformative rites of passages by presenting some of the best books for graduates and their parents to make their journeys more fulfilling, more enjoyable, and less stressful. 

BEST BOOKS FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey (2014)
1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know: (Like Buying Your Books Before Exams Start) by Harry Harrison (2008)

1001 Things Every Graduate Should Know by Harry Harrison (2011)
1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home: (Or Else They’ll Come Back) by Harry Harrison (2007)
72 Tips for Getting a Better Education by Andrew Roberts (2010)

College Safety 101: Miss Independent’s Guide to Empowerment, Confidence, and Staying Safe by Kathleen Baty (2011)
Making the Most Out of CollegeL Students Speak Their Mind by Richard Light (2004)

How to Survive Your Freshman Year: Fifth Edition by Mark Bernstein, et al (2013)
The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything In Between by Nora Bradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey (2011)
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen (2015)
The Secrets of College Success by Lynn Jacobs (2013)
What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens: Discover Yourself, Design Your Future, and Plan for Your Dream Job by Carol Christen and Richard Bolles (2015)
Where You’ll Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni (2015)

Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By by Cary Siegel (2013)
College Hacks by Keith Bradford (2015)

BEST BOOKS FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES
10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College, Revised: The Skills You Need to Succeed by Bill Coplin (2012)
101 Great Answers for the Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry (2009)
101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone (2013)
Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life by Roadtrip Nation and Brian McAllister, et al (2015)
The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nichola Lore (2012)
Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul Tieger (2014)
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (2007)
How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen (2012)
Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job into Your Dream Career by Lauren Berger (2014)
What Color is Your Parachute? 2015 by Richard Bolles (2015)
What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question by Po Bronson (2005)

You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career by Katharine Brooks (2010)

BEST BOOKS FOR INSPIRATION
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby (2015)
In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria (2015)
The Road to Character by David Brooks (2015)
The World is Waiting for You: Graduation Speeches to Live By from Activists, Writers, and Visionaries edited by Tara Grove (2015)
Way More than Luck: Commencement Speeches on Living with Bravery, Empathy, and Other Existential Skills by Various Authors (2015)

BEST BOOKS FOR PARENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen Johnson (2011)
Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Coburn (2009)
The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience: by Harlan Cohen (2012)
What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College: A Complete Guide for Parents Only by Mary Spohn (2008)
You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me) Mentoring Your Child During the College Years by Marjorie Savage (2009)
How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims (2015)
The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us About Our Kids by Barbara Strauch (2004)

BEST BOOKS FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES NOT GOING TO COLLEGE
Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree by Blake Boles (2012)
Gap Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs by Joseph O’Shea (2013)
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2011)

Success Without College: Why Your Child May Not Have to Go to College Right Now–and May Not Have to Go At All by Linda Lee  (2001)
The Complete Guide to the Gap Year: The Best Things to Do Between High School and College by Kristin White (2009)

Read related post: Best Books for Graduates
Best Books for Writers
Getting the Most Out of College
The College Admissions Mania
What Makes a Great Mentor?
What Makes a Great Teacher?
What Should you Teach Your kids Before They Leave Home?
Education Reform
Lifelong Learning with The Great Courses
Education or Indoctrination?
I Am What Libraries Have Made Me
Too Much Homework is Bad for Students

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