Books for figuring out what to do with the rest of your life
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure

$9.99$1.99
Author Rachel Friedman surprises herself by doing something out of character: on a whim, she buys a ticket to Ireland (where she's never been), makes friends with an adventurous Aussie, and packs in four months of adventures she never expected to take. Whether you're traveling to find yourself or would rather read about someone else doing it, this book hits the spot. More info →
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The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need

If you just have to give a book as a graduation gift, make it this one from the always-excellent Dan Pink. This pithy career guide is written in the Japanese comic book style manga—so you know grads will read it. More info →
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Lean In for Graduates

Lean In for Graduates

I'm usually not a fan of gift books, but I'll make an exception for Sandberg's game-changing bestseller about making the choices necessary for long-term success early in your career. This edition has been updated with specific advice aimed squarely at new college grads. More info →
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In, But Not Of

In, But Not Of

Hewitt writes with high school graduates and college entrants in mind, covering topics such as building your resumé with extracurricular activities, finding mentors, and forming your character. I like this book because of its specific, practical advice I've not encountered elsewhere: "When you graduate, move to one of the three major cities; do not obtain your graduate degree from the same university as your B.A.; avoid courses where the reading list is dominated by titles published within the last three decades; do study history." This book is targeted to a Christian audience, and contains chapters on things like choosing a church in a new city. More info →
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MAYBE YOU SHOULD FLY A JET!

MAYBE YOU SHOULD FLY A JET!

When I graduated in the '90s, Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was a clever, quirky pick for the new graduate. No longer. This classic has been marketed to death: don’t even think about buying this (unfairly) tired-out book for your graduate. Instead, try this lesser-known Dr. Seuss classic. It's out of print, but it shouldn't be too hard to find a copy–and it's well worth it. (Warning: brace yourself for a terrible ending. It's worth reading anyway.) More info →
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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

$11.99
For years, Cheryl Strayed wrote an advice column for TheRumpus.net called "Dear Sugar." Strayed wrote anonymously—to her readers she was only "Sugar"—and she answered likewise anonymous letters about love and romance, grief and loss, money and family troubles. To call these "columns" seems to sell them short: these are beautiful, heartfelt, brutally honest essays that go in directions you don't expect. Strayed is compassionate with her letter writers, giving them gentle advice while not pulling any punches, but says her real mission isn't to tell them what they "should" do. Instead, she tries to reveal a third way by either presenting a perspective that those who write can't see on their own, or to complexly hash out what's really going on in their life and situation. This has a hefty f-bomb count and triggers galore, but it's too good to leave out. More info →
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Make Good Art

Make Good Art

$9.49$1.99
Author Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts in 2012, encouraging the students to break rules, be brave, and make good art. I think about Gaiman's words ALL THE TIME: they've changed the way I approach my work (although probably not in any way you're imagining right now). More info →
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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Step

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Step

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 10.99 (Whispersync)
This is the rare find that is entertaining, funny, and super practical for the graduate. I love Meg Jay (see also: The Defining Decade) and she says, "Twentysomethings who are looking for a silver bullet will find it here in the form of 468 silver pellets. Without a doubt, one (or a hundred) of these pellets will change your relationship or your career or your mind or your potatoes, all of which matter in adulthood." More info →
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die

1,000 Places to See Before You Die

$11.99$1.13
992 pages, 1000 destinations, tons of inspiration, whether you're planning or daydreaming. I especially like that many of these destinations aren't typical tourist locales. More info →
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The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now

Whether you're approaching twenty, are in your twenties, or have ever been twenty, Jay provides a fascinating look at what's so important about these years. Well-written, heavily researched, story-driven, and absolutely inspiring. This is one of my favorites. More info →
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How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food

How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food

$19.99$2.99
Teach yourself to cook, and you can eat better, healthier food, while saving a ton of money. Bittman's massive (but not unmanageable) cookbook teaches you how to make everything you NEED to know, and a lot of things you don't but will enjoy anyway. Sure, you can learn to cook on the internet—but this book makes it easy and enjoyable to put down your devices for once. More info →
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