The 16 Best Books for Recent College Graduates

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Written By Ryan Patton

Adventurer, Tech Geek and Lover of Productivity Hacks. 

Recently graduated college and don’t know what to do next? Get started with curated list of the Best Books for Recent College Graduates, and find some inspiration by the different life stories and tips you will find here.

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Finishing college can be quite scary for some people. Knowing what their next chapter will bring can be quite confusing as well.

Some people might already have experience and know exactly what they want to do in life, while others are still searching for the right path.

College graduates need to understand that it is okay to not have their lives figured out right after finishing college, the truth is that not a lot of adults have it figured out either.

Learn how to kickstart your career by picking up the right books and learning everything that it takes to take the next step after graduating college.

Below, you’ll find a list of the best books for recent college graduates.

Table of Contents

  1. Books for Recent College Graduates
  2. The Beautiful Chaos of Growing Up
  3. Becoming
  4. Congratulations, By the Way
  5. I Will Teach You to Be Rich
  6. Ask a Manager
  7. Earn It
  8. Lead From the Outside
  9. In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It
  10. The Miracle Morning
  11. Very Good Lives
  12. What I Know Now
  13. You Learn by Living
  14. Bossypants
  15. What You’re Really Meant to Do
  16. Now What
  17. This is Marketing

Books for Recent College Graduates

The Beautiful Chaos of Growing Up

Author: Ari Satok

This book will give you an insight into adulthood, what it takes to be a responsible and grown adult, the good and the bad. This book will help you understand what steps to take after graduating from college and the years that immediately follow it. Learn the ups and downs from independence and see for yourself which steps look more appealing to you.


Author: Michelle Obama

Through a life of meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama teaches her readers the steps that she took in her own life to grow and ensure her success. Learning through someone’s errors is a great way to learn for yourself. 

Congratulations, By the Way

Author: George Saunders

George Saunders is known for his graduation speech which was posted on the New York Times to provide an uplifting message to the following graduation generations. His book touches on the same subject, his encouraging message to former graduates has been a great inspiration to many young adults. 

I Will Teach You to Be Rich

Author: Ramit Sethi

Great book for understanding what steps are necessary to take in order to achieve success from a young age. Take the right steps, make the right investments, and put your money where it needs to be before you enter adulthood. Understanding these small steps can be live savers later on.

Ask a Manager

Author: Alison Green

Often, college students are filled with questions right after graduating, which is completely normal. This book does a great job at answering tons of questions before you are thrown into the adult-world. With over ten years in the industry, Alison Green helps recent college graduates to avoid those awkward conversations at the workplace and simply come in prepared after reading this book.

Earn It

Authors: Mika Brzezinksi and Daniela Pierre-Bravo

What people define as success is the ability to become self-made entrepreneurs after college. Paving the way for yourself and accomplishing everything you have ever dreamed of sounds exactly what every college graduate has set up as their main goal in life. Through this book you can learn how to “earn it”, essentially how to make it for yourself after college.

Lead From the Outside

Author:  Stacey Abrams

Being a leader can be quite complicated, and having everyone’s faith placed on you can even be more stressful. Through this book you will learn the ultimate guideline to becoming a leader in this modern world. Learn from all the challenges that you might encounter in the business world and grasp everything that you might read in order to use it later on in the future.

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It

Author: Lauren Graham

Great title to this book as it is exactly what the book intakes, not worrying beyond what you can control. Life is unpredictable and we can only work hard for what we want regardless of what life might bring us. Lauren Graham tells her readers how no one has their life figured out and it is okay for young college graduates to not have it either. Understand that things will get to you in time and that stressing about it won’t be of any help.

The Miracle Morning

Author: Hal Elrod

Another great and inspiring book for this collection. Normally people who graduate college are given this book as a present for graduating. Through this book, Hal Elrod describes the necessary steps in order to accomplish your goals. With such a different approach, the author does a great job in helping you transform your life from one day to the other.

Very Good Lives

Author: J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling’s inspiring words of wisdom to future generations are written here in this book. Inspired by a commencement speech she gave at Harvard University, her book teaches you how to embrace whatever might come from life, either success or failure, and accept it. Through her book, she talks about the importance of always keeping your image fresh and sharp, because it is a tool that will serve you at any point in your future.

What I Know Now

Author: Ellyn Spragins

As the book says, this book has some extraordinary wisdom shared by women who wish they had known more when they were younger. A great book that will feel like you are receiving all the advice you so much needed, based on other people’s experiences. 41 famous women write letters to the women they used to be, what they thought they knew from a young age, and advice they wish they could take before. 

You Learn by Living

Author: Eleanor Roosevelt

In truth, you learn by living, the experience itself will help you become the person you want to be, and to achieve the goals you have always strived for. Nothing will teach you better than life itself, the ups and downs. Learn though everyone’s role model Eleanor Roosevelt, and allow her to lead you through a kinder path in life, with more maturity and confidence than you can think of.


Author: Tina Fey

Learn through Tina Fey’s experience how she started from dreaming big and slowly taking steps to guide her closer to the point where she is at right now. Tina Fey reveals everything through her book, how she started out passionate about her dreams and how disappointment was actually the life lesson and the true motivation she needed to start over. 

What You’re Really Meant to Do

Author: Robert Steven Kaplan

Robert Steven Kaplan, a leadership expert, uses his knowledge to advise students and executives on what their true calling for life is. People become distracted with numerous jobs and activities that at the end of the day, don’t fulfill you to the maximum. For this reason, this author helps people to set their attention on what they are good at and what they like to do. Achieve your goals and meet your expectations by following his advice. 

Now What

Author: Ari King

One of the top questions college graduates keeps on asking themselves… “Now what?” Read through this book numerous interviews on college graduates and see what they were thinking after graduating and what they were planning for their future life. Then see the transformation of some of these adults later on and where they landed and what steps they took to get there. There is simply nothing better than reading about people who are experiencing the same thing and knowing what they did about it. 

This is Marketing

Author: Seth Godin

Whether you have a startup business or nothing at all, learn through this book how to get started in your dream job. Start from zero, or even make changes to your current situation, this book is great for getting you started and inspiring you in order to become a successful business owner.

Did you find this list of books for recent college grads to be helpful? If I missed one that you recommend, please leave a comment below.

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The 16 Best Books for Recent College Graduates for 2020

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