Top 10 Books You Must Read Before Graduating College
By Aimee Hosler Jan 2, 2012
Have required reading lists worn your literary patience? The following list of books will be worth your effort. Chosen for their ability to educate, inspire and entertain, these top 10 books are bound to have a positive impact on the life of a graduate.
10 must-read books for future grads
1. "What Color is your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers," by Richard Bolles
College is, ultimately, your road map toward a great job, which is precisely what makes "What Color is your Parachute?" required reading for every grad-to-be. Learn how to find (and land) a job that complements your skills and personality.
2. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change," by Stephen R. Covey
Leadership skills aren't just for management majors. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" will nurture (or recalibrate) your productivity skills, time management ability, capacity for positive thinking and more.
3. "How to Win Friends and Influence People," by Dale Carnegie
First published in 1937, this classic promotes the idea that success is 15 percent skill and 85 percent charisma. Learn how to express ideas with more clarity, assume leadership roles and motivate others--skills that can carry you far in life.
4. "The Elements of Style," by William Strunk and E.B.White
Talk about a tiny book that can have a big impact on writing. This must-read will refine the writing skills that help you express your ideas not only in the workplace, but in all areas of life.
5. "The Last Lecture," by Randy Pausch
This life-changing read documents the last lecture given by a Carnegie Mellon professor diagnosed with terminal cancer. In his final hurrah in mentorship, Pausch stresses the importance of overcoming obstacles, seizing opportunities and enabling the dreams of others.
6. "World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored & Explained," by John Bowker
There is a reason the American Library Association named "World Religions" among its Outstanding Books for the College Bound: our beliefs define us. Consider this book your crash course in religious studies.
7. "Freakanomics: A Rogue Economist explores the Hidden Side of Everything," Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Who knew economics could be sexy? As fascinating as it is educational, "Freakanomics" illustrates how basic economic principles can improve our understanding of other major life issues, from parenting to crime.
8. "Rotten English: A Literary Anthology," by Dohra Ahmad
No top 10 book list would be complete without a few literary classics, but where to begin? According to the ALA, "Rotten English" compiles a dizzying array of pivotal writers' works, from Mark Twain to Junot Diaz.
9. "The Life of Pi," by Yann Martel
Think college is tough? Try drifting through shark-infested waters in a life boat with a 450-pound Bengal Tiger for company. Such is the tale of 16-year-old Pi, the main character of this novel sure to change your world forever.
10. "The Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger
Whether you love or hate main character Holden Caufield, chances are the pressures of school (and life) help you relate to him. A must-read for every graduate.
Find more great reads
Whoever said reading is power had the right idea--books are amazing teachers. Find more books that educate and inspire by visiting your campus library; even some online colleges have virtual libraries. Resources like the ALA can provide even more leads.