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11 Books to read before graduating college

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By Annika Tomlin

11. “THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY” BY DOUGLAS ADAMS

Originally published in 1979, this comedic science fiction novel takes readers on a

journey through time and space with a quick joke around every corner. Seconds before Earth is set to be destroyed for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is picked up by his friend, Ford Prefect, and the book continues with their adventures. The book is the first in a six-part series that has been adapted into a movie, television series and video game.

10. “THE RUNNING MAN” BY STEPHEN KING

This novel takes place in a dystopian future where the poor population is seen as worrisome rodents to the government rather than human beings. The only way to make money is to be part of a true reality-style game show where the objective is to merely stay alive. The question remains: How far will people go to get what they want?

9. “FANGIRL” BY RAINBOW ROWELL

“Fangirl” is a coming-of-age story about a girl who isn’t quite ready to give up her love of fan fiction while she deals with being away from her twin sister, worrying about her dad and figuring out her own future. The main character, Cath, is forced out of her comfort zone and starts college with not much more than her love for the fictional Simon Snow series.

8. “THE GRAPES OF WRATH” BY JOHN STEINBECK

Focused on love, support and being close to the people near you, this novel takes place during the Great Depression as a family decides to move to California for a better life. While the nation is divided between the haves and the have-nots, the family showcases resiliency when faced with the many challenges ahead.

7. “LEAN IN FOR GRADUATES” BY SHERYL SANDBERG

Serving as the extended version of her debut, “Lean In,” this book focuses on female graduates entering the workforce. It offers advice on finding and getting the most out of a first job, resume writing, best interviewing practices, negotiating salary, and listening to one’s inner voice while owning who you are.

6. “THE BEAUTIFUL CHAOS OF GROWING UP” BY ARI SATOK

Between the newfound freedoms of college life and the dizzying adventure of the years that follow graduation, this collection of poems reflects the ups, downs and everything in between. Poems cover topics ranging from anxieties of college friendships to job interviews and a plethora of other life events.

5. THIS SIDE OF PARADISE” BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel is a somewhat autobiographical depiction of his years at Princeton and the loves and losses he had along the way. The main character quickly finds out that his entire life is not the same while at college and is now destined to find himself again.

4. “IN CONCLUSION, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT” BY LAUREN GRAHAM

Expanding upon her 2017 commencement speech, Lauren Graham reflects on growing up, pursuing dreams, and living in the here and now. She reminds readers to be curious and compassionate regardless of their path. Grounded and inspiring, the book is illustrated throughout with Graham’s drawings.

3. “YOU ARE A BADASS: HOW TO STOP DOUBTING YOUR GREATNESS AND START LIVING AN AWESOME LIFE” BY JEN SINCERO

In 27 bite-sized chapters, students can read hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises— and the occasional swear word— so they can live an awesome life. The book covers how to make money, how to blast past fears and take risks, and setting big goals to reach.

2. “GET GOOD WITH MONEY: TEN SIMPLE STEPS TO BECOMING FINANCIALLY WHOLE” BY TIFFANY ALICHE

From a successful preschool teacher to a self-taught budget guru, Tiffany Aliche shares her 10-step formula to obtaining financial security and peace of mind. Learn to properly pay off debt, save and plan ahead while avoiding the need of a financial adviser.

1. “THE DEFINING DECADE” BY DR. MEG JAY

Contrary to what some might believe, 30 is not the new 20, and a person’s 20s are quite important. Jay weaves the science of the 20-something years with the compelling, behind closed-doors stories from 20-somethings themselves. The book dives into how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity and even the brain change more during this decade than any other time in adulthood. CT

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