10 Books Every Girl Should Read After She Graduates College

It’s no secret that a good book list is near and dear to my heart. Especially as I have a solid 90 minutes on the train each day, my library card and I are best friends with themed book lists, whether they be seasonal, topical, or just fitting of a “vibe.”

When I was about to graduate college, I went to the Communications Corridor at Grand Canyon to ask my professors what books I should read post-grad. They gave me a variety of answers (one that I actually did read, East of Eden) and encouraged that I read as much as possible with all my new free time. Now that I’m two years out of school, it brings me GREAT joy to have gals who I mentored in school reaching out to me for book recommendations and general post-grad life advice. Am I qualified to answer these questions?! Probably not. But here we are.

Here are my top 10 books that every newly graduated gal should pick up, ASAP.

1. The Assistants, Camille Perri

Your first job out of college may not be glamorous. It may not pay you well. It may tempt you to rob a bank. You shouldn’t do that, but you should find humor in your circumstances. Life is funny, just let it be funny!

2. Womenomics, Claire Shipman & Katty Kay

While you’re cackling about your lack of funds and your impending student debt, you might as well educate yourself on female finances over all. Understanding the history of the gender gap, how to stand up for yourself and what you deserve, and the current climate of the workforce will not only provide you with a better perspective but hopefully impact your work life as well.

3. Wild, Cheryl Strayed

This book will probably be featured on every book list I ever create (it was first on my “5 Books That Will Inspire You To Try Something New”). Cheryl Strayed’s story shows you that a woman on a mission — even if that mission is created out of desperation — is not to be messed with. It will also encourage you to expand your bucket list.

4. Educated, Tara Westover

I was recommended this book by a friend and once I started, I couldn’t stop. Not only did it leave me very thankful for my upbringing and my family’s desire to prioritize a thorough education for my sister and I, but it showed me a side of the USA’s population that I was fairly unaware of.

5. The Magnolia Story, Chip & Joanna Gains

Don’t lie to me, EVERY twenty-something female wants to be the Joanna in Chip and Joanna Gaines. Chances are also high you’ve got a new space to decorate, might as well get inspired by a couple that will warm your heart.

6. The Beautiful & The Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is all about irresponsible choices and life lessons. I’m not encouraging the former, but I am saying that you aren’t on your own when post-grad turns into “what on earth am I doing with my life?”

7. Confessions of a Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella

Oh, your Amazon cart is always full? Maybe your shopping habits need someone else’s hilarious lesson to teach your how risky your spending habits really are. There, there, you’ll be fine.

8. Talking As Fast As I Can, Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham may only play the part of Lorelai Gilmore, but after reading this I am convinced she and Lorelai are one and the same. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll realize that the worse case scenarios running through your head are silly to worry about. Just pour a cup of coffee and breath.

9. Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

Any young woman who is entering the workforce — whether that be your dream job or a transitional, pay-the-bills gig — could use the advice of Sheryl Sandberg. Not only is she a powerhouse, but she is a mother, friend, and a woman who wants other woman to have even more opportunities than she did.

10. The Defining Decade, Meg Jay

Graduating college doesn’t mean your life’s path is now set in stone. Not to sound like one of those sweet old ladies, but you’re young. You’ve got time. Just take it one day at a time.

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