We’re all forced to read books for school and have been since we were old enough to read, but reading isn’t something you should be forced into, especially if you’re going to get something out of it. While not every book is every person’s cup of tea, there are some books that you should put on your list no matter what. Here are 10 books to read before you graduate college.
1. Moby Dick, Or The Whale By Herman Melville
While not the easiest of reads, the first book on this list is one of my favorites without a doubt. It wasn’t until I had a professor in college that specialized in studying Melville’s works that I was able to truly appreciate this book. He gave me such a different perspective to the story that I firmly believe everyone should read this book, now. Don’t read it because you have to. Read it because you want to. This book is about more than a man’s quest to find his white whale. It’s about everything and is chock full of life lessons to carry you beyond graduation.
2. The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald
A lot of us were forced to read this book in school already, whether it was in high school or for your American Lit. class. If you have already read this book, I urge you to read it again. And if you haven’t, you are missing out. Fitzgerald does such a beautiful job of capturing the story of these young adults with issues we can relate to even now. It’s not a book to be missed.
3. Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan For Embracing And Achieving Your Goals By Rachel Hollis
This new release needs to be on your radar if it isn’t already. Rachel Hollis is essentially a lifestyle coach and all of her books are phenomenal and designed to help you become a better you. This one is just the kick in the butt you need to take the next steps after graduation and really achieve your goals.
4. I Am Malala By Malala Yousafzai
While you’re sitting in your dorms, contemplating how much you really need an education, I suggest you read this book. There are people out there who don’t get the opportunities a lot of us take for granted and this book is a powerful eye-opener. Not only will it help you appreciate what you have, but her story is so inspiring and just simply should be something that is shared.
5. The Origin Of Species By Charles Darwin
Okay, this book is dense. It’s a tough read for sure, but if you can push through, it is going to be so worth it. I had to read this one for my Anthropology courses, and I am so glad I did. Nothing has opened my eyes more than this book. It was controversial in its original release, and that can still be said of it today. Not a lot of people know what this book is about. It’s not anti-religious and doesn’t say humans evolved from monkeys. After reading this, you’ll not only be a more educated person, but you’ll find your view of the world shifting and that’s some powerful literature right there.
6. Bad Feminist By Roxane Gay
We are in a time where feminism is alive and well. Not everyone knows what it means to be a feminist and not everyone knows what it’s like to be one. The definitions are blurred and some how lines have been drawn regarding feminism, creating divides in a movement that’s supposed to support equality and people coming together. That being said, a lot of people feel like they have to be a certain way to be a feminist and Roxane Gay is here to tell you that that is not true in even the slightest bit. This book is powerful, moving, and empowering to feminists of all shapes and sizes.
7. Love Rules By Joanna Coles
I got a free copy of this from Bumble at SXSW and didn’t have much hope for it because I never enjoyed nonfiction books about dating. And then I read it. Not only was it fun and engaging, but it really put digital dating into perspective. Coles takes the highs and lows of online dating and turns it into a “dating diet” designed to get you out there and maximizing each right swipe on whatever dating app you’re using. Whether you use the book like the guide its designed to be or as a casual read for when you’re bored, you won’t regret it.
8. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson
When you’re about to graduate college, you are literally at a pivotal moment in your life that is full of all kinds of stress. What job will you get? Will you pass all your classes? Are you and your S.O. going to make it? Literally so many emotions. Well, Manson teaches you how to deal with all of that and in a no B.S. kind of way. Practicing positivity doesn’t always work and sometimes you just have to not give a f*ck in order to truly deal with the things. Whether that is graduation, dating, or anything else.
9. The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas
This book should be on every required reading list out there. It is – and I cannot stress this enough – one of the most important books you will read. Thomas does something that not everyone can do, while highlighting something that we don’t talk about in media all that often and should. She created a conversation and we all should participate in it.
10. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is an ICON. She’s not only fabulous, but soulfully inspiring. Her memoir should be on everyone’s TBR because she’s truly lived an incredible life and this book could teach us all a thing or two, whether we’re graduating college or not.