Book Recommendations: For the Recent Grad

by Katie Lyons in ,


I don’t know about you but for me post graduate life was rough! The plans I thought I had for after college didn’t pan out and I had no plan b. What I thought would just be six months to a year turned into two and a half years of me navigating what I wanted to do for a job, finding and maintaining adult friendships outside of college, and so much more.

I learned so much about what I wanted in life during those couple of years and parts of that I learned from several books that I read. If you have a friend or family member graduating soon or you yourself are a recent grad, I would definitely suggest taking some time to read these books and see if it helps you in your post-college life.

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if you find this letter by Hannah brencher

This book really made an imprint on me. The memoir traces the author’s time right after college in New York City working at a low paying program in the inner city. During her time there, she struggles with finding purpose, connection to others, and God in the fray of it all. After an introspective subway ride she starts leaving love letters around the city for struggling souls, like herself, to find and through that discovers her true passion of encouraging others. It really inspired me to find out what drove me and to think if that motivation could be turned into more. I also felt extremely known as she too struggled with the deep loneliness one can feel after leaving college and losing that accessible community.

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Why work by Dorothy Sayers

I have gleaned so much prospective on what God honoring work means and the type of attitude I strive for when it comes to balancing work and life from this short essay. Written during World War II, Sayers promotes that a society that wishes to prosper economically must strive to see that the work it produces serves God and that the worker serve the work. While some of her thoughts might not be possible unless we lived in a Utopia, her premise of making sure you do good work and produce quality work because it is pleasing to God is applicable regardless and something I strive for in my own work.

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English lessons by Andrea lucado

I can not recommend this book enough - it completely captured my heart. Another memoir, this one follows the author’s time during her graduate program in Oxford, England. Not only is it the first time she is away from home, but it also the first time she is completely surrounded by people outside of her own faith and ideology. She grapples with interpersonal relationships, the evolution of friendships, different ideologies, love, loneliness, and her own belief system. Beyond all of that, she perfectly paints a beautiful description of Oxford, so well that it’s like you don’t even need to visit (who am I kidding, you’re definitely going to want to take a trip across the pond after reading this one).

After reading each of these books, I wished I had read them sooner. I can’t help but wonder if having the lessons and insights from each of these perspectives before I had graduated might have allowed me to avoid some of the same mistakes or pains that the authors shared. But then again, maybe if I didn’t find those commonalities between our stories, the books wouldn’t have captured my attention so well.

I would love to hear from you! Have you read any of these? Did you feel the same way? Any other book recommendations you would give to someone who is a recent graduate?