Books for a Graduate

Welcome to my new series that has been highly anticipated by zero people but that I am excited about because it will give me an organized way to share some of the many books I've read over the last several years. I hope you'll follow along, and if you have any topics you're interested in, please suggest them! (A few exceptions: horror, most sci-fi, thrillers, etc. I don't do scary. =)

First up- graduates! It's May, and despite Covid-19's best efforts, graduates are still graduating (even if it's via Zoom). More than ever, launching out into the world feels very scary: what a world to launch out into! Jonathan wanted to buy a book for a few of his golfers who are graduating, and as I was thinking of recommendations for him, I ended up with a whole list. Each of these books is full of practical and/or spiritual wisdom for the graduate in your life (but would be a good read for anyone).  I chose these specifically because their content is especially applicable to young people seeking guidance on their new paths (These could all work for high school or college graduates). Here we go! *Cue the Pomp and Circumstance...*)

Undergrad graduation in 2011. My graduate school graduation was supposed to be last week. Ha! Covid and my newborn had other plans. =)

1. The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman- This book might pop up on several of these lists because it's just that good, but as you can tell from the title, this is an excellent choice for someone who is about to make a whole bunch of big life decisions. I can't recommend it highly enough. Emily gives practical advice in such a loving way, and the wisdom in this book will serve you long past graduation. (Bonus pick: her book A Million Little Ways is also a wonderful option- the subtitle "Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live" is so timely for graduates.)

2. You Learn By Living by Eleanor Roosevelt- You don't have to fully agree with Eleanor Roosevelt's politics (I don't!) to appreciate the wisdom in this book. It feels incredibly fresh and current for today despite the fact that it was written 60 years ago. It covers topics like maturity, time management, and public service that are useful no matter what your graduate plans to study or pursue.

3. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin- I love everything Gretchen writes, but this book in particular is so great for graduates because they're at a time in life when forming good habits is crucial to future success. Her advice is not one-size-fits-all but instead gives ideas for all kinds of personality types for implementing healthier, happier habits in their daily lives.

4. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis- I think that if there's ever a time that someone needs to be reminded in a powerful way of the reality of spiritual warfare, it's a young person leaving home for the first time! This book is entertaining and even funny at times, but the message of it is loud and clear. Graduates on the edge of their next steps are going to face opposition and doubt from a very real enemy, and reading about it from the perspective of an admittedly witty demon makes it a little more accessible than yet another sermon. =)

5. The Road Back to You and The Path Between Us by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile- I include these as companions to each other because the first one is such a great introduction and the second one is just as important as it is in the context of relationships. SO- say what you want about the enneagram (actually, don't, unless you actually know what you're talking about =), but it is an amazing tool for people, especially young people, to help understand how God made each of us and how to best use our strengths (and weaknesses) for His glory. These books teach the enneagram from a Christian perspective--no weird or woo-woo stuff-- and are invaluable to the process of self-awareness that all young people need to experience. I so wish I had known about this as a young adult!

There you have it. I know it's kind of a lame time to be a graduate and feels anticlimactic to walk across your living room or yard in your cap and gown. But I think this time is a pretty good starting point for graduates as they realize in a big way that life definitely doesn't always turn out like you planned, and that's okay! The Lord sees and knows it all and He has big things in store!

 Congrats, grads!

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