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Best Books for Grads

By Courtney Applewhite, Publishing Assistant

Final exams are finally over and you are ready to walk across that stage in that oh-so-flattering cap—Graduation has arrived! Finishing up school, whether high school, college or a graduate program, opens new doors and opportunities. Maybe you are entering the work force for the first time (like I did this time last year!) or maybe you are gearing up for another degree. No matter where life takes you next, I can recommend several books from here at Bright Sky Press and beyond that will guide you during this new and exciting journey!

HOW_ACT_cvrHow Important People Act by Chase Untermeyer
If you are entering the work force, remembering your Ps and Qs will make a lasting impression. In How Important People Act, Chase explains the dos and don’ts of dinners, ceremonies and meeting new people. A quick read by even an engineer’s standards, this little book can help you perform on your life’s next stage.

HornsBull_cvrHorns by the Bull by Rick Baty
Sometimes you take the bull by the horns, and sometimes the bull takes you. Horns by the Bull is a reminder that life will throw you curveballs, but you can always bounce back. Maybe you didn’t get into your first-choice college or the big job at the oil firm, but you still have options and Rick reminds us that you always have to look for windows when all the doors close.

Tale3Ships_cvrA Tale of Three Ships by Dwight Edwards
Although I’m sure you think you’ve closed those history books for good, consider giving Columbus and his three ships one more look. Instead of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria, Dwight describes the three possible directions your life can take: the sinking ship, the cruise ship or the battleship. When you are at a crossroad, your choices are to survive (sinking ship), enjoy (cruise ship) or have meaningful influence (battleship). As you walk across the stage, think about which ship you want to board when you reach the other side.

HeartHouston_cvrHeart of Houston by Larry Payne
Many of my former classmates have gone on to do remarkable volunteer work. If you are considering this path, let the stories chronicled in Larry’s Heart of Houston inspire you to give back to your community. Accounts from the realms of business, education, religion, healthcare and community remind us that servant leadership can emerge from anywhere—including you!

talen-overrated_cvrTalent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
I’ve been an evangelist for this book since my track coach Dave gave it to me when I graduated from high school. Talent is Overrated works to dispel the myth that successful people become successful because they have an “innate” talent. Instead, Geoff Colvin explains that truly successful people engage in what is called “deliberate practice.” After graduation, whether you want to dominate the basketball court or the boardroom, Talent is Overrated offers sound advice about how to work toward your goals.

places_go_cvrOh, The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
My last suggestion for all you future graduates is to revisit the stories that fill your heart with hope. Every time I read Oh, The Places You’ll Go! I am reminded that life will have ups and downs, but the best course of action is to celebrate the victories and embrace the challenges. You must remember that although the MCAT was unbearable, the reason you wanted to become a doctor is because your 5-year-old self wanted to help people, and that’s why you muddle on. After all, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”

Congratulations to all the graduates, from high school to doctoral, and good luck as you travel life’s winding path!