Keystone logo

6 Books to Read After Grad School

You read all the time in graduate school because you had to. Now you have the luxury of reading for pleasure. Unsure where to start? Take a look at our list of 6 must-reads that every graduate should read. Pick one, curl up, and dig in.

Jun 15, 2017
  • Student Tips
6 Books to Read After Grad School

You’ve graduated. Congratulations! Now what?

Fret not, graduate! You can still have a vibrant literary life after grad school—you might even find that you miss all that time you had for reading. From common knowledge, to life lessons and novels, find something to whet your palate and dig in.

Take a look at these six reading suggestions that are sure to engage your brain. Kick back and gobble up one of these delights.


1. Common Knowledge

Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything offers science snippets that you may have forgotten, or maybe didn’t have the chance to explore in graduate school. In his quest to explain “nearly everything,” he delves into the history of civilization, the Big Bang, and arcane—but fascinating—questions from archaeology, anthropology, mathematics, philosophy, science, and, well, a taste of “nearly everything” else.


2. The Novel

If you haven’t read Jeffrey Eugenides’s Pulitzer Prizer winner The Marriage Plot, now is the time. Follow three Ivy-leaguers as they negotiate writer’s block with their theses, tangled romantic relationships, spiritual crises, and the decisions that most of us face at some point in time. Think you’re the only one going through it? Think again. You won’t be able to put this one down.


3. Office Life

Joshua Ferris’s National Book Award Finalist Then We Came To The End charts office life—the good and the bad. How well do you really know those with whom you work? What is it about gossip, practical jokes, and coffee breaks that makes office life so… officey? Ferris offers his readers—and especially new trads—a poignant and funny look at office life in the 21st century.


4. Dystopia

This genre has had a great resurgence with all of the global political upheaval recently. Here’s one you should try, especially as a recent grad: Dave Eggers The Circle. Going for one of those high-powered tech jobs at a global company? Just how connected do you really want to be to your colleagues—real, virtual, and otherwise? Big Brother, of Orwellian fame, makes an ideological cameo in this one. What are the limits of human knowledge? Of human privacy? Find out. You’re in for a treat.


5. Organization

Laura Vanderkam’s What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings—and Life shows us that mornings are the key to unlocking successful days. She tracks real-life stories and scientific research that shows us why the earliest hours of the day are the most important. Unsure how to structure your day now that you’re out of school? Want to be successful at your new job? Read this book, take control of your mornings, and off you go.


6. Life Problems

Grieving the loss of her father, and her lack of family, job, and home, Helen MacDonald wrote H is For Hawk. Part memoir, part philosophy, and part history of falconry, H is For Hawk takes an original look at what it means to be an outsider, how it feels to be a misfit, and what it means to follow your instincts—all in the face of life’s daily complications.

Inspired? You always have something to learn—and you can usually learn it from a good book. Immerse yourself. You’ll be thankful you did.