47 Books Every College Grad Should Read

The reading doesn't end with class.

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3. Civil Wars by June Jordan

Meet your new favorite essayist who you will champion and talk about for the rest of your life. June Jordan's sharp essays cover everything from race to sexuality to education while blurring the lines between the political and the personal.

5. White Girls by Hilton Als

Hilton Als' unique blend of cultural criticism, fiction, and memoir not only challenges our assumptions of what a collection of writing can be, but his categorization of "white girls" encompasses a wide array of individuals across racial, sexual, and gender identities.

14. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is credited with coining the term "mansplaining" from her titular essay of this collection. But it's so much more than that: Men Explain Things to Me is the perfect introduction to Solnit.

31. The Night of the Gun by David Carr

There may never be another journalist quite like David Carr. His memoir isn't just about his journey from crack addict to New York Times journalist; it's about the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we define ourselves by.

34. Generation X by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland's novel of drifting post–baby boomers rings true for this year's college grads as much as it did in 1991. Hang on to this one when someone tries to single out our particular generation for a target.

39. Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang

With his blunt style, Eddie Huang's memoir is ultimately about defying expectations and living by your own rules. It also happens to the basis of ABC's hit show of the same name.

47. After the Tall Timber by Renata Adler

While a prominent writer, Renata Adler's work has experienced a revival in past years. From her dispatches from the civil rights march in Selma to her scathing critique of film critic Pauline Kael in "House Critic," Adler's writing is necessary reading for anyone who aspires to a career in journalism.

Do you know of a book that should be on this list? Tell us in the comments below!