Share 5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

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Oh, the places your college graduate will go…presumably with about 5 copies of the Dr. Seuss classic in tow. It’s a wonderful poem, don’t get us wrong, but it’s not the most original graduation gift and we’d be willing to guess that someone else on your graduates’ announcement mailing list has already thought of it. Here we’ve put together a list of other great books for the senior about to venture out into the Real World–from the grad who is literally going places (Motorcycle Diaries and Four Doors) to the one with an unconventional path (This is Water) to the group of friends vowing to stay together forever (The Group). Just in case you’re still married to the Seuss idea (and know any black-clad grads), we made sure to include The Lying Carpet, which the New York Times calls “the new ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go,’ with less anapestic tetrameter and more death.”


The Motorcycle Diaries
by Che Guevara
In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorbike. The journey lasted six months and took them thousands of miles, all the way from Argentina to Venezuela. En route, there was disasters and discoveries, high drama, low comedy, fights, parties and a lot of serious drinking. They met an extraordinary range of people: native indians and copper miners, lepers, police, wanderers and tourists. They became stowaways, firemen and football coaches, and joined in a strike. They sometimes fell in love, and frequently fell off the motorbike. Both of them kept diaries. One of them was a tall and good-looking medical student called Ernest Guevara de la Serna. Using the standard Argentinean nickname, others would sometimes refer to the two companions as Big Che and Little Che. In Ernesto‘s case, the nickname stuck. Within a decade the whole world would know Che Guevara. This is the story of that remarkable journey, eight years before the Cuban Revolution, in Che‘s own words, and illustrated with contemporary photographs. For Che, it was a formative experience, and amidst the humour and pathos of the tale, there are examples of his idealism and his solidarity with the poor and the oppressed. But it is far from being the diary of a militant, and sometimes very far from being “political correct,” which may be the reason that the manuscript has only been made available now, a quarter century after Che‘s death in the Bolivian jungle. Instead, it is a record kept by an exuberant, intelligent and observant 23-year-old, describing what might have been the adventure of a lifetime—had his lifetime not turned into a much greater adventure.
The Motorcycle Diaries
Che Guevara

As this hot dude rides the NYC subway lines, he’s reading about Che Guevara’s motorcycle trip across South America as the Argentinian Marxist revolutionary internalized and interpreted the social and political ramifications of what he witnessed. The movie adaptation of THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES has more hot dudes than we can list here—but we’ll just say: Gael García Bernal.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Erica Nelson | August 23, 2016

5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 22, 2014

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The Four Doors
by Richard Paul Evans

Bestselling novelist Richard Paul Evans has met hundreds of thousands of people and heard many of their stories in his travels over the past two decades. Most of the people he meets are hungry for inspiration; they love his novels because his characters are also searching for meaning and understanding. The Four Doors is Evans’s message to those who seek inspiration in their lives. It began as a talk he gave on the spur of the moment, and over the course of ten years, it has evolved into a message he has shared with successful business people, students, and even addicts and prisoners. It includes stories his readers have told him, stories about great achievers who overcame hardships, and stories about his own struggle growing up in a large family with financial difficulties and a suicidal mother, and about his diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome later in life. These inspiring stories are woven through his identification and careful explanation of the four doors to a more fulfilling life: BELIEVE THERE’ S A REASON YOU WERE BORN, FREE YOURSELF FROM LIMITATION, MAGNIFY YOUR LIFE, and DEVELOP A LOVE-CENTERED MAP. Evans believes that we all want to know the meaning of our lives. In The Four Doors, he shows how even the most quiet life can be full of purpose and joy, if we choose to take that first step over the threshold.

The Four Doors
Richard Paul Evans

Bestselling novelist Richard Paul Evans has met hundreds of thousands of people and heard many of their stories in his travels over the past two decades. Most of the people he meets are hungry for inspiration; they love his novels because his characters are also searching for meaning and understanding. The Four Doors is Evans’s message to those who seek inspiration in their lives. It began as a talk he gave on the spur of the moment, and over the course of ten years, it has evolved into a message he has shared with successful business people, students, and even addicts and prisoners. It includes stories his readers have told him, stories about great achievers who overcame hardships, and stories about his own struggle growing up in a large family with financial difficulties and a suicidal mother, and about his diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome later in life. These inspiring stories are woven through his identification and careful explanation of the four doors to a more fulfilling life: BELIEVE THERE’ S A REASON YOU WERE BORN, FREE YOURSELF FROM LIMITATION, MAGNIFY YOUR LIFE, and DEVELOP A LOVE-CENTERED MAP. Evans believes that we all want to know the meaning of our lives. In The Four Doors, he shows how even the most quiet life can be full of purpose and joy, if we choose to take that first step over the threshold.

MENTIONED IN:

5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 22, 2014

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The Group
by Mary McCarthy
Mary McCarthy’s most celebrated novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates, known simply to their classmates as “the group.” An eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings, they meet a week after graduation to watch Kay Strong get married. After the ceremony, the women begin their adult lives—traveling to Europe, tackling the worlds of nursing and publishing, and finding love and heartbreak in the streets of New York City. Through the years, some of the friends grow apart and some become entangled in each other's affairs, but all vow not to become like their mothers and fathers. It is only when one of them passes away that they all come back together again to mourn the loss of a friend, a confidante, and most importantly, a member of the group.
The Group
Mary McCarthy

For the “Sex and the City” fan

Eight Vassar graduates, known simply to their classmates as “the group,” are an eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings. Through the years after graduation and between two world wars, some of the friends grow apart and some become entangled in each other’s affairs, but it’s only when one of them passes away that they all come back together again.

MENTIONED IN:

5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 22, 2014

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This Is Water
by David Foster Wallace

Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading.

This Is Water
David Foster Wallace

Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading.

MENTIONED IN:

5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 22, 2014

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The Lying Carpet
by David Lucas

Imagine a disused living room in a grand house. In it is a tiger rug and a statue of a little girl. But is the tiger a real tiger, a fake, or a magical carpet? Is the little girl real but bewitched, or just a stone statue, and will she ever come to life? By turns comical and lugubrious, the tiger gives the little girl plenty of versions of the truth, but how will she decide what is true and will she be able to break free? A parable about outgrowing childhood and becoming what you want to be, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt "stuck" in their circumstances.

The Lying Carpet
David Lucas

Imagine a disused living room in a grand house. In it is a tiger rug and a statue of a little girl. But is the tiger a real tiger, a fake, or a magical carpet? Is the little girl real but bewitched, or just a stone statue, and will she ever come to life? By turns comical and lugubrious, the tiger gives the little girl plenty of versions of the truth, but how will she decide what is true and will she be able to break free? A parable about outgrowing childhood and becoming what you want to be, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt "stuck" in their circumstances.

MENTIONED IN:

5 Books for Graduates That Aren’t By Dr. Seuss

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 22, 2014

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