A Reader’s Guide to Graduation

Graduation means many different things: it means endings as well as new beginnings, celebrations as well as new challenges, uncertainties as well as excitements. This little collection of books—on relationships, change, festivities, and more—will help grads and the people who love them to navigate their rite of passage with grace and support.

A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE

The slim volume is packed with profound insights and advice on drawing more love into your life. While its practices and teachings are from the Buddhist tradition, you don’t need to identify as a Buddhist to gain wisdom from its pages. This accessible book offers tools for harnessing self-compassion, patience, and contentment in everyday life. As recent grads enter the world as truly independent young adults for the first time, this book will be a comforting companion that they can hold close to their hearts.

—Breanna, Assistant Editor

BUDDHISM FOR BUSY PEOPLE

In our modern, technology-crazed world filled with likes, tweets, and status updates—not to mention what is going on in the real world—it is important to stop, slow down, and take a moment to breathe. This book is especially well-suited for recent graduates who need to take a moment off the grid to reconnect to themselves. For grads who may not know what they are going to do with their degree yet, or for those going into high-stress jobs, this humorous and heartfelt book offers a nice introduction to adding Buddhist practice to a busy life.

—Audra, Assistant Editor

QUENCH

Cheers to you! From homemade root beer to hard cider, fresh-squeezed ginger lemonade to handcrafted bitters and infusions, Ashley English invites you to create your own tasty beverages using a variety of natural and seasonal ingredients. Celebrate your grad with these simple, satisfying sips—hot, cold, fermented, or cured—and they will never go thirsty (even the English majors).

—Emily, Editorial Assistant

PEMA CHÖDRÖN’S COMPASSION CARDS

These cards are the perfect gift for that grad who might like a small, daily dose of inspiration. Focusing on compassion and living mindfully, each card has a short phrase on the front and a more detailed explanation on the back. These cards can be used daily, weekly, or however best fits in throughout their busy life—while they brush their teeth, on their desk at a brand new job. . . A lovely way to remind your grad to focus on what is important!

—Audra, Assistant Editor

ZEN OF YOU AND ME

After graduating from high school or college, you’re almost certainly going to be navigating all sorts of new and changing relationship dynamics. Whether you’re living with a roommate for the first time, meeting new classmates with radically different worldviews from your own, starting your first full-time job with new coworkers, or spending more time with your family, this is a time when relationships will inevitably be forming and developing, and it can be challenging to maintain harmony with all of the important people in your life. Diane Musho Hamilton’s lovely little book, The Zen of You and Me, is the book I wish I’d had during my college and post-college years. It’s like a crash course in connecting with people mindfully, allowing good relationships to get even better, and preventing conflict even before it arises. Like the subtitle says, this is a guide to getting along with just about anyone. And in the event that you find yourself in the company of someone who doesn’t quite fit in the “just about anyone” category, you can always turn to Hamilton’s first book, Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution.

—Kate, Production Designer

MY BEER YEAR

This book chronicles many a grad’s daydream: traveling the world and drinking beer! As educational as it is fun and entertaining, Burningham’s journey to becoming a certified beer expert is one that any beer lover will enjoy. It is also a story about doing something you love and becoming successful at it—an inspiration to any grad—and is best served with a cold craft brew. We can all drink to that!

—Audra, Assistant Editor

LIVING BEAUTIFULLY WITH UNCERTAINTY AND CHANGE

Uncertainty is the source of a great deal of suffering in this world, and recent grads are almost guaranteed to be intimately familiar with that truth. There is a great deal of pressure, both from society and from their own minds, to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives, where they want to live, how they will contribute to society, all while dealing with the inevitable changes that come along with those decisions. Holding all of those questions simultaneously and trying to come up with answers can be incredibly overwhelming and daunting. In Living Beautifully, Pema Chödrön discusses how we can overcome the suffering associated with uncertainty by making friends with our fundamental groundlessness. She goes beyond simply coping with change, illuminating the ways we can use it as opportunity for growth. She accomplishes this with her signature accessible style, making this an ideal read for anyone who is confronting the enormous task of starting a new chapter in their life.

—Kate, Production Designer