"What's next?" That question is invariably one of the toughest ones every new grad has to answer. Thankfully, there are a lot of great books out there to impart some wisdom and guidance. In the spirit of graduation season, we rounded up 11 that we think any grad would love (especially with all that newfound time on their hands). From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything to Amy Poehler’s hilarious memoir Yes Please, there’s something for everyone. Scroll down to see all of our picks.
1. This Is Water by David Foster Wallace ($15; amazon.com)
The late author's commencement speech, given at Kenyon College in May 2005, was so moving its transcript made the rounds on the Internet for quite some time before it was eventually turned into a book in 2009. Inside, Wallace urges new graduates in their "day to day trenches of adult existence" to live a compassionate life.
2. The Girl's Guide by Melissa Kirsch ($18; amazon.com)
Consider this book a gigantic cheat sheet for post-grad life. From how to set up a roth IRA to what to wear to a job interview, Kirsch has nuggets of wisdom that will ring true for years to come.
3. The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg ($26; amazon.com)
There are few better role models than DVF. After reading her journey to becoming a storied fashion designer, philanthropist, wife, mother, and grandmother, you'll be inspired to be the woman you want to be.
4. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman ($35; amazon.com)
Anyone who cooks -- or wants to learn how to cook -- should own this book. Bittman's award-winning tome is jam-packed with 2,000 recipes anyone can whip up, no advanced skills or tools required.
5. Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown ($15; amazon.com)
Just because you graduated from college doesn't mean you know how to be an adult, and that's where this book comes in. Adulting will teach you how to navigate the "real world" in 468 easy(ish) steps.
6. Yes Please by Amy Poehler ($29; amazon.com)
If you're looking for some great candid advice with a side of humor, Poehler is the perfect source. Her first memoir, Yes Please, is filled with stories, lists, poems, and ideas that you'll want to revisit again and again.
7. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan ($15; amazon.com)
Marina Keegan was a star writer on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 2012. Tragically, she died in a car crash five days after graduation, but her voice lives on thanks to this inspiring collection of essays that capture many of the universal struggles facing her generation.
8. Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht ($26; amazon.com)
Calling all future #GirlBosses, the woman behind @dkny is opening up about how to kill it in your career and rock social media, of course. This is a must-read for both recent grads just starting their careers and Millennials already in the work force.
9. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg ($25; amazon.com)
In this empowering book that launched a movement, Sheryl Sandberg instills in women the skills they need to change the conversation, take a seat at the head of the table, and reach their full potential. Bonus points if you gift this one to a Seven Sisters grad.
10. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Illustrated by Maira Kalman ($18; amazon.com)
In the real world, that logic class you took to fulfill your math requirement likely won't come in handy, but writing and basic grammar surely will. Heralded as the go-to manual about the principals of the English language, this book is the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, now there's a fun illustrated version.
11. I Just Graduated…Now What? by Katherine Schwarzenegger ($20; amazon.com)
Who better to sound off on graduating than someone who literally did just graduate? From InStyle's own contributing editor Katherine Schwarzenegger, this first-person read is instantly relatable as the budding lifestyle guru aims to figure out her own next steps.