Books for Grads May 18, 2020 – Posted in: Books

  • Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman – In May 2012, Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, in which he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged them to make good art and fantastic mistakes. Order online here.
  • 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 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 Times of London, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Order online here.
  • Now Go Out There by Mary Karr – In Now Go Out There, Karr explains why having your heart broken is just as important as—if not more important than—falling in love; why getting what you want often scares you more than not getting it; how those experiences that appear to be the worst cannot be so easily categorized; and how to cope with the setbacks that inevitably befall all of us. Delivered to the graduating class of Syracuse University in 2015. Order online here.
  • Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling – In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Very Good Lives explores how can we embrace failure and how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others. Order online here.
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