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Best Books for High School Grads

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Statistics show that most people stop reading books for pleasure after high school, and altogether after college – unacceptable! Here are the best books to give as high school graduation gifts that they’ll actually want to read.

For the Engineer

“Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization.”

The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how – and why – some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them. This book provides a solid design foundation for future engineers.

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For the Pre-Med Overachiever

“The struggle to perform well is universal: each one of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives are on the line with every decision. In his new book, Better, Atul Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable.”

This book is perfect for students working to become doctors and other medical professionals to get a preview of what their career – and life – might be like working long hours to save lives.

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For the Esoteric Artist

This journal is a companion to the bestselling book, Steal Like an Artist. Filled with activities to get creative juices flowing, The Steal Like an Artist Journal is a great gift for students headed to art school and other creative careers.

“As a Graphic Design Student this is probably one of the Best Books I have ever ordered online. It opened up so many doors of creativity for me. I am almost done with it and might order another one :)” – Five Star Review

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For the Argumentative Attorney

“Gerry Spence is perhaps America’s most renowned and successful trial lawyer, a man known for his deep convictions and his powerful courtroom presentations when he argues on behalf of ordinary people. Frequently pitted against teams of lawyers thrown against him by major corporate or government interests, he has never lost a criminal case and has not lost a civil jury trial since l969.

In Win Your Case: How to Present,Persuade, and Prevail-Every Place, Every Time, Spence shows you how you can win your cases as he takes you step by step through the elements of a trial-from jury selection, the opening statement, the presentation of witnesses, their cross-examinations, and finally to the closing argument itself.”

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For the Mad Scientist

In his latest bestseller, Reactions, Theodore Gray combines beautiful photography with storytelling to demonstrate how molecules interact in ways that are essential to our very existence. “The book begins with a brief recap of elements and molecules and then goes on to explain concepts that characterize a chemical reaction, including Energy, Entropy, and Time. It is then organized by type of reaction including chapters such as “Fantastic Reactions and Where to Find Them,” and even “The Boring Chapter,” in which we learn about reactions such as paint drying.”

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For the Entrepreneur / MBA

In his 2009 international bestseller Crush It, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was crucial to entrepreneurial success, In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what principles remain timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier—and not just financially—than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It principles. 

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. Crushing It! will inspire and guide budding entreprenuers through building their own business empire.

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For the Language Loving Linguist

At thirty years old, Gabriel Wyner speaks six languages fluently.  He didn’t learn them in school — who does? — rather, he learned them in the past few years, working on his own and practicing on the subway, using simple techniques and free online resources. In Fluent Forever Wyner reveals what he’s discovered.  

The greatest challenge to learning a foreign language is the challenge of memory; there are just too many words and too many rules. For every new word we learn, we seem to forget two old ones, and as a result, fluency can seem out of reach. Fluent Forever tackles this challenge head-on. This is brain hacking at its most exciting, taking what we know about neuroscience and linguistics and using it to create the most efficient and enjoyable way to learn a foreign language in the spare minutes of your day.

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For the Phys Ed Athlete

Even among the most elite performers, certain athletes stand out as a cut above the rest, able to outperform in clutch, game-deciding moments. These athletes prove that raw athletic ability doesn’t necessarily translate to a superior on-field experience—its the mental game that matters most.

In The Champion’s Mind, sports psychologist Jim Afremow, PhD, offers the same advice he uses with Olympians, Heisman Trophy winners, and professional athletes, including: how to get in a “zone,” how to thrive on a team and stay humble; and how to progress within a sport and sustain long-term excellence. With hundreds of useful tips, breakthrough science, and cutting-edge workouts from the world’s top trainers, The Champion’s Mind will help you shape your body to ensure a longer, healthier, happier lifetime.

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For the Undecided

“Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home—at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve.

In Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.”

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Best books to gift high school graduates based on their major. #graduationgifts

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