05-19-2008 05:39 PM - edited 05-19-2008 05:54 PM
Greetings, Book Explorers:
In my mind there are only three things to give graduates:
- a meaningful family or personal possession
- cash (or a gift certificate) so they can buy what they want
- a book
I give books –- okay, okay, big surprise. And I try to give a lot of thought not only to the actual book but also how that book might useful or expand the mind of the graduate.
I also give this piece of advice in the note I write with each book: Don’t worry about making the right decision all the time. Don’t be paralyzed by choices. Give whatever it is a shot because you will learn as the years go by that life is really about knowing when to leave for whatever reason and to go on to the next thing. Deciding to do something and then deciding not to keep doing something is a wonderful way of staying open to possibilities and challenges. It keeps you free.
Back to the books:
Young graduates who text too much and rely on spell check get a copy of The Elements of Style. Make that two copies -- the original and the newer illustrated Maira Kalman version. They will be grateful to have it as they will eventually have to write a resume and cover letter to people who don’t know what means and think a representative of their company ought to know how to write in English.
The bashful ones, the lost souls and the non-conformists get copies of Mary Oliver’s Dream Work. And I make sure that a bookmark with the words “read this first” is stuck in at “Wild Geese.”
The ones who want to make the world a better place get copies of
And if I know they haven’t read it already I give grads copies of Dreams from My Father, by Barak Obama. Anyone in the process of figuring out who they are can’t help but be moved and to learn from a man from many places and no place at all who finally found himself.
How about you, Book Explorers?
What have you given to graduates that you can recommend to the rest of us?
And those of you graduating: what did you get?
Message Edited by ande on 05-19-2008 05:54 PM
06-19-2008 04:24 PM
06-22-2008 11:54 AM
Powerful transnational commercial interests manipulate the War on Terror and news media. Cynical former CIA operative John Trager’s search for the truth leads him to Africa and the mysterious anthropologist Simone Loriot. Her passionate quest to save her adopted Central African country from looters of natural resources draws Trager into a violent whirlwind of mercenaries, tribal rivalries and a traitor in The White House. Facing disaster, Trager finds his true self and reason for self-sacrifice.