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5 awesome, must-read books for new grads

Whether you just graduated college or have a few more semesters to go, these books are guaranteed to give you a leg up come fall.
Know Your Value millennial contributor Daniela Pierre-Bravo, who recently co-wrote "Earn It!: Know Your Value and Grow Your Career, in Your 20s and Beyond" with Mika Brzezinski.
Know Your Value millennial contributor Daniela Pierre-Bravo, who recently co-wrote "Earn It!: Know Your Value and Grow Your Career, in Your 20s and Beyond" with Mika Brzezinski.Miller Hawkins

As you unwind from a packed school year, there’s no better time to catch up on all those books you wanted to read — without the pressure of homework to follow.

Whether you just graduated or have a few more semesters to go, a good summer read will help get you on the right track come fall.

As the co-author of a book dedicated to getting young women ahead in the workplace (which I include in my picks below) I know the importance or arming yourself with knowledge to get ahead.

In college, I had few resources or opportunities and really struggled to get my foot in the door. That’s why I detail my favorite reads to empower your next step, whether you’re prepping for the job search, in the middle of an internship or simply want to super charge your career prospects.

Know Your Value editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, Know Your Value does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Read this if … You are navigating your 20s.

In a nutshell: From navigating relationships to figuring out your identity, this is a great guide for young women who want to get more insight into those critical first years of adulthood.

Why I love it: The author is a clinical psychologist and has several examples of other women in their 20s throughout the book to make her points. It’s an honest guide for young women on how to handle and understand life situations – that no one else is telling you. I also love that she incorporates science behind her explanations.

Read this if… You’re struggling to get through your to-do list.

In a nutshell: For young women who are trying to launch their careers and focus on how to climb up the ladder, but face demands that hold them back – this book has tons of practical advice to achieve your goals and strategize your career.

Why I love it? Author Tiffany Dufu, uses her own experience and shares with the reader her life lessons of embracing imperfection and letting go of the things we can’t control. For young people who are caretakers and trying to propel their career – this is especially for you.

Read this if … You are just getting started in the workplace or navigating those first few jobs in your 20s and 30s.

In a nutshell: This is a complete handbook on exactly how to approach the workplace and covers everything you need to know and didn’t think you needed to know. From getting your foot in the door, growing your network, interviewing effectively, communicating to get ahead, advocating and negotiating for yourself at work and more – it’s all in this book!

Why I love it: Full disclosure: I am the co-author with Mika Brzezinski on this one! Told for people in my generation, with tried and true advice from powerhouse women and men like actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria, former editor-at-large at Vogue Andre Leon Talley, CEO of Deloitte Cathy Engelbert, President of Combs Enterprises Dia Simms, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart and more – this book covers any questions young people have about getting ahead.

Read this if … You need some serious inspiration.

In a nutshell: In her memoir, former First Lady Michelle Obama not only details her life – from growing up in south side Chicago to her role at the White House – but also provides helpful advice on navigating tough life situations and understanding your role in the world.

Why I love it: The writing in this book is beautiful, and I found myself not being able to put this down! Regardless of your political views, you are going to find this incredibly inspiring and uplifting. The storytelling in the book will keep you hooked.

Read this if … You want to learn how to get your ideas across more effectively.

In a nutshell: This book uses anecdotal data and social behavior to explain why some ideas spread and how trends happen.

Why I love it: I love Malcolm Gladwell’s approach to breaking down what makes us tick and explaining how a breakthrough happens. If you want to understand how to persuade more effectively or understand how to get your ideas to disseminate and make an impact, this is a great read. It’s also the type of book that allows you to understand human behavior more closely and inevitably helps you understand more about yourself along the way.