Taking Gifts from Square Books Into the Wider World

This time of year we find ourselves asked about gifts for graduates, some of which we have been recommending successfully for years, like Eudora Welty's timeless memoir One Writer's Beginnings (Harvard University Press, $18, pb) whose three parts, "Listening," "Learning to See," and "Finding a Voice," offer wisdom for writers or anyone else embarking upon a voyage toward independence (we also have the 3 - CD version of this in her own voice, $32.00); North Toward Home (Vintage, $15.95 pb), by Willie Morris, in which the writer explains how leaving Mississippi for Texas and New York was part of becoming fully adult. (Willie's My Two Oxfords, ($20, U. Press of Miss.) also makes a nice gift on this occasion); David Foster Wallace's This Is Water ($15, Little Brown), his commencement address of "some thoughts, delivered on a significant occasion, about living a compassionate life"; and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (Hyperion, $21.99). 

  There are four new books just published (or about to be) that are quality suggestions, two of which seem especially good for those entering a business career -- Young Money ($27, Grand Central) by Kevin Roose, who spent three years shadowing eight post-2008 crash entry-level Wall Street recruits, an excellent account of what to expect in the financial world today, and the ever-reliable Michael Lewis on Wall Street revolt, Flash Boys ($27.95, Norton). Facebook CEO's Sheryl Sandberg has been atop the bestseller list for months now with Lean In, and she now has written a book tailor-made for a graduation gift, Lean In For Graduates ($24.95, Knopf), with new chapters by experts, including Find Your First Job, Negotiate Your Salary, and Own Who You Are.

  We expect to have in stock soon two graduation gift tomes to be published April 22 -- You Are Not Special: ...and Other Encouragements (Ecco, $21.99) by David McCullough, Jr, the schoolteacher son of the historian of the same name, and Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness ($14, also as a CD, $20), a graduation address by George Saunders, one of our favorite writers. Finally, there is The Opposite of Loneliness, Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (Scribner, $23.00, with an introduction by Anne Fadiman), the 2012 Yale Magna Cum Laude graduate who was tragically killed in a car accident just five days after commencement. Even though she was only 22, she left behind a trove of writings that address the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation.

Drop in to talk with us about these and get your free gift wrapping, or give us a call or an email.  - RH