*Big Giant Disclaimer*
Ever heard someone say, “eat the meat, spit out the bones”? I don’t know if it’s a popular saying all around, but it sure is where I come from. Basically it means that if you’re listening to someone speak or reading a book, you should look for the meat of what they’re saying–the good stuff–and throw out anything that may not line up with the Word or the plan of God for your life. So with all of these book recommendations, please eat the meat and spit out the bones.
5. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
This book was gifted to me at my own high school graduation, and it was a great book to work through in those months of figuring out my next steps. We all come from different family backgrounds, and we respond to life differently based on this. “Boundaries” is really helpful in establishing the course God has for you and not allowing the whims of the world or others to derail you.
4. Good to Great by Jim Collins
I’m sure you’ve heard of this one..and for good reason!!! This is a completely non-spiritual book that actually falls in line with many biblical principles. The author explores the evidence behind what makes a person an ultimate success or an utter failure. It’s an easy to read format with a few graphs, if you like that kind of thing, and lots of stories to bring the principles to life. As a high school graduate, you have your whole life ahead of you and a chance to start each endeavor with excellence and passion. This book will challenge you to be more than mediocre.
3. Love Your Life Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze
I know, I know–the author is Dave Ramsey’s daughter, and some of you don’t like Dave’s style, but hear me out. NOW is the time to establish a good financial plan. Rachel goes into detail about comparison (a big struggle for many graduates since everyone takes wildly different paths) and how to achieve true, smart financial peace.
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
You might have to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” a lot on this one, but it’s a superb book for this time in your life. As your life changes, your routine can change a whole lot. My routine as a high school graduate was to wake up at the last minute, get a load of sugary coffee from McDonald’s and roll in late to class. That routine wasn’t going to get me anywhere, so it had to change. It had to change to include college coursework, finals, and research. After college, my routine had to change as I became a wife and leader. Now, it means waking up at 6am and going for a mile run. Different seasons, different routines. Atomic Habits really helped me take my goals and dial them down to manageable, daily habits. You owe it to yourself!
1. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
This book is the shortest on this list but no less poignant. It’s hard to even describe how impactful it is; it’s essentially a theatrical-style narrative that picks you up and carries you along. You can read it in one sitting! The story lends creative liberty to the lives of David, Saul, and Absalom. It will cause you to take a hard look at your inner self and your motive, while also showing how beautiful and dynamic a relationship with Jesus is. Before you head off for your lofty, post-high school goals, take it back to the basics.