Books Reviews, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Productivity

14 Life-Changing Books College Students Should Read Before Graduating

The links on this website may contain affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you decide to make any purchases using our affiliate links

One common trend among successful people is their rigorous reading habits. Think about the impact of being able to pick the brain of the most successful people in the world.

That’s the opportunity reading books gives us, but sadly many people don’t leverage that opportunity.

Books can help you assemble new ideas, tap into some of the greatest minds to ever live, & improve your mental fortitude.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.“

Dr. Seuss

Below I have listed 15 books college students should read in 2019. The books are broken into categories which include: financial literacy, communication, self-help, writing, and entrepreneurship.

Category: (Self-Help) (College -Favorite)

Arthur Benjamin & Michael Shermer: Secrets of Mental Math

Do you consider yourself a “math person”? Most people who aren’t math, accounting, or engineer majors would say no. If you avoid classes just because math is involved then this book is for you.

Arthur Benjamin is a mathematical genius and a renowned mathematician that knows how to teach mental math.

Along with Michael Shermer, the host of the Caltech public lecture series, Arthur uncovers math secrets and tricks that will change your perception about numbers.

The book covers how-to multiply and divide three-digit numbers, determine roots, cubes, squares, and compute fractions.

If you are currently an undergraduate student studying for the GRE I would pick up this book. One of the first tricks you will learn in the book is how to multiply any two-digit number by eleven.

Ex. 32 * 11

Step 1: add the two digits (3+2 = 5)

Step 2: Put the sum between the two digits (352)

(For more tips click the title of the book)


Category: (Entrepreneurship/Business/ College)

Steven May: The Broke College Student Guide To Make Money On The Internet

The Broke College Student Guide was made specifically for broke college students who want to learn about the different ways to make money online.

The Broke College Student guide covers the 10 important rules you need to know before making money, why college is the best time to make money on the internet, and five ways you can make a killing online using just your laptop.

The e-book doesn’t cover surveys, games, or watching ads because those gigs don’t pay well.

Instead, the e-book covers five industries that can ultimately pay off your college debt and help you build a business to support the lifestyle you want to live.

The Broke College Student Guide was created by the founder of College Entrepreneur 101 Steven May.

Steven started a couple of website companies, owned two rental properties, and graduated from college debt free. The best thing about the Broke College Student Guide is that it’s free!


Category: (Self-Help/ Motivation/ Business)

The 10X Rule

Grant Cardone is one of the most interesting entrepreneurs to follow on Instagram. His no-bullshit teaching style and energetic personality have skyrocketed his following and his income. One of his best-selling books, the 10X rule, is life-changing.

After reading this book, you will no longer make excuses for why you didn’t get that paper done on time.

Throughout the book, Grant walks you thru the mindset that propelled him to the 1% club. Implementing the techniques in this book will help you 10X your work ethic, mindset, and goals.

Instead of trying to make one million before 30, 10X your goal and make 10 million before the age of 25. If you have big dreams and aspire to build wealth then this book is for YOU!


Category: (Entrepreneurship/Business)

Michael Parrish: Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business

If you want to start a business in college but you don’t know where to start I have two solutions for you: First, to download our FREE Guide, then buy the

Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business” book.

I’m assuming that most of our readers know what Shark Tank is, but in case you don’t here’s a brief summary.

Shark Tank is a national Television show that helps entrepreneurs secure very lucrative deals with most of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time.

One of the Sharks (the person who is investing money) is Mark Cuban the owner of the NBA basketball team, Dallas Mavericks.

Another well-known shark on the show is Barbara Corcoran a Real Estate tycoon who has generated tens of millions of dollars.

The book gives practical business advice and strategies that have proven to work. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur then purchase this book.


Category: (Motivation, Self-Help)

Timothy Ferris: Tribe Of Mentors 

One of my mentors Christopher Mundy, a real estate agent based in Chicago, gave me this book as a gift. After reading the first few chapters I knew that this book was going to change my life.

Tribe of Mentors is a book that captures the story of over 30 influential from around the world. The list of people Timothy Ferriss includes in the book is Tony Hawk, Arianna Huffington, Gary Vaynerchuck, Larry King, and many other notable names. In each chapter, the influential person answers a series of questions which includes:

  • What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about the enter the “real world”? 
  • What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing you love?
  • What is the book you’ve given most as a gift?
  • What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?
  • How has failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure? 

(There are other questions but I don’t want to spoil the book before you buy it) 

If you want to be successful in life you must have the RIGHT mentors. If you haven’t found a mentor yet, I suggest you buy this book. (Even if you do have a mentor I would still buy this book)


Category: (Self-Help)

Jeffrey Gitomer: The Little Red Book of Selling

Believe it or not, you are always selling yourself. When you are in an interview for a summer internship, a date, or join a new club you are selling yourself.

To make sure people are buying what you’re selling you have to know the core principles behind selling.

Jeffrey Gitomer is one of my favorite authors because of the simple but impact wordplay he uses throughout his books series.

The Little Red Book of Selling is a compact book full of lessons and eye-popping quotes that’ll motivate you to become a better you.


“Attitude drives actions. Actions drive results. Results drive lifestyle”

Jeffrey Gitomer

“People always blame their day attitude on the day. I’m having a bad day is baloney. What you’re really saying is: I’ve let other people get to my attitude, I’ve let other circumstances get to my attitude”

Jeffrey Gitomer


Category: (Self-Help)

Steve Siebold: How Rich People Think

This book is a must-read for any college student who wants to be financially free before the age of 30.

Steve Siebold spent years uncovering the mindset that sets the wealthy apart from the middle/lower class.

He explains that one of the first steps to becoming financially free is changing your mindset about money. Forget what your parents, teachers, and coaches have taught you about money because it’s most likely wrong.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is “The middle class believes hard work creates wealth, the world-class believes leverage creates wealth.”


Category: (Financial)

Butron G. Malkiel: A Random Walk Down Wall Street

This book was recommended by my finance teacher because of its simplicity and the wide range of investing concepts that this book covers.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street reads more like a story than a financial literacy book and that’s why I’m recommending the book to you.

The book covers risk & returns, stocks, bonds, market crashes, insurance, IRAs and much more.

It’s very important that college students know what steps to take in order to become financially free in the future. You’re not going to be a broke college student forever…


Category: (Financial)

Barron’s: Financial Management (Third Edition)

The Barron’s newspaper has been in circulation since the early 1920’s.

The newspaper covers US financial information, market developments, and business statistics that are important to the economy’s health.

Barron’s has published a variety of books about learning finance and understanding how financial markets work.

The book I am recommending to you is the third edition of its financial management series.

This book goes over stocks, bonds, analyzing financial statements, time value of money, and long-term debt financing (calculating mortgage payments).

The book is different from A Random Walk Down Wall Street because it focuses more on equations opposed to stories and theories. This book helped me pass finance with a B+.


Category: (Communication & Networking)

Leil Lowndes: How To Talk To Anyone (92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships)

Do you experience social anxiety when interacting with your peers, speaking in public, entering rooms, or making eye contact?

Then you should buy this book.

This book has 92 techniques you can use with peers, teachers, or when you are interviewing for a job.

Incorporating these tips in social interactions will help you connect with others better and limit your social anxiety when you have to speak in public.

*Technique #20 “Never be left speechless again. Like a parrot, simply repeat the last few words your conversation partner says. That puts the ball right back in his or her court, and then all you need to do is listen.”


Category: (Communication & Networking)

Jeffrey Gitomer’s: Little Black Book of Connections

Another Jeffrey Gitomer book I’d like to recommend is “The Little Black Book of Connections”.

This book walks you thru the  6.5 rules for making connections. Whether you are starting a blog, looking for an internship, or trying to find the best parties on campus you need connections.

Being successful is more about building connections than being the smartest in the room.

Just like “The Little Red Book of Selling” this book has a fun, edgy, sarcastic tone to it that college students will love.

This book will also teach you how to reach the next level in life without stepping on someone’s back.

“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy”

Jeffrey Gitomer


Category: (Entrepreneurship/Business)

Joe Pulizzi: Content Inc.

The internet has opened a new world of possibilities for content creators to create and monetize their content like never before.

Youtube vloggers, Instagram influencers, and Bloggers are all a byproduct of the internet breaking down the barriers to entry for content creators.

This book shows you how to create your own content and get paid a hefty amount.

Joe Pulizzi takes you from creating an idea to monetizing your content. I suggest any college student who is thinking about starting a content creation business to pick up this book.


Category: (Entrepreneurship/Business)

Daymond John: The Power of Broke

The last book on our list was written by one of the sharks on Shark Tank and he is the creator of FUBU.

Daymond John started with a budget of $40 and turned that into a 6 billion dollar company.

In this book, he details how he leveraged being broke in order to grow his company.

Reflecting on his entrepreneurship journey he details how anyone can use the power of broke to build an empire.


Ann Handley: Everybody Writes 

If you want to monetize your website, blog, social or take your writing skills to the next level then buy this book. Ann Handley walks you through tips and techniques that will give you an edge over your peers in the workforce and in entrepreneurship.

After reading this book you will know how to communicate effectively with fewer words. If you have a blog or a social media account that you want to monetize, Ann will help you develop blog post and captions that will engage your readers and followers.

Learning how to write in the technology age is pivotal to your success in the “real world”.  


Related Posts