student reading outside of a cafe
Photo by Andrew Le on Unsplash

For many graduate students, the summer months are an important time for self-directed reading and other tasks that have taken a backseat over the fall and spring semesters. For some, this summer’s reading list might include reading a novel that sat untouched over the academic year, reading to prepare for exams, or reading for your research.

Regardless of your stage in your graduate program, consider adding one or two books to your summer reading list this year that will help advance your professional development goals. 

Whether your professional goals relate to improving as a researcher or teacher, improving your relationship with your collaborators and mentors, reflecting on your post-graduate career path, or preparing for life after graduate school, there are many valuable books available to support your learning. Even if your summer is devoted to writing or publishing, there are books that can help you improve your writing process.

Here’s a list of book recommendations for your summer reading, each aimed at helping you reflect on and succeed in a different aspect of your professional development and graduate school journey. The books that are available as an ebook through the library are linked.

On non-academic career preparation and exploration:

On academic career preparation and exploration:

On academic writing:

  • Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success by Wendy Belcher (2nd edition)
  • How to Write a Thesis by Rowena Murray

On personal growth and life planning:

  • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
  • The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness by Todd Rose

On succeeding in graduate school:

  • Hooded: A Black Girl’s Guide to the Ph.D. by Malika Grayson

On teaching:

On collaborations and mentorship:

  • Getting Mentored in Graduate School by W. Brad Johnson and Jennifer M. Huwe
  • Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (even when it is off base, unfair, poorly delivered, and frankly, you’re not in the mood) by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Happy reading this summer!

About the author: Sophie Major is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. candidate researching environmental and Indigenous political thought, and is a first-gen college graduate. They currently serve as a Professional Development Liaison in UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division.