After college, it's easy to look back and realize just how much free time you had during those first years of your new independence. Think about how many books you could have been reading instead of watching reruns of "The Simpsons" while eating $.10 noodles you made in the microwave! If you're buying for a college student this year, remind them of the importance of being well read with a thoughtful book gift.
From left to right, top to bottom...
1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // A rumination on race and identity that is on pretty much every "best of" list of 2013.
2. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh // READ ALL THE INSIGHTS!
3. The Circle by Dave Eggers // People either love or hate Eggers, but this Facebook-inspired, life-after-college book is getting talked about seriously everywhere.
4. The Panopticon by Jennie Fagan // A delinquent girl with a troubled past gets super paranoid when put into a halfway house. She's a gutsy narrator young people will adore.
5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman // A supremely awesome supernatural tale whose unsettling nature really creeps up on you. It's a read-in-one-sitting type of good.
6. Mañana Means Heaven by Tim Z. Hernandez // The perfect book for the burgeoning Kerouac fan, telling the story of On the Road from the perspective of "the Mexican girl."
7. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner // A finalist for the National Book Award, Kushner's novel about a young artist trying to make her mark is bold and memorable.
8. Night Film by Marisha Pessl // Interactive and perfect for young people who love our highly integrated world, it's a strange mystery. Like super strange.
9. The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz // Ideal for the college student who can't remember how many times they've watched "Moonrise Kingdom."
10. The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith // Hey, everyone knows someone who needs a little help out there...
11. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker // History, mythology, and magic become quite chummy in this interesting read.
12. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer // A novel about teenagers with enormous potential who grow up and see how much their potential amounts to in the real world.
p.s. The Internet is filled with lists everyone needs to read in their 20s. Consider these all fairly good options as well.