10 Books to Inspire Graduate Success


Want to know how to be a successful graduate student? Here are some must-read inspirational books to help you achieve greatness! 

At the University of Bolton, we focus on providing a positive and supportive learning environment, so you can reach your potential. If you want to know how to be a successful graduate student, try becoming a bookworm and immersing yourself into must-read inspirational books.

We’re in the Top 5 in the UK for Teaching Quality* and have been No.1 for Student Satisfaction** for four years running, so we know all about inspiring our students to excel at what they do. Here are some books to support your journey to becoming the best in your field!

1. Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days (John Hargrave)

Whether youre new to university or embarking on a master’s degree, this guide can help you change your way of thinking to conquer fear, improve your self-confidence, and find ways to advance your career.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R. Covey)

Looking for a proven recipe for success? This book examines the common habits of some of the worlds most successful people so you can follow in their footsteps. It also discusses techniques to ensure positive change, and how to use these habits to smash your goals.

3. A Promised Land (Barack Obama)


This presidential memoir is a great read for anyone who wants to know more about what happens inside the Oval Office and the White House. It also provides a fantastic backstory about Obamas early life and education, inspiring us all to work harder and reach for the stars.

4. How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking (Viv Groskop)

Written by British journalist, Viv Groskop, this book is female-centred and can be a great boost to your confidence as a woman in the modern workplace. Its especially useful for women embarking on a male-dominated career path, and those who need help establishing their voice among peers.

5. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Peter Thiel)

One of Elon Musks most raved about reads, Zero to One is an account of how one man built multiple breakthrough companies, sharing tips on how a German-American entrepreneur grew his global empire.


6. Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination (J.K. Rowling)

Rather than talking about success, J.K Rowling shares her deepest inner thoughts on failure, and how failure can be used as a lesson for strength, determination and change. This book is an illustrated version of her 2008 Harvard University commencement speech, and is an eye-opening read for graduates, career-starters, entrepreneurs, and students at every level.

7. The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion (Elle Luna)

As a student at university, youll be faced with a lot of life decisions. What do you do when youre at a crossroads? Read this book to find out how to follow your passion, make the right decisions, and choose a path that works for you (and not what others expect of you).

8. Becoming (Michelle Obama)

Perhaps one of the most inspirational women in the world, Michelle Obama takes us through the years from her college days to life in the White House. Just reading her words of wisdom will motivate you to be the best you can be.

9. Educated (Tara Westover)

This unique and interesting memoir helps you connect the value of education with real life. Written by a PhD graduate from Cambridge, this book will encourage you to think deeply about making your transition from university to the workplace. Read this if you care about personal development as well as your education, because the former is just as important as getting a degree.

10. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg)

A best-seller from a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, this book shares the secrets on harnessing the power of habit to become more successful at just about anything!

Journalist Charles Duhigg digs deeper into the science behind habit-forming and the very patterns that shape every aspect of our lives. From quitting smoking to progressing at work, this book can help you achieve exactly what you want.

We hope you enjoy our list of must-read inspirational books for graduates and university students. Whether youre an undergraduate or postgraduate student, its important to feed your mind and maintain a passion for learning.

Dont forget to share this post on Twitter, and let us know what your favourite books are with the #UoBolton and #AmReading hashtags.

To find out more about applying for a course at the University of Bolton, see our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees for 2021/22.


* The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 2019

** Complete University Guide in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 - North West Region



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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
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Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant