Because I'm a stickler for detail and a bit of a perfectionist, I went to the bookstore after finding out what subjects the graduate liked best. I took pictures of actual textbooks in those subjects and attempted to re-create them.
Despite getting in a minor fender-bender during delivery (rear-ended!), the cake arrived safe and sound and was a huge hit. It was fun to stretch my cake decorating wings with this one... it literally took me 8 hours to carve, frost, and decorate the books, but I think it turned out well!