The Best Book Covers of 2013

Star award against curtain background

Readers of this blog know that I love books.  There must be some psychological label for someone who must have a book within reach at all times.  Whether at home or at the office, whether on a flight or a long drive, I am uncomfortable unless a book is close by.

In recent years, my career has me surrounded with books.  As I walk down an aisle of books, I need to use all my willpower not to stop and start browsing. And what captures my attention?  Book covers.

Book Covers Pull You In

Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover?  Book covers do that.  A well-designed book jacket stops you. Maybe makes you squint or smile or pause for a second. It calls you to pick up the book and look inside.

Each year, I make a list of the best book covers.  Here is my 2013 list. (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2012 and 2011.) What’s your favorite?

I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place by Howard Norman

I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place by Howard Norman

 

Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton

Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton

 

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

 

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

 

Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive by David Goldstein and Otto Kroeger (see my interview with David Goldstein here.)

frontcover_final_CU

 

East of Denver by Gregory Hill

East of Denver by Gregory Hill

3 Leadership Development Tips to Help Bring Out the Leader in You

bigstock-dynamic-and-fit-swimmer-in-cap-17739512

This is a guest post by Dale Carnegie Training, a company founded on the principles of the famous speaker and author of one of my classic favorites “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Today, the company offers leadership training to help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

As the year comes to an end, now is the perfect time for business professionals to reflect on the past year, review what they did well, and determine what skill set areas need improvement. One skill that every businessperson should possess is leadership. Great leadership qualities are a key to success and allow people to be able to take charge of situations to ultimately get the job done. No matter what field you are in, having good leadership skills is critical to your success. Use the following tips and insights from Dale Carnegie Training, one of the leaders in leadership training, to help bring out your inner leader.

 

Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic. –Dale Carnegie

 

Work on Your People Skills

One skill that is often overlooked in the business world is people skills. More than just being social and likeable, people skills allow you to understand how to deal with other people in an efficient and positive manner. This skill can ultimately help leaders win business simply by creating positive experiences for people with whom they interact. People skills are also extremely important in resolving conflict and can help leaders keep team members motivated and engaged at all times. By learning how to interact with others in an effective way, you will be able to better collaborate with your team to ultimately reach company goals.

 

Our thoughts make us what we are. –Dale Carnegie

 

Communication is Key

In order to effectively lead, one must become an expert in communication. The way people communicate can instantly cause a positive or negative reaction, which can greatly affect the outcome of any situation. Leaders should be able to inspire others while also remaining confident and professional.

Good listening skills are also a big part of effective leadership and communication. By listening to those around you, and keeping the lines of communication open, you will have a better understanding of the wants, needs and ideals that are critical to fostering a successful environment.

 

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain-and most do. –Dale Carnegie

 

Invest in Leadership Training

For some, being a leader comes naturally. However, most leaders could greatly benefit from management training programs to help them develop and fine-tune these skills. Look for leadership development learning opportunities. Whether you find a seminar offered through your company, or opt to take an online course on your own, these seminars can be extremely beneficial and can help improve communication and interpersonal skills. Leadership training can provide useful tips, insights and valuable hands-on experience. Even if your company doesn’t offer training opportunities, make it a point to find training opportunities for yourself and be proactive about your leadership.

 

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As I reflect on this past year, I am full of gratitude.  If I’m honest, some of that thankfulness is because the year is over because there were some difficult moments.  And yet, I’m still so grateful for the gift of life, for friends and family, and for those who have made a tremendous impact on me.  Mistakes, successes, failures, lessons, gifts, books, lyrics all blend together to prepare me for the year ahead.

Take time and listen to my gifted friend Michael O’Brien sing “Have Yourself a Blessed Little Christmas.”  I wish all of you a coming year full of blessings, friends, gratitude, and peace.

49 Christmas Quotes and Sayings

bigstock-Winter-Christmas--happy-snow-38670643

For all of you celebrating Christmas, here is a collection of quotes and sayings to make you laugh, think, or remember. For those not celebrating Christmas, you may still enjoy some of the thoughts and sayings here.  Enjoy the season!

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day. –Phyllis Diller

 

Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. –Johnny Carson

 

I stopped believing in Santa when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. –Shirley Temple

 

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world and people keep sending it to each other. –Johnny Carson

 

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. –Buddy the Elf

 

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. –Victor Borge

 

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note saying: “Toys not included!” –Bernard Manning

 

A good conscience is a continual Christmas. –Ben Franklin

 

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas. –Peg Bracken

 

Pets, like their owners, tend to expand a little over the Christmas period. –Frances Wright

 

One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present. -Unknown

 

Love the giver more than the gift. –Brigham Young

 

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. –Harian Miller

 

That’s the true spirit of Christmas: people being helped by people other than me. –Jerry Seinfeld

 

The real Santa Claus is at the mall. –Lemony Snicket

 

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. -Charles Dickens

 

Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. –Eric Sevareid

 

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. –Andy Rooney

 

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. -Normal Vincent Peale

 

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. –Charles Schulz

 

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value. Charles D Warner

 

The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart. –Helen Keller

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men. -Luke 2:14

 

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. –Erma Bombeck

 

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. – Calvin Coolidge