The Best Book Covers of 2012

Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover?

Admit it.  You’re walking past a row of books when something catches your attention.  You pause for a second, linger just a moment and, before you know it, you’re flipping through it and standing in line at a register.

Book covers can do that.  A well-designed book jacket invites you in.

Readers of this blog know that I love books and am surrounded by them.  Last year, my wife even surprised me with bookshelves in the last remaining room without them: our furnace room!  Yes, devices are terrific and mine get used plenty.  But, I love the feel of a real book and I enjoy the artistry of a good cover.

So, here is my list of best book covers for 2012.  (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2011.) Let me know your favorite.  And, if you see a great one in 2013, leave a comment here so we can consider it for next year’s list.

(See also 5 Winning Lessons from Book Covers.)

Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel

 

underwaterdogs

 

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

 

Whats Left of Me

Make Your Days Count

Mastering Your Life Right Now (and a book giveaway)

For over thirty years (10,950 days), Robert D Smith has worked behind the scenes as Andy Andrews’ manager and as a consultant to numerous best-selling authors and speakers.  Most know him as THE Robert D, and his infectious energy and enthusiasm for life radiates into a room even before he steps into it.

SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY

We gave away some free AUTOGRAPHED copies of 20,000 Days and Counting.

Winners have been selected and notified.

To qualify for the random drawing:

  1. Leave a comment below. Why would this book be helpful to you?
  2. Send out this post. You can use Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You could also use a pigeon, but you’d likely miss the contest end date.

 

When I read THE Robert D’s book, I realized it was the perfect way to start a new year.  It’s packed with practical steps to make the most of your days.  It’s a fast read, but one that will linger with you as you contemplate your life.

Let’s start with the title.  20,000 Days and Counting.  That grabbed my attention as I wondered about the significance of 20,000 days.  Turns out that you realized in 2009 that you had been alive for almost 20,000 days.  That realization had a big impact on you, didn’t it?

I would say the impact was huge. When you see your number, it really gives you a sense of urgency and intensity.

2.  I love to invent reasons to celebrate.  My wife and I celebrate more dates than anyone, and I even invent anniversaries and holidays just so we can celebrate something.  So, I was thrilled to see you talking about celebrating in this book.  Why is celebrating so important?  How do you make it a part of your daily life?

20000daysCelebrating is critical because it’s the only way to withstand living a life of intensity and purpose. If you’re living each and every day with meaning and intentional action to fulfill your purpose, you’re going to be drained from time to time. Allowing yourself time to celebrate the little accomplishments along the way will keep you focused and help you avoid burnout.

3.  From what I read, you seem to love the word “no.”  Why is “no” such a power word?

The 12 Top Posts of 2012

Last week, I posted a list of my 2012 interviews with over fifty thought leaders.  From sports to business, I’ve been fortunate to learn from such distinguished leaders from all walks of life. Apart from the interviews, what posts proved to be the most popular in 2012?

What Works Is Often A Surprise

Talk to any blogger and you will likely hear the same thing.  It is always a surprise to see what becomes popular.  I may work like crazy on something for hours, post it and it may see very little traffic.  Something else ends up taking off and it was almost a last minute thought.  You just can’t predict.

In putting together a list of popular posts, there are also so many ways to look at the data.  Do you measure purely by the traffic?  If you do it that way, doesn’t that give an unfair advantage to content posted in January?

After looking at the statistics, I decided to pick the top posts by traffic with a weight based on the date.  If a post was dated later in the year, it received a slightly higher weight to equal things out.

I also decided not to put them in any order, so this is a random list:

  1. Don’t Let Others Determine Your Value
  2. Why Leaders Don’t Need Parrots
  3. 17 Resume Don’ts from the CEO’s Desk
  4. 7 Steps of Crisis Leadership
  5. Take Our Introvert / Extrovert Quiz and Relationship Tips for Your Opposite

General Schwarzkopf Quotes

General Norman Schwarzkopf passed away this week in Tampa of complications from pneumonia.  “Stormin’ Norman” was the four-star General who commanded Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Here are a few of his memorable quotes.

You learn far more from negative leadership than positive leadership because you learn how not to do it.

True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.

You can’t help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one be without strategy.

When placed in command, take charge.

(more…)

Leadership Lessons from Over 50 Thought Leaders

People + Books = 1 Changed Life

 

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was one of my great influencers.  He repeatedly said that, “You will be the same person you are today in five years but for two things:  the people you meet and the books you read.” Every year, I am privileged to have the opportunity to read so many incredible books and meet fascinating people from all walks of life.

Last year, I launched this blog with the idea of sharing insights, ideas, and inspiration from many sources. On the one hand, I’m disappointed that I was only able to share a fraction of all of the people who influenced me. On the other, I’m glad that I started doing it because now, as I look back on it, I’m the one who benefited the most. Charlie was right. All of the books I read and all of the people I met did indeed change me.

Here are a few of the people who shared their experience and wisdom. If I can learn a fraction of what they know, I will be better equipped to lead in the coming year.

Before you start the new year, take the time to meet some of these people and take their leadership lessons with you. Instead of “interview in progress” you will find a “great life in progress.”

Leadership, News & Politics

 

Dan Rather (his life in the news)

Condoleezza Rice (former Secretary of State)

Barbara Simons (on the dangers of new ballot machines)

Senator Bill Bradley (on how we can all do better)

 

Business Leadership, Strategy & Execution

 

John Baldoni (purpose, leadership)

Jill Geisler (Make Work Happy)

Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos on culture)

Cynthia Montgomery (strategist)

Jim Huling (on the 4 disciplines of execution)

Geoffrey Moore (how to cross the chasm and rethink the future)

Faisal Hoque (BTM CEO on the power of convergence)

Chris Grivas (which creative style are you?)

Shep Hyken (7 strategies of amazing customer service)