Treat Yourself to a Good Book This Holiday Season

  • Published: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- This holiday season, treat yourself to a good book, give a book as a gift, or settle in next to the fireplace with a book from the library. 

"Winter is the perfect time to invest in yourself with a book on leadership or neighboring," said David Burton, county engagement specialist with University of Missouri Extension. "I have some favorites that I would like to suggest."

"The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership," by author John C. Maxwell provides a concise, accessible leadership book that helps readers become more effective leaders from the inside out. "Daily readings highlight 21 essential leadership qualities to leading yourself and others," said Burton.

In "The Power of Habit," Charles Duhigg takes us to the edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. "This book suggests the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work," said Burton.

When was the last time you told your colleagues how much you value them? David Novak discovered during his years as a hard-charging executive that there is nothing trivial about recognition. He shares the lessons he has learned in "O Great One!" This book is relevant in business and your personal life.

In "The Speed of Trust," Stephen M. R. Covey shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees, and all stakeholders—is the most critical component of a successful leader and organization.

Practical and super short, Kevin DeYoung's book, "Crazy Busy" will help you put an end to "business as usual." "This book is one of my personal favorites," said Burton.

"I would also recommend several books on the topic of neighboring," said Burton. "I think this is currently one of the most important social and community topics."

Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon are authors of "The Art of Neighboring." This book is a practical guide to improving neighborhoods by learning and using your neighbors' names.

Kristin Schell's book, "The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Our Own Front Yard," takes a unique approach to this topic and details how to make your yard the gathering spot.

John McKnight and Peter Block, "The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods." This book details asset-based community development steps to improve your neighborhood and your quality of life.

Last but not least, "This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live" by Melody Warnick teaches you how to feel at home in your town. She dives into the research around place attachment -- the deep sense of connection that binds some of us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being -- then travels to towns across America to see it in action.

"These books can likely be found at your local library, purchased, or even listened to on Audible. With all of these options, you will be amazed at the benefits of reading a good book," said Burton.

Individuals wanting to learn even more about leadership or neighboring should visit for articles and available programs, including our popular "Neighboring 101" monthly zoom class.

Writer: David Burton

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David Burton

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