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Blue Manatee Literacy Project

15 of the Best Books to Gift Coworkers This Holiday Season

Picking out a gift for the members of your work family can be a real challenge. Lucky for all of us, there are books. They are always a great go-to for gift giving especially for the people we know well enough to purchase a gift for but not well enough to know what they'd actually like for a gift.

Here is a list of our 15 favorite titles for gift giving at the office...

By Brendon Burchard
Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach and one of the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers in history. Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits, and you win. Neglect them, and life is a never-ending struggle.

By Zoe McKey
This book collects all the tips, tricks and tactics of the most successful people to develop your inner smartness. The Unlimited Mind will show you how to think smarter and find your inner genius. This book is a collection of research and scientific studies about better decision-making, fairer judgments, and intuition improvement. It takes a critical look at our everyday cognitive habits and points out small but serious mistakes that are easily correctable. Discover and utilize the uncharted parts of your brain.
By Amy Cuddy
By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s revolutionary book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.
By Brendon Burchard
World-renowned high performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear. The march to Personal Freedom, Burchard argues, can be won only by declaring our intent and independence, stepping into our personal power, and battling through self-doubt and the distractions of the day until full victory is won.
By B. Joseph Pine II, James H. Gilmore
This seminal book on experience innovation by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore explores how savvy companies excel by offering compelling experiences for their customers, resulting not only in increased customer allegiance but also in a more profitable bottom line. Translated into thirteen languages, The Experience Economy has become a must-read for leaders of enterprises large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, global and local. (Updated edition releasing December 10, 2019)
By Dan Rather, Elliot Kirschner
At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on—and writing passionately about—what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories.
By Radha Agrawal
A book that’s equal parts inspiring and interactive, and packed with prompts, charts, quizzes, and full-color illustrations, Belong takes readers on a two-part journey. Part one is Going IN—a gentle but intentional process of self-discovery and finding out your true energy levels and VIA (values, interests, and abilities). Part two is Going OUT—building on all that you’ve learned about yourself to find those few special people who feed your soul, and discovering, or creating, the ever-widening groups that align with your aims and desires.
By Angela Duckworth
In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.
By Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, Dylan Thuras
Atlas Obscura revels in the unexpected, the overlooked, the bizarre, and the mysterious. Here are natural wonders, like the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can sit and drink comfortably. Every page gets to the very core of why humans want to travel in the first place: to be delighted and disoriented, uprooted from the familiar and amazed by the new. With its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, and new city guides, it is a book you can open anywhere and be transported. But proceed with caution: It’s almost impossible not to turn to the next entry, and the next, and the next.
By Gavin Edwards
Looking back at the history of the show and the creative visionary behind it, pop culture aficionado Gavin Edwards reminds us of the indelible lessons and insights that Mister Rogers conveyed—what it means to be a good person, to be open-hearted, to be thoughtful, to be curious, to be compassionate—and why they matter. Beautifully crafted, infused with Mister Rogers’ gentle spirit, and featuring dozens of interviews with people whose lives were touched by Fred Rogers—ranging from Rita Moreno to NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann—Kindness and Wonder is a love letter to this unforgettable cultural hero and role model, and the beautiful neighborhood he created.
By Morra Aarons-Mele
From the marketing guru and host of the popular podcast Hiding in the Bathroom, a breakthrough introverts’ guide that broadens the conversation sparked by Quiet and moves away from the “Lean In” approach, offering wisdom and practical tips to help readers build strong relationships and achieve their own definition of professional success. Most ambitious people believe that reaching the peaks of success means being on 24/7—tirelessly networking, deal-making, and keynoting conferences. This is nonsense, says Morra Aarons-Mele. As an eminent entrepreneur with a flourishing business and a self-proclaimed introvert with lots of anxieties, Morra disagrees with the notion that there’s only one successful “type”: the intense, super social, sleep-deprived mover and shaker, the person who musters endless amounts of “grit.” Hiding in the Bathroom is her antidote for everyone who is fed up with feeling like they must always “lean in”—who prefer those moments of hiding in the bathroom to constantly climbing the ladder or working the room.
By Gene Weingarten
On New Year’s Day 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner Gene Weingarten asked three strangers to, literally, pluck a day, month, and year from a hat. That day—chosen completely at random—turned out to be Sunday, December 28, 1986, by any conventional measure a most ordinary day. Weingarten spent the next six years proving that there is no such thing. One Day asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily, daunting challenge of being human.
By Scott McKain
Scott McKain, award-winning speaker and author, explains how to move beyond being distinctive and to take your brand and business to the next level, to become iconic by knowing your customer and audience and providing the Ultimate Customer Experience every time.
By Charles Handy
In an era when change is constant, random, and, as Handy calls it, discontinuous, it is necessary to break out of old ways of thinking in order to use change to our advantage. Handy examines how dramatic changes are transforming business, education, and the nature of work. We can see it in astounding new developments in technology, in the shift in demand from manual to cerebral skills, and in the virtual disappearance of lifelong, full-time jobs. Handy maintains that discontinuous change requires discontinuous, upside-down thinking, and discusses the need for new kinds of organizations, new approaches to work, new types of schools, and new ideas about the nature of our society.
By Adam Grant
For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. In Give and Take, Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton’s highest-rated professor, examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. Praised by social scientists, business theorists, and corporate leaders, Give and Take opens up an approach to work, interactions, and productivity that is nothing short of revolutionary.

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