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Favorite Books of 2021
December 27, 2021
Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear Exchange Community,

We have a tradition, near the end of December, of sharing with you some good books from the past year. This year we asked members of the Exchange Leadership Initiative to tell us about their favorite personal and professional books they read in 2021. Here’s a sampling:

From Angel Stoddard:
Personal book: Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton.  From the book jacket: “CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Conor Knighton...shares informative and entertaining dispatches from what turned out to be the road trip of a lifetime. Along the way, he identifies the threads that link these different places and reveals how his trip ended up changing his views on everything.”

Professional book: Ubuntu! An Inspiring Story About an African Tradition of Teamwork and Collaboration by Stephen Lundin and Bob Nelson. From the book jacket: “In an engaging and completely fresh narrative that holds a unique message for today's business world, Ubuntu! shows us a way to overcome our fears, insecurities, and the 'me-ism' that so often permeates our workplaces and replace it with a culture of genuine respect and collaboration.”

From Meenakshi Dahal
The Power of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. This book guides the reader to achieve spiritual consciousness and inspires us to find life's elusive treasures within.

From Norma Honeycutt
The Power of Moments:  Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.  All of us have defining moments in our lives…The book shares wonderful real life examples of how we can create those moments for others. It is such an impactful book that I had my leadership team read a chapter each week and we discussed it. We began creating some defining moments for our staff and families. It improved our staff morale, strengthened our relationships, and had a major positive impact on the culture of our organization. I highly recommend this book to anyone!

From Mike Huber
My favorite book of 2021 is Illuminating Care: The Pedagogy and Practice of Care in Early Childhood Communities by Carol Garboden Murray

From Francis Wardle
My favorite book that I read in 2021 was Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff. One reason I like this book is because it affirms some of my observations of Maya parenting when I worked in the Highlands of Guatemala in 1976. Additionally, I like the fact that the author acknowledges the profound sophistication of these cultures' approaches to raising children, rather than the criticism of them from a Western perspective that I constantly see.

From Jamie Bonczyk
1) Non-fiction: The Enneagram, Relationships, and Intimacy: Understanding One Another Leads to Loving Better and Living More Fully Written by David Daniels, M.D., and Suzanne Dion. This book combines human development and the enneagram to help the reader understand themselves and others in a way that can foster deep connection.

2) Fiction: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This book is a quick read. Every person I know who has read this book has stated that it's worth reading; however their reasons for why have varied based on their personal experiences with child care, race and acknowledging privilege.

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