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Most of us wish we had more time to read, but life, work and binge-watching "Stranger Things" or "Ozark" can get in the way. Yet as the year creeps to a close and your year-end business winds down, this is the perfect time to enjoy a good book.

Got a holiday gift card burning a hole in your wallet? Pick up one of the following suggestions and bring it along on your next business trip.

President Obama once credited books with allowing him to "slow down and get perspective," Oscar Wilde said "it is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it," and novelist Elizabeth Hardwick has claimed that "the greatest gift is a passion for reading."

Whether they illuminate a new way of looking at the world, or prompt clients to study up on personal finance strategies, books are a wonderful way to share insights with friends, colleagues and clients.

"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them and it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world," author Neil Gaiman has said.

National Mortgage News asked mortgage industry executives about their favorite reads and how they've influenced their business practices.

With recommended reads from Chase Mortgage's Mike Weinbach, New American Funding's Patty Arvielo and more, check out these 13 books every mortgage pro should have on their winter reading list.
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The Shock Doctrine By Naomi Klein
Recommended by Jeff Bode, president and CEO of Mid America Mortgage

"Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" is probably the book that drives a lot of my decision making, particularly in determining how to act in changing environments — which is a common occurrence in our industry. In the book, Klein defines "disaster capitalism" as the idea that free market economics is actually built upon capitalizing on moments of instability (wars, disasters, etc.). By understanding the logic behind these events, I can assess my situation and act accordingly."

The Shock Doctrine, $10.80
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change By Stephen Covey
Recommended by Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products at Ally Bank

"One of my favorite books is "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Throughout life, our personal and professional lives are a series of new experiences for which there is not a clear roadmap for being successful. I've found Stephen Covey's book to be universally helpful in understanding how to be more effective in business and life in general. Most notable takeaways: Begin with the end in mind, think win-win, and have an abundance mentality."

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, $11.47
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Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World By General Stanley McChrystal
Recommended by Stanley C. Middleman, founder and CEO of Freedom Mortgage Corp.

"Great discussion on the impact modern technology has on traditional business thinking and organization. It gives good perspective and understanding on the importance of the speed of information, the intended and unintended consequences of reaction and inaction, and how we currently operate and develop our business organization."

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, $18.76
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Mindset: The New Psychology of Success By Carol Dweck
Recommended by Mike Weinbach, CEO of mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co

"I read this over the summer and found it enlightening and impactful as a parent, coach, business leader and athlete. I highly recommend!"

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, $13.60
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The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Recommended by Mary Ann McGarry, president and CEO of Guild Mortgage

"The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman changed the way I think about women in business. The authors' insights helped me see the importance of women acting with confidence, which supported my own experiences in the industry. When organizations value and promote female leaders and women act confidently and take risks, the company will be positioned to succeed and often surpass the competition in every measure of profitability."

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know, $16
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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game By Michael Lewis
Recommended by Lee Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Flagstar Bank

"Scratch the surface, and behind a rich and entertaining baseball story is a powerful message for everyone in business. Break the mold, be Billy Beane, find value in something others have dismissed. It's an amazing tale of how an inquisitive mind and a willingness to challenge the status quo can shatter old ways of thinking and create a new paradigm. It's a book steeped in constructive messages for all businesses."

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, $9.44
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Knowing Your Value By Mika Brzezinski
Recommended by Marcia Davies, chief operating officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association

"Studies have shown that women face consistent pay gaps for doing the same work as men. In journalist and entrepreneur Mika Brzezinski's assessment, at least part of this relates to core differences in how women and men approach subject of compensation. While the primary mission of this easy, insightful read is to provide advice to women to ensure they are being paid appropriately, managers and leaders can learn so much about the different ways men and women talk about compensation. It is a must read for women in business, but we can all learn something from the lessons Mika highlights."

Knowing Your Value, $8.92
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The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business By Patrick Lencioni
Recommended by Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae

"'Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage,' this is the premise of 'The Advantage,' Patrick Lencioni's book. Many companies search for advantage in areas like marketing, strategy, and technology. Those are important, but Lencioni focuses on the organization sitting in front of them. It is about creating a cohesive leadership team, creating clarity about mission and values to the organization, over communicating that clarity, and reinforcing that clarity."

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, $17.26
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Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think By Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier
Recommended by Teresa Bryce Bazemore, board member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and Chimera Investment Corp.

"This fascinating read explores how data, including seemingly unrelated data, can be used in new ways coupled with powerful algorithms to tap into new markets, innovate existing businesses and create new businesses. They also discuss how big data can improve our everyday lives. Furthermore, the authors suggest actions we can take to guard against the use of big data in detrimental ways. This is one of the best books I have seen on this subject."

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think, $11.87
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The Surrender Experiment By Michael Singer
Recommended by Brent Chandler, founder and CEO of FormFree Holdings Corp.

"We are trained to believe that great leadership is about developing a business plan and executing it with exactitude. This book helped me redefine leadership as the ability to ride the waves of challenge and opportunity as they appear. It helped me focus more on my business's destination and less on the path we take to get there. This shift in mindset freed both me and my company to walk paths that weren't part of the initial journey we envisioned and, in so doing, achieve successes that we could never have foreseen."

The Surrender Experiment, $13.56
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The Fountainhead By Ayn Rand
Recommended by John Walsh, CEO of LERETA

"Most people in the industry who know me will probably be surprised that I haven't chosen to write about a Marvel graphic novel. Although superheroes are clearly applicable to how I think about LERETA, this time I'll make a few comments about one of my favorite books, Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead." The key message that I carry from book as it relates to our industry is that the status quo and incumbents that depend on the status quo can be disrupted by innovation. Secondarily, "The Fountainhead" has great insight into the use of regulation for political gain, but that's a topic for another time."

The Fountainhead, $8.82
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Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead By Sheryl Sandberg
Recommended by Patty Arvielo, co-founder and CEO of New American Funding

"I enjoy this book because it speaks to the importance of mentorship. We all have the ability to be a mentor to another woman, mentorship is not exclusive to the C-Suite, and empowering each other is our responsibility. In a male dominated industry, we as women need to help each other achieve success. We need to embrace our responsibility as leaders in the industry to mentor the next generation."

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, $14.53
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Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion By Gary Vaynerchuk
Recommended by Brian Faux, co-founder and CEO of Morty

"'Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion' by Gary Vaynerchuk is a great read for any entrepreneur (and start-up); for Morty, it's especially relevant as we've used the power of the internet to bring transparency to consumers and innovate a slow-to-change mortgage industry."

Crush It! Now is the Time to Cash in On Your Passion, $14.69
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