A Summer Read

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Every summer Lebanon County and surrounding counties’ libraries participate in A Summer Read, a reading initiative for adults that runs from June through September. Each year this health literacy campaign selects a title to read and support with special programming.

Book Title Description

From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

Option B combines Sandburg’s personal insights with Grant’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sandburg opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sandburg’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sandburg was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.

About The Author

Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook, overseeing the firm’s business operations. Prior to Facebook, Sandburg was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and an economist with the World Bank.

Sandburg received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with highest distinction from Harvard Business School.

Sandburg is the co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, And Finding Joy with Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant. She is also the author of the bestsellers Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead and Lean In For Graduates. She is the founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world through two key initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. Sandburg serves on the boards of Facebook, the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey.

Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated teacher for four straight years. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers and the world’s top 40 business professors under 40.

Grant is the author of two New York Times bestselling books translated into 34 languages: Originals, which explores how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink; and Give And Take, which examines why helping others drives our success.

Grant received a standing ovation for his 2016 TED talk on the surprising habits of original thinkers and was voted the audience’s favorite speaker at The Nantucket Project on the success of givers and takers. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NFL, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Pixar, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, the United Nations, the U.S. Army and Navy, and the World Economic Forum, where he has been honored as a Young Global Leader.

As a contributing writer on work and psychology for the New York Times, Grant’s op-eds on raising a moral child and a creative child have each been shared over 300,000 times on social media. His research focuses on generosity, motivation and meaningful work, championing new ideas, personality traits like introversion, and leadership, collaboration, culture, and organizational change. His studies have been highlighted in David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, Drive by Dan Pink, Quiet by Susan Cain, and Thrive by Arianna Huffington.

Grant is a member of the Lean In board, the founder of the Authors@Wharton series, and the co-director of Wharton People Analytics. He has received the Excellence in Teaching award for every class he has taught. He earned his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and his BA from Harvard University, magna cum laude with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa honors. He is a former magician and junior Olympic springboard diver.

Additional Reading & Viewing On The Topic

Resources

Option B: Discussion Guide

Resilience In A Crisis: Helping Yourself And Others Through COVID-19. The team at Option B has compiled a range of resources for those dealing with a variety of hardships during this public health crisis.

Option B Resources: Grief & Loss. Read advice, conversations, watch videos, and find a toolkit that will help you cope with grief and loss.

Option B Resources: Raising Resilient Kids. Here you’ll hear from others trying to help children build their own resilience so they can handle whatever life throws at them.

Author Talks

 

The authors discuss building resilience and moving forward after hardships at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

 

Authors@Wharton: Sheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant discuss their book Option B.

This is a collaboration of WITF Transforming Health, Capital Blue Cross, and WellSpan Health System.