It was on sale and I guess I’m glad I got it and read it, but it is a bit long for what it offers – it starts out great but gets lost in too many generalities. Sheryl Sandberg has been the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook since 2008, but in 2015, about two years prior to writing this book, she was also very happily married and the mother of two young children. Then her husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly from a brain aneurism. She went through the grief process in her own way and went on to more success – that’s what the book is about. She, together with Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton, wrote this book.
OPTION B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
2017/ 214 pages
read by Elise Donovan 6h 14m
rating: 6 / memoir/self-help in bereavement
I’d known and experienced much of the material dealing with loss – although not death of a spouse. And I’ve reading a lot of books for a long time including Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ On Death and Dying and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. I’ve certainly gone through my share of hard knocks.
I haven’t been much on “self-help” books since the1990s when I read The Care of the Soul: A Guide For Cultivating Depth And Sacredness In Everyday Life by Thomas Moore and turned to Judaism and Buddhist meditation more actively. I’ve read a few meditation books since then, but doing it has become more important.
I picked up the book anyway and read it more for the insights I might gather for use in trying to help others than for my own needs – my situation is relatively stress-free these days, but you never can tell – life happens.
I noted these quotes:
*** Avoiding feelings is not the same as protecting feelings. –
*** “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” – Sandberg gives credit to Annie Dillard.
There’s a big faith component – Sandberg is Jewish and it’s a very real part of her life but she doesn’t buy into a lot of the platitudes.
Also, after about half way the narrative gets a bit cliched and although the first half focuses on specific bereavement-with-children issues more than any other major life disappointments, that subject widens in the second half to a lot of different kinds of unfortunate circumstances. I don’t feel like it strengthened the overall message, it more like it diluted it. And then it gets kind of sappy or overly sentimental – but that’s just my take on it.