As you know, I typically do book review posts with short commentary on books I’ve read and give them a grade. I love sharing what I’m reading and inspiring others to read more as well.
However, sometimes there are books that are just so eloquent and inspirational, they deserve their own post. First of which was Carry On, Warrior, which you can read here. And now, Option B by Sheryl Sandberg.
I read Sheryl’s first book, Lean In when it came out several years ago and loved it. I blogged about it in my book reviews in 2013 and gave it an A, saying it had inspired me to lean in and take more control of my career. I knew then Sheryl was a remarkable, passionate woman and someone to follow.
Fast forward to her new book, Option B. Not only do I still believe she is a remarkable, passionate woman, but I’m convinced her writing is changing peoples lives all around the world, something I’ve always aspired to. And I say that, because her writing changed my life back in 2013 and again in 2017, and I’m just a simple 20-something girl in small-town Bentonville.
Option B is about facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy. It sounds like it could be a cheesy self-help novel, right? Completely wrong.
She opens the novel by sharing the story of her husband’s sudden death while on vacation in Mexico, and having to travel home and tell the kids their father wasn’t coming home. I read this on a train in Italy and had to literally stop myself from just losing it. It was so real and so raw and so emotional, and I could feel it all.
The thing about this book is, though it rips you apart, it then helps put you back together again. As she was telling her story of grief, it opened up all the wounds of my own grief from a few years ago when my Dad died. But then it put me back together again. Not only could I relate to so many things she wrote (like, the elephant in the room or using journaling as therapy), but she also gives very practical advice on how to build resilience and find joy again. She validated all of my feelings and reminded me I wasn’t alone on this journey of grief, even 3.5 years later.
I want everyone to read this book. Especially if you’re grieving or if you’re close to someone who is. And if for any reason you can’t afford it, I will buy one for you.
“Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B. This book is to help us all kick the shit out of it.”
Today and the next two days in NWA are cold, rainy and grey. Bleh. (Where are the WARM + SUNNY April showers??) All I want to do is curl up in sweats with a big cup of coffee, Bon Iver floating through the apartment and a book that could enrapture me for days. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. However, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in such a situation, below are a few recommendations.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – I’ve already talked once on my blog about how much I love Mindy Kaling. Seriously, she’s the best. If I was still unsure about her as I started reading her book, I was hooked by page 5. In her intro she’s answering questions about the book and her last question/answer is “What else should you know about me? (1) There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it. (2) I would like to be friends with Beyonce Knowles.” AMEN and AMEN! (Also, the dress code for her funeral is to be: chic devastated. Can we just be best friends now?)
Lean In – Quite opposite from Mindy’s book, I decided to read this book after a co-worker told me about.If you’ve been following the media, you know there is SO much controversy surrounding this book, and I honestly don’t understand why. It was practical, honest and smart. In every single chapter I could relate to something she was saying. No matter what you believe about Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) or criticisms you’ve heard about this book, if it inspires more women to LEAN IN and take control of their careers as it did for me, that’s all that really matters.
The Dinner – I’m only about halfway through this book, but so far it’s brilliant. There is one setting – the dinner table at a restaurant. There is one family – the Lohmanns. There are a lot of topics of conversation, but only one secret underlying it all and underneath every bite of humor, you’re trying to figure out what it is.
Furious Love – This is next on my list when I finish The Dinner. I’ve always been drawn to Old Hollywood – Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and the stars of this novel – Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Their love is known as one of the most passionate of all time. They were married and divorced twice and though he was remarried at the time of his death, Liz said she believed they would have been married for a third and final time. Passion, glamour, betrayal, wealth – what more could one need in a novel??