Lean In – Controversy?

Just a gentle reminder to come in a pick up your copy so you can get started reading Lean In. If there isn’t a copy available ask a Reference Librarian to get one for you.

Now back to my regularly scheduled post!

staff-fighting-3-bw-web[1]I thought you might want to read some of the bantering back and forth that has been occurring since the publication of Lean In.

An attack on Sheryl Sandberg and her Lean In manifesto from the New York Times? A Titan’s How-To On Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Jodi Kantor. “Ms. Sandberg “does what too many successful women before her have done: blaming other women for not trying hard enough,” wrote Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a consultant who works with companies to improve their gender balance, after watching a video of Ms. Sandberg speaking on the topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. “Every resistant man on the planet will be able to quote her” saying that women simply must become more ambitious, Ms. Cox continued. (Ms. Sandberg writes that she focuses on internal barriers because the external ones get more attention.)”

The response from The New Yorker on March 4, 2013  “Maybe You Should Read the Book: The sheryl Sandberg Backlash” by Anna Holmes. “Kantor’s piece, which detailed Sandberg’s plans in a tone of subtle disdain, was notable less for what it did say than what it didn’t.”

I would like you to think about the concept of these articles before you begin (or right now if you’ve already begun the book.)

Thoughts from the PepsiCo CEO:

Can women have it all?  

Come on now you know you have an opinion.


Sheryl Sandberg Bio

Sheryl SandbergBasic information about Sheryl Sandberg

According to the database Biography in Context“:

  • Born: August 28, 1969 in Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Nationality: American
  • Occupation: Chief operating officer

John H. Williams prize, Harvard University.

Sheryl Sandberg is an American businesswoman worth $ billion as of 2014. Her positions have included working as the chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department, acting as the vice president of global online sales and operations for Google, Inc., and serving as the chief operating officer of Facebook. Sandberg has also dedicated much of her time to issues of gender equality and serves on the board of Women for Women International. She published her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in 2013.

To access more of the article please visit jericholibrary.org and follow the links to our databases.  You can find Biography in Context either alphabetically or by following the “Biography” listing on the right hand of the screen.  You will be prompted for your Jericho Library card – please enter all of the numbers (no spaces.)

For more about the Lean In initiative please visit leanin.org




Lean In

Ok, when I chose Lean In as our next selection I thought “female empowerment what could be wrong with that?”  What I’ve found out is that, as with most things, there are varying opinions about “leaning in.”

I hope that you will share your opinions – they are all valid and welcome here!

About the book:

lean inIn response to Sheryl’s 2010 TEDTalk (I’ll Post that next) on the ways women are held back—and the way we hold ourselves back—viewers around the world shared their own stories of struggle and success. This overwhelming response inspired Sheryl to write this book. In Lean In, she shares her personal stories, uses research to shine a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world.

Happy New Year – Happy Birthday to JPL’s Book-In-A-Blog!

birthday_cake[1]I cannot believe that it’s 2015, and JPLs Book-In-A-Blog is almost a year old!  Things started off January 28, 2014 with just a little about how this endeavor was going to work.  Quickly followed by our first pick Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.  For those dying for information about the possible movie being made with Jennifer Lawrence there isn’t much news IMDB still is listing it as “in development.”  I loved the book and feel as though there is potentially a really great movie in there.  Let’s start a movement and tell them that they need to get a move on.


I thought he might be funny, but he’s actually pretty creepy – no?

I do hope that you have been enjoying the book club as much as I have enjoyed facilitating.  I’d love to hear from some of you – I know you’re out there I can see when you stop in.  NO big brother isn’t watching!  I don’t know who you are but I do see when you stop in.

I truly would like to get some feedback or suggestions as to what you might want to read.  I’m a facilitator not a dictator. Tweet me, comment on the blog, send me a message on Facebook, comment on a pin – I’m here for you.

OK enough begging.

Elmer_fudd[1]For all of my faithful followers you get a sneak peak at our next selection (shhh the next newsletter isn’t out yet.)

I’ve decided to step away from fiction this month and delve into non-fiction.  Don’t panic I’m not asking you to read Herodotus.  For January stop in and pick up a copy of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  I’ll post more information this week about the book.





The Illusion of Separateness – and an aside

handsPondering what to cover with this post I began thinking of connectedness.   A few years ago I received a job solicitation, responded to it, and was interviewed by two librarians here at Jericho Public Library. Over the years I have been honored to work for them and have marveled at their professionalism.  Tomorrow they both leave Jericho for what I hope will be a long and happy retirement.

Connectedness – were it not for their trust in me I would not have been working here, were it not for their willingness to support and advise I would not be writing this and you in turn might not have read the wonderful novels that we’ve covered.  Connectedness!

Back to the novel

The characters within the novel find themselves intersecting at various points in their lives.  Beyond the obvious connections that they share, are there other similarities between characters?

Van Booy tends to write about love and the yearning for it in all forms.  Did they each find what they were hoping for?  Is it possible within ones life to appreciate the love we receive or recognize how we have been affected by others?

The Illusion of Separateness – Discussion Questions Part II

seperationIn the novel we encounter a cast of characters that by all rights should never intersected.  Born in different countries, and on different continents Van Booy still manages to have them touch one another’s lives.


Which character resonated with you? What was it about him/her that drew you to them?

Did the story make you stop and consider how you might have changed someones life without knowing it at the time?  Can you reflect on an event in which your actions may have altered someones life for the better?

None of the characters in the novel realized the connections that they made or the effects that they had on one another’s existence.  How long did it take for you to realize the disconnectedness of the story lines?

Van Booy is a novelist and philosopher.  As I was reading The Illusion of Separateness for the first time I felt as though he managed to meld both disciplines in an effortless manner.  Share your thoughts with the group.

The Illusion of Separateness – Discussion

connectedIn a 2011 article Simon Van Booy stated,

“For me, I think words allow us to hold hands with strangers. They remind us that one person’s experience is everyone’s. With that in mind, to love another is to love one’s self. To insult or injure another is to insult or injure one’s self. I read somewhere that we live solely to overcome the illusion of our separateness. Stories and language allow us to live without living, and to die without dying, which is why I think the modern Holy books are rooted in language and not pictures.”

How does Van Booy convey this feeling in the novel?  Do you agree?

Van Booy is both a philosopher and a poet, and both permeate the novel.  Did the shorter, almost staccato, sentences and phrasing add to or detract from your reading experiences?

In another article Van Booy discusses the quote from Thich Nhat Hanah, his inspiration for the novel:

“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. And I thought that was compassionquite interesting. You know, of all the things one hears in a day, isn’t it quite wonderful that some things stick, they resonate. It’s almost like a bell, you know, you hear the chiming long after, you know, the actual note has been struck. And so for days and weeks after I considered that I was connected to everybody, even when I was stuck in traffic and not particularly happy, I thought, well, you’re connected to that person next to you, you know, the person cutting in front of you.”

Do you agree that we are all connected? Do you believe that our “contentedness” will encourage compassion?  Does it work for the characters in the novel?