Option B

  • by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant
  • Narrated by Elisa Donovan
  • 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Facebook's COO and Wharton's top-rated professor, the number-one 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 Sheryl's personal insights with Adam'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, Sheryl 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 Sheryl'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, Sheryl 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.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2017 - It took me several tries to make it out of the introduction of Option B. I lost my father a few weeks after Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband, and her grief - which she bravely chronicles in the intro - was too palpable for me. Even if you're not grieving, or if you've been blessed to never lose a loved one, this is a book you should listen to. At some point in your life, option A will not be a possibility, and you will need to accept and own option B. Sandberg, and her writing partner and friend Adam Grant (a psychologist and professor at UPenn), teach that resilience is something you can build up. When you're grieving, it can feel like you'll never have a happy day again. But Sandberg is proof that joy beyond a loss of this magnitude is possible, and she and Grant are here to help you be resilient. I still had to pause a lot while listening - the tears kept coming - but it was worth it. Thank you to Sheryl and Adam for putting my own feelings into words and gifting me with additional tools to heal and grow. —Katie, Audible Editor

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What the Critics Say

"Option B is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. Here are stories of sometimes unimaginable pain and loss, but also of how human beings nonetheless have the capacity to endure and even thrive. This book is not just an absorbing read. It also provides lessons that everyone needs to learn." (Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal)
"Illuminating, original, and deeply inspiring, Option B is one part riveting memoir, one part heal-your-heart boot camp, one part stories of others who learned to thrive in the face of profound loss: a practical, vital contribution to the literature on loss and resilience." (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild)
"I recommend this inspiring book to everyone around the world. None of us can escape sadness, loss, or life's disappointments, so the best option is to find our Option B." (Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner)
"Narrator Elisa Donovan's palpable empathy adds to her authentic delivery of this profound and personal audio. With relaxed pacing and conversational phrasing, she makes the pathos and advice unfold with unfailing grace.... The heartfelt wisdom in this audio, along with Donovan's sensitive performance, make it a high-impact listen for people suffering from all manner of loss and trauma." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Kicking the Sh*t Out of Option B

It took me several tries to make it out of the introduction of Option B. I lost my father a few weeks after Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband, and her grief – which she bravely chronicles in the intro – was too palpable for me. When she posted on Facebook 30 days after her husband Dave’s passing, her words were the only thing that resonated with my mother, so when I saw this memoir was coming, I knew I had to listen.

Even if you’re not grieving, or if you’ve been blessed to never lose a loved one, this is a book you should listen to. At some point in your life, Option A will not be a possibility, and you will need to accept and own Option B. I wish I’d had this sooner. Like Sandberg, I had friends who didn’t know how to handle me or my grief, and instead of talking to them about it, I shut them out. Thankfully there were people who did know how to talk to me and stood by me, but the numbers in my crew have definitely dropped. If you have a friend who is grieving - don't be afraid to approach them. They're already thinking about their grief every second, so you broaching the topic isn't going to remind them or trigger a sad memory. All of the thoughts and feelings and emotions connected with grief are sitting front and center in their minds. They'll appreciate the gesture, and you not tip-toeing around them.

Sandberg, and her writing partner and friend Adam Grant (a psychologist and professor at UPenn), teach that resilience is something you can build up. When you’re grieving, it can feel like you’ll never have a happy day again. But Sandberg is proof that joy beyond a loss of this magnitude is possible, and her and Grant are here to help you be resilient. I still had to pause a lot while listening – the tears kept coming – but it was worth it. Thank you to Sheryl and Adam for putting my own feelings into words, and gifting me with additional tools to heal and grow.
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- Katie - Audible

I couldn’t put my iPhone down!

I started listening to this audiobook the evening I downloaded it and found it so compelling that I had finished by the next evening.

This is an excellent book; informative and well-written. Sheryl's personal story of loss, interwoven with the stories of other survivors’ hardships and tragedies, combined well with Adam’s in-depth understanding of resilience literature. It makes for an absorbing read (or, in the case of an audiobook, an absorbing "listen").

Their book includes important facts and strategies, intermixed with thought-provoking quotes, humor, and deeply personal stories -- the latter of which thoroughly held my attention. These personal stories provide concrete evidence that resilience is not a fixed personality trait, that there is much we can do to promote our own post-traumatic growth. I am especially appreciative that the authors emphasized there is also much that friends, family members, worksites, and on-line communities can do to promote such growth.

Thanks also to the authors for highlighting the ongoing plight of refugees throughout the world and the resilience they must demonstrate simply to survive in truly horrendous circumstances.

This was far more than a self-help book describing strategies for promoting resilience; there are many such books available and some are excellent. Instead, I view this book as a spark, a catalyst leading to many more critical conversations and initiatives.

I will share that I am a Health Psychologist at a major teaching hospital where I have the privilege of working with individuals suffering from a variety of serious medical disorders, such as heart disease, COPD, dysphonia, and cancer. I also teach resilience strategies to fellow healthcare providers, with the goal of supporting their personal growth and, at a minimum, preventing professional burnout. I share none of this to feed my ego. Instead, I wish to convey that my work in this rapidly evolving field leads me to read stacks of technical articles, white papers and edited professional books on the topics discussed in this book. I also frequently read books written for a broader audience, specifically seeking out those I would add to my recommended reading list for my patients and fellow healthcare providers.

Option B will definitely be high on my list.
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- Andy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-24-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio