A book that provides illuminating ways to make headway through the days when there doesn't seem to be a way forward.

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FACING ADVERSITY, BUILDING RESILIENCE, AND FINDING JOY

A memoir of the loss of a husband and finding a path forward beyond the grieving process.

Sandberg (Lean In for Graduates: With New Chapters by Experts, Including Find Your First Job, Negotiate Your Salary, and Own Who You Are, 2014, etc.) was living a life with all of the fulfillments one could hope for. After a comfortable upbringing and education at Harvard, she worked her way up to become a vice president at Google and eventually the COO of Facebook. She presented a popular TED talk and then wrote a book on her "lean in" conceptualization of women in the workplace. However, no amount of professional accomplishment could prepare her for the sudden passing of her husband, Dave, in 2015, after which she had to figure out how to carry on as a mother of two and make the shattered pieces fit back together. This moving book is the result. Writing with Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, 2016, etc.), a highly rated professor at Wharton, Sandberg explores how to weather the storm of grief, applying concrete skills in addition to more complex theories of psychology about how to find meaning in life-changing circumstances. Going deeper and broader than the commonly understood stages of grief, the authors look at different factors that can stunt recovery after a loss—e.g., self-blame and the fear that the loss will permeate every aspect of life indefinitely. Sandberg shows her struggle with finding a comfort level regarding the sharing of her emotional status and learning when to push the level as well as when to respect it. The challenges of moving forward are immense beyond understanding for anyone outside of the experience; this accounting of Sandberg’s resilience does for the process of grieving what her previous work has done for women in the workplace.

A book that provides illuminating ways to make headway through the days when there doesn't seem to be a way forward.

Pub Date: April 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3268-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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