Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead [Audiobook Review]

Title: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Narrator: Elisa Donovan
Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir/Self-Help
Pages: 240
Audio: 6.5 hours
Year: 2013
Publisher: Random House Audio
Source: Personal Collection
Book Rating: 4/5
Audio Rating: 4/5


Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, gives her advice to women looking for success and shares her own story of work, family, and shattering glass ceilings.

My Thoughts:

I read Lean In a few months ago because I wanted to read it while it was still relevant. And then I went and waited ages to write my review. #michellefail. Well I’m finally writing it now because I’ve been thinking a lot about the work-life balance lately (or, rather, the impossibility of balance).

I had read a lot of negative responses to Lean In. Many of those were aimed at Sheryl herself for not acknowledging that many women can’t afford the kind of help that she can. Well of course we can’t. We’re not all COOs of Facebook. Any self-help-y book like this needs to be tailored and adapted to your own situation. For example, this book is clearly written with the high-powered female executive in mind, and much of it doesn’t translate to my attorney-at-a-small-firm life, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate the general concepts.

There is some good advice in here. Sandberg points out the things we, as women, have been doing to limit our own success on both macro and individual levels. Lean In definitely made me examine my own choices. And, you know what, it made me feel better about being a working mom. We moms all feel guilt – whether we leave a job to raise a family or leave our kids every day to go to work – so I appreciate anything that makes me feel a little less guilt.

I’d recommend this to any working woman.

Audiobook Thoughts:

I always find it hard to distinguish the narrator form the author in a book like this. I don’t think I’ve heard Sandberg speak, so Donovan IS Sandberg for my purposes. And that works just fine.

3 thoughts on “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead [Audiobook Review]

  1. Heather June 12, 2013 / 8:28 am

    I’m listening to this right now and a lot of it is really resonating with me. It’s making me examine a lot of my own choices as well. And I think this should be recommended reading not only for working women, but for men too. Especially men who are managers and help other people with their careers. I’m going to try to make my husband and my own boss read it – I think it would help men to see things from this perspective, so maybe they can help with some of the issues their women employees, coworkes, and spouses face.


    • Michelle June 13, 2013 / 8:57 pm

      Yes! Men! I wanted to say that.


  2. Jennifer June 26, 2013 / 11:49 am

    I remember seeing this as a title that Amazon recommended for me. I spent a lot of time in college studying women’s literature and the ways in which it illuminated many of the issues that I’m sure this book addresses. I’m a working woman but not a working mom yet. Still, being a young working woman has already had me encountering some very male dominated areas. I work in a school that still has some very strong old boy’s club mentalities. And as an ambitious woman eager to advance, I find myself frustrated by the way some of the men I work with can be patronizing to both myself and other women I work with.

    Although I’m not entirely sure that this book will be applicable for my everyday situations, I’m going to definitely add it to my TBR list as I try to continue my enrichment on all women’s issues. I definitely don’t want my women’s studies to be something I neglect now that I’m no longer a college student especially since those issues are now ever more pressing since I am living them!


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