Transforming Health, a WITF initiative in partnership with Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health, announced the selection of the 2020 Summer Read, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy” by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and OptionB.Org founder and Wharton psychologist Adam Grant.
The best-seller explores how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. This year’s selection is an extension of “Here With You,” a special Transforming Health campaign designed to promote physical and mental resiliency during these challenging times and beyond.
WITF welcomes readers across central Pennsylvania to a virtual special event with Sandberg and Grant at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29. Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis will moderate a discussion with the authors as they share personal stories and talk about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. “A Summer Read: Beyond the Pages” is free and open to the public, but registration is required. RSVP to attend at transforminghealth.org.
Readers also can complete a survey to be entered to win one of 30 signed copies of the book.
“We’ve had to change every part of our day-to-day life because of COVID-19,” said Cara Williams Fry, WITF’s senior vice president and chief content officer. “Having to quarantine and be separated from our loved ones has taken a mental toll on our lives. WITF and Transforming Health are honored to share this powerful, inspiring and practical book.”
The Summer Read is a unique community partnership of WITF's Transforming Health, Aligning Forces for Quality- South Central PA and Central PA library systems, with additional support from WellSpan Health and Capital BlueCross. Together, they’ve made 437 hard copies and 76 digital copies of the book available to more than 80 participating libraries throughout nine counties. Many libraries are coordinating socially-distant discussion groups around “Option B.”
“This collaboration is a perfect fit for libraries as a PA Forward Health Literacy initiative,” said Karen Hostetter, library manager at Red Land Community Library and library liaison for the Summer Read. “The goal is to connect our readers to resources that help them take charge of their own and their families’ well-being.”
“Option B” combines Sandberg’s personal insights with Grant’s research on finding strength in the face of adversity. 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 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.
“This pandemic and the isolation that comes with it continue to be extremely challenging,” said Sandberg. “Adam and I wrote this book about how, even in life's most difficult moments, there are opportunities to grow, forge stronger relationships, and cultivate gratitude and even joy. There's a lot of science around how to build resilience, and we believe people need this information now more than ever.”
“When other people are counting on us, we often find strength we didn’t know we had,” said Grant. “As hard as this moment is, we’re seeing extraordinary community responses—and it’s giving support, not just receiving it, that strengthens us.”
To be eligible to win a signed copy of the book, complete a survey online or at a participating library by Sept. 7. Participating library systems include:
Details about the Summer Read