Summer reading from the Clayman Institute: August picks

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Summer reading from the Clayman Institute: August picks

For August, we recommend 'Lean In,' 'Saving San Francisco,' and 'The Orphan Master's Son'

by Electra Colevas on Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 9:37am

With a wide range of picks for August, the Clayman Institute suggests sampling fiction and non-fiction for stimulating discussion. Each month this summer, we’re recommending three books to interested readers—browse July’s selection. For August, we suggest Lean In, Saving San Francisco and The Orphan Master's Son. Take at look at our discussion questions for inspiration.


Lean In

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook’s COO and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She provides practical advice, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. 

Learn More—Sheryl Sandberg explores the issues herself during her visit to Stanford for the Clayman Institute's 2013 Jing Lyman Lecture

Discussion Questions



Saving San Francisco

Saving San Francisco: Relief and Recovery after the 1906 Disaster

Andrea Rees Davies

For most San Franciscans, April 18, 1906 started at 5:12 am with sixty-five seconds of violent quaking followed by a relentless, raging fire that left 98% of the structures in the most populated part of the city in ruins. In Saving San Francisco, Andrea Rees Davies, a former firefighter, tells a new story of the 1906 catastrophe—challenging the long-lived myth that the fire that spread as a result of the quake brought out altruism and leveled class distinctions among residents. Davies shows disaster did not break social barriers; rather, it maintained the prevailing hierarchies of gender, class, and race.

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Discussion Questions


The orphan master's son

The Orphan Master's Son

Adam Johnson

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. He eventually becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the limit, he takes on the role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress. In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love—earning his book the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

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Discussion Questions