I read a lot about this book before actually reading this book. Here is my two cents about the book itself and the most prominent criticism surrounding it, which is that Sheryl Sandberg puts too much ownness on individual women to change things, as opposed to advocating changing institutional and societal barriers to the advancement of women in the workplace. In a way that is valid, because Lean In is clearly a call to individual self-reflection and action. However, I do think her critics are missing the point: to chronicle every impediment to womens' advancement up the corporate ladder and propose solutions for each would take thousands of pages. Rather than trying to tackle every issue, Sandberg is trying to appeal to individual women (and the men who know them at work and live with them at home) to make individual changes in their attitudes and behaviors, in the hope that individual effort will lead to a larger change.
If one can respect why the scope of this book is limited, there is some valuable practical advice to be gained from this book. Sandberg is a smart, funny, yet down to earth and candid narrator. She acknowledges multiple times that she has the advantages of a supportive husband, (mostly) forward-thinking bosses, and the financial resources to afford quality child care. That doesn't make her message any less valid; there is enough here that I would imagine any woman will find something to relate to.
This was a quick and enjoyable read. Sandberg says at the conclusion that she wishes her book to be conversation starter, and at that she has surely succeeded. (Even with people who have never read the book but bash it anyway).