Every week, Kerri asks the Roundtable guests for their book picks. Here’s what they are reading:

Susan Gaertner: “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote

Laura Brod: “HR Pioneers: A History of Human Resource Innovations at Control Data Corporation” by Mark Jensen, with Norb Berg, Frank Dawe, Jim Morris and Gene Baker

John Wodele: “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy and “Fire Season” by Philip Connors

Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” is still sparking conversations and commentaries over a year after it was published. Margaret Barthel, a college senior when the book hit stores, was once filled with contempt for the Facebook executive’s manifesto. Here’s what she wrote in The Atlantic:

My huffy critique ran something like this: Lean In speaks to and for a very specific group of women—highly educated, skilled professionals, most privileged by their wealth and many by their race. What does it have to offer women of color or lower income women?

But after graduating, looking for work and finding none, she gave “Lean In” another try.

I ended up taking a second look at Sheryl Sandberg, whose neglect of the pervasiveness of racial, socioeconomic, and gender-based social barriers sparked such criticism from my college self (then safely at school on my parents’ dime). Not so (or not so much) anymore: What I needed now, far more than feminist theory, was someone to tell me that I did have the personal strength to respond to the vast, impossibly complex challenges of finding meaningful work in this economy and preparing to navigate the professional world as a young woman. I needed an example of someone who had the audacity to consider the individual, not society, the center of paradigm shifts. I needed a reminder that I owed it to myself to respect the power of my own agency.

You can read Barthel’s entire column here.

The National Labor Relations Board cleared the way for football players at Northwestern University to unionize. (The decision is being appealed.) Players were seeking to form unions in part, they said, because their studies were sacrificed for football. Quarterback Kain Colter said he couldn’t pursue a pre-med major because of the requirements of his sport. From Politico:

Colter told the hearing that players’ performance on the field was more important to Northwestern than their in-class performance, saying, “You fulfill the football requirement and, if you can, you fit in academics.” Asked why Northwestern gave him a scholarship of $75,000 a year, he responded: “To play football. To perform an athletic service.”

Kain Colter #2 of the Northwestern Wildcats is grabbed by Ryan Shazier #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ryan Field on October 5, 2013 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Naomi Schaefer Riley argues in the New York Post that it’s not just the students who fill the stadium with fans who are “being screwed” by institutions of higher learning.

Once colleges did away with any kind of real general-education requirements, students were left on their own to figure out what they thought was important. It sounds so exciting, until you realize that 18-year-olds don’t know what they don’t know. And they don’t know what’s going to be important to them later on. And they don’t even know which classes should go before other classes.

The catalogs only provided the illusion of choice anyway. Some of the thousands of listed classes will provide them with the critical thinking skills and real knowledge they need to succeed afterward, but most of them will not. Just think of it as high-stakes gambling with a few hundred thousand dollars worth of tuition.

Read her entire column here.