Monday, April 30, 2012

An Excellent New Book About Introverts Called "Quiet"

I am reading an intriguing, empowering, beautifully written new book called Quiet,The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. When I first heard about this book on a Public Radio interview with the author, Susan Cain, I immediately searched our public library web site and placed a hold on it. The fact that I was about 28th in the waiting line gives you a clue as to the demand for this powerful read. Once my turn finally came, and I began reading, the brief introduction thoroughly captured my interest. Quiet continues to fascinate me and also to affirm me, an introvert who likes being myself.
However, all readers, whatever their personality types, can enjoy and benefit from this superbly well-researched and readable book. As a Harvard Law School honors graduate, business consultant, and negotiation skills teacher, Susan Cain offers a compelling argument that businesses, communities, and American society at large lose valuable insights, innovative ideas, and leadership potential by falling in step with the prevailing undervaluing of the unique gifts of introverts.
Cain convincingly marshals the latest research from psychology and neuroscience combined with inspiring narratives about real people demonstrating the complementary viewpoints and range of skills characteristic of both introverts and extroverts. She tracks the history of the focus on the qualities of extroverts as being more desirable in both business and relationships--then documents the evidence that we all lose when 1/3 or more of our people are undervalued or even discounted because they are introverts. She charmingly debunks the myths that all introverts (or extroverts, for that matter) are alike and affirms the contributions all make.
I like this book because it upholds who I am, but it offers much more than that. Cain's insights into relationships (especially between different personality types), parenting, cooperation in groups, and business management are pure gold.
When I started this blog about creative everyday life, I expected to post about the books I read fairly often, as I am a voracious reader. However, for some reason, that has not happened. Perhaps if blog readers enjoy hearing about this book and respond to the post, I will discuss my reading--of a wide variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction--more often.
Question of the day: What have you read lately that has entertained or informed you and enriched your life?


  1. I used to be one of the most introverted people you'd ever find but once I hit sophomore year in high school I began to come out of my shell. I am still pretty much an introvert but I can also talk to anybody. But I do almost everything alone, never get bored, never seem to need anybody to be happy. I cherish solitary pastimes such as reading, and of course, art is pretty solitary, as is weaving.

    I confess that I despise self-help books. Never could get into any of them, never finished one. But fiction books, true stories of events, those I used to devour. Since the fibromyalgia has taken hold and I work, I don't read as fast as I used to do...But it is still the one thing in the world that I would never want to have to give up. I have always wanted a library and used to carry all my books from one move to the next. I finally realized that it would never happen and donated most of them to a local library.

    Right now I'm reading Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer; never had to read it in school and have always wanted to read the book. Of course, after work, I am generally way too tired to do much but bathe and veg, but I give it a go now and then.

    I probably just gave way too much nonsense information, didn't I?

  2. Sherry, your comments are always so interesting and "meaty"--thank you once again for a comment well worth reading. I don't know if your comment about self-help books reflects an impressions that Quiet is one, but it is not--chock-full of fascinating new psychological research results.