Quiet by Susain Cain

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I love reading on Friday nights, writing on Saturday afternoons, and having quiet get-togethers on Sunday. But I also enjoy giving presentations at school, tutoring peers in writing, and interacting with various people online and in real life. I’d describe myself as an introvert (and my Meyers-Briggs personality type agrees), though both introverts and extroverts would enjoy this fascinating book by Susan Cain. She provides an intriguing, in-depth perspective on introversion, its connotation in contrasting cultures, and the psychology behind it.

A profusion of the nonfiction I’ve read has contained too much of something – too many random anecdotes, too much scientific jargon, too many unnecessary statistics or explanations. But Quiet has the perfect blend of personal anecdotes, interesting analysis, detailed explanations, and compelling statistics. Cain references various studies conducted by psychologists and discusses several aspects related to introversion, such as the extrovert ideal, how extroverts and introverts can compliment each other and work together, nature v. nature, etc. Here’s one passage about sensitive people (who tend to be more introverted) that struck a chord with me:

“The other thing Aron found about sensitive people is that sometimes they’re highly empathic. It’s as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people’s emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world. They tend to have unusually strong consciences. They avoid violent movies and TV shows; they’re acutely aware of the consequences of a lapse in their own behavior. In social settings they often focus on subjects like personal problems, which others consider ‘too heavy’.”

I guess I have an excuse for exposing so much of myself on my blog, huh? Anyway, Cain delves into other subjects that are intellectually stimulating too, such as the three things she thinks are important in identifying one’s personal project. She even brings up the relationship between Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other famous historical figures.

Overall, highly recommended to everyone curious about their own temperaments and how to embrace their natural personalities. One of the best works of nonfiction I’ve read.

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23 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

23 responses to “Quiet by Susain Cain

  1. I don’t know if I am a extrovert or introvert… Sometimes I enjoy being alone but I do love interacting with people. A little bit of both, maybe?
    I have seen this book pop up in my GR homepage a few times. I do find the subject to be interesting. I might read it :) Great review!

    • Maybe you’re in the middle – I’m sure a myriad of people are not one or the other. It won the GR 2012 Choice Award for nonfiction which proves that a plethora of people enjoyed it. If you’re interested in changing it up and reading nonfiction I would recommend this one!

  2. I totally am an introvert so this sounds like my kind of book! :)

  3. Hmmm, sounds like something I’d enjoy. It’s times like these when I curse the lack of bookstores in my country, half of the books I’d rather have in my hands aren’t available and e-books are cold, indifferent substitutes. Rad review by the way ;)

  4. I’m always a little leery of reading nonfiction books because I’m afraid of being fact-bombed :T But I’ll be glad to read it if you say it has a good balance of anecdote and research. I think there should be more introvert-appreciation books xD
    - Nicole

    • This one definitely isn’t just a plethora of facts. I agree – at first I was curious as to how she was able to write a book that big solely about introversion, but Susan Cain surprised me with the amount of interesting and relevant information she pulled together. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Sounds like an interesting book…I often meander from introvert to extrovert so it will be nice to discover which one I really am :)

  6. Karabo Matome

    I am introvert and I wanna buy this book! It sounds interesting!

  7. I am definitely an extrovert. But I have written in my New year’s resolution (http://daydreamore.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/new-years-resolutions/) that I would try to be a part-time introvert. Haha. Great review!

    • Thanks! While I wouldn’t recommend just changing who you are for the heck of it, I admire that you’re trying to embrace different facets of your personality.

  8. This sounds really great!

  9. Yes! I’m so happy to see you reviewed this book! I heard about it from this video called The Power of Introverts or something on YouTube, and I’ve been dying to read it ever since. I’d describe myself as an introvert as well. I even go along with the whole thing of disliking violent movies, which was mentioned in that quote you put. Although maybe that’s a stand-alone thing. Anyway, that was a great review.

    I feel even more eager to read this book now you’ve given it five stars! By the way, if it’s not rude to ask, where did you buy your copy from? I’ve been looking on Amazon for it, but can only seem to find pre-orders :-(

    • You’re right, I’m sure there are extroverts who dislike violent movies too – but I’m glad that you’re even more inclined to check this one out now! I actually got a copy of it from my local library; the wait list was decently long. I’m sorry that I can’t help you in that regard, have you checked your local libraries or bookstores yet?

      • You’re probably right. One of my sisters is younger than me and introverted, but she has an unbelievable tolerance for violent films. It’s scary. Actually, I haven’t been able to find it in local shops yet, but I saw it available on Amazon the other day :-D So hopefully I’ll get my hands on a copy soon.

  10. Pingback: I’m not introverted, I’m just quiet – The Secret Psychologist

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