Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain (2012)

Genre: Nonfiction
Interest Level: Adult
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop TalkingFriends and colleagues of mine expressed surprised when I told them I was reading this book. The reviews at Goodreads seem to bear them out: it seems to appeal more to introverts than extroverts, and most people place me squarely in the extrovert camp. That’s interesting in two ways – one, that extroverts might not find it fascinating, and two, because I’ve always considered myself a “small e extrovert,” or, to use the term Cain introduced to me, an ambivert. I’m admitting this because it seems it’s de rigueur when offering one’s opinion of the book . Cain is a self-professed introvert, former Wall Street lawyer fascinated by the personality types and psychologies we’ve all grown up with. She presents study after study as she makes an excellent case for better support of introverts at work (give them quiet time and space), offers strategies for overcoming obstacles and fears, and generally raises the social value of those who prefer to think before they speak, or even instead of speaking. Her work is accessible, written in a casual style, and she does an excellent job of encouraging introverts see themselves as strengths in a Western world that has made extrovertism the ideal. Two criticisms: I would preferred better citation (she explains her rejection of this in an introduction) of the studies and articles, and a little less of her personal story. This latter seems to be a trend in nonfiction written for the masses – I had the same complaint for Hertsgaard’s Hot and Zerubavel’s Fine Line.
More discussion and reviews of this book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8520610-quiet

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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