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abookaweek 2012: week thirteen

2012 April 1

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

Category: Non-fiction

Story: This book is really a discussion about everything to do with introverts: from scientific research that delves into the what, how and why of introverts, to how society views introverts, and what they can do to feel more at home and be heard in a world that values extroverts.

Opinion: I got so excited when I first read about this book; finally, a book about me. I love my friends, but I need my quiet time. I prefer intimate dinner to loud parties. I used to be ashamed of that, but I’ve since realized that there’s nothing wrong with me. So on that front, this book delivered. And then some.

Cain quotes intriguing research and experiments to show the physiological and psychological ways introversion presents itself, and argues that Western culture would do well to accommodate and listen to introverts a bit more. Sometimes that argument is taken a bit too far, like when she implies that the Global Financial Crisis could have been prevented had introverts made more of the decisions, but overall it’s convincing.

She discusses the lives of Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi, who serve as excellent examples of people who were introverted but made a huge difference in the world.

Even though I was very invested in this book (after all, it validated all the things I’ve thought about myself for all these years!), I did find it a bit hard to get through, and I happily skipped a few chapters that didn’t apply to me. But, all in all this is a very interesting read, and if you or someone close to you is an introvert I’d definitely recommend this.

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