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review 2015-08-29 03:50
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain

"At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so."




Say the word introvert and many people envision an antisocial loner hiding from the world. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, author Susan Cain dispels the myths and negative connotations associated with the word introvert. As she explains, the “word introvert is not a synonym for hermit or misanthrope. Introverts can be these things, but most are perfectly friendly."  Cain also tackles what it means to be an introvert in an American culture where being an extrovert is the ideal.


The book highlights various findings of research and studies. One such finding is that introverts tend to be more sensitive to stimulation than extroverts, which I think leads to the stereotype of being antisocial. It’s not that introverts are particularly antisocial, it’s just that they find an abundance of stimulation draining. Where an extrovert needs to recharge by being social, introverts need time to recharge by spending some time alone.


There was also a section offering advice for introverts on how to work in open space, team oriented business environments, which has become incredibly popular within the last twenty years, as well as advise for managers and business owners on how to create an environment that brings out the best of both introverts and extroverts. Cain points to studies that indicate the fallacy of open space environments being conducive to productivity and creativity. They have the opposite effect. Cain also includes a section for teachers and parents on working with introverted children.


Despite these interesting tidbits, I found Quiet disappointing. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I thought it would delve a little deeper. Much of the book felt sort of “surface” and shallow. A large portion felt like filler. The book was organized by topic, but it felt as though she jump around too much, which I think had the effect of making it feel as though she was glossing over things and not delving deeply.


I also thought the section related to various Asian countries was overly broad. Instead of differentiating between them, she just lumped everyone under the umbrella of “Asian”. I get that she was trying to compare the Asian experience and culture with the American extrovert culture, but it would have been far more interesting if she had discussed introversion and extroversion from within the various cultures while also comparing their experiences east vs. west. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting to read how the American culture of extroversion is perceived, but it could have been handled better.


So, while Quiet offers interesting insight into the world of the introvert, overall I found it to be disappointing. While I still definitely think it's worth a read, I would recommend borrowing it from a library.


Final rating: 3 stars

Source: rachelbookharlot.booklikes.com
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text 2014-12-16 17:21
Introverts: A Book List
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain
Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture - Adam S. McHugh
Wallflowers in the Kingdom - Louis N. Jones
Quiet Faith: An Introvert's Guide to Spiritual Survival - Judson Edwards
The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World - Sophia Dembling
Quiet Influence: The Introvert's Guide to Making a Difference - Jennifer Kahnweiler
Evangelism for the Rest of Us: Sharing Christ within Your Personality Style - Mike Bechtle
Insight: Reflections on the Gifts of Being an Introvert - Beth Buelow
Introverts at Ease - Nancy Okerlund
The Introvert and Extrovert in Love: Making It Work When Opposites Attract - Marti Olsen Laney,Michael L. Laney

Looking for new books to read? Compiled from my own reading list, here is a list of books on Introverts: From the Home, to Church, to Love. A book for everyone's needs. Do you have any favorite books on Introverts?

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review 2014-11-02 01:52
DNF. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain

DNF: I can't do it. I can't finish this book.


I'd heard a lot of good things about Quiet from people in the publishing industry. In fact, many authors and editors consider themselves to be introverted, so perhaps that's why this book sang to them.


I made it a little over 50% through.


The science is flimsy, and the terms "introvert" and "extrovert" are actually never defined in any rigorous way (Cain gropes a lot, and she implies a lot). I had to call it quits after the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt chapter, which was so annoying in claiming that introverts have more empathy for suffering, on the basis of a flawed fMRI study that involved showing people photos of crying faces and car accidents. I consider myself something of an introvert and I was offended on behalf of all extroverts! I half expected her to say democrats are introverts and republicans are extroverts. Later, Cain drops the classic justification lines: "I'm married to an extrovert, so I'm not being prejudiced. I have lots of extroverted friends." 


I found a couple of things engaging. The book made me think about how workplaces and schools are mostly geared toward gregarious people, and how parents link that trait with future success for their kids; I liked reading about the different ways in which all these traits manifest themselves--for instance, the way it's possible to be talented in social situations and a good public speaker but to find those situations exhausting, and to not want to seek them out. In fact, I was more interested in the wide array of traits that people can have, and how they interact with each other to form that person's unique social makeup, whereas Cain seemed determined to label people as one thing or another.


The book was more like an astrology reading than scientific: you could search for traits that sang to you, that made you feel certain that yes, you're an introvert, and this explains so much of what you've experienced socially and professionally in your life, ignoring the parts that don't fit. But psychology is complex, and so many personality traits make up being "introverted" or "extroverted" that the analysis ultimately felt wishy-washy to me. More, I felt that the entire book was her navel-gazing foray into "Why am I the way I am?" and that she chose anecdotes and studies that fed her own view of herself and her skills, rather than allowing ambiguity or even data that disagreed with her self-image. I just couldn't stand the thesis anymore--the shoehorning of psychology into these two labels. 


Not nuanced, not thorough...not finishing.

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text 2014-10-13 15:07
A (mostly) clean slate
Self-Reference ENGINE - Toh Enjoe
Blood+ Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel) (v. 1) - Ryo Ikehata
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain
The Dry - Rebecca Nolen

I leave in three days, and there's no way I'm going to finish my library books before then and get all the stuff on my To Do list done. I've also decided to clean off most of the other stuff on my "currently reading" list. That just leaves The Last Firewall.


Self-Reference ENGINE - Toh Enjoe - I made it to page 49 out of 341. I never got far enough in to say whether it's weird-good or weird-bad, so I'd like to give it another go later.


Blood+ Volume 1: First Kiss (Novel) (v. 1) - Ryo Ikehata - I made it to page 78 out of 354. This book was...not good. And yet, I'd still like to finish it as some point, if only because it's in my Japanese light novel collection.


Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain - I made it to page 104 out of 333 (271, if you don't count the index and notes). It's very readable, but I'm not a nonfiction person. I haven't actually touched it in weeks.


The Dry - Rebecca Nolen - I made it to the 15% point. I feel bad about this one, because I won it in a BookLikes giveaway. This is the second time I've started it, and the second time I quit. I've never gotten far enough in to say whether it's good or bad. I just need to read it at the right time, I guess. This was not the right time.

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review 2014-09-01 00:00
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain I found it to be somewhat anecdotal and not the inspiration I was looking for.
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