Monday, January 8, 2018

Book Review for "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking" {by Susan Cain}

TITLE OF THE BOOK: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
AUTHOR: Susan Cain
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing Group 
READING LEVEL: Grade 5 and up 
GENRE: Nonfiction 

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.

Our Star Rating:

(We had a big range of ratings in our group. Some people loved it and loved how it also gave them insight to their children and others who had more education in psychology didn't think it was anything new that they didn't already know and so rated it lower.)

“We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts. That to be happy is to be sociable. To be powerful is to be bold.”

This book talks about historical and cultural influences that brought American society to favor extroverts. Quiet dispels that mindset as a myth and lays out the reason introverts, including some famous creatives and inventors who were introverts, are integral parts of society. Cain offers advice to introverts on how to thrive and contribute in an extrovert-dominated society. 

At book club, we each took a test to find out if we are more introverted or extroverted, and that was really interesting. Take your own shorter version of the test here: The Myers-Briggs personality test is more thorough and telling about your personality type and whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. 

Some interesting statistics and discussion points this book brought out:

1 out of every 2 or 3 Americans are introverts. 

Many people pretend to be extroverts.

The extrovert ideal is to be gregarious: To speak instead of contemplate. 

Harry Potter, Albert Einstein, the author of Peter Pan, and Steven Spielberg: All introverts. 

There's a negative stigma against introverts. Parents apologize for children's shyness. 

Another word for introverts: Thinkers. 

Introverts: Recharge their batteries by being alone. They may have strong social skills, but after awhile, prefer to be home in their PJs. They think before they speak and feel they express themselves better in writing than talking. They prefer close friendships and deep talk to small talk. Not synonymous with shy, hermit or misanthrope. 

Extroverts: Assertive, dominant, in great need of company. Prefer talking to listening. 
There are shy extroverts, like Barbara Streisand, and non-shy introverts, like Bill Gates. 

There’s no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. We are all a little mixed. 
Some of us felt like the book put introverts in a victimized light, when we didn’t all agree that was the case in real life. It was written by an introvert, fittingly, so that played into it. 

On the other hand, many of us thought it provided some good insight into the minds of introverts and some misconceptions we have of them as a society. 

We’ve heard Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts is a great resource for introverted kids and teens! 

Don't forget to check out our Book Club Ideas coming soon!


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