Every personality type assessment that I have ever taken has placed me smack dab in the middle of the E & I spectrum. I am equal parts Extrovert a...moreEvery personality type assessment that I have ever taken has placed me smack dab in the middle of the E & I spectrum. I am equal parts Extrovert and Introvert, or as Cain describes it, I am an ambivert. The introvert in me loved this book. It is educational and empowering. Cain details the undervalued strengths of introverts in a society that tends to give preference to individuals who exude extrovert qualities (a theory called the "Extrovert Ideal"). I found myself identifying with a lot of introvert qualifiers that she described. I think I was hooked within the first couple pages where she said something like ... it's not that introverts don't like going out and socializing, it's just that at some point in the evening there will come a time where they wish they were in their bed with a book. Umm ... yes.
Cain not only made many points to identify with, but she also uses this book as a tool to explore biological explanations to being an introvert and studies that have demonstrated the strengths of introverts. The research that she cited was interesting and easy to understand.
As compelling as this was to read, I have to say that it's not going to be for everyone. As I said, the introvert side of me loved this book. The extrovert in me - not so much. It's not that Cain discounts the strengths of extroverts. Just the opposite, in fact - she consistently recognizes that our society would fail to function without a balance of the two personalities. What she does is point out that there is a flawed societal desire to have everyone at least act like extroverts, even if they aren't one. In pointing out the pitfalls in that desire, Cain often makes extroverts appear as rash, unintelligent, and unaffected people. I'm sure that is not her intent, because she does so in a way to illustrate where listening to an introvert's voice could have prevented some big failures (aka the Wall Street Crash) and could help a business thrive. However, individuals who don't identify with introvert characteristics might not see this as the learning tool that it could be because she talks plenty about the downfalls of extroverts and it is hard not to get defensive.
If you are an introvert, or think you might be, this is a great read. It helps explain and validate the introvert personality on a larger scale and empowers through recognizing the strengths of introverts and how to capitalize on them in a largely extroverted society.(less)
A well-intentioned book that fell short. There was great insight and tremendous passion behind this, but it lacked a clear timeline and was quite repe...moreA well-intentioned book that fell short. There was great insight and tremendous passion behind this, but it lacked a clear timeline and was quite repetitive. There were points that I had to stop and check where I was in the book because I was certain that I had heard the exact sentence already. (less)
This was one of my textbooks for the semester. Although I do a lot of personal reading in my life, reading for class has never been a hobby of mine. T...moreThis was one of my textbooks for the semester. Although I do a lot of personal reading in my life, reading for class has never been a hobby of mine. This book was quite interesting, though. It's probably not a book that anyone will pick up and read cover-to-cover for pleasure, but it contained a ton of interesting articles and other collected readings about how the court is shaped by society and vice versa. For example, one of the articles focused on how the McDonald's "hot coffee" case and decision was portrayed in the media compared to what really happened. Socio-legal issues are a personal interest of mine, so I loved the class and happened to also love this text that the professor chose. It didn't feel like required reading at all and it's one of the few textbooks that I will probably keep on my bookshelf.(less)
This was a practical read for students or anyone entering a professional career. It is focused on law students, but I think that many of the exercises...moreThis was a practical read for students or anyone entering a professional career. It is focused on law students, but I think that many of the exercises are relevant for anyone who is looking to start a mindfulness practice. There are multiple breathing exercise techniques and explanations that are supposed to enhance your ability to "be present" in everything you do. I took a class around mindfulness where this was one of the required reading books, and I found it very helpful. The illustrations and appendices with motions for a healthier self are creative.
If you're not in the legal career, you may not get as much out of it because it is full of legal terms and examples, but I would definitely recommend looking for something similar if you are finding that you are easily distracted. Apparently, a consistent mindfulness practice can actually change the shape of your brain!(less)