Hanne's Reviews > Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet by Susan Cain
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's review
Dec 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, popular-psychology
Read from November 26 to December 17, 2012

I always thought I was just weird...
I can be alone in my car for a 1h drive and not want to have the radio or music on. On sundays I often join the walking club for a long 25km walk, but I prefer to do it alone (and oh, all the pity looks you get!). The idea of surprise parties makes me sick to my stomach, and any event where a thousand people are together is possibly even worse. I dislike small talk, but I probably hate even more how nervous I get when I have to do it.
I can feel sad for a bruised tomato no-one wants to buy (hey, he tried his best too, not his fault someone dropped him!), and while everyone else goes to the modern, light apothecary across the street with the super nice people always happy to help, I go to the dark and older one who never has clients (how else will he survive?)

Turns out I'm not that weird. I'm just a full blood introvert.
And yet, I'm not what you think. I'm not particularly shy, I'm not the grey bird that never says a word and everyone forgets she's around. I'm very opinionated and quite stubborn, and when amongst friends I know well, I can be the loudest person in the room.
But still I'm introvert. After being with friends or colleagues, I need recharging time. I need to be alone. I (almost) always think before I talk. I enjoy getting to the bottom of things, I enjoy detective work. And I can go on and on.

While reading this book, on occasion I was nodding so hard I thought my head might fall off.
There were very little eye-opening surprises in this book, and even a few things I didn't agree with or I would have hoped for her to explore more. Even a few occasions I thought she was idealizing introverts. This book was not perfect, but somehow i feel that it was important for me to read it.

Overall, it was quite liberating. I'm not that weird! About a third of us on this planet (and on a website as Goodreads probably a LOT more) are more or less like me - not completely like me, I'm still unique (I insist!)
But that might not be an issue. Though some of you might recognize some of my examples above, I've never met someone before that can feel bad for a bruised tomato. So maybe i'm still little weird, and my own unique self. Hoorah
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Reading Progress

11/27 page 30
8.0% "i'm nodding. i'm nodding so hard i fear my head will fall off"
11/30 page 104
31.0% 4 comments
12/06 page 145
43.0% "it's like reading a mirror"
12/11 page 196
58.0% 13 comments
01/31 marked as: read
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-50 of 99) </span> <span class="smallText">(99 new)</span>

message 1: by Rob (new)

Rob Good review. And there is nothing wrong with being weird. Bruised Tomatoes need love too.

Hanne thanks :)

message 3: by David Sven (new)

David Sven Us weirdos have got to stick together - but separately on our own. In small doses.

Hanne hèhè, you got me chuckling out loud with that one! :D

message 5: by Rob (new)

Rob lol. David. Well said!

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I think I need to read this book.

Hanne David Sven wrote: "Us weirdos have got to stick together - but separately on our own. In small doses."

that's why i love goodreads, this big offline book groups. i can escape whenever i want to, and if i feel like thinking a little while before answering to someone's comments, it's perfectly fine. you don't have to have an answer in a second's time

message 8: by Rob (last edited Dec 17, 2012 03:45PM) (new)

Rob Hanne wrote: " you don't have to have an answer in a second's time ."

Maybe you don't...but I have this compulsion when the emails come in.. ^_^

Hanne yes, i've noticed that! :)

message 10: by Rob (new)

Rob Hanne wrote: "yes, i've noticed that! :)"

Sorry :(

Hanne don't! nothing to be sorry about!

message 12: by Rob (new)

Rob Hanne wrote: "don't! nothing to be sorry about!"

I should probably read a book on OCD. ^_^

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

No its good you reply to messages and chat on reviews, your the only one I know who reads my crappy reviews lol.

message 14: by Rob (new)

Rob Lucy wrote: "No its good you reply to messages and chat on reviews, your the only one I know who reads my crappy reviews lol."

When I get a shout out in the review, I sort of have to. :-P

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh yeah, Oh well. :P

message 16: by Clydusfrawgus (new)

Clydusfrawgus I get the tomato thing. I can never put back a banana I've already picked up or I think it'll be offended. Nice review my fellow weirdo !

message 17: by Pam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pam Thompson My husband insists I buy the firs fruit or vegetable I pick up or it might feel rejected :-)

Hanne Pam wrote: "My husband insists I buy the firs fruit or vegetable I pick up or it might feel rejected :-)"

Aaa yes of course - I fully understand that! :D

Hanne I must have done something really right with this review. It's kind of mindblowing how often i get a "like" from people i have never met on this website.
Thanks all, it makes me feel less weird!!

message 20: by Rob (new)

Rob Wow. 56. I'm always happy when a review of mine hits double digits. /jealous ^_^

A few of my books get random likes and it turns out when I logout and view those books my reviews are listed in the top 5. No idea why.

message 21: by David Sven (new)

David Sven You have definitely hit a chord that resonates with a lot of us introverts

Hanne i guess i did! it can't be about the book itself, because i hardly talk about that (i was too busy explaining about the bruised tomatoes!)

i'm just stunned for a few seconds every time another like comes in. but it's definitely a nice feeling!

message 23: by Lee (new)

Lee Even us non-introverts, who have no ability to understand the bruised tomato or hurt vegetable concept like your review :)

Hanne thank you! :)

message 25: by Elena (new) - added it

Elena Tinga I liked your review because it's written with such humor! I laughed about the bruised tomato and reminded me of the other day when I stepped -my mistake- on a locust. I felt its crushing body under my feet for the rest of that day and must have apologized to all locusts of the universe for the accident... of course, there is a difference between a locust and a tomato, but still...most people I know would just kill it without second thought...

Hanne thanks Elena!
i can see that, i would hate stepping on a locust too!

message 27: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin I don't particularly feel bad for the tomato but I do feel bad for the growers, shippers, sellers who worked hard to have people reject their work for a blemish or two. As an aside, grocers used to be able to sell soft and bruised fruits for pies. Now they can't. No one makes pies. Or else they make pies but want perfect fruit in them. Perfection is ruining agriculture. Food for thought.

message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian Nice review and outlook on life. I can totally relate as I much prefer my own company and am never bored by it. I can handle people in small doses but most of the time they just annoy me so I have to get away :)

message 29: by Kellie (new) - added it

Kellie Smith Wow, after reading your review, I definitely want to read this book, as you seem like my long-lost twin. You described me to a tee!! :)

Emily Rufo The looks of pity you get from wanting to do your walks alone... too funny! Once in awhile I will go running with my friend, and of course, I like to spend my runs not talking and just listening to my iPod... and she likes to spend most of the run conversing, which frankly I don't understand because I chose running for it's solitary nature. I'm actually going to a running club today for the first time ever and my stomach is in knots.

Hanne hmm, i'm not sure what happened to the notifications again, because i did not get any sign of all your comments

Erin > perfection is ruining a lot of things, and often it doesn't make sense. everyone who ever grew strawberries in their garden knows that the misshaped ones have the best taste!

Ian > that sounds familiar! :)

Kellie > twins? sounds good. i always wanted a sister!

Hanne Emily > good luck at the running club! the good thing if there are many is that you can just run next to two of them and (pretend to) listen. you might even get away with more than if it's just the two of you

i just came back from a solitary run, just when it's getting dark outside and no-one is about, and i loved it!

message 33: by Kellie (new) - added it

Kellie Smith I joined a running group, and I had to quit because I realized how much I love going it alone! First of all, I am UNABLE to talk while running. LOL. But I love just listening to my music and reflecting upon my own thoughts. I'm such a great loner. I love my own company. :)

message 34: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda Osborne I went to a retirement party for a colleague. I had a nice time for about an hour. I said all I needed to say and chatted with everyone I wanted to talk to. The main festivities hadn't yet occurred, including the cutting of a delicious looking cake. Still I was compelled to leave. Sometimes extroverts don't understand this need to get away from the noise and chatter and reflect. I haven't read this book yet, but your review makes me want to. Plus, it feels good to know the book, and other people like me, are out there somewhere!

message 35: by Tomás (new) - added it

Tomás Posey Definitely going to have to check out this one out, while reading your review I couldn't believe how much your description fit myself. Currently in a job right now that is real big with extroverts so realizing that it's ok to need time to yourself is a big affirmation. Kinda lame when at the end of the day I'm exhausted from just having to be around people so long but at least books are waiting when I'm back home!

Hanne hi tomas, i can definitely see that happening! and it's always good to get home to a pile of good books :)

message 37: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire I, too, feel bad for the bruised produce no one wants to buy. :)

Hanne really?? wow! i didn't think this day would ever come!

join the club! :)

message 39: by Pamela (new) - added it

Pamela Coincidentally enough, I was just picking cherry tomatoes today at a local farm and actually felt sorry for the ones that had small splits or other imperfections. I bought several if those, but felt guilty about the ones I rejected. So funny to come across this book and your review just hours later.

message 40: by Red (new)

Red ode to tomatoes by pablo neruda comes to my mind. maybe a bird of that feather to?

Hanne red, i had never heard about that poem but i just looked it up. the "Unfortunately, we must murder it" part was a bit sad :))

message 42: by Ada (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ada Hanne, I understand you completely. I bought a one-eyed goldfish because the idea of it never being chosen because of it's deformity nearly brought me to tears. Whereas other people wouldn't have given it a second thought, it would have kept me awake at night if I hadn't taken it home :).

Hanne ooo, i don't know you but i absolutely love you for buying the one-eyed goldfish!
i can totally relate to that.

Valerie Hanne- I was going to put up my own review of this book, but yours pretty much covers my thoughts. Several times while reading it I thought "That sounds like me. I guess maybe I'm not the only one who ... " I really think it has helped me most with work. I'm one of those people who has found a niche where I am happy and can make positive contributions. Having worked in higher level positions previously I know I am happier where I am now but have been thinking that there must be something wrong with me that I don't want to climb the corporate ladder.

Hanne Thanks Valerie! I can understand that completely! I hardly ever have to explain in my personal life, but aye, at work you feel like you have to.
I have to explain all the time that i prefer not to have anyone working for me, which seems to be very abnormal :)

Glad you found your niche!

message 46: by Simone (new) - added it

Simone I never felt bad for a bruised tomato, but when I was a kid and would take one stuffed animal from the toy shelf to snuggle with, but then I felt bad for the other toys as though they were being neglected and would have hurt feelings so I'd take all of them down and put them around me. Once in the night my dad came to check on me and kissed a teddy bear by mistake. Your tomato feelings reminded me of that. I still have these tendencies. :D

Hanne i like that story! best not give you any stuffed animals as gifts then :)

message 48: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Now I know I need to read this book as well. Hanne, your commentary sounds as if you're talking about me!! Being around other people exhausts me; I can be alone for days and feel recharged emotionally, my soul being utterly nurtured by the peace it brings my soul. I don't get other people who cannot be alone; nothing makes me happier than being by myself and getting lost in a book, or even getting lost in my own little world.....

Hanne hi jennifer - join the club! there are quite many of us but we're good at hiding. you're definitely not alone (i was nodding at everything you said).

message 50: by Paula (new) - added it

Paula now i know i am not alone or odd.

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