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

Quiet by Susan Cain
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Aug 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, finished-in-2012, nonfiction
Read from August 05 to 09, 2012

What? The word "extrovert" is layman's spelling for the real world "extravert"? Just another "extra" you learn about the verts, for those of you a little green on the topic. Anyway, Susan "Not Raisin'" Cain's book has broad appeal as she uses examples from the business world, child psychology, education, law, etc. Introverts will like it more than extroverts (duh), but I guess the publishers were OK with that because introverts are 30-50% of the population.

Anyway, there's a lot of science and especially psychology (notice I separate the two) here, so you'll learn the latest thinking on why you are the way you are. A lot of it has to do with the amygdala, which has been in the news a lot on the brain science front. By the time you're done reading, your limbic systems will be quite limber. Neo-cortex will be geared up, too. But you still will prefer weekends alone to booked weekends, reading books to dinner parties, and not answering the phone to running like an idiot to pick it up (well, assuming you have a land line and a corded phone like I still do, and that's probably one hell of an assumption).

I like how Cain took trips to witness speakers, seminars, college courses, etc., for inclusion in this book. It gave it a "You Are There!" feel. She also interviewed some professors and psych gurus of note, too, none of whom I'd heard of (but, again, I'm a bit tone deaf in psychology).

Granted, not all parts of the book are equally interesting, but you get that in any "survey course-like" book that covers a lot of real estate like this. My favorite section is the one comparing eastern cultures (lean strongly to quiet, studying, and introversion) to western ones (lean strongly to noise, socializing, and extroversion). Insightful stuff there, especially her interviews with Chinese-American high school students who feel like strangers in a strange land (cock an ear and listen to that obnoxious chant: "USA! USA!").

My advice? If you're an introvert, read it and be quiet. And if you're an extrovert? The same, if your stimuli-seeking brain can hold it in that long....
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Reading Progress

08/08/2012 page 82
25.0% 33 comments
02/09/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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George Excellent review of an excellent book. Just one question: Would you think that (old?) folks, like us, who still have land lines and corded telephones tend more toward introversion or extraversion? Or, perhaps, that they are just the lingering victims/beneficiaries of Yankee New Englnd frugality? And, what about people who say: "Just one question," and then ask three?

Almost always enjoy reading your reviews.


message 2: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken As I teach 8th graders, I can tell you that the distribution of intro- and extraverts is the same no matter what the age, geographic location, or tendency toward frugality.

When "Just one question" becomes three, we're in the Land of Extra-. Heck, I wouldn't bother with the ONE in most cases. Prefer to just get home, thank you...

And thanks for the kind comment on my reviews. Appreciate it.


Elyse Wonderful review!!! I got a lot of value from Susan's book.


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