Quiet was another vacation read of mine. I had two YA books then this, something to discuss introversion and the science and social beliefs behind it. It sounded interesting to me because I am an introvert and I'm always interested to learn more of what drives my emotions and reactions to the world. Especially since introversion is so often misunderstood and I have only just within the past year have begun to really take serious interest in how I work as a person and how to make my life a little easier by changing some of my habits or thinking differently. For me, understanding why I am the way I am is often enough, so why not dive deeper into the world of introverts?
I knew of Susan Cain from her TED Talk (located at the bottom of this entry). It is an awesome, powerful discussion and when I first saw it a year or two ago, I was blown away. "Yes, yes, yes! That's it exactly!" I was saying to my screen with no one actually present to hear. Not only did she hit the nail on the head about being an introvert, but she was so good at speaking publicly that I've actually referred to her when speaking to coworkers or friends about public speaking. Seriously, check out her TED Talk.
So while I was totally blown away by Cain's talk, I figured her book would be just as good, if not better. I had wanted to read it for quite some time and with vacation looming and the opportunity for minimal distractions, I figured why not? Onto the Kindle it went and off to Florida we headed.
Let me preface this by stating that I am not a science or psychological sort. There was a span of time when I was a kid that I was fascinated with becoming a marine biologist. I knew the most random facts about dolphins and whales. I was all over that with notebooks filled with doodles of marine life and notes I took from whatever information I found (mind you, this was before the internet was a household thing). But that dream quickly died once I entered middle school and took my first "real" science class, filled with experiments and equations and other things I just couldn't follow. The same thing happened in high school with AP psychology and again in college with sociology (which I still have a minor interest in). For whatever reason, I just can't seem to get a knack for this stuff. And this book, in many ways, reminded me of those long forgotten sciencey books that I had to read for school.
There's a lot of statistics and facts in this book. It's like a well written psychology paper. I really enjoyed the first half of the book as Cain dove into what makes an introvert and the many forms of introversion. That was fascinating stuff and I found myself agreeing to most of what she said but also being surprised, "Oh I didn't know that," often came to mind. She pointed out so many minor details of day-to-day life that could be triggering for an introvert, making them feel anxious or things that they dislike, and many were on point but also a surprise for me. So long have I lived life in this manner that I didn't really ever notice just how easily I am put off by every day activities.
The later half of the book was more of a struggle for me and I feel stepped away from my interest. I didn't get through it half as easily as, for me, it became more of a "how to live with an introvert" guide. Granted, that surely will be helpful for extroverts who just can't grasp what introverts are, but it's not so much my cup of tea. I'm an introvert, my boyfriend is an introvert, I think if anything we would need a book on how introverts deal with extroverts if we were to have an extroverted child.
All in all, this would be a great book for anyone who has a touch of the science/psychology/sociology understanding but also great for anyone who just doesn't get introversion. Life can be hard when you're an introvert in this extrovert world (and boy does she hit the nail on the head with that and how much of a struggle it can be) so any help to get people to understand just what it's about is great in my book.
Last Week's Review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Next Week's Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen