How do you write a review for a nonfiction book?
I’m not exactly sure. There’s no criticizable plot and I can’t exactly critique the characters, so this review is just going to be an amalgamation of everything I found interesting about this book.
Which, in this case, was a LOT of things.
About the Book:
Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Genre: nonfiction, psychology, self-help
Rating: 4.5/5 (but how do you rate a nonfiction book?)
Among the many topics that are so interesting I could think about them all day are personality types (I’m an INTP by the way)
This book is very interesting.
(“Interesting” is such a bland word, I know, but it just the perfect word to describe what I’m trying to describe. If you want to read this blog, you’ll have to get used to hearing me use the word “interesting” because I use it very frequently.)
Susan Cain’s main thesis is that society almost unfairly favors extroverts and qualities associated with extroversion- the “Extrovert Ideal”- and she seeks to explain why this is the case and to bring appreciation back to introverts.
She starts out by summarizing the rise of what she calls the “Extrovert Ideal” in America. According to this book, this societal change began with self-help schemes and advertisements that shifted the perception of the ideal personality from calm, reserved, and kind to outgoing, bold, and sociable. Ads began to paint the “attractive” personality as bold and charismatic, and told people that in order to be an admirable person, they had to command attention and stick out from the crowd.
Today, Cain points out, being extroverted often makes it a lot easier for you to be successful in life.
I definitely agree with this idea! I constantly have to pretend to be extroverted, even though I am definitely not. For example, I currently run a tutoring business with my friends. Meaning I have to go on Zoom and talk for an hour straight about algebra five times a week. I absolutely love tutoring, and now that I am more familiar with the kids I am much more comfortable, but when I first started I was intensely nervous for every single session.
I even have a leadership position in a couple clubs at my school, one of which was really scary because I had to run for it and give a speech and everything. There are benefits to doing these things, and I like going out of my comfort zone but…. it would be so much better if I weren’t so awkward! I constantly wish I had some semblence of charisma in any form.
It was so interesting to read a book that explained the reasons behind this societal preference. But Quiet isn’t a pity-party for introverts; on the contrary, it spends a lot of time exploring the merits of both types of people and identifies the good qualities introverts bring to the table.
Introverts, I learned, are usually more deliberative and cautious while extroverts are more like to be impulsive. Introverts are also more likely to be anxious and are also more likely to enjoy talking about deep subjects. They also have a harder time projecting positive emotions like enthusiasm (so relatable)
One thing I found particularly interesting was the claim that introverts tend to be more comfortable expressing themselves on the Internet as opposed to in real life. I can definitely relate to that, as this blog is essentially an outlet for my personality and my rants, and I’ve been told that my writing on here is more me-ish than actual in-person me.
Like much of the psychology things I have read about, though, there is no definitive law that determines how people act; therefore, different characteristics are present in different people regardless of their position on the introversion-extroversion scale. I could see myself in most of Cain’s description of introversion, but there were some things that didn’t exactly match. (ex: I talk a lot around people whom I know)
There are also a ton of really intriguing studies mentioned in this book, like one that suggested that peer pressure can directly impact your perception of things. Kind of scary, but super fascinating.
I also really liked the informative and engaging writing style, and the pleasant mix of anecdotes, history, statistics, and science.
Overall, Quiet by Susan Cain was an extraordinarily interesting psychology book, and I had a difficult time putting it down (maybe that’s just me being a nerd, though). I’d recommend this to anyone who feels like reading something educational, absorbing, and potentially relatable.
That’s it for today’s book review. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have you read Quiet by Susan Cain? Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? Do you know your Myers-Briggs type? Let me know in the comments!
*Note- Last week, I forgot to turn my comments on and didn’t realize until three days later! If you wanted to reply to that post, I’m sorry, but I’ve turned my comments back on now. School has made me extremely scatterbrained!*