Book Recommendation: Susan Cain’s “Quiet”

quiet-final-jacketThis is one of the most powerful books that I have read in a while. I spent today rocking in my hammock on the balcony with a cup of coffee in one hand and this book in the other. For obvious reasons, I connected deeply to the ideas in Quiet. Susan Cain delves into the fundamental differences between introverts and extroverts, pulling from many distinct research topics in order to explore and perhaps even explain the struggles of being an introvert in an extrovert-orientated world.

I was, and still am, a stereotypical introvert. I am the one who prefers independent work in the classroom, always has my nose stuck in a book, and I would rather stay at home on a Friday night than go partying with a bunch of people who I do not know. Cain breaks down these standards by looking at humanity’s nature versus nurture, basic physiology, and inborn capacities to handle novelty. One of my favorite qualities of her writing is that she does not say that either temperament is better than the other; she explains both in a way that allows for understanding, and in understanding people can discover the value in both introverted and extroverted tendencies.

Cain’s book is an important reminder that introverts connect to people just as much as extroverts do, only differently. I think sometimes that truth is forgotten amidst the din of a society that places greater value on the quantity rather than the quality of connection. It is especially helpful as a way for me, an introvert, to understand how extrovert relate to the world, so that I can better react to situations.

Honestly, this is a great read for anyone and everyone, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick summer holiday read.


To Sit in a Cemetery

I sit in the three hundred year old cemetery and closed my eyes. The quiet seeping into my bones chilling, then warming me. Pocketed stones clatter together on headstones, while the only whispers heard are the ones that sing through the tears of the weeping willows. Above my head the sun shines brightly, almost too gay for where I am. Thoughts shift around as my ears listen intently to noises that seem absent from this time and space. Are they the voices of the long dead, or merely the scritching of tiny feet over bark? A gust of wind blows the hair back from my face, and then settles next to me, and I feel calm. A shout from my friend announces our departure, so I grudgingly haul to my feet and walk to the falling down wall and back into the world of the animate.