Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Quiet

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was enjoying this book until the very end when the author, who up to that point had seemed like a thoughtful intelligent person made a disparaging stereotype-driven remark about librarians. Admittedly I am probably overly sensitive about this, but it raised questions for me about her authority on her topic. If she was willing to make a blanket statement that if you are an introvert a career as a librarian will suit you, she clearly has no idea what librarians do, so how can we be sure she knows what she is talking about in other areas of the book?

The research she discusses throughout the book (not her research, studies done by other people) is fascinating and she raises many interesting questions that I found helped me to see myself and others in a new light. Her style of writing was very clear and conversational which made it easier to absorb a lot of science and sociology. Some of what she talks about repeated material I just read in How We Decide.

The section on parenting an introverted child lacked authority however. It sounded like it was based mostly on what she wished had been done for her rather than any broader source of information.


  1. I was reading through your recent reviews (I like them because they are brief and to the point, something I have a problem with).

    I have to agree with you on librarians. Admittedly I am speaking with limited experience, but two very old friends are librarians and have been for many years and they are extremely extroverted (and seem to be very good librarians).

    Regardless, I may still seek this book out because I and my immediate family are very introverted and it could be interesting.

  2. The librarian thing didn't bother me. Most of the librarians I know, including me, are introverts. My experience is mostly with academic libraries -- other parts of the profession are more equal in introverted and extroverted. I think one of the points of the book was that you can be an introvert and still have the passion required for a service-oriented profession.

    Joy's Book Blog


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