Book Club: Discussing Susan Cain’s “Quiet”


Our latest book is Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. Book Club hostess Jacqueline Steward, who blogs at Best and Beyond, starts us off on the discussion below. Read what she thought about the book and join in.

Taking part in the BritMums Book Club with Penguin is a great way to score a free copy of new books, read along with a group of fellow bloggers and discuss what you loved (or hated) about them in the comfort of your own home. (Our next book is Tanis Rideout’s Above All Things. Sign up now to get your FREE copy.)

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Discussing Susan Cain’s Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

I looked forward to reading this title a lot. I thought I had it all worked out: one introvert and three extroverts in our family. Reading this book I learned a lot more than I expected. Three of us are pretty typical high-reactive introverts and one is an ambivert (if you can classify canines, our dog is a high-reactive introvert too). I didn’t learn much about ambiverts in the book but I did learn much about the qualities associated with introverts. In the main, they are qualities to be cherished and celebrated (perhaps in an introverted way).

My interest in this book was really to learn about my children but I ended up learning a lot more about myself. The areas looking at temperament and personality really resonated for me. It’s always great when you learn much more from a book and about yourself than you’d anticipated. I found it revelatory and reassuring that Pete Cashmore considers himself an introvert. Cfool. How many BritMums members are introverts?

I have an obsession with heroes/heroines in contemporary family animation think Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or the new Lego The Movie. Both heroes and heroines sit on the high-reactive introvert scale. They sit outside the mainstream, like a challenge and don’t conform even when it might be in their best interests. They give every kid (and parents of the kid) the vision to know that it is OK to be authentic and be yourself. Why are these qualities so overlooked in the mainstream?

Susan Cain demonstrates that most things in society, from classroom layouts to workforce reorganisations are to the benefit of extroverts. Introverts — often the thinkers, leaders and ideas people — are regularly short-changed by the emphasis on cultivating extroverts-ideal environments.

Quiet has given me a lot to think about and from reading other reviews I know it will stick with me for quite some time.

What did you think? Were there any surprises for you? Looking forward to reading your thoughts and reviews on this thoughtful, interesting book.

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P.S. Our next book will be Above All Things by Tanis Rideout. Sign up now to get your free copy. Meanwhile, join our book club to hear about new books!

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  1. 12 March 2014 / 11:07

    I found this book hard going but I’m glad I read it as it has changed my perpective of myself and others.

  2. 17 March 2014 / 20:44

    I’m still only about half way through my copy but am finding it such an eye opener that I keep stopping reading to make notes about it. It is just one of those books that everyone can learn so much from and it makes you want to remember the key points of it forever! x

  3. 17 March 2014 / 21:49

    This sounds fascinating. (I haven’t read the book, just opened the link to these reviews when it appeared in my inbox). I’m an introvert, and so is my husband. I’ve just recently started thinking about how this impacts my children (ten yo daughter, reserved and quiet, seven yo son with an open sunny personality).
    I’ll definitely be reading the book and posting a link to the reviews on Twitter and FB – great choice!

  4. 18 March 2014 / 13:53

    I started off writing a conventional book review but as I wrote it turned into something else. I hope you’ll forgive the slightly unconventional review, but reading the book had quite a fundamental effect on me and I wanted to convey that as much as anything.

  5. 18 March 2014 / 16:08

    I am finding it so thought provoking that I can’t read very much at any time. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.) Actually, I’m tempted to do a partial review on the basis of what I’ve read so far – so much of it is just wow – that’s what’s going on.

  6. 18 March 2014 / 20:21

    Thanks for writing about this, I’d not heard about it. I am very introverted but have found ways to cope and even enjoy the company of others but I always surprise people who love me (all extroverts) by being firm about wanting to be alone sometimes.