Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review - QUIET

I am currently reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  This is an incredibly powerful book.   The content is important, but that can be said of a lot of books.  What impresses me the most is that it is so well written that it is a delicious read as well as being very informative.

Cain balances descriptions of research with stories from the lives of well known and not-so-well known people across the country (and throughout history) to illustrate her key points.  Our culture of personality that gives the gold stars to the well spoken is missing out by underestimating the contribution that the quieter part of our population has to give.

Reading this book has helped me understand some of the people I work with and some of the people I love in whole new ways.  It is changing my management style as I become more mindful of giving some of the folks on my team an opportunity to share their views away from the crowd of our big quarterly meetings.  It is changing how I approach my friendships and may deepen my ability to savor my own seasons of quiet.

I'm about a third of the way through the book right now.  I may have more to say about it when I'm all the way done.  But for now, I give it four stars.  The only thing that makes me hold back that fifth star is that I'm accustomed to reading nonfiction that has notations throughout.   This book does not.  Some might call that a strength because it is less distracting to the reader, and in Cain's defense there is a strong notes section in the back of the book.  Still,  I'm a believer in noting every paraphrase and attributing the original source within the context of the writing.  Picky, I know, but it helps me as a reader to be a more critical thinker to be able to consider the source of a given statement or point of view.

Still, even without that, I'm very impressed by this book.  It's some of the best nonfiction I have read in years.

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