The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Susan Cain’s groundbreaking book Quiet, brilliantly read by Kathe Mazur.
In Quiet, the international best seller, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself.
©2013 Susan Cain (P)2013 Penguin Books Ltd
Perceptive, compassionate, brilliant.
I loved this book. It made me look at myself and many other people I know in an entirely different light.
I haven't listened to any other of Kathe Mazur's performances.
I did shed a tear or two, especially when the author wrote about her grandfather and people like him. People who achieve great and noble things in a self-effacing and humble manner.
Everyone should read it - there are just so many introverts in the world whose great qualities are not nurtured or valued.
As an introvert, this book sounded very interesting, especially since I've seen it mentioned a number of times around the internet as "life changing". Unfortunately, this book definitely didn't alter my life in any significant way. I already knew about a vast majority of the concepts since I've experienced most of the cases that are common for introverts. Some of the history and case studies were mildly interesting in explaining why some people are introverts, but the author just kept going on and on about certain topics for what seemed like forever.
The writing style in general was very tedious since most of the chapters start out in a weird faux documentary style of the author visiting different people and places to try to learn from different people's experiences on certain topics. I suspect this was to make it seem more intimate and less of a "knowledge dump", but instead it makes the book feel forced and less scientific. One major flaw that I noticed multiple times was that the author extrapolated meaning out of cherry picked anecdotes and then proceeded to talk about them as fact.
If I did learn anything, it's that the term introvert encompasses a huge spectrum of personal traits and characteristics. It's actually mentioned a few times, that a certain trait is common in most introverts, but not all. This makes the parts where the author proceeds to give advice on dealing with introverts that much more confusing since the advice will not cater for every person. Yes, most of the advice is a good starting point, but each person is different and as a manager, partner, friend or parent, you would be better served by actually talking to the person and working things out with them as individuals.
The general tone of the book was also overly "introverts are special", which is a shame, since the people who would actually benefit from this book more are the extroverted people who have an overly simplistic view on the topic of introversion. However, because of the tone, I doubt they'd enjoy reading it since half the time, they're made out to be this evil entity that's oppressing the poor, helpless introverts. I guess teenagers who struggle with being social would get a lot out of this book as well, but that's about the only audience that will enjoy it. Most adult introverts already know how to live with their personality and understand their situation in a society that prefers extroversion. This book is disturbingly flawed, often boring and preachy, so while there is definitely some useful information contained within, I'd be hesitant to recommend it.
Great book. Makes me want to hold a party for all my introvert friends I've offended over the years! But seriously opened my eyes on how to be more sensitive to others.
I related to this book so well, that it has encouraged me and made me feel like I can accept myself. For it is as simple as, I am an introvert.
Yes, I think it's a great insight into the powers of an introvert.
Yes, I think it's a great insight into the powers of an introvert.
Great voice, very clear.
The author takes a broad approach to discussing introversion, including relationships, children, school, work etc. This means there's likely something in this book that every introvert can relate to and find empowering.
Having already read a few books on the same topic I found the author addressed the introvert/extrovert topic from a different angle to other books. Definitely worth the listen.
I adored this book. I found it validating. If you are introverted and feel like society is always trying to change you, then you need to read this book. I gave the hard copy to my manager to read. It will help you understand the people around you. It will help you better interact with people who are the opposite personality type to you. It will hep you navigate conflict. The narrator had the most restful, lovely voice. I really enjoyed every minute of this book.
"Thought provoking A+"
Ever since I learnt what an introvert was I knew I was one, but used to wonder how I thrived as well as I did in social situations at times. Susan Cain not only shed light on this concept but on so many things in this title. With an excellent combination of thought provoking narrative, uplifting message and downright honest truth I would suggest "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain to anyone.
The title itself is so well done I would propose anyone to listen this title if they want to in any way understand introversion (if they don't already and even if you do there is so much more that can be learned from this title). Susan Cain's case studies leaves you (provided you are an introvert) feeling so... understood which in the world of an introvert can be a rare occurrence. I grew up in a household filled with extroverts or persons far more of extroverted than myself and this title does a good job of explaining what I had experienced as well as provide some tips on how to essentially survive. I have learned so much from what this title has said I am completely bowled over! I wish I could give this aspect of the rating 10 stars instead of just 5!
This can be one of those books that get you to change your very mindset. As an extrovert I would assume it would help you to appreciate and value introverts more and also be a bit more aware of how to deal with the introverts in your life. As an introvert personally the book served to simply inspire me and make me feel downright proud to be an introvert with quirks and all! Truly an amazing book!
"Ho hum self-help fare"
There are some useful insights to be gleaned in this book, especially for parents of quiet children who might be worried that their offspring are abnormal because they aren't as loud as their classmates. It's reassuring to know you're not alone when the school starts telling you little Johnny is too quiet. Wait, isn't it good to be quiet in class? Oh, I suppose I'm old fashioned. Anyway, if the book can keep a few more children from being given SEN statements or ritalin or whatever then I'm all for it because the trend lately seems to be to treat the human condition as a pathology and I find this troubling. So, for standing up against that, Susan Cain deserves a big pat on the back.
On a more negative note, there's an oft-quoted joke "There are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into two types and those who don't". I always think of it when I read books like this that purport to identify societal types and use them as a prism through which to view the world and explain its problems. The author has the kernel of a really good idea. She has obviously done her homework, but she tries to shoehorn it into a tidy, all encompassing theory of everything, and the facts are stretched to fit. I'll list the major issues I have with this approach:
1. Time and again she talks as if extroverts and introverts were binary opposites even as she is describing sets of behaviours that - in the very next sentence - are admitted to sit on a sliding scale.
2. She engages in the non-sequitur of "it's in my genes therefore it's fine". I don't see that this follows at all. Why can't learned behaviours be acceptable too? Why are all genetic traits unimpeachable? The science behind personality is all interesting but there's no moral component involved and looking to genes for vindication is just beside the point.
3. Introversion can't ever be described as just be an aspect of personality found to a greater or lesser degree in everyone, it has to be claimed as a Grand Unifying Theory. The suppression of introverts has to be made to explain everything, to be found everywhere. Major historical figures (but only nice, clever ones) are outed as introverts regardless of the absurdity. At one point she seems to be claiming Obama as an introvert. Obama? What? In a telling example, she pins the economic crisis of 2008 on extroverts and even draws a parallel with the (equally flawed) narrative that it was caused by too much testosterone in the boardroom. True. In fact, you can swap intro/extro for femsle/male throughout the book and you would be just as close to the mark - and just as far from it.
So in sum, I find it all a bit pat and a bit unsatisfying from that perspective, but I suppose these books have to be marketed in a particular way, so I can't hold that against her. It's still a good read and a good antidote to all the books that are exorting us quiet types to be more shouty and annoying.
Before reading 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking" I knew of differing temperaments, and that I was definitely at the introverted side of the spectrum. However I always felt these traits - such as needing time to myself, wanting to work where I can quietly sit and think, and preferring nights in with my boyfriend rather than out in crowded London bars - were undesirable, or that they meant I was boring, or would maybe mean I wasn't capable of achieving my career ambitions. However this book opened my eyes to a new world, that introversion, persistently depicted as defective in some way in the workplace and social world, is in actual fact advantageous - not just merely 'acceptable' but highly conducive if embraced.
For years I have attempted to quell my easily overly stimulated and sensitive mind and body, and natural instinct to observe others at social gatherings rather than speak out or to take the limelight. Reading this book has uncovered for me how I have been 'acting up' as an extrovert, in order to feel accepted among my colleagues and superiors, and in social circles that are times imposed on us. Susan Cain's narrative explains in fascinating detail longitudinal studies in the neuroscience and psychology field, that illustrate how introversion, as a temperamental characteristic, is found from birth and carries through to adulthood; she skillfully links such research to reveal that successful historical and current figures, were/are in fact introverts.
The author discusses that adapting introverted behaviour in certain situations when this fits with our values and interests is unlikely to be stressful; however when introverts are placed in an extroverts terriority this is over-stimulating and potentially distressing. Reading this book has in effect given me permission to embrace my introverted temperament, and fundamentally accept myself as me, and not conforming to what society portrays as the 'extrovert ideal'. Liberating.
"At last! Introverts speak up against "groupthink""
This book gave me many, many moments of recognition. As Susan Cain points out in "Quiet", we live in an extrovert (often spelled extrAvert!) dominated culture, where being a gregarious, articulate "team-player" is seen as healthy, while preferring quiet, solitude, and having a rich interior life makes you a wallflower and a party pooper. This is "The New Groupthink", a prejudice which infects our education system, recruitment, employment practices, social life, mental health, indeed almost every aspect of Western culture. (Google "New Groupthink" for an excellent article by SC in the NY Times). Yet, new evidence cited in the book shows that we are more creative on our own, than working in teams. Einstein, Newton and Darwin were all introverts working alone. Brainstorming is a typical example of the myth of group creativity - it is less effective at generating new ideas than solitary individuals. Yet, institutions from the Evangelical Church to the Harvard Business School strongly select for extroversion, preferring confident talkers to the thoughtful wisdom of their more reticent introverted colleagues. However, the message of the book is positive. It is that extroverts and introverts need each other in order to thrive - a beautiful symbiosis, frustrated only by our failure to appreciate each others differing needs for sociability or solitude. Of course, we can adapt, if important to us, and the book outlines ways we do this such as "situated traits" theory, but it is always something of a strain. Finally, the book offers some sound advice for us 30-50% of the population who are introverts, as well as the spouses, bosses and parents of introverts, to play to their strengths, rather than try to change them. It's like being left handed used to be. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, this book does much to expose one of the most under-appreciated prejudices of our culture "The New Groupthink". Well narrated, it is an enjoyable book everyone should read.
This book has a mixture of theory and practice. She explains how it is ok to be introverted and it isn't the same thing as shy and she gives some great examples from her own experiences in life. I loved the part about her attending a Tony Robbins workshop and her response to what was going on around her, it was full of humour.
I think it helped me understand how introverts are perceived by the non introvert population. If you are an introvert this book can help you to understand why you don't always get the responses you would expect to. If you are an extravert, it helps you understand what is going on in the mind of the introvert you are interacting with. It also gives permission for introverts to stay as they are or if you prefer to make changes, it points the way to some behavioural adaptations that you may choose to make without any pressure.
"Really well written book, well narrated"
This is a really well written, thoroughly researched and well thought-out book, would be suitable for anyone especially those who are interested in the western and eastern cultural personality differences. I learned more about myself, my business partners and Asian investors after reading this book. I can't recommend it enough.
Just buy it.
"Outstanding book for all; especially introverts."
It is so positive towards introverts. It points out our strengths and shows how our thought processes differ. It provides great insight about how we can contribute and live more pleasant lives in a world which can be so overwhelming for us.
The depth of background information is fantastic. By using the results of scientific studies, it gives authentic information and results on how introverts think and react. To be able to know that studies exist and have provided results is comforting that this isn't just one persons' guesswork.
Kathe Mazur's reading of this book is PERFECT. Quiet but easily audible, giving intonation to ensure this is never a dull listen. She sounds compassionate, understanding and confident without being overbearing.
I listened to this on a bluetooth headphone in a van and had no issues hearing her.
Introverts; they're valuable people, too.
This is something I'd love to be able to get everyone to read or listen to. It's so valuable in so many ways, it's impossible to put in a small review. The best credit I've spent.
"Necessary read if you suspect you're one"
Definitely the best I've read about this topic
Finding out it's normal and not something you should change but accept and work with.
Calming voice, a necessary sensitivity to a subject so easy for those who are averse to reading and accepting their stance due to society's aversion of the trait.
Made me understand and see the unsung benefits of the trait as the world will constantly remind you of the perceived disadvantages, which this book demystifies greatly and credibly.
If you like alone time, find your phone a nuisance at times, and find too much company draining. READ THIS BOOK.
"Insightful - a whole new perspective"
This book left me feeling deeply grateful to have found it. Such was the indoctrination in my life that introverts have something wrong with them that, as an introvert, I just accepted this view as fact! So the message of this book - that introversion is a valid and valuable way of being - came as a relief to say the least. I feel calm, liberated, validated and respected having read this book.
This book is a wonderful gift for all introverts who may even feel ashamed of their personality type! Read it and weep for joy!
Kathe Mazur's narration was excellent: enjoyable, warm and tuned for the subject.
And if you are the author reading this: from my heart, thank you!
Very pleasantly pleased with this audio book. Very good narration. Kept my attention throughout and offered a very insightful look at both introverts & extroverts, and helps highlight the thought methods of both types. Found it very interesting, a very neutral book, showing the possibilities and limitations of both personality types. A must listen
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