Today we had a thoroughly engaging discussion of the nonfiction book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Our discussion reached beyond the bounds of introverts and extroverts – we discussed education, politics (politely!), and parenting as well. All our discussions touched on the introversion/extroversion scale, however, as we considered the implications of being more introverted in a world that typically promotes extroversion.
We discussed how a good pairing of an introvert and extrovert can lead to amazing things – whether it’s Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, or a marriage between compatible types. We talked about some of our own experiences feeling introverted at times, but also how we pushed through to success. We also discussed some of our own career choices, and how they were influenced – consciously or unconsciously – by our level of extroversion.
For the most part, we thought there were parts in the book that were oversimplifications – obviously people are neither true extroverts or introverts except in extreme examples. In places it seemed as though the author was pushing too hard for her categorizations in order to make her point. Those of us who identify as ambiverts (people in the middle between extroverts and introverts) thought it skewed perhaps too heavily toward discussing the positives of introversion to the detriment of extroversion.
Overall, we all really enjoyed reading this book. Sometimes reading non-fiction can be dry, but the author had an engaging writing style that kept us all interested. Even if everyone present didn’t self-identify as an introvert, we all know someone who is, and we all had “a-ha” moments when reading. We averaged a 3.5 stars for the book, with several people ranking it 4 stars.