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  • Writer's pictureLiz W.

Review of "Quiet" by Susan Cain

Intro to the Review

We have all had that experience of enthusiastically starting a new book only to realize partway through that it's not what we were expecting. The purpose of the following review is not to judge whether the book is "good" or "bad." The goal is to help you decide whether or not it is a good book for you.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Does it seem like the content covered in this book aligns with what I was expecting to find?

  • Is the main problem addressed in this book similar to my own goal of what I would like to learn from it?

  • Is the style and format written in a way that will not hinder my ability to get the most value from this book?

  • Am I the intended audience for this book?

If after reading the review you can answer yes to all these questions, this book is the right fit for you. If not, well, there are plenty more books out there just waiting for you to read them.


The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain

368 pages - Ⓒ 2013 Crown Publishing

“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”

Author Background

Aside from Quiet, Susan Cain is also the author of Quiet Journal and Quiet Power.

Susan’s TED talk The Power of Introverts has been viewed over 40 million times and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all-time favorite talks.

LinkedIn named her the Top 6th Influencer in the World. Susan partners with Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant and Dan Pink to curate the Next Big Idea Book Club. They donate all their proceeds to children’s literacy programs.

Her website can be found here.

What Problem Does This Book Attempt To Address?

The concept of the Extrovert Ideal in our culture leads many introverts to believe something is fundamentally flawed about them. The goal of this book is to show introverts that while they are different than extroverts in many ways, these difference provide a unique set of attributes that are valuable and beneficial. The book encourages introverts to embrace their gifts and learn to share them with the world instead of hiding them.


· Concept explanation: Clear

· Related stories: Many

· Data references and studies: Some

· Charts and graphics: None

· Practical application: Good

The goal of this book, as stated above, is make introverts feel better about themselves, and to show them that there isn’t something wrong with them. This is primarily done through stories of introverted individuals - some famous figures and some everyday people. The author shares her own experiences as an introvert as well. While the book explains some of the neurophysiology of introversion, and discusses a number of studies, the primary goal of the book does not seem to be to teach about introversion, but rather to validate it as a good thing. It is less educational and more emotionally supportive in nature.

The struggle with any work of comparison between introversion and extroversion is the tendency to categorize it as good vs bad', preferable vs unpreferable, etc. This book did a pretty good job of maintaining a balance between showcasing the benefits of introversion without making extroversion seem like a bad thing. There are maybe one or two exceptions to this, but they are minor. In general, when discussing an attribute, the author talks about the differences between introverts and extroverts and what makes each beneficial in their own right.

The section about raising children has a lot of advice that I think will be very useful for a parent who is trying to raise an introverted child. There is specific advice for introverted parents and extroverted parents and how they can support their introverted children. There is also advice for teachers on how to find a balance in the classroom for extroverted and introverted students alike. Introverted children are talked about a lot throughout the book, making this a good resource for parents.

Writing Style & Presentation

· Tone: Relaxed

· Organization: Good

· Flow: Good

Much of the book is made up of stories and this helps shape the overall tone for the book. It feels similar to going to a talk about a topic you are interested in. The organization is adequate. It is broken up into four parts, however there does seem to be some overlap in topics between the chapters and the different parts. The flow is good. The author often introduces a story related to the topics discussed in that section, discusses those topics, then returns to the story to close out the chapter.

Bringing It all Together

One thing done really well: The balance between explaining the benefits of introversion and extroversion and how they play different roles and have different upsides and downsides.

One thing that could be better: Just a bit more educational information on introversion would have added another layer of depth to the content.

One main thing I took away from this book was: Introverts brains work differently than extroverts. This unique physiological response leads to differences in both thoughts and behavior. Introverts should learn how to use these differences to make the biggest impact on their lives instead of trying to be someone they’re not.

Overall Recommendation

Who I would recommend this book for:

  • Extroverts who have a relationship with an introvert that they want to understand better,

  • People who just found out they are introverts and aren’t uncomfortable with it yet.

  • Parents of introverted children

Who I wouldn’t recommend this book for: If you are already familiar with introversion and comfortable with it, I don’t think you will find much usefulness from reading this book.


Enhance Your Reading by Using a Workbook

If you have decided this book is a good fit for you, I have created a workbook to help you get the most value from reading it. Here is a small sample of the material contained in the workbook.

Your workbook includes:

  • Pre-reading questions

  • Chapter discussion questions with space for writing answers

  • Space to write your own summary for each chapter

  • Vocabulary words with space to write definitions and add words

  • Key terms with space to write definitions and add words

  • Chapter reflection questions

  • Final reflection questions

  • A condensed list of all discussion questions and vocabulary for reference

  • Reflection pages for writing thoughts and ideas

Discussion Question Preview

Below you will find a small sample of the discussion questions. In the workbook, questions are provided for every chapter of this book.

Key Terms Preview

  • Ambivert

  • Culture of Character

  • Culture of Personality

  • Evaluation apprehension

Vocabulary Preview

  • Affable: (adj.) Being pleasant and at ease in talking to others

  • Auspice: (n.) Kindly patronage and guidance

  • Bellicose: (adj.) Favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars

..... download the workbook to view the full list!

Where to Find the Workbook

All available workbooks can be found on Amazon in hardcopy and ebook formats. They are free to access for Kindle Unlimited members.

You can find this particular workbook by clicking here.

Your Feedback is Appreciated!

Are you a student? A teacher? A manager? A parent? Why did you decide to use a workbook and did it help you get more from the book you were reading? Please share your experience so I can continue to make these workbooks a valuable resource to you and others.

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