Why I Read It: Because I’m a classic introvert and this book was getting tons of buzz.
My Rating: 5 stars
Summary: This is basically a study of introverts–who they are, what they act like, what makes them tick–and how they fit into an extrovert-dominated world. Cain focuses on the strengths and hidden talents of introverts and makes a case for why introverts are just as (if not more) important to our society than extroverts.
My Review: It felt so good to read a book that felt like it was written specifically for me. Every single page had some tidbit of information or perfectly-stated insight that validated me and inspired me to embrace my introversion, and to see the value that I and others like me can bring to society. She focuses on different aspects of life–romantic relationships, the workplace, childhood–and considers how introverts can best navigate them.
Cain does a great job of exploring how and why our society places so much emphasis on extroversion, and why introverts are seen as second-class citizens in many ways. She uses a lot of really great real-world stories, and does a lot of first-hand exploration in places such as a gathering for “sensitive” people and a seminar to improve your confidence. These are weaved into Cain’s excellent synthesis of psychological research and neurological studies that show the biological basis for introversion. It’s similar to a Malcolm Gladwell book in that it’s science-based nonfiction that’s just as readable as fiction–Cain’s a great writer, and her prose is engaging and entertaining.
I think even extroverts would enjoy this book, even though it’s clearly targeted at introverts. I know I’m pushing it on my extroverted boyfriend, simply because I think it’ll give him some insight into why I am the way I am (and I think it also can teach extroverts a bit about themselves).
Should I Read It? Yes! If you like Gladwell-esque books, have an interest in psychology, are an introvert or just want to know more about them, you should definitely pick this up.