Quiet by Susan Cain

74%

75 Critic Reviews

I cannot think of anyone who does not have an introvert streak to some degree, so Ms. Cain's rich, intelligent book will probably have broad appeal.
-Wall Street Journal

Synopsis

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

 

About Susan Cain

See more books from this Author
SUSAN CAIN is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller QUIET: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking, which is being translated into over thirty languages and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine. Cain's book was the subject of a TIME magazine cover story, and her writing has appeared in the The New York Times; The Atlantic; The Wall Street Journal; O, The Oprah Magazine; Salon.com; Time.com; PsychologyToday.com, and other publications. Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, and West Point. Her record-smashing TED talk has been viewed over 3 million times, and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all-time favorite talks. She has appeared on national broadcast television and radio including CBS "This Morning," NPR's "All Things Considered," NPR's "Diane Rehm," and her work has been featured in The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Wired, Fast Company, Real Simple, Fortune, Forbes, PEOPLE, Scientific American, USA Today, The Washington Post, CNN, Slate.com, and many other publications. She is an honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons. You can visit her at www.thepowerofintroverts.com., and follow her on twitter (@susancain).
 
Published January 24, 2012 by Broadway Books. 370 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Education & Reference, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Critic reviews for Quiet
All: 75 | Positive: 60 | Negative: 15

Kirkus

Excellent
Nov 15 2011

An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Jon Ronson on Mar 22 2012

I wish she'd spent a bit more time adventuring and a bit less time analysing and philosophising and citing vast armies of psychologists.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Miranda Sawyer on Mar 17 2012

The problem with Cain's thesis is that she's so keen to convince us of its all-encompassing brilliance that she bends it out of shape.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Judith Warner on Feb 10 2012

The need to dress up any exploration of a social or psychological phenomenon in go-go language, making interesting observations or reflections the basis for something like a new social movement...is particularly American, and can be...grating...

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Oct 31 2011

Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off.

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Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Philip Broughton on Feb 08 2012

I cannot think of anyone who does not have an introvert streak to some degree, so Ms. Cain's rich, intelligent book will probably have broad appeal.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Lidia de Leon on Mar 11 2013

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, now out in paperback, isn’t a particularly soulful exploration of the inner mindsets of the more introspective among us.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by dineshnair on Sep 12 2012

The part which wasn’t convincing for me was when Cain was trying to stereotype according to region...

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephen Roulac on Jan 24 2012

. . .a book to be read deliberately, slowly, reflected upon, reread, meditated upon, quietly considered.

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Washington Times

Below average
Reviewed by Windsor Mann on Apr 11 2012

Psychobabble infests many pages, producing a reader-unfriendly effect.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Tom Payne on Mar 23 2012

At some points in this book, it’s hard to avoid the impression. . .that the extrovert/introvert dichotomy is really a balance of jock versus geek, played out so reliably in movies about US high schools.

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Christian Science Monitor

Below average
Reviewed by Marjorie Kehe on Apr 09 2012

. . .she sometimes detours into fields like neurophysiology and not all more-general readers will necessarily be interested in following her there.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
Reviewed by Ward Sutton on Feb 02 2012

This book is a must-read for introverts and the extroverts who love them. Sections covering relationships and child-raising could be spun off into their own volumes.

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Pajiba

Below average
Reviewed by reginadelmar on Feb 22 2013

Ultimately, the book left me unsatisfied in part because it felt unbalanced. After a couple of chapters, I hoped I was an introvert because Cain extolled the many virtues of introversion while making extroverts into big golden labs: cheerful, frenetic and not that smart.

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The Uncustomary Book Review

Above average
Reviewed by Kat Kiddles on Jul 22 2013

Whenever I challenged expectations like these by staying reserved, I always felt I was looked upon as hostile, which sometimes led me to actually be that way in self-defense. Requests from supervisors to make random social calls on my boss or listen…

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Open Letters Monthly

Below average
Reviewed by Steve Donoghue

. . .she proceeds to characterize as introverts anybody who’s behaviors she likes, and to call anybody whose behaviors she likes an introvert.

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Chicago Tribune

Excellent
Feb 20 2012

True to an introvert nature, "Quiet" has a self-help feel.

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Seattle PI

Good
Reviewed by dineshnair on Sep 12 2012

The Power of Introverts can be leveraged both by extroverts and introverts, and also by ambiverts...Extroverts and ambiverts can use this book to understand introverts and introverts can use this book to understand themselves.

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Cleveland.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Matthew Tiffany on Feb 15 2012

Cain takes a balanced, intelligent look at the interactions of introverts and extroverts.

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Huntington News

Good
Reviewed by David M. Kinchen on Jun 23 2012

The Extrovert Ideal has been documented...we make a grave mistake to embrace the Extrovert Ideal so unthinkingly. Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions...came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune in to their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.

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Patheos

Good
Reviewed by Robert M Ellis on Mar 03 2013

Just as the left brain needs the right to alert it to conditions, society needs introverts. Introverts have nothing to lose but the chains in which the extroverts have bound them.

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Patheos

Above average
Reviewed by Sam Rocha on Feb 19 2013

Although she complicates the distinction in the end, much of the book relies on a provisional, yet artificial, binary between the introverted and the extroverted. Don’t let it fool you: Cain shows the details well, even as she might overstate the distinction sometimes.

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Patheos

Excellent
Reviewed by Rebecca Hamilton on Feb 01 2013

I highly recommend Quiet. It raises important points. It also is a necessary read for teachers, parents, and administrators who must learn to bring the best out in their children, students and employees who are “reserved.”

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Patheos

Good
Reviewed by Bruce Epperly on Jan 31 2013

I found Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking a great read. Of course, I may be biased. I am an introvert who makes his living moving from the quiet world of reflection and writing to an active life of lectures...

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Patheos

Good
Reviewed by Greg Garrett on Jan 31 2013

Her book makes us think more deeply and offers, I hope, the possibility that the quiet strength of the introvert will someday be celebrated alongside the more vocal confidence of the outgoing.

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Patheos

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Nordquist on Jan 25 2013

Cain’s lifting up and affirming both the presence and contribution of the introvert in human systems can be an aid to that knowledge for introverts, and illumination to extroverts in communities of faith. She has made a very valuable contribution to our lives together.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Good
Reviewed by Damon Young on May 05 2012

As a defence of the introvert type, Quiet is resolute, and right on time. In an era of shrill narcissism, it is a call to value and protect what Leonard Woolf, speaking of his beloved Virginia, called ''a most sensitive and sophisticated mind''.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Damon Young on May 05 2012

As a defence of the introvert type, Quiet is resolute and right on time.

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Spirituality & Practice

Good
Reviewed by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on Sep 24 2013

Cain makes a good case for a greater recognition in our society for quiet leadership, the creative milieu of solitude, and the need to honor the character qualities of thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and gentleness. Long live the introverts of the world!

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Science News

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Raloff on Apr 21 2012

. . .cites a wealth of new and ongoing research about this psychological trait. . .

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Science News

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Raloff on Apr 06 2012

At least one in three people are introverts, and this book may prove a revelation for them and everyone who lives, works or interacts with them.

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The Age

Good
Reviewed by Damon Young on May 05 2012

...Quiet is resolute and right on time. In an era of shrill narcissism, it is a call to value and protect what Leonard Woolf, speaking of his beloved Virginia, called ''a most sensitive and sophisticated mind''.

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CNN Money

Excellent
Reviewed by Larry Shine on Feb 10 2012

Cain holds the reader's interest with a steady stream of facts, interviews and stories about introverts who have adjusted (or not) to a loud, boisterous, casually connected society.

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Jackson District Library

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Sep 24 2013

...Quiet celebrates the reflective and reserved among us. If you have an introvert in your life, I highly recommend this book.

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Annenberg Digital News

Good
Reviewed by Shaina Eng on Feb 21 2012

Whether you consider yourself an introvert or know someone who does, “Quiet” provides a fascinating look at introversion and encourages an appreciation for our society’s undervalued introverts.

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Ford Literary Blog

Good
on Jul 30 2012

Introverts and extroverts alike would benefit from reading Quiet, an intelligent and insightful book.

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The Sunday Times

Above average
Reviewed by Hannah Prevett on Oct 28 2012

...Cain calls for more openness about introversion. She is adamant that a shift in mindset is needed if we are to take advantage of the qualities that these people offer, in a time when innovative thinking is key.

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Englewood Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jessica A. Kent on Mar 22 2012

Her book can be read as a study of what an introvert is and how they function, but Cain’s thesis is exceedingly more precise.

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Arlington Library

Good
Reviewed by Joy B on Jul 10 2013

I personally think this would give everybody equal opportunity and the ability to succeed within one’s own boundaries. I wish I had read this book as a very introverted young woman with the drive to succeed!!

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Baltimore City Paper

Good
Reviewed by Raymond Cummings on Feb 29 2012

...Quiet is like the introvert’s equivalent of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better”...And if learning that roughly 33 percent of the human race prefers silence and seclusion has the effect of boosting an introvert’s self-confidence, knowing that societal game-changers...numbered among the introverted could send it hurtling into the stratosphere.

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Canadian Business

Good
Reviewed by Jordan Timm on Feb 16 2012

For the introverted reader, some of the value of Quiet comes from normalizing our disposition and the coping mechanisms we use to get through the workday. For our extroverted friends, the book should also serve as a helpful explainer for the quieter third of the office.

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Canadian Business

Excellent
Reviewed by Jordan Timm on Feb 16 2012

For our extroverted friends, the book should also serve as a helpful explainer for the quieter third of the office.

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BG Daily News

Good
Reviewed by Aaron W. Hughey on Jul 15 2012

I highly recommend this book; it will be especially reassuring to anyone who has ever wondered if there was something wrong with them – or their kids – if they seemed to have a natural aversion to being the center of attention.

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Hyphen

Below average
Reviewed by Jenny Lee on Feb 21 2013

lumps Asians and Asian Americans under yet another model minority myth. Ironically, Cain herself warns against the dangers of perceiving all Asian Americans as quiet introverts, at least in the realm of business.

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Brevity Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Cara Carroll on Apr 26 2012

Cain, a “consummate introvert” herself, spins an entertaining, intriguing, and uplifting account of the human spirit. Quiet is a celebration in undertones of the subdued and understated value of the soft-spoken loner concealing genius within.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Ellie Marie Ellerton on Feb 14 2012

For those who are new to introversion versus extroversion debate, "Quiet" can be helpful. But it's unlikely most will find anything that further unravels the personal differences among those who actively seek out other people's company and those who need to be alone.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Schmidt Tyler on Jan 30 2012

Quiet is full of cutting edge research from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. Stories about real people, real life and real situations keep the book flowing and interesting when the details might otherwise become too weighty.

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Gather Books

Good
Reviewed by Sheila Deeth on Mar 13 2013

A pleasingly readable book, teaching through experience, sharing a journey, and leading to a place where extrovert and introvert just might be able to recognize value in each other, Quiet is the sort of book you’ll quietly recommend to many, and I’m certainly glad I got to read it.

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Luxury Reading

Below average
Reviewed by Luxury Reading on Feb 11 2012

Sorry, folks, but one more time I have to say this: “What do editors do these days?” Quiet could be much tighter. The research findings are often interesting, but if I ever write like this, shoot me.

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Quick Book Reviews

Above average
on Feb 15 2012

All in all, this book aims to change the way in which introverts are perceived in society, and more importantly, how introverts perceive themselves to be.

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That's What She Read

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Mar 05 2013

Well-written and well-researched, if you are an introvert, it makes you proud to be included in such an insightful and subtly powerful group and makes extroverts jealous they don’t have the same abilities.

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Curled Up

Good
on Sep 24 2013

Quiet is a wonderful...book that gives us a lot of insights into what makes introverts tick and why it’s necessary to give them the space to flourish. Some of the best ideas in the world, the best innovations, Cain points out, came from introverts—not as a result of crowd-sourcing.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on May 19 2013

It’s nearly impossible for extroverts to understand the craving for solitude, or the preference to stay in on New Year’s Eve rather than attending a loud party, but this book is a great first step to seeing that there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Book Journey

Good
Reviewed by Sheila on Jun 20 2013

...what Susan Cain lets us know is not to overlook the person who is more quiet, more reflective than verbal… after all they are the makings of J K Rowling, Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Steven King.

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Sophisticated Dorkiness

Good
Reviewed by Kim Ukura on Mar 09 2012

On the whole, I think Cain makes a good case for the argument that the world isn’t necessarily better when ruled by extroverted people. There is a lot to be said for how introverts work and interact with others that make sense and could improve the way society functions.

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Alden Mudge

. . .a vigorous, brainy and highly engaging defense of introversion.

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Kritters Ramblings

Good
Reviewed by Kritter on Jan 28 2012

I think the author does a great job of making valid points and using interesting research to back up and explain each point. Although this is non-fiction and has a little bit of an academic approach, it reads much easier than a textbook and is a worthy read.

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Book Hooked Blog

Good
Reviewed by Julie G on Aug 21 2013

I think this is a great example of popular science/psychology that will appeal to the average reader as well as those particularly interested in the subject matter. If you're an introvert (or in a relationship with an introvert) it's definitely worth reading.

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Boston Bibliophile

Good
Reviewed by Marie on Dec 20 2012

Even though she's quoting studies and talking about some pretty serious science, her style is accessible and no special background is needed. It's informative, fun to read and chock full of information for people all along the personality spectrum.

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Reading for Sanity

Excellent
Reviewed by Kari on Aug 27 2013

Everything just makes so much more sense! If you can't tell, I'm sold on this book. Read it. Read it to understand yourself, your partner, your child, your co-workers, whomever you need to understand. I only wish I had read it sooner!

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First Friday Book Synopsis

Good
Reviewed by Randy Mayeux on Feb 09 2012

In this bombastic age, with loud noises coming from every direction, there are times that I hunger for the Quiet. I think this book is hitting a hungry nation at just the right time.

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Take Me Away

Good
Reviewed by Jenny on Apr 09 2012

...Quiet is a testament to introverted individuals and is the acknowledgement that there is nothing wrong with having an introverted personality.

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Medieval Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Meghan on Jan 31 2012

Quiet is a worthwhile read for both introverts and extroverts – so the former can feel much more at home in their own skin and so extroverts can learn more about life on the other side of the divide. And if you’re in between, even better.

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Rebecca Reads

Above average
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Jul 10 2013

Quiet is a good book. It was not perfect. The chapter on dopamine was particularly boring for me. But in general, I really enjoyed getting to know my quieter side a little more.

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West Metro Mommy

Good
Reviewed by Melinda Ott on Jun 20 2013

I've seen many bloggers reading this book, and I know it has shown up on more than a few "bests" lists. And I'm happy for that. Cain has an important message to share and I hope that people do read this book--introverts and extroverts--and take it to heart.

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Iris on Books

Good
on Mar 25 2013

All in all, I found Quiet a very worthwhile read. It was extremely helpful to me. Not only to help me accept who I am, but also to highlight the things I can work on within the bounds of who I am.

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Eagle

Good
on Jun 25 2012

Many of the techniques used by extrovert managers...are simply wrong for introverts, and even damaging. Cain speaks well to the difficulties of empathy between people with very different interaction preferences, such as the problems with extroverts trying to "draw out" introverts who have hit social overload...

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Opinions of a Wolf Blog

Good
Reviewed by wolfshowl on Aug 20 2012

Overall, this is a well-written, accessible book regarding personality psychology and the history of it. It does flounder in some places and could have used another once-over for structure and focus, but it is well worth your time to read.

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Things Mean a Lot

Good
Reviewed by Ana on May 15 2012

In sum, Quiet is a useful book that introverts or those who have one in their lives (and who doesn’t?) will find interesting, useful, and reassuring, even if some sections should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.

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The Neff Review

Good
Reviewed by LaVonne Neff on May 01 2012

...much as I enjoyed Cain's writing style, the reason I've been telling everybody to read this book is because so many of my friends are introverts. If they're anything like me, they'll find Cain wonderfully affirming next time they find themselves at coffee hour in a strange church

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Pages Unbound

Good
Reviewed by Briana on Jun 17 2013

The book will certainly be enlightening for many extroverts, particularly as evidence suggests introverts are better at understanding extroversion than extroverts are at understanding introversion.

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Books Distilled

Good
on Jun 10 2013

All in all, I appreciated reading a piece that spoke up for introverts. So much of our culture frames introvertism as less interesting, less fun, and less successful than extrovertism.

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Niki Hahn's Journal

Above average
Reviewed by Nikole Hahn on Apr 06 2012

I am giving my copy of this book to an introverted friend who first expressed interest in it when I posted the cover on my website. I hope she gets more out of this than I.

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About.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Cherie Burbach on Sep 24 2013

Susan Cain has written a book that just might become standard reading for introverts or parents of introverted children.

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Words with Books

Above average
Reviewed by KALYNBROOKE on Apr 16 2013

Although all the information in Quiet is eye-opening and valid, Susan Cain is not the easiest writer to follow. The book took me a good 3 weeks to read, partly because I was digesting each chapter and paragraph slowly, so as not to miss all the valuable content there.

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Reader Rating for Quiet
84%

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