Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quiet, by Susan Cain and The Blue Castle

At the end of May I was so bold as to blog about a summer reading list. This is because I thought I'd actually have time to do a lot of reading this summer.

I was tragically mistaken.

However, I have finished a couple of things on my list:

The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery.

The cover makes it look like a cheap romance novel. Do not judge this book by its cover. Funny, sharp, delightful, and a perfect summer read for Montgomery fans.

And I can only hope that this person, who gave it a one-star review on Amazon, has repented of her evil ways.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

I love this book.
I love this book.
I love this book.

Now, go away, because I have expended all my introvert energy in reporting to you on this book and I need to recharge.

Also? I would love to meet Susan Cain, except, really, I wouldn't love it because we would both be thinking the same thing: "You're lovely and all, but I'd rather be home reading."

Things worth discussing about Quiet:

  • The relationship between solitude and creativity
  • The ways in which work and school environments can undermine creativity while trying to foster it
  • The biology behind introversion and the nature vs. nurture discussion
  • Parenting "high reactive" children 
  • Staying true to one's nature 
  • When and how to step outside your introverted nature -- why and how that works  

And plenty more. I have at least three pages of notes on this book but -- again, tragically -- not enough time to blog about it today. But soon.

Have you read Quiet?
Are you an introvert?
What did you think?
If you're an extrovert, are thinking, "Hey! Karen! Why do you love reading so much?"


Liz said...

Karen, As the reasonably extroverted parent of two fairly introverted children (oh, heck, one incredibly introverted child, and one fairly introverted child), the grandmother of an introverted child, married to a very introverted man, I think I must read Susan Cain's book. Thanks so much for recommending it. I'll probably need to share it with my extrovert son-in-law... Apparently opposites really do attract.

Kansas Mom said...

The Blue Castle is one of my absolute favorite books. For a long time, it was my habit to pick it up and read through the second half once a year or so though I haven't had time for that in recent years. It is hands-down my favorite LM Montgomery book. I'm always happy to see others reading and recommending it!

I'll have to read the second book. I don't consider myself an introvert, but it is true I'd almost always rather be reading.

Love2Learn Mom said...

I loved the Blue Castle! And I just ordered Quiet for my Kindle and am very curious to read it. I think I have a tendency to not respect my introvertedness enough, which tends to get me in trouble. Most of my kids are in the same boat, but not all. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Meredith said...

It seems like the older I get, the more introverted I become, sheesh!! Looking forward to reading "Quiet" if I can ever find somewhere quiet to read ;-) Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'm about halfway through Quiet, I keep having to stop and think about things I've read :) I hadn't really made the connection about how much society has gone toward pushing extroversion, but now I can see it everywhere. It also made me wonder if some of the objections to homeschooling on the grounds of "socialization" are actually, consciously or not, partly prompted by this push to extroversion?
Like Meredith, I think I've become more introverted with age! The Blue Castle has been on my to-read list for a while, so I loved this post!

Karen said...

I just devoured The Blue Castle and totally agree that the reviewer who gave it one star needs to repent!!! It was such a sweet story and truly a perfect summer read! It reminded me of the Grace Livingston Hill books that I've enjoyed as light reads in the past, but so much better. Thank you so much for the recommendation! I think I'll have to give my 12 year old niece a copy of the book for her birthday. :)

Karen Edmisten said...

Karen, so glad you enjoyed it!

Anon, I agree that the "socialization concern" is connected to the push for extroversion as an ideal. Grat point!

Mere: Yeah, that's the catch. :)

Love2Learn, you must respect the Introversion! :)

KS Mom, I love the idea of picking up the 2nd half of BC every year. If you'd almost always rather be reading, you'll love the author's description of what she hoped summer camp would be like as a kid. :)

Liz, yes, you must read it. Your family will love you for it. :)

Sheila said...

I LOVED Quiet. It was so good! I think I'm more extroverted than otherwise (though not strongly inclined in either direction), but I've become more introverted as I've gotten older, and it's nice to reflect a bit on that side of myself. And my husband is very introverted (though a lot of people don't realize this because he is quite outspoken in public), and the book helped me understand him a LOT. Like how, when he's stressed out about something, the last thing he wants is to either talk about it, or do something with me that will distract him from it. He wants to THINK about it.

The chapter that really got me, though, was the one about being highly sensitive, which I immediately recognized that I am. I've done more reading on the topic and it is SO helpful to understand the trait of sensitivity ... kind of a revelation after a lifetime of being told I'm "too sensitive" to realize "oh, it's actually a thing, and there's a good side to it."