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What to Read This Weekend: The P.C. Guy, 15 Minutes of Facebook Fame, and a Garden of (Nazi) Beasts

Author: Susan Cain


Hi everyone, here are this week’s reading picks:

1. “Apologia To My Second Child“: Witty and poignant letter to his unborn second child, written by quiet guy John Hodgman (otherwise known as the fellow who played a P.C. in the hilarious Apple “Get a Mac” ad campaigns.)

2. “The (Shy) Woman Whose Words Accidentally Became Martin Luther King’s“: Interesting Atlantic magazine story on a shy young woman whose Facebook posting went viral when it was mistaken for an MLK quote.

3. “In the Garden of Beasts,” by Erik Larson — free excerpt from this forthcoming book: a true story of William Dodd, the scholarly and unassuming diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to Hitler’s Berlin, and his 24 year old daughter who gaily dated young Nazi men. Full disclosure: Larson’s book is being published by Crown, my own publisher. But even though I’m happy to help my publishing house, this recommendation has nothing to do with that. An excerpt arrived this morning via an e-mail from Amazon, who named this one of the best books of the month. I was hooked right away.

Happy reading!

4 Comments

  1. Noel on 06.05.2011 at 11:38 (Reply)

    You always find the best things to read. I look forward to this list every Friday. I loved John Hodgman’s letter.

    1. Susan Cain on 06.05.2011 at 14:21 (Reply)

      Glad you like the list! It’s true, the Hodgman essay is a wonder. I remember now that I saw a tape of him speaking some time last year, and it was hilarious…must find it and list it one Friday (even though that’s not technically reading material.)

  2. Valerie on 07.05.2011 at 23:09 (Reply)

    I have always felt sorry for “only” children! I always had a sister and a brother with whom to commiserate with or even to fight with! We love each other through thick and thin. We always have someone who understands us and even if they don’t, they love us anyway. I also had two girls and a boy. When it was time for the girls to choose a maid of honor, they each chose their “first friend,” their sister. The one they could always count on.

  3. Patricia on 10.05.2011 at 13:12 (Reply)

    I did not see you have a book club and made recommendations until today - what a great surprise. And what great suggestions…this reader is always happy to dive into something new.

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Quiet: The Book
"Cain’s intelligence, respect for research, and vibrant prose put Quiet in an elite class with the best books from Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and other masters of psychological non-fiction."

- Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard Business School professor and co-author, The Progress Principle.

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16 Things I Believe

1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

4. Texting is popular because in an overly extroverted society, everyone craves asynchronyous, non-F2F communication.

5. We teach kids in group classrooms not because this is the best way to learn but because it’s cost-efficient, and what else would we do with the children while all the grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers to work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens not to fit the model.

6. The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength.

7. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There’s always time to be quiet later.

8. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.

9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.

10. Rule of thumb for networking events: one genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.

11. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.

12. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.

13. The universal longing for heaven is not about immortality so much as the wish for a world in which everyone is always kind.

14. If the task of the first half of life is to put yourself out there, the task of the second half is to make sense of where you’ve been.

15. Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.

16.“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi