Reading/Viewing Ideas for the Weekend: An Intellectual Hero, Islands for Introverts, and Teddy Roosevelt on Fear


Hi everyone, here are this weekend’s reading and viewing picks:

1. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi speaking at TED on flow, the state of optimal experience where you’re totally engaged in an activity, neither bored nor anxious. Csiszentmihalyi is one of my intellectual heroes, so I’m also very excited and honored to report that he just read an advance copy of my book, QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and had this to say:

“Finally someone has exposed the feet of clay of the extraversion industry. It is a wonder it took so long. Those who value a quiet, reflective life will feel a burden lifting from their shoulders as they read Susan Cain’s eloquent and well documented paean to introversion — and will no longer feel guilty or inferior for having made the better choice!”

2. Islands for Introverts, by Alyssa Pelish: Lovely, intelligent post on the introversion of Robinson Crusoe and Prospero (that’s Prospero in the painting up above). It’s on the blog, 3quarksdaily, which is a terrific find if you’re not familiar with it.

3. Teddy Roosevelt on conquering fear: “There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.” (from his 1913 autobiography — thx to a thoughtful reader for sharing this wonderful quote.)

Have a great weekend!




  1. Brittany on 05.08.2011 at 22:44 (Reply)

    I like the Roosevelt quote! Congrats on the great book review! I’m sure many people are excited for your book to come out.

    1. Susan Cain on 06.08.2011 at 13:17 (Reply)

      Thx Brittany, and welcome back.

      1. Brittany on 06.08.2011 at 19:07 (Reply)

        Thanks Susan, it’s good to be back! You’ve gotten my past few emails right? I forwarded one of them to you again yesterday, let me know!

        1. Susan Cain on 06.08.2011 at 19:12 (Reply)

          No, actually, the last one I got was on July 26th!

  2. Christy on 06.08.2011 at 13:13 (Reply)

    Wow, that’s exciting to have your hero comment on your book! How marvelous.

    1. Susan Cain on 06.08.2011 at 13:16 (Reply)

      Thanks, Christy!

  3. Brittany on 06.08.2011 at 19:21 (Reply)

    Hmm that’s weird, I was wondering if that was what’s happening. I think the July 26th one was the latest version where I said it was Ready to Roll. I was wondering if there was any feedback or updates on that though so maybe if you could try sending me an email that would work! My other email message might have gone to your spam or something.

    1. Susan Cain on 06.08.2011 at 20:16 (Reply)

      Ah, ok, let me go back and take a look at the July 26th one, then, and will be in touch soon, OK? I have a couple of public appearances this week that I’m preparing for (which I’ll post about soon!) so give me a few days…

      1. Brittany on 06.08.2011 at 21:44 (Reply)

        All right no problem, thanks! I just wanted to make sure you got the latest version and that you’d let me know of any updates on the scheduling. Good luck with your public appearances! (not that you need it!)

  4. Mary Ellen on 06.08.2011 at 20:11 (Reply)

    Congratulations on a glowing review by Dr. Csikszentmihalyi, one of my heroes, too, a rigorous researcher and true visionary in the field of psychology. He clearly thinks very highly of your book! That’s gotta feel fantastic. I can’t wait to read it myself.

    1. Susan Cain on 06.08.2011 at 20:13 (Reply)

      Thx, and I love it that you admire him too. Are you a psychologist? I am not, but always say that I was meant to be.

  5. Mary Ellen on 06.08.2011 at 20:21 (Reply)

    Susan, I suspect that you’re right when you say you were meant to be a psychologist. I am a psychologist, always thought I was meant to be one, too (I had a former life, too, like yourself, was an art director in advertising in Chicago for 10 years before going back to get my doctorate). Even without going back to school, though, know that you’re making an enormous contribution to the field of mental health doing what you’re doing right now. I’ve already referred two clients to your blog. As you well know, this world desperately needs champions for introverted temperaments and I’m grateful for your willingness and talent at being one of them.

    1. Susan Cain on 06.08.2011 at 20:25 (Reply)

      That means a lot to me, thank you very much for saying so. And, if based on your clinical work you have ideas of topics you think I should be covering, pls let me know.

  6. Danielle on 09.08.2011 at 11:24 (Reply)

    You know you are doing something right when your intellectual hero congratulates you. It makes me look forward to your book even more than before.

    Wish I could have my own small island, even if it’s the size of a dime and man made.

    I was reviewing some twitter chatter and found a couple of sayings that are worth sharing. Here they are:

    “The quieter you are, the better you will be able to hear the miracle come to you, even in whispers.”

    “When you are willing to stop looking for something in thought, you find everything in silence. (Gangaji).

    Enjoy. Good day to everyone.

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Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates names "The Power of Introverts" one of his all-time favorite TED Talks.

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012


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.

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